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Comment I don't buy the premise, just yet (Score 4, Interesting) 812

This report is perhaps based on a false premise. While it may be true that 5% of all the users are using 50% of the bandwidth, that's only because the rest of us aren't as demanding. Were we so demanding, TCP, which is what most of the world runs on, would provide more of a fair share. It wouldn't be perfect, mind you, but particularly with WFQ, if you're using more there is a larger chance that your traffic will drop. This doesn't hold true with UDP-based applications that are less friendly to the network.

Also, where is that 50% measured? Is it on peering points or is it at the access point? If it's at the access point then (A) it could be p2p traffic that never transits a backbone and (B) some of that traffic could be dealt with by making arrangements with content providers like Akamai to bring the content closer.

The Internet

Handling Flash Crowds From Your Garage 74

slashdotmsiriv writes "This paper from Microsoft Research describes the issues and tradeoffs a typical garage innovator encounters when building low-cost, scalable Internet services. The paper is a more formal analysis of the problems encountered and solutions employed a few months back when Animoto, with its new Facebook app, had to scale by a factor of 10 in 3 days. In addition, the article offers an overview of the current state of utility computing (S3, EC2, etc.) and of the most common strategies for building scalable Internet services."

Same Dev Tools/Language/Framework For Everyone? 519

AC writes "Upper management of the company I work at recently declared that all new development should be done with a single combination of development tools, language, and framework. The main rationale is that people can be relocated from one group / project to another faster, because they don't need to learn a new environment when they switch. Of course the chosen language / framework used by everybody does not need to be the best tool for the job, but it should be good enough to allow every project to get done. What does Slashdot think about this? Is it OK to use the same development tools and language for every project, instead of choosing what fits best? Will the time saved be sufficient to offset the time lost to the 'not the best tool for the job' environment developers will be forced to use?"
The Courts

Hans Reiser Leads Police To Nina's Body 1523

jlmcgraw was the first to alert us that Hans Reiser has led police to the location in the Oakland Hills where he buried the body of his wife Nina. (We discussed the rumor that he would do so last month.) SFGate.com reports that remains were recovered but have not yet been identified. Reiser is to be sentenced on Wednesday. CBS5 claims that Reiser made a deal for a reduced sentence, to 15 years, in exchange for revealing the body.
Communications

Telecoms Suing Municipalities That Plan Broadband Access 288

Law.com has up a review of ongoing and historical cases of telecoms suing municipalities that plan broadband networks. In many cases those same telecoms have spent years ignoring as potential customers the cities and towns now undertaking Net infrastructure projects, only to turn around and sue them. One lawyer who has defended many municipalities in this position says, "This is similar to electrification a century ago when small towns and rural areas were left behind, so they formed their own authorities." Bob Frankston has been writing for years about the financial model of artificial scarcity that underlies the telecoms businss plans. This post gives some of the background to the telecoms' fear of abundance.
Programming

Learn a Foreign Language As an Engineer? 1021

Ben B writes "I'm working on an undergraduate degree in computer engineering in the US, and I'm a native English-speaking citizen. In fact, English is the only language that I know. Maybe it's not the same at other schools, but for the engineering program at mine, a foreign language is not required. If my plans are to one day be involved in research, is it worth my time to learn a foreign language? If so, which one?" Learning something new is almost never a waste of time, but how much energy have others found worthwhile to expend with all of the programming/math/tech type courses to be had at a large university?
Intel

Larrabee Based On a Bundle of Old Pentium Chips 286

arcticstoat writes "Intel's Pat Gelsinger recently revealed that Larrabee's 32 IA cores will in fact be based on Intel's ancient P54C architecture, which was last seen in the original Pentium chips, such as the Pentium 75, in the early 1990s. The chip will feature 32 of these cores, which will each feature a 512-bit wide SIMD (single input, multiple data) vector processing unit."
The Courts

User Charged With Felony For Using Fake Name On MySpace 931

Recently a user, Lori Drew, was charged with a felony for the heinous crime of pretending to be someone else on the Internet. Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Lori was charged for signing up for MySpace using a fake name. "The access to MySpace was unauthorized because using a fake name violated the terms of service. The information from a "protected computer" was the profiles of other MySpace users. If this is found to be a valid interpretation of the law, it's really quite frightening. If you violate the Terms of Service of a website, you can be charged with hacking. That's an astounding concept. Does this mean that everyone who uses Bugmenot could be prosecuted? Also, this isn't a minor crime, it's a felony punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment per count. In Drew's case she was charged with three counts for accessing MySpace on three different occasions."
Biotech

First DNA Molecule Constructed from Mostly Synthetic Components 188

ScienceDaily is reporting that Japanese chemists have created the world's first DNA molecule comprised of almost entirely artificial components. The breakthrough could lead to advances in both medicine and technology, possibly utilizing the massive storage capacity of DNA. "In the new study, Masahiko Inouye and colleagues point out that scientists have tried for years to develop artificial versions of DNA in order to extend its amazing information storage capabilities. As the genetic blueprint of all life forms, DNA uses the same set of four basic building blocks, known as bases, to code for a variety of proteins used in cell functioning and development. Until now, scientists have only been able to craft DNA molecules with one or a few artificial parts, including certain bases."
Privacy

Submission + - Firefox 3 Antiphishing sends your URLs to Google 1

iritant writes: "As we were discussing, Gran Paradiso or the latest version of Firefox, is nearing release. Gran Paradiso includes a form of malware protection that checks every URL against a known list of sites. It does so by sending each URL to Google. In other words, if people enable this feature, they get some malware protection, and Google gets a wealth of information about which sites are popular (or, for that matter, which sites should be checked for malware). Fair deal? Not to worry — the feature is disabled by default."
Biotech

Submission + - RF Cure for Cancer? (wkyc.com)

jtabernik writes: "John Kanzius from Erie, PA claims to have a promising method of destroying tumors with nanotechnology and radio waves. Is this really possible? Wouldn't we have heard more about this if it was as promising as it seems? The story on Kanzius is pretty interesting — he is suffering from leukemia, so obviously he has a personal interest in the cure. Also, he is adamant about not selling out to someone who would not bring the idea to market."
Space

Submission + - Vibrations on the Sun may 'shake' the Earth (newscientist.com)

mencomenco writes: "What do dropped mobile phone calls, mysterious signals in undersea communications cables, and tiny tremors on the Earth have in common? They are all caused by vibrations on the Sun, according to one team of scientists, reported in New Scientist. But other researchers question the claim, arguing that the pulsations may never escape the Sun's surface in the first place."
Robotics

Submission + - CBC promises lots more robots in our future

grouchyDude writes: "CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, has a feature on consumer robots on their on-line edition today. It includes articles discussing the destiny and state of consumer robotics, as well as the need for investment in robotics research and the robotics industry to stay in competition. Their listing of both consumer robots and fictional robots is quite incomplete, but they get to most of the important ideas and issues in the multiple parts of the feature. It also covers bit on robot lore (i.e. notable robots from fiction) as well as a popular robotics quiz."

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