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A random thought on strong crypto... - A Suburbs Boy Living a Country Life [Pete and Pam's pages (photos and some commentary)] [Pam's journal] [Our company] [My Flickr Photos] [Arisia]
June 25th, 2008
12:40 am

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A random thought on strong crypto...
PGP...it's been around a long, long time now.  Version 1 was released in 1991.  New key and hash algorithms have been added, yes--but the format was built for that.  TLS [aka SSL] has become the reigning champion of all client-server cryptography--but PGP was never meant to fill that need.  Despite the major vendors buidling up support for enterprise X.509 cryptography, it's rarely used "castle to castle."  For peer-to-peer [or "user trust model mediated"] cryptography, PGP still reigns.

In this paragraph, I take a side turn which took far longer to write than the initial thought, as it required me to do some research [re for "again" and then search--as most of this I already knew, but forgotten over time].  Think about the software you use every day.  There's not much out there that has a legacy that can reach back that far.  [For those keeping score at home, I don't count Microsoft Windows as that long-lived, though with NT's release in 1992, it is close.  While a product called Microsoft Windows was actually announced in 198, and the Wikipedia article shows the Windows descendants and the Windows NT descendants merging in Windows XP, I think it fair to say that you can trace the current operating systems more to Windows NT than any of the code base that mostly terminated with Windows Millenium Edition.  My $0.02].  Linux users, you also have roots as far back as at least 1983, and your direct code legacy is almost exactly as old as PGP, with the announcement of the Linux kernel in August of 1991.

ObOffTopicArgh:  My dad "rescued" my book at the restaurant, but now I'm worried that he left it on the seat next to his when we left.

Current Mood: tiredtired

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From:technoshaman
Date:June 25th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
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Almost everyone uses the BSD 4.3 TCP stack, which dates to what, about 1983? oh, and the code roots for Unix reach as far back as 1969, IIRC... which means that Mac and FreeBSD users have direct lineage back that far...

There are some people I know that still actively work in FORTRAN, which dates to the 50's... but that's not ubiquitous code by any means. We both know someone (vernard) that has worked with a stick of code that has only undergone dialect changes since 1964, that being Fred Alyea's Global Circulation Model.... but again, that's not ubiquitous.

Oh, I know something that most people use on a daily basis that has its roots in the 19th Century, and much of it works the same today as it did, including .... well, if I said what, I'd be telling. It's software now, but it wasn't always.

The thing that works the same way as it did before the turn of the century is the POTS ringtone.... it's still generated by applying 100 volts of AC to the line.

Of course I realized yesterday that I'm so far into the 21st Century that when my mind says "phone" it means "cellphone", and not something Mr. Bell would know how to ring.
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From:happypete
Date:June 25th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)

Blargh...

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Gmail and LJ have stopped getting along, thus eating my comment.

Not going to take the time to re-create it: bottom line was a conclusion that we will have POTS until it's too oxpensive to maintain. My concern is that POTS might die before telephony providers can make a profit installing and selling new [e.g. fiber] infrastructure to rural and low-income areas. Do we have a new services gap in our future?

ObSideThought: Has regulation to require universal service slowed down the growth of new services substantially already, as providers have to maintain aging legacy infrastructure in order to earn the government privilege of selling to the affluent who can afford enhanced services and the dense [cost-effective] urban and suburban service areas?
From:technoshaman
Date:June 25th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)

Re: Blargh...

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Actually, I'm not too worried about rural subscribers going digital, for one simple reason, one that was originally started to cater to rural subscribers: Cable TV. Comcast is HUGE into the voice business these days. What will happen is the same thing that happens now, i.e. the cable companies will sell a super-cheap voice-only package to folks who meet the current POTS income standards... only they'll get advertised to out the ying-yang to upgrade and get the HOME SHOPPING NETWORK!!!! so they can fritter away the rest of their limited income on junk...

As for Universal Subscribers slowing down tech? Yes, indirectly... the tech advancement is (and has been for some time) in non-POTS telephony, and the slowdown has been in dragging POTS subscribers off POTS and into the 21st century.... when everybody can get it, there's not as much impetus to change.... I can do stuff with a VOIP subscription that I could only dream of with a traditional landline or even ISDN...
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From:happypete
Date:June 25th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)

On the BSD stack..

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How much of IPv6 can re-use portions of the BSD stack, and how much requires a complete re-write? Will the eventual adoption of IPv6 finally spell the end of one of the most enduring code lineages?
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 26th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)

Re: On the BSD stack..

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The BSD stack has been rewritten to the degree that you really have to wonder if it falls under the "is it still my grandfather's axe" story.

How much of the BSD 4.1c code DNA is in the KAME IPv6 implementation? That's a darned good question. The sockets API has even changed somewhat, though not drastically... I'd bet that there's some, but not a lot... save for all those "Copyright Regents of the University of California" notices. :-)

-RS


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From:mattblum
Date:June 25th, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
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Ah, but NT's lineage goes back further than most people realize.
From:technoshaman
Date:June 25th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
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Yes, but "No one understands NT." -- Linus Torvalds, January 1999, Atlanta, GA
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