[FoRK] Two bits (for Ken, Sean)

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Feb 3 07:47:31 PST 2010

On Tue, Feb 02, 2010 at 10:53:14PM -0600, Jeff Bone wrote:

> Yeah, that's the standard argument.  Realistically, in all these years  
> in the industry, I have yet to see any significant *data transfer*  
> accomplished via such means (or a FedEx full of CDs, etc.)  I have  

How about a few TByte worth of flash in each LLEO bird, with
standard PTN stack so delivery is during close (few 100 km,
standard 4G) flybys. A few hundred of these should have a global 
coverage with not too shabby latency.  

Of course this hasn't been done, yet.

> seen (and actually been party to) shipments on the order of a truck  
> full of pre-configured server racks, but the point there isn't really  
> data transfer.  Offsite data storage, yeah, but not particularly for  
> bandwidth reasons (cost-vs-bandwidth, perhaps, arguably.)
> SneakerNet is SneakerNet no matter what form it takes.  If that's all  
> you've got, or you can't afford something better, then you make do.   
> But for my own time and money, I prefer my bits online and have for  
> some time (like, about 25 years or so ;-)  In fact, at Sun, I was  
> always amused by the "Network is the Computer" slogan.  IMHO, it  

Sun (requiescat in pace) spoke truer than it knew. In the brain, the
network is the computer, literally. Spikes or packets, not that large
a difference. Too many people have been looking at CPU and memory
bandwidth, too few at computing with tiny packets on tiny nodes
atop of single piece of silicon. Billions of them.

> should've been "the network is the hard drive."  (Particularly given  
> that a large part of their success was due to NFS.)
> You shouldn't have to move bits around *as if* they were atoms.

So when is this rapid manufacturing raveolution thing going to land on my
street corner?
> Ken says:
> >Wow, I just about hacked up a lung from all the dust on that thing.
> Some of the best insights --- and fundamental ones that change the  
> world you and I and all the rest of us live in --- happened a while  
> back.  Isenberg's paper is actually *seminal.*  It more or less  
> singlehandedly put the telecom industry on notice.  Making fun of  
> important work simply because it happened a while back is, well,  
> ridiculous.
> BTW, I had my chronology reversed.  We'd already killed AT&T's $100M+  
> Telescript investment with $400k and a POP client before David wrote  
> that;  it was written in 1997.  Telescript was dead by 1996.
> jb
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