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Slashback: Bandwidth, Animation, Gruvin' 259

Slashback this evening brings you news and updates on several previous stories, including (not limited to) @home service, Linuxgruven, and some followups to Slashdot book reviews.

More news you can use on the @home front. Anubis333 writes: "After a while talking with customer support, I have learned that Comcast@Home (Soon to be ATT Broadband) has instituted a network-wide cap on user upload to 15KB! (Thats not much more than dialup) Also, they have now capped Usenet news access. What am I paying 50 dollars a month for again? More info on usenet here.

Upon even longer hold times, I found out that when Comcast switches over to ATT the cap will be set to 128KB and the usenet caps will be lifted, also they will support more groups. The full change over will be complete by the end of Feb. Any users in the Savannah Ga. Area, they will start here Jan. 15 and end in early feb. Call support for exact local dates if interested."

Yessir, about oh, yea big by a few more inches ... Dave contributed a link showing a side-by-side comparison of the current Apple laptop line, including the new bigger iBook. Shame about the resolution, though ...

By their fruits ye shall know them. zsazsa writes: "According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon has sued James Hibbits and Michael Webbs, the two founders of Linuxgruven for deceptive business practices. He alleges that interviewers were actually salespeople paid to enroll job applicants in training programs costing up to $3,150."

Would the FSF call Sun "GNU-minded"? maitas writes: "It seems that Sun has removed Solaris for Intel from its free download list. It's really sad to see a company that promotes its 'GNU minded' culture to go back on the few good things it had made. They even removed the Solaris source code from their site! Sad, sad, sad."

That them thar' book larnin' Stardance points to an interview at Salon with Steve Grand, in which the "designer of the artificial life program 'Creatures', talks about the stupidity of computers, the role of desire in intelligence and the coming revolution in what it means to be 'alive.'" You may remember Grand's book Creation: Life & How to Make It, reviewed on these pages. Speaking of reviews, several readers have contributed links to the New York Times' review of Lawrence Lessig's new book.

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Slashback: Bandwidth, Animation, Gruvin'

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  • 15KB... (Score:5, Informative)

    by NetJunkie ( 56134 ) <jason DOT nash AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:06PM (#2807032)
    Many cable companies are starting to cap uploads at 128Kb...that's 15KB/sec. And if you think that's only a little faster than dial-up, try again. You can only get 28.8Kb/sec dialup upload.

    I have several friends that have had a 128Kb/sec cap for a long time.
    • I have RoadRunner and my upload speed is capped to 50KB/s (that should be about 428kbps) yet the download is not capped, that is I can download stuff at 250KB/s.
      • My RoadRunner upload is capped at 384Kb/sec (45KB) and the download is 2Mb/sec.
        • Re:15KB... (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Mine is also capped at 50KB/s upload and (approx., not quite sure if its officially capped or just physical medium restrictions) have a download cap of 500KB/s. Lucky you. I'm in the Triad (GSO) of North Carolina.

          Anyone know WHY they providers cap differently in different regions? I live in a rural area where cable saturation should not be a problem. ;\
          • > > My RoadRunner upload is capped at 384Kb/sec (45KB) and the download is 2Mb/sec.

            > Mine is also capped at 50KB/s upload and (approx., not quite sure if its officially capped or just physical medium restrictions) have a download cap of 500KB/s. Lucky you

            Assuming your numbers are correct, your service is faster than his. Pay attention to the case of those letters. Big 'B's are bytes; little 'b's are bits.

            His service: 45KB/s (384Kb/s) up.
            Your service: 50KB/s (400Kb/s) up.

            His service: 256KB/s (2048Kb/s) (2Mb/s) down.
            Your service: 500KB/s (4000Kb/s) (~3.9Mb/s) down.

            With that said, I don't think your numbers are correct. They just don't make sense...his are all "nice" base-2 numbers, which is makes me trust them a lot more. How did you measure? I bet his number for the upload cap is correct and the download is not capped, just dependant on area, connection to the other end, other cable modem users, etc.

    • Re:15KB... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Keith Mickunas ( 460655 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:28PM (#2807142) Homepage
      A little while back AT&T@Home started doing the 128kbps cap in the DFW area. Before that I had managed uploads of around 600kbps if I remember correctly. As NetJunkie pointed out, 15KB is roughly 128Kb so this isn't news and I don't think its worse than most DSL providers. Now AT&T has limited the downstream stuff, but it hasn't really had a noticeable impact on me yet. After all, mine was faster than many servers I went to anyways.
    • Most likely to cut down on the hogs using p2p and other file sharing programs.
      • Yeah and all those darn new-fangled "web" users. It's almost as bad as those darn auto-locomotive carriages that are all over the damn streets these days.
    • The two main cable companies in the UK (NTL and Telewest) have both has an upload limit of 128kbps since they were introduced (the downstream is 512kbps).

      Hopefully, as P2P clients get smarter they will be able to spread load over multiple machines more efficiently so you still get full use of your 512kbps downstream.
    • I've shut my cable modem off. I could live with the upload caps--- but if there are going to be caps then dump the rules of service that won't allow webservers, vpns etc. Always on was a feature I like--- but they took away my reasons for liking it.
    • The reason ISPs cap upstream bandwidth at XX KB/sec is to indirectly limit download bandwidth. The upstream cap limits the rate at which you can ACK received packets, depending on fragmentation, multi-packet adaptive ACKing for streaming, etc. Simple, huh? Or, at least that's why I think they're doing this upstream speed cap.

