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.

Floppy Days Interview 28-May-2023 Talking about the old days of VisiCalc as well as a bit about the future. Floppy Days is "A podcast about home computers of the late 70's through the 80's. NEW SPONSORSHIPS! 8-Bit Classics is a great place to get video cables, power supplies and more for a wide variety of vintage computer platforms. Arcade Shopper has a wide variety of hard-to-find items for a large number of platforms."
Forever URLs 25-Feb-2023 (Updated: 19-May-2023 A Forever URL is one that never expires. Such URLs can be implemented using today's DNS as-is with new tooling to assist developers in developing websites. They also support devices and can support email addresses that aren't tied to a provider. They are a resource for the Internet as infrastructure.
Bits of “Intelligence” 25-Apr-2023 The AI engines tap into some powerful mechanisms, as does the Internet - -the idea that meaning comes from context and patterns and is not intrinsic -- a concept that is at odds with most people's reality. It is more revolutionary than Copernicus, who shifted a reference frame.
Connectivity Begins at Home 25-Apr-2023 📹 (video) This is my talk to BLU (Boston Linux and Unix) group. It's as much a conversation as a talk. While traditional home control is framed in an automation meme (Jetsons), I see it as more about managing relationships among peer devices.
The Problem Of 5G Hype 12-Apr-2023 (Updated: 13-Apr-2023 PDFWe're in yet another cycle of 5G hype so I need to explain the problem with 5G without getting into all the technical details.
The Posters Dilemma 26-Mar-2023 (Updated: 27-Mar-2023 PDFThis is my experiment with posts intended for discussions with copies on other sites.
GPT Ignores Major Risks of AI 18-Mar-2023 PDFIn response to a post on LinkedIn, I asked GPT about the risks of AI, and it's very telling that it omitted key risks of BS (blithely providing misinformation with authority) and its use for impersonation. the threats to provide by interpolation that we can't control. etc.
My Facebook Posts and More … 20-Jan-2018 (Updated: 12-Mar-2023 PDFAn attempt to catalog my Facebook Posts until when and if I use the ideas in formal essays and columns
Further Reading 18-Feb-2015 (Updated: 24-Feb-2023 PDFAny one essay can only skim the surface. For further reading ...
Trust and Insecurity 24-Feb-2023 PDFWe need to be wary about perimeter security and firewalls. While they seem to provide protection, they a vulnerable to the slightest breach. More problematic is that they prevent unanticipated innovation and make it difficult to try out new ideas. You can’t know all the second-guessers in the path.
Refactoring Consumer Electronics 01-Jan-2013 (Updated: 10-Feb-2023 PDFArticle in the January 2013 issue of the IEEE Consumer Electronics magazine. The concepts behind the Internet -- the best efforts exchange of raw bits -- represents a basic shift from a framing of electrons and pipes to one in which we can focus on relationships and applications.
The Stories of Software 01-Jul-2016 (Updated: 10-Feb-2023 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.
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.
Distributed Cooperation 17-Oct-2022 PDFI use my home as a living laboratory for connected systems. One of the goals is to avoid single points of failure by having direct relationship between endpoints.
VSIG Lecture on the Public Packet Infrastructure 03-Oct-2022 My VSIG talk on the Public Packet Infrastructure. It's part of the VSIG Series of lectures on Internet Governance.. It's based on the ideas in article on the Public Packet Infrastructure
The Public Packet Infrastructure 25-Aug-2022 (Updated: 18-Sep-2022 PDFThe 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 on CircleID
The Impact of Open Connectivity 12-Jul-2022 The Internet hints at the much larger possibilities of open connectivity in enabling discoveries such as the web but for the physical world. The ideas themselves go to a deeper level of thinking about how we build systems and how we can enable the future.
Bob Frankston
Copyright 1997-2023