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Comment: Re:Thanks (Score 1) 392

TCP performance on the Internet is almost totally limited by latency (AKA RTT or round trip time for the ACKs), not the bandwidth.

Modern TCP stacks, including Windows 7, 8 and Linux these days have a feature called TCP Timestamping, where an RTT estimate is taken for the connection, and a feature called TCP Autotuning where the window size is automatically scaled up to fill a Long fat pipe.

So no... the days where TCP throughput of a session was totally limited by latency are long gone.

Comment: Re:Thanks (Score 2) 392

You could even run a network monitoring app. But the browser is one highly visible one that most people already have installed.

Perhaps you could, but now essentially you are having "users that think they have problems" downloading an extra application and they start monitoring after there's a problem most likely.

This means your app cannot get the right data on what's normal for the user or for the world, because you have a sample of app users that are biased towards users that already are experiencing network issues of some sort, and you don't have a good baseline for the user that installed it either.

Comment: Re:Thanks (Score 4, Insightful) 392

It will probably end up pissing off ISPs to the point of either finding ways of faking the data, blocking the data, or just as policy telling customers to ignore the speed numbers.

If the data is blocked, the browser should figure out why and explain to the user that there seems to be an issue with their network; in other words "Blocking" should make it even worse for the ISP. a smarter browser UI could be a tremendous help to support technicians, which the ISPs should absolutely love ---- perhaps even tell the user exactly which entity to contact, even display their ISP's support number on the screen, to help accelerate the problem resolution process, and providing access to comments by other users of the same ISP, leading to happier customers, and customers who can share info with each other pertinent to troubleshooting or why this is happening, etc.

A lot of people won't be able to distinguish when something is their ISP's fault and when it might be the end servers fault.

I am suggesting the browser should also take some responsibility to the interpretation of the results here. There should be a highly visible "troubleshooting" button that causes some tests to be run. Explanations should be right there in a natural language that any English speaker could understand.

The browser should not show an alert if there is not enough data to make a conclusion with a fair measure of statistical confidence.

We can definitely make a strong distinguishment between a "web site performance issue" and a client connectivity issue, with data from a sufficient number of users.

The browser would also need to take into account geographic location and client connectivity, however.

e.g. Is the site slow because the visitor is half way around the world from the nearest mirror, or is it slow because they're connecting over congested WiFi or 3G networks, instead of a wired connection?

I realize it's not "easy", but the web browser is the only software component that is in a position to take the kinds of measurements that are required and help alert the user to the problem, tell the user which entity they should contact, and assist with troubleshooting.

Comment: Re:Thanks (Score 5, Interesting) 392

SO when you pay for that service it says something like "up to 75mbps" which in reality means that the speed test and google's home page could see that much speed and everyone else will look like dial up from the 1990's.

I have a suggestion.... Web browsers should take some measurements and display prominently in a visible status bar or other location.... average TCP throughput --- And Estimated average bandwidth;

Both a "this site" value, a "this browser session" value, and (Optionally) if the user decides to share their numbers, Community average bandwidth for this site, Community average bandwidth for this ISP, and Community average for this site on this ISP.

If Community average for this site on this ISP is more than a standard deviation below Community average for this site,

Then a little warning exclamation point should appear to the right of the browser bar. On mouseover, and for a few seconds after loading the page, a little warning bubble should appear for a few seconds. "Your internet service provider seems to have below average performance in loading this page."

Comment: Don't get too happy (Score 1) 77

by cpt kangarooski (#47537873) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

This bill actually does very little. The DMCA is written very broadly, and has been commonly interpreted as to prohibit cell phone unlocking. Because Congress, in the 90s, when they enacted the stupid thing, was aware that the DMCA could go too far, but didn't want to be cautious or have to keep reexamining the law itself, they gave authority to the Library of Congress to add exceptions to it in specific cases. The process for these exceptions is that every three years, anyone who wants an exception has to plead their case. If found worthy, they get an exception. But the exception only lasts until the next rule making session, three years hence. Then it has to be reargued from scratch or lost.

