War for the Web

March 2011

22 03.11

Google maps 300TB of real-world Internet speed data

Internet Speeds all over the country vary widely; it's particularly troubling often because the advertised speed of your connection is actually much higher than your actual speed, and there has been no way to actually verify speeds until now. A small company has been working with Google to map connection speeds worldwide. Read more
15 03.11

Start drooling, slowpokes: Internet2 ramps up to 8.8Tbps

Awesome, a bunch of institutions are getting linked to an all new fiber backbone. This is excellent. Read more
10 03.11

Facebook wants to be the Internet, Will you let it?

This is a very apt post on gizmodo that just emphasizes how much is at risk in the battle for consumers. AOL was a walled garden, you could stay there forever and never leave. The Internet arose in the mush that followed when it collapsed. Facebook is threatening to become the next AOL, do you want that? Read more
09 03.11

The Telecom Netflix wars

So, Netflix has introduced a service that uses cable companies infrastructure to compete with cable company offerings. Kind of an interesting concept really. Apparently, as much as 20% of all peak internet traffic is netflix streaming movies into people's homes over the web. That's a huge amount, and the cable companies are worried that these offerings, if given the content that they are trying to acquire, will displace their offerings at primetime. The whole debate is confounded by the idea that Netflix has the audacity to make these offerings over the networks that these telecoms have built and invested capital in. It's just another stop on the way to walled gardens on the web. Read more
08 03.11

Google is building a kill switch into Android Apps.

So, this is kind of scary. Google is building a kill switch into applications. While that's a good thing for situations like the current one, where a malicious application is creating a backdoor into Android to allow for the theft of personal information, you have to wonder whose finger is on the trigger, and how soon before google starts to use this power to simply regulate the android marketplace according to their whim, the same way that Apple does. Read more
07 03.11

The FCC is losing the power to regulate the Internet

As the New York Times points out, if the FCC cannot ensure that all bits on the web get treated fairly, we run the risk of ending up with a limited internet experience. One defined by the company that we purchase our connectivity from. This trend is especially apparent on mobile devices, where companies like Apple prevent the sale of applications that compete directly with services that they offer. It would be a real shame if the entire Internet went this way. Read more
02 03.11

When the Internet Nearly Fractured, and How It Could Happen Again – The Atlantic

This is a great article about the way that the DNS system, which directs traffic from the URL name that we civilians type in to the actual IP address of the content we are seeking. In large part, this article makes the point, perhaps inadvertently, that the Internet is the wild west. Enforcement tools for taking down child pornographers, Pirates and other law-breakers are blunt and limited, and far too likely to have an adverse effect on the average user. For example, on Cyber Monday of 2010, the US department of Homeland Security tried to take down 80 websites, but actually took down 80,000 websites. Read more
01 03.11

Defining Internet “freedom”: Ars interviews Senator Al Franken

I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I think it's going to be an amazing discussion of Net Neutrality. Read more