Worth Reading: Multitasking without Thrashing

31 August 2017

Human context switching is more complicated than computer context switching. Whereas the computer context switch replaces a fixed number of bytes in a few CPU registers, the human has to recall what was “on the mind” at the time of the switch and, if the human was interrupted with no opportunity to choose a “clean…

Worth Reading: The calculus of service availability

30 August 2017

The vast majority of software services and systems should aim for almost-perfect reliability rather than perfect reliability—that is, 99.999% or 99.99% rather than 100%—because users cannot tell the difference between a service being 100% available and less than “perfectly” available. There are many other systems in the path between user and service (laptop, home WiFi,…

Worth Reading: IoT needs a paradigm shift

30 August 2017

Building IoT ventures from scratch by prototyping hardware devices and their backend systems as well as working for a large company that tries to sell IoT devices itself, we learned a lot about the pitfalls and problems concerning security in the IoT. Nearly every connected device out there proved to be vulnerable to attacks. Researchers…

Worth Reading: ROI is not a cybersecurity concept

29 August 2017

In the cybersecurity community, much time is spent trying to speak the language of business, in order to communicate to business leaders our problems. One way we do this is trying to adapt the concept of “return on investment” or “ROI” to explain why they need to spend more money. Stop doing this. It’s nonsense.…

Worth Reading: Is it time to build an anti-DDoS alliance?

29 August 2017

A functional “anti-DOS alliance” is only feasible if SP”s are ready to commit to specific frugal investments. These ‘ prudent commitments’ will not require millions of dollars in anti-DOS technology. The commitments will require a change of the SP’s attitude and approach to DOS. It moved from a model that “I’m island on my own”…

Worth Reading: Dealing with IPv6 fragmentation in the DNS

28 August 2017

It appears that rather than effecting a slight improvement from IPv4, the manner of fragmentation handling in IPv6 appears to be significantly worse than IPv4. Little wonder that there have been calls from time to time to completely dispense with packet fragmentation in IPv6, as the current situation with IPv6 appears to be worse than…

Worth Reading: The rise of info-monopolies

28 August 2017

Salil Mehta is a statistician and well-known public intellectual. See his impressive bio. He has been cited in major publications, such as the NYT. But Google closed his email and website (Statistical Ideas) down without notice or explanation. When he submitted an inquiry he got this. “After review, your account is not eligible to be…

Worth Reading: Hardware and the future of databases

25 August 2017

I foresee databases running on two-level stores and three-level stores, but I doubt they will be able to manage four-level stores because it is just too complicated to do the software. But there will be storage hierarchies and exactly what pieces will be in the storage hierarchy is yet to be determined. Main memory will…

Worth Reading: Open core, open perimeter

25 August 2017

Today, software development is built around APIs. Instead of embedding a vendor’s product into their application, developers can call an API to consume services from a vendor. The developers don’t need to know what’s responding to their calls on the backend; they simply need to know what the vendor’s API expects from their code and…

Worth Reading: Detecting network outages with RIPE ATLAS

24 August 2017

As much as we dislike it, large-scale Internet outages do happen, sometimes as a result of technical problems or sometimes even politically motivated. We’d like to be notified when these outages occur, ideally in real-time, as they can explain connectivity issues or other Internet phenomena (for instance, events seen at a NOC). They can also…