Writings and Musings

Bob Frankston (bio)

Welcome to my writings.

If you want the recent essays check out the sidebar on the left or, better, go to Further Readings for a curated list of essays.

Other essays are listed in chronological order and then by category. The main essays are in larger letters and minor documents (such as messages posted on discussion sites) are indented and in smaller letters. The documents themselves are located on this site (www.Frankston.com) and as well as external sites.

You can send me Email. Note this unique address is only valid for the next few days.

The best way to link to a document is as http://rmf.vc/keyword.

By default only the most recent posts are shown, to see:
Recent By Date Posts from the last few months
Columns Columns written in 1998-1999 -- blogging before blogs. Look here for my more recent columns.
All All posts -- hundreds

Writings and Updates by Date

Some of the recent entries are also listed on the sidebar. Secondary items such as postings on other mailing lists are indented. Note that the year shown is the year the essay was updated. An essay written in 1979 might be listed under 2009 if it was updated recently.

Further Reading 18-Feb-2015 (Updated: 24-Apr-2017 PDFAny one essay can only skim the surface. For further reading ...
Bots and Conversations 26-Mar-2017 PDF 📹 (video) Monage 2017: Bots and Conversations. With the Internet our conversations take place outside the networks.
An Alien “Drove” my car 18-Oct-2016 (Updated: 24-Mar-2017 PDFAI and applications like self-driving cars are exciting but we need to wary about treating them as if they think like we do. It is normal to see new technologies just replacing existing technologies or, in this case, human drivers. While there is some overlap in roles we get the most benefit by recognizing how they are different from us and not just replacements.
What is special about an Internet of Things 14-Mar-2017 PDFI've been reading reading papers about an "Internet of Things" but they tend to be old engineering approaches relabeled. What makes the Internet special is our ability to build on the big idea of "just works" or ambient connectivity and the ability to mix and match end points using this common facility.
5G (and Telecom) vs. The Internet 26-Feb-2017 PDF5G sounds like the successor to 4G cellular telephony and indeed that is the intent. While the progression from 2G to 3G, to 4G and now 5G seems simple, the story is more nuanced and gives us a chance to better understand the what and, more important, the why of the Internet.
Re 5G (Spectrum article) 02-Feb-2017 Spectrum doubles down on the 5G as the future though it's relaly the past.
Re: 5G (and Telecom) vs. The Internet 01-Feb-2017 Overview of the contrast between 5G and the Internet.
The real reason why Trump using an old Android phone should freak youout notsp 27-Jan-2017 The President is using a phone that makes it easy to tap into any conversation! Uh oh
TEDx 2016 Talk -- The Abundance of the Internet 25-Jan-2017 📹 (video) My talk from TEDx November 2016. Having grown up from when the technology was simple I see can see beyond the Internet and how it is so much more than just a network and just the web. It gives us the raw materials to create our own abundance.
Interview at StartupCon 2016 22-Jan-2017 📹 (video) Talking about my experience as a co-founder.
Techdirt's First Amendment Fight For Its Life / Ayyadurai again 12-Jan-2017 Ayyadurai's deep pocket fight over email continues to do collateral damage.
Time to Retire the Leap Second 03-Jan-2017 The leap second creates many problems in return for essentially no benefit. It is a leftover from the days when computers used the same notation people did for writing dates. Now that computers separate the representation from the presentation it's time to move on.
Trump questions quest for cybersecurity: 'No computer is safe' 02-Jan-2017 Normalizing Russian Cyberattacks is extremely dangerous. See also this and this follow up.
Site Insites 29-Dec-2016 PDFThis past summer I decided my website need to be refreshed. Rewriting the site from scratch in JavaScript (actually TypeScript) gave me a chance look beyond the façade of the web and better understand how the Web works and the simple mechanisms it is built on.
Parking apps are tied to cars not location 20-Dec-2016 Parking meter apps are tied to the car rather than just the location. Making implicit explicit requires adjustment.
The Internet as infrastructure - IGF 2016 13-Dec-2016 📹 (video) A link to my IGF 2016 video. There is also a live transcript of the session here.. I'm planning to do an associated essay.
Re Question. Re Today is a remarkable day for the Internet! 04-Oct-2016 The end-to-end argument is about being to ignore the network rather assuring a connection between end pointts.
Trump’s Financial Naïveté 27-Sep-2016 PDFTrump has a very simplistic view of money. [From Facebook]
Mobile Edge Computing 23-Sep-2016 PDFWhen we frame local computing as being at the edge of a network we lose the big ideas of connectivity by framing the Internet in terms of tele-communications.
Infrastructure for a Connected World 19-Sep-2016 PDFConnected devices need a free-to-use infrastructure that allows for innovation beyond the needs of a provider or other intermediary. Also available on CircleID here
ANTIC Interview 226 - Bob Frankston, co-developer of Visicalc 05-Sep-2016 Interview with Kevin Savetz about the history of Atari and more ... You can go to YouTube for the video.
The Frankston Challenge 10-Nov-2015 (Updated: 26-Aug-2016 Dan Bricklin does a great job explaining the need for Ambient Connectivity.
The Stories of Software 12-Aug-2016 PDFThe concept of software has evolved from the early days of programming when each minute step of had to be described in detail. Yet the challenges remain because, ultimately, software is about sharing our understandings with devices that will act as our agents. I learn a lot writing these columns. This one made me think about what software is and why automatic programming succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations yet has seems to have succeeded at all.
What is a "Neutral Network" 24-Jul-2016 📹 (video) Panel at HOPE 2016 where I talk about infrastructure as an alternative framing to network neutrality.
The Internet as Our New Infrastructure 04-Jul-2016 (Updated: 24-Jul-2016 PDF 📹 (video) The Internet is our new infrastructure. It is a basic facility just as roads and sidewalks available as a basic elements of infrastructure. I use the term "infrastructure" rather than "utility" to distinguish it from metered utilities like gas and electricity that are provided only at a price. This is the talk I gave at FGV in Rio on April 29th 2016.
Re US, NSF to put $400M into Advanced Wireless Research Initiative for 5G networks 19-Jul-2016 The NSF is funding a new wireless effort that fails to address the need for ambient connectivity as infrastructure. It's just same-old albeit a little bit faster. Like a 600HP car in rush hour solving traffic problems in a city.
Re How the internet was invented 15-Jul-2016 The popular view is that the Internet is just another network. It's not -- it's represents a very different approach to how we communicate. One that is resilient rather than dependent on carriers.
Bob Frankston
Copyright 1997-2017