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AT&T Exec Calls Netflix "Arrogant" For Expecting Net Neutrality

Burdell Re:It's not arrogant, it's correct. (466 comments)

Netflix pays for their bandwidth

Well, but they don't always, at least not as much as anybody else. Several times in recent years, Netflix has switched bandwidth providers to "wanna-be tier 1" networks; that is, networks that are not as well-connected as they'd like to be because they don't really meet anybody's requirements for settlement-free peering. These providers see Netflix as leverage against their bigger competitors and appear to have sold Netflix bandwidth at well market prices in order to strong-arm competitors to provide new network interconnects.

Large networks don't just peer with anybody. There are costs involved in each additional turn-up, both for hardware ports and for the management side. They also don't just peer at a single or few locations (since that can allow outsider actors to cause drastic changes in internal network bandwidth utilization); they require other large networks to peer in a bunch of different places. Some of the smaller networks can't afford to do that, and want to dump large traffic hogs like Netflix at already congested peering points, and then complain that the big guys didn't bend over backwards to help them.

I've worked for small to very-small ISPs for over 18 years, and I definately don't hold Netflix blameless in this. They do things they know will impact their customers and then blame the other networks for all problems (and they aren't the only one, just one of the biggest in recent years).

about three weeks ago

Crowdsourcing Confirms: Websites Inaccessible on Comcast

Burdell Re:Possible botnet C&C related (349 comments)

CNAME on the root record of a zone is not allowed. .org servers delegate 021yy.org to ns1/2.booen.com with NS records, so ns1/2.booen.com must supply an SOA and one or more NS records for 021yy.org. Instead they provide an out-of-scope SOA, valid-looking A, MX, and CNAME (which is also a bogus combination) but return NXDOMAIN for NS.

The real answer is that ns1/2.booen.com have a wildcard for * with A, MX, and CNAME records. Somehow they also respond to any SOA request with an SOA for booen.com, and have no NS records.

I still suspect a botnet C&C DNS server is running, with probably a rapidly-changing set of domains delegated to it. Comcast is probably blocking delegations to those servers, and the only real choice (that isn't a lie) for DNS responses would be SERVFAIL (in this case due to policy). NOERROR+no ANSWER records or NXDOMAIN would not really be true.

about a month ago

Crowdsourcing Confirms: Websites Inaccessible on Comcast

Burdell Possible botnet C&C related (349 comments)

The DNS for 021yy.org is rather fishy looking. The .org servers have NS records pointing to ns1.booen.com and ns2.booen.com, which have a 20 second time to live (vs. a normal 1 day TTL), which is common in botnet command & control networks. Also, the ns1/2.booen.com servers give answers to 021yy.org A lookups, but return NXDOMAIN for NS lookups (which is completely bogus; NXDOMAIN means that 021yy.org does not exist, not that it doesn't have NS records, which would still be bogus).

The NXDOMAIN for NS records would cause many caching servers to cache NXDOMAIN for all records (not just NS), which would cause the domain to not resolve (depending on the order things were looked up). Basically, I don't see this as a Comcast problem, but rather a problem with the DNS servers for 021yy.org. This may be accidental (although AFAIK no normal DNS server would reply with A records but return NXDOMAIN for NS records), but looks possibly like it is intentional and possibly part of a botnet C&C. There's a lot of that going on lately.

about a month ago

Agbogbloshie: The World's Largest e-Waste Dump

Burdell Re:I try to do the right thing (117 comments)

False. Yet another endlessly repeated "truth" based on invalid or non-existent studies.

about a month and a half ago

The Rescue Plan That Could Have Saved Space Shuttle Columbia

Burdell Re:Other options? (247 comments)

Oops, yeah, I forgot Apollo 7. They probably would have been able to survive, although it might have been rough. The biggest problem probably would have been that they would not have had much choice in where they landed (could have ended up in a location where recovery was effectively impossible or would take too long, could have hit land instead of water, etc.).

about a month and a half ago

The Rescue Plan That Could Have Saved Space Shuttle Columbia

Burdell Re:Other options? (247 comments)

There are risks in spaceflight that just can't really be overcome, except in hindsight. If what happened to Apollo 13 had happened to Apollo 8, the result would have been very different. Apollo 8 had no LM that could have been used as a "lifeboat", and it is unlikely that there would have been any other way to keep the astronauts alive. There's a good chance the Apollo program would have ended if NASA had two consecutive crews killed.

