Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Apache Authors: Elizabeth White, AppDynamics Blog, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

Blog Feed Post

2013 Has Been A Terrible Year for the Internet

2013 is over. 2014 begins.

In 2013, we published 84 blogs. This is the 85th. The last of 2013.

With the last blog of 2013, instead of chatting about the Cloud, instead of talking about web hosting and instead of talking about how to resolve Linux OS issues, we are going to tackle a much larger topic – one we touched on yesterday in “The Internet is Broken. The Cloud Is Next.” For the last Solar VPS blog of 2014 we are going to talk about the continuing broken state of the Internet, the problem with Verizon, AT&T and Comcast, and why, once and for all, American ISP’s need to match or better the offered Internet speeds of Google Fiber.

Yes, this will be a rant blog. Yes, this will be a blog lamenting the state of the Internet. Yes, this will be a blog lambasting ISP’s and their horrible practices. Yes, it’s 2014 and we are mad as hell.

The Internet Is Broken

We normally don’t link to other sources but if you missed it, do yourself a favor and read the Esquire blog titled, “The Year We Broke the Internet.” Trust us, it’s a critical read to understand where our Internet culture currently stands. If you choose not to read it, no surprise, the Internet is broken. The reason? Us. Yes, us.

The Internet is broken due to the public. All of us. Me. You. My bosses. Your bosses. Your parents and my brother. The Internet is broken due to all of us. 100 years ago, hell, even 30 years ago, before the advent of 24/7/365 cable news and the always alive traffic chamber known as the Internet, media meant three things – the 6 PM nightly news, The Washington Post (newspapers) and radio. That was it. Walter Cronkite, Woodward and Bernstein and Edward R. Murrow. Then came 24/7/365 news broadcasting. Then came the Internet. By now, we all know new media has fully changed how the public receives media. Sure, the 6 PM nightly news is still a stable of broadcast stations however by the time Brian Williams and Scott Pelley inform you about the top news story of the day, that story has already been read and reacted to a few million times on the Interwebs.

The Cloud is Next

Now, the question: Does the 6 PM nightly news serve a purpose in our 24/7/365 media world? While some would argue it does not, we are arguing it does. The reason is simple: us. As noted by Luke O’Neil in Esquire:


“These all had one thing in common: They seemed too tidily packaged, too neat, “too good to check,” as they used to say, to actually be true. Any number of reporters or editors at any of the hundreds of sites that posted these Platonic ideals of shareability could’ve told you that they smelled, but in the ongoing decimation of the publishing industry, fact-checking has been outsourced to the readers. Not surprisingly—as we saw with the erroneous Reddit-spawned witch-hunt around the Boston Marathon bombing—readers are terrible at fact-checking. And this, as it happens, is good for business because it means more shares, more clicks.”

The problem is us. In a world dominated by who is first, in a media landscape dominated by speed over fact, the public has been given the task of fact-checker. When traffic becomes more important than truth, our society is at risk of shedding its founding ideals. An informed public. To argue we have an informed American public is to argue for insanity. Traffic has replaced real information. Clicks have supplanted fact. Views and shareability reign over long form journalism and substance. The Internet is broken not in spite of sites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy and the Huffington Post. No, the Internet is broken due to those sites. When a catchy headline and spurious content becomes more important than fact based information, our “need to be informed society” fails.

We know, those photos of cats on Reddit.com/r/aww are so damn cute. We know they are. Now tell us please, what the hell is going on with net neutrality?

The Problem with Verizon, AT&T, Comcast…

Toll Booths and Pay For Access

Unless you have been living on Mars with your head firmly planted in Martian soil, you have heard something about Net Neutrality. If you don’t know what Net Neutrality is, the simple way to explain it is by picturing a highway. Certain highways have no toll boots. These highways tend to be paid for by increased tax dollars allowing for infrastructure maintenance and upgrades. Other highways, like the ones we have in New Jersey, make use of toll booths. These tolls booths are separated into two distinctions – EZPass and Cash only. This is how Net Neutrality works. One set of drivers (companies) get quicker and better access to the highway (Internet), while another set of drivers receive slower degrading access to highways.

