Saturday, February 28, 2004

Robert Bruen's review of "Exploiting Software. How to Break Code" by Greg Hoglund and Gary McGraw, Addison-Wesley 2004, IEEE Cipher, E58 Jan 15, 2004"

On the "to read" list: Robert Bruen's review of "Exploiting Software. How to Break Code" by Greg Hoglund and Gary McGraw, Addison-Wesley 2004, IEEE Cipher, E58 Jan 15, 2004"

ACM Queue - Game Development: Harder Than You Think - What makes you think that creating alternative worlds is all fun and games?

Interesting article on game development by Jonathan Blow: ACM Queue - Game Development: Harder Than You Think - What makes you think that creating alternative worlds is all fun and games?

Who Invented Monopoly?

I ran across this compilation of the history of the popular board game Monopoly(r). I played this game as a child, and always found it to be fun: Who Invented Monopoly?

This just in from the Navy League

The Navy League's March 2004 Sea-Power Magazine contains the headline, "Single Integrated Air Picture Holds The Key to Navy's Net Centric Plans". Nice article -- a good summary of a complex subject with a lot of moving parts. "A little-known engineering office", though? Perhaps it's better to be little-known sometimes....

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Friendster Alternatives

I'm fascinated by the number of these social networks that are popping up. Microsoft(r) has one one way, as well. Friendster Alternatives

Saturday, February 21, 2004

How to Keep Your Job -- a PowerPoint presentation on avoiding the pitfalls of IT outsourcing offshore

There's been a mini-wave of panic recently about the movement of IT jobs offshore, a phenomenon that has been picking up steam for years: PowerPoint Presentation

Slashdot trolling phenomena - Wikipedia

Long ago, USENET trolls began to infest other communication mechanisms; Slashdot is an example of a contemporary troll magnet: Slashdot trolling phenomena - Wikipedia

essays :: weblogs: a history and perspective

Interesting essay on the web log phenonmenon by Rebecca Blood: essays :: weblogs: a history and perspective

Yankee or Dixie quiz

I grew up in the far West and the far North. This is still a fun quiz to take: Yankee or Dixie quiz

The Fractal Blogosphere

Richard MacManus has written an interesting piece on the Fractal Blogosphere. Since I fancy myself to be something akin to a "kitty blogger" (a somewhat pejorative term used to describe folks who keeps blogs so they can share mundane details such as the activities of their cat(s)), I'm at the bottom of the Fractal Blogosphere totem pole: Read/Write Web

DoD Architecture Framework

For some reason, I just can't seem to find the recently-mandated DoD Architecture Framework available on the ASD NII or DoD CIO website. Very puzzling. The good folks at the Applied Information Technology Center (AITC) have posted the gouge on their website, along with a decidedly low-res version of the U.S. Department of Defense seal.

I've harbored the notion that the delay in getting the DoD Architecture Framework out the door is because it fosters and encourages a so-called "platform-centric" view of the world. I'm going to scan the released version to see if it propels us in the direction of the "Power to the Edge" vision.

On "The First Tactical Mile"

This is a very rambling, very early draft of a paper on the subject of the "first tactical mile". All too often we focus on the fixed infrastructure, with the belief that we'll get to the "edge" of the network "later". That's the wrong approach. Comments, as always, highly desirable....

The TELCO industry makes frequent mention of "the last mile". By the term "the last mile", they refer to the local loop that connects the residential or business customer to the TELCO's Central Office. Signals are sent on that local loop by an analog waveform in a frequency range selected to provide reasonable quality for audio (voice) data.

The rising demand to send digital data over these analog circuits caused significant research and development in modulator/demodulator technology to improve throughput by encoding and error detection [and correction?] techniques. Development of digital subscriber line (DSL) and asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) technology further increased the throughput available over the local loop, while remaining within the limits prescribed by Shannon's Law.

While the some companies invested in improved service over the local loop, others invested research and development dollars in exploiting the other non-energy transmission wires already running to homes and businesses: coaxial cable. Cable television had long been envisioned as a platform from which many services could be launched. Video on demand was one of the first services identified, because content was already available, and consumers were familiar enough with the concept that a lengthy market penetration and consumer education campaign was not needed. Proprietary computer networks, such as Compuserve, Prodigy, and America Online were also viewed as candidate content providers. The proprietary networks ran, of course, headlong into the free market, open standards world of the Internet when commercial restrictions were lifted.
Let us pause for a moment, and reflect upon the producer/consumer relationship and the asymmetry inherent in that relationship. This reflection will allow us to explore the vocabulary we use and to decide if that vocabulary is appropriate for the capability we want in the future.
We use terms like "the last mile" in the telephone business because in the eye of the service provider, the telephone company, the view is from the network out. This view holds in the telephone business in spite of the fact that all of the content in the telephone network is provided by customers at the edges of the network. From a content provider and resource consumer viewpoint, a better term would be "the first mile".

Telephone conversations are bursty -- discontinuous periods of speech, interspersed with periods of silence. Telephone conversations are also relatively short and infrequent. Traffic models did a reasonably good job of predicting network load except under infrequent incidents such as holidays and disasters. Adding data traffic to the telephone system introduced traffic with greatly different characteristics. Calls were much longer, more frequent, and less bursty.

The client-server model of the World Wide Web maintains the producer-consumer relationship found in television. The consumer either passively selects programming, in the case of broadcast television or so-called Internet radio, or sends a small request to a server to select specific content. The communication is asymmetric: small uplink requests followed by large downlink responses. The peer-to-peer interaction model has a different traffic pattern. Unless valuable content is non-homogeneously distributed, communication will be more symmetric, as peers alternate between acting as clients and servers in distributing content within the network.

