Archive for October, 2011

networking as matryoshka encapsulation

October 29, 2011

I’m taking a course on the basics of open networks and my tutor Koos Baas used a great letter/envelope analogy to describe the addition/removal of PDU PCI headers as data moves down and up the stack. I wondered what other analogies might work to describe a user sending a message to another. I remembered the doll I had and took a snapshot:

The smallest doll could be thought of as the data from the sender’s application. The largest doll could be thought of as a frame, just before being turned into bits for the physical layer. Shortly thereafter, the unpacking begins until the recipient gets the smallest doll at their application layer.

To my sister Lesley who gave me this gift I say, spasiba!

Stallman on Steve Jobs (part 2)

October 28, 2011

rms has a few “opinion” writers’ knickers in a twist. He criticized Steve Jobs’ legacy shortly after his death. It seems you’re not supposed to say that you’re glad Steve Jobs is no longer an influence in the technology industry so soon after his death. Apparently that’s  bad “taste”. I’ll self-censor my criticism of the opinion writers as it would surely be what’s rude and in poor taste. Instead, I’ll  quote an even more constructive follow-up from Richard:

Jobs saw how to make these computers stylish and smooth. That would normally be positive, but not in this case, since it has the paradoxical effect of making their controlling nature seem acceptable.

Jobs’ valuable contributions to the computing industry were more than negated. He promoted a market that has needless negative spillover effects. Sexy products are not enough to reconcile that blunder. And even worse, his attitude toward the ownership of design ideas in hardware and software are gasoline on the fire. As rms notes, the war on Android is a war that Jobs wanted waged. The full post is here.

“a complete standstill”

October 27, 2011

Software idea patents have been tying developer hands for years now. As time goes on, the harm these patents bring to the industry is bubbling to the surface. Big technology corporations are suing left, right, and center. Popular consumer products are finding themselves sidelined in some countries and threatened to be sidelined in others. Of course, companies like Apple and Microsoft tell a contemporary tale of a need to “protect” their “intellectual property” and portray themselves as victims of those who “steal” their ideas. Yes, they’re quick to justify the circus these days, but Bill Gates knew back in 1991 that we were headed toward a market that’s a far cry from Pareto-optimal:

If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.

Countries around the world should declare software as lacking the requisites for patentability.

no appreciation

October 24, 2011

So something went screwy with my Free Internet Chess Server account, rendering it unusable. After some frustration trying to fix the problem, I decided to just create a new account (against policy, shh!). I had to pick a new handle and I chose “erectpork”. When I showed my wife she said, “classy”. Her tone indicated sarcasm, so I’m not sure she appreciates anagrams.

Update: The FICS administrators have suspended “erectpork”. No response when I asked why. I guess they don’t appreciate Peter Rock anagrams either. But now I have 3 accounts on the server. :P (Yeah, yeah…I can only use 2 but still….)

zinn zen

October 14, 2011

There are all sorts of lies and euphemisms employed in an attempt to counter this:

Source unknown to me. Please let me know if you know.(Image source unknown. If you know, please inform me and I’ll attribute.)

“Unfortunate but necessary” is one twisted take. “Collateral” is a weapon that has been used by those who push the buttons. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against another who, when backed into a corner, becomes a vicious animal…that would be hypocritical of me. But throwing a stranger under the bus (!?) … that’s neither natural nor justified. Only the insane or duped claim otherwise.

a technoxymoretaphor

October 12, 2011

Android is one of the most free prisons of this day and age.