Four short links: 29 May 2019

Robustness Principle, End of Mobile, Beautiful Hack, and Autonomous Radios

By Nat Torkington
May 29, 2019
Four short links
  1. The Harmful Consequences of the Robustness Principle (IETF) — Time and experience shows that negative consequences to interoperability accumulate over time if implementations apply the robustness principle. This problem originates from an assumption implicit in the principle that it is not possible to effect change in a system the size of the internet. That is, the idea that once a protocol specification is published, changes that might require existing implementations to change are not feasible.
  2. The End of Mobile (Stratechery) — deep dive into numbers on mobile adoption around the world. The end is the kicker, though: I’m not updating my smartphone model anymore. The next fundamental trends in tech, today, are probably machine learning, crypto, and regulation.
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  4. GLS: Goroutine Local Storage — using the call stack to implement local storage for goroutines, against the language’s intentions. A splendidly hacky hack. What are people saying? “Wow, that’s horrifying.” “This is the most terrible thing I have seen in a very long time.” “Where is it getting a context from? Is this serializing all the requests? What the heck is the client being bound to? What are these tags? Why does he need callers? Oh god no. No no no.”
  5. If DARPA Has Its Way, AI Will Rule the Wireless Spectrum (IEEE) — To tackle spectrum scarcity, I created the Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where I am a program manager. […] Teams are designing new radios that use artificial intelligence (AI) to learn how to share spectrum with their competitors, with the ultimate goal of increasing overall data throughput. These teams are vying for nearly $4 million in prizes to be awarded at the SC2 championship this coming October in Los Angeles. Thanks to two years of competition, we have witnessed, for the first time, autonomous radios collectively sharing wireless spectrum to transmit far more data than would be possible by assigning exclusive frequencies to each radio.
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