Re: future of identifiers

"Fred Baker (fred)" <> Wed, 06 November 2013 01:38 UTC

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From: "Fred Baker (fred)" <>
To: Larry Masinter <>
Subject: Re: future of identifiers
Thread-Topic: future of identifiers
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Date: Wed, 06 Nov 2013 01:36:42 +0000
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On Nov 1, 2013, at 3:34 PM, Larry Masinter <> wrote:
>> it might be a good thing if we were to first identify what needs to be identified.
> "Everything" needs to be identified. 

I'm not sure I buy that.

Let me give you an example. Deborah Estrin did some research a number of years ago with the California Division of Forestry, USC/ISI (which is where she was at the time), and UCSB on the use of a randomly distributed sensor network in managing wildfires. The premise was that an airplane might pitch out styrofoam "golf balls" that contained, each, a watch battery, a cheap GPS, a silicon radio that might be able to reach a few hundred meters, and silicon pretty comparable to the inside of a wristwatch. The device, when it landed, would figure out where it was to a level of accuracy on the order of tens of meters and then turn off the GPS. After that, it would periodically wake up, hear statements from its neighbors, and then make a statement. The statement would be of the form "I am located <here>, and I can hear {<list of locations>}." The statement might also include zero or more statements of the form "location <there> is reportedly [no longer] speaking."

In the nature of the case, if the fire ate up a sensor, it would stop commenting, and the fact of its doing so would rattle around the network until it got to someone that cared, such as an application on a PC. But it is not reported as "Larry's favorite golfball isn't speaking". It's "GPS Location XX/YY isn't speaking".

In this context, the locations need to be identified, but not the golf balls (nobody speaks TO them, so they don't need an address).