Giving Up On The iPad2


I finally gave up. After months of trying to continue to use my older iPad 2 with first iOS 8 and then iOS 9, as chronicled in several blog posts, I finally gave in and bought a new iPad Air 2. These two blog posts, and the many comments left both on the posts and on social media, show I am clearly NOT alone in wanting to continue using my iPad 2:

What finally did it for me is that after the iOS 9 upgrade, I was no longer able to use a specific application that I use all the time.

To explain a bit more, I coach a competitive girls Junior Curling team that my daughter is a member of. As part of that, I've been using an app call "iCurlStats" to track the actions and statistics in curling games so that we can be able to go back over them afterward. When I tried to use it in a recent curling tournament (a "bonspiel") it kept crashing all the time... and at terrible moments when I'd entered half of an "end" of a curling game.

It was so frustrating.

And unfortunately I discovered that the makers of that "iCurlStats" app seem to have gone out of business. The app is gone from the AppStore and the developer's website is completely gone. (In the little bit of digging it looks like the company may have been acquired by another company who then shut down different parts of the acquired company.)

So the chances of me getting an updated version of the app from the developer that would still work with an iPad 2 running iOS 9 were basically non-existent.

So I gave up. I gave in to the "planned obsolesence" and forked over more money to Apple for a iPad Air 2. This is the latest iPad in this size and so one would hope that Apple will keep it around for a while. Because I have come to heavily use a number of apps that are only on iOS, I'm right now locked into Apple's shiny, pretty walled garden. And I'm reluctantly okay with that because the apps are useful and help me get things done.

But I will also now be VERY CAUTIOUS applying future iOS updates to this iPad.

Had I not "updated" the iPad 2 to iOS 8 and left it running iOS 7 it probably would still be quite workable. (At least until I was forced to upgrade to newer apps that only ran on iOS 9 or later.) Now the iPad 2 will become something I use for an extra web browser screen or for some of the music apps... at least while all of those continue to work.

So that's the end of the saga.

No more glacial slowness for me - the iPad Air 2 is a remarkable and fast tablet. I can chart my curling games extremely easily and it works great for all the other apps I use, too.

Hopefully I can get a good run of years out of this one.

An audio commentary on this topic is also available:

P.S. There's another part to the story, too. After getting all set up on the iPad Air 2 and having iCurlStats work great - and getting all set up for the curling bonspiel all this past weekend... I decided that I wasn't comfortable with using an app that was no longer supported at all. In my research I had stumbled upon Curl Coach, a newer iPad app for curling coaches, and wound up using it for this past weekend's bonspiel. It is an amazing application! It's not cheap ($40 USD), but it's well worth it for how well it helped me work with our team! I don't know if this would have run on the iPad 2 (removing the need to buy the iPad Air 2), but I'm sure it wouldn't have run as fast as it did... and that is key when you're in the midst of recording a game.

Video and Slides Now Available For My AstriCon 2015 Keynote: Open Source and The Global Disruption of Telecom

If you're interested in what I said last month at AstriCon 2015 in my keynote on "Open Source And The Global Disruption of Telecom: What Choices Will We Make?", the video and slides are both available.

As I wrote about previously, the context for this discussion was to talk about the changes that are happening all around us in terms of the ways in which we communicate. Here was the abstract:

There is a battle raging for the global future of telecommunications and the Internet. Taking place in networks, board rooms and legislatures, the battle will determine how we all communicate and what opportunities will exist. Will telecom support innovation? Will it be accessible to all? Will it give us the level of security and privacy we need to have the open, trusted Internet? Or will it be restricted and limited by corporate or government gatekeepers?

The rise of voice-over-IP has fundamentally disrupted the massive global telecommunications industry, infrastructure and policies. Open source software such as Asterisk has been a huge driver of that disruption and innovation.. but now what? What role do platforms such as Asterisk play in this space? And what can be their role in a telecom infrastructure that is now mobile, increasingly embedded (Internet of Things) and more and more using proprietary walled gardens of communication?

How well I delivered on that will be up to you to decide... but I felt good about how it all came out and received many great comments and feedback throughout the rest of the event and afterwards. And, as a speaker I could see from the crowd (about 500-ish people) that they were NOT looking down into their smartphones or laptops... which is always a good sign! ;-)

A key point of what I aimed to do was to bring people up to a higher level to think about how their own actions fit into the broader context of what is happening in the world today.

