Writings and Musings
Welcome to my writings.
If you want the recent essays check out the sidebar on the left or, better,
Further Readings for a
curated list of essays.
Other essays are listed in chronological order and then by category. The main
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||Columns written in 1998-1999 -- blogging before blogs. Look here
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Site Insites 29-Dec-2016
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.
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.
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 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.