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The Internet

Journal Journal: Internet with circuits

Already sumbmitted in Slashdot but I but it here back in my journal fore records. Some guys are tring to thunk about a new design for Internet. There is no chance for this to be implemented but some of the ideas are nice.

In fact, I fully agree about the flow and the circuit handling. I really belive that we need such core mecanism like virtual circuit to finally handle real time medial (I mean video and audio here) end to end. Especially in congestion situation.

RTP is a sad hack.

Here is the URL:

http://cleanslate.stanford.edu/CleanSlateWhitepaperV2.pdf

Space

Journal Journal: [fr] L'arbre et l'étoile - partie 1

Je regardais jeudi l'émission A vous de juger avec Sarko comme invité. Il y a eu des moments intéressants sur le fond. Mon propos n'est pas ici de discuter de la valeur des candidats ni de mes penchants électoraux mais d'une idée qui me taraude depuis plusieurs années sur l'avenir à long terme de l'humanité.

Comme introduction, voici les morceaux de l'émission qui ont été le plus significatif quant à ce sujet :

  • Celui où il a été interrogé sur Airbus et où, en quelque phrases, il a défini clairement le possible rôle d'accompagnateur de l'Etat. Mais je ne suis pas d'accord quand il dit que notre pays doit rester généraliste. J'y reviendrai plus bas.
  • Celui sur l'éducation. Il n'a pas été convaincant du tout en proposant son grand plan de formation. Le sujet est pourtant primordial pour les génération à venir.
  • Le plus important et le moins spectaculaire fut le débat avec Nicolas HULOT. Il y avait vraiment deux visions qui ne coïncidaient pas sans s'affronter vraiment.

L'un - Hulot - revenu de ses voyages voit la planète changer et par la même une menace sur la civilisation telle que nous la connaissons. Il reproche aux politiques de traiter la question de l'environnement comme une priorité comme les autres alors que d'elle dépend tout le reste.

L'autre, Sarko est un responsable politique en exercice. Il rappelle le problème des moyens défend l'idée que la priorité ne peut s'imposer que progressivement. Les gens restants encore plus préoccupés par leur petit quotidien.

Les échanges d'argument sur l'écologie politique et l'affrontement sur le thème de la décroissance étaient - à mon avis - beaucoup plus denses qu'il n'y paraissait. Ceci m'amène à mon propos.

En regardant plusieurs centaine de millénaires dans le futur (voire dans qq millions d'année) il apparaît comme évident que tant que l'humanité reste liée à la planète Terre, elle est condamnée. On peut émettre deux gros scénarii :

  • 1- Game over : L'humanité consomme toute les ressources de la planète est s'empoisonne. Elle meure faute de quoi manger, boire ou respirer.
  • 2- Je reste chez moi - L'humanité réussit à préserver suffisement son environnement mais ne consacre pas suffisement de ressource à la conquête de l'espace et fini par s'éteindre suite à une catastrophe naturelle dont celle inévitable qui surviendra quand le soleil deviendra une géante rouge et grillera la Terre

Face à cette constatation, j'ai une doctrine contradictoire avec M. Hulot : non seulement il faut préserver l'environnenment mais sa préservation n'est pas une fin en soi. Pour moi, son sacrifice afin de permettre à l'humanité d'essaimer dans l'espace est nécessaire.

Seul ce choix permet d'envisager un troisième scénario où l'humanité sèmerait des graines dans l'espace avant de s'éteindre sur Terre.

On parle beaucoup de classification politique et les deux plus courantes en France sont : droite / gauche et libéral / conservateur. Je voudrais dans mon prochain article faire l'inventaire de quatres positions politiques beaucoup plus fondamentales (et dérageantes). Parmi ces quatres positions, une seule me paraît moralement acceptable. Dans un article suivant, je vous entretiendrai alors des conséquences d'une telle prise de position sur les choix politiques.

Patents

Journal Journal: Microsoft to pay royalties to Alcatel for MP3 what a mess

I guess everybody read about this huge royalty fee that Microsoft has to pay to Alcatel Lucent for embedding MP3 in Windows Media Players.

What a mess !

Some slashdotter would probably rejoice that Microsoft has been burned by patent fee as they are playing the same game with others. Personally I find it very stupid. How many years is the MP3 format around? More that $1 billion for supporting a file format and a compression technology.

Well one reader of Le Monde newspaper summarized my own opinion:

[fr] Le point positif de cette affaire: faire prendre conscience du danger que représentent les "brevets logiciels", qui sont autant de monopoles posés sur des idées abstraites et en général tout à fait triviales - brevets que les lobbies en propriété intellectuelle voudraient désormais légaliser à Bruxelles. Enfin, ironie du sort, c'est l'un des plus fidèle partisans des brevets logiciels qui est ici condamné. Juste retour des choses ?

Xavier Roche 23.02.07 | 11h01

I am not fully against technology patents but here we can see how absurd it can becomes when a company seek legitimate interoperability with a widespread format, it gets punished.

My view is if they want to make a format a standard then all patents about it and the associated technology should be dropped. In order to reward the developpers of the standard, I would propose that each company that seeks interoperatbility should pay a one time fee to standard body which in turns would transfer back the money to the standard developpers.

