Tags: connectivity

14

sparkline

Monday, June 4th, 2018

Progressive Web Games – Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog

I was just talking about how browser-based games are the perfect use-case for service workers. Andrzej Mazur breaks down how that would work:

  • Add to Home screen
  • Offline capabilities
  • Progressive loading

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Mapping the Sneakernet – The New Inquiry

When it seems like all our online activity is being tracked by Google, Facebook, and co., it comforts me to think of all the untracked usage out there, from shared (or fake) Facebook accounts to the good ol’ sneakernet:

Packets of information can be distributed via SMS and mobile 3G but also pieces of paper, USB sticks and Bluetooth.

Connectivity isn’t binary. Long live the papernet!

Assumptions

Last year Benedict Evans wrote about the worldwide proliferation and growth of smartphones. Nolan referenced that post when he extrapolated the kind of experience people will be having:

As Benedict Evans has noted, the next billion people who are poised to come online will be using the internet almost exclusively through smartphones. And if Google’s plans with Android One are any indication, then we have a fairly good idea of what kind of devices the “next billion” will be using:

  • They’ll mostly be running Android.
  • They’ll have decent specs (1GB RAM, quad-core processors).
  • They’ll have an evergreen browser and WebView (Android 5+).
  • What they won’t have, however, is a reliable internet connection.

This is the same argument that Tom made in his presentation at Responsive Field Day. The main point is that network conditions are unreliable, and I absolutely agree that we need to be very, very mindful of that. But I’m not so sure about the other conditions either. They smell like assumptions:

Assumptions are the problem. Whether it’s assumptions about screen size, assumptions about being able-bodied, assumptions about network connectivity, or assumptions about browser capabilities, I don’t think any assumptions are a safe bet. Now you might quite reasonably say that we have to make some assumptions when we’re building on the web, and you’d be right. But I think we should still aim to keep them to a minimum.

It’s not necessarily true that all those new web users will be running WebView browser like Chrome—there are millions of Opera Mini users, and I would expect that number to rise, given all the speed and cost benefits that proxy browsing brings.

I also don’t think that just because a device is a smartphone it necessarily means that it’s a pocket supercomputer. It might seem like a reasonable assumption to make, given the specs of even a low-end smartphone, but the specs don’t tell the whole story.

Alex gave a great presentation at the recent Polymer Summit. He dives deep into exactly how smartphones at the lower end of the market deal with websites.

I don’t normally enjoy listening to talk of hardware and specs, but Alex makes the topic very compelling by tying it directly to how we build websites. In short, we’re using waaaaay too much JavaScript. The message here is not “don’t use JavaScript” but rather “use JavaScript wisely.” Alas, many of the current crop of monolithic frameworks aren’t well suited to this.

Alex’s talk prompted Michael Scharnagl to take a look back at past assumptions and lessons learned on the web, from responsive design to progressive web apps.

We are consistently improving and we often have to realize that our assumptions are wrong.

This is particularly true when we’re making assumptions about how people will access the web.

It’s not enough to talk about the “next billion” in abstract, like an opportunity to reach teeming masses of people ripe for monetization. We need to understand their lives and their priorities with the sort of detail that can build empathy for other people living under vastly different circumstances.

That’s from an article Ethan linked to, noting:

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

The inside story of Facebook’s biggest setback | Rahul Bhatia | Technology | The Guardian

The history of Facebook’s attempt to steamroll over net neutrality in India …and how they failed in that attempt, thanks to a grassroots campaign.

Crucially, Facebook itself would decide which sites were included on the platform. The company had positioned Internet.org as a philanthropic endeavour — backed by Zuckerberg’s lofty pronouncements that “connectivity is a human right” — but retained total control of the platform.

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Google Fiber Continues Awful ISP Tradition of Banning “Servers”

We have lost an ally in the fight to maintain net neutrality. I wonder how Vint Cerf feels about his employer’s backtracking.

The specific issue here is with using a home computer as a server. It’s common for ISPs to ban this activity, but that doesn’t change the fact that it flies in the face of the fundamental nature of the internet as a dumb network.

I think the natural end point to owning your own data is serving your own data—something that Steven Pemberton talked about in his fateful talk.

We must fight these attempts to turn the internet into controlled system of producers and consumers.

Fat pipe. Always on. Get out of the way

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Loon for All – Project Loon – Google

Google’s plan to bring internet connectivity to remote areas by using balloons wafting in the stratosphere.

Considering that Google seems to put as much time and effort into its April Fool’s jokes as it does into its real projects, you’d be forgiven for assuming this was a spoof.

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Scott Jenson | Exploring the world beyond mobile

Excellent! Scott has his own URL now. If you haven’t read everything he has written so far, start from the start and read every single post.

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Secret Servers | booktwo.org

A great piece by James on the architecture, aesthetics and perception of datacenters.

Monday, March 28th, 2011

this, is boomerang

This code could be useful in determining a user’s bandwidth.

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

BUY THIS SATELLITE - Connect Everyone.

This is an excellent idea: buy up a communications satellite and use it to provide free internet. I kinda wish it were a Kickstarter project though.

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Six Degrees of Wikipedia

Six degrees of separation as applied to Wikipedia articles. Read on to find the Kevin Bacon of Wikipedia pages.

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

This, That and the Other Thing | the human network

Mark Pesce's closing keynote from Web Directions South 2008. Great stuff, as always.

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Networks - a set on Flickr

A collection of network diagrams and visualisations from the simple to the sublime.

Networks

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

ongoing · In The Audience

Tim Bray echoes my thoughts on conferences. "And let’s be brutal: at most conferences, there are two ways to get a talk accepted: submit an interesting talk, or bribe the conference organizer. Oops, sorry: I meant “be a platinum sponsor”."