Occasionally it is good to pull the plug

The Internet is everywhere. As educated citizens of the modern information age, we believe we know what we are doing when we sign up for online Internet services. But we (too) often ignore the fact that we also collectively work towards a world where without the Internet, we are nowhere. Back in a day, before the digital revolution, people were buying and thus owning content, nowadays we get content streamed but we do not own it anymore.

Streak-Running Experience

Every runner knows that variations are important; running always the same route at the same pace is not only boring but also ineffective from a physiological point of view. I am neither a fast nor an ambitious runner - I usually run distances around 10 km (sometimes less, sometimes more) and I do three runs per week. I prefer to run a mixture of new routes and well-known routes. I enjoy exploring unknown areas by running through them and I am used to travel with running shoes in my luggage.

Musings on the Loss of Privacy

I am using computers since the early 1980s and I am ‘on the Internet’ since the late 1980’s. Back then, it was clear that computers had limited character sets and hence I started to write my name in a format that computers could deal with easily. Hence I have two ‘names’ on the Internet and in fact a couple of additional ones that were created by software doing bad transformations and humans mixing writing styles.

Experiments in Computer Science

Research in systems-oriented computer science involves the implementation of prototypes and their experimental evaluation. It is not uncommon, in particular for young researchers (means students), to spent most of their time on the implementation itself, spending little time on the evaluation of the system. Of course, it is then often too late to discover that a proper experimental evaluation of a system takes lots of time and effort. I am writing this in order to help people to avoid falling into this trap.

Time for the Journal of Opinionated Networking Research?

I have just enjoyed reading a paper where the author reports about a number of measurements he did and draws very clear ‘opinionated’ conclusions from the facts presented in the paper. This was such a refreshing read and I started to wonder why I found this so refreshing. It turns out that most networking papers I read (or have to read) either have lots of opinion but only a very few facts to support them or the papers have lots of facts but the authors refrain from articulating a clear conclusion and a clear opinion from the facts.

NETMOD Working Group

I have accepted an invitation to co-chair the NETMOD Working Group in the Operations and Management Area of the IETF. Almost exactly five years ago, I have been in a similar situation when I was asked to co-chair the ISMS Working Group in the Security Area of the IETF. I am still co-chairing ISMS - lets see how long my engagement with NETMOD is going to last…

IETF Store Opened

The IETF has just opened a store where you can buy official IETF logo wear. This is an interesting new move towards IETF sponsorship since some of the money of each item goes to the IETF. I have no clue how much money this brings, but surely there are a few observations I like to share: The shop, likely located in the UK, knows shipping rates to Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the USA and of course worldwide.

Home Networks of the Future

At the 81st IETF in Quebec, a new working group was formed to work on standards for home networks. During the kickoff meeting, a number of talks were delivered depicting a future where homes have an integrated network infrastructure comprising of several sub-networks (IPv6 of course ;-) interconnected by several routers and supported by multiple uplinks. Furthermore, a number of firewalls will be present to provide separation between the office network, the entertainment network, the kid’s network, the utility network, the home automation network, the health monitoring network, etc.

USB Considered Harmful

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) has been a great success. Almost all peripheral devices such as printers, keyboards, cameras, audio devices, disk drives, wireless interfaces can be easily connected using a standard plug. And of course, USB memory sticks have become a standard way of data exchange, replacing CDs and DVDs. But exactly here is the problem. Some companies are rightfully afraid of leaking sensitive data and with the appearance of fast small USB memory sticks, the USB interface has been identified as a problem.

Electronic Signatures in Accordance to Federal Law

While uploading a paper today, I was directed to the new IEEE online copyright transfer site. To sign the electronic form, I had to type my name. The legal basis for this form of electronic signature was given as well: By clicking this button, you certify that such action constitutes your electronic signature to the IEEE Copyright Form in accordance with Federal Law, which authorizes electronic signature by authenticated request from a user over the internet as a valid substitute for a written signature.
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