Networks – Snakes and Ladders

Since my original post on the strange sudden increase in sim ping to SL, several things have come to light.

One is that the spat between certain factions in the US House of Representatives (I think) and the President has resulted in the shutdown of most US administration websites. Whether this has had an impact on net traffic during the US working day is debatable.

Another is that it is now clear that ping to some SL servers is very different to others; this must, I presume, be some network issue internal to Linden Lab. I suspect this has been occurring for some time now, I just had not noticed it.

All I do know is that suddenly a week or so ago (at the beginning of October) daytime ping to all SL sims seemed to “normalise”, i.e. not hugely increase in the UK evening. What seems to be the case now is that daytime pings are about 10% higher than they used to be but that apart from a small increase in the UK evening (due, I am fairly sure, to increased net traffic in the UK) pings seem to remain at a constant level without the chronic packet loss issues that I was experiencing. I also notice via tracert that my connection to SL now goes via the Netherlands, which it did not do in the past.

I gather that this improvement is by no means universal and that problems remain for users in mainland Europe and Australia. Whether this means that the change was the result of my ISP, Virgin Media, or some other factor, I simply do not know. What is now a lot clearer to me is that while we take internet connectivity pretty much for granted now, we are very much at the mercy of companies and factors over which we have very little influence. OK, you may well say “welcome to reality”. As the level of our dependence on technology increases the level of control we have over our lives is diminishing, and that worries me.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on October 11, 2013.

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