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Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

Sycraft-fu Glad to help (62 comments)

It's a pretty new product, which is why you haven't heard of it. It isn't the greatest thing EVAR, as its web UI could use some work, and some of the features it has can hit the limited CPU pretty hard (VLANs and encryption notably) but it is pretty damn good.

It is what lives at the edge of my home network, and I'm real happy with it.

They also make larger models, should you have the need.

5 hours ago

Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

Sycraft-fu I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (62 comments)

The problem is all those consumer wifi+router deals tend to have kinda crap firmware. While there are, in theory, OSS alternatives they seem to be less than speedy with the updates and support for new hardware.

So I'd look elsewhere. The two things I'd put at the top of your list:

Monowall, on an APU.1C. It is like $150 for the unit, and then $20-30 for an enclosure and CF card. Monowall should support everything you need, it is really feature rich, is pretty easy to use, and the APU.1C is fast enough it shouldn't have issues even with fairly fast internet.

A Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite. This is a funny looking and named lil' router with quite a bit of performance under the hood, thanks to the hardware routing logic its chip has. $100 and it can push gigabit speeds for basic routing setups. It is also extremely configurable, since it runs a Vayetta fork, which is a Linux OS customized for routing. However to configure the kind of things you want, you might have to hop in to the CLI, I don't know that the GUI has what you need. It supports that though, and you can even hop out of the specialized routing CLI and get a regular Linux prompt where you can install packages and such.

If you want a more supported solution, you could look at a Cisco RV320. Costs like $200 and is a fast lil' wired router (uses the same basic chip as the Edgerouter, just slower). I haven't used one but I'm given to understand you can make them do a lot. Sounds like they firmware may be a little flakey though.

You then just set your consumer WAP+router in to "access point" mode and have it just do the wireless functions.

This is all more expensive and complex than just running on a consumer WAP+router, but more likely to be able to do what you require. It also means you can change out components without as much trouble. Like say your WAP gets flakey, and you want a new one with the latest technology. No problem, just buy it. You don't have to worry if it supports the routing features you need because it doesn't do that for you.

If you are stuck on doing an all in one, then you could look at a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 or the new Linksys WRT1900AC. The Netgear does have bandwidth management and QoS in its native firmware (I haven't played with the features, but I can confirm they are there as I own one) and there is a "myopenrouter" site that has OSS firmware for it (ddwrt mod I think). The Linksys router supposedly is going to have OpenWRT support soon as Linksys worked directly with the OpenWRT team for it.

6 hours ago

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

Sycraft-fu Well it makes sense (775 comments)

For one, Slashdot has a bunch of anti-social jerks that like to post, who have an inability to empathize with anyone else. So no surprise they think something like that is a good idea, because they they aren't very reasonable people.

However others have pointed out, accurately I think, that something like this can well be a cause for it. The thing is that if you push someone in to a corner and give them what seems to be no way out, no way to fight back, they may go nuts. Happens with other animals, not just humans. So if you have a kid that is continually picked on, who tries to stand up for themselves, but is then picked on even worse, this time by law enforcement, well then they may well take drastic measures because they feel like there's no option, no hope.

I think there is some real merit to this. Not merit as in saying it is good that kids do it, but that it is correct that actions like this can lead to kids doing it. If they feel they have nothing to lose and nowhere to turn, then a completely crazy overreaction may be the only option they feel they have.

I mean here you have a case of a kid who did everything right, and got increasingly screwed: He never fought back or defended himself, which schools do not allow (you can argue if they should, but they don't, it is against the rules). He got no help or support from the school, I mean it was allowed to happen IN CLASS in front of a teacher. He told his parents, they were skeptical, he produced evidence. He was then threatened by the police, ordered to delete it (illegally), drug to court, etc, etc. So what has he got now? He's been effectively told the bullies are allowed to do as they wish and if you attempt to stop them the police and courts will punish you.

So what's he to do? You can see how a drastic, illogical, action might be what he thinks is his only option. Remember that he doesn't have the perspective of age, he can't look on high school and say "Ya that's a real short time in your life and it gets WAY better once you are out and an adult." To him, this is his whole world. And for that matter, the adult world has stepped in and told him he;s wrong to try and make things better for himself.