Gamers have peer relationship -- asymmetry causes them problems. Music and movie file sharers do, as well. People that want to serve web pages from their homes run into dynamic IP address and NAT problems, as well as asymmetry challenges.

We prefer to think of tactical users not as being at the end of the "last tactical mile" or as being "disadvantaged users", but as being uniquely equipped users standing at the beginning of "the first tactical mile".

[the network is not armed. Users have the best local data, as a rule, and local data is usually the most relevant. Must beware of chauvenism on both sides of the argument. Very difficult to make the argument that the only part of the network that is armed is "disadvantaged".]

One could fairly claim that a change in terminology from "last" to "first" is intended to give the impression of progress through generation of new jargon, or a cute attention-getting novelty, but such claims would miss the mark. Precision in language -- selecting vocabularies suitable for the task at hand, and relentless enforcement of the use of these vocabularies is essential in an enterprise whose outcome is as serious as defense. the same individuals who would be horrified if their physician referred to "thingys" or "whatchamacallits" when discussing critical components or biological functions, think nothing of abusing technical vocabularies. Words such as "software", "hardware", and "platform" are among the most abused. This slang leads to confusion and misunderstanding.

Monday, February 16, 2004

I've been using PocketBlog (or, more correctly, I've been *trying* to use PocketBlog), but the bugs are really getting in the way. This is my first post using AvantBLOG.
2/14/04 -- There's still snow on the ground here at the Wildernest Inn. The view of the surrounding hills is beautiful ordinarily, but it's particularly nice when there's snow on the ground. the bears have hibernated, so we won't see any on this trip. We'll continue to see a lot of deer and other mammals, though.

This is a great place to come to read and write -- very quiet and peaceful.
2/13/04 -- Lorraine and I are visiting the Wildernest Inn again. What a quiet and restful place...and, it's not an intense hassle to get here from town.
2/13/04 -- Managed to get both of the papers that were due this week submitted on time. One can benefit from a bit more editing, so that task is in my future. There's at least one more paper on the horizon: the CCRP paper. I'd like to get one or two more in the hopper in March and April.

Thursday, February 12, 2004


Perfect for the Hallmark(tm) moment that is fast approaching (again): meish dot org :: be my anti-valentine

2004 Advanced Simulation Technologies Conference

Whew. Finished and submitted the 2004 ASTC paper this afternoon, and got back to work on the dissertation. It was very useful to have written the paper -- it always helps to shape the dissertation work. There's nothing quite like having to synopsize a complex subject in six pages.

Sunday, February 8, 2004

Free James Traficant

Former Ohio Congressman James Traficant has been spending his days in Pennsylvania for a while...and will likely be spending his days in Pennsylvania for a while yet to come. One of the more colorful politicians to grace the halls of Congress in recent years. Free James Traficant

Isn't Marge Schott from Ohio? Congressman (and Presidential candidate) Dennis Kucinich? Jerry Springer? What's with Ohio, anyway?

Wildernest Inn Bed and Breakfast Located in Beautiful West Virginia

This is a link to the Bed and Breakfast that Lorraine and I spent New Year's Eve at this year. It's a great place, off the beaten path, with terrific hosts and wonderful hiking. Wildernest Inn Bed and Breakfast Located in Beautiful West Virginia

eBaum's World Media Download -

I hate when that happens! A group of happy-go-lucky lads work to get a car out of a snowdrift. Warning: do not try this at home: eBaum's World Media Download -

Why your Movable Type blog must die ||

It seems that trolls are alive and well in the "blogosphere": Why your Movable Type blog must die ||

BBC - Science Human Body - Psychology Tests

Interesting links to psychology tests, courtesy of The Beeb: BBC - Science Human Body - Psychology Tests

Saturday, February 7, 2004

I still don't understand why "net-centric operations and warfare" and "net-centricity" are necessarily "web-enabled". The WWW metaphor works for many processes, including some tactical warfighting processes. To make the sweeping generalization that all tactical warfighting processes fit within a WWW model is extending that metaphor too far. STSC CrossTalk - Horizontal Fusion: Enabling Net-Centric Operations and Warfare - Jan�2004
beSpacific: E-Voting System Scrapped by Pentagon; looks like I'll need to read this report in the next week or so....
I, too, have downloaded and used Spam Abuse...not sure if it works...will try it for a while and see what happens....the random life�blog archive
I know...I'm working hard on "real" work...just taking a few minutes off to relax. Found this nice site that shows fellow bloggers in the Washington, DC metro area: D.C. Metro Blog Map
Another day of dutiful dissertation writing.

Thursday, February 5, 2004

In doing a little research for "Modeling and Simulation Implications of the "Power to the Edge" Vision", a paper I'm writing for the 2004 Advanced Simulation Technologies Conference, I came across the DoD CIO testimony to a House subcommittee from 3 April 2003. Some very nice quotes contained within....

Monday, February 2, 2004

The Michigan man who named his newborn son John Blake Cusack 2.0 put a new spin on the old tagline, "Quality is Job 1.1". Read all about it here, on CNN.

Sunday, February 1, 2004

Cute. Not safe for work. I like these animated shorts -- the folks who make them spend a lot of time, and it usually shows up in the quality of the work.
Here's another travel guide site...I like these sites because you get a much more unvarnished view of a place by reading the opinions of ordinary travelers. World66, the travel guide you write: My World66
It's a bright, sunny day around Casa de Wilson -- not a cloud in the sky, but plenty of snow still on the ground. Lorraine is off to the Tidewater area this evening -- I'll be here with the cats grinding away on "Modeling and Simulation Implications of the "Power to the Edge" Vision, a paper for the upcoming 2004 Advanced Simulation Technologies Conference. The paper describes part of my dissertation research.