Saturday, March 14, 2015

Netiquette IQ Blog Of The Day - Broadcom’s 5G WiFi


 

Broadcom’s 5G WiFi: 5 Ways it Improves Your Internet Experience

By: Blake Snow

Posted: Jan. 08, 2015 blog.broadcom.com

LAS VEGAS — Before I was hired to be part of Broadcom’s Blog Squad at the International Consumer Electronics Show this week, I hadn’t really given much thought to how much or how often an embedded semiconductor company touches our lives.
Home automation technology on display at the Broadcom booth at CES 2015.
I quickly discovered that Broadcom’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips and other connection wizardry reside in the mechanical closets of most of our gadgets. That includes phones, computers, set top boxes, game consoles, dongles — really any electronic device that wants to send and receive information—as well as the back-end networking equipment that transmits data to and from data centers.

I covered many topics for Broadcom this week, from smart homes todaythe future of wearables, and a show overview. But it was Broadcom’s newmulti-user Wi-Fi technology that interested me the most. And while that may sound fabulously boring, if not disingenuous, I really mean it.

Here’s why: Bandwidth is all I really crave now.

I don’t care about the specs in my iPhone, Chromebook, Roku, or any other gadget I own. I just want their apps to work. For that to happen, I need a robust connection at home and work that’s smart enough to handle the growing number of concurrent users and devices all working together to clog the intertubes.
Are You Wi-Fi Ready? Smart Devices Need Robust 5G WiFi to Maximize Their Potential

Earlier this week, Broadcom unveiled a suite of 5G WiFi-enabled router products designed to bring 802.11ac performance to the modern home Wi-Fi router or workhorse enterprise access points so that speedier, bandwidth-busting hubs can better serve every connected device.
Here are five reasons everyone should care about smarter, faster, wider-ranging and multi-user Wi-Fi:

It overcomes grainy video streams. I’m fortunate to have Google Fiber in my home. But the included 802.11n router is ill-suited for the task when several video streams or devices jump on the network. This is because old routers weren’t meant to handle the amount of devices we connect to them now. That, and they’re incapable of throttling older or distant devices that are hogging bandwidth, power, and signals as the access point attempts to maintain a connection with them. This is particularly troubling for video streams, one Broadcom engineer told me, which explains the lag I experience when my kids log on to Netflix while my wife and I use other Internet applications.

It supports multiple users. Because not all Web traffic is equal, the Internet can sometimes slow down, depending on the applications others are using on the network at the same time. “Wi-Fi is a lot like highway lanes,” Broadcom’s Ananda Roy, a wireless applications software engineer, told me this week. “5G WiFi widens those lanes and adds more of them so your newer devices don’t get stuck behind slow devices or in rush hour traffic.” I was unable to test the experience at home, but there’s no reason to believe the technology isn’t a significant improvement over my 802.11n router.

It plays nice with existing devices. Not only are 5G WiFi routers backward-compatible with older wireless devices, chances are, anything you’ve bought in the last three years already supports the standard. That means next-gen Wi-Fi is available today for less than it cost when it was released several years ago. Buying a new wireless router is anything but a status purchase, “but it improves the quality of experience of all the devices we love,” Roy said.

 It has better range and wall throughput. That’s a fancy way of saying 5G WiFi offers better coverage and signal strength to the devices you connect, whether they’re in the corner room upstairs, the basement downstairs, or passing through concrete walls at the office. In short, 5G WiFi lets you do more with the internet you already have because it manages multiple devices better, while future-proofing your home or office network.

 It downloads and transfers data 5x faster. Even though I get gigabit internet at home when wired in, I only get 200 mbps on wireless. First world problems, I know. But I’m paying for a Gig. Shouldn’t my router support it and all the glorious transfer speeds, downloads, and uploads that come with it? With 802.11ac Wave 2 routers, the answer is yes. And according to Broadcom’s Manny Patel, 5GWiFi performance is up to 40 percent faster than older variations of Wi-Fi. 
Reporting from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I’m Blake Snow. Thanks for reading. May all your connections be speedy this year.
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**Important note** - contact our company for very powerful solutions for IP management (IPv4 and IPv6, security, firewall and APT solutions:

www.tabularosa.net

In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” will be published soon follow by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki

 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  Additionally, I provide content for an online newsletter via paper.li. I have also established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and Yahoo.  I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. Further, I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and have been a contributor to numerous blogs and publications. 

