Cloud Gaming


Cloud Gaming is a relatively new site covering the range of thin-client style solutions for gaming. We discuss this briefly in Chapter 13, and mention OnLive, but since the book was written (i.e. since summer 2009) several more services have started. RealityServer targets more general graphics applications, whilst OnLive, Gakai & Playcast are targetting games. OTOY is combining both realms.

We'll write an analysis of the requirements in the next few months. Services are most likely to require dedicated hardware, plugins or flash video. Of course something can always be done with pure HTML: see this demo of NOVA Server.



We'll have a lot more to say about SecondLife in upcoming articles on this site. However, just released are new versions of  realXtend's Naali viewer and Taiga server, which are Open Source implementations of the SecondLife server and client software. We discuss in the book that the client-server protocol for SecondLife was reverse engineered well before Linden Labs published the source code for their client software. Now the protocol is available in source form, various efforts have been made to reimplement the server side and make more flexible client software. RealXtend is an advanced effort, and the platform is moving towards supporting various different networking protocols. Watch this space for our own experiments in this area; for a long time we were running our our OpenSim server, but that lapsed when the server machine got appropriated for a student's experiment.

Legality of Deep Packet Inspection


In the book we briefly touch on the issue of net neutrality; whether those running routers should be allowed to inspect the content of packets, rather than just the headers. This issue will rumble on for years, but the legality of so called deep-packet inspection, is being challenged in Europe. Virgin Media, which runs a big UK ISP, proposes to use CView to inspect packets.

More background on US and EU attitudes to net neutrality can be found here and here.

State of the Internet Q3 2009

The latest edition of Akamai's State of the Internet, covering Q3 2009, is now available. We refer to an earlier report in the book. From their announcement (Jan 28th), this report includes:

  • Average measured connection speeds of the top 10 fastest cities per continent/region
  • The top 10 ports seeing nearly 95 percent of all observed attack traffic
  • The average connection speeds from three of the leading mobile providers within the United States


You will need to register to download the report.

Mammoth Media


Mammoth Media have produced an interesting guide to dedicated server software for games. They argue that games developers can better serve their customers by releasing dedicated server software that customers, or 3rd parties can install. In particular, the guide suggests that allowing ISPs to provision dedicated servers can improve customer experience, and alleviate demand at the game developers' own servers. This makes; you might not want (especially in Australia, where Mammoth Media is based) to suffer the latency of a long-haul link to a data centre somewhere on another continent, or the other side of the continent. It also makes sense when trying to provision very high demand when games are launched. Of course, releasing the server software means that the games developer has lost some control of the quality of the user experience; games servers can be hacked and customers can get annoyed very quickly.