Stories by Scott Bradner

Instant messaging: The problems of success

Instant messaging is coming on like gangbusters in enterprise networks, and with its success come some of the burdens of that success. Burdens that include deciding whether to monitor or archive messages and the disruption of organisational boundaries.

How new a year will it be?

Last year was dramatically different than 2000 in many internet-related ways - the sinking in that the big bubble had burst will do that to you.

Juggling eggs

Microsoft said it would shut down part of its Passport single-logon system, at least for a while.

Will the wrong wireless succeed?

At one time it looked like there was a roadmap, a confusing one perhaps, but a roadmap nonetheless. Wireless internet was going to be everywhere, but you were going to use different wireless technologies depending on just where you were. This original roadmap seems to be getting overtaken by events, and a far simpler one may be emerging.

A blurry vision?

On August 2, right above a story about a new and cheaper generic version of Prozac, The New York Times announced the internet of tomorrow. If the prediction comes true, network managers may be glad Prozac will be getting very cheap in a few months. But, sorry Prozac makers, it will not come true.

Old bugs don't die easily

One might think that a vulnerability first described in 1985 would not be a factor in today's internet, especially if a good way to eliminate the vulnerability was published in 1996. But, sad to say, that is not the case.

Can someone please sue one of them?

I'm sad to say it did not surprise me when CNN announced yet another case of credit card and other customer information getting stolen from a hacked website.

If you send me mail, make it plain

Unless someone is sending me a picture, I wish the person would stick to plain text e-mail. I've felt this way for a while on general principles, but now a number of security problems are strengthening my opinion.

An unhealthy tension

Congress held a hearing on the internet earlier this month. Such a hearing is hardly a unique occurrence, but in this case, it is symptomatic of a growing problem.

More than just engineering?

I happened the other day across a very interesting TV programme about life in the US in 1900. During this PBS show, one of the commentators relayed a variation on the often quoted notion from a US Patent Office director who said, in essence, that everything which could be invented had been.

Why did you think they would work?

I may be strange, but I don't really like most advertising I see on the internet. Actually, that's not quite right. Since I studiously ignore the ads on the websites I visit, I'm not sure if I would like the ads or not.

Process as a problem

I ran into Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Mozelle Thompson at a recent conference. After he politely admonished me for something I said during an earlier panel session, we talked about internet privacy, which had been one of the panel topics.

Pouring money into a hole

Spending a few days in Europe, as I've just done, sure makes the insanity of some of the telecommunications world clear.

Next time via the 'net?

For some reason, voting technologies have been on my mind. The voting systems currently used in the US clearly have some shortcomings.