Monday, December 20, 2010
I'm guessing that during a normal holiday day,
they haveabout 6 operational trains on london<->paris,
given there's about 1 train an hour and
its 2.5 hours + buffer/turnaround...
So yesterday, what we had here could be modelled as a massive TCP
congestion event (rather than packet loss, we got train loss)
with > 1/2 a windows worth of trains cancelled, plus a sudden increase in RTT.
So now today (correctly) the window is down to 1 train per RTT,
whichis 6 times less than normal, and slow start is happening,
so in about ln(6) (say 3) RTTs we'll be back up to speed -
so thats 18 hrs.
In that time, some of the latent demand will fade
(people like me probably cancel trip as we have no alernative,
or some people postpone (e.g. "cancel christmas" or "convert to Islam", since they seem to get less snow, or
perhaps find alternative...
If i was desperate, I'd use this old
Boat Train service, although the crossing might be pretty dreadful at this time of year.
There don't appear to be any flights from anywhere today, and practically none tomorrow either.
Friday, December 17, 2010
I have been striving to apply a number of more
scientific approaches to networking in general,
and the Internet specifically.
To this end, I ended up teaching the final year
undergrads this year
(who of course may not be as final as they think
given the impending part III option)
a whole bunch of underpinning theories, including
Information, Graph, Control, Queueing, and Optimisation
Now, these are all fine theories,
but they all have the twin massive disadvantages of:
1. being to hard to apply in any realistic scenario
2, being empirically falsifiable
What we need truly to model the Internet is a
simple, powerful, and incotrovertable Grand Unified Theory -
in Physics, they have such a theory and it is String.
So can we apply string theory to the Internet?
Yes, I think we can.
Firstly, obviosuly, the Internet looks a lot like string.
But (as physicists like doing) we can play cats cradle with the string.
Thus we can model the static and dyanmical evolution of the Internet
Closed Loops of string could be used to model packets.
Forwarding packets would be like "throwing someone a line".
Indeed, fowarding table entries, Link State Advertisement packets, AS
Path announcements, and packets themselves would all be elegantly
caputured using the same flixible little ring-like structure.
Elasticity ("how long is a piece of string" == QoS)
can finally be used to model traffic control and pricing
in a pleasingly coherent way.
String is a veryful thing in models.
Although Robust Operational Parameterized Estimators
are thicker, string is very quick to apply. And of course it
can offer a perfectly good model for multiplexing, as well as
giving straightforward explantory and predictive techniques for
understanding Kandinsky Network Operational Tantrums
which have resisted all previous analysis.
If nothing else,
when under persistent cyberattack,
the whole Internet unravels,
we can use the residue to help
wrap up christmas presents.
I shall be working on this over the break
and hope to bring convincing results
back from the brink in the new year.
Friday, November 26, 2010
The congestive flu-like collapse of 1987 was as nothing to this - noone could get their mutter feeds, everyone was stalled on their 3HDIPTV Christmas participatory viewing of Avatar III, and the world economy tanked, again.
This was a classic xen-koan story - less is more - by simply introducing the deliberate-memory-leak virus in her TCP-Budapest, Magda (von) Kiss was able to "take out" all that unnecessary buffering at one swell foop. Later upgrades to the hardware recovered the now-wasted DRAM, and recycled it as Casino tokens in Vegas and Reno, closing the loop on a very, very old joke.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
proof by dilution (e.g. the 7% solution)
proof by inflation (a universal technique)
proof by surprise (creep up on the proof and exclaim)
proof by diabolization (a fiendish geometric technique)
proof by familiarity ("our old friend...")
proof by indignation ("how can you not realize...")
proof by deformation (if we just twist this a bit here...)
proof by defamation (oh, your one of those people)
proof by descent
proof by geology (that's been known since the pre-cambrian era)
Other techniques are also on offer
for example Adenoid's theorem allows the use of a nerdy american accent, while Mellencamp's method entails loud hard rocking, an the Baker's theorem makes repeated use of the equivalence between 12 and thirteen, while La Mirror's method involves deep reflection. Monroe's doctrine is a died-in-the-wool surefire approach for even the dumbest of people. Finally Gillette's Razor can be employed to separate the sheep from the goats.
