Internet Trends 2019 (Bond Report)

Internet Trends 2019 report is the most comprehensive, detailed, and research document that I have ever seen on what’s going on with the Internet, web, mobile, social media, marketing, and security.

This year’s report spans 333 pages and is full charts, graphs, statistics, insights, and references. And if you are feeling nostalgic, there is an archive of the annual reports going all the way back to 1995.

It’s difficult to pick a single fact from such a huge document, but if I had to, I’d go with this:

51% of the global population, or 3.8 billion people, were Internet users last year.

Wow. That’s quite a crowd.

Via Slashdot.

Packets-per-second limits in EC2

Packets-per-second limits in EC2” is an interesting dive into network limits on the Amazon EC2. Even if you aren’t hitting any limits yet, this article provides plenty of useful information, including benchmarking tools and quick reference links for Enhanced Networking.

The conclusion of the article is:

By running these experiments, we determined that each EC2 instance type has a packet-per-second budget. Surprisingly, this budget goes toward the total of incoming and outgoing packets. Even more surprisingly, the same budget gets split between multiple network interfaces, with some additional performance penalty. This last result informs against using multiple network interfaces when tuning the system for higher networking performance.
The maximum budget for m5.metal and m5.24xlarge is 2.2M packets per second. Given that each HTTP transaction takes at least four packets, we can translate this to a maximum of 550k requests per second on the largest m5 instance with Enhanced Networking enabled.

StackOverflow: Developer Survey Results 2019

This year’s results for StackOverflow Developer Survey are in. This is probably the largest survey of IT professionals, with nearly 90,000 participating this year.

As always, there are plenty of insightful findings and correlations in the results. But one that I was somewhat glad to see was the attitude towards Blockchain technology.

While the mainstream media continues to confuse Blockchain with cryptocurrencies, technical people do understand the difference. And the majority (29.2% + 26.2% = 55.4%) of the survey respondents think it is useful for a variety of things outside of the cryptocurrency.

And with all the hype around cryptocurrencies and Blockchain, the majority of the organizations are not working with the technology just yet. Furthermore, of those that do work with Blockchain, the majority is NOT using it for the cryptocurrency.

That is pretty close to my mental picture of what’s going on.

Programmer migration patterns

Programmer migration patterns” is an interesting attempt to identify where programmers start and how move from one programming language to another. This is not precise science, obviously. But I have to say that I mostly agree with the findings.

The first language that I learned (back in school) was BASIC, which then gave me some legs with Visual Basic later in college. Also in college, I’ve learned assembler, C, and Pascal, which guided me to some amateur and professional development with Delphi.

Soon after that I discovered Linux, which meant shell scripting. I played with awk, but I didn’t have to dive deep, as Perl was already available. Perl was probably my first true programming language, which I learned outside of school and college, and which I have been using for years to build all kinds of things. I still love Perl dearly, but the last few years I have been mostly using PHP, with some occasional Python.

JavaScript, however, is where I draw the line. I’ve been scarred by JavaScript back in the 90s, so I can’t force myself to go back. And then again, I don’t really have to. I’ll leave JavaScript, TypeScript, and node.js for the younger generations.

Let the source be with you!

Things that shouldn’t be online

Slashdot is running a story about a researcher who scanned all Australian IP addresses and found a whole bunch of things that shouldn’t be online.

As interesting as it is, this comment to the thread offers a lot more:

Pffft Only one country?

At a defcon talk in 2014 (talk [youtube.com] slides [defcon.org]) they scanned the whole IPv4 space live, looking for VNC instances. At least, anything that responded to a SYN packet.
Then they took a couple months to connect to each VNC instance, if no password was required, grab a screen shot.
Leading to a series of talks of things that shouldn’t be on the internet [youtube.com].

I am still watching the video, but even in the first few minutes, you’ll see some crazy stuff. And let me get you started with a quick quiz question: if you had 7 servers, each connected to the Internet via a 1 Gb/s link, how long would it take you to scan the whole of Internet (all IP addresses), assuming 10 ports per IP?

Well, five years it took 12 minutes only, and it was done on stage at the conference! To me, this is somewhat mind-blowing. We keep hearing how huge and enormous the Internet is. So the idea of being able to scan all of it in just a few minutes sounds insane. Today, you’ll probably need even less time, with more better broadband and hardware.

And if you are curious about the tool that the guys used, it was massscan. It’s a lot faster than nmap for this kind of jobs, even though they are somewhat compatible.