The Internet of Crap

silverchambersCisco CEO John Chambers gave a keynote speech last week at the Consumer Electronics Show laying out Cisco’s vision for what he called the Internet of Everything and other people are calling just the Internet of Things. The idea is very simple: put intelligence in every device and connect them all together on the Internet. And the idea behind the idea is even simpler: the everything is what we’ll first have to throw away. Because that’s the only way the Internet of Everything can work.

Throw away your routers, wireless and wired. Throw away your network adapters, wireless and wired. Throw away your modems. Throw away your network extenders. Throw away anything with a radio or […]

If it’s Ethernet versus Godzilla, then Godzilla is DOCSIS

Two weeks ago I was at the Computer History Museum to help observe the 40th anniversary of Ethernet. It was literally 40 years to the day since Bob Metcalfe drew his first sketches of what became the world’s dominant OSI Level 2 network technology. It was a fun and festive day that ended, believe it or not, with dancing. But some of the celebration didn’t make sense to me. Or, rather, it seemed to me that important parts of the discussion were missing.

When, for example, did 802.11 WiFi become a part of 802.3 Ethernet? That claim was made over and over during the day and helped power the argument that Ethernet is today a $100 billion business. Yeah, right.

Parts of that argument are true. […]

Silicon Valley conquers Hollywood 2013 — Setting the scene

winter-is-comingI wrote here nearly a year ago that there would be no more annual lists of predictions and I’m sticking to that. I’m trying to retire, remember? The ads are gone, you might notice, and with them my income. But I’m not out the door quite yet and have time for a series of columns on what I think will be an important trend in 2013 — the battle for Hollywood and home entertainment.

The players here, with some of them coming and some of them going, are Amazon and Apple and Cisco and Google and Intel and Microsoft and maybe a few more. The battleground comes down to platforms and content and will, by 2015 […]

Clothing may be optional but bufferbloat isn’t

This is my promised update on bufferbloat, the problem I write about occasionally involving networks and applications that try to improve the flow of streaming data, especially video data, over the Internet but actually do the opposite, defeating TCP/IP’s own flow control code that would do the job much better if only it were allowed to. I first mentioned bufferbloat in January 2011 and it is still with us but the prognosis is improving, though it will probably take years to be fully resolved.

If you read my last column on LagBuster, you know it’s a hardware-based workaround for some aspects of bufferbloat aimed especially at gamers. LagBuster is a coping strategy for one […]

By |October 1st, 2012|2012, Internet, Technology|Comments Off

Beginning of the end for bufferbloat

As the go-to source for all news relating to bufferbloat, I’m glad to announce that the first of several possible solutions to the problem will shortly be available, just in time to save the Internet from self-destruction.

What, you didn’t know the Internet was self-destructing? Well it is.

Bufferbloat, my #1 prediction from 2011, is an artifact of cheap memory and bad planning in the Internet Age. In order to keep our porn streaming without interruption we add large memory buffers in applications, network cards or chipsets, routers, more routers, and even more routers until the basic flow control techniques of the TCP protocol are completely overwhelmed. Data glugs through the system like a gas can with […]