Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Engineering Altruism: Two Paths

One of the first things my father would often say to me at the end of the day was this: "And what did you do to make the world a better place today?" He'd ask it in a half-joking way, and I generally didn't have a good answer. But it was a good question nonetheless.

Suppose you're a young engineering student about to graduate. You're filled with idealism and a desire to make the world a better place through engineering. Unlike medicine, counseling, and the ministry, engineering is not generally thought of as a helping profession. But it can be, in at least two ways: one pretty obvious, and one not so obvious.

The obvious way is to devote yourself to doing engineering for the billions of people on this planet who lack what the rest of us consider basic necessities: enough food to eat, enough clean water, decent sanitary facilities and medical care, and a way to earn a living that keeps you from starving to death or having to beg. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City has mounted an exhibit on display through September 23 called "Design for the Other 90%" which focuses on low-cost engineered solutions to the problems that 90% of the world's population of 6.5 billion people face. Those of us in advanced industrialized countries live in protected bubbles compared to a person who has to spend hours every day lugging buckets of water from a dirty well a half mile away, gathering firewood to cook government-provided rice, and hoping that you won't come down with the latest plague that is making the rounds of your village. But far more people live like that than like most of those who are reading this blog. A New York Times article describing the exhibit carried a photo of one of the cleverest inventions: a water carrier shaped like a wide tire that even a child can tow with a rope, enabling him or her to carry five times the amount of water that a bucket would hold.

As a sometime inventor myself, I know that the world does not lack for ideas. The reason that more of those 90% don't benefit from many of these inventions is not that nobody has thought of them yet. The real problem is more in the realm of economics and politics. What investor with a few million dollars to spend is going to start a company to make products for people with almost no money? The exhibit's website carries a statement about half the world subsisting on less than two dollars a day. Speaking in terms of market segments, that is not the segment that most investors will think of first.

Hence, the altruism in today's title. If those who need these things are going to get them, many things have to change. Yes, the products that would help them in their existing ways of life need to be invented and reach the intended users. But the users have to change too: harmful and even self-destructive attitudes and habits are not unknown among the poor as well as the rich. The hardest task of all, much harder than simply designing a clever product that looks like it might help somebody poor, is understanding enough about the people and their culture to know what would enable them to benefit from the product, and working with them to make those changes. The old saw about "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; if you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime" embodies a profound truth: changing a person's physical circumstance without changing the person for the better can help only for a moment. But if this type of humanitarian engineering is done with full recognition of the cultural roadblocks that so often turn a technical success into a social failure, it can truly change the world.

There are several organizations that help engineers in these endeavors, notably an outfit called Engineers Without Borders. If you are either a student or professional engineer, you can locate a chapter near you and find out how to get involved.

That's one way to be an altruistic engineer. The other way is one I don't recommend unless you've already met the first pre-requisite, which is to get filthy rich in engineering or invention. Turns out that the Cooper-Hewitt exhibit is funded by the Lemelson Foundation, the brainchild (one of many) of the late Jerome Lemelson. Lemelson figured out a way to make tons of money while being an independent inventor. There are two schools of thought concerning the merits of his approach.

One school goes like this: Lemelson just happened to be an extremely clever guy whose patents for toys, industrial robots, and other useful devices brought him millions of dollars, whereupon he founded the Lemelson Foundation to promote the benefits of invention and ingenious design, and died in 1997, end of story. The other school, for which I have some limited evidence, is that at some point in his career Lemelson decided to specialize in what are known as "submarine patents." According to this version, Lemelson filed scads of patents in hot new fields on all kinds of ideas he had never tried in practice, but hoped would some day pan out and become commercialized. When a well-heeled company came out with a product that could be construed to infringe one of his broadly-written patents, he would show up on their doorstep, patent in hand, and threaten to sue. Fearful of extended litigation, many companies simply settled out of court, but even court battles can turn out in an independent inventor's favor.

Probably the truth about Lemelson lies somewhere in between. However he made his money, toward the end of his life he decided to use it to benefit humanity by encouraging invention and design. And to his credit, as far as I can tell the Lemelson Foundation has done exactly that, sponsoring annual invention competitions and exhibits about invention at the Smithsonian Institute and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and funding other worthwhile endeavors.

And this is the second way you as an engineer or inventor can be altruistic. If you go into an engineering-related business, you can make as much money as you can. And once you make your millions, you can devote them to a good cause. The danger in this path is that once you have all that money, it can be really hard to turn loose of it. Of the world's millionaires, only a few emulate the 19th-century steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, who once stated publicly his intention to leave the world as poor as he came into it. And even he didn't quite succeed. In his effort to die poor, he built hundreds of libraries throughout the U. S., and if you happen to get to Manhattan to tour the 64-room mansion that houses the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, you can thank Mr. Carnegie for it, because it was once his house.

