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.

Note that I'm currently writing shorter transient posts on Facebook as "Bob Frankston". I'm gathering links here.

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.

Columns 04-Jul-1998 (Updated: 25-May-1999 These columns represent a first attempt at posting short opinions
Newton 2000 24-Nov-1998 Suggestions for how, a suburb of Boston, Newton, Ma can use the IP infrastructure and related technologies to make the city operate more efficiently and be a better place to live.
Extending Email Addressing 21-Oct-1998 Email addressing has a serious flaw. Unlike the paper mail which allows you to use any name you want, with email you must register each one with your service provider and often pay a fee. This is a proposal to extend email addressing to support the extensibility necessary for universal use of email.
Demo Letter: Article on Home Networking 01-Aug-1998 This short piece focuses on IP as the enabling technology.
Internet Myths and Public Policy 27-May-1998 Originally written in response to a desire to provide Email to all. Without a proper understanding of the technology, setting policies to implement this is very likely to have the perverse effect of insuring just the opposite!
Home Connectivity 06-May-1998 The terms "Home Networking" and "Home Automation" are often used to describe what I prefer to be calling "Home Connectivity and Control". The confusion in terminology is symptomatic of the difficulty in a real but often misunderstood need.
Universal Service 26-Apr-1998 An argument that the social policy of universal access (via the Universal Service fund) is outdated and a threat to advancement in telephony.
The Holmesian Fallacy 19-Apr-1998 Sherlock Holmes makes for great fiction, but depending upon Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for lessons in reasoning is a very bad idea.
IP Everywhere 06-Apr-1998 The IP Infrastructure has the potential for being a vital resource, but we are at a point where a lack of understanding by policy makers and an emphasis on supporting legacy systems threatens to leave the Internet a much less effective medium than it could be.
Phone Numbers 07-Mar-1998 The idea of a phone number should be very simple -- each phone has a number. But, in practice, we are burdened with special case rules such as when we must or must not dial a "1" or an area code. We must also constantly monitor changes to these rules such as area code splits. This complexity is the result of policies rather than technical reasons.
Leap Seconds 07-Mar-1998 Leap second seems trivial but we have an inherent ambiguity in how we deal with time and computation. The value of a time, such as the year 2000, cannot be determined ahead of time!
Firewalls 25-Feb-1998 Mechanisms like firewalls have the downside of frustrating effective use of the network, while providing only the illusion of security. Updated with comments about malicious programs sent via email.
Bob Frankston
Copyright 1997-2023