As such you can see why people are saying it can lead to something like a school shooting. It is something that administrators need to consider: Dealing with bullying isn't something to do just because it is the right thing (which would be a good enough reason) but it is a safety issue as well.


Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Sycraft-fu No, they wouldn't (1448 comments)

One of the problems with advanced weapons systems is they require a bunch of effort and facilities to produce, maintain, and use. So while they are fearsome, they are vulnerable to a large force that takes over their support structures.

For example while the US's combat planes are the most amazing the world has ever known, they only work when they have secure airfields to operate from. If those get taken over, they are in a world of shit. Which is why they have security but that security is men with guns. The planes can't defend their own airfields, for many reasons.

If you want to see it on a small scale, well ask yourself why the US has been unable to secure Afghanistan or Iraq. They had considerably more forces than your silly "1 aircraft carrier" scenario, it was hardly the whole population fighting, yet after years and years, they have been unable to secure the countries.

Lots of people with small arms are a force all of their own.


Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

Sycraft-fu Also Netflix is willing to play nice (319 comments)

They'll provide ISPs with cache engines for their content. That way, it doesn't use near as much bandwidth. Their content gets pushed to the cache engine, and that streams to the customer. It is win-win since both the ISP -and- Netflix get to use less bandwidth.

So it isn't like the ISPs can whine that Netflix is just too heavy a load. They can get cache engines and call it good. Netflix even picks up the cost of said cache engines near as I know.

Cox does this. They've had fast streaming and "super HD" for a long time because they have Netflix cache engines. Comcast is just being greedy.

2 days ago

Titanfall Dev Claims Xbox One Doesn't Need DX12 To Improve Performance

Sycraft-fu Can't do that and hit the price point (117 comments)

Hardware costs money. If you want cheap consoles, you have to trade things off. For example my PC has no problems rendering games like Titanfall at 60fps, even at resolutions beyond 1080 (2560x1600 in my case). So, just put that kind of hardware in a console right? Ya well, my GPU alone costs near double what a current console does, never mind the supporting hardware. It isn't feasible to throw that level of hardware at a console, it just costs too much.

That kind of thing has been tried in the past and it never worked. Remember the Neo-Geo? Had real arcade hardware (back when arcade units had better hardware than home systems) in it, far and above its contemporaries. However with a price equivalent to about $1100 today compared to its competitors which were about $350 in today's dollars it did very poorly.

The console makers had to make tradeoffs, and price was a big concern. Hence the somewhat limited hardware. Basically consoles are for people on a budget. They want something that plays games, but doesn't break the bank. So, the hardware in it has to be scaled accordingly. For those that want performance and are willing to for over more coin, the PC market is happy to oblige.

4 days ago

Why the IETF Isn't Working

Sycraft-fu Re:No shit (103 comments)

I'm not sure I agree on the honesty thing either. I see all types. Some are extremely honest, some are shady as hell. Heck we have some professors that basically just milk tenure. They don't teach, don't research, just sit around and collect a paycheck because it is too difficult to fire them. It really runs the gamut.

4 days ago

US Takes Out Gang That Used Zeus Malware To Steal Millions

Sycraft-fu Re:Can they pay back the $$ they stole? (38 comments)

Because prison sucks and they'll usually seize any assets that they can prove were from the crime. So that's a pretty good reason not to do it.

Oh, and there's the whole "being a moral person" thing. Some people care about that too.

4 days ago

Why the IETF Isn't Working

Sycraft-fu Re:No shit (103 comments)

I like working in an academic environment, but getting shit done isn't the strong suit, particularly standards. You get a bunch of faculty on a committee and it'll take years to decide what to call the damn thing.

Just saying that the claim that the reason the IETF can't move fast is because of corporations as opposed to academics is silly.

4 days ago

Why the IETF Isn't Working

Sycraft-fu No shit (103 comments)

You can hate on corporate types for various thing, but anyone who acts like academics know how to get anything done has never worked in academia. I work at a university and fuck me do we spend ages spinning our wheels, having meeting after endless meeting, discussing shit to death, and finally doing things 10 years after they needed to be done.

