Category Archives: Networking

[Video 439] Nick Sullivan: NGINX + https 101 — The Basics & Getting Started

Security has always been an important consideration for Web developers. However, in the last few years, many sites have been pushing (or been pushed) to use only HTTPS  (a secure version of HTTP) for their site. PCI regulations effectively require that a site only use HTTPS, and large sites such as Google and Facebook encourage (and sometimes demand) that a site refuse unencrypted HTTP requests.  This means that many sites which could previously ignore the calls for HTTPS now need to use and install it. In this talk, Nick Sullivan introduces the ideas behind HTTPS, and walks new developers/administrators through the process of making an nginx-backed site HTTPS-compliant.

Time: 36m

[Video 430] Fredy Kuenzler: Buffering sucks!

Anyone who watches video online (which is just about everyone) knows that sometimes, we need to wait for the video to buffer — that is, to download sufficiently into memory so that we can watch the video, or at least part of it. But it turns out that buffering isn’t a necessary evil; rather, it is the result of engineering and business decisions that Fredy Kuenzler believes are bad for end users, and end up costing everyone more than necessary. In this talk, we learn about the sources of buffering, the ways in which it causes problems, and some of the reasons why we pay so much for bandwidth.

[Video 426] Tim O’Shea: GNU Radio Tools for Radio Wrangling/Spectrum Domination

Back in college,  I had to take a course in signal processing.  I did miserably at it, for a variety of reasons — I didn’t have the right math background, I was busy with the student newspaper, and I had no idea what was going on. But it was clear to me, even with my slim grasp of the subject, that manipulation of radio signals could be potentially quite interesting and useful. Fast forward two and a half decades, and wireless systems are all over the place, from WiFi to cellular networks.  And the GNU project, unknown to many, has a system known as GNU Radio, that lets you control them.  In this talk, Tim O’Shea introduces GNU Radio, telling us what it can do, and why you would even want it.

[Video 400] Colt McAnlis: The Hard Things about the Internet of Things

The “Internet of Things” is the modern embodiment of an idea that has been around for a while — that not only can people be interconnected on the network, but that our appliances, belongings, buildings, and even clothing can be interconnected on the network. The IoT is attracting a great deal of attention, but it’s also pointing to issues with the current infrastructure of the Internet, and with applications that will need to be solved. In this talk, Colt McAnlis points to the problems with implementing the Internet of Things, and how we might need to think about and solve these problems in order to allow our refrigerator, bathrobe, and skateboard to speak with one another.

[Video 302] Jess Garms: Dealing with Unreliable Networks

Twitter seems like magic: You send a tweet, and it’s sent to your many followers in something closer to real time. But of course, Twitter — like all network applications — makes use of millions of networks that are not under its control. Many of those networks are slow and unreliable. How can you create a network application that appears to be seamless and reliable, working with images as well as text, when it is built on such an unreliable, unmanageable infrastructure? In this talk, Jess Garms describes the ways in which Twitter has worked to increase not just the reliability of their systems, but also the appearance of reliability for their users.

[Video 276] Ilya Grigorik: Yesterday’s best practices are today’s HTTP/2 anti-patterns

HTTP/2 is here!  This new version of the Web’s most popular protocol is optimized for modern Web uses. Our networks are faster, our browsers are smarter, and our requirements are tougher than was the case when the previous version of HTTP was released. But it turns out that HTTP/2’s speed isn’t just a matter of switching out the old servers and switching in the new ones: The best practices that we developed for years, in order to make our Web sites fast and efficient, conflict in some ways with the ways in which HTTP/2 expects us to work. In this talk, Ilya Grigorik describes HTTP/2, and contrasts it with HTTP/1.x — less to understand the protocol itself, than to understand how it works.


Mark Smith: Building Services in Go

Go is an open-source systems language that has gotten a great deal of attention for the ease with which it lets you create concurrent services, and especially network services. In this talk, Mark Smith demonstrates how to create a network service in Go, using Go’s patterns such as goroutines and channels.  If you’re interested in creating network services that can scale massively, or just in how Go works, this talk will likely be of interest to you.



Mark Nottingham: HTTP/2

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is one of the fundamental technologies behind the World Wide Web. However, HTTP was invented more than 20 years ago — and even the latest version, HTTP/1.1, is showing its age. Fortunately, developers have been working on HTTP/2, a next-generation version of HTTP that takes modern needs into account. HTTP/2 has taken a long time, but is nearly with us, and it is time to learn more about it. In this talk, HTTP/2 expert Mark Notthingham introduces the protocol, describes its benefits, and tells us what we can expect when we adopt HTTP/2.