Sunday, February 1, 2009

Google sponsored tools to help analyze network problems

Gooble has released a new tool called Measurement Lab to help internet users better analyze their connections. These tools will help diagnose network problems, including if your ISP is "throttling" certain types of traffic.

Official Google Blog: Introducing Measurement Lab
When an Internet application doesn't work as expected or your connection seems flaky, how can you tell whether there is a problem caused by your broadband ISP, the application, your PC, or something else? It can be difficult for experts, let alone average Internet users, to address this sort of question today.

Last year we asked a small group of academics about ways to advance network research and provide users with tools to test their broadband connections. Today Google, the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, the PlanetLab Consortium, and academic researchers are taking the wraps off of Measurement Lab (M-Lab), an open platform that researchers can use to deploy Internet measurement tools.

Researchers are already developing tools that allow users to, among other things, measure the speed of their connection, run diagnostics, and attempt to discern if their ISP is blocking or throttling particular applications. These tools generate and send some data back-and-forth between the user's computer and a server elsewhere on the Internet...

Today, M-Lab is at the beginning of its development. To start, three tools running on servers near Google's headquarters are available to help users attempt to diagnose common problems that might impair their broadband speed, as well as determine whether BitTorrent is being blocked or throttled by their ISPs. These tools were created by the individual researchers who helped found M-Lab. By running these tools, users will get information about their connection and provide researchers with valuable aggregate data. Like M-Lab itself these tools are still in development, and they will only support a limited number of simultaneous users at this initial stage.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Web 2.0 Tool Directory

If you have teachers who are looking for different free, online resources to use with their classrooms, this website is fairly comprehensive and searchable by tag. While it's not education specific, I find that teachers are amazingly adept at finding the right tool for what they need, if they have some idea about where to start looking and why they might want to use that tool. The only other caveat--it claims to be the complete web 2.0 directory, but still not everything is listed there. Impossible to keep up, I would guess.