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In Memoriam: Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. – a Personal Recollection

Brooks is famous for many things. Many people know him best as the author of The Mythical Man-Month, his musings on software engineering and why it's so very hard. Some of his prescriptions seem quaint today -- no one these days would print out documentation on microfiche every night to distribute to developers -- but his observations about the problems of development remain spot-on. But he did so much more. more

Is the Defense Innovation Unit’s Hybrid Space Architecture the “ARPANET” of Space and Will It Run on Aalyria Spacetime?

The goal of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the Department of Defense is to strengthen our national security by accelerating the adoption of commercial technology throughout the military and strengthening our allied and national security innovation bases. Space is one of its areas of focus and two of the space "lines of effort" are multi-orbit operations and logistics and hardware-to-software transformation modernization. more

Going Dark: How the Increasingly Dark Network Is Creating Some Pretty Ugly Choices for Site Security Administrators

I'd like to reflect on a presentation by Dr. Paul Vixie at the October 2022 meeting of the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG) on the topic of the shift to pervasive encryption of application transactions on the Internet today. There is a view out there that any useful public communications medium needs to safeguard the privacy and integrity of the communications that it carries.  more

The Short History of the Internet: From ARPANET to the Metaverse

Last Saturday marked the 53rd anniversary of the Internet. While the vast majority of its five billion users have been online for less than a decade, the Internet was taken into use on October 29th, 1969, when two computers connected to the ARPANET exchanged a message. Although the Internet has been around for a while, it remained below most people's radar until the late 1990s when the dot com boom started. more

The Modern Encryption Debate: What’s at Stake?

The debate around encryption has become a hot topic in a world where communications are increasingly becoming digital. The modern encryption debate is a complex and nuanced issue, with many players from different backgrounds trying to influence the conversation. The question of balancing the need for national security with the right to privacy has been a matter of public debate for years. Only recently has the issue been framed in terms of encryption, but the discussion is certainly not new. more

ICANN Policymaking Should Be Even More Transparent

Transparency and accountability are embedded in ICANN's core values. Indeed, ICANN's Bylaws mandate that "ICANN and its constituent bodies shall operate to the maximum extent feasible in an open and transparent manner ...". Public Interest Registry believes that a dedication to transparency is fundamental to the strength and continued effectiveness of ICANN's multistakeholder model. more

How Are You Solving the Digital Divide

One of the most common questions I'm being asked these days is from local politicians and economic development folks who want examples of other communities that are tackling and solving the digital divide. I'm able to trot out the big-picture stories because they come to my attention in reading about the industry. As an example, just before I wrote this blog, I read an article that says that the State of Maryland will be providing 150,000 laptops to homes... more

Cloud Gaming

Gaming is a huge business. In 2021, gaming generated $214 billion in revenues worldwide. That represents over 6% of all spending on entertainment. Gaming market experts are predicting that this will grow to over 10% during this decade. The pandemic triggered a growth spurt in gaming, with revenues almost tripling since 2019. During that time, there was also a big change in the dynamics of the industry, where many games are offered for free. more

Using AM Radio Towers in Designing Wireless Networks

One existing resource that is often overlooked in designing wireless networks is AM radio towers. For the most part, companies deploying fixed wireless and microwave antenna have avoided these towers. This is due to the nature of AM radio, which transmits at such a low frequency that the entire tower is effectively used as the transmitting antenna. The entire tower is energized with the AM signal, and the typical AM tower sits on a base insulator that blocks the tower from being grounded.  more

The Continuing WHOIS Disappearing Act

WHOIS is about to become even harder to find. ICANN has recently concluded long-delayed contract negotiations with industry meant to accommodate the technical migration from the WHOIS protocol to the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP). Instead of limiting the changes to what's necessary to implement the new technical protocol, the proposals effectively gut WHOIS, making it virtually impossible to find by eliminating web-based WHOIS access... more

Update on Satellite Broadband

The first announcement came from OneWeb. The company successfully launched 36 new satellites with rockets supplied by NewSpace India Limited. This new rocket company was formed in 2019 and is a public-sector undertaking sponsored by the Indian Government and an arm of the India Space Research Organization. This launch is a reminder that many parts of the world are now interested in the space business. more

Achieving Multi-Stakeholder Progress on DNS Abuse

DNS Abuse and how to address it has been the topic of intense, often conflictual, and rarely conclusive discussions for many years, starting with the very definition of the term and the degree of responsibility bestowed upon DNS operators. In 2018, after several months of intersessional work, the Internet & Jurisdiction Global Conference brought together in Ottawa more than 200 key stakeholders to define a roadmap to address certain jurisdictional challenges on the Internet, including DNS abuse. more

The Fibre Optic Path

In August 1858, Queen Victoria sent the first transatlantic telegram to U.S. President James Buchanan. The cable system had taken a total of four years to build and used seven copper wires, wrapped in a sheath of gutta-percha, then covered with a tarred hemp wrap and then sheathed in an 18-strand wrap, each strand made of 7 iron wires. It weighed 550kg per km, with a total weight of over 1.3Mkg. more

The Price for Faster Upload Speeds

I've always been impressed by the marketing folks at the big cable companies. They are masters of extracting money from customers willing to pay for better broadband. The latest example comes from Comcast. The company is introducing a new product in the Northeast that offers faster upload speeds -- for a price. Comcast knows that its biggest weakness is upload speeds. more

Three Reasons Why CISOs Need to Understand Domain Security

Domain name abuse is one of the most dangerous and under-regulated issues in digital business security today. An attack on a web domain can lead to the redirection of a company's website, domain spoofing, phishing attacks, network breaches, and business email compromise (BEC). Domains used as a company's online world are part of an organization's external attack surface and need to be continuously monitored for cybercrime attacks and fraud. more

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