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.

Facebook Posts 20-Jan-2018 (Updated: 18-Apr-2018 PDFAn attempt to catalog my Facebook Posts until when and if I use the ideas in formal essays and columns
Re Is Science Hitting a Wall - it's not just about science 08-Apr-2018 We need to think of the future in terms of discovery and opportunity and not just the past a little faster and better. We see an example of this in public policies pushing faster old style telecom networks instead of creating new opportunities for connectivity.
Connectivity as a Vital Consumer Service 27-Mar-2018 (Updated: 28-Mar-2018 PDFToday we retreat the Internet as if it were another television channel. If the service goes out we are fully dependent upon a provider to diagnose and fix the problem. Today we are increasingly dependent upon connectivity and must meet the challenge by empowering consumers to work with providers to address issues and assure connectivity. ((Also avalable on CircleID)
Further Reading 18-Feb-2015 (Updated: 05-Mar-2018 PDFAny one essay can only skim the surface. For further reading ...
From Net Neutrality to Seizing Opportunity 05-Mar-2018 PDFNetwork neutrality is important in the context of assuring the opportunity to innovate in how we communicate and connect. We can't define it in terms of specific outcomes but rather in terms of what we enable. The Internet is just one example of what we can do when given the opportunity to use software to fashion our own solutions. (Also avalable on CircleID and at Broadband Breakfast
Cockamamie #broadband pricing from #Cox. 20-Feb-2018 Another reminder of perverse pricing of broadband
Re Stop Saying 'Smart Cities' 18-Feb-2018 Smart Cities are like intelligent networks. Instead we need empowering cities.
Nationalizing the imaginary 5G Network? 30-Jan-2018 PDFThe proposal to nationalize 5G may be spurious but it is an opportunity look at how we think about networking.
Got API? 06-Jan-2018 (Updated: 07-Jan-2018 PDF If you're home control product doesn't have an open API, then it's a niche product and not part of the future of connected devices.
Interconnected computing 02-Jan-2018 It's useful to think of the internetworking effort as a way to weave end points, initially computers, into a whole. The network is just a means. We need to look beyond neutrality to infrastructure.
Assembly Required 20-Nov-2017 (Updated: 20-Dec-2017 PDFIncreasingly consumer devices are not just become smart but connected. We are only at the earliest stages of understanding this connectivity and how to give users the ability to manage the connections.
The Internet as Infrastructure FAQ 04-Dec-2017 (Updated: 18-Dec-2017 PDFWhen I write about the Internet as infrastructure I find some questions keep reappearing - hence this FAQ
It's time to move from "Broadband to Infrastructure" 13-Dec-2017 PDFNetwork Neutrality is about the business of telecom vs. a future in which we can assume Ambient Connectivity.
Bob Frankston interview at ICCE Asia October 2017 19-Nov-2017 📹 (video) Interview by IEEECSocTV after my keynote.
Life (yet to be) Scripted 23-Dec-2013 (Updated: 21-Oct-2017 PDFThe goal of "home automation" seems to write rules to control our homes (and our lives) as if we were setting rules for a very smart butler. But the real world is more complicated and computers aren't omniscient butlers who can read our minds and anticipate every eventuality.
Whither Consumer Electronics 23-Sep-2017 PDFWhat is consumer electronics in an age where we use software rather than (just) electrons to create value. And when devices are defined by apps rather than hardware?
Operating System: A Relic of the Past 20-Mar-1996 (Updated: 20-Aug-2017 PDFA paper I presented in 1996 on why the classic operating system needs to be rethought.
Re Why Google Fiber Failed to Disrupt the ISPs 26-Jul-2017 A reminder that Google FIber is still in the old ISP model.
VisiCalc: The Visible Calculator 06-Jun-1979 (Updated: 14-Jul-2017 PDFThis is the paper I presented at the 1979 National Computer Conference where we introduced VisiCalc.
5G: Telecom Versus The Internet 14-Jun-2017 (Updated: 27-Jun-2017 PDFMy July 2017 IEEE CE Magazine Column: Overview of the contrast between 5G and the Internet.
The Stories of Software 12-Aug-2016 (Updated: 03-Jun-2017 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.
Bob Frankston
Copyright 1997-2018