It was fun to do! And I loved all the questions I was getting after that. My goal was to make people think... and it seemed that at least for some I did.

My part of the video starts after 15 minutes of introductory items (this was the opening of the event), so if you watch in the embedded video below you'll need to move forward to the 15:00 mark. You can also follow this direct link to the start of my segment with an introduction to me from Mark Spencer, the creator of Asterisk.

(And yes, this was the first time I had ever given a presentation wearing a ponytail in the long hair experiment I've been trying this year... I'm still not 100% sure I'm going to keep this style. This may be the first and only presentation you see with me like this.)

Unfortunately, the video only shows me talking on stage and doesn't show the slides I was using... so you don't understand what I'm talking about when I reference the slides.

I've posted the slides to my SlideShare account but as you'll see without the video or audio they aren't of much value. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to present in the very minimalist style I prefer where I only use images or a few words - and I thoroughly enjoyed doing so.

However, syncing the slides to the video is not something you'll probably find easy. At some point perhaps I'll create another video showing both my speaking and the slides... but I don't know that it will happen anytime soon.

Meanwhile, here they are...

Some of the links I reference in the presentation include (in the order of their appearance):

If you enjoyed this presentation and would like to have me potentially speak at your event, please do contact me. I've been speaking for many years and very much enjoy giving these kind of presentations at all types of events.

My First RFC - 7649 On "The Jabber Scribe Role at IETF Meetings"

Rfc7649 jabber scribe role 660px

Last month the first Request For Comments (RFC) was published where I was one of the co-authors. Ironically, this RFC 7649 had nothing to do with SIP, VoIP, telecom, IPv6, DNSSEC, security... or any of the other open Internet standards I've been working on in recent years!

In fact, it's not a "standard" at all but rather an "informational" document.

This document collects together a series of best practices for how someone can fill the role of the "jabber scribe" at IETF meetings, such as the IETF 94 meeting about to happen in Yokohama, Japan, starting this weekend. (Which I will not be attending due to scheduling challenges.) You can read RFC 7659 at:

As the abstract states:

During IETF meetings, individual volunteers often help sessions run more smoothly by relaying information back and forth between the physical meeting room and an associated textual chatroom. Such volunteers are commonly called "Jabber scribes". This document summarizes experience with the Jabber scribe role and provides some suggestions for fulfilling the role at IETF meetings.

The document came about because over the years that I've been involved with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) I've come to both value the critical role the "jabber scribe" can play - and I've also tried to do the best I can to perform that role when I'm in working group sessions at IETF meetings. I typically volunteer as a jabber scribe in any of the sessions I'm in and try to make the experience as good as possible for remote participants.

Largely my interest is because I spent many IETF meetings as a remote participant and I knew how poor that experience can be.

A few years ago after one of the IETF meetings, I made a comment to a couple of people that we ought to write down some of the suggestions and best practices so that people could easily get some ideas for how they could help out in the role. If they were new to the idea... or even if they had been around but were interested in doing the role better.

I kept track of some ideas ... and a small group of us kept occasionally bouncing ideas around... but none of us had the cycles to write the actual document.

Then last year at, I think, the Toronto IETF meeting in July, Peter St. Andre and I were talking about it again - and this time we actually got it off the ground! More precisely, Peter kicked it off and then he and I went through several rounds of revisions and comments.

Given that Peter's authored 35+ RFCs and countless Internet-Drafts (I-Ds), he knows the IETF process inside and out and so was able to guide the document through the publishing process, including having it move through the "independent submission" stream of RFC documents. I've written a number of Internet-Drafts over the years, but none have yet progressed to an RFC. I learned a great bit from Peter through the process and look forward to using that knowledge in the future.

I greatly appreciate Peter's leadership on this - and I hope that this document will be helpful to many folks out there who are helping involve more people remotely in the IETF's standards process.

Given the timezone difference with Japan, I'm not sure how many of the IETF 94 working group sessions I'll actually be able to attend remotely... but if I do, I'll be hoping that whomever is acting as the Jabber scribe will help include those of us who are remote.

