E-Car: how it should be architected?

Sunday, October 18, 2009 11:10 PM

By Kostia Khait

I am discussing the future of automotive very often. Sometimes with people who are smart and experienced in the subject. And... It seems to me something is wrong in "mass mind" regarding electric cars, which are the strongest technology trend in automotive.

We all see that everybody considers electric cars are to be "vehicles of future". Nobody doubts: petrol is ending, earlier or later it will become too expensive. Electric motors are having better ratio, easier in control, ecologically clearer and so on. And many people wants to push e-cars to the market just now. But fails. Fails due to the small distance to recharge, worse dynamics, not ready infrastructure... many reasons. Or many claims?

I insist in the main problem is outside of this area. The main problem is in "mass mind". There are two main trends in e-cars engineering. One is "just a car, but on electric power". They try to replace gasoline engine with electric engine not changing other characteristics like body design, dynamics etc. For smooth transfer of the users from traditional to e-cars. It doesn't work. Because e-power is not gasoline power and e-car can not be the same to traditional cars.

There is another trend. People try to do "something very different". Exotic. Non-functional, non-native, but looking different to traditional cars. And mass user doesn't accept this. For sure.

I am wondered why nobody does the very simple thing. Position e-car as "not a regular car". Just vehicle with obvious and native characteristics. E-car must be (technically) light? Make it for one/two persons. The most time we are driving alone. It must have good aerodynamics? Make it in traditional sport style. Retro. Carbon. Plastic. It can not be as fast as traditional cars? How many people in big cities need to go faster that 50 km/h? Just don't position it as a competitor to gasoline car. Do it special "everyday" vehicle. For students. For young. For active. Who needs wheels. Who wants to be different. And would not want just to compete with others. I am sure, it will work. At least electric scooters idea is working. Just now.

RFC1925. It must be approved as a corporate policy and presented during induction training for every employee!

Thursday, October 1, 2009 6:15 AM

The original text is here...

RFC1925 - The Twelve Networking Truths

Network Working Group R. Callon, Editor
Request for Comments: 1925 IOOF
Category: Informational 1 April 1996

The Twelve Networking Truths

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo
does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of
this memo is unlimited.


This memo documents the fundamental truths of networking for the
Internet community. This memo does not specify a standard, except in
the sense that all standards must implicitly follow the fundamental


The truths described in this memo result from extensive study over an
extended period of time by many people, some of whom did not intend
to contribute to this work. The editor merely has collected these
truths, and would like to thank the networking community for
originally illuminating these truths.

1. Introduction

This Request for Comments (RFC) provides information about the
fundamental truths underlying all networking. These truths apply to
networking in general, and are not limited to TCP/IP, the Internet,
or any other subset of the networking community.

2. The Fundamental Truths

(1) It Has To Work.

(2) No matter how hard you push and no matter what the priority,
you can't increase the speed of light.

(2a) (corollary). No matter how hard you try, you can't make a
baby in much less than 9 months. Trying to speed this up
*might* make it slower, but it won't make it happen any

(3) With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is
not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they
are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them
as they fly overhead.

(4) Some things in life can never be fully appreciated nor
understood unless experienced firsthand. Some things in
networking can never be fully understood by someone who neither
builds commercial networking equipment nor runs an operational

(5) It is always possible to aglutenate multiple separate problems
into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases
this is a bad idea.

(6) It is easier to move a problem around (for example, by moving
the problem to a different part of the overall network
architecture) than it is to solve it.

(6a) (corollary). It is always possible to add another level of

(7) It is always something

(7a) (corollary). Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can't
have all three).

(8) It is more complicated than you think.

(9) For all resources, whatever it is, you need more.

(9a) (corollary) Every networking problem always takes longer to
solve than it seems like it should.

(10) One size never fits all.

(11) Every old idea will be proposed again with a different name and
a different presentation, regardless of whether it works.

(11a) (corollary). See rule 6a.

(12) In protocol design, perfection has been reached not when there
is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take

Security Considerations

This RFC raises no security issues. However, security protocols are
subject to the fundamental networking truths.


The references have been deleted in order to protect the guilty and
avoid enriching the lawyers.

Author's Address

Ross Callon
Internet Order of Old Farts
c/o Bay Networks
3 Federal Street
Billerica, MA 01821

Phone: 508-436-3936
EMail: rcallon@baynetworks.com

Automotive is down, down, down...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 1:21 AM



By Kostia Khait

Hell... Delphi Corp. and Visteon are under bankruptcy! It seems automotive is on the bottom, lower than anything else.

How to choose a car?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 5:10 AM

by Kostia Khait

In the past I was asked a lot of times about the same thing: how to choose a car? You like cars, you know cars, you work with cars... how to choose a car? And every time the person who was asking was unhappy with what I answer.

Each time when anybody wants to purchase a car (not only a car, but...), he does the same mistake: he wants to be objective. Car is expensive, we usually buy car for a long use, so we must do the optimal choice. And the long run becomes. What I want? Cost? Comfort? Silence? Design? Luggage capacity? Travel with family? And so on. Many factors, many weights, lots of test drives, hours of Internet search. And one of two results: either the 'right' car becomes 'wrong' after being bought, or person buys a car which is very different from what he considers 'optimal', just because he likes this particular car.

