What's on IPTV's neighbourhood?

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Measuring Net Neutrality

Google, partners release net neutrality tools

Google and partners unveil a set of Internet performance measurement tools.

Google and a group of partners have released a set of tools designed to help broadband customers and researchers measure performance of Internet connections.

The set of tools, at MeasurementLab.net, includes a network diagnostic tool, a network path diagnostic tool and a tool to measure whether the user's broadband provider is slowing BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P-to-P) traffic. Coming soon to the M-Lab applications is a tool to determine whether a broadband provider is giving some traffic a lower priority than other traffic, and a tool to determine whether a provider is degrading certain users or applications.

"Transparency is our goal," said Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist at Google and a co-developer of TCP/IP. "Our intent is to make more [information] visible for all who are interested in the way the network is functioning at all layers."

In Good Gear Guide

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Linear Programming

For those that are working on optimisation of some sort, Linear Programming (LP) is a mathematical method generally used to get optimal solutions for one problem.  We have an objective function that we want to maximise or minimise (maximising profits, minimising congestion), we have a series of constraints (a certain amount of budget, a certain capacity in a line), and LP gives the optimal result(s), if there is one (how much to produce to maximise profit? where to route traffic to minimise congestion?).

In my work on Traffic Engineering I bang myself quite often with LP. Since this is something new to me it is sometimes hard to grasp papers that use this technique. And I've realised that most of my colleague researchers tend not to like very much of papers that have lots of mathematical formulae... :) but sometimes they are indeed fundamental. Now I've found an excellent tutorial that explains in an amazingly intelligible and simple manner this mathematical method. Check it here:

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Communications of the ACM

Besides other interesting stuff, there is a nice discussion on network neutrality this month in Communications of the ACM (between Barbara van Schewick and David Farber). Also a nice article by Akamai’s Tom Leighton on improving the performance of the Internet (is the bottleneck moving from the last mile to the middle mile?). For those interested, check it here:


Friday, 23 January 2009

Bluesci, issue 14

The new issue of Bluesci is now available online (pdf version). 

For those who don’t know, Bluesci is Cambridge's science magazine, produced by students of the University. I have a short article on electronic paper that you can find also in the website, here.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Charles Darwin on BBC

For those, as me, admirers of the work of the great scientist Charles Darwin, BBC is airing a season of TV and radio programmes of great interest, 200 years after his birth and 150 after “The Origin of Species”. Check everything in here:


I also think it is worth going to the National History Museum one of these days:


Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Flowers in Science

My friend Mathias is one of the two first authors of a paper in this week's Science magazine. Congratulations, Mathias!

Bright Shiny Flowers

The study of flower color has primarily focused on chemical pigmentation. Whitney et al. (p. 130) explore how the structural features on the petal surface of a tulip flower generate color independently of chemical pigmentation via iridescence. Floral iridescence may result in an ultraviolet signal that is visible to insects. Bumblebees can learn to use information from iridescence to select among potential food sources. Thus, iridescence may contribute to plant-pollinator interactions.


Abstract: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/323/5910/130

Full Text: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/323/5910/130

About me

e-mail: fvramos at gmail dot com