Tip: Sniffing the Either for Vaportrails of Vaporware

What’s Who is NEXT?*

So you have plundered the High Seas of the Internet and the Ethernet?

When you swivel your chair around and look out the window toward the horizon, what is next to Plunder?

Maybe you need to be looking UP!

That’s right… the Interplanetary Internet! ‘Ha !’ you say? Think I’m blowing a little Vaporware vapor-trail up your butt? Swivel that chair back around and take notes. The IPN is coming, due to the current work on the DTN being funded by DARPA and kicked in the ass by Homeland Security, augmented by work being done under the auspices of NASA. What?

Firstly let us not forget, the current Internet was conceived, designed and implemented by the US Military, and paid for by the US Taxpayers. Then the technology and some early infrastructure was turned loose to the users of the world. Nice of them, eh? Little did DARPA dream of the extent the Internet would drill down to the basic fabric of the data-handling of everyone in the world.

The future vision of communications goes to Space. Yes the Interplanetary Internet. But, and there are a lot of buts: Speed of light, transmission speeds vs distance delays, temporary net failures due to Cosmic events or man-made sabotage/interference problems, along with an unbreakable network routing/encryption schema now only existing in the vapor of the vapor. This new frontier demands a complex combination of skills we are only now conceiving and developing. Space based communication delays and interruptions will no doubt require simplex packet type burst transmissions, with cloud type way-stations/relay-stations, instead of an almost instantaneous duplex emulating transmission type now enjoyed in today’s version of the Internet. This situation is further complicated by an interruptable data stream demand vs supply phenomenon combined with the complexities of network packet routing and top to bottom encryption.

We have already taken many of the initial baby-steps that will lead to the next ‘Leap of Mankind’ into tomorrow’s ‘taken-for-granted’ fundamental form of electronic communication.

The major basic building blocks of the end goal of the Interplanetary Internet will include the following concepts (to name only a few):

Let’s pirate some intel from Wikipedia and take a closer look-see at these concepts and see where the work is being done along the way:

Packet Radio

Packet radio is a form of packet switching technology used to transmit digital data via radio or wireless communications links. It uses the same concepts of data transmission via Datagram that are fundamental to communications via the Internet, as opposed to the older techniques used by dedicated or switched circuits.

Packet Node Controller

Packet radio is the fourth major digital radio communications mode. Earlier modes were telegraphy (Morse Code), teleprinter (Baudot) and facsimile. Like those earlier modes, packet was intended as a way to reliably transmit written information. The primary advantage was initially expected to be increased speed, but as the protocol developed, other capabilities surfaced.

By the early 1990s, packet radio was not only recognized as a way to send text, but also to send files (including small computer programs), handle repetitive transmissions, control remote systems, etc.

The technology itself was a leap forward, making it possible for nearly any packet station to act as a digipeater, linking distant stations with each other through ad hoc networks. This makes packet especially useful for emergency communications. In addition, mobile packet radio stations can automatically transmit their location, and check in periodically with the network to show that they are still operating.

Since radio circuits inherently possess a broadcast network topology (i.e., many or all nodes are connected to the network simultaneously), one of the first technical challenges faced in the implementation of packet radio networks was a means to control access to a shared communications channel. Professor Norman Abramson of the University of Hawaii developed a packet radio network known as ALOHAnet and performed a number of experiments around 1970 to develop methods to arbitrate access to a shared radio channel by network nodes. This system operated on UHF frequencies at 9600 baud. From this work the Aloha multiple access protocol was derived. Subsequent enhancements in channel access techniques made by Leonard Kleinrock et al in 1975 would lead Robert Metcalfe to use carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) protocols in the design of the now commonplace Ethernet local area network (LAN) technology.

