What is MPLS, and why isn’t it dead yet?

Did you ever order something online from a distant retailer and then track the package as it makes strange and seemingly illogical stops all over the country?

That’s similar to the way IP routing on the Internet works. When an internet router receives an IP packet, that packet carries no information beyond a destination IP address. There is no instruction on how that packet should get to its destination or how it should be treated along the way.

Each router has to make an independent forwarding decision for each packet based solely on the packet’s network-layer header. Thus, every time a packet arrives at a router, the router has to “think through” where to send the packet next. The router does this by referring to complex routing tables.

The process is repeated at each hop along the route until the packet eventually reaches its destination. All of those hops and all of those individual routing decisions result in poor performance for time-sensitive applications like videoconferencing or voice over IP (VoIP).

What is MPLS

Multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), is a tried and true networking technology that has powered enterprise networks for over two decades. Unlike other network protocols that route traffic based on source and destination address, MPLS routes traffic based on predetermined “labels”. 

Businesses use MPLS to connect remote branch offices that require access to data or applications that reside in the organization’s data center or company headquarters.

How MPLS works

With MPLS, the first time a packet enters the network, it’s assigned to a specific forwarding class of service (CoS)—also known as a forwarding equivalence class (FEC)–indicated by appending a short bit sequence (the label) to the packet. These classes are often indicative of the type of traffic they carry. For example, a business might label the classes real

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Ranking all 12 versions of Windows, from worst to best

You can tell a person’s age by which version of Windows is their favorite. I have fond memories of XP and Windows 98 SE, so you can take a guess at mine, but I have colleagues who are much more enamored with Windows 7, or Windows 95. We all have something disparaging to say about Windows 8 though, and the less said about Windows Vista the better.

Ranking the different versions of Windows is about more than what era of computing you grew up in, though. There are some very serious duds in Microsoft’s back catalog, just as there are a few wins too. But whether you can look back on some of Microsoft’s disastrous releases with rose-tinted glasses, or have some genuine love for Microsoft’s missteps, here’s every version of Windows ranked from best to worst.

12. Windows ME

Windows Millenium edition desktop.

It’s a toss-up as to which is the actual worst Windows operating system, but for us, Windows ME just about takes it, because despite its lofty goals, it failed at almost all of them. It ultimately only lasted a year before it was replaced by the beloved, and infinitely improved, Windows XP.

Windows Millennium Edition was the last Windows OS based on MS-DOS, but it restricted access to DOS to improve boot times. This made it the worst of both worlds, as it couldn’t benefit from the improvements found in the Windows NT kernel, which formed the base of Windows XP, but also didn’t provide proper DOS functionality either.

Windows ME was plagued by poor driver support and incredibly bad stability issues. It is known for how frequent it would crash, and not just once you had it up and running. There are myriad reports of its crashing during installation and setup, and much-touted features like System Restore often

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Montreal study finds correlation between teens’ social media time and restrictive eating

Researchers at Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal have found a correlation in teenagers between the amount of time spent on social media and restrictive eating behaviours or eating disorders.

The findings were published in the journal Psychology & Health and followed 3,801 high school students over five years.

“Social media makes you feel less good about yourself and promotes a desire to be thinner, to have concerns about your weight, and potentially engage in restrictive behaviours,” said lead author Patricia Conrod.

Her previous work researching a link between social media and depression was used during a 2021 Congressional hearing where Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was questioned about the link.

Conrod said it can fuel a downward spiral where looking at an app can generate negative emotions but instead of turning away, it can lead to more time scrolling.

“The more you are in a lower mood, the more you’ll turn to social media, and the more than social media will impact on your mood in a negative spiral,” she said.

Her work rings true to Clara Chemtov, former Miss Teenage Quebec and outspoken advocate on eating disorders.

“Social media definitely had a negative impact,” she said. “Just because the way apps like Instagram work it will always show you more of the content they think you like. That meant my feed was always flooded with professional dancers and models who had bodies that were completely unlike my own.”

Chemtov was diagnosed with anorexia at 17 years old and is currently in recovery.

“Sometimes you can’t help it,” she said. “Even though you know cognitively that your life doesn’t have to look like theirs to be worthwhile. When you see it everyday, all the time, it does take a toll. You start to question yourself.”


The following

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Logitech Brio 505 webcam review

Good webcams are crucial in an office environment – whether that’s your home office or an open-plan row of desks for an entire department. It’s a bad look to be stuck with a pixelated face or off-color tint during a Zoom meeting, and there are plenty of webcams that improve on the middling built-in offerings found in the average laptop.

Logitech’s Logi Brio 505 is a capable upgrade, with a simple USB-C connection, Full HD picture, built-in stereo microphone, and integrated privacy shutter. That’s not to mention its host of useful smart features, including a variety of zoom, viewing angle, and autofocus options to customize the image you put out to your colleagues or customers. 

The Brio 505 is essentially identical to the 500 model, but comes with a detachable cable and a three-year warranty – unlike the fixed cable and one-year warranty of the 500. There’s also a Brio Stream model that outputs in 4K with improved noise canceling, for about double the price, but the average employee should find the Brio 505 works fine for their needs.


Logitech Brio 505 front view

(Image credit: Logitech)

Resolution: 720p/1080p

Field of view: 90°/78°/65°

Frame rate: 30fps/60fps

Digital zoom: 4x Digital zoom

Inbuilt microphone: Stereo mic

Autofocus: Yes

Privacy cover: Yes

Connection: USB-C to USB-C

Key features

(Image credit: Henry St Leger / Digital Camera World)

The Logitech Brio 505 feels tailor-made for a workspace – whether a home office or more corporate setting. Its RightSight technology automatically frames you in the center of the image, with a capable autofocus which means you’ll never be staring at fuzzy faces in an important meeting.

While you’ll get the best results using it as a solo operator, the Brio’s adjustable field of view – going

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Powerful Galaxy S23 Decision, Smartphone Sales Fall, OnePlus Confirms New Tablet

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the latest Galaxy S23 leaks, Samsung’s SnapDragon decision, OnePlus confirms OnePlus Pad, smartphone sales fall, Android 13’s successful roll-out, Google plans old app block, fast pair for phones, and a potential phone from Coca-Cola.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

The Case For The Galaxy S23

“More Galaxy S23-series official case colors and designs have shown up online through leaked renders. They reveal clear cases, colored silicone cases, and S-View Flip Covers for both the rounder Galaxy S23/S23+ and the boxier Galaxy S23 Ultra. The renders… also reveal screen protectors for the Galaxy S23 series, and they offer a closer look at some of Samsung’s design decisions for 2023, i.e., the circular rear-facing cameras.


Samsung Prepares A Snapdragon For Everyone

Samsung’s upcoming family of Galaxy S23 smartphones looks more and more likely to be powered by the latest SnapDragon 8 Gen 2 system on chip across all global variants. That’s going to provide a continuity of hardware the platform has not seen in a long time:

“A new report from Daum adds further confirmation that Samsung will be using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in all global models of the Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra. This has been expected for months, but only seems more certain as we approach the official launch.”

(via 9to5Google).

OnePlus Sneaks Out Pad Images

We have our first official look at the OnePlus Pad – the first tablet from OnePlus – this week as teaser

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