      But I might be wrong and would welcome more knowledgable comments.
      • Re:15KB... why (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mattdm ( 1931 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @10:32PM (#2807537) Homepage
        They're doing it to keep you from running servers from your home. If you want to do that, they want you to pay them a lot more.
        • They're doing it to keep you from running servers from your home. If you want to do that, they want you to pay them a lot more.

          Well yes, I reckon you're right - or it's for both reasons. But doesn't artificially limiting upload bandwidth basically suck? The ISPs and broadband providers costs track to aggregate bandwidth provided with no distinction between upstream vs downstream. We shouldn't let them get away with charging more for upstream (content serving) than downstream (content consuming). Where's the FCC, the FTC, the DoJ, when we need them? Looking the other way at direction of a bought-off Congress, I guess.
          • Uhm, just a couple of questions before you start really thinking about how awful the providers are:
            1. Do you know how ADSL works? I don't know all the details, but the A stands for Asymmetric, and there's probably some technical reason why one side is faster than the other (if I were to guess completely off the top of my head in slashdot style, I'd suggest it would be to maximize downstream bandwidth with cheaper hardware on both ends). In fact, even in places like London (when you can get it), your upstream can be faster (250kbps), but it's still half the downstream speed (which is only 500kbps there).
            2. Do you know how market segmentation works? The principle is that you price packages such that you maximize revenue for all customers. Considering that the vast majority don't want to do any upstream traffic beyond P2P music traffic (my mom, a typical DSL customer in the bay area, just cares about getting to ebay and email of her granddaughter faster), the best way to maximize revenue is to reduce the price for those who want fewer frills (i.e. static IP address(es), > 1.5Mbps traffic, upstream bandwidth) to get more customers, and increase the price on the frills to sock it to the people who are willing to pay.

            For the latter, that's perfectly rational market behavior, and I suspect that even if Congress, FTC, FCC, DoJ, et. al. cared at all, they'd think it was a good thing because it helps bring broadband to more people rather than fewer, because they can make up the money on the more, simpler users with the fewer higher revenue customers. The same reason why gas and electric bills are usually tiered: maximize the benefit to society as a whole by charging those people who are most willing and able to pay for more/better service more.

            And don't think this is limited to ISPs at all. Next time you buy a car, wonder why those options exist, or why functionally equivalent cars are made by different divisions of the same company (like the old Dodge/Plymouth/Chrysler ones that even looked the same): market segmentation. Should that be illegal as well?

            I suspect from your background that this is actually tongue in cheek. If so, sorry. Just couldn't let the chance for a good old slashdot discussion about things we all know very little about go to waste.

      • Re:15KB... why (Score:5, Informative)

        by joeboo ( 5182 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @01:57AM (#2808086) Homepage
        That sounds like an indirect result of the cap. The problem with most cable company equipment - the company that I work for included - is that upstream bandwidth that is available.

        DOCSIS specifications - for US channel plan anyway - call for a 6mhz wide channel on the downstream. The downstream is anywhere from 91mhz to 750mhz (there are even some 850mhz cable plants). The 6mhz channel corresponds to a standard tv channel. With DOCSIS 1.0, the downstream can be either 64QAM or 256QAM. This is just the modulation of the digital signal as it is sent from the main facility to the subscriber. 256QAM gets you about 38mb/s of data transfer. 64QAM a little bit less.

        Now, here is the crappy part. The upstream channel space from the subscriber back to the cable facilities is limited to 5-40 mhz. This is the width of the return path that the amplifiers in the system will receive and re-transmit. 0-10 is pretty much useless on most cable plants. That is the frequency space that short wave radios and the like use (a funny side note is that we once picked up a short wave religious station out of Boston using the signal ingress and amplification at our main facility). The rest is usefull for your upstream bandwidth on a DOCSIS system. The 1.0/1.1 spec states that you can use a frequency with a width of 200hz up to 3.2mhz. Obviously, the more space that you use, the more bandwidth that you have. There are also 2 types of modulation schemes that you can use. QAM16 and QPSK. QPSK is more reliable. QAM16 can carry more data. Most cable plants will use QPSK - your cable plant has to be air tight to use QAM16.

        Anyway, if you use QPSK on a 3.2mhz wide channel for the upstream, you get about 5mb/s of available bandwidth. If you put 150 customers on this upstream port, and they all uploading files, emails, etc: then you could very well max out your upstream bandwidth.

        That's why you have an upstream cap.
      • This sounds plausible given the limited upstream cable bandwidth per segment, explained elsewhere. If you have 128 Kbps upstream bandwidth, TCP downloads (not UDP) are limited to approx 4.8 Mbps (just multiply upstream by 37.5 to calculate the max TCP downstream bandwidth). The details are at 853
  • by grahamsz ( 150076 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:06PM (#2807034) Homepage Journal
    I have a cable modem in the uk capped at 128kbit/s which in real terms means i can send data at about 15kbytes/s. It's probably just some confusion at their end.