Two rule making sessions ago, the Library of Congress found that cellphone unlocking was worthy of an exception. But in the most recent rule making session, they did not find it worthy, and the exception was lost; it went back to its default state of being illegal.

This law could have amended the DMCA to permanently allow cellphone unlocking. Or it could've directed the Library of Congress to always find that cellphone unlocking is allowed. But it does neither of these.

Instead it only reinstates the rule from two sessions ago for the remainder of the current session. Next year it will have to be argued again, from scratch, to the Library of Congress, or lost, again. And even if argued, it can be rejected, again.

This is less than useless. It's only a temporary patch, it doesn't even have an iota of long term effect (the rules don't take precedent into account, and this doesn't change it), and we've wasted all this effort getting it instead of something worthwhile.

Comment: Re:subdomain trust (Score 1) 90

by mysidia (#47536433) Attached to: New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

Or is this an option?

RFC 3280 #

The name constraints extension, which MUST be used only in a CA certificate, indicates a name space within which all subject names in subsequent certificates in a certification path MUST be located. Restrictions apply to the subject distinguished name and apply to subject alternative names.



It is an option that was not forced on the root CAs. Essentially none of the public CAs are signing from intermediary CAs with name restrictions applied to their certificates.

Generally the restriction mechanism is only allowed to do something kind of "creepy"; where the root CA essentially "sells" this service to a smaller company for perhaps $50,000 or so and issues a restricted certificate --- that allows whoever bought this service to sign subcerts within certain constraints.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 90

by mysidia (#47536381) Attached to: New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

or at least just force via policy certain certificates onto each computer's browser as trusted?

That works fine for Internet Explorer on Windows via group policy.

It doesn't work for Firefox or Java (separate private trusted certificate storage databases).

More importantly: It doesn't work for iPhones, Androids, or macs accessing intranet resourses, or that require a valid certificate to setup Activesync connection.

Comment: Re: name and location tweeted... (Score 1) 873

This isn't really about privacy, though - it's about SouthWest's perogative to refuse service to someone they feel was being abusive.

Their perogative to arbitrarily refuse service ends when they accept your money and enter into an agreement to render service; they essentially can't back out without cause, or they risk being sued for breach of contract and discriminatory actions.

Also, there is this matter of coercing a customer to remove a public message under threat of arrest, that the customer had a right to post.

Comment: Re: name and location tweeted... (Score 4, Informative) 873

Airports are NOT public places, particularly the Gates at airports.

They are called places of public accommodation just like restaurants. There is zero expectation of privacy for the employees in areas where there is customer access. Members of the public have access to them. Specifically... any members of the public who have paid a fee and obtained a ticket.

Comment: Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (Score 1) 173

by mysidia (#47524179) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

and have used the calculus and statistics required for my CS degree precisely never. And honestly there are hardly any professions that need either of these disciplines.

It's not that everyone absolutely has to have the knowledge to get by: it's that it is useful.

You use it, or lose it.

Chances are, in one way or another --- what you learned in Calculus helped you.

Either that, or you never really learned calculus, or you just did the homework, and you forgot about it after the test: instead of exploring.

Things you learned there can make your job easier now, or they can help you accomplish some tasks faster or more accurately, and maybe even do some things you couldn't do otherwise, if you actually learned and retained them.

Don't tell me you write computer software and never had a need to numerically approximate a figure or categorize something probalistically, such as... is it Spam or Not spam? What's the best route to draw on the map to give your user some driving directions?

Which product is the most relevant to recommend to this customer?

Comment: Judge should accept privacy violation as damage (Score 2) 175

by mysidia (#47514285) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

This would be like suing a hacker who formatted your company web server and the judge refusing to accept the argument that the damage was harm to reputation and loss of business, and instead only accepting the claim of increased electric bill and wear/tear on the hard drives.

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai