[dns-operations] ``Ya.com says "The internet is mine" ''

Edward Lewis Ed.Lewis at neustar.biz
Wed Aug 9 13:16:35 UTC 2006

At 6:10 PM -0700 8/8/06, Rick Jones wrote (quoting me originally):
>>  The Internet is more and more a part of the real economy and less and less
>>  of a academic exercise.  (I know, been said before.)  Today's "business"
>>  is trying to figure out how to maximize the value of the Internet.
>I think that may be more accurately stated as "maximize their return using
>the Internet?"

To me the "value of the Internet" is the sum total of each entity's 
"return using/working the Internet.  I meant "Today's 'business'" in 
the plural.

"Maximize their return" is a local optima, the term can be seen 
negatively.  But on the other hand, economic profit is the 
realization of created wealth.  Way back when, a economic major 
friend of mine made the point that economics is not zero-sum, 
otherwise there would be no economic growth.  Profit on one hand is 
not loss from another hand.  Profit need not be monetary either, only 
when you want to "measure" profit do you need a unit of measure.

E.g., Going to a Red Sox game might cost someone $60 for tickets, 
parking, beer.  You might get 6 hours of enjoyment from that, so you 
are paying $10/hour for fun.  So is a $10 movie that lasts 2 hours a 
better deal for fun?  No one would really make that calculation in 
real-life, but economists do - and the answer usually results in 
whether to put in a movie theater a few blocks down from Fenway where 
that parking garage is.

I don't mean to lecture on this, but just to point out that it's 
sometimes better to try to find the positive motivations for 
something "we" deem as "evil" and then work from that.  We are 
engineers and we are here to solve the problems of the world, we are 
not here to build our own fantasy world (anymore).

That doesn't mean that we have to derive an anti-gravity machine when 
some deluded venture capitalist thinks that's the solution.  It means 
we may have to re-evaluate our understandings of the principles in 
Tannenbaum's 80's text book on networks.  (Still the best work I've 
ever seen on the theory, even if it was hard to read for the 

>>  Business folks do not play by the same rules as engineers.
>Ain't that the truth :)

And the world benefits.  I wouldn't want engineers to construct a 
national constitution (you'd have to wait for perfection before 
anyone was allowed in) as much as I wouldn't want lawyers to build a 
bridge (you'd have to wait for the first car to cross to set a 
precedent).  Okay - that's a lawyer-engineer comparison, the point is 
that there are many schools of "how to think" and "how to solve." 
There's no one universally right way of thinking and solving.

>>  That doesn't make business folks evil, they are just different.[0]
>Well, if one is to believe the headlines, business folks, playing by
>their rules, seem to end-up in court more often :)

That's because business and the courts go hand in hand.  A small tort 
there is like a core dump to a programmer.  "You've (potentially) 
violated the rule of the land."  Same idea, different form of 

As far as the recent "dotCom" implosion and Enron, Ebbers, etc., 
these incidents are in the legacy of age old scams.  Looking back, 
you could argue that these were nothing more than age-old pyramid 
schemes (get in early, inflate value, recruit the next layer) using 
new techniques.

Just like phishing is just an extension of age-old confidence (con) 
games.  Watch old Rockford Files reruns, the days when pay phones, 
business cards, and a fast Camaro was what you used to dupe folks. 
Or Columbo, duping crooks into telling all.  We are "fighting" the 
extension of the same crime that is using new techniques.

>>  [0] this comes to mind - Memorable Quotes from Spaced Invaders: "But, Dad,
>>  they're not really bad, they're just ... stupid."
>And "the sky is falling" is indeed not a sage response to stupidity. The
>question is the degree of "danger" in the stupidity and whether then it
>calls for "Let them learn the object lesson." or "Stop them before the
>burn-down the house."

And, try to figure out what is "giving the perception that" the sky 
is falling and fix that.  That's a job for an engineer - identify a 
tractable problem and hit at it.

One more old-man story for today and I promise I'll take my meds.

When I worked towards installing a new network in a new large 
building on a government campus I had to go from lab to lab to "sell" 
my cabling plan.  At the time I was known across campus, so I could 
get away with some sarcasm here and there:

Me:  So that's our plan...
Jim  (lab director): Well, I don't know.  I fear that you won't be giving me
      enough bandwidth for my Xterms.
Me:  (Sigh) Well, Jim, I'm not a priest, I can't help you with your fears.
      But give me hard data on why this won't, or isn't going to work, and
      I can engineer you a solution.
Jim: (A little shocked) - Ah, I see...

Let's not turn into a bunch of folks griping about the world around 
us and instead focus on making sure folks don't have real reasons to 
gripe.  If we just become gripers, we are no more useful than evil 
business folks.  Maybe less criminal, but...

and to wind up back on topic for the thread ... I'm not saying that 
ya.com is doing a wise thing.  I wouldn't want my provider to alter 
what's in DNS.  On the other hand, their actions won't bring down the 
rest of the world and will likely cause them a higher operations 
cost.  If the operations cost is greater than the benefit they get 
from doing this they will either stop or stop when they are acquired 
or in bankruptcy proceedings.  It's all about the money. ;)

Edward Lewis                                                +1-571-434-5468

Soccer/Futbol. IPv6.  Both have lots of 1's and 0's and have a hard time
catching on in North America.

More information about the dns-operations mailing list