    After all 15kbytes/s would eliminate video conferencing - so what new features could they offer in tv ads?
    • Hm I don't quite seen where you are going with this.. video confrencing at 128 kbit/s is very feasable, even with moderate compression techniques. I video confrence all the time on dual channel isdn, works great.
  • Upload speeds (Score:2, Redundant)

    by DeltaStorm ( 118517 )
    The actual speed from AT&T is 128Kb/sec (note the small b) which for most practical terms will come out around 15 KB/sec (large B) depending on network usage.
    • I've been pleasantly surprised recently.. I'm on ATT broadband and I get a pretty consistent 1500kbps down/250kbps up connection. I am in an ex-mediaone area, so other ATT areas could be different.

      Of course customer support might as well be handled by gorillas with phone scripts.. it's still that bad.
  • Just bought a CD burner, too. I was hoping to make an installation of Solaris for educational purposes.

    Does anybody have the ISO's kicking around? Send me an email if you don't mind sending them to me somehow :D
    • Re:Damn (Score:2, Informative)

      by malxau ( 533231 )

      Try my local mirror mirror.aarnet [] which still had them posted as of this post. Be warned, it's a big monolithic download...but I've got it running on Intel and it works well...

      Not happy, Sun.

  • Er, precisely what sucks about the resolution, for those of us not ``in the know''?

    - A.P.
  • linuxgruven (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Karl Cocknozzle ( 514413 ) <> on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:09PM (#2807055) Homepage
    I once followed up on an ad that turned out to relate to Linuxgruven and their phony classes-for-jobs scam. Although I feel bad if anybody did get defrauded, I have to say it sounded pretty fishy to me when I talked to them on the phone.

    The person who answered worked for an "answering service" that could only take your name and a time for you to drive in to their super-inconveniently located "interview center". They knew absolutely nothing.

    Anybody who would give these people money sort of deserves what they get, because they're fairly obvious about being a scam where you aren't getting a job.
    • Re:linuxgruven (Score:3, Interesting)

      by skinnymofo ( 211149 )
      I interviewed with Linuxgruven and took their 'skills assessment' test. Everything was a bunch of shit.
      The burned-out 40 year old dude interviewing me didn't know much about computers or Linux beyond his cheat sheet (sitting out in front of him during the interview). Shit, he didn't even have his computer turned on.
      The skills assessment 'required' to be hired asked questions like 'What does WWW stand for?'.

      But, I'm not gonna lie, they had me hooked initially, with their spoutings about the pay and the job description. Come on, at 19, who wouldn't want to get paid to work with Linux?

  • It is nice to see that Apple did not use a larger keyboard for the 14.1" iBook in comparison to the 12.1" version. This should help to keep the costs down, which is a bonus.

    Does anybody know if the extra room inside can be utilized in some manner not forseen by Apple?

    Does the larger iBook run at a lower temperature, hene making it a better candidate for overclocking?
    • Does anybody know if the extra room inside can be utilized in some manner not forseen by Apple?
      The extra room is indeed already used by Apple - for a larger battery, which offers even more working time than the smaller iBook!
  • by cube00 ( 524394 )
    Its sad to see so many companies missusing their monopoly. I mean come on, Capping DSL to 15KB/s? what the heck is that..

    Also sad to see Sun removing their stuff from their site, I wonder why they did it.. ?
  • ...the x86 version of Solaris as well as the sourcecode.


    Because they both have been availble for well over a year now (I have Solaris 8 x86 already burned on to a CDR) and taking them offline will not prevent it from being distributed even further.
  • by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:11PM (#2807069) Journal
    More news you can use on the @home front. Anubis333 writes: "After a while talking with customer support, I have learned that Comcast@Home (Soon to be ATT Broadband) has instituted a network-wide cap on user upload to 15KB! (Thats not much more than dialup) Also, they have now capped Usenet news access. What am I paying 50 dollars a month for again? More info on usenet here.

    Try using Google Groups []. Free USENET reading and posting...

    • Try using Google Groups []. Free USENET reading and posting...

      I think the caps are probably aimed mainly at posting, and particularly to curb binary posting.

      Earthlink's news server, for instance, while allowing uncapped downloads, has an undocumented daily post limit of around 60 (in my experience). Now I have never needed to post 60 real discussion messages. But with standard chunk size (10000 lines), the cap makes posting any large binaries virtually impossible.

      Of course, Google does not carry alt.binaries at all. So in effect these people, like many others, are going to be forced to fork over another 10 bucks a month to a third party news provider to continue their alt.binaries addiction.
    • I think the point was that they want to use the binaries groups.

      Of course they can read and post text messages... even if they cap it.

      And why should they limit the ability of this service? This is like selling a car with a potato up the tailpipe.
    • Ameritech DSL used to have uncapped access to Usenet, but when SBC took over the reigns they limited Usenet access (up and down) to 128k.
  • Caps (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CaptainSuperBoy ( 17170 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:12PM (#2807073) Homepage Journal
    The upload cap sucks, but I have to say - 3GB per 3 days of USENET is not unreasonable. If you subscribe to a PAY USENET service, there's still a cap on downloads for a set time period. People leech warez and porn off USENET all day, and your ISP (or other provider) can't support that without imposing some sort of limitation. A typical pay service is $10/month and lets you download say, 8GB a month such as
    • Re:Caps (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john.lamar @ g m> on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:49PM (#2807224) Homepage Journal
      Not unreasonable?

