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Comment: Re:in simplified terms, it's forward error correct (Score 3, Informative) 129

Like Anonymous Coward, yours were my thoughts exactly. Why would one use TCP to stream video? It's one of the tenants of networking that losing packets is preferable to increasing jitter in the video or audio feed. And off the top of my head, I'd say that there hasn't been a widely used connection-based layer 2 protocol since X.25. Hell, that's why Frame Relay and later ATM were invented - to let the transport layer handle error detection (and retransmission if required). Even Ethernet uses just a CRC for forward error correction - if the receiver can't fix errors, the frame is dropped. It's up to the upper layers do actually do anything about it. And let's not get started about a 3% random error distribution in a wireless link - everyone knows that fading causes a whole stream of consecutive packets to be lost, not just an even statistical distribution of them. Stephen Max Patterson at Network World just proved he isn't qualified to write for Network World... And just a nit for you, AK Marc - if someone says UDP is "running over TCP/IP", tell them to put down the router and step away from the rack. They just aren't qualified.

Comment: Re:next 50 to 100 years? (Score 2) 453

by Mariner28 (#46958729) Attached to: Study: Earthlings Not Ready For Alien Encounters, Yet
Encryption on a link, however good, looks not like white noise but like "pink" noise - as it isn't truly random. Just as we're getting better at detecting gravity waves, the Higgs field, we'll eventually be able to separate pseudo-random "pink" noise from the cosmic background radiation. Another problem will be the fact that for the galactic Internet, the current IPv8 standard is running out of addresses, so everyone's hiding private address behind NAT/PAT firewalls. The upside, though, is that even with IPSec encryption, we'd still be able to tell that there's a connection out there since the address headers will still have to be in the clear ;-)

Comment: Definitely makes sense... (Score 4, Insightful) 123

by Mariner28 (#46920589) Attached to: Mozilla Offers FCC a Net Neutrality Plan With a Twist
Under the current rules, treating the Internet as an "information service" treats it exactly like Compuserve, AOL and Prodigy - virtually all content is presented by the service themselves, rather than relaying information content from providers to consumers. And we all know that the prior is exactly how the Verizons, the AT&Ts, the Comcasts and the TimeWarners of the world want it to be. The fairest way is to treat the ISP portion of the business as a common carrier - they have to treat "internal customers", like NBC/Universal in TWC's case, exactly the same as they treat external customers, like Netflix. It's fine to charge extra for expedited service handling for real-time data like voice or streaming video - but you have to treat all comers the same - using published tariffs, with allowable discounts based on volume of data and # of endpoints. But to allow things like Comcast used to do - purposely degrade certain traffic types from certain providers because it competed with their own offerings - that should be illegal. Net Neutrality is not about treating all traffic equally - realtime data like voice or video telephony and streaming video should always be treated with expedited handling with a minimum of queuing delay and jitter. But similar traffic types need to be treated similarly - else the whole thing falls apart. That's what any internet engineer familiar with traffic engineering will tell you.

Comment: Re:Apply to jobs (Score 2) 451

by Mariner28 (#46422205) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?
At 52 I can tell you it gets much, much worse. I have a BSEE and an MS. I've gone from being a principal network engineer at 38 to taking a career sabbatical at 45 - but continuing to work part-time on various projects. Last year I decided I had enough fun so I'm trying to find work in a different city (my old employer will take me back, but wants me to move back.) I can't find decent work. I apply for mid-level or even low-level NE roles, and get rejected because they think I'll be too expensive with my experience. I apply for senior roles and they say I don't have the requisite experience. I apply for management roles, and they say I don't have enough management experience (even though I've managed people before). Blatant age discrimination - or they want an H1-B who'll work for peanuts.

Comment: Re:Hope there's an upgrade (Score 1) 314

by Mariner28 (#46336817) Attached to: Ford Dumping Windows For QNX In New Vehicles
I'll second sobiloff in that the most recent version of SYNC still blows. I have a 2013 Escape SEL with the My Touch SYNC system. I've updated to v3.5.1 last June, and to v3.6.2 in September. The audio portion still randomly completely freezes, the volume knob on the dash stops working while the volume button on the wheel still works, the system spontaneously spontaneously reboots at random times. The last time the system froze I had to resort to a factory reset to get it to work again. Heck, I'd take Ubuntu's Unity interface over this crap any day - which would make sense since Unity is really a touch interface and not really a mouse-driven desktop...

Comment: We all need pruning (Score 1) 206

by Mariner28 (#46123157) Attached to: It's Not Memory Loss - Older Minds May Just Be Fuller of Information
Reminds me of a passage in the book "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins. There's an Irish character in the book who talks about the effects of alcohol on the human brains. He essentially likens the effects to the pruning a gardener does. You prune out the overgrowth, and the garden flourishes. Likewise with the synapses destroyed by alcohol. It removes all the tangles and unproductive regions, and lets the pruned-back brain function more efficiently. Drink up, /.ers!!!

Comment: Re:$1T ? I don't think so... (Score 1) 275

by Mariner28 (#29573459) Attached to: How To Save $1 Trillion a Year With Open Source

Well, Microsoft's gross income for 2008/09 was $58.4B US, IBM's was $103B, HP's was $118B, Oracle's was $23B, SAP's was $16B. That's $318B (admittedly it contains some hardware dollars). You've got to estimate that total is only a small percentage of the total software services marketplace - you know, all those ISVs and consultancies which install, maintain, and support the software sold by the big guys. $1 trillion = 1000 billion in the US. I'd say $1T US is probably underestimating things...

Comment: Re:The best things in life... (Score 1) 293

by Mariner28 (#27210919) Attached to: Linux Gaining Strength In Downturn
Just because "Linux is winning", it doesn't necessarily mean Sun or Microsoft are losing (although I'd love to see Balmer out on the street as a victim of the current downturn...). Inevitably, the economy will resume expansion. In that case, you don't necessarily replace one with another - you can add to the existing server base as you grow. Then you slowly retire the old systems. You are implying - perhaps unintentionally - that when a Linux system is installed, it replaces an existing Sun or MS server. That ain't nearly always the case...

Comment: "time sensitive"? (Score 4, Interesting) 282

by Mariner28 (#26645773) Attached to: Cox Communications and "Congestion Management"
Are they purposely referring to priority traffic as "time sensitive" as opposed to "delay sensitive" just to make the average joe think this is better? Don't get me wrong - as a network design engineer I'm all for prioritizing latency sensitive traffic like VoIP or streaming video. Just don't treat Cox's VoIP any better than Skype's or Vonages... This whole Net Neutrality thing is a bummer. I like the idea of democratizing traffic - but only of the same type. No way in hell should FTP or BitTorrent have the same priority as VoIP.

Comment: Re:Does it matter (Score 1) 203

by Mariner28 (#24153781) Attached to: ISO Recommends Denying OOXML Appeals
Here, let me fix that for ya:

Yes, but I'm sure that saying "MS Office 2007 will implement MSOOXML, which we've admitted may not be technically possible" will be enough to justify it's continued use.

Sorry, I forgot to include that little point in my previous posting. ECMA 376, which based on the OOXML which Office 2007 uses, is not ISO/IEC 29500. Why do you think MS will implement ODF before '29500? "Oh, let's do ODF first! It's harder to implement than OOXML - we can just whip that out when we feel like it!"

Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes. -- Mickey Mouse