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 Thursday, December 05, 2002

From the extract (PDF), looks to be very interesting. The soon-to-be-published Networks of Innovation: Change and Meaning in the Age of the Internet (Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0199256985) by Ilkka Tuomi.

  • "As many commentators have observed, the process of science itself is very much based on peer-review, incremental development, non-economic motives, and geographically distributed collaboration. Indeed, tradtional models of innovation often assumed that basis research generates ideas and technologies that are appropriated by entrepreneurs who them to products and money."
  • "The history of Linux allows one to question to what extent existing economic models of innovation and technological development capture phenomena that underlie collective production of new technolgies."
Thursday, December 05, 2002 3:39:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Special report from CERT/CC: Tracking and Tracing Cyber-Attacks: Technical Challenges and Global Policy Issues (PDF). "It is clear that tracking and tracing attackers across a borderless cyber-world, and holding them accountable, requires multilateral actions that transcend jurisdictions and national boundaries."

Thursday, December 05, 2002 2:43:05 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Somebody once said that the open source movement is a modern-day equivalent of communal barn-raising. It's a surprisingly innovative force that policy-makers worldwide need to understand. Why has open source hit the radar scope of governments? The simple answer is that the public policy stakes have become much higher. The development of advanced info-communication networks is now a key policy objective for almost all governments around the world. Not only are these networks seen as an important determinant of national competitiveness in an increasingly globalized knowledge economy, they are also seen as offering new opportunities in areas such as education, health and social advancement. Itís no surprise that almost every government in the world has put a high priority on improving access to advanced info-communications technologies, promoting digital literacy and improved access to government public services (e-government). Not surprisingly, open source is increasingly seen as another tool toward this goal, in both developed and more particularly in developing countries. O'Reilly Network has recently published an interesting timeline from 1995 to the present documenting the use of open source software by governments around the world.

On that note, in October 2002, I participated in Georgetown University's Open Source Summit: Public Interest & Policy Issues, which was spearheaded by Dr. Linda Garcia and her smart group of students at the Communication, Culture & Technology Program at Georgetown.  Across town, I see that as a follow-up to their October 2002 conference on Open Source for E-Government, the Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute (CSPRI) of George Washington University is organizing a conference on "Open Source for National and Local eGovernment Programs in the U.S. and EU" to be held in Washington, DC, USA, March 17 - 19, 2003. Here is the call for papers. Slashdot has a related thread.

In preparation for the 2003 World Summit on the Information Society, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit maintains some ICT Success Stories pages which includes one related to e-government.

Thursday, December 05, 2002 2:26:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Toward Lowering the Load on DNS Root Nameservers (PDF) by Duane Wessels of The Measurement Factory and CAIDA, suggests that over 95% of the roughly 100 million daily queries to each root server are invalid and unnecessary queries.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002 2:16:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Two university research pieces for those interested in mapping the Internet. Boston University's: On the Geographic Location of Internet Resources (PDF) and the University of Washington's: Rocketfuel: An ISP Topology Mapping Engine.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002 1:07:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

RIPE NCC operates the K-root server ( They have recently published a draft on Distributing the K-Root Service by Anycast Routing of The application of anycasting to providing DNS services was explored in a number of Internet drafts which eventually became the informational RFC 3258: Distributing Authoritative Name Servers via Shared Unicast Addresses. RFC 3258 describes how authoritative name servers with the same IP address could be replicated at different locations. The route to these servers would be advertised for each location and the routing protocols would direct traffic to the topologically nearest server. See my earlier note on this topic.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002 12:57:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ITU-T, on 9-11 December 2002, is hosting a Workshop on Satellites in IP and Multimedia. An advance program is available.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002 12:39:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Wednesday, December 04, 2002 12:31:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Coinciding with ITU TELECOM Asia 2002,  the ITU has published its 5th edition of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunication Indicators. A presentation (PDF) with highlights and extracts is available as is a related summary of the report. The report demonstrates the Asia-Pacific region has now become the world's largest telecom market. Asia-Pacific also leads in advanced Internet technologies such as broadband access and mobile data. The Republic of Korea and Hong Kong, China, are the top two economies in the world in terms of broadband Internet penetration. In mobile Internet, Japan and the Republic of Korea were the first two nations to launch third generation cellular networks commercially. The region also has the largest percentage of Internet users. These exploits corroborate the view that the global telecommunications epicentre is shifting from North America and Western Europe to the Asia-Pacific region. Also see the related ITU Press Release.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002 12:20:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Readers will have noticed that I've been "on vacation" for a long time and this blog hasn't been updated. The reason is that I'm working on the implementation of a multi-author weblog that leverages the collective expertise of the staff in the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit and integrates with the ITU web publishing system. This is going to take some time but hopefully the results will be worth it. More news when it's available.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002 4:26:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 01, 2002

This weblog is not going to be updated for much of August 2002 as I'll be on vacation.

