Tag: traffic

Google claims Gmail spam monopoly

Google has started putting adverts in the space reserved for e-mail messages in Gmail users’ inboxes.

While Google has been installing adverts alongside Gmail messages for years, these new ads appear as messages that can be opened like e-mails and forwarded to others.

The adverts appear in the new “promotions” tab of Gmail’s new multi-tab interface, and they’re marked with a pale yellow background and labelled “ad” just in case you can’t spot them.

In a statement, Google said that the ads are part of the Promotions tab in the new inbox in Gmail. You can see the old style of advert if you disable the Promotions tab.

The adverts are likely to hack off those who came to Gmail because it is so good at weeding out spam. Now it seems that Google has purged inboxes from spam to peddle spam of its own.

Google said that the advertising will keep Google and Gmail free to use. It said that it worked hard to make ads safe, unobtrusive, and relevant.

Google also said the new ads are more relevant than earlier Gmail ads. They replace the old-style ads above the inbox or to the right of messages unless people disable the Promotions tab.

Apparently the adverts can’t be marked as spam, but if you close them they will go away – until you refresh the browser.

Users can go to Gmail’s ads preferences manager to block specific advertisers. 

Google is a quarter of all US internet traffic

Google takes a quarter of US web traffic, according to internet monitoring firm Deepfield.

Every day more than 60 percent of all web-enabled devices exchange traffic with the tech giant’s servers. This figure means that Google is bigger than Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter combined.

Deepfield’s Craig Labovitz wrote in his blog  that based on measurements of end device and user audience share, 60 percent of all internet end devices/users exchange traffic with Google servers during the course of an average day.

This analysis includes computers and mobile device as well as game consoles, home media appliances, and other embedded devices, Labovitz said.

It is not just the company’s search which sucks up the traffic, Google also gets huge amounts of traffic through its analytics, hosting, and advertising platforms.

Another source of traffic for the company is its Google Global Cache servers, which are used by the majority of US internet providers and also in more than 100 other countries.

This is a huge jump on previous statistics. When Deepfield last carried out a study on Google’s internet traffic, in 2010, the firm only had six percent.  

IBM wants to Kick Out The Jams with predictive software

IBM, King of the Roads, has announced that it is working on and testing predictive software which will help motorists avoid traffic jams.

Unlike the old fashioned radio traffic report, the software will sit on smartphones and will “ultimately help drivers around the world” dodge dodgy traffic. Which is interesting because IBM famously screwed up its congestion charge software in London, crashing and overcharging motorists

We’re sure all the glitches have been ironed out now though. Anyway, traffic is something close to IBM’s heart, recently-ish releasing a statement about what it thinks are the world’s most congested roads and congratulating itself over the wonderful job it did in London – nothing to do with management software it offers we’re sure. 

The pilot scheme will have smartphones with their location-sensing switched on to track where they drive, and when. That’ll be sent up into the Clown / Cloud which will think about different travel patterns. The patterns will be compared to roadway censor data which is used for online traffic maps – and eventually it will have an idea of how likely jams will be in certain spots.

Later it will make personalised predictions, says AFP, about when a driver is about to get stuck. 

Employees in San Francisco and Silicon Valley have been esting the software for about five months, however IBM is keen to roll the system out worldwide when it has been perfected. It could also be used in other public transit systems like the bus or the train, and advise on diverting if needed.

Dell, Commtiva, Performance Audio, Pioneer sued by Traffic for patent infringement

Dell, Commtiva, Performance Audio and Pioneer have been brought to court in Texas by Traffic Information for the alleged infringement of two of its patents.

The first patent in question is US Patent No. 6,785,606, entitled “System For Providing Traffic Information,” which was approved on August 31, 2004. The second is US Patent No. 6,466,862, which is similarly entitled “System For Providing Traffic Information.” It was approved on October 12, 2002.

Both patents detail a system for providing traffic information to multiple mobile users on a network. It utilises a number of traffic monitors made up of a traffic detector and transmitter, which are connected to a computer and network. Traffic signals are sent between these devices.

Traffic has accused the four technology firms of infringing the patents and said that it has notified Dell, Commtiva and Pioneer in the past about the infringement, but the notice was allegedly ignored, making the continued infringement “willful and deliberate”. It stated that it therefore has “the right to sue for and recover all past, present and future damages for infringement of the […] patent.”

Traffic claims that it has been “irreparably damaged” as a result of the infringements and should therefore be entitled to damages from each of the defendants. For the three companies who had been previously informed about the patents, Traffic is seeking three times the damages set by the Court.

US traffic hijacked by Chinese ISP, censorship worrying

Some US web traffic was hijacked and wrongly rerouted through China Telecom, it was revealed today in a report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which also criticises China’s long-stand policy of censorship of the internet.

The Commission’s 2010 Annual Report to Congress highlighted an incident which occurred earlier this year where internet traffic from the US was taken over, or in the words of the report “hijacked”, by Chinese ISPs.