      Why should anyone pay for USENET service when it's included with the service? Simply don't offer it, offer text only services and advertise that, or sell USENET extra. But for god sakes drop the price of the overall service. For $50 a month, they should guarantee great server retention. $50 is too much for cable, considering other providers offer no-cap, for $10 less.

      But cable providers are special. If they were smart they would have the news server local relative to the customers. There is no reason ATT or even AOL and the rest can't set up a local news server. They have the lines.

      If the server is local, they don't share the server between cities - cutting down the load. They also save $ on bandwidth considering the server is only a few hops away, those hops being within the same building.

      And when it comes to warez or porn... whose business is it what they are doing? What if I want to take a daily backup of alt.religion.scientology? or even alt.religion.* ? Maybe I'm a linux enthusiast and want to archive comp.os.linux.* ? Or even

      Maybe they want to download them all [mentioned above]. It shouldn't matter.

      It would be like saying... "you get this open, fast, connection. We will provide a news server somewhere within our own net. But you can download more on IRC, Napster, the web and FTP sites... you're welcome"
      • I do have a local news server, and I am on ATT broadband. It's It sucks. It keeps messages for about a day, it drops messages, and it's slow. That doesn't prove anything, just responding to your point about local news.
      • Re:Caps (Score:2, Informative)

        by aka-ed ( 459608 )
        Why should anyone pay for USENET service when it's included with the service? Simply don't offer it, offer text only services and advertise that, or sell USENET extra.

        Please adjust to the realities of bandwidth cost. Here's [] one of the more reasonable pricelists for pure Usenet usage. They charge $44.95 for one month of Usenet. Bring your own connection.

        You may not like getting a gig a day of Usenet at no extra charge to your broadband, but I like it...I also subscribe to EZNews, but I only have to pay them for 6 gigs a month, cause I get most of my filez from my ISP's server.

        When an ISP gives you webspace, they don't hand you your own server. What an ISP "owes" its users is defined by the market (what the competition offers, what is affordable/profitable, etcetera), not your concept of what is appropriate.

        • When you pay for access... it's all covered. USENET, web, ftp... no matter what you are using. Localized servers however aren't paying for bandwidth for every user... they pay once, store and you download from them. That is the reason they use a local usenet server and not a huge national center server.

          They aren't paying for what comes over the cable line... they own that. They don't charge you if you watch to much tv a month. [i should have pointed this out earlier].

          I've got digital cable, with HBO on demand... 10 bucks / month and if you watch 'too much' it doesn't go up in price or get cut off. BECAUSE IT'S HOSTED RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD. The data comes over their non-public, non-internet lines. We aren't talkin' T1's or anything.

          What they 'owe' you is what they advertise. At least this is known up front [or for us anyways]. The problem is they are setting the market up for these caps, not going with the norm.
          • When you pay for access... it's all covered. USENET, web, ftp... no matter what you are using.

            No. When you pay for service, whatever the person or company providing that service chooses to offer is what is "covered".

            Unless your contract with them said "absolutely no restrictions whatsoever, and this contract cannot be changed at any time by either party", you don't have a case here. You signed an agreement that, I'm willing to bet, said there were certain restrictions, and that either these restrictions or the entire contract could be changed.

            If you don't like it, don't get your service from them. And don't pull the "but there's no other access in my area" bullshit; you can go get yourself a T1 and do whatever the hell you please with it.

            But before you say "that's too expensive", remember that the people giving you that cheap broadband connection are paying a much higher rate to transport your packets out to the Internet, and they have an absolute right to make however much profit they want on this transaction, because you are using their resources to purchase what is a LUXURY, not a necessity.

            If you don't think they're doing business properly, go start your own.

            The problem is they are setting the market up for these caps, not going with the norm.

            EVERYBODY has some kind of restrictions on bandwidth or usage. EVERYBODY. Even the backbone providers. The "norm" is all over the map on this. Show me some statistical data proving your "norm" claims are the mean and I'll pay attention, but until then, this is just whining for a freebie.
            • There is other access in my area.

              I would cancel if they tried this.

              Road Runner doesn't restrict access to anything.

              I use Road Runner.

              Five mins ago when I was on the phone with a tech support guy he laughed when I asked if they capped ANY bandwidth.


              We are talking services. People suggest getting another new feed. That's ridiculous when the ADVERTISE that they have news server/feeds.

              And once again... it doesn't cost them a dime to send data from their local office to you. If that were the case then they wouldn't let you leave the TV on all night.

              If they advertise something and don't provide it, then you have a case. It's called bait and switch. [false advertising].

              In this case it's public knowledge that you are not going to get unlimited access to newsgroups, not a problem. They aren't hiding this somewhere.

              BUT... that doesn't change the fact that I [me] don't agree with their choice.

              If they want to support alternate news feed suppliers, or even DSL services let them.
              • Road Runner doesn't restrict access to anything.