The problem is modern cars are very similar. Even cars of different classes, having different motors, equipment, materials, they all are having almost the same functions and capabilities. Yes, BMW enables you with driving 250km/h, but how frequently you drive 250km/h? Yes, S-class is big and comfortable, but Hyundai Sonata is also big and... also comfortable. If you forget about the brand name and skip very minor details.

Another problem, nobody is objective when chooses a toy. Car is a toy more than for 50%, therefore all careful arguments we use are not really inline with what we want. We selects one toy from a long long list of very similar toys... trying to use formal proofs of our choice. We deceive ourself.

As a result, being asked about the right way to choose a car, I always answer the same thing: take what you like. You can even buy a car in Internet, by photo, by description... no difference. You will either love or hate it and it is not depending on how accurate you are in your selection process. You should only use two simple rules: take a thing you have money for, and remember everything is relative, safety is absolute.

But. Who cares of safety before an accident?

Financial crisis or crisis of ideas

3:53 AM

by Kostia Khait

I think this idea is not my one and not being new. However it looks rather interesting. For me it looks like current crisis is not a kind of 'financial crisis launched by subprime mortgage problems', but just a crisis of innovation ideas.

Let's see. 1930s... Crisis, Great Depression. 40s... no comments. 50s - years of Big Automotive Dream, cars are the main engine of the progress and trading. 60s - nuclear and space technologies. 70s - no main innovative idea, crisis. Exited with Computer Epoch. 90s - mobile telephony. And with the tail of Cellphones Age, with smartphones and PDAs we entered the new millenium. And get stuck. No new great innovation, driving our mind, which we ready to fund, inflating world economic.

If I am right, there is only one way to completely exit this crisis: to identify another innovative idea which becomes the goal for mass market. The only a problem, typically ideas come themselve, it can not be brought from outside and enforced to the mind. So, waiting.

Browser as an OS: new trend or marketing fake?

12:40 AM

by Kostia Khait

Do you monitor what Google does? Do you monitor what Google does as close as I do it? Couple years ago I considered that Google is only a company going the right technological way. At least having solid (although hidden...) roadmap I fully understand. Now it is not so clear for me. It looks like they lost their way after did an attempt to extend their business from Internet to in-PC world and... probably failed. At least they didn't get a market share comparable with what they have in online space. After that they become doing strange things, and I was unable to re-construct their strategy by what I saw.

Now these guys announced Google Chrome OS. And shortly after that Microsoft announced Gazelle browser as an OS. I was wondered. At the first moment I decided it is just a marketing trick. Google has no own OS (Android is just Linux clone and it seems failing as well...), but they want or at least wanted to be everywhere in computer world like Microsoft is. OS is mandatory for that, they can not create their own OS... The conclusion for experienced marketing strategist is obvious: let's rename something different to our own OS and capitalize our brand with this light fake.

However after Microsoft responded with Gazelle, I am not so sure in what I thought. Microsoft has its own OS, moreover their market share is huge. And they are not interested in support Google in their market tricks, they are hard competitors, even enemies. It seems what's easier than just say: "Guys, you see they try substitute real OS with just a phantom"! However Microsoft did vice versa, they practically confirmed: browser becomes an OS.

And... It might be they are correct. Current browser (regardless on which one) is looking as not just UI to see web pages, but first of all it is a kind of virtual machine to run online applications. If we assume, that most of applications may become online, browser really becomes an OS. Moreover, you even do not need any other OS than just browser. And it has much more convenience that traditional operating systems: applications are cross-platform, flexible, always on and always safe (I did not say "secure", right?).

However I feel some fake. And now I believe I know where is it. These guys still trying to push us to online with everything we do. It makes a lot of benefits for them: if we give them all our data and involve there resources to everything we do, they become the unrestricted owners on regular computer activities. They may just make money giving us their resources in rent, but they can also blackmail us, block our jobs, smoothly refocus us to what we didn't plan initially and control what we do. It might have some visible convenience, but I don't think IT-community will choose this way. People wants to remain independent. If I am right, they will fail another time with making browser an OS and people continue working offline with the most of their activities.

Otherwise they win. We lose.

Is This Battle For Nothing?

Friday, August 21, 2009 1:17 AM

By Alex Yakima

Every time when building up a new software development team I could experience the very same thing again and again - new team mates argue a lot about every "methodological" issue. Unit testing, commenting code, building application, debugging, naming conventions, IDEs etc etc etc. Sometimes you think it's gonna be endless exchange of arguments without actual value to the process.

Is it really?

Actually there is value, it turns out that all these battles is simply one of the "earliest" forms of communication in newly established team. It might look pretty defensive and for sure having no certain immediate outcome because "fighters" usually quit their battle without changing their opinions, each of them. But the value is in cumulative volume of these discussions, which then combined with collaboration over the same codebase, gives the team more connective power and accelerates the process of building the team.

Although it is good if it doesn't consume too much time. Thus at the beginning of the team path, it is rather manager's task to facilitate right things in right portions and vice versa - help the team hit their breaks when necessary. When the team establishes more or less, these arguments will not totally go away, they actually never will. But what will happen is that they will become less often and more meaningful because by that time the team acquires another important quality - listening.

Eventually, if people you just hired never argue about how they write their code, then there might be something wrong with the team.

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