By User:Salimfadhley (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

4-way TCP handshake and firewalls

Jarek Siembida wrote “This is one of those pieces that you keep in your head for ages but never get around to write up. Tcpdumping I was doing of late brought it back so here it is. We all know the 3-way handshake in TCP: SYN + SYN/ACK + ACK and voila! But this is not the end…”

By ENERGY.GOV (HD.17.028) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Global Alliance for Genomics and Health

James Uther wrote “Gene sequencing has been diving in cost: It’s no longer in the wild ride of 2008, but still the cost is now low enough that genome data is piling up in research centres the world over. It’s been realised that a lot of the really interesting research questions can only be answered by sampling a…”

On being almost there

James Uther wrote “Personis is an ongoing line of research projects about how we can store personal data (thing location tracking, fitness trackers, etc) in a way that leaves us in control of our data but at the same time allows us to give permission to useful services to process that data for us. A canonical example would…”

Yahoo doesn’t know what an email address is

Tony Garnock-Jones wrote “Many websites refuse to accept email addresses of the form ``, despite the fact that the `+sometext` is perfectly legitimate1 and is an advertised feature gmail offers for creating pseudo-single-use email addresses from a base email address. My guess is that the developers of these sites think, because they’re either lazy or incompetent, that email…”

Reverse HTTP == Remote CGI

Tony Garnock-Jones wrote “I’ve been working recently on Reverse HTTP, an approach to making HTTP easier to use as the distributed object system that it is. My work is similar to the work of Lentczner and Preston, but is independently invented and technically a bit different: one, I’m using plain vanilla HTTP as a transport, and two, I’m…”

Streamlining HTTP

Tony Garnock-Jones wrote “HTTP/1.1 is a lovely protocol. Text-based, sophisticated, flexible. It does tend toward the verbose though. What if we wanted to use HTTP's semantics in a very high-speed messaging situation? How could we mitigate the overhead of all those headers? In this post, we invent a simple alternative syntax for HTTP that drastically reduces the wasted bandwidth. For the specific example of the OPRA feed, the computed bandwidth requirement of the experimental syntax is only 11% higher than the raw data itself — nearly 300% better than ordinary HTTP.”

E4X: Not as awful as I thought

Tony Garnock-Jones wrote “Long, long ago, I complained about various warts and infelicities in E4X, the ECMAScript extensions for generating and pattern-matching XML documents. It turns out that two of my complaints were not well-founded: sequence-splicing is supported, and programmatic construction of tags is possible. Firstly (and I’m amazed I didn’t realise this at the time, as I…”

Astral Plane characters in Erlang JSON/RFC4627 implementation

Tony Garnock-Jones wrote “Sam Ruby examines support for astral-plane characters in various JSON implementations. His post prompted me to check my Erlang implementation of rfc4627. I found that for astral plane characters in utf-8, utf-16, or utf-32, everything worked properly, but the RFC4627-mandated surrogate-pair “uXXXX” encodings broke. A few minutes hacking later, and: Eshell V5.5.5 (abort with ^G)…”

Invitation to AMQP and RabbitMQ Birds of a Feather session

chris wrote “I am guest blogging here on behalf of CohesiveFT. We work with the excellent LShift team on our joint venture, RabbitMQ. I’m here to invite you to a Birds of a Feather session this coming Thursday, August 30th, at 8pm, in central London. It is FREE and will last for 45 minutes starting at 8pm,…”

RFC 1982 limits itself to powers of two unnecessarily

Tony Garnock-Jones wrote “RFC 1982 defines a “Serial Number Arithmetic”, for use when you have a fixed number of bits available for some monotonically increasing sequence identifier, such as the DNS SOA record serial number, or message IDs in some messaging protocol. It defines all its operations with respect to some power of two, (2^SERIAL_BITS). It struck me…”