The event took place for a short period of 18 minutes on April 8 and affected several key US government websites, such as Senate, NASA, the Office of the Secretary of Defence, and army, navy and air force websites, as well as those by commercial companies like Dell, Microsoft, Yahoo, and IBM.

The hijack affected as much as 15 percent of the internet’s websites, revealing just how pervasive the short-term problem really was.

The suggestion, while not explicit, is that the unauthorised and inappropriate access to this traffic was not accidental, but intentional, and that it may have been designed to grab intelligence data held in certain parts of the websites.

The report also mentioned other attempts by people and organisations in China to hack American and other countries’ computers and networks. The report found that there is a continuing trend of state support for this kind of activity as part of larger programmes of internet-based reconnaissance.

The Commission also noted China’s continuing attempts “to tighten its control on the internet”. It said that many hoped that the internet would help liberalise Chinese society, but this was being held back by what the Commission called “networked authoritarianism”.

The report cites Google’s conflicts with China over censorship earlier this year and backs a recent report by Google this week that argues against internet censorship, which Google believes impedes free trade. 

Google called for the World Trade Organisation to look into countries’ censorship policies, which are endemic in around 40 countries, which the report says is a tenfold increase over the last ten year.

Since many of the private companies in China that enforce censorship regulations, like Baidu, are heavily funded by US investors, the Commission said there are implications for Americans which need to be considered, such as the attack on Google’s network by Chinese hackers earlier this year.

The Commission recommended that the US review its current policies and bring censorship and online security to the forefront of talks with the Chinese government in efforts to encourage more online freedom and better protection against hacks and exploits.

Handful of users clog up 70 percent of mobile networks

Only a handful of people clog up a massive 70 percent of mobile phone networks by using unlimited data plans and downloading as much as 50MB a day, according to research by Openwave Systems.

The report discovered a variety of categories of users, with the top end showing extreme usage of 50.4MB a day, with nearly every one of this group possessing an unlimited data plan and a high-end smartphone.

This group of extreme users accounted for three times more data usage than the next highest category, heavy users. The extreme users also accounted for nine times more data than medium users and nearly 70 times more than light users, highlighting a stark difference in how many of us use our mobile phones.

Video on demand was one of the primary causes for network clogging. As more video goes high definition and internet speeds increase many people are streaming video repeatedly instead of downloading it once and re-watching it later, the latter which would not require their phone network.

The other two contributing factors were status updates from social networking sites and mobile search. While both of these involve usually small transfers across the network the sheer volume of them creates extreme pressure on the mobile networks, most of which were not designed to cope with high-end smartphones.

With true 4G networks and compatible phones still a while off for most, extreme data users will continue to clog most of the mobile operators’ networks which Openwave believes is unsustainable for the future.

“The days of all-you-can-eat data plans are becoming less and less feasible for operators on both sides of the Atlantic and it is crucial for operators to become better aligned with network availability and usage needs if they are to stay competitive,” said John Giere, senior vice president of products and marketing at Openwave. 

Internet traffic will quadruple by 2014

Cisco expects internet traffic to quadruple to a whopping 767 exabytes by 2014 as more people log on to watch streaming video online.

To put that into perspective Cisco explained that it would take a single user 72 million years to watch all the video that will be streaming online in the year 2014. It will probably be a while yet before human life expectancy catches up with that.

A single exabyte is equal to one billion gigabytes, so to say that 767 of them is quite a bit would be an understatement. Cisco forecasted last year that by 2013 the number would be 667 exabytes, so that’s 100 million gigabytes of extra online traffic between 2013 and 2014. Who knows what it will be in 2015.

Online video will account for 91 percent of global online traffic by the 2014, according to Cisco’s predictions.

The reason for the increase is down to the popularity of websites like Youtube and Netflix, as well as the launch of the iPad and the soon to be swamped tablet PC market. Faster broadband speeds will allow users to get access to their videos even more swiftly, leading more people to log online for their video needs. The recently announced Google TV will probably also have a huge affect on net traffic, as will the advent of 3D video hitting just about every aspect of the technological world.

Cisco is also forecasting that videoconferencing will be up 180-fold, while mobile phone data usage will be up 39-fold within the next four years. This is not surprising, considering the huge growth in the smartphone market.

One minute at a junction in Ole Taipei

Just outside our hotel is the MRT Taipei Metro, and below that there’s a junction that goes to show how crazy Taiwan is at rush hour.

The 7/Eleven across the road is a great place but first we had to negotiate the junction.

Not the running man – when it’s good to go, it’s OK to cross, but you have to keep your eyes open for traffic coming from all directions.

All of which is just a preamble to this video lasting something over a minute. In fact, two minutes and 14 seconds, in all. Sorry about the non-existent sound quality. We have to make do with the tools we’ve got, in this case a broken Nikon…