Lastly, I am the founder and president of Tabula Rosa Systems, a company that provides “best of breed” products for network, security and system management and services. Tabula Rosa has a new blog and Twitter site which offers great IT product information for virtually anyone.
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Netiquette IQ Technical Term Of The Day - Identity Access Management



An identity access management (IAM) system is a framework for business processes that facilitates the management of electronic identities. The framework includes the technology needed to support identity management.
IAM technology can be used to initiate, capture, record and manage user identities and their related access permissions in an automated fashion. This ensures that access privileges are granted according to one interpretation of policy and all individuals and services are properly authenticated, authorized and audited.
Poorly controlled IAM processes may lead to regulatory non-compliance because if the organization is audited, management will not be able to prove that company data is not at risk for being misused.
Why you need IAM
It can be difficult to get funding for IAM projects because they don’t directly increase either profitability or functionality. However, a lack of effective identity and access management poses significant risks not only to compliance but also an organization’s overall security. These mismanagement issues increase the risk of greater damages from both external and inside threats.
Keeping the required flow of business data going while simultaneously managing its access has always required administrative attention. The business IT environment is ever evolving and the difficulties have only become greater with recent disruptive trends like bring-your-own-device (BYOD), cloud computing, mobile apps and an increasingly mobile workforce. There are more devices and services to be managed than ever before, with diverse requirements for associated access privileges.
With so much more to keep track of as employees migrate through different roles in an organization, it becomes more difficult to manage identity and access. A common problem is that privileges are granted as needed when employee duties change but the access level escalation is not revoked when it is no longer required.
This situation and request like having access like another employee rather than specific access needs leads to an accumulation of privileges known as privilege creep. Privilege creep creates security risk in two different ways. An employee with privileges beyond what is warranted may access applications and data in an unauthorized and potentially unsafe manner. Furthermore, if an intruder gains access to the account of a user with excessive privileges, he may automatically be able to do more harm.  Data loss or theft can result from either scenario.
Typically, this accumulation of privilege is of little real use to the employee or the organization.  At best, it might be a convenience in situations when the employee is asked to do unexpected tasks. On the other hand, it might make things much easier for an attacker who manages to compromise an over-privileged employee identity. Poor identity access management also often leads to individuals retaining privileges after they are no longer employees. 
What should an IAM system include?
IAM solutions should automate the initiation, capturing, recording and management of user identities and their related access permissions. The products should include a centralized directory service that scales as a company grows. This central directory prevents credentials from ending up recorded haphazardly in files and sticky notes as employees try to deal with the burden of multiple passwords for different systems.
IAM systems should facilitate the process of user provisioning and account setup. The product should decrease the time required with a controlled workflow that reduces errors and the potential for abuse, while enabling automated account fulfillment. An identity and access management system should also provide administrators with the ability to instantly view and change access rights.
An access right / privilege system within the central directory should automatically match employee job title, location and business unit ID to manage access requests automatically. These bits of information help classify access requests relevant to employees’ existing positions. Depending on the employee, some rights might be inherent in their position and automatically provisioned, while others may be allowed upon request. In some cases, reviews may be required. Other requests may be denied except in the case of exemption or may be outright prohibited. All variations should be handled automatically and appropriately by the IAM system.
An IAMS should set workflows for managing access requests, with the option of multiple stages of reviews with approval requirements for each request. This mechanism can facilitate setting different risk level-appropriate review processes for higher-level access as well as reviews of existing rights to prevent privilege creep.
================================= 
**Important note** - contact our sister company, www.tabularosa.net, for very powerful solutions for IP management (IPv4 and IPv6), security, firewall and network/systems management solutions:

www.tabularosa.net

In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” will be published soon follow by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki

 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  Additionally, I provide content for an online newsletter via paper.li. I have also established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and Yahoo.  I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. Further, I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and have been a contributor to numerous blogs and publications.
Lastly, I am the founder and president of Tabula Rosa Systems, a company that provides “best of breed” products for network, security and system management and services. Tabula Rosa has a new blog and Twitter site which offers great IT product information for virtually anyone.
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video

Netiquette IQ Quotation Of The Day Ethics And Technology

 
“The technologies that raise the fewest ethical problems are those that work on a human scale, brightening the lives of individual people.”
Freeman Dyson
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**Important note** - contact sister company, www.tabularosa.net, for very powerful solutions for Network, Systems, IP management (IPv4 and IPv6), security, firewall and many IT solutions and services:

www.tabularosa.net
In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” will be published soon follow by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki

 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  Additionally, I provide content for an online newsletter via paper.li. I have also established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and Yahoo.  I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. Further, I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and have been a contributor to numerous blogs and publications.
Lastly, I am the founder and president of Tabula Rosa Systems, a company that provides “best of breed” products for network, security and system management and services. Tabula Rosa has a new blog and Twitter site which offers great IT product information for virtually anyone.
==============================================

Friday, March 13, 2015

Netiquette IQ Blog Of The Day - Why America's Internet Is So Bad and Slow



Why America's Internet Is So Bad and Slow

Adam Clark Estes gizmmodo.com 3-11-15

You may have heard that the internet is winning: net neutrality was saved, broadband was redefined to encourage higher speeds, and the dreaded Comcast-Time Warner Cable megamerger potentially thwarted. But the harsh reality is that America's internet is still fundamentally broken, and there's no easy fix.

