Book: How To Accelerate Your Internet: A practical guide to Bandwidth Management and Optimization using Open Source Software

Most of us still remember — and will for a long time — the book Wireless Networking in the Developing World, created 100% in a decentralised way by people scattered all over the world, free to download or printable through Lulu.

Rob Flickenger and Marco Zennaro did it again, this time joining efforts with Enrique Canessa and Martin Belcher in the editorial coordination, as long as many other contributors. The book is called How To Accelerate Your Internet: A practical guide to Bandwidth Management and Optimization using Open Source Software. I here copy the official release note:

The BMO Book Sprint Team is pleased to announce the release of the new free book, “How To Accelerate Your Internet: A practical guide to Bandwidth Management and Optimization using Open Source Software”.  The book was released in October 2006 under a Creative Commons license, and was written in an effort to help network architects understand and troubleshoot problems with managing Internet bandwidth, which often result in unnecessarily high operational costs in the developing world.

Network connections are very expensive in most parts of the world, and it is often costly and difficult to add additional network capacity.  Therefore, effective management and optimization of bandwidth is crucial.  Research and education benefit significantly from Internet resources, yet the majority of institutions take little or no action to manage their bandwidth usage.  This waste results in high operating costs, slow network connections, and frustrated network users.

The goal of the book is to provide practical information on how to gain the largest possible benefit from your connection to the Internet.  By prioritizing certain kinds of network activity, reducing the impact of spam and viruses, providing local content caching, and performing extensive monitoring and analysis of network usage, Internet consumption can be brought to manageable levels.  This makes it possible to provide equitable access for all users, even when the available bandwidth is quite small.

But technical solutions only solve part of the problem.  In order to prioritize network traffic, an organization needs to have a clear idea of the intended purpose of the network connection, as well as insight into how the connection is being used.  The book addresses this complex topic by covering the three major components of effective bandwidth management:  Effective policy, extensive monitoring & analysis, and solid network implementation.  In addition, troubleshooting techniques, advanced performance tuning tips and tricks, and real-world case studies are also provided.

The Book Sprint began with online correspondence via email, which led to an initial face-to-face meeting of bandwidth management experts from around the world in May 2006.  Intense online collaboration followed over the next few months, which then culminated in the production of the 300 page printed book, as well as a PDF and HTML version.  The book was sponsored by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (, and was produced in association with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (, Aidworld (, and Hacker Friendly LLC (   By releasing this work under a Creative Commons license, the Book Sprint Team hopes to disseminate it as widely as possible, bringing this information into the hands of people who need it most.

The book can be downloaded for free, or a printed copy may be purchased at the book’s website:

Related to this, Marco Zennaro also points me to a conference given by Les Cottrell (SLAC) in Trieste back in October 9, 2006. Entitled Bandwidth Challenges and Internet World Records it deals with actual broadband challenges and what can Internet2 bring. It is tough stuff for non-techies, and files are quite heavy, but at least a quick view to the slides should be done (full presentation is 54’30” long).


Workshop: Personal Research Portal

I have been invited to give a speach about the Personal Research Portal in the framework of the scientific seminar series coordinated by the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3).

Back in September 15th I made a first presentation about this issue, which in fact is part and also origin of my first speech about Web 2.0 and diffusion of research series of conferences and article.

This time the idea is not to focus in theory but to give a workshop approach on how, what for and benefits of having (build) a personal research portal to keep track of your thoughts (blog), things to attend or follow (events), data repository (wiki) and readings (bibliography).

After my speech, my colleague Clèlia Colombo will talk about Democratic innovation in the information and knowledge society, an insighful approach to e-Democracy. Can’t miss her.

  • When: 16:00 h, November 2, 2006
  • Where: IN3 headquarters in Castelldefels, Spain
  • How: Free entrance, but better write to Alba Bon ( and say you’ll come


Site maintenance (and II)

If you’re reading this message, everything went ok with your subscriptions. Time to go back to normality.


Site maintenance (I)

Subscribers please read!

There are some changes in the site that I long want to do. And I am going to.

I’m going to send a couple of messages: one just before works happen (this post you’re reading) and another one (entitled Site maintenance (and II)) that you’re supposed to be reading right after this one. They’ll both be published almost at the same time, so expect them to appear on your feeds reader almost together.

In case they don’t, make sure you’re subscribed to one (or more ;) of the following feeds:

Thanks for patience. And thanks for reading.


The 2.0 Teacher: teaching and research from the web

In some ways, this could be called Web 2.0 and diffusion of research (part IV): the article. History goes as follows:

Now, Carlos Casado, colleague of both César and me here at the University has joined the team and the result is the article The 2.0 Teacher: teaching and research from the web, recently published at UOC Papers review. I think (I hope) that the output has once again improved, as Carlos added his own part on blogging in the classroom, besides valuous contributions to the whole. Pity is that 5,500 words is not really plenty of space to deal with all the matters we wanted to, and the balance among a “diffusion paper” and an “academic paper” is quite a difficult thing to accomplish: you’re asked to be both, and each kind of reader thinks it’s not either.

Anyway, here goes the abstract:

The aim of the article is, first, to give a brief presentation of what the web 2.0 is from the teacher and researcher’s point of view, leading to a consideration of some of its proposed uses in the classroom and to conclude by considering how it has begun to affect, and will continue to affect, the world of research, especially in terms of publishing completed work and establishing a new framework for collaboration among researchers.

Consequently, we will be talking about a web 2.0, which, in terms of technology, offers a wide public a set of sophisticated content publication and management tools and, in social terms, makes it possible for a collective intelligence to appear, based on the aggregation of non-systematised or explicitly guided individual contributions. Both points come together in the teaching and research activity of teachers, affording them tools-such as blogs and wikis-and ways of doing things that they can use at different times during their activity to increase their communication and motivation capacity in the classroom, and to optimise the efforts devoted to searching for information, collaborative work and the communication of their results in the laboratory.

The article concludes that the confluence of new tools and attitudes should lead to an academic panorama with greater collaboration between peers and a natural evolution of the current meritocracy system.


Online congress of the Observatory for Cybersociety (3rd edition)

Taking as a baseline Open Knowledge, Free Society, the 3rd edition of the Online congress of the Observatory for Cybersociety will take place from November 20th to December 3rd, 2006.

Five working groups have been created:

  • Topic A: Policy and social change
  • Topic B: Identity and Social groups
  • Topic C: Communication and culture
  • Topic D: Education and learning
  • Topic E: Critic and Innovation

each one still accepting papers for submission (deadline: October 30th).

The whole congress is a gem but, if you focus on ICT4D issues, Topic A. Policy and social change is your place.

If I had to pick one or two tracks — choose or die — I’d take these two:

Feel like registering?