Why did Waze and Google Maps fail?

Waze, the “…world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app” failed its users in the Santa Cruz, California area during the month of February 2017.  These users who depend on Waze to find out traffic conditions and alternate routes were not able to do so.  The same was true for Google Maps.  For example, when traffic stalled for up to three hours, Waze and Google Maps happily reported that conditions were just fine.

What happened?

Many Santa Cruz, CA residents commute from the beach community, and ever farther, to the Silicon Valley. They commute over highway 17, a four-lane twisty thoroughfare (two lanes in each direction), built over a mountain range.   Normal drive times span between 30 and 45 minutes each way.  Once your vehicle enters this highway, you are committed; you cannot turn around until you reach the other side of the mountain.

Continue reading Why did Waze and Google Maps fail?

Confide, a Favorite App of the White House, May Not Be Secure

A New York City based start-up company, Confide, offers a text messaging system “with encrypted messages that self-destruct.”  You can download the app at https://getconfide.com/

Confide lets its users “discuss sensitive topics, brainstorm ideas or give unfiltered opinions without fear of the Internet’s permanent, digital record and with no copies left behind.”  “Messages disappear forever after they are read once, making them as private and secure as the spoken word.”

Continue reading Confide, a Favorite App of the White House, May Not Be Secure

Checking for New SNMP Vulnerabilities

Cisco Systems recently announced a patch for a vulnerability in Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) functions of some Cisco routers.  “This vulnerability could allow an authenticated, remote attacker to cause high CPU usage on an affected device, resulting in a denial of service (DoS) condition. The vulnerability is due to an incorrect initialized variable. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by performing SNMP polling on MIBs and using only Interface Index (ifIndex) values. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to increase CPU usage to 99% on an affected device and cause a DoS condition.” 1

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More on SDN Complexity and Reality

SDN:  Software Defined Networks

SDN Complexity and Reality” by Russ White and Shawn Zandi, was published on page 31 of The Internet Protocol Journal, November 2016 (Volume 19, Number 3).  You can download ipj19-3.pdf at http://ipj.dreamhosters.com/.

In the article, White and Zandi, examine the original three crucial elements to the SDN story:

First, SDNs were supposed to remove the intelligence from the distributed control planes and consolidate that intelligence in a centralized controller.

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Why You Should Care About Impairment Testing of Internet Protocols


The Internet Is An Imperfect and Hostile Place

The world is an imperfect place.  The internet is no exception.  The internet has its good days and it has its bad days.  Or to be more precise, the internet has its good seconds and its bad seconds.

Blemishes in internet performance arise from many sources. Continue reading Why You Should Care About Impairment Testing of Internet Protocols

Waveforms in KMAX

Real network conditions are rarely static.  Real life networks suffer transient conditions – congestion builds up and dissipates, tree branches wave in the wind across radio links, long distance routing paths change, VoIP call trunks are filled with more calls during working hours than during the evening.  Even something as small as a person standing near a wi-fi access point can change the carrying capacity of a network.

KMAX (and our Maxwell Pro) can emulate these kinds of changes.

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ESP8266/NodeMCU TCP Test Reveals Issues

The ESP8266 is very popular among the maker set as a platform for experimentation in the realm of Internet of Things (IoT).

We have been playing around with the ESP8622 micro-controller running NodeMCU.  We’ve been loading simple LUA programs onto the ESP8266 to get familiar with its capabilities.

Now that we’re reasonably familiar with its capabilities, it’s time we put ESP8266/NodeMCU to test.
Continue reading ESP8266/NodeMCU TCP Test Reveals Issues

New Cloud Testing Paradigm Comes With Challenges that Network Emulators Can Solve

cloud testing

Cloud computing has taken hold of the business world, nearly reaching its saturation point according to multiple industry reports. The business cloud and its cloud testing capabilities are growing at an extremely fast pace due to scalability, adaptability, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency across nearly every industry.
Continue reading New Cloud Testing Paradigm Comes With Challenges that Network Emulators Can Solve