Thursday, August 01, 2002 5:48:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Robert Shaw, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit gave a speech in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, July 30, 2002 at II Rio Telecom about the current telecoms crisis, some of the reasons for it and the relationship with regulation. It's entitled Regulation: what changes are needed?. Also posted is the PowerPoint presentation to go with the speech.

Thursday, August 01, 2002 3:18:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, July 28, 2002

CSS Mobile Profile Candidate Recommendation Revised. 26 July 2002: The CSS Working Group has revised CSS Mobile Profile 1.0 to incorporate review suggestions, comments by implementors, and deliberations of the Working Group. The specification defines a subset of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Level 2 tailored for mobile devices such as wireless phones. Comments are welcome through January 2003. Visit the CSS home page. (News archive) [The World Wide Web Consortium]

Sunday, July 28, 2002 4:37:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 25, 2002

In a follow-up to my note last month referencing the INTUG paper on Mobile Termination Rates, the UK telecommunications regulator, OFTEL, has formally asked the UK Competition Commission to investigate whether the charges that the four mobile network operators make for connecting calls to their networks are too high.

Thursday, July 25, 2002 5:16:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Talk about timely. CommsDesign has a recent piece on the development by Motorola of an "isochronous network, developed with input from Nintendo Co. Ltd., Sony Corp. and other game platform developers, [that] will be extended into other markets to serve as a "feeder" for future ad-hoc mesh-based piconets that use 802.11 wireless technology as their underlying infrastructure". Slashdot also has a related thread. Isochronous ad-hoc mesh-based piconets? This almost seems like it could have been generated by

Thursday, July 25, 2002 2:27:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Last month, in Watch this airspace and parasitic networks, we flagged the emergence of mesh networks, where end user devices can also be routing devices. Wired Magazine has a short article: A New Spin on the Wireless Web this month and mentions the interesting start-up Mesh Networks.  Mesh networks, where user devices and routing nodes can get co-mingled, might be an interesting twist on Metcalfe's law, which says the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of users or nodes. Think about it. Where all user devices are also routing devices, it's pretty obvious that, at least for the beginning part of the 'S' innovation curve, the value of network externalities is even greater. This has some interesting implications for seeding 'core' networks by seeding the 'edges'.

Thursday, July 25, 2002 2:11:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Last month, I mentioned the arrival of "Wind-up Mobile". There's now a first review of the Motorola Freecharge in ZDNet UK. Just like prepaid rechargeable GSM cards, I imagine this will become very popular in developing countries.

Thursday, July 25, 2002 12:49:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Ken Binmore, the designer of the exceptionally lucrative UK 3G mobile phone auction two years ago, has slammed telecom executives for "whingeing" that they paid too much and dismissed calls for the consumer to foot the bill. [Ananova]

Tuesday, July 23, 2002 1:06:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Lawmakers Seek Rules to Stop Redistribution of Digital TV [New York Times: Technology] This is interesting on two levels. First, it's interesting that they argue this is within the FCC's mandate. Second, even if the FCC did do something, it'll be easy to eventually remove the 'broadcast flag'.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002 12:21:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 22, 2002

Readers will have noticed that I've had a link to the works of Andrew Odlyzko for some time at the bottom right. That's because I like his research, particulary his work on debunking of Internet growth rates (PDF). This week, The Economist has also picked up on his research in a piece"It was an essential ingredient of dotcom business plans and conference slide-shows: Internet traffic, went the industry's favourite statistic, doubles every 100 days...". Unfortunately, it wasn't true.

Monday, July 22, 2002 5:01:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Eli Noam has penned an interesting opinion piece in the Financial Times showing why competition and deregulation über alles as a telecoms policy goal is very likely to change.

Monday, July 22, 2002 4:27:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Motivating the Masses, Wirelessly: The term smart mobs has been coined by the author Howard Rheingold to describe groups of people equipped with high-tech communications devices that allow them to act in concert ó whether they know each other or not. [New York Times: Technology]

Monday, July 22, 2002 12:44:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 19, 2002

Infosync has got a review of the new colour display Nokia 7650 that's got an integrated digital camera for picture taking and sending, support for the MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) that's a step up over SMS, a photo album for storing pictures, GPRS, Java support, joystick navigation and a  Symbian-based user interface.

