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.

Consumer Technology vs. 5G 04-Feb-2021 (Updated: 10-Feb-2023 PDF5G is often heralded as the future of communications technology. It's actually the antithesis. It is the anti-Internet clawing intelligence back into the network and limiting innovation. With 5G consumers would once again be limited to a choice of offerings and a new generation would rediscover the busy signal. Also available on CircleID.
Empowering People … and Their Things 20-Oct-2021 (Updated: 01-Jan-2022 PDFThere is no separate "Internet of Things". There is the big idea of best-efforts connectivity which allows us to create the opportunity for innovation in how we build systems of things and services.
The Public Packet Infrastructure 04-Oct-2021 The Internet isn't just a way to access the web, it is fundamental infrastructure -- the Public Packet Infrastructure. The infrastructure has seemingly unlimited capacity because we can innovate and take advantage of opportunities instead of negotiating for passage. We need to bring public policy and public perception into alignment with this new realty. This is also available as my IEEE Column
Living the Beta Life 13-Aug-2021 PDFIt feels like all the devices and software I use are in beta, waiting for me to find bugs. I'd have it no other way -- I don't need to predict the future if I can live it. Alas, products are still in beta even if they are official shipping because I go beyond the typical use case and don't handwave away failures that I know are not necessary.
Communities of Things 05-Feb-2020 (Updated: 07-Jul-2021 PDFTrust issues among devices are complex. In order to address them we need to take a community-based approach rather than having to revisit the issue for each connection and each app n×n. Also available on CircleID
The Age of Software: An Introduction 13-Jun-2021 PDFThe combination of digital representation and software has transformed the world and our understanding of the world. The Internet as just one byproduct of this fundamental conceptual shift from meaning being intrinsic to meaning being defined by software with multiple interpretations co-existing.
Connectivity Starts at Home 13-Apr-2021 (Updated: 15-Apr-2021 PDFToday's Internet is just one application of the powerful idea of best-efforts connectivity. The home router (NAT) decouples the connectivity within the home from the larger internet enabling innovation that leverages the Internet without being limited by it.
My Turn: Broadband opportunities — internet as infrastructure 15-Mar-2021 This is my letter to the editor in the Greenfield recorder explaining why towns can implement their own infrastructure. It is in response to a claim by cable PR saying that only a cable TV company can provide infrastructure.
My Turn: Broadband opportunities — internet as infrastructure 06-Feb-2021 Letter to the Editor of the Greenfield-Recording responding to claims that only Comcast (or other providers) to provide broadband.
Bob Frankston
Copyright 1997-2023