Meanwhile, it is kind of fun to have my name on an RFC, even if it's an Informational one. I look forward to being able to play even more of a role in the IETF standards process in the years ahead...

Keynote at AstriCon on Oct 14: Open Source And The Global Disruption Of Telecom - What Choices Will We Make?

Astricon danyork 660px

Two weeks from today I'll be in Orlando giving the opening keynote address at AstriCon 2015. The abstract of the session is:

Open Source And The Global Disruption Of Telecom - What Choices Will We Make?

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 - 9:00 am to 9:45 am - Pacifica Ballroom 7

There is a battle raging for the global future of telecommunications and the Internet. Taking place in networks, board rooms and legislatures, the battle will determine how we all communicate and what opportunities will exist. Will telecom support innovation? Will it be accessible to all? Will it give us the level of security and privacy we need to have the open, trusted Internet? Or will it be restricted and limited by corporate or government gatekeepers?

The rise of voice-over-IP has fundamentally disrupted the massive global telecommunications industry, infrastructure and policies. Open source software such as Asterisk has been a huge driver of that disruption and innovation.. but now what? What role do platforms such as Asterisk play in this space? And what can be their role in a telecom infrastructure that is now mobile, increasingly embedded (Internet of Things) and more and more using proprietary walled gardens of communication?

Join the Internet Society's Dan York in an exploration of what the future holds for telecom infrastructure and policy - and how the choices we make will determine that future.

Sounds great, eh?

Now I just have to deliver on that lofty rhetoric! :-)

Seriously, though, I'm very much looking forward to giving this presentation and I'm delighted that the folks at Digium asked me to speak. We're at a critical time in the evolution of our global communications infrastructure... with everything moving to IP and also moving to mobile, there are incredibly important choices we have to make for our future.

In the talk, I'll be speaking about the scenarios we have for what our future Internet could look like. I'll be talking about the role of open source. I'll be challenging the audience with some questions to ponder. I'll touch on some of the incredibly important - yet hard to understand - global policy issues such as the upcoming WSIS+10 Review in December - and why an open source developer should even remotely care! I'll of course hit on security issues and the rise of mobile... and more...

I'm excited!

I'm also excited to finally attend an AstriCon event. I used to write about Asterisk a good bit and for a while was running my own server in my home office for VoIP... but in all that time I never was able to work in attending an AstriCon!

If you are going to be there in Orlando, please do say hello! (There's still time to register!)

P.S. And yes, Olle Johansson, I'll be sure to work in at least one reference to IPv6! And TLS, too! Don't worry! :-)

UPDATE: Will iOS 9 Make My iPad2 Usable Again? (Reports after the upgrade.)

Massive Glacier

Back in June, I published a post titled "Will iOS 9 Make My iPad2 Usable Again?" that seemed to strike a nerve with the legions of iPad2 owners out there wondering about the future of their device. There have been a good number of comments on the original post - and I've received a fair number of private email messages asking how my upgrade went. The question now being asked is:

Does iOS 9 make your iPad 2 run BETTER?

Sadly, the best answer seems to be...


Reports have been decidedly mixed, both in the media as well as in the comments to that June blog post here. Some people reported improvements while others said it was the same (or worse).

A couple of people (one example) have reported that after upgrading to iOS 9 and then doing a factory reset the performance dramatically improved. The issue there, though, as I understand it, is that you lose all your apps, settings, etc. and would basically need to completely rebuild how you have the iPad 2 set up. However, if the alternative is not using it, I guess that's an option to consider.

ArsTechnica published an article on September 16 with the conclusion "Not worse than iOS 8, but missing many features" that noted that many of the new features in iOS 9 simply don't work on the iPad 2. They noted that the speed improvements are not significant. There's a lengthy comment thread there, too.

In my own case, I haven't really seen any dramatic benefits after the upgrade. Quite honestly I've been too insanely busy with work activities that I haven't really had the chance to give it much of a test. I do like the new keyboard layout. Some of the cosmetic changes are nice.

It's still sllllooowww to launch applications and to switch between them.

Maybe I'll try the factory reset route and rebuild the device... or just accept the slowness of it.

Given that I keep getting messages asking me my opinion, I'll summarize my view at this moment:

  • If your iPad 2 already runs iOS 8, UPGRADE! Performance can't really get any worse than iOS 8, and might just get better.
  • If your iPad 2 is still on iOS 7... well... think about it.