Sources: The New York Times article on the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is at The exhibit website is at The website for those in the U. S. interested in Engineers Without Borders is at

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Designer Baby or Sensible Precaution?

My wife edits a section of a commercial website devoted to medical information about breast cancer. She is more than casually interested in the subject, since she just celebrated her five-year anniversary of being free from the disease after undergoing a mastectomy and chemotherapy in 2002. My mother died of the same malady in 1980, so it is safe to say I'm as familiar with it as anybody can be who hasn't had it personally.

Two families in Great Britain have also had more than their share of experiences with breast cancer, having lost ancestors to the disease over three generations. So they decided to do something about it. Both couples found a physician named Serhal who has developed a way to test a fertilized embryo at the eight-cell stage for a defective BRCA1 gene, which if present increases the risk of eventually developing breast cancer to about a fifty-fifty chance. If Dr. Serhal receives governmental approval for his plan, and it looks like he will, the couples want to proceed with in-vitro fertilization using only embryos which do not have the defective BRCA1 gene. The embryos with the defective genes will be disposed of. In this way, the couples can "annihilate the gene from the family tree," as Dr. Serhal puts it.

Where is engineering in this situation? Everywhere: in the instruments and equipment Dr. Serhal uses to do the tests, in the procedures for in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and, most importantly, in the selection of embryos. In applying the sciences of genetics and embryology to a commercial end (it is unlikely that Dr. Serhal is working for free), he is doing engineering, broadly defined. And the subject being engineered is a human being, or rather, several human beings, many of whom do not survive the process. Remember, harboring a defective BRCA1 gene does not guarantee you'll have breast cancer; it just increases the risk. Many people with that gene live long lives and die of something else altogether. So we can be pretty sure that some of the embryos that get thrown away would have developed if implanted into healthy human beings living normal lives, whatever that means these days.

Now I'm going to go off in a direction that you may not follow, but I have come to believe it is the most direct way to express what I see to be the basic problem here. A few hundred years ago, back before much was known about embryology, the development of a baby in the womb was mostly a matter of speculation. People talked metaphorically about clay gradually being molded, and for all they knew, there was some amorphous protoplasm to begin with which only gradually became the individual who made his or her first public appearance nine months after conception. But now, with everything we know about DNA, genetics, and the fabulously intricate machinery that comes together to produce a mathematically distinct individual after the process of conception is finished (which can take just a few minutes), the empirical scientific evidence supports the idea of humans as substantial beings more strongly than ever.

Substantial say what? "Substantial beings." I'm using the word "substance" in a technical philosophical sense that goes back ultimately to Aristotle. To explain it in detail would take far more room than I have, but briefly, a substantial being is one which has a wholeness or completeness or integrity. A substantial being is more than the sum of its parts. For example, you can look at a dog in a number of ways: an assembly of atoms, a combination of bones, muscles, internal organs, hair, teeth, etc., even a set of behaviors that can be predicted (more or less, depending on how well you trained your dog). But when you say, "Heel, Fido!" you don't mean, "Heel, you assembly of atoms that just happens to be moving in front of me on the sidewalk." You mean a single being—your dog—continuous in time and localized in space, a real entity that has life (another philosophical term) and will some day die.

This concept of people as substantial beings is not popular these days. Few of us think of ourselves as substantial beings in fact, never mind the terminology. We think of ourselves as just collections of needs, or inclinations, or desires, or bits of knowledge and skills. Nevertheless, substantial beings are what we are—we've just forgotten the name for it.

What has this got to do with the case of the selected defective-BRCA1-free embryos in Britain? An embryo is what the substantial being called human looks like when it's a few days old. You, I, every human on the planet was once an embryo. And one day mortality will catch up with us and we'll die of something. No exceptions so far. The couples who are trying to eliminate the defective gene from their family tree are probably motivated by some generous motives and some fears. The generous motive is to give birth to a baby that won't have an increased risk of dying of breast cancer. The fear is of seeing their child die of the same disease that killed so many other relatives. So they decided to "eliminate" the children who might die of it and bear only those who probably—but not certainly—won't.

There is an old and unpopular name for this sort of thing: eugenics. In the first half of the twentieth century, followers of Francis Galton (Charles Darwin's cousin, both biologically and intellectually) promoted the idea that we should take steps to improve the human gene pool, both individually (by marrying into "good stock" for example) and collectively (by allowing governments to sterilize those "unfit" to bear children). There are boodles of problems with these ideas, but that did not stop them from spreading in both the U. S. and Europe, and in particular Nazi Germany, where Hitler took aggressive means to eliminate "undesirables" such as mental defectives, homosexuals, the Romani (gypsies), and most famously, the Jews.

