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Cox Crow

Asking the Stupid Questions Since 1971
 Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Really, Just Pure Speculation

A few dots:
  • Handset
  • Base station
  • Gateway
  • Mom's living room

A different set of dots:

  • Handset
  • Base station
  • Persistent connection
  • Mothership
  • Gateway
  • Mom's Living Room

5:54:19 PM # Google It!
categories: Industry, Messaging

Nothing Substantive

Some days I want to complete the Jabber installation here just so I don't have to run three IM clients to talk with all my friends.

Unlike telephones, the marginal cost for multiple IM user agents is low. The cost is mostly in the loss of convenience for me. There is no incentive for service providers to allow their networks to communicate with each other, yet. There is incentive for them to not open their networks: monetizin' those eyeballs.

I expect this to change when Microsoft begins to roll out Xbox Live with audio input, VoIP support, and a SIMPLE user agent — and people find out they can't call their grandparents without picking up the phone.

4:53:52 PM # Google It!
categories: Industry, Messaging

My Side of the Mountain

Don't know what it's like for you Plains dwellers, but back in the hills, radio don't travel fur.

My dad just bought XM Radio. He loves radio, and he spends a lot of time riding the circuit.

3:15:12 PM # Google It!
categories: Media

Copyright at Work

NPR's All Things Considered had a piece on James Carter, one of the singers of "Po' Lazarus." Alan Lomax recorded the song in 1959 at Mississippi's Parchman Penitentiary. It was subsequently used in the motion picture, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?. Mr. Carter, as the lead performer on the recording, receives the royalties on this public domain work.

2:38:59 PM # Google It!
categories: Law, Media

When You Assume

The theory of markets assumes perfect information. Perfect information doesn't exist, and so allowances are made for that. In practice, the lack of perfect information is an opportunity. If I know that the Earth will be destroyed on Thursday to make way for a interstellar hyperspace bypass, and you don't, then I can cash out.

Oddly enough, our society preserves some imperfect information, while frowning on it in other circumstances. So we can act without perfect information, even without rational actors, we trust. In good faith, we trust.

2:16:46 PM # Google It!
categories: Industry

Apparently few people want to pre-pay a ride on the upgrade treadmill.

1:31:56 PM #
categories: Industry

Capacity Planning

Here's the number I was looking for the other day: 2,200,000 iTools users.

Now, multiply that number by 15 MB, to get the amount of storage necessary for mail only, if everybody fills their quota: 33,000,000 MB. Multiply the number of members by 100 MB to get the amount of storage necessary for iDisk space, if everybody fills their quota: 220,000,000 MB. Divide the megabytes by 1024 to get gigabytes, then again to get terabytes: 31.47 TB for mail, 209.8 TB for iDisk.

That's before you take into account the additional space needed for fault tolerance. Gigantic IDE disks from Western Digital may be cheap, but EMC hasn't heard.

Generally speaking, people don't use all of the storage you provide. Text files and PNG images are small. But, .mac's role as a waystation in this digital life wants big files that will fill up the quota: high-resolution photographs, movies, music, backups of your important documents. The only thing keeping Apple's disk farm from being overloaded is a 56K dial-up connection — and $99 per year.

1:07:22 PM # Google It!
categories: Industry, Low-Hanging Fruit

He who lives by the sword


Vigilantism in the Old West resulted in High Noon, The Searchers, Pale Rider, and Have Spacesuit Gun, Will Travel. One can only hope that the New West will give us such art.

12:06:37 PM # Google It!
categories: Media

Welcome Back (Kotter)

What's the quickest way to read Jenny when she gets back from vacation?

11:49:07 AM # Google It!

An Equal and Opposite Disservice

Stuart Cheshire, prime mover behind Rendezvous, wrote an interesting essay on network disservices. For each network service, there is an equal and opposite disservice. For each call that goes through, there's another that doesn't.

10:03:50 AM # Google It!
categories: Industry, Layer 8

Like a Junkie Needs Junk


Nothing like the smell of fresh-brewed coffee to perk up your morning.

9:33:44 AM # Google It!
categories: Coffee