Re: AOL/Sun/Netscape (was Rationale: No New OS)

my inner geek (
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 10:38:52 +0800 (Dan Clemmensen):

> The gear almost certainly costs tens to hundreds of thousands of
> dollars per site and involves big rooftop antennas. It's cheap only
> when compared to running new fiber in a city, and the total
> bandwidth is on the order of 100Mbps for all stations. Don't confuse
> the carrier frequency with the data rate. So, a 256-node system
> would permit each node to generate about .5Mbps (albiet broadcast)
> at a comms cost on the order of
> >10K$/node. The 100BaseT grid permits a total bandwitch of 1.6Gbps
> >with
> a per-node contrib of 7Mbps at a current, off-the shelf cost of
> <50$/node. furthermore, the multicast radio scheme scales poorly,
> while the grid scales well. The grid is only the simplest of a
> family of doubly-connected node topologies, and there are obviously
> higher-order toplologies. The current $50/node is high compared to
> purpose-built dual-port NICs on the motherboard, and 100Mbps is easy
> to beat, so the off-the-shelf grid is easy to beat if you care to.

I'm not an engineer, Dan. I'm a generalist trying to find ways to save R&D time and money wasted in incremental infrastructure upgrades when the expertise is available to create a better system from scratch. In no way am I "arguing" technical details, so much as seeking input from experts (you), and "promoting" thinking in terms of massive scale production in order to accelerate broadband nonlinear HDTV.

Why am I interested in broadband HDTV? Because we're approaching a critical point when *work* is obsolete, it the industrial sense. That's what AUTOMATION does, it frees people. Unfortunately, our global economy hasn't been structured to deal with "FREE" people. A laborless society just isn't going to fare well without high-bandwidth, low-latency, video-oriented, customized CBT (a.k.a. broadband Internet). For security purposes (backyard cam, frontyard cam, garage door cam, frontdoor cam, backdoor cam, driveway cam), broadband to each home seems like a reasonable "point-of-departure" for planning discussions.

I'm just trying to think of a strategy that doesn't just create more huge monopolies. Instead of the cable company upgrading your neighborhood, or the phone companies upgrading your neighborhood, *YOU* as a citizen would be installing your own little tiny switching node in your own backyard or on your rooftop.

For the sake of getting "The Truman Show" started, here's my neighborhood:


(Sometimes problems are more easily solved when humanized.)

I'm in one of the little boxes just left of center. This should be accurate enough for nuclear targeting, but a little too general for Avon, Amway, and Watchtower salespeople (

In the context of "The World Wide Web", "Freedom of Speech", "Being Politically Correct", and "They Killed Kenny!"

This should make the hunt easier: Notice to terrorist: Please don't take a head shot, I need the brain intact: we'll put it on ice and use it as a primary key. Back to task at hand: 100Mbs for each little human nest in this grand insect colony called "human civilization"...

Yes, the Wavtrac product is expensive, but that's only because they aren't in Henry Ford style mass production. I called WavTrac and spoke with Mr. Abboud, and asked: "If you were responsible for thinking up a way to get 100Mbs to every single household, how would you do it?" He said that his technology could probably be brought down to $500 per station with mass production.

Another strategy would be to mass produce multiport 100Mbps Fast Ethernet nodes that people could install themselves in their own neighborhoods. Instead of Homer Simpson installing a new sprinkler system in is front yard, Homer is kicking in $50 to his neighborhood infrastructure upgrade pool. The neighbors all get "right of way" access to connect to each of their neighbors in a grid pattern. Each house connects to each other house in a North, South, East, West grid (using insulated PVC-coated copper or hybrid). Another strategy, would be a rooftop wireless grid. This has been tried at low bandwidth, but can't really succeed unless done in a big way. (See

The problem with the new, dog's eye view, do it yourself 100Mb grid, is that while it makes cable companies and phone companies obsolete, it still doesn't work for your video cell phone.

Which get's us back to the generic black box filled with superscalar ram and parallel dsps. OK: make it a perfect cube: one the sides, put a mass-produced version of a Wavtrac system (directional - line of site). On the top, put a little stubby antenna (omnidirectional - transmits right through trees and walls).

O.K., Dan. I have a high-school level physics education, and my electromagnetic and supercomputing theory background are limited to the URL's that *YOU* send to the extropian list. Now, back to solving the problem in an "Open Source" manner.

If you want to create an HDTV wavelet video server, without having to become Bill Gates, here's what your option will be (unless the Open Source community starts becoming the Internet II / Proxy building community).


Notice the licensing fees: $2,500 up front. $99.80 per client, in $499.00 increments. Granted, Netshow is MPEG, but surely the Intel Indeo guys will convince Microsoft to start touting Wavelet (Bill's lawyers will probably soon be making "Wavelet" a Microsoft trademark.) Microsoft WaveletStream(TM) servers? A few hundred million in advertising (cattle branding synapse imprint burning), and Wavelet will be synonymous with Windows NT 5.0 and Tiger(tm) video servers.