In 1977, DARPA created a packet radio network called PRNET in the San Francisco Bay area and conducted a series of experiments with SRI to verify the use of ARPANET (a precursor to the Internet) communications protocols (later known as IP) over packet radio links between mobile and fixed network nodes. This system was quite advanced, as it made use of direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) modulation and forward error correction (FEC) techniques to provide 100 kpbs and 400 kpbs data channels. These experiments were generally considered to be successful, and also marked the first demonstration of Internetworking, as in these experiments data was routed between the ARPANET, PRNET, and SATNET (a satellite packet radio network) networks. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, DARPA operated a number of terrestrial and satellite packet radio networks connected to the ARPANET at various military and government installations.

In order to get a small glimpse of networking complexities click this link to get a look at IP Protocols now being used.

Cloud Computing

The term “cloud” is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on the cloud drawing used in the past to represent the telephone network, and later to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it represents.

Cloud computing is a natural evolution of the widespread adoption of visualization, service-oriented architecture, autonomic, and utility computing. Details are abstracted from end-users, who no longer have need for expertise in, or control over, the technology infrastructure “in the cloud” that supports them.

The underlying concept of cloud computing dates back to the 1960s, when John McCarthy opined that “computation may someday be organized as a public utility.” Almost all the modern-day characteristics of cloud computing (elastic provision, provided as a utility, online, illusion of infinite supply), the comparison to the electricity industry and the use of public, private, government, and community forms, were thoroughly explored in Douglas Parkhill‘s 1966 book, The Challenge of the Computer Utility. Other scholars have shown that cloud computing’s roots go all the way back to the 1950s when scientist Herb Grosch (the author of Grosch’s law) postulated that the entire world would operate on dumb terminals powered by about 15 large data centers.

The actual term “cloud” borrows from telephony in that telecommunications companies, who until the 1990s offered primarily dedicated point-to-point data circuits, began offering Virtual Private Network (VPN) services with comparable quality of service but at a much lower cost. By switching traffic to balance utilization as they saw fit, they were able to utilize their overall network bandwidth more effectively. The cloud symbol was used to denote the demarcation point between that which was the responsibility of the provider and that which was the responsibility of the user. Cloud computing extends this boundary to cover servers as well as the network infrastructure.

After the dot-com bubble, Amazon played a key role in the development of cloud computing by modernizing their data centers, which, like most computer networks, were using as little as 10% of their capacity at any one time, just to leave room for occasional spikes. Having found that the new cloud architecture resulted in significant internal efficiency improvements whereby small, fast-moving “two-pizza teams” could add new features faster and more easily, Amazon initiated a new product development effort to provide cloud computing to external customers, and launched Amazon Web Service (AWS) on a utility computing basis in 2006.

In early 2008, Eucalyptus became the first open-source, AWS API-compatible platform for deploying private clouds. In early 2008, OpenNebula, enhanced in the RESERVOIR European Commission-funded project, became the first open-source software for deploying private and hybrid clouds, and for the federation of clouds. In the same year, efforts were focused on providing QoS guarantees (as required by real-time interactive applications) to cloud-based infrastructures, in the framework of the IRMOS European Commission-funded project, resulting to a real-time cloud environment.By mid-2008, Gartner saw an opportunity for cloud computing “to shape the relationship among consumers of IT services, those who use IT services and those who sell them”and observed that “organizations are switching from company-owned hardware and software assets to per-use service-based models” so that the “projected shift to cloud computing … will result in dramatic growth in IT products in some areas and significant reductions in other areas.”

In July 2010, OpenStack was announced, attracting nearly 100 partner companies and over a thousand code contributions in its first year, making it the fastest-growing free and open source software project in history.

Nebula is a Federal cloud computing pilot under development at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. The project began in 2008 under the direction of Chris C. Kemp.

The Ames Internet Exchange, which hosts the Nebula Cloud, was formerly MAE-West, one of the original nodes of the Internet, and is a major peering location for Tier 1 ISPs, as well as being the home of the “E” root name servers. Nebula also connects to CENIC and Internet2, with 10GigE connections.

Nebula is an open-source project and uses a variety of open-source components, including OpenStack, Lustre and RabbitMQ.

