P2P

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Making the Wireless World More Web-Friendly

Your wireless carrier (in the U.S., probably AT&T or Verizon Wireless) has a lot of control over the handset you can use and the applications that can run on that device. In fact, wireless carriers routinely ask for (and get) an enormous slice of the revenue from applications that work on their networks, and they force handset manufacturers to jump through all kinds of hoops in order to be allowed to sell devices that can connect to these networks... This has had bad effects on the ecosystem of the wireless world. more

How Big is the Storm Botnet?

The Storm worm has gotten a lot of press this year, with a lot of the coverage tending toward the apocalyptic. There's no question that it's one of the most successful pieces of malware to date, but just how successful is it? Last weekend, Brandon Enright of UC San Diego gave a informal talk at the Toorcon conference in which he reported on his analysis of the Storm botnet. According to his quite informative slides, Storm has evolved quite a lot over the past year... more

Why a Net Neutrality Law is Not Enough

Once we decide that Network Neutrality is a good thing to (re)enshrine in law, then we need to ask how to do that effectively. One way would be to pass a law saying, "Thou shalt not discriminate." That's the current approach. But network operators will say that they must manage their network, and if, in the course of network management, they were to disadvantage some source, destination, application, service or content, they might be accused of violating the law. So any Network Neutrality law must have a Network Management Exception... more

Telephony is Disrupted Because Voice No Longer Matters… (As Much)

Does "voice" communication really matter as much today in business communications? Think about it. When you need to reach someone today, what do you do? Do you call them on the phone? Or do you send them email? Or a text message? or IM? I know personally that my normal communication flow usually goes something like this: Instant Messaging; I check first to see if I can reach the person on some form of IM... SMS; if the matter is relatively important... E-mail/Facebook/Twitter/other; Previously that would have just been email, but these days I find myself very often sending messages via Facebook or Twitter... more

Rent vs. Buy: The Driver of Economics

We the people like to own stuff and not pay rent to use it (BTW, rent includes taxes but that's another story). They the oligarchs like to own the stuff and charge us rent to use it. The rise of a middle class has historically meant the rise of a property-owning class. The underclass pays exorbitant rents. The telecommunications world -- or at least the US part of it -- is a battle of rent vs. buy. Economics says that ownership or rentership is all based on access to capital. Certainly capital is a huge part of the equation -- can you spell "home loan"?; but it's not the whole story... more

Understanding the Skype Outage

Skype's official explanation. Phil Wolff has a good set of interpolated comments on the official explanation. There are two things to add... As the Register points out, last Tuesday was Microsoft's monthly patch day and those patches required a re-boot. If we believe Skype that their problem started with excessive login attempts, this is the only plausible explanation on the table... more

P2P: Boon, Boondoggle, or Bandwidth Hog? (The Dark Side)

Yesterday's post explained how peer-to-peer (P2P) applications use the processing power, bandwidth, and storage capacity of participants in a service rather than centralized resources. This makes such applications generally less subject to catastrophic failure, much less subject to running out of resources (since each new user brings new capacity as well as new demand), and much cheaper FOR THE PROVIDER of the application in terms of hardware and bandwidth required. It's the FOR THE PROVIDER part that's the rub. Let's consider the case of BBC's iPlayer service... more

Google Acquires Grandcentral… and Enters Further into the PSTN Side of Telecommunications

News breaking out today is that Google has acquired GrandCentral for something around $50 million. GrandCentral is a service that gives you one phone number that can ring multiple numbers, provide one common voicemail - and all sorts of the other features (see "howitworks" for a list of features)... So will we ultimately see voicemail inside of Gmail? One would assume that we will eventually see integration with GoogleTalk... more

Web Traffic Overtakes P2P as Largest Bandwidth on the Network

After more than four years during which peer-to-peer (P2P) applications have overwhelmingly consumed the largest percentage of bandwidth on the network, HTTP (Web) traffic has overtaken P2P and continues to grow says a report released by Ellacoya Networks. These findings are based on usage data of approximately one million broadband subscribers in North America. more

First Square Mile is not the Last or First Mile: Discovery not Just Choices!

The term "last mile" highlights the fact that we are the consumers at the end of a broadband "pipe". Saying "first mile" is a little better but the Internet is not a pipe to or from somewhere else. It's about what we can do locally and then what we can do when we interconnect with other neighborhoods. It's better to describe our neighborhood as the first square mile. Telecom is about selling us services; the Internet is about what we can do ourselves locally and then interconnecting with others everywhere. In writing the First Square Mile - Our Neighborhood essay which I just posted I came to better understand the fundamental difference between the world of telecom which is about giving you choices and the Internet which provides opportunity to discover what we can't anticipate... more

Skype as a Platform for Secure VPN Tunnels?

Since Skype has an open client-side API, why not use it as a transport to tunnel VPN traffic and blow through firewalls to connect you to a remote system? That's the idea raised by Peeter P. Mõtsküla in his Skype Developer Blog entry: "Idea: skypetunnel". For instance, have a Skype client running on your home machine logged in as one account. Have Skype on your laptop on another account. Initiate a connection between the two of them and wind up with secure, encrypted access through the firewall from wherever you are. Being peer-to-peer, there would be no central servers or infrastructure required (outside the usual Skype p2p cloud.) This would require, of course, a yet-to-be-created "extra" that connected into the Skype client API and was installed on both systems...but that was the point of the article... more

Frustrations with VoIP Phone Services

I ought to explain why I've suddenly gone cold on VoIP. It's just I've watched my own behaviour. I've grown tired of the inconsistency of PC VoIP calls, and instead I've reverted to using landlines, mobiles and Jajah (for callback). But I'm still using IM to set up many of those calls! The problem isn't unique to any one client - they're all proving unsuitable for business use with clients (which is most of my telephony needs covered). The worst of all seems to be Skype conference calling... more

VoIP/IP Telephony in Estonia: Disrupted by Botnets?

With my post earlier this month about the possibility of SIP botnets [also featured here on CircleID], I've had a number of people asking about more information and wondering about the possible impacts. And while I will write more on botnets in general, as far as the potential impact of "botnets" in general, one need only look over at the current situation in Estonia... Now, perhaps Russia is behind the attack... perhaps not. There are obviously much larger political issues going on between the two states. more

New Wave of Illegal Activity Breed of So-Called P2P Worm

Massive networks of infected computers controlled by attackers worldwide will serve as a powerful engine for the new breed of so-called P2P worm that is currently echoing across cyberspace.

Security experts have predicted over the last several years that botnets of hijacked PCs would pose one of the staunchest challenges faced by the IT community as criminals discovered new ways to use them to deliver attacks. more

Infrastructure ENUM

After much initial fanfare a couple of years ago ENUM has matured to a state where it is currently yet another under-achiever in the technology deployment stakes. ENUM initially presented itself as a very provocative response to the legacy telco position of monopolising public voice services through their exclusive control over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the associated controlling position over the telephone number space... The perception was that ENUM was going to dismantle these levers of control and open up the voice market to a new wave of competitive carriers. If the address plan was the key to the PSTN, then ENUM was intended unlock this network and position the new wave of Voice Over IP (VOIP) carriers to take over any residual treasures of the traditional voice market. Events have not played out according to these expectations... more