Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Saturday, December 17, 2005

  Great podcasting - The Space Show

I'm really loving the The Space Show podcasts.

Their RSS Feed: http://www.gigadial.net/public/station/11253/rss.xml

If ever you wanted to hear Gene Krantz, Elon Musk, various astronauts, or other cool space scientists - and lawyers - and engineers - talk about what they are currently doing, it is certainly a diverting hour. The recent discussion on the Cassini mission was excellent!

Today's podcast (I'm loading it up to my mp3 player as I head out to do some skating) is Jim Benson, CEO of Spacedev. I don't know what he has to say yet.... but I note they've announced a 20 million dollar satellite initiative... that might have something to do with Linux....

Listening to the Space Show hammers home how pervasive and painful are the silos we (don't) share. The Space Show has to have 3 email addresses on different services, 3 internet chat rooms on different services,a radio broadcast, live streaming, and podcast - in addition to two phone numbers, (and they are struggling to add voip conferencing to the mix) all to reach the audience they have to date!

Why do we need a dozen different IM conferencing systems, or more than one email address?
 
Monday, December 12, 2005

  One escape from the silo - ipv6

Doc Searls has written extensively about Saving the Net. I've been trying to think constructively about that for weeks now.

The best technical solution is to migrate the infrastructure to ipv6. All of it. Starting 10 years ago. If there is any one place where I can blame myself and the other techies for the current faults of the Net, is that we didn't insist on the ipv6 upgrade before the internet boom took place. Today, going to ipv6 is much harder than it should be, and the artificial scarcities of ipv4 are causing all sorts of market distortions that need not be.

Americans, especially, keep saying we don't need ipv6. Well, that's because America doesn't - we've hogged all the early allocations so that we have a majority of the address space when in reality we have 1/10 the potential users. ([ed: How... American!]). I'm an American who has had to go through no less than 3 private subnets to maintain what should be a public website in China - the contortions you have to go through outside of the US to get a public IP address are unbelievable, and unecessary.

Ipv6 can spread freedom for all, not just for those of us in the US who merely whine about being stuck with a dynamic IP address, but the world. We Americans would get a static IP address, too, vastly simplifying all sorts of services, from home web servers to personal voip and pbx systems, to home based... well... anything.

I have had an ipv6 tunnel, off and on, these past 10 years. The code is ready. Most Linuxes come out of the box with ipv6 enabled. Macs and PCs aren't far behind. The effort required to run Ipv6 is minimal.

What's lacking is the will, especially in old internet companies that used to take technological leadership, like MCI - and those that should be taking technological leadership - like google, and for that matter, slashdot. As one clued poster on slashdot remarks: It wasn't the companies that took the lead in hooking up the original Internet. No, prior to 1994, it was people like you and me. And people like you and me are going to have to be the ones to lead the way towards ipv6 adoption.

The Net wouldn't be what it is today if tens of thousands of sysadmins hadn't seen the utility of interconnecting their networks. They dragged cables across co-located floors, connected friends up via pitifully slow modems, and otherwise busted their asses, ignoring their managers, their gfs, and the constraints of their businesses, to make this giant ideal of networking system, ipv4, the Internet - Cyberspace, as I've long preferred to call it - "just work".

They did it - I did it (my first Internet connection was to a machine named sir-alan based somewhere in Maryland) - we did it - because the utility of a universal network is a win for everybody. We got connected because we loved the Net - or we were annoyed that they couldn't uucp a file to a friend - or send email - or for any of a variety of reasons, generally the least of which was getting paid.

I periodically bug my providers (comcast and sbc) about when the heck I can get a real ipv6 address. The answer used to be: "Huh?". More recently the answer has been silence, or "not yet". Instead, I get my free ipv6 tunnel through Hurricane Electric, and spend many an enjoyable hour listening to virgin radio's ipv6 ogg stream.

My house has run dual stack for two years.

The more people that ask for ipv6, the more likely we are to get it. The more people that go ahead and just implement it, the more likely the net will become ever more free.

If you want to help save the net, bug your provider for ipv6 today.