However, one thing from Apollo 8 helped Apollo 13: on Apollo 8, Jim Lovell accidentally erased the flight computer's memory and had to re-figure the position from start sightings. He had to do a similar task during Apollo 13 after the computer was powered down and restarted.

about 1 month ago

Arizona Approves Grid-Connection Fees For Solar Rooftops

Burdell Re:I don't understand (363 comments)

Let's say you and I can both buy a shelf at Wal-Mart for $10. Now I start making shelves for myself instead, and make an exact duplicate of Wal-Mart's $10 shelf. Should my nearest Wal-Mart be required to buy my shelf for $10, transport it to your nearest Wal-Mart, and then sell it to you for $10? They have trucks already, so why should they charge me for the transportation costs?

I /suppose/ that AP might be operating at loss here if they have to pay out more per watt than it costs them to generate it themselves

That's exactly the case. If they charge residential customers $0.10/kWh, you don't think all $0.10 goes to pay for the power plant, do you? They have to transport the power from the plant to the customer's location (which has loss in the system; they have to generate more than 1 kWh to deliver 1 kWh), they have to meter how much the customers use, bill for the usage, maintain the system, etc.

Pick-up and deliver only makes sense when you get more for the delivery than you pay for the pick-up.

about 5 months ago

Modeling How Programmers Read Code

Burdell Re:Different code == invalid results (115 comments)

The novice was probably looking for anything that looked like an actual English word and instead found only a mass of special characters.

Python is not a language, it's cryptology.

What are you, a COBOL programmer? That's nice, we'll get off your lawn now.

about 9 months ago

Cray X-MP Simulator Resurrects Piece of Computer History

Burdell Re:Sweet! (55 comments)

The color of a Cray doesn't tell you the model; you could get them in different colors. NASA's were "NASA blue" for example.

about 10 months ago

Verizon Accused of Intentionally Slowing Netflix Video Streaming

Burdell Re:I think it's more likely a Cogent problem. (202 comments)

Verizon doesn't "choose" ISPs; they _are_ a backbone provider (they don't buy transit from anybody). Cogent is known for peering disputes, as well as selling hard to content providers (and sometimes eyeball networks) they think will give them leverage in peering disputes.

Smaller ISPs (that do buy transit) know that you don't buy from Cogent unless you have at least two other paths to everything on the Internet.

about 10 months ago

Beer Fridge Caught Interfering With Cellular Network

Burdell Re:More pertinent information on beer fridge (231 comments)

I don't know about Australia, but in the US, you are responsible if you are causing interference in somebody else's licensed band. Even if you didn't mean to, you are transmitting (noise) on a licensed frequency without a license. If it even looks like it might be because you made some modifications to radio gear, you can be liable for a large fine (and depending on the band possibly jail time).

I remember a few years ago a convenience store near Miami's airport was closed by the FCC because they had some dodgy electronics (door opener or bar-code scanner) that was interfering with the air traffic control radio frequency. The FCC forced the store to close (and IIRC shut off the power because they weren't sure of the source device) until they could prove they had non-interfering equipment.

Even the ISM (the so-called "unlicensed") bands, like 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz, are very tightly controlled. Equipment must stay within regulations on channels, power limits, and usage. Your equipment must be able to handle interference from other devices operating within the regulations, but if somebody operates outside the limits, they are liable and must shut down (and face fines, etc.).

about 10 months ago

Debian Allows Trademark Use For Commercial Activities

Burdell Re:good move (57 comments)

Yes, I read the owner's manual for my car. Then I ordered the shop manual and reviewed it as well. There's a lot of good info in there.

about a year ago

ATLAS Meteor Tracking System Gets $5M NASA Funding

Burdell Re:Getting to 24-48 hr advance warning (104 comments)

No, I couldn't do it; that's what trained experts are for. The concept is not that much different from the US National Weather Service offices issuing storm watches and warnings.

about a year ago

ATLAS Meteor Tracking System Gets $5M NASA Funding

Burdell Re:Getting to 24-48 hr advance warning (104 comments)

