Category Archives: Technology

Quote of the Day 18 December 2013 – Evidence

Neil deGrasse Tyson at The Amazing Meeting 6.
Neil deGrasse Tyson at The Amazing Meeting 6. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“One of the biggest problems with the world today is that we have large groups of people who will accept whatever they hear on the grapevine, just because it suits their worldview—not because it is actually true or because they have evidence to support it. The really striking thing is that it would not take much effort to establish validity in most of these cases… but people prefer reassurance to research.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Triple Quote Saturday – 14 December 2013- Imagine

Isaac Asimov
Cover of Isaac Asimov

“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.”
? Isaac Asimov

Part of Image:Planetary society.jpg Original c...
Part of Image:Planetary society.jpg Original caption: “Founding of the Planetary Society Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman, the founders of The Planetary Society at the time of signing the papers formally incorporating the organization. The fourth person is Harry Ashmore, an advisor, who greatly helped in the founding of the Society. Ashmore was a Pulitizer Prize winning journalist and leader in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

“The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by ‘God,’ one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.”
Carl Sagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Went to see GC in Trenton on 4/4/08. His openi...
Went to see GC in Trenton on 4/4/08. His opening act was Dennis Blair. Between the 2 of them I had no mascara left (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It turned out I was pretty good in science. But again, because of the small budget, in science class we couldn’t afford to do experiments in order to prove theories. We just believed everything. Actually, I think that class was called Religion. Religion class was always an easy class. All you had to do was suspend the logic and reasoning you were being taught in all the other classes.”
George CarlinBrain Droppings

Tech Piece of the Day 12 December 2013 – Data Transport Protocols

English: Encapsulation of application data des...
English: Encapsulation of application data descending through the layered TCP/IP architecture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we still have some vestige of the digital technological revolution of the last century, it is certainly the data transport mechanisms in use throughout the internet. Although maybe we should talk in plural because they are precisely two mechanisms we have inherited from our digital prehistory. These are TCP and UDP.

Both data transport mechanisms have been with us almost from the beginning, and are so embedded in our hardware and software systems to be replaced would be a virtually impossible task since it resides in the heart of all our communications.

However, attempts are being made to improve the methods of internet communication of the last century. And I say improve, because so far, there has been no public attempt to develop alternative communication protocol(s) to replace the one hundred percent the existing one. On the contrary, it seems that the workaround for a new protocol that meets the needs of a rapidly growing internet would be to recycle the old and obsolete UDP protocol.

Basically the difference between TCP and UDP is the control each exerts on protocols that transport data. TCP requires constant communication between client and server that serves to control the communication between both parties, in addition to TCP consists of sophisticated mechanisms that monitor the data flow sequence and ensuring the integrity thereof. Furthermore UDP is more careless in their purpose and sending everything that comes with a wide lead indiscriminately as far as performance is concerned but leave much to be desired when it comes to quality control. For these reasons and others, the UDP protocol is typically used primarily for the massive flow of data such as video transfer and audio, where reasonable loss of information is not a big risk, while TCP is more suitable for sensitive data sent. The most widespread use of TCP is the HTTP protocol that allows us to surf the internet and receive texts and pictures flawlessly.

However, the control mechanism of TCP can certainly affect the user experience by causing waiting times as a result of sequential processing of data. These delays went unnoticed twenty years ago but not today with data transfer speeds that can exceed 50 Mbps. Another drawback of TCP timeout are caused by initiating communications protocol commonly called RTT (the English “Round -Trip-Time “) where the client and server exchange information and” greetings “before performing the requested data to the user from the browser.

In order to speed up internet there have been several proposals among which a formal initiative of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task force) with its new version of the protocol that HTTP2 applications use, but makes use of the well known TCP systematically by improving browser speed by making use of techniques such as header compression, multiplexing and pipelining asynchronous connections.

However, it is the private sector which has to work with proposals that promise to improve the protocol transfer layer compared to what we know them as today. One of these companies is Fujitsu, who has developed a new technology based on TCP RTT, reducing by one-sixth of the original time and increases the performance of TCP by 30 percent over the current performance. This new protocol is implemented via software and improves the response time to time revise, retrieve and resend lost packets. The protocol developed by Fujitsu, which still has no name, is also able to adjust the data transfer bandwidth available in order to minimize the loss of information and avoid bottlenecks.

Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

But the coming war of the protocols would not be war without the presence of Google, which is still struggling for Internet supremacy. Google has not only tried to unseat the new, yet unreleased, HTTP2 protocol applications with their own version dubbed SPDY, but has been redesigned with star UDP TCP elements such as security and control packet reception, but maintaining the simplicity and speed of the UDP protocol. Google’s solution for a faster internet called QUIC.

The implementation of a new transport protocol can be a daunting task that may never come to be. An example of this is the IPv6 protocol, but it has takes years already, and it has not yet been able to be implemented in full, despite the fact your need is prevailing these days. IPv6 is a clear example of how complicated it can be to replace a well-established protocol, although children are worthy heirs of their father.

Moreover, the idea of a “pseudo-protocol” based software such as Fujitsu suggests, it could be the key to the successful implementation of new protocol (and even layers) transport could well be implemented at the operating system level. It is definitely a clean, non-invasive solution.

network communication protocols
network communication protocols (Photo credit: kob42kob)

But could a company give encouragement that a new protocol needs to be adopted by the rest of the digital community without any corporate interest? If anyone with enough power to successfully bring such a task, that is Google. It is assumed that Google is the trendsetter as far as technology is concerned and therefore its Chrome browser as its Android operating system are definitely weapons of mass incorporation of developing protocols ready to be done with the world market.

 

We Have A Mission

I just joined something called the Internet Defense League — and I’m hoping you will, too. I joined because it’s important to stand up against the powerful industries that are tyring hard to lock down the net. Remember SOPA and PIPA? The people who wrote them are working on more bills to censor the internet, spy on users, chill innovation and generally wreak havoc with the web.

The Internet Blackout helped kill SOPA/PIPA with nothing more than websites and individuals working together to broadcast messages and actions. The Internet Defense League uses the tactics of the Blackout, but supercharged and ready to take on anything that corrupt congresspeople and big business can throw at us.

Join me in the League. Take your place in the fight for internet freedom.

The Internet Defense League works like this: organizers and members monitor Congress and industry for threats to internet freedom. When there’s a grave threat or unmissable opportunity, people use their websites, Twitter, Facebook or other social network accounts to display action messages about the threat and tools for taking action. When we rise up together, we’ll be impossible to ignore.

With SOPA and PIPA, internet users found a new ability to take a stand together when our rights are at stake. Our powerful protest surprised everyone, especially the congresspeople and lobbyists who wrote the bills. We made them see the internet in a new light, but they still don’t know what we’re really capable of. The next time internet freedom is threatened, we will be able to use the League to come out even stronger than we did last fall.

The Internet Defense League can be the strongest network in the fight for internet freedom – but it will only work if large numbers of people get on board. It would be great to have you standing with us.

Click here to get started.

There’s more about future threats, targets, and The League on the site. I hope you’ll join me.

 

Iranian Hackers Compromise NASA SSL Certificate, Agency Investigates – Softpedia

 

On May 16, a group of Iranian hackers and programmers operating under the name of Cyber Warriors Team claimed to have compromised an SSL certificate issued to the Research and Education Support Services of NASA. read more…

Iranian Hackers Compromise NASA SSL Certificate, Agency Investigates – Softpedia.