Speed is not what you find in an academic environment.

4 days ago

Titanfall Dev Claims Xbox One Doesn't Need DX12 To Improve Performance

Sycraft-fu Yes and no (117 comments)

So they are a bit different, hardware wise. A big difference is unified memory. There is only one pool of memory which both the CPU and GPU access. That's makes sense since the CPU and GPU are also on the same silicon, but it is a difference in the way you program. Also in the case of the Xbone they decided to use DDR3 RAM, instead of GDDR5, which is a little slow for graphics operations, but the APU (what AMD calls the CPU/GPU combo chips) has 32MB of high speed embedded RAM on it to try and buffer for that.

Ok so there are some differences. However that aside, why the problem with the target? Visual quality. Basically, a video card can only do so much in a given time period. It only can push so many pixels/texels, only run so many shaders, etc. So any time you add more visual flair, it takes up available power. There's no hard limit, no amount where it stops working, rather you have to choose what kind of performance you want.

For example if I can render a scene with X polygons in 16ms then I can output that at 60fps. However it also means that I can render a scene of 2X polygons in about 33ms, or 30fps.

So FPS is one tradeoff you can make. You don't have to render at 60fps, you can go lower and indeed console games often do 30fps. That means each frame can have more in it, because the hardware has longer to generate it.

Another tradeoff is resolution. Particularly when you are talking texture related things, lowering the output resolution lowers the demand on the hardware and thus allows you to do more.

So it is a tradeoff in what you think looks best. Ya, you can design a game that runs at 1080p60 solid. However it may not look as good overall as a game that runs at 720p30 because that game, despite being lower FPS and rez, has more detail in the scenes. It is a choice you have to make with limited hardware.

On the PC, we often solve it by throwing more hardware at the problem, but you can't do that on a console.

4 days ago

How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

Sycraft-fu That is something I've never understood (507 comments)

Why the heck is ASL not American English? Perhaps there is a good reason, but it just seems silly to me, and it seems like something that would make it that much harder for someone who is hearing impaired to interact with those that are not. The fact that it is a different format is not a reason. I mean written and spoken English are very different formats, and do not have a direct 1-1 mapping in terms of things like letters to phonemes and so on, but yet they are exceedingly similar. I fail to see why this couldn't be done with ASL. Yes, you are going to want to have signs that represent words, rather than letters or phonemes. No problem, however syntax, grammar, structure, etc should all be the same as spoken or written English.

about a week ago

Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android

Sycraft-fu You can usually get cheap data (161 comments)

Our student at work has a plan that is like $30-40/month or something that is unlimited data (I don't remember how much high speed, they throttle at some point), 400 talk minutes and unlimited text. It's a prepaid deal.

about two weeks ago

Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android

Sycraft-fu No kidding (161 comments)

I mean yes, there are expensive Android devices. You can have a nice, premium, phone or tablet if you wish. I loves me my Galaxy Note 3 but it certainly costs a lot, more than an iPhone even. However there are also cheap Android devices. You can get a smart phone for $100 or less (talking full price here, not subsidized). So Android phones are an option on most budgets.

Until recently, all you could get with Apple was the standard iPhone which is like $600-700 full price. Even the new "c" model is $550 full price. That puts them out of range of most people who want prepaid phone plans, which is often what people with lower incomes go for.

Well those people are also likely to spend less on apps. After all, if your finances are such that you wish to buy an economical phone, you probably don't want to ruin it with spending a ton of money on software.

