RIP Semantic Web

How many research grants have been awarded to “Semantic Web” research proposals over the last few years? I always maintained that this is a typical academic solution to a problem that will be solved by very simple additions to the existing web like microformats.

Now the search heavyweights have joined the semantic web for real. But not by doing RDF or any of those full blown perfect solutions developed over the last years by burning research money.

As I see it, most of the research projects are now completely obsolete given the launch of


Dummheit bei der Telekom

Ametsreiter in der Fuzo:

Der Einsatz von “Deep Packet Inspection” (DPI), mit der der Netzverkehr durchleuchtet werden kann, sei eine Angelegenheit des Betreibers, wird Ametsreiter im “Wall Street Journal” weiter zitiert. Kaufe eine Fluglinie eine Boeing 777, schreibe ihr auch niemand vor, wen sie damit befördern dürfe.

Die Analogie ist super, darf ich die auch mal hernehmen?

Kauft ein Endkunde einen Internet-Zugang, dann schreibe ihm auch niemand vor, welche Applikationen er darüber nutzen dürfe.

Wie wär’s damit, Herr Ametsreiter?


YouTube via IPv6

I don’t know whether my still-not-quite-native IPv6 at home is to blame, or whether Google has some capacity problems over v6, but watching youtube videos at home with v6 enabled offers a significantly worse user experience, than via v4.


The Facebook Map

An intern working for facebook created a beautilful map based on the relationship graph of facebook users.

So far, so widely blogged about.

One thing is remarkable: you can still see the border between the old west- and east part of Germany:


I wonder whether this is just the result of more people per square mile in the west, or if this one effect of still differing infrastructure or social structures.

IETF Internet

Comcast’s congestion managment

A few years ago, Comcast generated a lot of negative PR based on their RST–injecting P2P throttling scheme.

This lead them to adopt a new strategy which is protocol and destination-agnostic and is designed to shift inevitable packet-loss to those users that stress the network.

Comcast has now published their strategy in an informational RFC. It’s longer than it needs to be, but still: recommended reading.

CERT Internet

Attacking PalPay, Visa, and Mastercard

The story so far: WikiLeaks posted some secrets, the US governments throws a hissy fit and some spineless companies see it as their “patriotic duty” to withheld service from WikiLeaks. This doesn’t especially endear them to the 4chan/Anonymous crowd which then starts to DDoS the pushovers.

So how is a Civil Libertarian and Network Security guy supposed to react to that?

Two bads don’t make a right. There are better ways to show disgust of and punish those electronic money movers. Attacking their operation cannot be the right answer.

But: I’ve been arguing for years now that one of the few ways to actually shut down some of the real menaces (not the imagined ones like WikiLeadks) of the Internet like Spammers, Fake AV Software scams, Viagra/… sellers, and other frauds would be to deny them the credit card payment option.

Thus, MasterCard and Visa: If you are so eager to distance yourself from WikiLeaks, when nobody can even tell you what actual laws they are supposed to have violated, why are you not able to deny service to the frauds when it is absolutely clear that they violate laws and cost the worldwide economy huge sums of money to clean up their crap?


The privacy of fonts on the web

Today, heise wrote about Linotype’s offer in the “fonts for webpages” market.

If I’m not mistaken, that’s not the first commercial offering of licensing fonts for the new HTML/CSS font feature. On one hand, this a really good offer, as it allows amateur sites to use professional fonts for free and commercial, high-traffic sites can use these fonts for a reasonable price.

But one thing bugs me about these offers: In order to enforce the pay-per-pagehit business model, these services need to serve the fonts from their own servers. That means:

  • On the plus side, potentially better caching between different sites.
  • But: the font-servers implicitly track all visitors to the website using these fonts.

Given all the privacy implications that embedded ads and social media gizmos (“click here if you like this”) are starting to raise, fonts seem to be the next thing you need to be careful about if you’re conscious about the traces you leave in third-party access-logs.

Internet Pet Peeves

Name them and Shame them: paypal edition

c’t magazine runs a biweekly column shining some light on the most egregious customer experiences with IT companies. To no-one’s surprise, thing start to get resolved if the company is facing public outrage and public shaming.

So, in the same spirtit: paypal is worst company in the world.

Further opportunities at Naming and Shaming are the Big Brother Awards.

CERT Internet Pet Peeves

Da hat wer was falsch verstanden

Laut FuZo baut die Türkei ein Zentrum für IP-Verfolgung. Gut für sie.

Aber könnten die bitte statt Zensur für die eigene Bevölkerung was zum Schutz des restlichen Internets vor Spam und script-kiddies mit Testosteron-Überproduktion aus dem türkischen Internet tun?



/dev/otmar is now IPv6-enabled

At work, we’ve been running IPv6 for a while and back home I’ve also got v6 on my DSL connection (not native, though, silverserver implemented that with a tunnel). My root-server also got v6 connectivity via a Tunnel from the network (easy enough to do if you’re the router-admin :-), but I never used that for serious stuff.

Now that Hetzner finally provides native IPv6 connectivity, I made the necessary changes to the configuration of my server and now this blog is reachable via IPv6, too.

Next task: Get cacti to graph how many visitors use v4 versus v6.