On this last point...there's a challenge here - if all you want to do is browse the web and send/receive email, you may be okay keeping your iPad running quickly on iOS 7.


... you are increasingly going to find that apps aren't available for iOS 7. As Andrew Cunningham writes in that Ars Technica article:

not because you won't take a small performance hit but because developers will increasingly abandon that older OS version if they haven't already. Apple's iOS updates roll out quickly, but the downside of that is that there's not a ton of incentive for developers to support older releases forever and ever. It's common for developers to support the current release and the immediately previous release, but starting today that doesn't cover iOS 7 anymore.

So the choice may be between a snappy web browser tablet or a slow tablet with newer apps. Or... time to upgrade. :-)

If I get a chance to really use the iPad 2 and write more of a response, I will do so, but meanwhile I thought I'd share these initial thoughts and links.

Your comments are welcome about your own experience...

Photo credit: an image of a massive glacier by David Stanley on Flickr

Four Years At The Internet Society

ISOC geneva 400It was four years ago today that I joined the Internet Society staff... and what an amazing four years it has been!

If I go back and read my long post here about joining ISOC in September 2011, my passion and motivation continues to be the same - if anything, that passion has only gotten stronger!

As I wrote about last year in my three-year post, the "Internet of opportunity" that we all value is under severe threat.

The big change for me this past year, was, of course, the big change of joining the Internet Society Strategic Communications team in March 2015 (you can also listen to an audio recording).

That's been a wonderful yet crazy change!

If you go back and look at what I wrote last year - or two years ago - it's all about the technology behind the Internet and how we need to improve the infrastructure to make the Internet work better, be faster and be more secure.

The change this year is that now I'm more involved in other areas of Internet Society work, particularly in the public policy space. You can see that in some of the posts I've been writing for the main ISOC blog (scroll down my bio page to see the list). I've been very involved in adding content to the public policy and Internet governance sections of the website - and I've been working on our overall content strategy for a range of different websites (whereas in the past I mostly just focused on the Deploy360 site).

I've also found myself involved in projects such as standing up a web site for our Call For an Open WSIS+10 Preparatory Process... which it was only after getting it all set up that I really sat back and realized we were coordinating a coalition of organizations that was calling on action from the President of the United Nations General Assembly! Quite a different level of advocacy than I've been involved with in the past! (And still open to sigantories, by the way...)

My new role this year has given me an amazing view about all the work the Internet Society is doing around the world... it's truly inspiring to see it all.

Perhaps most inspiring is to see that the work is ultimately about helping people have better lives. Yes, technology is definitely a large part... but the work we do is about how technology enables better communication, connection, collaboration, creativity and commerce... it's the effect on people that matters most.

The new role is crazy busy... I'm definitely NOT sitting around playing Solitaire or Tetris! :-)

But we have a great team... and we as an overall organization are working on getting more focused on what activities we can do to have the biggest impact on ensuring the "Internet of opportunity" is available for all.

I'm VERY much looking forward to what the fifth year brings!

P.S. Recently Russ White published a very nice overview of the Internet Society on the PacketPushers site - and if you're interested, becoming a member of the Internet Society is free and can connect you to others around the world who want to see an open Internet available to all!

An audio commentary is also available:

Firechat Enables Private Off-The-Internet (P2P) Messaging Using Mobile Phones

Firechat mesh network

There was a fascinating article posted on Medium this week by the CTO of messaging app Firechat:

In the text he outlines how they do decentralized "off-the-grid" private messaging using an ad hoc mesh network established between users of the Firechat app. It sounds like the app instances join together into some kind of peer-to-peer (P2P) network and then do normal "store-and-forward" messaging.

Of note, the apps do NOT need an Internet connection, or even a cellular network connection - instead they can use the Bluetooth and WiFi radios in the mobile phones to create a private mesh network and connect to other users of the Firechat app.

Naturally, having spent some time exploring P2P networks back when I was playing around with P2P SIP and distributed hash tables (DHTs) and other technologies, I immediately jump into the techie questions:

  • How are they routing messages from one user to another?
  • How is the "directory" of users in P2P mesh maintained?
  • What addresses are they using for the communication? Is this still happening over IP addresses? Or are they using some other kind of addressing?
  • How do users join and leave the mesh network?
  • How do user get authorized to join the private mesh? (Or is it just open to all?)
  • How secure is the communication between the parties?
  • Is the message encrypted or private in any way? Or is it just plain text?
  • How well do smartphone batteries hold up if multiple radios are being used? What is the power impact of joining into a mesh network like this?