So ya, that will push the average down on Android phones. Personally, I see that as a big positive to Android. There's something to be said for a thing that can be available to a wide segment of the population. Exclusivity to the affluent isn't something I consider to be positive.

about two weeks ago

Start-Up Founders On Dealing With Depression

Sycraft-fu It is an extremely common view these days (257 comments)

I know a lot of people, my sister included, who have a big issue with taking drugs prescribed by a doctor, but no issue with taking drugs purchased from a dealer. The logic can be pretty strange. For example I was talking with her about looking in to trying an anti-anxiety medication. My family all has issues with that, but she is far worse than the rest of us. My parents and I take low doses of SSRIs for it and it seems to help a lot. Thus it would probably be worth a try for her, since we have a great deal of genetic commonalities so the chances it works on her are high. Her response? "I don't want to do that, I only want to take the drugs I choose." I pointed out to her that it was completely my choice to take an SSRI, I could stop any time I wished, they aren't addictive, there is no court or medical order that requires me to take it, I continue to take it because I find it useful. Same reason we all take allergy medicine in the spring: It is useful in dealing with that, not because there is a requirement of some kind. She didn't like that though, to her it is different, though she could not articulate how or why.

I'm not sure why it is such an issue, perhaps because of the stigma associated with mental health issues, but I've seen it in numerous occasions. People who have no issue with recreational drugs that alter your brain chemistry but think that prescription drugs that do the same are evil or bad or something. It is, as you point out, a very silly position. I can respect, though not agree with, the position of taking no drugs that alter brain chemistry for whatever reason. However it is silly to be ok with THC and LSD and the like, but not with an SSRI.

Now please don't anyone mistake me for saying "Everyone should take SSRIs." No, not at all. However if a professional suggests they, or another drug, may be useful to treating a condition you have, you shouldn't say "No I won't take drugs," but then go out and smoke a joint. That is just silly. That would be like then refusing to use marijuana if a doctor prescribed it.

about two weeks ago

How Far Will You Go For Highest Speed Internet?

Sycraft-fu And how is that best in the world? (142 comments)

Where I live, you can get cable Internet that is 150/20mbps. It has the backhaul to support it too, you really get those kind of speeds. I've a friend on the other side of the US with FIOS who has even faster, 150/65mbps again with the backhaul to support the speed.

This is in the US too. There are other countries that claim better.

about two weeks ago

How Far Will You Go For Highest Speed Internet?

Sycraft-fu Also how is the backhaul? (142 comments)

I mean sure, they have fast FTTH. Fair enough, but that doesn't do you much good if the backhaul to the rest of the Internet isn't sufficient to support the speeds.

This is something that always gets left out of the "OMG t3h fast internetz!!!" articles on Slashdot. A lot of the "really fast" Internet in the world is basically a big WAN where you have a fast line, and thus fast speeds to your neighbors and ISP, but then lack the backhaul to get those kind of speeds to the wider Internet, since that's the really expensive part.

Not saying that's the case here or not, but it is the kind of info that needs to be included to be useful. Along with, of course, the actual speed.

about two weeks ago

Judge Overrules Samsung Objection To Jury Instructional Video

Sycraft-fu It is and this was a further example of that (232 comments)

I was showing a situation where Apple products were used, but Apple wasn't paying for product placement, so the logos were covered. 30 Rock is then an example of where they did pay, and the logos are visible.

about two weeks ago

Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

Sycraft-fu No kidding (518 comments)

I'm all for new safety standards... if they are useful. I mean we've made great strides in reducing car fatalities. They've been dropping in absolute and per captia numbers since the late 60s, and in deaths per million vehicle miles traveled since 1921, when we started keeping statistics. That's a really good thing, that while driving more than ever less people die. The major reason is better safety standards, things like mandatory seatbelts, cars that deform and crumple to absorb the energy of an impact and lessen the acceleration shock to the occupants and so on.

However, costs and benefits have to be kept in proportion. How many deaths will something likely prevent, vs what will it cost? This is not many deaths, particularly compared to the number that occur, and I have to imagine the cost will be a fair bit. Particularly in lower end cars. Not only do you need a camera, but you need a display system for it, which probably means a digital instrument cluster. That's a fair bit more up front, and more expensive to maintain.

about two weeks ago

Judge Overrules Samsung Objection To Jury Instructional Video

Sycraft-fu Or as an example the other way (232 comments)

Look at Better Off Ted. There they use Macs, presumably for aesthetic reasons, but Apple didn't give them any money or products. So there's no logos. Where the Apple logo is, instead a big sticker of a different, generic, logo has been placed.

about two weeks ago


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