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Kaminsky DNS Patch Visualization

By Jesse Robbins
August 7, 2008

Dan Kaminsky has posted the details of the widespread DNS vulnerability. Clarified Networks created this visualization of DNS patch deployment over the past month: Red = Unpatched Yellow = Patched, "but NAT is screwing things up" Green = OK...

Encouraging results from Peer-to-Patent

By Andy Oram
July 2, 2008

Peer-to-Patent is carrying off one of the most audacious experiments in Internet activism in our day. A report released by the non-profit project in PDF format reports the data from surveys and an analysis of patents handled during the first year of the project. The sample is small (23 patents) but bears some impressive fruit.

Service Monitoring Dashboards are mandatory for production services!

By Jesse Robbins
June 18, 2008

Google App Engine went down earlier today. GAE is still a developer preview release, and currently lacks a public monitoring dashboard. Unfortunately this means that many people either found out from their app and/or admin consoles being unavailable or from Mike Arrington's post on TechCrunch. Google has a strong Web Operations culture, and there are numerous internal monitoring tools in...

The wiretapping accusation against P2P and copyright filtering: evidence that we need more user/provider discussion

By Andy Oram
May 24, 2008

Celebrated law expert Paul Ohm suggests that cable companies and other ISPs might be breaking the federal wiretap law by doing deep packet inspection. But the same kinds of deep inspection that Ohm decries is also used for spam and virus filtering. On the other hand, I wonder whether web mail services such as Hotmail, Yahoo! and Google would be guilty of wiretapping if they check traffic. These dilemma suggest to me that the relationship between ISPs (or mail service providers) and customers has to change, and perhaps that the wiretap statute has to adapt.

Yochai Benkler, others at Harvard map current and future Internet

By Andy Oram
May 16, 2008

Harvard's world-renowned Berkman Center for Internet & Society is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a conference called Berkman@10. The center is a conglomeration of many people, both lawyers and non-lawyers, who study the Internet and add their efforts to empower its users. In my opinion, the most salient contribution of the Berkman Center is its devotion to new research instead of pure theory. I'll report here on today's sessions, which were organized as a fairly conventional symposium (although as loosely as one could run it with 450 attendees).

Book review: "The Future of the Internet (And How to Stop It)"

By Andy Oram
April 14, 2008

You can read Jonathan Zittrain's book for cogent discussions of key issues in copyright, filtering, licensing, censorship, and other pressing issues in computing and networking. But you're rewarded even more if you read this book to grasp fundamental questions of law and society "The Future of the Internet" offers valuable summaries of current debates, but Zittrain also tries always to hack away at the brambles that block the end of each path.

You Become what You Disrupt - (part two)

By Jesse Robbins
April 14, 2008

Google's GrandCentral (Radar coverage) was down over the weekend resulting in missed calls and other phone problems for its users. This is very similar to the the two day Skype outage last year where I said that "You Become what You Disrupt". I've spoken about this issue several times, most recently at the Princeton CITP "Computing in the Cloud" workshop....

Amazon improves EC2 (by embracing failure)

By Jesse Robbins
March 27, 2008

Amazon just announced two big improvements to EC2: Multiple LocationsAmazon EC2 now provides the ability to place instances in multiple locations. Amazon EC2 locations are composed of regions and Availability Zones. Regions are geographically dispersed and will be in separate geographic areas or countries. Currently, Amazon EC2 exposes only a single region. Availability Zones are distinct locations that are engineered...

The "New Privacy"

By Allison Randal
March 21, 2008

There was a great session on Online Privacy on NPR's Science Friday today, including a guest spot by Emily Vander Veer, the author of O'Reilly's Facebook: The Missing Manual. You can subscribe to the podcast or download today's episode directly....

Network neutrality: how the FCC sees it (Part 1 of 2)

By Andy Oram
February 26, 2008

The mere announcement of an FCC hearing on "broadband network management practices" was a notch in the gun of network neutrality advocates. Yet to a large extent, the panelists and speakers were like petitioners who are denied access to the king and can only bring their complaints to the gardeners who decorate the paths outside his gate. I wrote a major analysis two years ago that I really think still stands as an accurate representation of the issues. What we'll end up getting is a formal endorsement of non-discrimination as a policy that Internet providers must follow, leading to continual FCC review of current practices by telecom and cable companies.