                Road Runner decides this stuff on a (small) regional basis. In many places, they do cap upload bandwidth.

                In Central Florida, they block inbound port 80.

                And once again... it doesn't cost them a dime to send data from their local office to you.

                It costs them a lot of dimes, but not any more than if you weren't using the connection, that's true.

                But it costs them a hell of a lot of dimes to transfer data from the Internet to you, and from you to the Internet. And it costs them a lot of dimes to transfer data from their servers that aren't in your backyard to you.

                In this case it's public knowledge that you are not going to get unlimited access to newsgroups, not a problem. They aren't hiding this somewhere.

                'zackly. If folks don't like it, nobody is putting a gun to their hands and forcing them to buy broadband. It's a luxury, not a necessity. Most people don't have it at all, even most people with Internet access.
  • by j_d ( 26865 )

    Excite@Home is implementing a byte-cap on the Usenet service that will limit subscribers to 3GB of Usenet content over any three day window. The Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) has been revised to reflect the change in Usenet usage policy.

    You goddamn cretins. There may be some kind of 15k limit, but I don't see it. The page you reference has the quote above in it -- if you can restrain yourself to a GODDAMN GIG A DAY maybe you can 'survive'.
    • uhh.... maybe you use your internet for email, AOL IM and a random stupid /. post, but i use it for many file and web servers that run my business.

      I send out (upload) over 8 GIGS of data a day. My company pays $89 a month for my service. If they cap it (not let me use network access i pay for) they are handicapping my ability to run a business.

      and that GODDAMN would be a GODDAMN problem for me.
      • I may be wrong since I haven't had @Home for a while but isn't there a line in their TOS that says that you can't run servers -- including or specifically business servers on @Home's residential cable modem service. I assume that the @Work (or whatever they call it) would not have this same upload limitation.

        I would check your TOS again. They can't be held liable for "handicapping [your] ability to run a business" if you are breaking their TOS.
        • I may be wrong since I haven't had @Home for a while but isn't there a line in their TOS that says that you can't run servers -- including or specifically business servers on @Home's residential cable modem service. I assume that the @Work (or whatever they call it) would not have this same upload limitation. I would check your TOS again. They can't be held liable for "handicapping [your] ability to run a business" if you are breaking their TOS.

          I just got called from comcast today to inform me of the @home -> comcastonline switch over. In my mad rush to find out if I'd retain my static IP, I learned that comacast@work won't even let you run a webserver... sheesh.

      • You're using a HOME user ISP (uh...@home?? ya know??) for business purposes, and you complain that now you can't use it for business purposes? Maybe you should have invested in a BUSINESS ISP, eh?

        "For my next trick, I'll be whining that AOL won't let me run pr0n sites over my dialup."

  • Anti-Norn (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Alien54 ( 180860 )
    The Salon interview is alot easier to read in printer friendly mode []

    That said, the site to torture [] the creaures mentioned in the interview will amuse some folks

  • Wah... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xonker ( 29382 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:19PM (#2807105) Homepage Journal
    Okay, the upload cap is something to bitch about, but whining about a 3GB download cap for news over a 3 day period? Puh-leez.

    If you're downloading more than 3GB of pr0n over three days, you have some serious issues...

    I'm quite happy to see that the Linuxgruven bastards are being sued, though. They screwed over a good friend of mine, and I hope they get nailed to the wall for it. Took 'em long enough, though...
  • I have @Home (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gmplague ( 412185 )
    I have Comcast@Home, and I've been uploading at a "staggering" 80KB/sec (yeah, 640kbps). I'm on their new network too. Maybe this applies to customers still on the old excite network, because comcast doesn't want to pay for all that extra band on someone else's network. Just wait 'til you're on their new network, then we'll see.
  • Dialup Woes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Renraku ( 518261 )
    I'm on dial-up. You people complain about 128k being all evil and bad, and thats just your upload cap! Think about us who get the run around from every broadband provider we go to, being capped at like 40k.
  • Caps:
    What advantage does this have to the business? It seems to mostly be a method of sharing the bandwith fairly.

    Solaris, Gone:
    Eef. And does the article writer mean x86? But seriously, the only open-source (to a degree) OS that Microsoft took seriously... gone from the free list. Wonder what impact this'll have on Sun. Seems shortsighted.
  • Solaris for Intel (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jonestor ( 443666 )
    Maybe this is the first sign that they are planning on dropping the intel version completely.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just exactly how much bandwidth you you think $50 is worth? Ever priced a T1 even from a shitty provider (Broadwing) they're over $700/mo with local loop things are even more expensive is you live in a remote area. Besides for $50 you are getting nearly a DS3 (I've seen peaks of 500k/sec on my cable modem) worth of download speed, especially from those local @Home usenet servers. Quit your bitching and thank god you have broadband at all.
  • by foonf ( 447461 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:36PM (#2807181) Homepage
    There will be no Intel version of Solaris 9. It is, in effect, a dead program. There's no reason for them to continue to provide it for download if it is going to be completely dropped momentarily. Soon enough it will no longer be for sale to commercial users.

