Entries Tagged as 'Internet'

The “Skills” of Young Gamers and Understanding Ping

A Big Daddy defends a Little Sister from two S...

It’s interesting that I’m an avid fan of online gaming from time to time, and I noticed that younger and younger gamers talked a lot of trash talk, but didn’t understand the basic concepts of how their online infrastructure works.   If you can’t back up your skills then don’t bother trash talking.

So there’s this gal in Japan that loves to talk down on how she’s amazing in Bioshock 2.   And she is.  But it’s only because she can shoot you before your connection processes a kill.  Basically, she would pull the trigger, and in the US, you’d suddenly die without actually seeing the shot pulled.  That’s a ping issue.   For the most part, it goes back to the broadband connections on how they are implemented in each country.

In both Japan and South Korea, it’s pretty common place now to run fiber optics to all housing complexes.   That means that you’re running at least 100-150mbit into the house.  Back in the day, when I was in Ministry of Pain back in the day, we had a sniper that was so good, he could snipe people with a 150+ ping while others were on a 15-30 ping.  That meant that when he got on his school network of 15-30 ping (that’s in ms), he was unstoppable.   He was also part of the [3e] guild (Third eye) which made sense.

These days, these newer gamers don’t understand that cable connections still don’t outweigh fiber.   That extra faster timing for those packets to travel means that you have just a bit more time to pull the trigger.   And that makes a huge difference when it comes to any sort of online game play, especially the ones that have great snipers.   Ever notice that the best snipers seem to all sit on university networks?   There’s a reason for that.

In any case, the moment you realize that ping can play a major part in your gaming, you’ll start designing ways to depend around the timing situation.  Circling around the peripherals and the back, strafing, and other methods.

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1984 Here We Come

Randu2

I’ve always wondered whether or not federal law enforcement management ever think about what they say before saying it.   Currently, they want to put a backdoor in every piece of software so that if given a warrant, the government can go in and snoop on sensitive cyber-information.  And their reasoning is based on the fact that CALEA has worked with telecommunications so why can’t it be done elsewhere, predominantly software.

As a telecommunications professional of over a decade of experience and having been in the security industry for a major part of my life, I have to say that they fail to actually understand how CALEA is implemented.  While it is a government mandated security act that telecommunications and internet providers have had to deal with, it’s also got something that most software doesn’t.  A physical footprint.   To actually use a CALEA backdoor, you physically have to go to a 24/7 manned switch, that has hardware to jack into to basically “eavesdrop”.   It’s more complicated than that, but that’s pretty much how it works.

However, with software, if there is a backdoor and it’s known by hackers, then hackers will try everything in their power to break in through that area.  You know how in linux, they say never to use the root user?  That’s the same principle.   Don’t give it out, don’t acknowledge, because once people know that it exists, it becomes a security risk.

And if you’re in security, you should understand the risk assessment value and how ease of use is predominantly inversely proportional to security.  Always has been, and for the most part, always will be.  On top of all of this, there is another method that people will use to get around all of this.   Bouncers and darknets.   If this law is passed, they actually make their lives a lot more difficult as enforcement since most people don’t just think about using darknets or even understand how bouncers work.  If a wiretap is in place in all areas though, then it forces the underground to come up with new ways of communications without fear of someone looking over their shoulder.  And is that what law enforcement wants?  That doesn’t sound “easier” by any means of the imagination.

At least not to me.

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China Domain Scams

I have to say that it’s very amusing when you get emails like this. I had to do a little bit of digging to get the dirt on it, but fortunately when you’re not the first of these types of scams, the Internet can be a great resource. Basically, the idea is no different than the domain snail mail letters that people send in the mail that look like a bill in the US. This takes a different approach, since it makes you scared that your brand is in jeopardy and you didn’t buy up some of the other domains.

The below was a verbatim email that I got from the scammers. I had started a dialogue in my usual manners, but was fascinated when they basically said that they were doing due diligence, but then they could not deny the application by the other corporation even though they were doing due diligence.

Hmm, makes you wonder. What’s the point of doing due diligence then?

If you ask about it, then they’ll send you a cost sheet, and it’s like $60-$120 per brand and domain. Amusingly, these same domains cost somewhere around $10 to $30USD depending on what they were, and a lot of them, you have to show registration of a legitimate business within that domain. For example, in Hong Kong and Taiwan, you have to have a registered business within those regions to actually even apply for the .com.tw and .com.hk. I don’t know about China, but in all honesty, it’s not something that I would care to register as a business owner. In the end, the .com is king and anyone in the web world knows that.