Now, as you might imagine, applying access or toll booth access roadblocks to the Internet would give ISP’s like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast the ability to pick and choose companies and consumers who they think should have preferred Internet access. Finally, understand for the past few years, ISP’s like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T have all been lobbying to due away with Net Neutrality.

Fast forward to now. There is a case currently working it’s way through the Washington D.C U.S. Court of Appeals (the second highest court in the United States) which will determine the fate of Net Neutrality within the United States. Although the case hasn’t been determined yet, many sources, including Wired Magazine is bracing for the worst:


“But, in their questions and statements during oral argument, the judges have made clear how they planned to rule — for the phone and cable companies, not for those who use the Internet. While the FCC has the power to impose the toothless “no-blocking” rule (originally proposed by AT&T above), it does not (the court will say) have the power to impose the essential “nondiscrimination” rule.”
“It looks like we’ll end up where AT&T initially began: a false compromise.”
“The implications of such a decision would be profound. Web and mobile companies will live or die not on the merits of their technology and design, but on the deals they can strike with AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and others. This means large phone and cable companies will be able to “shakedown” startups and established companies in every sector, requiring payment for reliable service.”
“In fact, during the oral argument in the current case, Verizon’s lawyer said, “I’m authorized to state from my client today that but for these [FCC] rules we would be exploring those types of arrangements.”

Now, let’s put the Internet is broken together with an end to Net Neutrality. Not only does this spell out an Internet world in which only certain companies can flurish, it also spells out an Internet world of regulated clicks and information. Just like NBC telling Brian Williams what his 6:30 PM nightly news show can or can not broadcast, ending Net Neutrality would mean only chosen content, from chosen providers, would be clickable. Essentially, the traffic of information would be directed as opposed to free flow.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize this is not good for a society founded on the basis of an informed public.

Finally, let’s add terrible Internet speeds to the equation.

Google Fiber, 1 Gig BroadBand and ISP’s

Google Fiber is supply market competition to the broadband world

The simple truth of the Internet in the United States is connection speeds are terrible – on purpose. Google Fiber 1 Gig Broadband has been trying to fix this. Through a concerted effort, ISP’s like Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and AT&T have been actively fighting against Google Fiber. From within the U.S. court system to Capitol Hill lobbyists, major ISP’s have been fighting to keep Google Fiber from gaining hold for two reasons:


  1. Google Fiber offers faster Internet services along with more comprehensive cable/phone packages

  2. Google Fiber offers their services at a lower cost than other major ISP’s

Like any good corporate citizen, companies like Verizon have been fighting Google Fiber to ensure they maintain their hold on the market. Major ISP’s are fighting against faster and more affordable Internet access. Major ISP’s are fighting to limit customer services not on the grounds that those services wouldn’t be good for consumers/businesses. No. Major ISP’s are fighting against Google Fiber and 1 Gig broadband on the basis of they have no interest in spending the money to update their slower services and crumbling infrastructures.

Instead of doing the right thing – providing consumers with the highest level of service possible, ISP’s are fighting to maintain the status quo.

Some Perspective for 2013

So, let’s put this all together. The Internet is broken. Net Neutrality might go down in flames and ISP’s are providing the market with degrading solutions by design. What an excellent year in review.

The one good thing? The Cloud is growing.

Happy 2014 everyone!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Solar VPS

Solar VPS lives the Parallels "Optimized Computing" vision. It has created a virtual infrastructure from client offerings, data facilities and management offices. Solar VPS works very closely with Parallels to provide the highest possible service and support to customers.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Collecting data in the field and configuring multitudes of unique devices is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that can stretch IT resources. Horan & Bird [H&B], Australia’s fifth-largest Solar Panel Installer, wanted to automate sensor data collection and monitoring from its solar panels and integrate the data with its business and marketing systems. After data was collected and structured, two major areas needed to be addressed: improving developer workflows and extending access to a business application to multiple users (multi-tenancy). Docker, a container technology, was used to ...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...