Category Archives: Networks

Bandwidth hogs push networks for greater capacity solutions

The rapid growth of online videos, music and games has created a new Internet sin: using it too much. Comcast has punished some transgressors by cutting off their Internet service, arguing that excessive downloaders hog Internet capacity and slow down the network for other customers….As Internet service providers try to keep up with the demand for increasingly sophisticated online entertainment such as high-definition movies, streaming TV shows and interactive games, such caps could become more common, some analysts said.

from the Washington Post aricle Shutting Down Big Downloaders

Peer-to-peer is under the gun again. Faced with a surge in network usage, internet service providers are grumbling about rising traffic levels. The increase is driven so far mostly by internet video from YouTube and similar services, which don’t actually employ P2P technologies. But ISPs say the looming growth of true peer-to-peer applications threatens to overwhelm them. Some ISPs have even started sniffing out P2P traffic on their networks and curbing it, either slowing file sharing to a trickle or bringing it to a halt.

Responding to this adversarial relationship, some P2P companies are adopting a posture of engagement with ISPs, and have formed a new industry working group to help broker relationships that, they say, will enable ISPs to better manage and distribute traffic loads on their networks….P4P’s plan: Get ISPs and P2P-technology providers working together, to ensure that P2P traffic continues to flow and that users of P2P technologies don’t overload ISPs’ networks with too much sharing.

from the WIRED article P2P-2-ISP Peace Pipe Could Ease Bandwidth Crunch

Researchers have found a way to enforce good manners on file-sharing networks by treating bandwidth as a currency. The team has created a peer-to-peer system called Tribler in which selfless sharers earn faster upload and download speeds but leechers are penalised.

from the BBC article File-sharers forced to play fair

P2P traffic is dominating the Internet these days, according to a new survey from ipoque, a German traffic management and analysis firm. ipoque’s “preliminary results” show that P2P applications account from anywhere between 50 percent and 90 percent of all Internet traffic.

from Ars Technica


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Filed under Networks, P2P (Peer to Peer), User generated content

MyFat: Recent study links obesity to social networks

Network phenomena appear to be relevant to the biologic and behavioral trait of obesity, and obesity appears to spread through social ties. These findings have implications for clinical and public health interventions.

Abstract from the The New England Journal of Medicine’s The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years

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Filed under Connection/Isolation, Networks, Social Media, Technology, our Mirror

Digital Divide evolving from a question of access, to one of social skills

Henry Jenkins, director of the media studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said here Tuesday that the divisions are extending further to a so-called participation gap, which exists between teens who have 24/7 access to digital technologies and kids who can only get online from school or the library. “We’re moving from a (digital divide that’s about) access to technology to one that’s about access to social skills and cultural knowledge that emerges from access to digital technologies,” Jenkins said in an interview at Mashup 2007, a two-day confab on teens and technology.

Read this item from C|Net. Previously from WNM: Choice of social media reflects class divide…II

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Filed under Connection/Isolation, Digital Divide, Networks, Social Media, Technology, our Mirror, Virtual Communities

When (and why) did eMail jump the shark? And can it jump back?

When e-mail was first developed, the network was a friendly place. Most users were researchers, and they had a vested interest in making the network work well. For the most part, they knew each other; in fact, there was a directory of every network user, including their names, physical and e-mail addresses, and phone numbers–printed on paper and weighing less than 2 pounds….In all, financial losses attributed to phishing in 2006 amounted to around $2.8 billion. Because of this, most individuals and companies have little trust in their e-mail systems, and the challenge facing e-mail administrators has evolved from filtering out the bad messages to filtering in the good….Work has been progressing for several years on an e-mail authentication technology known as DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), developed collaboratively by several companies, including Cisco Systems, Yahoo, Sendmail and PGP.

Read this item from C|Net

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Filed under History of New Media, Media Evolution, Networks

Assignment Zero: A grand crowdWriting experiment

But I contribute to crowdsourced journalism because I want my work to yield a high “social good” return, and by that metric, overall, the experience has been frustrating. With some of these projects I ended up with nothing to show for the time I put in — either from being unable to get or enter the data, or from not following through where I probably would have, had there been support. (Support is crucial: if not for my editor’s encouragement at a bleak moment, you wouldn’t be reading this now.) And in the projects where I did contribute, my work had no visible effect — because of no follow-up or no publicity, or because what I provided just wasn’t very significant. All in all, I likely could have spent the time more productively at home on my own weblog.

