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Comments from Frankston, Reed, and Friends

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

BobF at 5:55 PM [url]:

Catching up on 4G, 802.11, Spam etc

There are simply too many topics to write about and when I do try to sort them out I try to write self-contained essays for a wide audience. It is much easier to write short pieces in a discussion group where I can be less guarded and I can assume the readers have enough background to understand the issues without extra explanations. Of course, another strong motivation is a deadline like "we need to post something tomorrow". In the meantime I've been upgrading my site to better support references to these other postings. I hope I don't introduce new bugs in the process but that only adds to the topics to write about as programming itself is part of what enables those of us at the edges (all of us that is) to take advantages of the opportunities provided by connectivity and technology.

My ZDNet essay on 802.11 vs Bluetooth is of the "deadline" variety. David Berlind has been following Bluetooth in his column and I've been chiding him by pointing out that Bluetooth is fundamentally flawed so he challenged me to explain why. By coincidence I happened to get a chance to speak to the Executive Director of the Bluetooth SIG (Mike McCamon). They are starting to understand that the approach of trying to deliver a complete solution can't compete with 802.11 which gives people the ability to create their own solutions but makes few promises. I quickly updated the essay (actually, I rewrote the whole thing) on the flight back from the conference.

I also wrote two notes on Dave Farber's Interesting People list about spam (pointing out the problem with rushing to implement naive solutions to a mischaracterized problem) and about 4G which is related to the 802.11 vs Bluetooth issues since it too is about the cellular industry attempting to come to terms with the challenge of fungible connectivity. I plan to write more about these issues in the near future (a future which, somehow, keeps staying in the future). The word "fungible" means simply that you can't distinguish between the units of connectivity and makes it difficult for companies to effectively differentiate their products. But more on that when I expand on these issues �

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