Recently I was reading Jorge Luis Borges Imaginary Beings, which refers to the 'Celestial Empire of benevolent Knowledge' in which animals are taxonomised thus:
(a) belonging to the emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame,
(d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous,
(g) stray dogs,
(h) included in the present classification,
(i) frenzied, (j) innumerable,
(k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush,
(l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher,
(n) that from a long way off look like flies.
roll over linaeus
much better than Fire, Women and Dangerous Things
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
anyhow, so if we all revert to old (uucp style, for the older readers) connectivity and make delay tolerant use of the interweb, then noone can expect us to see an email (let alone answer it) until the next day - this would also allow perfect statistical multiplexing (and resource pooling) of the network - people are already timeshifting when they watch TV programs (via netflix/lovefilm, or via iPlayer in the UK) - so this is timeshifting when you deal with what USED to be asynchronous communication....
I think we could charge people more money for this apparently less reliable service... ... ...
maybe call it calmail or the retreat from realtime
Monday, September 13, 2010
It goes like this:
1.demand is growing exponentially
2.revenue only grows linearly with number of users
3. ergo, we can't afford to deploy 4G
there's a couple of things wrong with this argument.
1. cost of deployment doesn't necessarily grow exponentially with capacity - there are
a) aggregation factors; b) energy cost savings with newer kit; c) new tricks (cooperative relaying from multiple masts).
2. revenue does grow - lots of users pay a lot more for unlimited data service contracts on than they did for voice/txt message contracts and also for very limited 2.5G (GPRS/Edge) typical volume limited services - If 35M people in the UK were paying a typical unlimited data contract, of, currently around 30 pounds per month, that is 12billion pounds per year - that is quite enough to deploy LTE.
3. revenue from the other side of the net also grows (if more people download more video, youtube and the BBC etc have to buy more high speed services from fixed net providers - these are non trivial income streams
someone is telling porkie pies.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
So as the Internet gives away all our privacy and lets people share TOo Much Information in ways that erode the weak social walled gardens that let different viewpoints coexist in some sort of vague harmony, governments start to put the lid on the one Hope, that the Internet might also let us know What is Really Going On and Have a Say in it instead of having our lives run and our intercourse mediated by creeps in suits.....as the East demands RIM give them access to all blackberry mail, and CHina blocks this that and everything, what Hope is left?
Answer's on a blog comment (we know where you live)
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
this is when social structures break down (alienation) - so is this once you get above Dunbar's magic number 150? Does technology help people do group-mind thinking with larger groups ? I think it does (the IETF spent 10 years working well (til 1990:-)
before it went pear-shaped and became less than any of its parts (not just less than the sum of its parts)
if we don't solve this problem, then the human race is doomed to fail (to fail to solve climate change, population, or any other world scale problem)
we are human stumble-bums who' lurch from one random mix to another, and occasionally, some cascading idea leads to herding behind some new thing (enlightenment - good; fascism - bad)
Alien's will land and find our remains and say "could do better"....
why havn't we seen aliens?
because they look at our group mind and say "how dumb is that"....
Monday, July 19, 2010
much like a lot of the dark underbelly of the internet, its a bit of a sordid mess...
if it isn't fake content by copyright protectionista, it's likely to be
self-advertising by big sites or porn or malware perveyors....