Delay-tolerant networking (DTN)

Delay-tolerant networking (DTN) is an approach to computer network architecture that seeks to address the technical issues in heterogeneous networks that may lack continuous network connectivity. Examples of such networks are those operating in mobile or extreme terrestrial environments, or planned networks in space.

Recently, the term disruption-tolerant networking has gained currency in the United States due to support from DARPA, which has funded many DTN projects. Disruption may occur because of the limits of wireless radio range, sparsity of mobile nodes, energy resources, attack, and noise.

Interplanetary Internet (IPN)

The Interplanetary Internet (IPN) is a conceived computer network in space, consisting of a set of network nodes which can communicate with each other.  Communication would be greatly delayed by the great interplanetary distances, so the IPN needs a new set of protocols and technology that are tolerant to large delays and errors. While the Internet as we know it tends to be a busy network of networks with high traffic, negligible delay and errors, and a wired backbone, the Interplanetary Internet is a store-and-forward network of internets that is often disconnected, has a wireless backbone fraught with error-prone links and delays ranging to tens of minutes, even hours, even when there is a connection.

Concurrently with (but separate from) the MANET activities, DARPA had funded NASA, MITRE and others to develop a proposal for the Interplanetary Internet (IPN). Internet pioneer Vint Cerf and others developed the initial IPN architecture, relating to the necessity of networking technologies that can cope with the significant delays and packet corruption of deep-space communications. In 2002, Kevin Fall started to adapt some of the ideas in the IPN design to terrestrial networks and coined the term delay-tolerant networking and the DTN acronym. A paper published in 2003 SIGCOMM conference gives the motivation for DTNs. The mid-2000s brought about increased interest in DTNs, including a growing number of academic conferences on delay and disruption-tolerant networking, and growing interest in combining work from sensor networks and MANETs with the work on DTN. This field saw many optimizations on classic ad-hoc and delay-tolerant networking algorithms and began to examine factors such as security, reliability, verifiability, and other areas of research that are well understood in traditional computer networking.


What’sWho is NEXT? = IPN

Do not be in the least surprised when they get the Interplanetary Internet up, they name it HAL.

Oh yeah, in the meantime, don’t forget to look up.

*[This article is in no way intended to be a comprehensive discussion of the matters involved. This is only a Teaser, and perhaps a starting point for those interested in the subject of tomorrow.]


Tip: Mac OS X: How to reset the printing system

Mac OS X includes a Reset Printing System troubleshooting function that you might want to use after you try all other printing troubleshooting steps for Mac OS X 10.6 or later, or Mac OS X 10.5.8 or earlier.

Products Affected

Mac OS X 10.4, Mac OS X 10.6, Mac OS X 10.5, Mac OS Printing/Fax (any version), OS X Lion

What does Reset Printing System do?

  • Deletes all queues and jobs.
  • Resets all printer settings to their default by deleting configuration files.
  • Performs a permissions check on the /tmp directory.

Any printers, scanners, or fax modems that previously appeared in System Preferences will need to be added again after resetting the printing system.

Resetting the printing system in OS X Lion

To use the Reset Printing System function in Lion, follow these steps:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Choose Print & Scan from the View menu.
  3. Hold down the Option key while clicking the “-” (Remove printer) button. If no printers are currently added, hold down the Control key while clicking in the box that appears above the “+” (Add printer) button, then choose Reset printing system… from the contextual menu.

Resetting the printing system in Mac OS X v10.5.x or 10.6.x

To use the Reset Printing System function in Mac OS X v10.5.x or 10.6.x, follow these steps:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Choose Print & Fax from the View menu.
  3. Hold down the Option key while clicking the “-” (Remove printer) button. If no printers are currently added, hold down the Control key while clicking in the box that appears above the “+” (Add printer) button, then choose Reset printing system… from the contextual menu.