Excerpt from WIRED’s Open-Source Journalism: It’s a Lot Tougher Than You Think

Wiki writers stand in stark contrast to the traditional image of the solitary, tortured artist. In crowdsourced fiction and nonfiction writing, the social narrative can trump a literary one. Still, from the complete expressive freedom of “A Million Penguins” to the careful scripting of “These Wicked Games”, each crowd created concrete works, though vastly different in length, content, salability, and final format. “What I have learned is that it would be possible to crowdsource a novel, but I think it would have to be done in a more controlled way than we did,” said Jeremy Ettinghausen, Digital Publisher for the U.K.’s Penguin Books. “What we decided with ‘A Million Penguins’ is that it was ‘all or nothing’ and that the experiment was about: there are no rules, there are no breaks, there’s no quota of people. We had a goal in mind that it was an experiment, and we were all in it together.”

Excerpt from WIRED’s Creative Crowdwriting: The Open Book

More from the Assignment Zero website and an introductory note from Jay Rosen, Executive Editor with Assignment Zero.

Previously from WNM: When we all write, does the reader lose? and Not ‘everyone’ can write a great novel

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Filed under A democratic medium?, Blogosphere, Electronic Storytelling, Networks, Open Source, Technology, our Mirror, web 2.0, Wiki

The iPhone: Revolutionary, or Revolutionary Marketing?

iPhone is more than just a breakthrough mobile phone device. It is a strategy that may expand Apple’s sphere of influence, from web browsing to social networking and even possibly search. If iPhone users embrace the multi-touch interface for browsing the web, then WAP will become obsolete. If Safari on iPhone and Windows manages to win peoples hearts, then Apple might gain a position in the browser market – perhaps as strong as Firefox. Incidentally, for now this plays in Google’s favor, as Google is friendly with both Firefox and Apple. And if Apple starts building a social network around the iPhone, then MySpace and Facebook will have to start paying attention.

Read Why iPhone May Really Matter from the Read/Write Web

Most obviously, the iPhone is locked, as is de rigueur in the wireless world. It will work only with one carrier, AT&T. Judged by the standards of a personal computer or electronics, that’s odd: Imagine buying a Dell that worked only with Comcast Internet access or a VCR that worked only with NBC. Despite the fact that the iPhone costs $500 or so, it cannot yet be brought over to T-Mobile or Verizon or Sprint. AT&T sees this as a feature, not a bug, as every new iPhone customer must commit to a two-year, $1,400 to $2,400 contract.

If Apple wanted to be “revolutionary,” it would sell an unlocked version of the iPhone that, like a computer, you could bring to the carrier of your choice. An even more radical device would be the “X Phone”—a phone on permanent roam that chose whatever network was providing the best service. Imagine, for example, using your iPhone to talk on Sprint because it had the best voice coverage in Alaska, while at the same time using Verizon’s 3G network for Internet access. Of course, getting that phone to market would be difficult, and Apple hasn’t tried.

Read iPhony from Slate

On topic: Why the iPhone wound up invented here, from C|Net

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Filed under Business 2.0, Media Evolution, Networks, Social Media, Tools, Usability, web 2.0

MySpace: A user controlled bandwidth hog

Increasingly popular social-networking sites such as MySpace, YouTube and Facebook are accounting for such huge volumes of DNS queries and bandwidth consumption that carriers, universities and corporations are scrambling to keep pace. The trend is prompting some network operators to upgrade their DNS systems, while others are blocking the sites altogether. Moreover, the “MySpace Effect” is expected to hit many more nets soon, as these network-intensive interactive features migrate from specialty sites to mainstream e-commerce operations and intranets.

From PC World’s How MySpace Is Hurting Your Network

MySpace started life as a site for people interested in posting and exchanging personal information. But as it has grown, new services have been bolted on and, like Google, the company now offers online video and instant messaging. Google also has a news aggregation service which pulls in content from thousands of different sources. The MySpace service is different because after the content has been aggregated users will be encouraged to rate and rank news articles. Content will be published on several new channels, including sport, entertainment, health and parenting.

From the Financial Times’ MySpace cedes editorial control to users. Similar article from the LA Times (free registration req’d).

Find all MySpace entries from What’s New Media?

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Filed under A Culture of Participation, A democratic medium?, Aggregate, Net Neutrality, Networks, Social Media, Technology, our Mirror, User generated content, Virtual Communities, web 2.0