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
was on twitter under #cloudmatters
anyhow, I was thinkin about privacy and psychology and wondering why people are so negative about some times of monitoring
1. monitoring car speed
i) we have averaging speed cameras (viz M1 right now)
ii) tomtom log speed/location over 3G from cars - why not put this data in a black box for analysis in the event of an accident too (instead of waiting for someone to subpoena tomtom's wenb service for the data) - liability would then be much easier to find evidence for
iii) if you run a phone with GPS (android, iphone etc) and latitude, then surely the data on google's service is also exactly such evidence anyhow? Could we ask to see how fast our MPs drive under an FOI? :-)
2. monitoring health
i) Tesco's keep our buying data as part of clubcard stuff for optimsising their profit and our basket - if this info went to our GP they might use it to warn us about our diet
ii) Nokia has sports phones that log heartbeat etc when you run/cycle (and upload to serice with map) - this too could go to GP as part of evidence based mediciine and prenvetive healthcare
iii) a micropayment system being used for bar bills (e.g. freedom phone style) could be used to interact with 1/ to tell you not to drive and 2/ to tell you to lay off the booze
why would people mind this?
answers on a postcard :-)
[The question above is rhetorical]
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Why is this interesting (in the context of the Net)?
Well, this week, I am attending the Energy Systems week at the Newton Institute in Cambridge and the talks have fallen in to the same pattern of three sides of the picture that we saw in the net, and transport: Energy is dominated by a shall number of energy producers and grid companies (mostly private nowadays). THe move to local generation
(i.e. "user contributed" energy) and the move to using prices as "signals" to users to see if that will alter their (consumer and producer) behaviour have been things we've seen in the net (p2p content versis Content Distribution services, congestion charging and congestion explosure as well as Inter-domain policy routing/peering policies), and in Transport (congestion charging, toll v public good roads).
Glen Vinnicombe gave a great talk about why distributed control with local rules for interaction is sufficient to organise a globally stable system. Alas, it was clear from many responses that the industry (i.e. people that have outrageously expensive systems invested in command & control - 100M pounds software for running LP and IP solutions for optimisation was one quoted figure!!!), have no understanding of why we might need to move to this decentralised world.
What we really need is a subtle political move that shifts the ground under their feet, as was done in the Transport case (allowing local decisions to innovate for example so that people could introduce smart pricing, smart control independent of the business dominated by near monopolies). This move needs to happen soon for energy - it is not at all clear how to lay out a vision and road-map for this that could engage the incumbents - in the case of the internet, we just ignored them (as Americans say, we did an "end run" on their game:).
Putting in constraints (simple things like Kirchhoff's laws is trivial compared to the complexity that is the Internet. I was amused that people think the electricity system is harder than a global packet switched system with over 100,000 providers. (Other things like the fact that we have different kinds of packets (VOIP/Video v. Data), the fact that intra-domain TE runs on timescales faster than spot markets (as do CDNs, who buy electricity dynamically and spin up/down disk farms and whole city datacenters already based on current supply cost/reliability, and buy wind farms) seems to have slipped the attention of some of the old school....
Anyhow, thanks are due to the Newton Institute event organizers for bringing together a set of people to make this clear.
Some brief other notes-
I've always said that the Internet is a predictor for where other utilities might end up (given its scope, scale, low operating costs, competitive nature, and flexibilty to a wide varieity of ever evolving business models)
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
their social group and their locale during an epidemic if you give them live information about who (and potentially where) there is some level of infection - this had to go through an ethics committee because it involves health.
now the next phase (or a next phase) involves running an enhanced version of the programme which no longer logs whether a person has a disease, but instead, emulates a set of diseases and a set of values for parameters for Susceptibility, Infectiousness and Recovery, and (still telling the user - but now its a game) tries to see if people will alter their behaviour (i.e. where they go; who they meet) depending on the severity etc - the idea of the latter experiment is that we can run live experiments with hypothetical values for the disease vector and SIR values - the reason we can't just run this on trace data is that there are feedback loops between the disease and the social network dynamics, so whether a given virtual epidemic collapses, stays endemic, or goes pandemic (or some other mode) will be highly dependent on actual users' behavioural dynamics (and might include other facets of behaviour like peer pressure etc)...