US Judge censors WikiLeaks.org by ordering DNS records removed

By Jesse Robbins
February 19, 2008

The BBC and many others report that the international whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.org has been taken down as of this morning. Judge Jeffery White ordered that the WikiLeaks.org domain be removed at the request of Julius Baer Bank & Trust. Not...

Amazon S3 / EC2 / AWS outage this morning...

By Jesse Robbins
February 16, 2008

Many of Amazon.com's Web Services were down this morning with some customers reporting outages lasting over three hours. Sites that depend on services that depend on EC2 or S3 are down as well. Failures like this happen in every system,...

Understanding the undersea cable cuts... (updated: "fifth cable cut")

By Jesse Robbins
February 6, 2008

The Fiber Cuts in the Middle East are getting a lot of attention. The economic damage is real and the geopolitical issues are extremely complex (which is why I edited my earlier post). From an operations perspective these kinds of...

Failure Happens: Transcontinental fiber-optic submarine cables

By Jesse Robbins
February 3, 2008

The Guardian published a summary of the ongoing impact from the transcontinental fiber-optic submarine cable cuts along with a map from Telegeography.com: According to reports, the internet blackout, which has left 75 million people with only limited access, was caused...

Privacy 2007: Hiding in the Crowd

By Andy Oram
December 28, 2007

Each year I pick out a pressing topic in Internet policy and write a year-end article summarizing trends in that area for an online newspaper called the American Reporter. It has just published my article "Privacy 2007: Hiding in the Crowd," which may interest Radar readers although it was aimed at more of a lay audience. I also gave the article a more permanent URL.

My favorite iPod accessory is my EFF Membership...

By Jesse Robbins
December 26, 2007

If you are searching for accessories for your new iPod or other music player, please consider membership in the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The EFF helps people fight abusive file-sharing lawsuits and is working to provide ways for artists to...

'Computing in the Cloud' workshop hosted by Princeton University - January 14-15

By Jesse Robbins
December 22, 2007

Marc Hedlund and I will be speaking at the 'Computing in the Cloud' workshop hosted by the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton on January 14-15. The sessions look very interesting and registration is free. Panel 1: Possession and...

Reputation: where the personal and the participatory meet up (installment 4 of 4)

By Andy Oram
December 16, 2007

Most online work, like other peer-generated information, is done by volunteers without financial remuneration. In commons-oriented production, such as Linux and Wikipedia, everyone derives a shared benefit without money exchanging hands. Money becomes a factor in peer production when it gets integrated into a company's value chain, as with Amazon.com rankings or the kinds of user innovation networks researched by Eric von Hippel. Reputation and privacy used to be a top-down affair between the collector of information and the person being tracked. Rules get more complicated in an age of Amazon.com ratings and Facebook Beacon, where the collector uses the reputation of the individual to affect the decisions of third parties. The attempt to stretch reputation to support the reputation of other people or companies could lead to spam-like annoyances as well as privacy concerns.

Reputation: where the personal and the participatory meet up (installment 3 of 4)

By Andy Oram
December 15, 2007

Although portable reputations, like single sign-on, appear to be Internet's golden future (both in terms of user participation and commerce), they're not likely to happen. Your reputation has to adapt to the sites you visit in similar ways. A purely instrumental view of reputation may be the most viable. The most disturbing presentation of the day was by Danielle Citron of the University of Maryland's School of Law, concerning harrassment of women online. A lot of women write under gender-neutral pseudonyms that don't permit them to be identified by name, or go offline altogether. This denies them the benefits of reputation, including the reputation that potential employers measure by doing online searches.

Reputation: where the personal and the participatory meet up (installment 2 of 4)

By Andy Oram
December 15, 2007

At the symposium, by and large, everybody agreed that your data should be available to you and that the heuristics used to generate reputation should be open. But participants pointed out that search engines are the only really robust reputation systems available, and proposed that they work only because they keep their heuristics secret. Nobody at the symposium offered a great solution to the balance between privacy and free-speech, which have to be rejudged repeatedly in different contexts. An opt-in world is necessary to protect privacy, but Hoffman pointed out that opt-out is required to develop most useful databases of personal information. If search engines depended on opt-in, we wouldn't be able to search for much of value.

Reputation: where the personal and the participatory meet up (installment 1 of 4)

By Andy Oram
December 14, 2007

The tidal wave of grass-roots contributions to the Internet over the past decade is what drives web administrators and users to ask the fundamental questions in reputation. These sorts of issues drew some 90 to 100 lawyers, technologists, librarians, and others to a Symposium on Reputation Economies in Cyberspace at Yale University's Information Society Project. The goal of a universal reputation may be unachievable in both theory and practice. More to the point, it may be undesirable.