None of that is covered in this article, of course... this piece is more about the theory of how this can work given a particular density of users. It introduces the phrase "percolation threshold" and provides some background and research into how these kind of networks can be created.

I've always been fascinated by P2P networks like this sounds to be. The beauty of the Internet... the "Internet Way", so to speak... has been to support distributed and decentralized architectures.

If you think about mail or web servers, they are (or at least were) massively distributed. Anyone could set up a mail or web server - and millions upon millions of them bloomed. While we've certainly seen a great amount of centralization due to market dominance (ex. Gmail), the architecture still is distributed / decentralized.

Except... of course, the directory is still centralized. Mail and web servers rely on the central directory of DNS to resolve domain names into IP addresses so that connections can occur. Most other applications rely on DNS for this as well.

Hence my curiousity about how Firechat is handling the directory and routing issues.

I'm also intrigued by how the article hints at integrating Internet-connected users into the P2P mesh. So you really have a hybrid network that is part P2P and part connected out to cloud-based servers.

(And all of this brings me back to those early days of Skype 8-10 years ago when so many of us were captivated by the P2P mechanisms they created... most all of which is now gone in the post-Microsoft-acquisition as Skype has moved from P2P to server/cloud-based - with one big reason being given that mobile devices apparently had speed and battery life issues participating in true P2P networks.)

A key challenge Firechat faces, of course, is the "directory dilemma" of building up the quantity of users where P2P mesh networks like this can happen. This is the same dilemma facing basically all over-the-top (OTT) messaging apps. "Percolation theory" requires a certain user density for a mesh like this to work.

That will be their struggle.

And in some urban areas I can see this working quite well. Perhaps not so much out in the woods of New Hampshire where I live!

But I wish them well with this. I love to see new explorations of potential new architectures for communication. And I can certainly see instances when ad hoc, distributed/decentralized P2P meshes like these could be quite useful.

And I'm definitely looking forward to some more technical articles that dive down into some of these questions.... I do hope they'll write more soon!

Photo credit: Stanislav Shalunov's article about Firechat

There Was Power In What Happened Last Night (At InterCommunity 2015)

Icomm15 all

There was an amazing power in what happened last night. There was a "magic" ... that I can't quite explain.

I sat in a room in Ottawa, Canada... but yet for 2.5 hours I was connected into a global meeting that brought me together with people all around the world... sitting in their homes, offices... or wherever. And gathered in large groups in New Zealand... Tunisia... El Salvador... Uruguay... New York... DC... the Dominican Republic... more...

The event was the Internet Society's InterCommunity 2015 ... something I wrote about on Circle ID, wrote about here, and talked about twice in my TDYR podcasts: episodes 258 and 259.

For that 2.5 hours we talked about how we are collectively working to bring the opportunities of the Internet to the 50% of the world that doesn't yet have access... we heard stories about the amazing work people are doing... we heard about our new 2015 Global Internet Report that highlights the rise of the "mobile Internet" and both the awesome potential - and pitfalls - that we are seeing... we talked about "Collaborative Governance" and how we need to work together to address the changes the Internet has brought to governance - and how governments adapt to the Internet... we heard from people in different parts of the world about the work they are doing... we talked about Internet security and how our "Collaborative Security" approach can be applied to activities people are doing... we had excellent questions about encryption and open vs closed systems... we talked about needing to speak in clear simple voices to explain these challenges... about the need for a stronger identity for the Internet Society... and so, so, so much more.

But it was FAR more than just the conversations... which were excellent.

It was the CONNECTION that I could feel...

Over 2,300 people registered for the event and some % of those folks were online for the first session last night...

There was power in seeing the faces of all the people around the world.

There was power in hearing the voices of the all the people around the world.

There was power in reading the text comments in the chat or on Twitter and social networks.

For that period of time... geography didn't matter... nationality didn't matter... race didn't matter... gender didn't matter...

We were just people ... connecting ON the Internet... and for the Internet.

