blog @spotflux
These are the thoughts and opinions written by the spotflux team and our colleagues.
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What Makes the Web Slow and How Spotflux Makes it Faster

September 25, 2013

“Time is Money”, something that everyone’s heard at some point in their life. When it comes to internet, the difference of a few milliseconds can make or break many modern businesses. As an example, let’s take a look at the world of digital advertising and the effect it has on the implementation of  Real Time Bidding (RTB). To summarize a RTB transaction at a very high level –  ad buyers are given a particular web request in “real-time” and must decide if they will bid on that request and how much they will pay. This decision typically must happen in less than 100 milliseconds or the ad offer will be lost. Within those 100 milliseconds dozens of analytics and decisions need to happen in order to make a profitable ad purchase. For instance, the age, gender, geography, affinity, and other factors of the ad consumer may be considered – all within 100 milliseconds.

What does all this obsession have to do with you, the “end user” read more …

Tech Tips: .NET Extension Methods

September 10, 2013

Not unlike Scala, C# (but probably to a lesser extent) blends principles from both Java and Racket; giving you more than enough rope to hang yourself with, but at least providing some nice conveniences like closures, type inference and our topic for today: extension methods.

From Microsoft’s extension method documentation:
“Extension methods enable you to “add” methods to existing types without creating a new derived type, recompiling, or otherwise modifying the original type. Extension methods are a special kind of static method, but they are called as if they were instance methods on the extended type. For client code written in C# and Visual Basic, there is no apparent difference between calling an extension method and the methods that are actually defined in a type.”

read more …

Debunking the Myths of VPN Service Providers

August 20, 2013

Think your VPN provider is looking out for your security and privacy? A lot of snake oil is sold in the VPN service industry these days. The terms “privacy” and “security” are tossed around fairly loosely without much regard for what they actually mean. In fact this is why the team at Spotflux doesn’t like our service to be called a VPN, its akin to calling Facebook a website – what we do is so far beyond a VPN service that it just doesn’t compare. In this post we’re going to address some of the ridiculous snake oil being sold to consumers in the VPN service space and try to help you understand some  important nuances to consider when looking for a company that will protect your privacy and security online.

snakeoil

Snake Oil Concoction #1 – VPNs make you private because they Hide Your IP Address

Most VPN providers do indeed “mask” your ip address by re-routing traffic through their servers. Your IP address does indeed look different and this may be good enough to trick some GEO-IP based filters into thinking you are somewhere else than your actual location. The myth however is that you are somehow “more private” just by having a different IP address – this couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s take a look at an example… read more …

Another Day, Another Rack

August 18, 2013

At Spotflux we are rapidly expanding and constantly opening up new datacenter locations. At our latest deployment Federico took a time-lapse video to show the meticulous work that goes into getting a rack ready for servers.  Here are some best practices that we like to follow when deploying new racks that you’ll notice in the video… read more …

Back from Defcon 21!

August 7, 2013

2013-08-03 15.40.08

Some of the team members just got back form Defcon 21 and there were some good talks this year. Watching Kevin Mitnick conduct his social engineering awesomeness was particularly amusing during David Kennedy and Nick Hitchcock’s talk where they demonstrated in real time how modern malware + social engineering can easily defeat many “next-gen” firewalls. Of course next-gen is nothing more than a fancy marketing term but suffice it to say these overly expensive appliances just aren’t driving the “bang for the buck” that they promise. We’ve got some exciting things coming in the next few months here at spotflux and well we think they’re going to shake things up for some of these “nextgen” guys.