Nevermind that Tham Jo Yew has published his theories openly.


Although U.S. Copyrights and Trademarks don't apply in Singapore, I'm sure Bill will have Tham's team staffed up in no time, complete with non-disclosure agreements and contracts under threat of death to make everything proprietary as a Microsoft Netshow subsidiary.

P.S. I don't have anything against Microsoft: I'm going to work there starting next week, as a droid software tester (Netshow included). I'm sure I'll use the employee suggestion system. Too bad I'll have nothing to look forward to but law suits when I finally branch out on my own. (I'm not afraid, though, my lawyers have more money than Bill's! Yeah, right!)

Check out the following URL:

I'm waiting around for these Redmond guys to hurry up and develop "THEJANECHANNEL.COM". :) Maybe Gates will kick in $30B for some superscalar RAM fabs to help with Internet II HTDV video proxies (running on Linux-based parallel supercomputers and Larry Ellison's Linux shareware version of Oracle).

See the following e-mail: reposted without permission (just like and keep reposting the extropian archives to without permission). I'm sure Tham is going to be delighted to be associated with a Libertarian. Pot smoking is still punishable by death, over there, right?

> Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 14:29:09 +0800 (SST)
> From: Tham Jo Yew <>
> To: my inner geek <>
> Cc:,
> Subject: Re: Wavelet Compression of HDTV

> Dear Ken,
> As you must have read from our webpage, the Wavelets Group
> consists of a strong and active research team with expertise
> from Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering.
> Highly scalable multimedia compression using wavelets technology is
> one of our active ongoing research and development areas. We have a
> scalable still image codec that gives one of the best compression
> performances as compared to other techniques, almost regardless of
> their processing complexity.
> We are also presently at the stage of R&D to extend the codec
> to a complete audio and video coding system. The main features of
> the system are high compression performances over an entire wide
> range of connection bandwidths. As what you mentioned, its
> scalability features should be able to scale from very high bitrates
> (over 100 Mb/s) to very low bitrates (in the order of 10 or less
> kb/s). Some main scaling parameters include bitrate, quality, frame
> rate, display resolution, color, and decoding complexity. Such
> scalability includes both the video and audio components, wherever
> appropriate.
> However, we have not been focusing too much on very high-end
> applications right now (hence, we are not yet researching into
> stereo HDTV and multichannel AC-3 Dolby), but at present, we are
> targetting at medium-high to very low (including mobile) users. We
> also tend to focus more on solutions over the Internet and MBONE at
> the moment. Of course, it is possible and we will be extending our
> research to cater to higher end users and applications when the
> resources, manpower and time allow us to do so in the very near
> future. Anyway, that is the ultimate goal of scalability, which
> aims to simultaneously cater to a very wide array of users with
> heterogeneous connections, decoding powers and display capabilities.
> I have visited the website of MicroDisplay, and am very
> intrigued by the breakthrough miniature display technology of
> your company. We are keen to know more about your company's
> directions and plans. More specifically, is the company on
> the lookout to license suitable technology, collaborate in
> joint productization, or interested in having joint R&D?
> I believe that all are true! Nonetheless, it will be very useful
> for us to jointly explore exactly in what capacity we are in common.
> For your information, we are also collaborating with a number of
> local and overseas companies on a number of projects.
> I appreciate if there are any informative brochures that will be of
> interest to us.
> I certainly look forward to discussing further with you.
> Thank you.
> Sincerely,
> ====================================================================
> == ======
> Do visit my PARADISE at
> THAM Jo Yew | E-mails:
> Research Associate |
> Wavelets Strategic Research
> Programme | or Department of Mathematics
> | Ph.D. Postgraduate Research National University of S'pore
> | Dept. of Electrical Engr. Tel: +65 874-2773 Fax: +65
> 779-5452 | National University of S'pore
> ====================================================================
> == ======
> On Wed, 11 Nov 1998, my inner geek wrote:
> > Hello:
> >
> > What bandwidth requirements are there for supporting an HDTV
> > wavelet stream?
> >
> > My understanding of wavelet compression is that as the size of the
> > downstream pipe becomes smaller, packets can be skipped, resulting
> > in smooth delivery over various sized connections from the same
> > source video file.
> >
> > Would this scalability run the complete gammut?
> >
> > For example, if I had a ram-based video server that contained
> > wavelet compressed full-length feature films, designed for
> > delivery over a 100Mb Fast Ethernet connection to a local network,
> > would those same files be acceptable for use in delivering that
> > content to DSL subscribers with 256K connections? Modem users
> > with 28.8K connections?
> >
> > Does WavPress include support for 6 channel AC-3 Dolby? Is this
> > an open standard, that would be extensible for stereo HDTV streams
> > for remote surveillance and entertainment applications to viewers
> > using 3D goggles made from microdisplays?
> >
> > See
> >
> > Thank you.