Update:

Microsoft already paid $16 Million dollars to Fraunhoffer Institute for MP3! This is becoming more ridiculous. So the guys who sold the patent fee said: "Ok, we take the money" Then a few years later "Euh... by the way, it was MUCH MORE expensive. Can you give us MUCH MORE money? You disagree? Fine. I'll sue."

I am not aware of any major improvement regarding MP3 format in the meantime so this monies does not match any actual work. Stupid !

Emmanuel BUU
IVèS

The Internet

Journal Journal: France is getting ready for Fiber to Home Internet Access

Orange (Ex France Telecom) will launch [fr] Fiber to Home Internet access

on March 1st, 2007. The offer includes 100 Mbit/s of downlink and 10 Mbit/s of uplink and unlimited nationwide call for 44.90 euros. This initial deployment will be limited to central areas in five cities of France were only 14000 people will be able to beneficate from the offer. The full scale deployment is due on 2008.

This follows intense competition with the challenger Free Telecom which [fr] announced a 1 billion euro investment on Fiber to Home Internet access. This offer is supposed to be available mid 2007 and provide: 50 MBit/s symetric + static IP and unlimited nationwide calls for 30 euros / month (29.90 exactly including V.A.T.). Of course, no bandwith cap whatsoever.

This will certainly kill part of the SDSL market where companies pays premium prices (400 to 600 euros / month) for 4 Mbit/s symetric access. I also suspect that a lot of people will start to host their own server at home.

Communications

Journal Journal: SIP over TCP - using it in NAT friendly way

I have recently browsed through the latest SIP RFC looking for ways to be more NAT friendly for VoIP.

What I found is not very conclusive: The latest RFC indeed tries to push TCP as default transport for SIP (Yessss signalling links are making a come back) but the use of TCP connection is left to a lot of ambiguities.

We will assume the following situation. User runs a SIP phone (User Agent is RFC terminology) on his internet connection at home or at the office. He is most likely behind a NAT / Firewall and connects to a SIP proxy located on the public Internet with a public IP address.

Specifying a NAT Friendly SIP behavior

In order to be NAT friendly, SIP behavior between User Agent and proxy should be the following:

  • On registration, user agent shall initiate a TCP connection to the proxy. If the registration is successful, user agent and proxy MUST maintain TCP connection open.
  • If TCP keepalive is supported, it SHOULD be used
  • If TCP keepalive in unavailable, User Agent SHOULD send OPTION request to proxy regularily (every 30 seconds) and expect the answer 200 OK. These queries can be omitted if other SIP traffic occurs.
  • In case answer is not 200 OK or not received after a timeout, connection shall be terminated and registration process restarted.
  • Proxy MUST base User Agent availability upon TCP connection status and TCP or option keepalive.
  • User agent MUST reuse connection when initiating and outgoing session.
  • and the most important: proxy MUST reuse open inbound connection when signalling an incoming call to the User Agent.

This also addresses the case where a company would run an internal SIP proxy which in turn would connect to another public SIP proxy.

On the contrary, this is not adressing the RTP issue that is more of a headache for NAT traversal. This will be the topic of another article.

For reference, here is an abstract of the current RFC

18 Transport

The transport layer is responsible for the actual transmission of
requests and responses over network transports. This includes
determination of the connection to use for a request or response in
the case of connection-oriented transports.
The transport layer is responsible for managing persistent
connections for transport protocols like TCP and SCTP, or TLS over
those, including ones opened to the transport layer. This includes
connections opened by the client or server transports, so that
connections are shared between client and server transport functions.
These connections are indexed by the tuple formed from the address,
port, and transport protocol at the far end of the connection. When
a connection is opened by the transport layer, this index is set to
the destination IP, port and transport. When the connection is
accepted by the transport layer, this index is set to the source IP
address, port number, and transport. Note that, because the source
port is often ephemeral, but it cannot be known whether it is
ephemeral or selected through procedures in [4], connections accepted
by the transport layer will frequently not be reused. The result is
that two proxies in a "peering" relationship using a connection-
oriented transport frequently will have two connections in use, one
for transactions initiated in each direction.
It is RECOMMENDED that connections be kept open for some
implementation-defined duration after the last message was sent or
received over that connection. This duration SHOULD at least equal
the longest amount of time the element would need in order to bring a
transaction from instantiation to the terminated state. This is to
make it likely that transactions are completed over the same
connection on which they are initiated (for example, request,
response, and in the case of INVITE, ACK for non-2xx responses).
This usually means at least 64*T1 (see Section 17.1.1.1 for a
definition of T1). However, it could be larger in an element that
has a TU using a large value for timer C (bullet 11 of Section 16.6),
for example.

All SIP elements MUST implement UDP and TCP. SIP elements MAY
implement other protocols.

Making TCP mandatory for the UA is a substantial change from RFC
2543. It has arisen out of the need to handle larger messages,
which MUST use TCP, as discussed below. Thus, even if an element
never sends large messages, it may receive one and needs to be
able to handle them.

Google

Journal Journal: Vulnerability found in gmail

Here is a big one for the new year. A guy has found a vulnerability that enables web sites to obtain your gmail contacts list as long as you are logged in when you display the page.

Update: It seems to be partially fixed but let's be careful. My own confidence on these kind of hosted solution for the general public was not very high. This is not going to improve it.

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