Tribute to honor Jim Gray on May 31st, 2008 at UC Berkeley

By Jesse Robbins
November 18, 2007

A tribute to honor Jim Gray will be held on May 31st, 2008 at UC Berkeley. The general session is open to all, followed by a technical session reviewing a small fraction of Jim's lasting contributions. Registration is required to attend the technical session. General Session Program 9:00am - 10:30am, Zellerbach Hall Opening Remarks - Joe Hellerstein A Tribute, Not a Memorial: Understanding Ambiguous Loss - Pauline Boss The Search Effort - Mike Olson Jim's Impact on Berkeley - Mike Harrison Jim as a Mentor: Colleagues - Pat Helland Jim as a Mentor: Faculty and Students - Ed Lazowska Why Jim Got the Turing Award - Mike Stonebraker Jim's Contributions to Industry I - David Vaskevitch Jim's Contributions to Industry II - Rick Rashid Technical Session Program 11:00am - 5:30pm, Wheeler Hall (Registration is required) IBM/Transaction Processing - Bruce Lindsay Tandem/Fault Tolerance - Development & Effect of TPC/A Benchmark - David DeWitt DEC, Architecture, Memex and More - Gordon Bell Writing the Transaction Processing book: "Is There Life After Transaction Processing?"

Tribute to honor Jim Grey will be held on May 31st, 2008 at UC Berkeley

By Jesse Robbins
November 18, 2007

A tribute to honor Jim Grey will be held on May 31st, 2008 at UC Berkeley. The general session is open to all, followed by a technical session reviewing a small fraction of Jim's lasting contributions. Registration is required to attend the technical session. General Session Program 9:00am - 10:30am, Zellerbach Hall Welcome Opening Remarks - Joe Hellerstein A Tribute, Not a Memorial: Understanding Ambiguous Loss - Pauline Boss The Search Effort - Mike Olson Jim's Impact on Berkeley - Mike Harrison Jim as a Mentor: Colleagues - Pat Helland Jim as a Mentor: Faculty and Students - Ed Lazowska Why Jim Got the Turing Award - Mike Stonebraker Jim's Contributions to Industry I - David Vaskevitch Jim's Contributions to Industry II - Rick Rashid Technical Session Program 11:00am - 5:30pm, Wheeler Hall (Registration is required) IBM/Transaction Processing - Bruce Lindsay Tandem/Fault Tolerance - Development & Effect of TPC/A Benchmark - David DeWitt DEC, Architecture, Memex and More - Gordon Bell Writing the Transaction Processing book: "Is There Life After Transaction Processing?"

Sun's counter-attack on NetApp and the defense of free software...

By Jesse Robbins
November 6, 2007

We're left with the following: we're unwilling to retract innovation from the free software community, and we can't tolerate an encumbrance that limits ZFS's value - to our customers, the community at large, or Sun's shareholders.... As a part of this suit, we are requesting a permanent injunction to remove all of their filer products from the marketplace, and are examining the original NFS license - on which Network Appliance was started.... And I am committing that Sun will donate half of those proceeds to the leading institutions promoting free software and patent reform (in specific, The Software Freedom Law Center and the Peer to Patent initiative), and to the legal defense of free software innovators. We will continue to fund the aggressive reexamination of spurious patents used against the community (which we've been doing behind the scenes on behalf of several open source innovators).

You Become what You Disrupt

By Jesse Robbins
October 2, 2007

An idea we've been exploring in advance of the Web2.0 Summit is "You become what you disrupt": What changes occur when you win a platform play, when you go from disruptive technology to a public utility? Where are the opportunities...

Disaster Telecom after the earthquake in Peru

By Jesse Robbins
August 18, 2007

The BBC is reporting that over 500 people were killed and thousands of people left injured and homeless after the earthquakes in Peru earlier this week. The 24 hour Skype outage started shortly after the earthquake and contributed to the...

DNS root servers and DNSSEC examined

By Andy Oram
May 19, 2007

A 17-page paper on DNSSEC and the DNS root servers, released Thursday by the Internet Governance Project, is well worth a read. Its main subject is a proposal for distributing the responsibility for signing the keys for the root servers, but it touches on many other interesting considerations.


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