A Different Internet

A fascinating article: Lori Emerson and Internet pioneer John Day explore What’s Wrong with the Internet and How We Can Fix It. Emerson’s quest was “to figure out how we are unwittingly living out the legacy of the power/knowledge structures that produced TCP/IP” and ” how the Internet could have been and may still be utterly different.” In this article, Day argues that “’the Internet is an unfinished demo’ and that we have become blind not only to its flaws but also to how and why it works the way it works.”

One of the interesting things about this article is Day’s perspective on the consequence of BBN’s early architectural choices and how money can lead to a less-than-optimal path forward, then followed despite great ongoing costs and unanticipated complications. For example, settling on TCP/IP was a choice for “modularity” with a necessary perspective to the layered ecosystem that the modules would operate in.

Day’s points about Netflix and peering are more generalized than they should be, but his arguments do make me wonder what a “different Internet” would be like and how we might get there.

Local Emergency Preparedness

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training just concluded and I am now certified as a CERT member. The Alameda County Fire Department held the training, as they’ve been doing for many years. I’ve taken the 20-hour weekend course several times in the past, and it’s always an amazing learning experience. This time I also took the online IS-317: Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams training through FEMA, which was a good preview of the hands-on practice that the training offered. I recommend taking either or both. This information may well save the lives of you and your family members. Continue reading

Happy Birthday DNSimple

DNSimple logoApril 2015 brings the fifth year of service for DNSimple. ManyMedia sends wishes for a very happy birthday to Anthony and the crew!

ManyMedia was one of their first paying customers, and with five years of their excellent service to their credit we intend to continue. Why? Trust.

I met Anthony, the founder, through a project of mutual interest and found him to have solid technical perspectives. I liked his thinking generally about teaching people and sharing his expertise. He became a trusted guide in my social network. When he offered DNS routing services, I moved several of my domains to DNSimple. One might ask why I use an outside DNS routing company when my hosting companies will do domain routing for free. Among my reasons are domains that get routed to more than one host, and the quick flexibility to switch routing to a different provider as needed.

My recognition, loyalty and support are the most valuable things I offer to a company—for solid business practices, and when I personally believe in them to do the right things going forward. Domains are an important part of my communication with the world. DNSimple is my preferred personal agent for domain routing.


USIgnite2014: Day 3: Advice for Communities: Lessons in Engaging Developers

Advice for Communities: Lessons in Engaging Developers panel, with:

  • Andrew Hyder, Code for America
  • Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive
  • Bradley Holt, Civic Cloud
  • Lindsey Frost Cleary, Gigabit Community Fund at Mozilla

How are you doing outreach and gigabit evangelism in your community?
Asking what are your problems and how can we use a Gig to solve them?
Code for America; Gigabit advocacy: we identified an app for our community.
Code for America’s National Day of Civic Hacking around June 1. There’s likely a CfA brigade in your City.
We hosted CfA, now Mozilla Gigabit Community, now a connected model hybrid. Many organizations in Kansas City is building a locus, bring disciplines together. Billion Bits: started as hackathon, realization shared that there’s a developer gap for gigabit networks. They’re building for current environment. One Million Cups (Kauffman) community builder.

It’s difficult to mandate across schools, but there are a few like one in a school or one in a library), trying to work with those who are interested. We work with other hive learning communities.

Lots of start-up activities, how do they fit in with Hive and others?
Lindsey: others are interested in supporting each other. CfA has been incredible in connecting with others, organizing.

We’re smallest CfA Brigade, everyone is a civic hacker, all skillsets welcome.

Recruiting support from political and outside areas? Mayor’s office toured, got it. Secrets to get them in? We focus on where we can get traction. We have a network of about 60 people, perhaps 80-100 people have participated. That sounds about average. We want that across the nation. Hackathons on community-building purpose, not by technology. Open Oakland meets every Tuesday in City Hall, making decisions on local policy, contrast with Chicago, 50 people every day a week to build apps.

If someone here is interested, find a local brigade, but what if they don’t find one? At a Google event, Code for Mountain View was being born. We’ll officially give support to groups. Many of important civic apps are data- and database based. If you offer a meet-up, they will come (usually).

Existing developer groups is a good place for recruitment. How do you interface with them? Ecosystem gaps: people focus on what they know. We’re working now on inventory of user groups, different calendars. When we have an event, there’s not a good way to access them all. What are their needs from community perspective, others that don’t interface with community at all–research needed to get a better understanding, build cross-group lists.

Leadership councils? There’s not really councils or locus, needs to be one. Sometimes we need to be the leaders, it’s a lot of work (surveys, research, community management tasks, etc.). It’s the people with specific interests that need support to help them move the energy forward.

Community economic development planning? There is a need for more systematic approach. Bring stakeholders to the table. It’s tough to convince people, new program developments for recruiting people to the community.

What role does the University play, and what needs? Burlington: the local universities do offer support. Universities can offer space–that’s one of the challenges. Lots of potential in universities, student groups for example need to be student run but they fall off with turnover. Computer science: a lot of our work is based on CS but students aren’t always thinking about gigabit environments. Sector expertise is also helpful, especially in leadership roles.