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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Measure Your Net Connection With the Help of Google

Google co-launched the Measurement Lab with several tools aimed to help you find out about problems with your internet connection. The currently available, Java-based tools are Glasnost, testing whether BitTorrent is throttled, and a Network Diagnostic Tool to check your connection speed. Other programs, like DiffProbe – to determine whether your internet service provider is giving some traffic lower priority than other traffic – are announced to arrive in the future.

The Lab notes that “In order to advance Internet research, all data collected through M-Lab may be made publicly accessible,” with the servers currently provided by Google. Other founders of the Lab are the Open Technology Institute and the PlanetLab Consortium.

This looks like an initiative at least partly created to deal with net neutrality issues, by providing more transparency to users. This seems to be in Google’s political interest; it would be interesting to see the same transparency be provided with issues like Google’s censorship in countries like China or Germany. Say, a Measurement Lab tool that registers which domains are censored in, collecting those into a public database for research purposes.

[Thanks Hebbet!]


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