    And as for the source code...haven't they tried taking it down a couple times already? Probably if they get enough flame mail they will put it back up and try to claim it was a "mistake".
    • Interesting, I didn't know that Solaris 9 wouldn't have an Intel version. I'm actually rather glad this will be taking place, as every single person I've ever talked to who installed Solaris/x86 was a linux newbie who typically wanted to get as many operating systems on his hard drive as possible. This resulted in so, so many frequently-asked questions (files dns in /etc/resolv.conf anyone?) Never have I seen a Solaris/x86 installation used for real work, although I'm sure they're out there. Serious Solaris users will always get the media kit anyway, so the removal of the burnable download link will have a minimal impact.
    • Blade 100s are cheap anyway.
    • "We retain the option to do (Solaris on Intel) in the future," said Graham Lovell, Sun's director of Solaris product marketing. "But given where we are with the economy, we'd rather focus on our bottom line and make sure we spend our money wisely. We'd rather defer Solaris on Intel to a later date." from cnet news []
  • As others have said, the caps aren't new or don't matter. But... the quality of service I'm getting has done down the toilet in the past month or two. It used to be completely lag-free 97% of the time. That's dropped to about 55%. And it's almost unusable even for telnet 10% of the time. Hopefully this is temporary and will be cleared up once my provider (Insight Comm) switches off of Excite and on to AT&T's network.

    I fear that the contract renegotiations have resulted in less money being spent on upkeep, and that either prices will go up, or quality will go down.

    • I must agree that the network performance has been terrible. I am in the Seattle area, and was on the Excite network.

      On the other hand, I haven't gotten a bill for my cable modem in over 2 months now! Hmmm... makes me wonder.... and nervous...
  • The future... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gilbertt ( 41110 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:45PM (#2807210) Homepage
    What's amusing is all the coverage of super-high bandwidth connections to ISPs, especially all the "last-mile" advances and the potential to plug users into the net at 10Mbps+.

    Why are they bothering when it's clear their networks can't handle even current traffic levels? And who would elect to pay for a 10Mbps+ connection if they're gonna get capped to a tenth of that within 3 months of signing up?

    What exactly is going to change when 10Mbps ISP connections are available?
  • by curunir ( 98273 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:54PM (#2807240) Homepage Journal
    So I have my iBook, but the resolution is too low, so I thought I'd get a PC laptop, but I don't want windows on it, so I'm thinking...Linux...that's the way to go, problem is when I go to take a class, I get defrauded, so now I'm thinking...Solaris Intel...that'll solve all my problems, so I go to download it and wouldn't you know sun removed it from their website, but that's ok cause I got this friend who has an ISO on his box at home and says I can download it, so I go to download it, but it turns out his upload speed is capped at 15K/sec which is just way too slow for pulling an entire ISO, so now I'm basically stuck with Windows (*sigh*)...oh well, at least /. recommended some cool books to read during the install.
  • by Sadfsdaf ( 106536 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @08:56PM (#2807250)
    First of all, I would like to say that I am no longer part of the @home network (THANKFULLY, i'm part of AT&T, which has a usenet server with binaries that do 3 day retention and excellent completion and unlimited downloads of course).

    To set a bytecap on their servers isn't exactly a good idea, throttling would be so much better, so if certain people were taxing the servers too much, they can be limited. I used to pull about 600KB/s(yes that's BYTES) on my local SF Bay Area server and loved it. I never exceeded 500 megabytes a day (mostly for anime) though. In fact, from what I've read and from what I've experience pre-AT&T-split, the news servers were never taxed, but it's possible that the network was at times (I seriously doubt it, but that's what they say).

    Although I don't do massive downloads, I do know many people who are warez kiddies and rely on usenet for their fix. We're talking 10+ Gigabytes per day here by the way. They're going to get their 10+ Gigabyte fix whether @home caps the downloads on the usenet servers or not, the only difference is that they're going to get it from somewhere else. The result of this is a bigger strain on their INTERNET network. Before (double-checking with traceroute), when one accessed the news server, it would just use the local @home network, never leaving the internet. Now, I know a few people that have signed up with Newsfeeds (note: don't even consider these guys unless you're a warez kiddie, stay with giganews/supernews/easynews/newshosting, they go there because it's unlimited downloads at fast speeds but the completion is horrible, spread over 18 servers so you have to use special programs).

    The warez kiddies are going to get their fix either way, before less bandwidth was used using the @home usenet server (no bandwidth going to the internet). Now they're getting it from college dorms and pay usenet services. Smart move, pushing the network traffic to the internet, where it costs money!
  • I have the April 01 release: 3 isos + the gnome 1.4 preview binaries.

    I guess I can UUEncode these - so you can figure out why they have that bit-cap on @Home Usenet access!

  • Hmmm... let me see now:

    128 Kilobits / 8 bits per byte = 16 KiloBytes. Hmm, 1K must be used for sub-TCP/IP overhead...

    I doubt anyone would hit it constantly. In my case, I probably would hit it uploading to VCL or Kinkos. Streaming to the world? I don't do that -- I have an account at Live365, so I'm only have one outbound stream -- and that doesn't hit 20Kbps.