FCC Passes Strongest Net Neutrality Rules In America's History FCC Passes Strongest Net Neutrality Rules In America's History

The open internet finally got the protection it deserves from profit-hungry cable companies.
An Economy Built on Wires

When I say "fundamentally broken" I don't just mean that it's slow and shitty, though there is that. It's also broken as a paid service.

The internet is a tangible thing, a network of infrastructure pulsing with light, winding its way into and beneath buildings. It's also a marketplace. There is the physical location where the fiber-optic cables full of data cross, and then there are the financial deals that direct the traffic down each specific set of wires. This combination of physical wires and ephemeral business transactions will shape the future of the digital world.

In order to comprehend just how broken internet service is, you first have to understand how the physical infrastructure of the internet works. Former Gizmodo contributor Andrew Blum described the underlying infrastructure wonderfully his book about the physical heart of the internet, Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet:

In the basest terms, the internet is made of pulses of light. Those pulses might seem miraculous, but they're not magic. They are produced by powerful lasers contained in steel boxes housed (predominantly) in unmarked buildings. The lasers exist. The boxes exist. The internet exists…
There's also wireless data of course, but even those signals need physical towers to send and receive them.

Those pulses of lights—which are packets of data—travel through the internet's wires, taking wrong turns, finding faster routes, and eventually reaching their destinations. But each of those routes is owned and maintained by somebody. If you think of the wires as roads, the setup is something like city streets, state highways, and interstates. In internet terms, those different kinds of roads are called tiers, and there are many network tiers stacked up across the US's continent-spanning network.

Tier 1 is the most powerful as it more or less makes up the backbone of the internet. These are the networks that span the entire globe, sending data under the ocean to far-flung places, the ones that never need to connect to another network to deliver a packet of content. There are only a handful of such networks, run by global corporations like AT&T and Verizon.
The smaller, tier 2 networks connect with each other and with the internet backbone to make it more efficient for those packets of data to reach their destinations. This is the level where a lot of corporate handshake deals to direct traffic take place. And then there's the so-called "last mile." You've probably heard a lot about this idea, and how traffic gets across it.

The last mile is the part of the data's voyage that takes it from local utility poles or underground tubes, into your house, and through the cable that plugs into your computer. It's literally the last stretch of infrastructure that data must traverse on its long journey from the server where it's hosted, to your web browser or email client or whatever. It's the physical infrastructure that connects individual homes to the rest of the network. This is the part of the internet that the new Federal Communications Commission's rules regulate.

The Decaying Last Mile

In the US, the last mile of internet infrastructure is an enormous problem. There are two reasons for this: technical restraints holding back the bandwidth needed to support modern-day internet traffic, and a lack of competition between the major carriers selling internet service to the end user.

Most of America's telecommunications infrastructure relies on outdated technology, and it runs over the same copper cables invented by Alexander Graham Bell over 100 years ago. This copper infrastructure—made up of "twisted pair" and coaxial cables—was originally designed to carry telephone and video services. The internet wasn't built to handle streaming video or audio

When your streaming video reaches that troubled last mile of copper, those packets will slam on their brakes as they transition from fiber optic cables to copper coaxial cables. Copper can only carry so much bandwidth, far less than what the modern internet demands. Only fiber optic cables, thick twists of ultra-thin glass or plastic filaments that allow data to travel at the speed of light, can handle that bandwidth. They're also both easier to maintain and more secure than copper.

As consumers demand more bandwidth for things like streaming HD movies, carriers must augment their networks—upgrade hardware, lay more fiber, hire more engineers, etc.—to keep traffic moving freely between them. But that costs big money—like, billions of dollars in some cases. Imagine the cost of swapping out the coaxial cables in every American home with fiber optic cables. It's thousands of dollars per mile according to some government records.

And here's the kicker. The last mile infrastructure is controlled by an oligarchy—three big cable companies: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. You know this well. One in three Americans only have one choice for broadband service; most of the others only have two internet providers to choose from.

Without competition, there's no incentive for internet providers to improve improve infrastructure. These massive telecom companies create a bottleneck in the last mile of service by refusing to upgrade critical infrastructure. And they can charge exorbitant prices for the sub-par service while they're at it.

So your internet is bad and slow and expensive.

The Network of Bureaucracy

If you want to load a webpage or watch a movie on Netflix, it's not just the last mile of infrastructure that slows down your internet, however. It's also the tier 2 networks, where the weird web of business connections starts tangling things up.

