Saturday, February 27, 2010


... and with a new-born appreciation of airports. To sum up the last week: I flew down to Austin, TX for NANOG 48. It was an excellent conference -- the highlights for me were a panel on network neutrality (with two reps from the FCC) and a lot of talk of the perennially-upcoming switch to IPv6. In terms of the former, I have to admit that I've always considered it a bit of a no-brainer: ISPs should not be allowed to put themselves in a position of gatekeeper, such that they can make deals to, say, slow down Hulu in favor of NetFlix, or Bing in favor of Google -- let alone throttle back whole applications or charge for access to certain applications. However, I don't think I properly appreciated some of the difficulties involved in telling the difference between malicious throttling and simple load-balancing, or effectively criminalizing some very common mistakes and accidents. A lot to think about.

In terms of IPv6: it had better happen. The alternative is for the internet to stagnate: when we run out of unassigned space, some can be reclaimed, but not nearly enough to make a difference. I believe the quote I heard was that the reclamation of one unused /8 would delay the "ran out" day by about a month. But most of the folks who run the internet just aren't ready for it. The tools aren't there, the training hasn't been done. A lot of people have been "checking the box" in terms of buying software that claims to support it... but those claims aren't being tested. A lot of firewall rules and IP blacklists will simply fail when the switch is made.

Fun stuff.

What wasn't fun was having my Tuesday flight home canceled with a half hour's notice. They called it "weather-related" which seems to be the airline equivalent of claiming "Base!" so they didn't pay for the additional two nights of hotel. Given the choice of waiting until Friday for a non-stop to Boston or getting back Thursday with a layover in Ft. Lauderdale, I chose the latter. (Hey, if I got stuck in Florida, at least I'd have nice weather...) The FLL->BOS flight really did take off, some hours late, and I got into Boston around midnight. Rescued by a friend with a spare couch, I set foot on my front porch at around 4:30 pm Friday.

As a parting gift, I seem to have caught a cold. Yay.

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