Exploring together how we could truly bring about the "Internet of opportunity" that would be available to everyone, everywhere, and that could be trusted for our communication... our conversations... our commerce... and indeed our connections.

Talking really NOT about the technology, but rather the impacts of the Internet on our society... and on our daily lives.

It was a remarkable event.

And this was just the first session! While we in the Americas timezones were getting some sleep, another group of participants was having a second session bringing together even more people across Europe and Asia.

I woke up to see a steady stream of outstanding tweets using the #icomm15 hashtag - as well as email from colleagues and others - showing that the second session was equally amazing.

There was power in what happened last night.

The challenge now, of course, is to move what happened last night from beyond just conversation into the action that we need to truly realize the potential of the Internet.

That will be our task in the days, weeks, months and indeed years ahead...

For me, as I get ready now to make the 7-hour drive back home from Ottawa to New Hampshire, I'm still processing in my mind what it was all about. It may take some time - and reflection - to truly understand.

Yes, on one level it was "just" a meeting of different people tied in via video connections all across the Internet and streaming out to individuals via the Internet. No big deal, right? We can do this all the time, right?

But it was also something more...

There was power in what happened last night.

P.S. Here are some more photos taken by Glenn McKnight of the Ottawa node ...

InterCommunity 2015 on July 7/8 - Join In To Voice Your Opinion! (And I'll Be In Ottawa)

Intercommunity2015 squareHow do we as a society address some of the most critical concerns about Internet governance? Internet security? connecting the entire world? (including all the Internet of Things?) This week on July 7 and 8 you have a unique opportunity to get involved with discussions - and actions - related to these questions at the Internet Society's InterCommunity 2015 event.

It is an event happening ON the Internet... not tied to any one physical location but rather bringing together thousands of people around the world in a global conversation.

You can register for free at:

You can join in from your home, office, or wherever you have connectivity. The meeting will be taking place in two different sessions:

  • 7 July 2015 from 20:00 to 22:30 UTC
  • 8 July 2015 from 06:00 to 08:30 UTC

(Use this time zone converter to find out what times these are for you!)

As the agenda shows, we'll have sessions on Internet access, governance and security - and a chance to interact with people on all of these issues.

Now, there are what we call "regional nodes" around the world where larger groups of people will be gathering together to have face-to-face conversations and to also join into the global conversation. If you are near one of those locations you are welcome to go to the meeting place there to meet other people in your region.

I'll actually be in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, at the node there... if you are in Ottawa I look forward to seeing you there!

I'm very much looking forward to this meeting in part because these issues are so critical... and also because InterCommunity 2015 is an experiment in doing a global meeting across the Internet - and that is to something we need to do more of! So I'm looking forward to seeing how it all works out!

Please do join with us over the next few days and be part of this conversation!

P.S. InterCommunity 2015 is a meeting of the members of the Internet Society, but if you are not already a member (membership is free) you can join as part of the registration process.

P.P.S You can also follow the #icomm15 hashtag during the event on Twitter ( ) and other social networks.

Updated "Directory Dilemma" Article Now On CircleID...

Back in December, 2014, I published a post here called "The Directory Problem - The Challenge For Wire, Talko And Every Other "Skype-Killer" OTT App". After receiving a good bit of feedback, I've now published a new version over on CircleID:
The Directory Dilemma - Why Facebook, Google and Skype May Win the Mobile App War

I incorporated a good bit of the feedback I received and also brought in some newer numbers and statistics. Of note, I now have a section on WebRTC where I didn't before. You'll also notice a new emphasis in the title... I'm now talking about the potential winners versus the challengers. I also chose "Directory Dilemma" not only for the alliteration but also because the situation really isn't as much a "problem" as it is an overall "dilemma". It may or may not be a "problem".

I'm not done yet.

I'm still seeking feedback. I intend to do yet another revision of this piece, but in doing so intend to:

  • Change it from the informal tone at the beginning to more of a "paper" style;
  • Include a bit more about potential solutions.

Comments and feedback are definitely welcome... either as comments here on this site, on social media or as email to "[email protected]".

I'm not sure when I'll do that next iteration, but probably later this year.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. An audio commentary on this topic is available... see the embedded audio plater at the bottom of this post... (below the graphic)

Directory dilemma