If you want to ensure the Net remains a free place for ideas and services - you - yes you, dear reader, must also take action. Implement IPv6 at home, and at work. Turn on ipv6, get a ipv6 tunnel, if you want one (you don't need one, ipv6 over ipv4 just works these days - you just have to turn it on!) and publish your AAAA records! Don't ask for permission. Just. Do. It.

You that are new to the Net now - now's your chance to show your mettle. The Ideal of the Net is collapsing under your weight.

Think not of what the Net can do for you, but of what you can do for the Net!
 
Sunday, December 11, 2005

  Christmas cars

I took a break from shopping at the mall to look at cars. (My car is finally paid for, therefore I think it's going to spontaneously fall apart).

I looked at Toyota, Mazda and all the American brands, save Saturn. My reaction? Yuck.

The only car in the last 5 years that caught my eye was the ugly beauty of the mini, and that, mostly because of a lovely driver in the movie "The Italian Job".

The Toyota Spider MR2 isn't bad, but I still prefer the angular, F117-like look of the original MR2 - and the original MR2 handled lots better (too bad it had a tendency to catch on fire). The Miata is a cute car but it is still underpowered, and the suspension still sucks. I owned one 10 years ago - for any drive longer than 2 hours, call your chiropractor in advance.

I'm glad to see all the SUVs piled up in parking lots like the dinasours they are, but the mini-SUVs take the prize for the most ugly cars of the decade. The most ugly mini-suv was this square boxy Scion XB thing. It looks like a HMMV in an awkward pre-adolescent stage.

I wish I could find an RAV4EV - a battery powered SUV that actually could go a useful 125 miles on a charge - but they didn't make many - and they sold them only to fleets - and they were quickly discontinued. Too bad. Everyone I know that owns one raves about how comfortable they are, how great the engine is, and how little maintenence they need...

I'd give a lot to have a truly silent car with lots of juice in it - I'd mount an Athlon 64 X2 in the back, hook up a highly tweaked USB microphone and get some dictation done on the long drives.

I went to look at Saturns on the web. Nothing doing, the website requires flash, and that doesn't work in 64 bit mode on my machine.

No car for me this christmas. I'm certain I'll have flash working by next Christmas, and maybe then there will be a vehicle out there I can like.
 

  gmail outage - am I alone out there?

I'm now about 34 hours into my first big gmail outage. Everytime I try to load gmail with either of my accounts it gets as far as "loading" and stops. The html for it dumps the javascript(s), and then a /html header, and nothing in-between.

Googling for "gmail outage" doesn't show anything, so I figure it's just me. But I've tried firefox & mozilla on two different machines without any luck so far. Am I truly alone and cut off from the universe?

I fired off an email to support@gmail.com - it was sent back with something along the lines of "sorry, there are no humans here, check the faq to see if it answers your problem".

No answers in the faq.

It's amazing how addicted to email I am, and how much time it sucks up. I got a lot more done this weekend around the house than I have in weeks!

I'll be irritated enough and inspired enough to re-install my own email server if this lasts another day, though.
 

  Bill Gates Buys India

If ever I were to write an parody for The Onion, it would be about the Code4Bill initiative, with a title of "Bill Gates buys India". Compare and contrast to google's Summer of Code.

What's next? "Slave for Steve Jobs"?
 
David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
Orgs I like
The EFF - keeping free speech in the world
Musical stuff I like
Jeff, Rick, Ardour, Jack
Prior Rants - Wireless and Wifi in 2015 - not what I dreamed of Saving wifi! Fixing Bufferbloat! Fighting the vend... Virgin Media - Fixing the epidemic of bufferbloat ... 49... and trying to find my navel Wheels down on mars! Tracking the landing of Curiosity, from Seattle spotting NEOs from around venus's orbit Asteroids as lunar orbit resources SOPA is bad news Departing France for England, then 'home'.
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Where's Cherie?
UrbanAgora
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
Evan Hunt
The Bay Area is talking
Brizzled
Zimnoiac Emanations
Eric Raymond
Unlocking The Air
Bob Mage
BroadBand & Me
SpaceCraft
Selenian Boondocks
My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
Bear Waller Hollar
Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

If you really want to, you can poke through the below links as well.

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