from Web Class @ NCSU http://ift.tt/1dw02cP
Network operators Level 3 and Cogent Communications today urged the Federal Communications Commission to prevent Internet service providers from charging what they deem to be excessive fees for interconnection.
The Federal Communications Commission's first attempt to create net neutrality rules, which were struck down in court after a challenge by Verizon, prevented discrimination, blocking, and pay-for-play charges on the so-called last mile of broadband networks. This required ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to treat Web services equally once traffic entered their networks and started making its way to residential and business customers.But the FCC implemented no rules for the interconnections between consumer ISPs and Internet transit providers like Level 3 and Cogent. Notably, Netflix pays Level 3 and Cogent to distribute its traffic across the Internet, and ISPs are demanding payment from all three of these companies in exchange for accepting traffic. Level 3 and Netflix both pay Comcast while Cogent has held out. Verizon and AT&T are also both seeking payment from Netflix.
While ISPs say the traffic loads are too heavy, Level 3, Cogent, and Netflix argue that ISPs are abusing their market power, since customers often have little to no choice of Internet provider. That means there's only one path for Netflix traffic to reach consumers, at least over the last mile.
Recent public battles over how network interconnections affect the quality of streaming video have almost all involved one company: Cogent Communications.Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer has claimed that his company is simply the only one willing to put up a public fight. But even though Cogent makes the most noise, it's not the only Internet bandwidth provider battling consumer Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T. Level 3, another company that has fought consumer ISPs in previous years, has mostly remained quiet lately. But today, Level 3 decided to voice its displeasure in a blog post by General Counsel for Regulatory Policy Michael Mooney.
Like Cogent, Level 3 is one of the Internet bandwidth providers that Netflix and other companies pay to distribute their traffic across the Internet. Both have objected to demands that they pay for the right to peer, or exchange traffic with, last mile ISPs that serve home broadband users.
Level 3 itself caved in and agreed to pay Comcast after a dispute over Netflix traffic in 2010, and it appears to be troubled that Netflix just recently agreed to pay Comcast as well. Mooney today wrote:
Mozilla and Unity today announced that Unity 5, to be released later this year, will include an early access preview of a version of the 3D engine that supports WebGL and asm.js, enabling plug-in-free access to the Web.
The Unity game engine has found huge success among game developers as it can target Windows, iOS, Android, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and more. Unity games can also be deployed on the Web, but this function currently uses a browser plug-in, the Unity Web Player. The early access will remove the need for the plug-in. Initially, it will only support desktop Firefox and desktop Chrome, due to their performance and (in Firefox's case) explicit support for the high performance asm.js subset.
While the WebGL/asm.js version of the Unity engine is not as fast as the plug-in version, the companies say that it's still good enough to hit 60 frames per second in a range of games. Unity is looking for feedback from developers during this early access preview to refine and improve the engine prior to producing a final version. The generated code takes advantage of some of the new browser APIs that Mozilla is pushing, such as support for gamepads.
On this date in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal outlining what would ultimately become the World Wide Web. He took time to reflect on his monumental invention during a Reddit AMA today. "25 years later, I'm amazed to see the many great things it's achieved - transforming the way we talk, share and create," wrote Berners-Lee. Another thing he's amazed to see? "Kittens." That was the answer he provided when asked to name one thing he never envisioned the web being used for. Berners-Lee also said — as he has previously — that he almost called the World Wide Web by another name: the Mine of Information. "None had quite the right ring," Berners-Lee said of the rejected names, which also included The Information Mine and The...
In a historic decision on Friday, the United States has decided to give up control of the authoritative root zone file, which contains all names and addresses of all top-level domain names.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), under the United States Department of Commerce, has retained ultimate control of the domain name system (DNS) since transitioning it from a government project into private hands in 1997. With Commerce’s blessing, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) acts as the primary essential governing body for Internet policy.
The new change is in advance of the upcoming ICANN meeting to be held in Brazil in April 2014. Brazil and other nations have fumed at revelations of American spying on its political leaders and corporations, which were first revealed in September 2013 as the result of documents distributed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The South American country also threatened to build its “own cloud,” as a consequence of the NSA’s spying.
In February we saw the usual small movements in the browser market. More significantly, however, we didn't see any significant movements in the operating system market. For the second month in a row, Windows 8.x's share is basically unaltered... and so is Windows XP's.
The desktop browser space today seems steadier than it has been for a long time. Internet Explorer's share was virtually unchanged, down 0.02 points. Firefox also fell, down 0.40 points, and Safari dropped 0.13 points. Chrome grew, up 0.56 points. Chrome and Firefox haven't been this close since last July; perhaps 2014 will be the year when Chrome pushes Firefox into third place.
Absent some big reason to shake things up, this is unlikely to change any time soon. The impending loss of support of Internet Explorer on Windows XP should hopefully push users of that operating system to, if not switch operating systems entirely, at least switch to Firefox or Chrome; Mozilla and Google will both support their browsers on Windows XP for at least a year after Microsoft drops support. But in practice, anyone conscientious enough to switch browsers because of the lack of support would switch operating systems too.
A nationwide test of the four major US carriers' cellular networks puts Verizon Wireless and AT&T in a near-tie in most categories, with Sprint and T-Mobile lagging well behind their bigger rivals.
Verizon was the winner in four out of five categories, including reliability, data, calls, and texts. AT&T won the speed test by a hair and finished slightly behind Verizon in the overall score.
Test results for the second half of 2013 were revealed today by RootMetrics, which calls itself an independent mobile analytics firm. The tests don't appear to be funded directly by any of the carriers, but RootMetrics' business sells "subscription data products to strategic wireless carriers, infrastructure companies, and device manufacturers."