Friday, July 19, 2002 5:58:03 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nairobi will play host to the first East African Internet Forum, to be held 6-8 August 2002.

Friday, July 19, 2002 1:57:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 16, 2002
 Thursday, July 11, 2002

From the cool new NTT Docomo FOMA 3G devices front: NTT Docomo has announced that it will market a new 3G-compatible two-part terminal, the SH2101V, with a PDA base unit that communicates through Bluetooth with a separate wireless handset. The base unit has a built-in camera that enables 64kbps real-time videoconferencing - while the wireless handset is used for voice communication. The handset can also be used, via the PDA, as a simple voice phone or for checking e-mail (even when the PDA is folded away) or as a remote control when playing downloaded music on the PDA.

Thursday, July 11, 2002 2:23:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

O.K., it's a busy news day for predictive text input. Further to my note earlier on "Dasher", the Economist today just happens to have an article entitled More Power to the Thumb, discussing a new text input method from Eatoni Ergonomics called Letterwise. The Economist says it's a worthy competitor to T9, who is owned by AOL.

Thursday, July 11, 2002 1:04:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Although more and more of us are carrying around smartphones or PDAs, I've always been frustrated that we can't just point our devices at what we want and instantly pull information out of magazines, off advertising posters, or dump train or flight schedules into our calendar applications. Because most smartphones and PDAs of the future will have cameras built into them (like this or this or this), it was just a matter of time before someone would recognize a market opportunity. As reported in Wireless Week, International Wireless and have recently announced they will use CodePoint so that users can point a handset at a bar code and deliver content directly into a device. Hope something like this will be available in every handset in the future.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002 4:00:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In the search for the optimum input method where a keyboard is not practical (e.g., PDAs, mobile Internet handsets), there's been some novel research going on at the University of Cambridge. The Dasher project has produced an unusual text-entry interface driven by pointing gestures. A prototype version can be downloaded for a Pocket PC. There's work going on to produce an eye-tracking version which they hope would allow users to visually write text as fast as normal handwriting. It's also now an open source project at

Wednesday, July 10, 2002 2:35:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

BBC News has an interesting update on Sealand, the offshore data haven based on an old concrete anti-aircraft tower off the east coast of England. Slashdot also has a related discussion thread.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002 12:48:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 09, 2002

The OECD has released Information Technology Outlook 2002. It can be ordered from the OECD bookshop but highlights of the report are available online (PDF).

Tuesday, July 09, 2002 5:31:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nokia to Join With I.B.M. in 2 Ventures on Software: Nokia and IBM. will develop digital rights management software for what wireless operators call light content ó ring tones, games, logos and pictures. For example, portions of popular songs can be downloaded for a small fee and used as the ring tone on a cellphone. The current market exists mainly in Europe and Japan, where wireless services are more advanced than in the United States, and among young people, 25 and under. In Europe, the market for such light content is $500 million a year. [New York Times: Technology]

Tuesday, July 09, 2002 1:16:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 08, 2002

A new Internet draft, The E.164 to URI DDDS Application, has been published. This forms the basis of a document intended to replace RFC 2916, which describes the ENUM protocol.

Monday, July 08, 2002 7:00:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The Internet's root name servers are seen as a possible soft target for distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks (in fact, they already are as described in this paper). A possible method to deal with this vulnerability that's getting some serious consideration is the use of IPv4 anycasting, as first conceptualized in RFC 1546. A recently released primer on anycast from Cisco can be found here (PDF). The application of anycasting to providing DNS services was explored in a number of Internet drafts which eventually became the informational RFC 3258: Distributing Authoritative Name Servers via Shared Unicast Addresses. RFC 3258 describes how authoritative name servers with the same IP address could be replicated at different locations. The route to these servers would be advertised for each location and the routing protocols would direct traffic to the topologically nearest server. As an example of how anycasting for the root name servers could possible work, there's already a project, named AS112, that uses anycast to distribute the load for bogus requests for private address space (as described in RFC 1918, also see description of problem here). A possible benefit of using anycast for the root name service is that it may solve both some technical security issues as well as some political issues (i.e., better geo-political distribution of the root name servers). On the other hand, it may make it much harder to deploy DNSSEC. It'll be interesting to watch this play out...

Monday, July 08, 2002 5:52:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |