October 10, 2011

interesting nerd topics - Q3CY2011

in no particular order.

bufferbloat

you know how stuff zooms up to incredibly high xfer rates and then just stalls. this is an interesting journey down a series of passages all twisty and not necessarily all alike. this stuff is not for the faint of heart, but there’s definitely some interesting work going on there. jim gettys’ has been poking at things pretty nicely here and while the knobs available for turning are a little arcane, following these lists will get you to poke at your OS’ networking stack in new and novel way to see what happens.

of perhaps even more interest here is the BISmark project over at GA tech where there’s some interesting instrumentation work afoot. i’ll handily step aside from the various political and service provider motivations around measurement, deriding measurement, etc.. (these machinations hit acutely close to home for me.) but i will point out that measuring the performance and the characteristics associated with a beast as unwieldy as the internets is incredibly fascinating … as an engineering problem.

LISP

i’ve been poking at LISP in some form or another for the past couple of years. as it’s matured and is starting to see more enterprise applications and deployment i’ve been finding all sorts of novel uses for this. if my october weren’t so packed, already i would have my ass glued to my seat for the upcoming NANOG session discussing the various map-n-encap flava’s that are floating about. i can’t quite put my finger on the appeal here. still, it’s fun.

fwiw - the lispmob folks just shipped a reasonably usable implementation of the mobility functions that LISP provides. worth reading the docs and reviewing the use cases if nothing else.

DIY book scanner

when we were at the maker faire in NYC i checked out this guys stand. he had a remarkably slick book scanner assembled and was demonstrating it. the design is slick and the speed with which you can do the scanning is pretty impressive. they’re talking about being able to scan 1000 pages / hour. every library should have one of these. there doesn’t appear to be one of these at the twin cities hacker space either.

do-it-yourself ikea

more stuff from the maker faire. these folks have a few designs that you can download and tweak. subsequently, you get someone to laser cut it and you assemble it into your custom, one of a kind furniture. bespoke household items and one-off manufacturing was a persistent theme at the maker faire, and these folks seemed to have some of the most polished stuff in the mix.

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