RFC: Better future desired
I've been reading rfcs lately, working on multiple levels - 1) How does a given stateless protocol work, and 2) How is it secured, how can it be subverted? I'm doing this because 3) I'm trying to design a new stateless protocol and 4) I'd like to get it secure-able eventually - and 5) avoid any potential patent/copyright issues at the outset. I'm confident I have the latter solved now, but it took a month of review, headache, fear and worry before I felt capable of coding again.
I wish everyone was born with a "get one great lawyer free" card, that they could use up when they most needed it. I found myself missing the structure of a major corporation, badly.
I also mostly convinced myself that achieving security and statelessness were almost impossible, that security requires state - but note my equivocation "almost" and "mostly" - darn adverbs
- I'm still going to give the design as-is a go and see what happens next.
This morning, I looked up, and saw Johnathan Zittrain had written an excellent article on the future of computing
. It is not a bright one, particularly for independently minded programmers:
To be sure, amateurs who do not have houses to lose to litigation can still contribute to free software projects—they are judgment proof. Others can contribute anonymously, evading any claims of patent infringement since they simply cannot be found. But this turns coding into a gray market activity, eliminating what otherwise could be a thriving middle class of contributing firms should patent warfare ratchet into high gear.
While that rang especially true for me given when I'd done all month, it was his proposals for solving the spam/bot problems by creating for ever more limited, tethered, restricted (I'd call them "broken") computers that got to me. Instead of getting back to work, I started writing up a response... but then Richard Stallman fired back
It is true that a general computer lets you run programs designed to spy on you, restrict you, or even let the developer attack you. Such programs include KaZaA, RealPlayer, Adobe Flash, Windows Media Player, Microsoft Windows, and MacOS. Windows Vista does all three of those things; it also lets Microsoft change the software without asking, or command it to permanently cease normal functioning.
But restricted computers are no help, because they have the same problem, for the same reason.
The iPhone is designed for remote attack by Apple. When Apple remotely destroys iPhones that users have unlocked to enable other uses, that is no better than when Microsoft remotely sabotages Vista. The TiVo is designed to enforce restrictions on access to the recordings you make, and reports what you watch. E-book readers such as the Amazon “Swindle” are designed to stop you from sharing and lending your books.
Very good debate in both articles. Both describe at a 50 thousand feet what I'm trying to get done at ground level, in an itty, bitty, obscure corner of the internet. Today I wanted to talk about how the ntp protocol achieves a consistent and secure view of time
I'm out of time now - that valuable yet non-material substance - I've got some coding to do.
Labels: ipv6, ntp, rfc, time