by CIO Staff

Researches Translate Network Traffic Into Music

Feb 09, 20063 mins

Music conductor
Credit: Thinkstock

By Constantine von Hoffman

Researchers have come up with new software that translates network and server activity into music. The geeks at Canada’s Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning say this lets IT operators interpret the music to detect problems in the system. WebTech reports that starting last Friday:

IT department operators began listening to what sounds like classical music but is actually a precise audio model of system metrics. They are trained to recognize instruments, chords, tempo and other musical elements of music as a translation of e-mail activity from 15 servers over three subnets. Every aspect of the music correlates to information. Probes detect server activity and send about 20 summaries a second to the iSIC sound engine. The data is aggregated and transformed into an audio format. The information moves through a rack-mounted Yamaha synthesizer, which streams it out as music.

But why classical? Why not something easier like say speed metal for when you get SlashDotted, Barry Manilow for a DNS attack and Hank Williams for when it’s time to pull in the plug and pray.

China isn’t getting any prettier…

Y’know going back to the same topic over and over again can get boring for everyone but … SURPRISE! Another one of the big tech/internet companies has allegedly screwed over a Chinese dissident. In this case, lawyers for Li Zhi are saying that in August 2003 Yahoo! gave up info on their client to the Chinese cops. Following that, Li was sentenced to eight years of jail. His crime seems mostly have been to have hung out with/helped the banned China Democratic Party. Of course, just a couple of months ago Yahoo! did the same Chinese journalist Shi Tao netting Shi a 10 year sentence in those oh-so-comfortable prisons. (Just an FYI for Yahoo!: Not good for your PR. We scum-sucking reporter types really, really remember stuff like this.)

Maybe it makes no difference in the long or even short-run for these companies that they do things likes this. It’s all about the money, after all. But corporations are made up of people and after awhile it’s gotta be tough to look in the mirror knowing you work for a company that betrays people as SOP.

And speaking of evergreen topics … Microsoft Corp. is warning of yet again of security issues. (Y’know they have to have a standardized press release for this by now, right?) Two new bugs in its software could potentially give unauthorized control or access over a person’s computer, while another problem was found by a security research company. Yes, they would all be in products from Microsoft, the company that has just unveiled a new computer security service. I actually feel for the PR folks at MS. They remind me of two friends, one of who did PR for a local nuclear power plant and the other for MIT. The first said his job consisted of coming up with different ways to say, “At no point was the public’s health endangered.” The second said her job consisted of coming up with different ways to say, “Suicide is not endemic to our student population.”

There has been some actual dispute over whether or how the comments button on this page still works, but apparently it does. I invite you to try for yourself. Also, for those of you seeking even more allegedly humorous fare allow me to direct you to my other blog, Collateral Damage, which makes fun of marketing.