Project MAC, where we met S at MIT A the Software Arts building where we worked together T and the attic N where VisiCalc was written
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Comments from Frankston, Reed, and Friends

Friday, November 15, 2002

BobF at 5:16 PM [url]:

Blogs of Interest and of Concern

One of these days I'll get around to helping organize SATN and create lists of these essays (and other sites and readings) by categories and with abstracts (as I do in prototype form on www.frankston.com). In the meantime:
  • For telecom you can look at Kevin Werbach's Site and Daniel Berninger's.
  • Mitch Ratcliffe has posted comments about the latest dangers form those who fear terrorism. There's an echo of Alien and Sedition Act from 1798. William Safire writes about the issue in his Nov 14, 2002 column. I'm reminded of the worst fears from the 1950's. As much as we fear others, we need to be concerned with those who seek safety be trying to remove all risk even if it also means removing all opportunity.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

DanB at 10:32 AM [url]:

Trying a Tablet PC

I went out and bought a Tablet PC. I've written up my experience and my feelings about it on my personal weblog. Bottom line: I would buy one again. They are Tablet PCs, not Pen PCs, and understanding that difference is important to understanding the benefits, which are many.

Read "Tablet PC: First Impressions".

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

BobF at 7:34 PM [url]:

Teething Pains or Cavities?

Hiawatha Bray wrote about realities of Bluetooth in the Boston Globe (Nov 11, 2002). He did a fine job of summarizing the problematic realities of Bluetooth. The problems are not glitches to be worked out but are inherent in the protocol.

We can't really understand product until it has shipped. The Internet has thrived because not only can we build on this understanding and quickly update products, individuals can create their own solutions without waiting and then can share in the bounty.

Bluetooth is a product designed five years ago with no experience other than the failed IR port on the PC and it has shown little understanding of why IrDA failed. Like Bluetooth, IrDA defined a limited solution but did not give us the ability to define our own solutions.

IrDA failed to give us connectivity and we've lost nearly ten years that should have been spent learning how to take advantage of connectivity. Bluetooth only extends the delay. Bluetooth is simply a legacy of the old telecommunications industry which presumes that it can and should define the solutions for us and then limits us to what it provides and keeps us a short, albeit, wireless leash.

802.11 (AKA WiFi) is very different. It simply gives us the ability to extend the Internet beyond the reach of wires without limits on distance. My 802.11 laptop in Massachusetts can connect to a cable modem in Korea just as easily as to the one in my house. At least in theory� In practice we need to address the issues I wrote about in The Missing Internet. Instead we sit around waiting for Bluetooth.

You can read about this in more detail in the full essay on this subject.

Note that Microsoft�s implementation of Bluetooth repurposes it as an IP transport in the style of 802.11. It simply leverage the Bluetooth radios though limited to speeds and distances far lower than for 802.11B let alone 802.11A. It should not be confused with the larger goals of Bluetooth.

For more, see the Archive.

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