Like

Planet4IT Does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Not to be outdone, seven of the staff here at Planet4IT did the Icebucket challenge on August 20th!

It was a balmy 20 degrees Celsius in Toronto.

Check out the Video Below.

 

We are calling out Porter, DECA Aviation, LMS Pro Link, MPS Business Systems, CEO of RBC Gordon Nixon, The Data Group of Companies.

Planet4iT CEO Jim Carlson is in PEI this week. He didn’t want us to show him up, so he also did the IceBucketChallenge on the Red shores of PEI.

Check it out!

JobTips 94

Job Tips

JobTip:  Looking for questions to ask during the #interview, try this one – Does the company promote from within?

 

JobTips 94

gravity

Last call for 512K

What would you do if the Internet ceased to exist?

It’s hard to believe that just a couple of decades ago there was no online or offline; no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. People watched television through cable, and entertainment was a different world entirely.

I was a child when the Internet was just starting to become the behemoth it is today. When faced with that same question, I don’t have an easy answer.

Some people were forced to experience life offline last week, when large parts of the Internet were overwhelmed and shut down.

No, it wasn’t Y2K part two, and it wasn’t space debris destroying Satellites as happened in the film Gravity…

gravity

 

Instead, the Internet fell to its own hubris.

In other words, it got too big too fast and couldn’t handle it’s own growing pains. May I present to you as a day that may go down in history the day North America went offline: 512K day.

512K Day

For those of you don’t spend your life online, a week ago Tuesday large swaths of webpages and networks suffered from a series of outages and disruptions.

Untitled-1

 

According to Vancouver-based internet monitoring firm BGPMon, these outages were “well above the daily average” and the number of affected systems and addresses were “the highest we’ve seen in the last 12 months.”

bgp

Now, most of these outages were restricted to the United States and some parts of Canada. (I personally was very frustrated when I couldn’t marathon the last season of Breaking Bad on Netflix)

recite-26613--370264786-dzs5uh

Many Internet service providers (ISPs) experienced technical problems that resulted in bad service.

There is a reason for that. Surprisingly enough, it’s a hardware issue.

Hardware Issue?

 

The Internet is built on IPs, which stand for Internet Protocol. Think of them like Postal Codes (or ZIP codes for our readers in the United States.) IPs allow computers to Network together while being aware of where they are in relation to each other.

Right now there are two versions of Internet Protocol:

  • IPV4
  • IPV6

ivp4With the growth of the Internet it is expected that the number of unused IPv4 addresses will eventually run out. This is because every device , including tablets, computers, smartphones and game consoles, that connect to the Internet requires an address.

IPV6 is the next generation of Internet Protocol – it allows for many more addresses than a measly 4 billion.

These IPs need to connect to routers.

router

Internet traffic is designed to flow in the most efficient way. This means frequent updates between IPs and Routers  that describe how networks should connect. Some routers, namely the ones that still function with IPV4, can only accommodate 512,000 of those updates in memory.

The problems lies in that the majority of the Internet is still running on IPV4, and although people are hurrying to upgrade the system, this exchange is just moving too slowly.

That’s what caused the Internet crash last week. Hence the name 512K Day.

According to the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG), starting at 4-5 AM EST on August 12, multiple ISPS were having major issues. These included but were not limited to:

  • AT&T
  • Cognet
  • Sprint
  • Verizon
  • Comcast

As we all know, problems with ISPs mean problems for the rest of us. Many websites were completely knocked offline as a result, and many more were running at a fraction of their usual speed.

As a result of these problems, some Web hosting companies, such as LiquidWeb, and its sites had been effectively knocked offline.

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?

The issue, which many people have known about for a long time, happened because those 512K routes were exceeded.

I’ll stress this now; the ISPs were prepared for this to happen, just not as soon as it did.

We all have Internet service provider Verizon to thank for this. A bug forced Verizon to dump  15,000 new internet destinations onto the network for about 10 minutes.

That’s much faster and heavier than the IPs and the Routers were prepared for.