This happened to come from a site called “drc-asia.org” which claims to be a domain registrar in China. Interestingly enough if you look up the domain itself, it’s owned by “shanghaifengwangwangluokejiyouxiangongsi”. Which is fine in itself, except for the fact that they have a .live.cn (Hotmail China) email registration. Crazy thing here, but legitimate businesses never have domains registered under any personal email places. No hotmail, gmail, or anything else. Much less when a domain registrar doesn’t know how to set up a CNAMEs so that drc-asia.org doesn’t point anywhere, but www.drc-asia.org actually does go to a host? Come on.

In any case, if you find yourself worried that you might be on the verge of getting taken in, fear not. Usually it’s a permutation of the email below.


(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward to the right person/ department, as this is urgent, thank you!)

Dear CEO,

We are the department of registration service in China. we have something need to confirm with you. We formally received an application on Aug 16, 2010, One company which self-styled " dre&y trading ltd" are applying to register "merchantsmirror" as brand name and domain names as below :
merchantsmirror.asia
merchantsmirror.cn
merchantsmirror.com.cn
merchantsmirror.com.hk
merchantsmirror.com.tw
merchantsmirror.hk
merchantsmirror.tw
After our initial checking, we found the brand name and these domain names being applied are as same as your company's, so we need to get the confirmation from your company. If the aforesaid company is your business partner or your subsidiary company, please don't reply us, we will approve the application automatically.

If you have no any relationship with this company, please contact us within 7 workdays. If out of the deadline, we will approve the application submitted by "dre&y trading ltd" unconditionally.

Best regards,
Robert Yang

Quotes are the Bane of Social Media

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I don’t know who came up with using quotes. But having analyzed much of the traffic that goes across social networks, I have to say that if you use quotes, you’re asking for trouble.

Why?

Have you ever looked the twitter bot accounts and what they post? Usually, a substantial number of them use quotes. Those that filter onto Facebook also use quotes. In fact, there really isn’t any time that those bots don’t throw in the quotes section since they want some filler that could be applicable to human interaction. And thus, those of us that actually do watch and read the traffic become extremely desensitized to quotations.

This is a lose-lose situation. First, the people that read don’t feel like there’s substance there so they skip reading your information, even if you might have some fabulous stuff later on. What can I say, the attention span of Internet users is fairly short. But also, the user of the medium that has integrated quotations also gets thrown into the bucket with the spam bots. Now, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be in the same bucket as spam bots.

If you do use quotes, I implore you to stop. It’s not helping and the filler really isn’t useful. If you intend to keep at it though, no worries. The rest of the world is probably ignoring you.

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Dropbox being Blocked in China

About two hours ago, in the forums, it seems that Dropbox has been blocked by China.

There really isn’t any reports on why this has happened or why Dropbox has joined the ranks of Twitter, Facebook and the rest, but one could probably speculate the fact that since they do allow sharing of files and some public urls of files, which could be used in anti-government actions. However, there hasn’t been anything that has surfaced so no one really knows why this action has been taken.

Google Will Be Chasing Television Ads

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

People that know me have known that I’ve already been talking about this for the past few months, but it’s time to put it on paper. I’m calling it. Google is going to be chasing the airwaves for ad space in a couple years. Guaranteed.

Why? Pieces of the puzzle are falling into place already. Google Fiber experiment? Pulease. That’s a FiOS pull if I’ve ever saw one. And Verizon already brings television to your home. This would just give Google medium to mine all that invaluable data and run their algorithms on it to find out what you’re watching and how to target the advertisement. And we all know that Google is king when it comes to algorithmic ad targeting.

But this piece that I just found out about…. now this really puts it into perspective. Google is getting into set-top boxes. Forget Internet television. There is a real big money play being driven here, and it’s being done through the eyes of people thinking outside the box but staying within the realm of what the company is just plain good at: mathematics.

Companies like this are few and far between. Even many of the older 1990s companies have not been able to take any of their product lines outside of their general medium scopes. Google is actually buying up real estate in new mediums to try their hand at things that they have stuck with in the Internet world. And believe you me, it’ll work like a charm. Like a friend of mine told me a long time ago: it’s not the fact that you’re inventing a car, or a plane. It’s the thought that you’re building a car that can fly like a plane that is what no one else has grasped. And Google already setting up for take-off before anyone even realizes.

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Getting Googley Eyes for Google

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

I’m really disappointed. So far, I’ve been tracking the entire deal for all sorts of cities on and off for the past week on “Google’s Infrastructure for Communities” venture. Amusingly, I had actually applied for the city of Winston-Salem long before Greensboro even knew about this venture. And with all of the cities, including Greensboro, no one has once bothered to mention that this product is specifically last mile driven. It’s to the homes of consumers. That’s right, it’s basically the same as Wilson’s Greenlight project.

