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.

Cranking Along 20-Dec-2002 Short intro and pointer to the full essay
Cranking Along 20-Dec-2002 Scott Kirsner wrote about blogs (including mine) in the Boston Globe. I felt I should quickly put together my own comments but it took five days to reflect upon my writing.
On Ensuring End-to-End 15-Dec-2002 It is easy to ask for quality but rarely do people ask what is meant by Quality. In practice, the term is often and excuse for arbitrariness and is antithetical to the openness of the Internet.
Learning by Shipping 09-Dec-2002 The table PC is interesting both as a device in its own right and as a way to understand how products evolve.
Mistrial! 23-Nov-2002 The Federal courthouse in Boston has banned the use of PDAs. The unwillingness to allow mental aids is very worrisome.
Blogs of Interest and of Concern 15-Nov-2002 Pointers to blogs on telecom policy and on the dangers of security mania.
Teething Pains or Cavities 12-Nov-2002 Hiawatha Bray wrote about his experiences with the first set of Bluetooth devices. Reality highlights the Bluetooth's limitations (summary).
Teething Pains or Cavities 12-Nov-2002 Hiawatha Bray wrote about his experiences with the first set of Bluetooth devices. Reality highlights the Bluetooth's limitations (full essay).
on Lessons from the Meltdown of U.S. Telephone Industry 09-Nov-2002 Response to an article from Japan about the Telephone Industry.
Ownership 31-Oct-2002 Owners add value. But we limit ownership based on a static agrarian model of property. In order to maximize society's benefit we need to be able to accept that others' need the opportunity be owners and holding bits hostage leave us with little opportunity to create value.
Another Dangerous Idea 31-Oct-2002 Just as the Darwin's recognition that we are the product of an indifferent process of evolution, the Internet forces us to come to terms with the interplay of social policy and technology.
From Hotrods to PCs 24-Oct-2002 In the 1950's enthusiasts would soup up their cars. Today this energy often goes into ones computer.
Implementing .DNS 02-Sep-2002 With all the noise and rancor surrounding ICANN it is easy to lose sight of the fact that ICANN itself is just mechanism that people care about too much. Create the .DNS TLD gives us a way to move beyond the squabbling.
Trapped by the Web! 02-Sep-2002 The web protocols are great for pushing documents but we must not confuse a web site with a service. Your need to focus on service, not a web site.
About Binding 02-Sep-2002 The DNS is a mechanism for associating stable identifiers with volatile IP addresses. The dotDNS simply removes the impediments to effective use of binding for maintaining relationships on the Internet but it's also important to understand the concept in its own right.
dotDNS 02-Sep-2002 Short abstract of the dotDNS proposal.
The Cable Racket!! 26-Aug-2002 What gives ATT the right to grab revenue from a company just because it uses their wires? Something is very wrong and I hope that these kinds of arrangements will make it more obvious.
So You Want to be Secure 11-Aug-2002 Security is about a lot more than keeping the bad guys out a lot less. We shouldn't confuse stasis with security.
Blogging, Spam and Discovery 10-Aug-2002 Blogging is being "discovered" by the mainstream press and they view it in their image. But it is a lot more interesting when viewed as a way to exchange information and compared with others approaches such as advertising and its feral cousin, spam.
Annoyances and more 08-Aug-2002 Mainly a pointer to recent articles on Frankston.com and some comments on the difficulties in using computers.
(East (New (York))), (New (York)) 31-Jul-2002 In visiting the neighborhood I grew up I was struck by the sign for E New York Ave. But the street is named after East New York, not New York. Ambiguity is everywhere. Too bad the ICANN seems to be in denial.
The Economist, the Internet, Telecom and the Dow 31-Jul-2002 I greatly respect The Economist as a business magazine yet even they seem to treat the woes of the telecom sectors as a symptom of problems with technology rather than seeing the woes as the result of the rise of new vibrant sectors.
Various annoyances and related issues 06-Jul-2002 We tend to underestimate the pervasive effect of seeming innocuous design issues yet they have large implications, especially as they accumulate. In itself each annoyance seems minor. The challenge is seeing which of them are leverage (or tipping?) points. After all, the Internet Protocols are trivial yet they mooted a trillion dollar telecom industry.
Redesigning Frankston.com 06-Jul-2002 The first major redesign of this site since 1998.
Check Engine! Why? 06-Jul-2002 The car is designed by them for us. It needn't be and shouldn't be.
Interesting Articles 03-Jul-2002 Pointers without further comment
Caller ID and End-to-end 02-Jul-2002 The Caller-ID service on telephones provides a casebook study in the value of end-to-end design.
Blue in the tooth 02-Jul-2002 Pointers to some of my remarks on Bluetooth
Living a Lie? 09-Jun-2002 Without advocacy, it is hard to even know what is possible.
The FCC In Context 25-Apr-2002 Politics is often treated as a spectator sport. But the FCC is different in that we can do more and think about the fundamental issues rather than just betting on winners and losers.
The Importance of Encrypted IPV6 23-Apr-2002 The Internet has become a maze of twisting winding passages because the existing addressing scheme has been unable to keep up with the demands. The Internet has also become unsafe and we need to support responsible behavior by giving users the ability to maintain the integrity of their connections.
The "Magic" of the Internet 14-Apr-2002 The Internet seems to work by magic but if you look underneath you find it is very simple. A good example is email. You don't even need a program - you and send mail by simply typing and sending commands to the recipient's computer! The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is indeed simple!
Whither ICANN 27-Feb-2002 ICANN is aiding and abetting the .com tragedy
The Tragedy of the .COMs 14-Jan-2002 The problem with .com and the DNS. Originally posted on SATN
Bob Frankston
Copyright 1997-2023