    Besides, I can't run a server (TOS prohibits it), but I wouldn't be surprized if they're loose about it: ICQ opens up a server on your computer, as well as all other IM's.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I looks to me the like the source is still available.
    Journalistic integrity? 8-]
    And in what world would one want to run Solaris on x86 ?
    I like Solaris but this has not seriously crossed my mind.
    It might be a simple view, but the options seem quite straight forward, get a Sparc or run Linux, this will cause the least grief.
    (not to diss BSD people, you have your own karma and I'm sure care not a whit about the simple or the least grief)
  • Linuxgruven, Sair And Employment Practices []

    Maybe more intelligent applicants should read /. ;)
  • 15KB (Score:2, Interesting)

    by watsondk ( 233901 )
    I would be very happy to have a 3GB cap for NG use, here in Sydney on the worlds worse broadband service we get 3GB/Month for everything then get charged for excess traffic.

    You are lucky to be with @home
  • 15KB-128KB-128Kb (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anubis333 ( 103791 )
    @Home is now capped at 15KB up, which is 128Kb, yes, very good. Support promised me that it would be up to 128KB when they changed over. 15KB doesnt not allow me to work from home. I upload uncompressed videos or targa sequences; large files. I used to get about 5KB on my modem (with modem compression) So I said this is like a few modems, Ill try to be more quantitative next time, but look at where that got me with the kilobit/byte thing?!

    As for usenet, I like to view others animation and files on usenet. Its not as much the cap, its that they are capping it. I dont like any change in TOS that gives me less room to stretch. 3gb in 3 days today, 3gb a month tommorow.

  • solaris x86 is still up on the very link you say doesn't work.

    and solaris 9 is still scheduled for x86

    as well as being tested on SledgeHammer (amd) and ofcourse Itanium.

    so whats the big problem?
    • The comment at top is talking about downloading Solaris 8 for Intel. Sparc is still available, Intel is gone.

      You can still order the media kit for either platform. My guess is they took down the Intel version because of too many people with PCs grabbing them, eating away at the bandwidth. Hell, if the customer wants Solaris 8 Sparc, most likely they bought their hardware from Sun. I personally have not paid a penny to them yet (not intentionally, I have nothing against the company).

      They're cutting their losses. I may not like it, but I understand why they're doing it.

  • For those complaining about the comcast 15/K bandwidth cap...check your @Home AUP. Every contract from @Home has 128kbps upload speed written in it--if you had faster speed before (like I did), it was because they didn't enforce the policy. Mine switched over many months ago, and I was way pissed, but couldn't do anything; it was what I agreed to. Its annoying, BUT Comcast will be offering different rate plans for higher upload speeds, if you need them. That's one reason why I'm happy with the switch.

    Also, up here in the Philly region, the switchover is already complete. It happened last Friday, but without ANY notice whatsoever. I was expecting to VNC into my machine from work, but I couldn't because my static IP changed. I'm posting right now from, not
  • Bandwidth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2002 @11:37PM (#2807731)
    Yes. Most cable ISPs restrict upstream bandwidth usage. However, with several easy steps under Linux, it's quite possible to get around these restrictions.
    Keep in mind that I've only tried this with DOCSIS modems. It may or may not work for you.

    1. The first thing you want to do is find the IP address of the ISP's TFTP server. For me, this was the same IP as the HFC DHCP server. You can find that out by looking at your cable modem's mini webserver if availble. If not, play around with an SNMP client.
    2. After you find the name of the TFTP server, get the name of the TFTP boot config file. This is availble through the same manner that you got the IP tothe real TFTP server.
    3. Get the TFTP file. Use tftp to do this.
    4. Decode the TFTP boot file using the docsis utility availble from The output will look something like this:
    Main {
    NetworkAccess 1;
    ClassOfService {
    ClassID 1;
    MaxRateDown 1544000;
    MaxRateUp 128000;
    PriorityUp 0;
    GuaranteedUp 0;
    MaxBurstUp 0;
    PrivacyEnable 0;
    MaxCPE 3;
    /* EndOfDataMarker */

    5. Edit the config file to your own liking. You probably want to set "MaxBurstUp" to 0 to make this value unlimited.
    6. Encode your own version of the file and place in the root level of your tftpd server, which is set to /boot by default on my distribution of Linux (Debian). The name of the file MUST EQUAL the name of the config file that the modem normally gets.
    7. You then need to create a /etc/hosts entry for your cable modem's local IP (almost always This is because when the modem requests its TFTP file from you, DNS will not be availble, and inet doesn't like not having DNS availble to resolve hostnames.
    8. Create an alias address to the eth interface your cable modem's CPE interface is connected to. This IP address alias needs to be the same address as the real TFTP server's IP. You can do this like so:

    ifconfig eth0:1 TftpServerAddress netmask

    Notice the netmask setting. This is important. Otherwise you wind up having unwanted network routes which will break things. Plus, you only want the CM to have access to this IP, nobody else.
    9. Create a static route to your cable modem from this "spoofed" address. This is needed so that you're "coming from" that spoofed IP when you communicate directly with your modem.
    This can be accomplished by:

    route add -host gw TftpServerAddress

    10. Make sure you have a time server enabled in your inet service, as well as the tftpd service.
    11. Start watching your log files which will indicate a connection to the TFTP server. You can do this by:

    tail -f /var/log/daemon.log

    12. Start pinging your cable modem's CPE interface. This "poisons" the ARP cache and makes the modem think that TftpServerAddress is located on the CPE interface with a MAC address of your NIC. Then when it comes to connect to that IP, it will know where to find it.