FTTH – (fiber to the home).

It’s documented right there in the RFI, but everyone is trying this gimmick and that gimmick to try to get Google to come. Why not analyze what their business model has been and will continue to be? Why not actually look and see whether or not they have actually purchased dark fiber around your area? That’s information that is vital and crucial to your cause. Those that have dark fiber that has been purchased close to your locale will probably stand a better chance of becoming the venture’s pet project.

What journalists need to focus on, is not whether or not businesses or research institutions have access to high speed Internet. That’s just entirely irrelevant. So what if Google puts in FTTH. That would not effect a school, nor a law firm, or even a medical facility. What people need to find out is what sort of applications could be coming across a high speed connection to your home. Would you discontinue your cable service? Would you go with fiber based HDTV? What if Google was your provider and controlled the line and access points? Why would this be good for what they do?

I think there are many people that are not asking the right questions. Google doesn’t ever do anything for free (yes, Google does mine your Gmail. It’s in your terms of service). And it’s not like the Dell fiasco with the manufacturing plant since any job creation would be very much infrastructure related. Would your city become an instant techburg? Of course. But at what price, and do you have what it takes to do this?

Personally? I think they’re after the television content. Youtube is perhaps only the first step in the long line of things, but having been a shareholder and analyzed their corporation for a number of years, I can say that I can see many ways that they could monetize the information gathered by using similar techniques as their current search but applied in the high-definition medium.

Google is a great company and I would love for them to become a major corporate player in the Triad. But so far, what I’ve seen has been more of the whole … who can throw the biggest party and have the best food for when Google comes. Sorry, Topeka. Just. Not. Impressed. And that just doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes right down to it.

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Tips and Tricks: How to Speed Up WordPress

If there’s one thing that I despise, it’s when sites move slowly. Like they drag. And when it comes to blogging software, these usually are hella draggers. But fortunately there are a few ways to speed things up without actually giving up as much. The biggest one that you can ever focus on is caching.

Caching basically means that instead of telling the server to dynamically process something, it has a statically saved copy somewhere that it basically reads off. That shaves ticks off the seconds when you don’t have to ask the CPU to figure out what some variable is saying. And with most database driven applications, there are two methods to do this.

DB Cache: This is less well known but is actually an entirely brilliant design. Basically, it makes the assumption that you’re going to be querying your database a lot, and thus it saves those queries statically and can shave off seconds for you if you have large queries to make. This basically means that it’ll be slow the first time around, but not so much the next if you happen to repeat things a lot. Very useful in that sense.

WP Super Cache: WP-Super Cache is one of the most well-known in the WordPress community. It allows you to cache the pages themselves after the first time they’re built into static calls. This means that instead of reading directly from the database and generating the page, it creates the page the first time and doesn’t change out that copy until there’s a new one to change with. This basically allows the first person to read it to have a bit of slowness, but after that the page is already kept around.

As you can see, there are at least two different caching methods that you can implement to improve the quality and decrease the time latency. And in the web world, time latency is everything.

Tips and Tricks: How to Turn Off Google Buzz

Google came out with their social network tool called Google Buzz just a day or so ago.

While it’s actually a fascinating tool and definitely could give Facebook and Twitter a run for their money, it really is a little too noisy for me. Mainly because of the integration with Gmail. When I logged in, I expect to see my emails since I have to respond to many of them and they’re usually something important even though they’re of personal nature. But with Buzz, it’s really just a noise floor to keep up with what’s going on in the world. I usually have another tab open for those types of things so I don’t have to pay attention to them unless I want to pay attention.

In any case, this isn’t a well-known thing so to turn off Google Buzz:

  • Scroll to the bottom of the Gmail screen
  • Click “turn off buzz” in the footer.

And that’s it. It’s pretty easy and straight forward, although you’d never think to do it in the footer since there’s a Settings tab for your account. In any case, there have been some other friends that have been seeking this information since it got too noisy in their lives too so obviously it’s not just a personal occurrence. Either way, if you’re looking to turn off Buzz, there ya go.

Voting with Perverts However…

So I was voting for the 2010 Bloggies since 8Asians has been nominated again this year and this time for Best Group Blog. I was done with my choices that I wanted to vote for and I scrolled to the end and was amused by the random captcha done by ReCaptcha. I mean, what are the chances that they would pick those two words? Sounds like the name of a new blog in fact… hmm… Amusing.