Like last mile infrastructure, there's only a small handful of companies controlling much of the backbone of the internet. Including, once again, telecom giants AT&T and Verizon. AT&T and Verizon not only control tier 1 network, they're also the big players on tier 2, which gives them a huge amount of bargaining power, and a huge amount of bureaucratic control over your slow and shitty internet.

The other carriers that operate tier 2 networks are companies you probably haven't heard of—Cogent and Zayo are a couple—and they're integral to the internet's success as a global network. These are the networks that manage the crossroads of the internet, making deals that dictate how traffic travels between networks.

A rough sketch of how the internet works. On the left, you have end users—homes and business. On the right, you have the networks making the deals that dictate how internet traffic flows around the globe. Note how content providers (Netflix, YouTube) peer directly with carriers.

Regardless of the physical infrastructure, data can only travel as fast as its predetermined route allows. If tier 2 networks don't strike the right agreements with other networks, that could mean that your data will take a longer route to its destination.

Broadly speaking, a tier 1 network can reach every part of the internet without paying for transit on another network; these are the internet's biggest power brokers. But each of the lesser-known tier 2 middleman carriers must depend on other networks to provide their customers with access to all of the content on the internet.

So picture a map of the internet. If every single network agreed to let other networks use its infrastructure data would flow freely between all points. Unfortunately, not all of the tier 2 networks cooperate.

To keep traffic moving between networks, the carriers have to make interconnect agreements. One type is called a peering agreement, where two carriers exchange traffic freely for mutual benefit. The other is a transit agreement, exchanging traffic for a fee. The economics of these agreements are quite complex—here's a great explainer—but suffice it to say the larger the network, the fewer transit agreements it must pay for.

Tier 2 carriers also forge peering and transit agreements with content providers like Google, Amazon, and Netflix to provide more direct routes to consumers.

This gets complicated because you have a countless number of different networks relying on a limited amount of infrastructure. While fixing the decaying last mile means monopolistic telecom firms shelling out to upgrade copper wires, fiber optic cable is already the industry standard on tier 2 networks—so your internet speeds are affected more by how well these tier 2 carriers are getting along. When these deals go wrong, carriers end up in locked in negotiations that mean you'll wait longer for webpages to load.

The Fiber Future Relies on Competition

In a climate without sufficient competition, American carriers can refuse to improve infrastructure and augment capacity without the fear of losing customers. Where are they going to go? They can either pay a high price for bad service or pay nothing for no service. This has been the status quo in the USA for years, and companies like Verizon have worked hard to keep this status quo by preventing the FCC from doing its job.

That's also why carriers like Verizon are going straight to content providers like Netflix and asking it to pay for more direct routes to customers. Why would Verizon spend its own money on infrastructure, when it can get a content provider to pick up the tab?

This is where the net neutrality debate comes from. The FCC is finally getting aggressive about protecting the open web, and that's great. But net neutrality is not enough. Improving your slow and shitty internet comes down to increasing competition. We need to build new networks with better last mile technology that will give tier 2 networks an alternative to the big cable cartel.

This is going to require some radical approaches, like the bootstrapped ISPs and experimental municipal broadband networks we're starting to see.

While laying fiber is wildly expensive, startups could take a different tack. A San Francisco local ISP called Monkeybrains is using roof-mounted wireless connections and direct fiber access to data centers to offer high speed wireless internet. It costs about $250 to set up the equipment to join Monkeybrains' innovative network, but after that, you can get "insane speeds" for just $35 a month.

There's also the option of building a network from the ground up, like the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee did a few years ago. Starting this year, the federal government is funneling more money towards municipal broadband projects that treat the internet more like a public utility and offer high speeds at low prices. Now it's up to the communities to start up their municipal broadband projects.

President Obama has applauded this path forward, and the FCC is paving the way by tweaking regulations so that help municipal broadband overcome regulations that have traditionally favored big cable and discouraged competition. Some cracks in the oligarchy are starting to show.

At the end of the day, America's broken internet isn't going to fix itself. Monopolistic problems deserve capitalistic solutions. In this case, it's competition—pure and simple. The alternative isn't just frustrating. It's dysfunctional.

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**Important note** - contact our sister company for very powerful solutions including network perfomance products as well as IP management (IPv4 and IPv6, security, firewall and many other IT solutions:

www.tabularosa.net

In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in just 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” will be published soon follow by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki

 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  Additionally, I provide content for an online newsletter via paper.li. I have also established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and Yahoo.  I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. Further, I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and have been a contributor to numerous blogs and publications. 

Lastly, I am the founder and president of Tabula Rosa Systems, a company that provides “best of breed” products for network, security and system management and services. Tabula Rosa has a new blog and Twitter site which offers great IT product information for virtually anyone.
==============================================