Anyhow, the question is this: do we still need formal Ethical approval for this latter experiment?
Friday, May 14, 2010
I've been wondering how you should be addressed.
The powers that be (wise old men) say we should have 128 bits of stuff
allocated either geographically or topologically, or organisationally (provider centric)
I say we should declare IPv6 Bloomsday and have three hash functions and addresses should be allocated with fields set from all three types, by doin a cryptohash of the ID of a node (sim or mac) ...
So the new type of address is the bitwise inclusive OR of the results of all three hash functions:
Hg(id) v Ht(id) v Ho(id)
The properties of this are neat - a router can decide to apply a match on any one of the three hashes, so if a node moves, we can see whether geo, topo, or provider based routing will cope with the migration best - we can also NAT or re-assign permanentally for a node, any 2 of the hashes, and still get a match - provided we dont change all three (or the id)...
This ought to work fairly well, since most nodes execute Levy flights over the net (returning to the nest at end of day, trip, vacation)....
Saturday, May 01, 2010
retro eastern european album covers
awesome time lapse photo work
last day in einstein's office
seriously pixilated universe
and there's loads more where that came from
Monday, April 12, 2010
but most civilizations made do with four wheel devices for millennia
(sounds off stage left of animal farm):
Now, the civilized thing is to go on two wheels.
but the segay has made the unicycle almost practical
so what is the next step for the wheel world? clearly, no cycles - zero wheels - is the logical next step
roll on the nadabike, I say
of course, it will still be known as a bike, just like people still talk about records or phones in some places....
Friday, April 02, 2010
Compelling Application of Multicast Building Rss (or twitter) Internet Distributions of Great Expectations....CAMBRIDGE
stalking, really - that's what its really all about.
On the other hand, the s/w "architecture" for twitter sucks bigtime - its kind of like, someone looked at SMS and went, hey, texting is so cool - lets rebuild an accidentally useful thing that is only good on mobile phones before the iPhone because there wasnt a proper keyboard and screen, and lets build it for the internet, eh?
how cool is that, like, er, not?
well anyhow, so noone relies on twitter really - its a 140 byte payload, with a 1-to-many service model, and no especial casual ordering between tweets from different sources. so it is ideally suoted to UDP/IP multicast - scales really nicely from a server perspective - 1 sender with a million followers - indeed, who needs servers - stephen fry could tweet to a billion people direct from his iPhone (assuming the 3G IP service did native multicast...) - indeed, some cellular networks implement broadcast services (for radio and tv channels in Korea and Japan for example) so one could even use the ethernet hack of mapping ip multicast groups to broadcast subnets locally, and get receiver efficiencies as well as sender side scaling improvements from O(n) to O(1)....how about that eh?
Thursday, March 04, 2010
how you learn a reflex
started with me saying how hard I find it to make a pot of coffee correctly
until I've had a coffee
he then said how the physio people at addenbrooks had made much of the fact
that it is so hard to figure out how you "learn a reflex"
this bootstrapping problem is made all the weirder
when you ask people about "simple" things like
learning to ride a bike
learning to do vibrato on violin/guitar
learning to programme
add your experience here...
there's the skills/technique thing which is incremental and easy to see
then there's some transformative/phase shift somehow (dodgy bogo-science metaphor there) in the brain - would be wonderful to do functional MRI on someone
learning to stop falling off a bike
and see if this is so!
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
thought about throwing it away
but then i realize i also have a device in my car which is one of the 21st centuries most awesome hacks - it is so baroque as to be worthy of a song or something out of some
bruce sterling/william gibson/neal stephenson 10 page eulogy or even a threnody
which is to say i have one of those gizmos for 10 quid which
plugs into a cigarette lighter to charge, and then has an FM transmitter
and then you dock your pod-u-like into it
using the awesomely apple-uber-scart-like moron designed docking socket thing
and lo, your ipod tunes arrive on your car speakers
via your FM car radio
and electronics replenish the power in the i-pod
via the gadget for setting fire to cancer-stick
how weird is that?
turning broken ipods into useful sources of soothing sounds
by means of multiple obsolete tech!!!!
what's not to like?