For something like this (where nobody died), you wouldn't attempt an evacuation. I believe that most of the injuries were from broken glass and other falling debris; it would be enough to warn people to either get outside (away from buildings, trees, and other objects that could be blown around by a shock wave) or to stay inside away from windows.

about a year ago

Linux 3.7 Released

Burdell Re:How fractured is ARM? (151 comments)

There are variants in the instruction set (just like there are in the x86 world, where i686 is a superset of i383 for example). However, that isn't the big problem with ARM; there isn't a single-standard way of booting like there is with x86 (where most things are IBM PC BIOS compatible, with some now moving to EFI/UEFI). Also, there's no device enumeration like ACPI; lots of ARM vendors build their own kernel with a static compiled-in list of devices, rather than having an easy way to probe the hardware at run-time.

about a year ago

SEC Investigates Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Over Facebook Posting

Burdell Re:What? (190 comments)

There is no barrier that limits someone from "liking" a company on Facebook

Sure there is - you have to have a Facebook account. Facebook can terminate your account for various reasons (or no reason at all), which could render you unable to receive such information in a timely fashion.

about a year ago

Green Grid Argues That Data Centers Can Lose the Chillers

Burdell Re:What data centers did these guys look at? (56 comments)

I know some people that have tried to work out filtration systems that can handle the volume of air needed for a moderate size data center (so that outside air could be circulated rather than cooling and recirculating the inside air), and it quickly became as big of an expense as just running the A/C. Most data centers are in cities (because that's where the communications infrastructure, operators, and customers are), and city air is dirty.

about a year and a half ago

FCC To Allow Cable Companies To Encrypt Over-the-Air Channels

Burdell Re:Do Not Want (376 comments)

Aside from the fact that this decision is crap (I agree), and you'd have to spend $$$ to get a tuner card, you might not have to pay your cable company anything for a CableCard. For example, I have Comcast (sucks, but beats my other local cable company in every way: price, channels, and quality), and they include the cost of a tuner box in many of the packages. I have a TiVo instead of one of their boxes, and I get a $2.50/month credit for customer-provided equipment.

about a year and a half ago

Hiring Smokers Banned In South Florida City

Burdell Re:There is smoking and there is addiction (1199 comments)

"stop working every few hours" would be a welcome improvement; there are people at my office that smoke at least 5 minutes out of every hour. They stink up the office, sometimes blocking the door open because, while they are able to carry a pack, lighter, and cell phone, they can't carry keys. They litter (even though there's a butt-receptacle), and I can't open my office window because of the smoke.

Smoking cigarettes is a filthy addiction, and not just because of the health issues. If I went and rolled in a pile of crap for a few minutes every hour or two and then came and stood in your office, you'd have me thrown out, but somehow smokers are "special".

about a year and a half ago

We Don't Need More Highways

Burdell Re:I agree! (244 comments)

Yes please! Of course, at the rate Alabama road crews build highways, I'd die of old age before it opened (even if they started tomorrow).

about a year and a half ago



Read fingerprints from 6 meters away

Burdell Burdell writes  |  about 2 years ago

Burdell (228580) writes "A new startup has technology to read fingerprints from up to 6 meters away. IDair currently sells to the military, but they are beta testing it with a chain of 24-hour fitness centers that want to restrict sharing of access cards. IDair also wants to sell this to retail stores and credit card companies as a replacement for physical cards. Lee Tien from the EFF notes that the security of such fingerprint databases is a privacy concern."

Dennis Ritchie has died

Burdell Burdell writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Burdell (228580) writes "I haven't found an obituary in English yet, but Dennis Ritchie has died at the age of 70 He was the creator of the C programming language and a codeveloper of Unix. Much of modern computing comes from his work."

Duke Nukem ForNever?

Burdell Burdell writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Burdell (228580) writes "GameSpy is among sites reporting that 3D Realms is shutting its doors. Apparently, the pre-orders of Duke Nukem Forever were not enough to pay the bills."

Sci-Fi Channel is no more

Burdell Burdell writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Burdell writes "Effective July 7, they are rebranding themselves "SyFy". They chose the new name because it "made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip"."


Burdell has no journal entries.

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