This dump of addresses shoved some of this old IPV4’s past the all important 512K marker. Once that maximum was reached, three possible things happened:

  • The router can switch to a slower mode, resulting in sluggish performance.
  • Some destinations may not end up in the table at all, making them unreachable.
  • The network operator may have to reboot the router, resulting in a few minutes of instability.

Dutch Internet expert Teun Vink explained:

“Some routing tables hit 512K routes today. Some old hardware and software can’t handle that and either crash or ignore newly learned routes. So this may cause some disturbances in the Force.”

More alarming? It’s not over yet.

END OF THE NET?

Now, the Verizon bug was fixed but really it just spend along the timetable.

Last week was a taste of what’s to come in the approaching months. Network analysts are estimating that the number of routes will exceed 512K within a month.

However, it really isn’t all that bad. Like I said before, ISPs have known this was coming for quite a while. They are updating the infrastructure of the Internet to allow for routers and IPs to exceed that 512K marker.Newer hardware, like the IPV6s, are completely unaffected. Most of the damage is restricted to the older and smaller parts of the Internet.

Cisco even warned its users about this back in May of 2014.

That means this 512K issue is more of a mild nuisance than a threat to the Net.

However, as the IPs are being updated, Internet users can expect to experience:

  • Overall internet slowness if they rely on an internet service provider that’s affected.
  • Slowness for certain websites or services that rely on affected internet service providers, even if their own ISP is not affected.

While the Internet sorts itself out, maybe all of us should pick up a good book, huh?

 

eyes

What are Hedge Funds?

 AN INTEGRAL PART OF A GOOD INVESTMENT STRATEGY?

Hedge Funds have over the years gained a bad rep and a lot of negative media publicity, but experts argue that they are excellent investment vehicles and can be an integral part of a well balanced investment portfolio.

A case in point, is the recent survey conducted by AIMA and Barclays which showed an increased partnership between hedge fund managers and investors. The market has grown to $2.2 trillion in 2012 from only $450 billion in 1999.

So what exactly, is a hedge fund and why is it an attractive proposition?

Hedge fund is a pooled investment vehicle that uses complex investment strategies with the goal of maximizing returns while hedging the risk for its investors.

So the two most obvious reasons often cited in favour of hedge funds include their ability to reduce risk exposure and enhance returns. In the case of risk exposure, hedge funds that offer stable returns definitely contribute to portfolio stability when on the other hand traditional investment options are highly volatile.  As far as maximizing returns is concerned, hedge funds can contribute to this in 2 separate ways. Consider, the option explained above, where low volatility hedge funds offer relatively guaranteed additional returns compared to traditional investment vehicles. The second scenario, a more riskier option is when hedge funds are a part of highly volatile environments, but in turn garner high returns e.g. commodity trading advisor’s can generate very high returns.

While the thought of high returns maybe far too appealing for us to start investing in hedge funds, there are a few things to consider – hedge funds are typically open to only accredited investors or require a minimum amount e.g. In Ontario,  you need $150,000 to invest in a fund. Other risks associated include; information is not public- hedge fund firms are mostly privately held and guard their investment strategies closely. Funds lack liquidity, since firms offer redemption only at certain times during the year.

In conclusion, the overall risk/return ratio of the portfolio should be analyzed thoroughly before including hedge funds into the mix.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Archana

 

Archana has been at Planet4IT for years, and she knows the ropes. Be it understanding the client or a candidate, she truly believes in investing the time to get to know them better.

Whether it is big corporations or small fast paced environments,  she knows who the right fit for the right job is.

Truly a people person, one of her favourite topics is consumer behaviour and it shows in her friendly personality!

An expert in Finance, Social media and how technology is changing Healthcare, you can chat with her yourself at Planet4IT.

 

 

JobTips 91

Job Tips

#JobTip:  Never use “I” or “your name” in your job detail on your resume.  “I developed” becomes “Developed…” (action word starts every bullet)

JobTips 91

emoji

Preparing for your Job Interview Infographic

GettingReadyfortheJobInterview

 

I would love to hear from you about any interview tips, unusual questions or funny stories you have had.

happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting

guestpostintroduction

Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!