Resetting the printing system in Mac OS X v10.4.x

To use the Reset Printing System function in Mac OS X v10.4.x, follow these steps:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Choose Print & Fax from the View menu.
  3. Hold down the Option key while clicking the “+” (Add printer) button.As an alternative, you can choose Reset Printing System… from the Printer Setup Utility menu while in Printer Setup Utility (which open when the  “+” button is clicked).

[This post shamelessly stolen from Apple Support. Just something good to know.]

Tip: How to remove an item from the Finder sidebar in Mac OS X v10.6.7 or later


Learn how to remove an item from the sidebar in Mac OS X v10.6.7 or later.

Products Affected

Mac OS X 10.6

  1. Press and hold the Command () key.
  2. Drag the item from the Finder sidebar and release it.

Note: If you don’t hold down the Command key while dragging the item, it will snap back to the sidebar when you release it.Sidebar with Applications selected

In the image above, Applications is selected in the Finder sidebar, and is a really crummy example.

Additional Information

To add an item, simply drag it to the correct area. You don’t have to hold down a modifier key—such as the Command key—to drag an item into the sidebar of a Finder window.

[ This article boldly stolen from the Apple Support Database. Why? Because I had to look it up again.]

Tip: Printer Problems? Update Wiping Out Your Working Device?

Apple Updates has a nasty little habit of updating printer drivers.

Apple has a policy of disseminating the driver packages given them by various manufactures. Whether they work or not.

In the case of HP, often they don’t, especially if you have a COMBINATION printer: Printer/Scanner/Fax in whatever combination.

This issue has been driving me nutz forever. I am going to use my case as an example, but it could be a formulaic problem for anyone and any application due to Apple’s policy of blindly putting out updates provided them by manufactures, whether they work for you or not. I have called Apple out on this issue and their position is, “Oh well.” Apple doesn’t take kindly to constructive feed-back from users.

I have a HP C3180 Printer/Scanner. Apple updates wipe out my working software and totally removes all scanning software.

My only solution has been to start by going to the HP website: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/siteHome?lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&os=219&sw_lang=&product=top

I plug in C3180 and start hunting for a driver that works. In my case it is the package for OS X 10.3 from 2009. I download, install, and everything works fine, until eventually it gets ‘updated’ and wipes me out again.

On the issue of Apple Updates, you CAN temporarily remove a specific item from the list by selecting it and hitting the DELETE key. Eventually it WILL reassert itself and reappear. Watch out!

If you are having ‘update’ problems like this, once you find a DMG that works for you, KEEP IT HANDY. Someday you will slip up and wipe yourself out with an update.

Every manufacture has driver package downloads, but like HP, they are TOUGH to find sometimes. Usually manufactures will dead end you by just referring you back to Apple Updates.

It is a much more reliable solution to finding obscure driver packages by going to the Apple Support Forum and doing a search getting as specific as possible with Make, Model, and Problem, than getting derailed to someone trying to sell you something by searching for drivers using any Search Engine.

Happy MacIng!

Tip: Upgrading Silverlight on your Mac?

UPGRADING Microsoft Silverlight from Version X to Version Y ain’t necessarily so…
Dragging Silverlight.plugin to the trash and reinstalling Silverlight is asking for trouble.

Here is a comprehensive Microsoft Silverlight Search and Destroy List.
USE Easy Finder App to find and exterminate ALL!!! occurrences of these files!

From SEVERAL email exchanges with Microsoft Silverlight Support:

  1. Silverlight.plugin
  2. com.microsoft.installSilverlightPlugin
  3. WPFe.plugin
  4. Silverlight.pkg
  5. Silverlight_W2_MIX.pkg
  6. WPFe.pkg
  7. com.microsoft.silverlight.plist
  8. com.microsoft.SilverlightPlugin.loader.plist
  9. com.microsoft.playready.plist
  10. PlayReady folders
  11. Silverlight folders

Happy Search & Destroy.

Tip: Fix My Phone. No, NOW!

