When Half is Not Enough

Back in the day, when the TCP/IP protocol suite was the new kid on the block, one of the classic issues was how to deal with half-open connections:

A TCP connection is considered “half-open” when one party thinks the connection has been closed and the other party thinks the connection is still open.

One solution to the half-open connection is the old "When in Doubt, Time Out" rule.  That is, if no packets have been sent/received on an existing connection for some preset period of time, unilaterally close the connection.  Not elegant, but works great. 

The Internet has grown exponentially over time and TCP/IP has become one of those things that are just there and works the way it is supposed to 999.999999 percent of the time.  Today's average PC user really doesn't think or care about half-open connections as defined above anymore, or even how TCP/IP does what it does!

Why am I writing about this?  Well, over the past week or so connections to two of my web sites has been bouncing, i.e., the monitoring service I use has been reporting intermittent loss of connectivity:

Alert Type: Site Not Available

Result: Failed

Time: August 11, 2009 10:39:23


Monitor Name:

Service: http
Alert Type: Site is Available

Result: Ok

Time: August 11, 2009 11:09:24


Monitor Name:

Service: http

Has the Internet "Devalued" You?

I just finished reading an article with an interesting view on the economic effects of the Internet by Tom Foremski of ZDNet.  It made me think a bit about what long term changes the Internet might bring to our way of life and economic well-being here in the USA.  We all hear the mantra that losing jobs to other parts of the world will more than be made up for by the the "better" hi-tech jobs that will be