Tag: Web hosting

Europeans could compete with Silicon Valley when offering online services

Map of Europe By User:mjchael by using preliminary work of maix¿? [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia CommonsVery often I have read articles from European sources about the Silicon Valley companies not respecting European values like privacy. This ends up with the European Commission taking legal action against the powerful Silicon Valley tech kings like Facebook or Google, ending up with placing requirements or levying fines on these companies.

But what can Europe also do to resolve these issues?

They could encourage European-based companies to work on Internet services like Web-search, social networking, file storage and the like that compete with what Silicon Valley offers. But what they offer can be about services that respect European personal and business values like democracy, privacy and transparency.

There has been some success in this field in the aerospace industry with Airbus rising up to challenge Boeing. This was more evident with Airbus releasing the A380 high-capacity double-decker long-haul jet and Boeing offering the 787 Dreamliner jet that was focused on saving energy. Let’s not forget the rise of Arianespace in France who established a competing space program to what NASA offered.

But why are the Europeans concerned about Silicon Valley’s behaviour? Part of it is to do with Continental Europe’s darkest time in modern history where there was the rise of the Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin dictatorships, underscored by Hitler’s Germany taking over significant areas in France and Eastern Europe before the Second World War. This was followed up with the Cold War where most of Eastern Europe was effectively a group of communist dictatorships loyal to the Soviet Union. In both these situations, the affected countries were run as police states where their national security services were conducting mass surveillance at the behest of the country’s dictator.

There are a few of these businesses putting themselves on the map. Of course we known that Spotify, the main worldwide online jukebox, is based in Sweden. But Sweden, the land of ABBA, Volvo, IKEA, Electrolux and  Assa Abloy, also has CloudMe, a cloud-based file-storage service on their soil. It is also alongside SoundCloud, the go-to audio-content server for Internet-based talent, which is based in Germany. The French also put their foot in the IoT space with a smart lock retrofit kit that has Web management with its server based in France.

A few search engines are setting up shop in Europe with Unbubble.eu (German) and StartPage (Dutch) metasearch engines in operation and Qwant and Findx search engines that create their own indexes. But the gaps that I have noticed here is the existence of a social network or display ad platform that are based in Europe and support the European personal and business values.

There are also the issues associated with competing heavily against the Silicon Valley giants, such as establishing presence in the European or global market and defining your brand. Here, they would have to identify those people and businesses in Europe and the world who place emphasis on the distinct European values and know how to effectively compete against the established brands.

The European Commission could help companies competing with the Silicon Valley IT establishment by providing information and other aid along with providing a list of European-based companies who can compete with this establishment. They could also underpin research and development efforts for these companies who want to innovate in a competitive field. It can also include the ability for multiple companies in the IT, consumer-electronics and allied fields to work towards establishing services that can have a stronger market presence and compete effectively with Silicon Valley.

Next generation HTTP afoot


Engineers rebuild HTTP as a faster Web foundation | Deep Tech – CNET News

My Comments

HTTP has been the standard transport protocol since the dawn of the World Wide Web and effectively became the backbone for most file transfer and streaming activities of the modern Internet.

But there is a desire in the Internet industry to bring this standard to 2.0 and bring some major improvements to this standard to cater for today’s Internet reality.

Data multiplexing between client and server

One key capability is to implement the SPDY protocol which supports multiplexing of data between the Web server and the Web browser. This is to provide for faster and efficient data throughput by shifting the data using one “channel”; as well as providing support for managing quality-of-service.

This may involve the deployment of audio and video material under a high quality-of-service while text data and software downloads can pass through on an “as-needed” basis.

Inherent end-to-end encryption support

The SPDY protocol that is to underpin HTTP 2.0 also provides support for end-to-end transport-layer encryption. But Microsoft wanted this feature to be optional so it is implemented according to the needs, such as a blog not needing encryption whereas an Internet banking or device management Web page would need this level of encryption.

But I would also like to support in this feature the ability not just to encrypt data but to authenticate the same data using a digital signature. Here, it could permit users to be sure that the Web site they are visiting or the file they are downloading is authentic and would be especially of importance with field-updated BIOS and firmware deployments, as I raised in my commentary about a lawsuit involving HP concerning this practice and its security ramifications.

Caching support at network level

Another feature that is being proposed is to provide for network-level caching of HTTP data. This is intended to provide for environments like mobile networks where it could be desirable to cache data in the service network rather than on the user’s mobile device; rather than introducing proxy servers to provide this kind of caching.

It will also allow mobile and embedded devices to avoid the requirement to have Web caches for quick loading of Web pages. Of course this will not be needed for those Web pages that have regularly-updated data such as Web dashboards, Web mail or similar applications.

Other issues

It also is worth investigating whether the HTTP 2.0 standard could support applications like client-server email delivery or advanced document authoring such as version control.

Of course this development will take a long time to achieve and will require some form of HTTP 1.x backward compatibility so there isn’t the loss of continuity through an upgrade cycle.

A logo for IPv6 readiness has now arrived for network hardware and services

After all of the PR that has occurred around IPv6, which I have discussed previously on this site, there will be consumer and small-business demand for computer and network hardware and software that supports IPv6. This will be made more real when people subscribe to fibre-based next-generation broadband Internet or sign up with ISPs that offer any form of “cutting-edge” Internet service.

What will typically need to happen for most small networks is for the network equipment, especially the router that sits at the edge of the network, to support IPv6 in a dual-stack form. This may be achieved through a firmware update for most recently-issued existing equipment or will be part of recently-sold equipment.

Of course, a router manufacturer may say that their equipment is ready for the new standard but is it really ready when the ISP enables this technology? This includes interoperability with other IPv6 and IPv4 network equipment, whether the equipment works on one of the standards or is “dual-stacked” to work on both standards.

The IPv6 Forum (http://www.ipv6forum.org/) have established a logo program with a Website called “IPv6 Ready” (http://www.ipv6ready.org/). What you will be looking for is a yellow logo with “IPv6” on the router’s box. You can also check your device’s readiness on the IPv6 Ready website. At the moment, the logo list mostly points to OEM devices or software stacks rather than finished devices under their marketing names. But this logo will typically be found in the marketing literature for the device or on the device itself or its packaging.

This logo proves that the device conforms to IPv6 standards as a network hub or endpoint and works properly with other IPv6 and IPv4 devices on the Internet. This is facilitated by the device or software having to successfully complete a round of compatibility and interoperability tests in accredited testing laboratories before being authorised to display the logo.

There is also an IPv6-enabled logo for Web pages and ISPs that provide IPv6 access with the program at this site (http://www.ipv6forum.org/ipv6_enabled/). The Web-page program is underway and open to Webmasters who want to be sure their Website is future proof. It covers resolving of the URL to an IPv6 address as well as all-the-way IPv6 http access to that site.

The problem with all these logo programs is that there isn’t the customer-facing education that encourages customers to prefer equipment or services that are future-proof with IPv6. The services program could be augmented through promotion of IP services that are ready to provide IPv6 as a standard-issue service than something that you ask for. This also includes the service being enabled by default if a customer connects a dual-stack router to the service.

As the “World IPv6 Day” and similar campaigns gain traction, it will become the time for consumers and small-business owners to consider the benefits of the new IPv6 technology and what it offers.