Friday, February 26, 2010
this is Yet Another Initiative which is the
Future Internet Strategy Board of the UK.
The Internet has a great future behind it, of course. However,
my thesis is that the
Future Internet is about as relevant as
Anthropogenic Global Warming
It is not necessary to invoke all the hype and hysteria - it
is both necessary and sufficient to talk about
sustainable energy (c.f. David Mackay)
good technical communications research, develeopment, deployment and operations -
What we really don't need is yet more climatologists
(or ethnographers studying internet governance) - we do need some solid engineering
to address a number of problems the Internet has - but this is happening and wouldn't stop happening if the entire Future Internet flagship was kidnapped by aliens.
we don't need no government agency doing top down dictats about what to do when -
it won't work and it will be a massive waste of time, energy and other resources - i.e.
like AGW, it will be a load of hot air:)
my slides are linked off my home page in the usual way...
There are a number of deeper lessons from the Internet architecture which might prove useful in other domains, and in my talk I give examples of these (applying the Postel and End-to-end principles to transport, energy, government information/servies)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
but on the internet, content is king
and content is zipfian
so popular content is, in all liklihood
from far away
yet content is about somethign real - a band, a play, a beach, a cause
yet if the band don't play near you, the play is in a foreign tongue, the beach is washed by tides from a different ocean, and the cause is not yours to wonder why
then it impoverishes you - it does not enrichen.
the internet is going to be the greatest cause of poverty since
the church burned people for translating and printing the bible
humans were the only creatures in the world
unable to timetravel,
and the fact is that
every other creature
and in other worlds
can travel, freely, not just
like Billy Pilgrim,
unstuck in time,
or the time traveller's wife's husband
but just like you and I
can travel in space - forwards, back, up, down, left, right
so this is the answer to Fermi's paradox:- we havn't met the aliens
because we were always
wouldn't that be sad
Saturday, February 13, 2010
all the systems of government are still modelled as if there was no sigificant difference in any of these areas since before the industrial revolution (roughly).
its pathetic - and don't talk to be about socialism:)
Thursday, January 28, 2010
basically, we will never get consensus ever again on anything - viral stories that are wrong will remain with us - there's a process at work where it starts up a gain
(even if to say - "ah, if htis story is false, how come it wont go away") - so even now we have the finding
about the MMR doctor that he was not only wrong but also unethical.
Nevermind - but the story will go around and around - lik viruses in the ecosstem, and software viruses in the Interweb, this one just wont die.
THe only thing we can do is to automate the process of objecting to it (just like we automate virus protection systems in computers) - we need an agency that detects such bogus stories (liek the board of jewish deputies, only more scientific) and have it issue an autogenerated article (slightly different each time to combat polymorphic lies)
Not only does the graph in the article by the BBC linked above show the CAUSE of measles by reduced MMR protectionin the population, they failed to show that the incidnece of autism increased before the introduction of MMR, and went on going up after the reduction in uptake in MMR, statistically confirming that MMR is
a) not a cause of autism, and
b) this doctor has caused unnecessary misery blindness and death by his thoughtless, careless and immoral behaviour.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Think Glee meets Shaun of the Dead - you thought those were pork scratchings? :-)
the programme opening music will show the evolution of michael jackson over is lifetime, backwards, proving that he was in fact a vampire, but living in a reversed temporal frame of reference - the hints are there (not just obvious ones like Thriller, but subversive references to his were-rat sister in the themesong Ben)
The programme will have innocent x-factor (pop idol) type people up against actual zombie/vampire/were-guitarists, who, when they win, eat the losers.
I guarantee it will be huge.
Monday, January 04, 2010
music while you browse
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