A 91 year old friend of mine, Lori, in Fullerton, Calif. called me Saturday morning on her cell phone to get a mutual friends new number in Oregon.
Lori’s birthday was last Thursday. Her phone with AT&T went out of service last Wednesday. On her birthday she gets a LOT of phone calls.
When she called me she told me what a mess things had been for her lately.
When people couldn’t get through to her by phone, they began calling her local friends who, had driven over and knocked on her door, and her neighbors, concerned about her welfare… not a lot of people make it to 91.
Two people had the Police come by to check on her.
Last Wednesday when her phone went out, AT&T told her they couldn’t get out to fix it for a week… next Wednesday, hence the mess on her Birthday on Thursday.
I told her that what AT&T was doing to her was illegal. In every State, when they passed the necessary Legislation/Taxation packages for 911 service, ALL States had included the proviso that Telephone Carriers/Providers had only 24 hours to repair/maintain service to customers. It is now illegal for telephone customers, all of which pay a tax for 911 service, to be deprived of that service for more than 24 hours.
She was stunned. She hung up and called AT&T recounting our “phone call from her friend in Florida”. The second she used the word ‘illegal’, the AT&T representative interrupted her to say they would have the problem corrected by 7pm (today, Saturday). The repairman showed up at 6:30, verified that the problem was upstream from the pole on the AT&T side, and reconnected her house line to a working line on a different trunk bundle right on the pole outside.
Her phone was in service by 6:50.
At 7:30pm Pacific, Lori called me back to give me an update. She asked me how I had known that. The answer is that I had phone service via cable by Brighthouse. My phone & cable service had gone out. I called and they had it working in 4.5 hours. Subsequently, I had discontinued phone service in that manner and later had another cable outage. When I called for repair, Brighthouse informed me that they would have the problem corrected in 3 days. I challenged her by reminding her of the speedy repair of my last outage. She looked at my records and said, “That’s because you had our phone service. By law, we have only 24 hours to get 911 service restored.”
Now YOU know too.

Trivia 101

“You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.
You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

  • The reference to the pills is also implemented in a special type of malware that utilizes the virtualization techniques of modern CPUs to execute as a hypervisor; as a virtual platform on which the entire operating system runs, it is capable of examining the entire state of the machine and to cause any behavior with full privilege, while the operating system “believes” itself to be running directly on physical hardware, creating a parallel to the illusory Matrix. Blue Pill describes the concept of infecting a machine while red pill techniques help the operating system to detect the presence of such a hypervisor.
  • Until they were removed from the Maemo operating system application installer in January 2010, certain advanced features were unlocked by a “Red Pill Mode” easter egg to prevent accidental use by novice users but make them readily available to experienced users. This was activated by starting to add a catalog whose URL was “matrix” and then choosing to cancel. A dialog box would appear asking “Which pill?” with the choices “Red” or “Blue”, allowing the user to enter red pill mode.[5][6] In “Red Pill” mode the installer allows the user to view and reconfigure system packages whose existence it normally does not acknowledge. In Blue Pill mode the installer displays only software installed by a user, creating the illusion that system software does not exist on the system.

“Steve is not done here.”

Steve Jobs — the man who brought us the iPhone, the iPod and the iMac — has died. The co-founder of Apple was 56 years old. Jobs had been battling a rare form of pancreatic cancer for years.

“It boggles the mind to think of all the things that Steve Jobs did,” says Silicon Valley venture capitalist Roger McNamee, who worked with Jobs.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

All very true, but what ‘they’ are not telling is that Steve Jobs will be buried without his brain. The top Engineers deep in Apple’s proprietary Developmental Laboratory and select upper Management at Apple have been making preparations for this event for some time now. In conjunction with an unnamed prestigious genetic laboratory, insiders have taken extraordinarily extensive measures to insure that Steve will be ‘around’ for some time now. It has been a foundational Apple axiom that as long as there are DOS based operating systems alive in the world, Steve’s work is not finished. Our beloved Mr. Jobs is not gone, he has just changed his IP address. All roads have, and always will, lead to a Mac. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


See followup story Local Hero Coins Phrase “Stevinator”

By Charles The Undecided