The problem with excessive buffering in networks

I have been shaping the traffic going to and from my Linux server at home, which doubles as an Internet router, for a couple of years now to avoid the serious implications a congested network can have on interactive sessions, such as games and SSH sessions.

This morning I read an interesting article on the subject by Jim Gettys, and the problem seems to be worse than anticipated. You can read more about the problem here, and the detailed analysis here.

Google Reader Android app

The official Google Reader application for Anrdoid is finally here. For me, this is really good news, since I have been hesitant to install applications such as NewsRob for security reasons.

Yet another Android security vulnerability

Android security holes seem to be pouring down from the skies nowadays. This new vulnerability allows a malicious website to access files located on your SD card.

For more details check this article on Androidcentral.

GT5 is here!

Gran Turismo 5 has been released, and I got my copy this morning. Now I’m just waiting to get home from work to test it out. I’ve been reading a couple of reviews, with mixed conclusions, and I definitely hope I won’t be disappointed. After all, this is one of the games I have been waiting for this year!

Some reviews:

I will get back to you with my own judgement after actually playing the game. :)

Linux desktop performance patch

In my last post, I talked about how improvements are being made to the performance of the Linux block layer. This morning, I saw this article on Phoronix which talks about a kernel patch for improving the interactive performance of the Linux kernel. As you can see in the videos below, it really makes a difference.

Patch applied, but disabled:

Patch enabled:

For the full details, see this page.

Optimizing the Linux block layer for SSD performance

Today I finally got around to reading this interesting article I found on some time back. It deals with the challenges of optimizing the Linux block layer for todays SSD drive performance. If you’re interested in those kinds of things, then take a couple of minutes and read it through. It’s definitely worth the time!

Gran Turismo 5 release date

Yay! Finally there is an official release date for GT5. I’m already looking forward to November 24. :)

More Android exploits

As I pointed out in a previous post, Android is, if used incorrectly, just as insecure as any normal PC. After writing that post, a few reports on exploitable vulnerabilites in Android has surfaced.

There seems to be a bug in the credentials manager, which can be exploited to install applications without the users approval: (In Swedish) (Also in Swedish)

There is also a vulnerability in the browser in most Android phones on the market today:,android-exploit-code-published.aspx

In addition to this, on November 2, Coverity Inc., famous for its array of various code analysis software, published a report about a number of potential security issues in the Linux kernel used in Android:

So, as already pointed out: Be careful about which applications you download and which web sites you visit with your Android phone (or any network capable device, for that matter)!

The retardedness of Windows

Last week, I ordered a pair of SSD’s; one for the computer I use for daily work and one for my server. Yesterday, they arrived, so I was anxious to try them out to see if I they would boost the performance. It proved to be a cumbersome task, due to the retardedness of Windows. Read more »

Encoding videos for Android with mencoder

I have a Sony Ericsson X10 which I watch a lot of videos on, mainly in bed before I go to sleep. While I mostly watch YouTube clips and such, sometimes I watch episodes of TV series which I put on the SD card. Unfortunately, Android doesn’t willingly play the normal PC video formats, and especially not H.264 encoded HD files, so I need to reencode the files to MPEG4.

Previously, I have been using FFmpeg to reencode my videos, mostly due to its relatively simple command line syntax. Today, I wanted to try mencoder instead, because I really like the flexibility it delivers. I don’t know if FFmpeg has the same features; at least I haven’t found them. I struggled a bit before finding good parameters to create a video file which Android can actually play. In the end, I settled for this command line:

mencoder -o test.3gp -ovc lavc -oac lavc
 -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:acodec=libfaac:vbitrate=800:abitrate=192:vglobal=1:aglobal=1
 -of lavf -lavfopts format=3gp -noskip -noautoexpand -vf dsize=854:480:0,scale=0:0,harddup
 -af channels=2,volnorm test.mkv

This can probably be tweaked to produce files which suit you better, but at least it’s a start.