Just How Hard Is Verizon Throttling AWS? Spoiler: AWS Is The Shoe

Update 02/13/14 9:25am Eastern

Just a quick update for you all – I’m still working out a testing solution that standardizes as many variables as possible. Just for fun (and for the sake of actionable data) I’ve been running the original test periodically both on AWS and Akamai content. Neither has reached anything approaching the speeds my connection is capable of, however, in most cases the speeds have been usable (more like 1 – 2mb/s instead of 60kb/s). It does seem like something is consistently interfering with the data rate, though it’s still impossible to say with certainty whether it’s throttling, a dodgy backbone or node, or something all together different. I’ll update with more info when I can.

Update 02/11/14 9:24pm Eastern

As some of you have pointed out, it’s hard to say anything definitive about whether Fios is throttling without traceroute information. Additionally, it’s come to my attention that the file I was testing on today is hosted on Akami, not AWS. Turns out I had some outdated info – sorry about that. It does, hwoever, look like Akami is subject to the same slowdown based on what I found. I’m going to look into testing Akami further, and I’ll be running more tests on AWS in the coming days.

Original Story

Articles and tweets have been popping up over the past couple of days accusing Verizon of throttling content hosted by AWS, Amazon’s cloud-based content storage solution. Today, I decided to spend a couple of hours running tests on my Fios internet connection to see if I could find signs of throttling, and the results were shocking.
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Bitcoin Mythbusting

bitcoinsI’ve recently become extremely interested in and involved with bitcoins, and the more I research the topic the more misinformation I see. There seems to be a lot of confusion over what bitcoins are, how they’re used, and even whether or not they’re legal. I decided to put together a list of common myths about bitcoins, and debunk those that deserve debunking, and validate the ones that got it right. I will continually update this post with new myths, so feel free to send me an email or leave a comment with a bitcoin myth you’d like me to address.  Continue reading

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On Video Games, Violence, and the Role of the Press


The US Conference of Mayors held a meeting this weekend during which Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy had some things to say about violent video games. Actually, he had quite a few things to say on the topic, but one quote in particular stuck with me:

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Restrictive DRM Makes Buying Games Unappealing

On Tuesday February 7th Ubisoft plans to start some work on their servers. As you could probably imagine, that’s going to leave the online multiplayer component of most of their games unusable until the work is done. Unfortunately, for PC gamers the single player component of some of these games will be down as well.

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My Game of the Year Awards for 2011


Well, the year’s almost over. Tomorrow night, I’ll be ringing in the new year at a fundraiser event for KAM, but today, I’m thinking back on 2011 and kicking off the first (and possibly last) annual What the Geek Game of the Year Awards.  Continue reading

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Dear Microsoft,, Please Plug These Holes.

Over the past several months Xbox Live accounts (including mine) have been getting hacked en masse. Once the hacker has taken control of the victim’s account, they’re buying up as many Microsoft Points as they can, and spending them all on in game currency for FIFA 11 or FIFA 12. Then, from within their FIFA game of choice, the hacker buys up items for FIFA Ultimate Team, and presumably sends those items off to their personal XBL account.  Continue reading

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Swag Bucks Tells Us How They Feel About Cancer

Swag Bucks is known for offering great sweepstakes, and all sorts of freebies and goodies, but they’re more than that. They have strong feelings on the tough issues facing the world today as evidenced by this “cancer sucks” captcha. I’m looking forward to seeing more of these on their site – maybe “the recession blows” or “screw poverty”.


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The Tale of a Hacked Xbox Live Account

On September 6th, just after 9 AM, I received an email informing me that my purchase of 1600 Microsoft points had been unsuccessful. This was something of a surprise, as I had not attempted to buy any Microsoft points that day, so I logged into my Xbox Live account to find out what was going on. Continue reading

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Kevin Mitnick Will Have Work in 2027 Thanks to Deus Ex: Human Revolution

In these uncertain economic times no one can claim full job security, much less predict where they’ll be working in 16 years. No one except for Kevin Mitnick that is.

Thanks to Eidos Montreal, developers of Deus Ex: Human Revolution Mitnick now knows where he’ll be in 16 years – working for a fictional company that produces human augmentations. Not to shabby for a guy who did time for hacking!

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Who Wants to Buy My Diablo 3 Loot?

Diablo 3 may be the most anticipated PC game of all time, but, as it turns out, it will implement one of the most loathed concepts in PC gaming – a system where you can pay real money for in-game loot. Blizzard announced today that Diablo 3 will contain an in-game auction system where players will be able to buy and sell items with their hard-earned cash.  Continue reading

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