    13. Reset the modem while you are still pinging it. Make sure that the modem connects to your TFTP server and grabs the file. You can verify the upstream speed by querying the modem with an SNMP client after it comes back online:
    snmpget public transmission.
    The output should be equal to the value you used for MaxRateUp in your configuration file. If it is, make sure to destroy the IP alias on your network interface by doing:

    ifconfig eth0:1 0
    • Could this be considered theft of service? Is it in violation of the TOS? Could legal action be taken for this. IANAL You may want to consult with legal councel to see if this opens any legal issues. This may be nothing more that stealing bandwidth from other users by screwing up the load balancing the ISP is using. Too many leaches may kill the host.
  • Read Sun's reason for discontinuing DL's here: tml#30 []
  • Being from St. Louis and hearing about this Linuxgruven scam reminded me of a guy who left our company excitedly to work for the only Linux support company in town.

    I did a quick google search and found this comment of his: r/att-2598/01-Linuxgruven []
    Yes it's a scam. The fact is that they count on people not passing the LCA.

    They do this by promising people that have no chance of becoming a Linux
    admin. Most of the time these are people that can't even use windows
    Looks like they're trying to keep former employees quiet by having them sign NDAs about the company. Luckily a few knew enough to not sign up.
  • by Confessed Geek ( 514779 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2002 @04:02AM (#2808294)
    I had the misfortune of dealing with Linuxgruven.

    What a bunch of liars, cheats, and con-artists.

    I was one of the ones suckered into their scam. After weeks of job hunting I saw their add in the paper... Went in for the interview and a slick "HR" rep in a suite was there to "interview" me for the position. We were given a apptitude test, that an illiterate child could pass ( I later found out they were never looked at) and told we would find out if we qualified later in the day.

    We were told it was 45K a year salary, AND overtime if you worked more than 40 a week. Only have to take our $2500 class and pass either the SAIR Certs or their Highly Accredited In house test "the NEW standard for linux certification."

    Well, I was a sucker and told my head hunters I was going to go with LinuxScrew'em... whoops gruven. I took the class.

    The class was 12 people in a 15 by 10 foot room with one less computer than student. Taught by instructors that had passed neither their SAIR cert or the Linuxgruven Cert...

    It was a VERY basic Intro into Linux... honestly not that bad for a VERY BASIC Intro to linux, but NOT in any way a preperation for the SAIR or Linuxgruven Cert.

    Ah the LinuxGruven Cert... I asked the HR rep what the pass rate was... he said about %70.. mind you the test DIDN'T EXIST yet. It didn't exist till well after january of 2001. And when it was finished... it was IMPOSSIBLE. The test questions were developed by polling the employees and I never was able to find out if any of the answers/questions were checked for veracity. I think out of all the people who took it there were only 2 people who ever passed both parts.

    The "HR" people WERE salesmen, and were called such inside the company. And they worked almost entirely on commssion. They had a warm body policy... if you were enough sucker to pay cash up front, then you were in the class. The instructors, begged them again and again to at least make sure the students were computer literate but they were telling people that if they could check email, they could do well in the class and pass the tests...

    Well I did get my SAIR certs after a month of study and testing AFTER the class - I was one of only like 3 from my class to actually pass them. I knew another fellow from my class that spent over $2000 retaking the exams only to be put off about starting for a month. His first day was the day they closed the doors and told us not to come to work.. mind you without any provision for informing the students. I and a few others defied the edit to not come in. Felt we had to face our students and let them know what we could of the situation. Way to much only came out afterwards but I was warning students already to not quit their current positions.

    We kept hoping that LG would actually start looking for contracts for us, work to do... but they never did. We begged for real work, but they kept just basing the whole thing on a pyramid scheme till it burst.

    While Hibits and his croney were the worst, general opinion is that Porter was not blameless either... but to be fair he may have just been promoted way above his competancy level and used as a scape goat/fall guy by the owners.

    Oi, I could go on but that is enough.

    Any other LG victims out there?
  • I never heard or read that Sun was GNU minded. Indeed they have been sitting for something like seven years on a internal document by a bigshot (Bill Joy in 1.994? could someone find the URL for the PostScript document?) recommending to GPL Solaris.

    If that was done we wouldn't have needed so much effort duplication on Linux and the various BSDs -- OK, perhaps BSDs would have continued on the basis of the license and leanness of it, Linux on the basis of flexibility (not having a corporation in charge), and the GNU Project on politics. But each of this, and other free software projects, would have been able to reuse Solaris source code, and that would be a gread advantage for open systems in general and free software in particular, getting us better free systems earlier and advancing the open systems cause.

    Not only that, it would have been much harder for Microsoft and proprietary, low-quality software to become so dominant.

    It's already to late for the GPL'ing of Solaris to have the original intended effects, but it would still be A Good Thing (TM).

    As usual, Microsoft and the enemies of liberty in general win their victories not because they're good in any sense, but due to the failures of their foes.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."