British, Belgian boffins battle buffering bandwidth bogeyman
Golden era of uninterrupted kitten vids may lie ahead
International boffins have been enlisted to stop that most annoying of internet snafus, the buffering circle of doom right in the middle of your kitten video.
The European Commission will splaff €3,569,000 over three years in an effort to reduce internet transport latency (the RITE project) without a requirement for new and better connections. Instead, the RITE team will have to come up with a way to rewrite how computers send info in order to speed up the net.
The team, pulled from the University of Aberdeen, Simula Research Labs in Norway, the University of Oslo and Karlstad University in Sweden to work with folks from BT, Alcatel-Lucent BELL in Belgium and Institut Mines-Telecom in France, will try to figure out new mechanisms in the network and the end-hosts to reduce or get rid of the effects of delay on gamers, vid-oip users and kitten/porn fanciers.
“It’s a problem we all notice when you’re using a program like Skype. If anyone else in the house is watching a video at the same time – your video connection becomes jerky and often crashes," professor Gorry Fairhurst, internet engineer at Aberdeen, said.
“This affects gamers who want to play online in real time and companies doing stock training – both end up buying special and expensive internet connections to make these work, but often it’s not more bandwidth that’s needed to go faster – it’s less delay. We think we can reduce this delay by making a set of small but important changes to the way computers and the network process the Internet data.”
The RITE team and backers reckon that if they manage to come up with a way to get rid of buffering, it will help folks with slow internet speeds as well as prolific YouTubers.
"We’re focussed on one defined problem and we think there are fixes for this, but we have to change the current standards for the Internet," Fairhurst said.
"This isn’t something that companies like Microsoft and Apple will undertake lightly, but we expect they’ll take up what we’re doing because this has benefits for everyone. If we can’t do something that the rest of the world stands up and says – ‘ok I get it, we’ll standardise it’, then we’ve failed." ®
"Grow the fuck up" = "agree with my antiquated view of the world based not on provable facts and figures, but the fairy tales I was taught about economics as a child." Nice. Glad to see you are at least internally consistent with the stereotype.
The private sector is fucking pants at investing in primary research. That's something governments do well...or did. until the private sector became a "person" in some backwater stinkholes and started changing the direction of the large research institutions every two years via the application of ridiculous amounts of lobbying. Rapidly decaying clusterfucks that were once proud nations aside, there are plenty of examples where government funded primary research with long time horizons produces results that simply would never be funded by the private sector today.
That is where this money should be going. Not into items with definable markets and a describable, positive ROI. If you can build a near-term business case for it, then the government doesn't have any business poking it's head into it.
Which is exactly why nationalised – or at the very least regulated-to-be-shared telecommunications and power infrastructure is better. I'm sorry you had a shitty experience, but fuck your anecdotes with a lacquered bus. I've had a shitty experience: it is called "privatisation." The privatisation of our power and telecommunications industries have been horrible for the consumer…and worse for businesses!
Competition never emerged, and investment only occurred when backs were against the wall. Specifically, advancements only happen when enough citizens get together and threaten to create collectively-owned telecommunciations or power infrastructure and start banging on the regulator's door. At that point, the existing monopoly/duopoly providers will have an aneurism and send in a fleet of lawyers. Two years later an agreement will be reached to slowly advance the state of infrastructure (or drop rates) to the minimum possible level required to stop the citizenry from phoning the politicians.
It was a hell of a lot more efficient when this was more or less directly controlled by the politicians; when shit didn't move fast enough, we screamed like banshees and shit got done.
We could go toe to toe with anecdotes all day long, but since there seems to be a reasonable amount of evidence that backs up my personal anecdotes, I'll stick with my outlook on the world, thank you.
I'd much rather have the UK's telecommunications infrastructure than Canada's, or (heaven forbid) most of the US. That whole "being forced to sell bandwidth wholesale" thing sure worked out better there than privatisation did for us.
And don't get me started on North American cellular rates…
D-A-M, this is how we know we're getting old.
Those who weren't around at the time believe the socialist claptrap and start talking about how wonderful BT and British Rail were in comparison to what we have now. I'm sure that the only reason that they're not regaling us with how wonderful British Leyland was is that enough of their products survive to remind us how godawfully shite they were.
Those who refuse to learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.
"This isn’t something that companies like Microsoft and Apple will undertake lightly,..."
What a scary world it'd be if we only had two choices. That is, those two choices.