Daily Archives: June 16, 2014

Tragedy of Internet Commons

By George Mattathil – The logical structure of the conflicting area is shown in Internet Commons Architecture. The conflict arises due to the multiplicity of ownership, and lack of commonly accepted sustainable practices.

Unlike the medieval grasslands, different parts of the Internet Commons are owned by different parties. The Internet Commons Architecture is one instance of a simplified logical representation of connections in a data center that is shared. more>

The Dead Simple Way Google Ventures Unlocks Great Ideas

By Mark Wilson – Simple dot stickers, just like you can buy from any office supply store, are Google Ventures’ preferred voting mechanism used to narrow down a big pile of ideas to a small pile of good ideas.

A concept, or several concepts, are taped to the wall, and team members are allowed to stick a dot on the parts they like most.

What results isn’t just a design concept covered in stickers; it’s a heat map for the best ideas. more> http://tinyurl.com/oxzaa4g

Updates from GE

Will Digital Pathology Retire the Microscope?

GE – Two years ago, Ian Cree, a pathology professor at Warwick Medical School in Coventry, UK, and his team started testing a new digital system that allows them to scan in images of tissue slides and patient histories, attach matching barcodes and upload everything to a massive computer database.

Cree now views his samples on a computer monitor and controls their flow with his mouse.

The system is efficient in other ways, too. After biomedical scientists scan the slides, which hold prepared biopsied tissues some 5 microns thick, the samples don’t travel to Cree’s desk as they once did, but instead go straight back to storage. This makes it easier to preserve and keep track of slides while their images are viewed by the pathologist to find the diagnosis.

The technology allows one pathologist to study around 150 slides a day, increasing efficiency in the lab by about 13 percent. “Digital pathology puts everything directly on the screen in front of you, including the paperwork,” Cree says. “Everything is linked and I can even collaborate with my colleagues without stepping out into the corridor. It’s much quicker and better for everyone, including the patient.” more> http://tinyurl.com/o6re4v8

Obama’s impossible choices on Iraq

By Bill Schneider – The U.S. military can do many things supremely well. They are all military things — like fighting wars, repelling invasions and providing security. But nation-building — the task that devolved upon them in both Iraq and Afghanistan — is political, not military. And politics is not something the military can do very well. Nor should anyone expect it to.

Washington expected Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to build a consensus government in Iraq. But he was ill-equipped and unwilling to do so. Maliki is the leader of a Shi’ite political party. He has been distrustful and suspicious of Iraq’s Sunni and Kurdish minorities and has done little to share power with them. As a result, the minorities feel little loyalty to the Iraqi government and are unwilling to fight for its survival. more> http://tinyurl.com/qbstv2j

Tragedy of Internet Commons

The explanation by Verizon about the recent dispute between Netflix and Verizon highlights the problems of inadequate ownership rights [2, 3, 4] and lack of commonly accepted sustainable practices with the Internet. Another unrelated factor that is making things even more complicated is that the Internet was not designed to carry video streams.

There are historical precedents for the conflicts we are witnessing with the Internet — “Tragedy of the Commons” [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. In medieval England and Europe there was a practice of sharing a common parcel of land as grazing grounds for cattle. Herdsmen will bring their cattle to the common grass fields. The tragedy is that benefits of bringing an additional cattle belong solely to the herdsman, but the problems of over grazing are shared by all.

With the Internet we have a similar conflict situation. As in the case with grazing grounds, the conflict is a result of property rights and insufficient regulation — self-imposed or external.

The ownership issues related to the Internet are complex. The Internet Transit Map provides a logical overview of the Internet. The connections marked Cloud Access (4) and LAN Switching (7) are the areas of this conflict. The logical structure of the conflicting area is shown in Internet Commons Architecture. The conflict arises due to the multiplicity of ownership, and lack of commonly accepted sustainable practices.

Unlike the medieval grasslands, different parts of the Internet Commons are owned by different parties. The Internet Commons Architecture is one instance of a simplified logical representation of connections in a data center that is shared.

This is how the ownership in a Commons Data Center may be distributed. The Data Center (1) building and land is owned by an internet landlord. The high speed communication lines (2) and the Transmission Switch (3) are owned by Internet Service Providers, who provide connectivity for that facility. The ownership of the Cabinets (5) belong to different Data Center Operators. Within the Cabinets (5), there are Servers (8), LAN/SAN Switches (7), and Distribution Switches (6). In addition, there is cabling connecting these communication systems and servers. The cabinets and the systems within the cabinet may be owned by the same company. Or, the space within a cabinet may be leased out to several companies, who in-turn own the systems within the cabinet.

“Cloud Services” or Software as a Service (SaaS) [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15] (10) is another innovation in the Data Center. Without having any type of ownership of anything in the Data Center, SaaS allows running software on the servers only when needed, and paying only for the usage.

The companies leasing space in cabinets may use their own cables for connections or the Data Center operator may provide some of the cables. And “Cloud companies” do not own anything in the Data Center, but use the services of “Cloud Providers,” and generate internet traffic.

In the case of the Netflix-Verizon conflict, the communication lines (2) and Transmission Switches (3) were installed by Verizon. Netflix was using “Cloud Services” (10) provided by Amazon.

About the economics – Adding servers (8), LAN Switches (7) and related cables (9) are relatively inexpensive, compared to the Transmission lines (2), Transmission Switches (3), Distribution Switches (6), and associated cabling (2, 4).

As time went on Netflix usage of “cloud services” increased, even though they had no ownership of the systems in the Data Center. The resulting increase in internet traffic made it necessary to upgrade the Data Center (1) infrastructure facilities that include Transmission lines (2), Transmission Switch (3), Distribution Switch (6), and associated cabling (4). The dispute is who should pay for the upgrade.

The Netflix-Verizon dispute illustrates the need for better clarity on ownership rights, responsibilities and usage rights at various transit points on the Internet — since competing commercial interests are involved.

If you have topics for discussion and/or have questions, please include them in your comments below, or send them directly.