Hitler, more than anyone else, gave eugenics a bad name, although it took until 1969 for the journal Eugenics Quarterly to rename itself Social Biology. But the desire is still there, and since 1950 the tremendous advances in genetics and molecular biology have put powerful technology at the disposal of those who would use it for the same kinds of purposes that the old eugenicists had.

The British couples are not doing anything like advocating the genocide of a race. But, enabled by Dr. Serhal, they are doing the same kind of thing as Hitler did, only on a much smaller scale. On a personal level, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with desiring to produce offspring who are healthy, happy, intelligent, and possessed of other good qualities. But the end does not always justify the means. Now that you're prepped on vocabulary, I can make my point: destruction of human substantial beings is a wrong means of achieving this goal.

Sources: The article describing Dr. Serhal and his plans originally ran in The Times of London, and can be found at,20867,21624095-30417,00.html. Wikipedia's article on eugenics has an abundance of historical and current information in its fairly balanced treatment.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pop-Up Porn: The Trial of Julie Amero

Three days from now, on May 18, former substitute teacher Julie Amero is scheduled to be sentenced in a Connecticut court for allowing seventh-graders to see pornographic websites. That is, unless the sentencing is delayed again, which has happened since her conviction in January. Delays in sentencing sometimes mean that the prosecution is no longer as sure of its case as it once was. There are good reasons that the prosecutors in the Amero case could be reconsidering, but first let's try to get some of the basic facts straight.

Everybody agrees that on October 19, 2004, Amero was substitute-teaching a seventh-grade class at Kelly Middle School in Norwich, Connecticut. Everybody also agrees that at some point, pornographic images began to appear on a computer screen that students were using. At the trial, police detective Mark Lounsbury testified that his software (aptly named ComputerCOP) determined that such sites were accessed during the time in question. After this was explained to the jury, they convicted Amero on four counts of injuring the morals of a child.

What the jury was not allowed to hear, but what computer expert W. H. Horner determined, was that these pornographic images came from "pop-ups." As anybody who has spent more than five minutes on the Internet can agree, pop-ups are annoying, pesky little things that usually don't pose a threat to one's job, however. But in this case, Amero realized they could, so everyone also agrees that she tried to keep students from viewing the images. (The disagreement is over how vigorously and effectively she tried.) But, according to Amero, she had been told not to turn off the computer because she had no password, and since the person who had turned it on for her in the morning wasn't present, she couldn't turn it on again if she shut it off.

Horner also found that the computer in question had outdated anti-virus protection software, no Internet filter, and no anti-spyware software. Since these kinds of protection seem to be the school district's responsibility, Horner's evidence in this regard shifts at least some of the blame off Amero's shoulders.

But how much really belongs there in the first place?

For twelve-year-olds, the Internet has been as much a fact of life as television was to those born in the U. S. after 1950, say. This was brought home to me recently not by the Amero case, but by reading Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers, by Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Among the many fascinating findings Regnerus presents, he makes the point that debates about the content of traditional public-school sex education classes,". . . oral sex or anal sex or gay or lesbian sex are quickly becoming utterly irrelevant, since a few clicks on a mouse will bring any of us to a demonstration of exactly how each is performed and 'experienced.'" Internet porn is ubiquitous and easily accessible, despite all that parents and teachers can do, and chances are that most of the students in Amero's class had seen worse things elsewhere than they saw on that fateful October day.

There are two issues that must be distinguished in this case. One is the technically-informed question of whether the physical evidence supports the contention that Amero voluntarily visited the websites in question, heedless of the fact that students were also seeing them. My judgment on this is that if Horner's testimony is to be relied on, Amero was caught between the rock of letting popups proliferate like flies on a dead horse, or the hard place of turning off the computer and losing whatever utility it had (and nobody seems to talk about what the machine was being legitimately used for at the time, except to say that students were looking at a hairstyling website, which doesn't sound like academic activity). And maybe she didn't realize how serious the matter was, although she evidently made some attempt to deflect students' attention away from the machine. But now she's facing the possibility of a forty-year jail sentence.

Which brings us to the second issue: the hypocrisy factor. Now don't get me wrong: porn is bad. While it may be true that, as G. K. Chesterton allegedly said, the young man knocking on the door of a whorehouse is really looking for God, that doesn't mean it's a good thing to go there. We have made the choice as a culture both to receive the manifold good things that the Internet brings, and to allow at the same time the huge Internet porn industry to profit from the millions of small evils committed by everyone who looks at their wares. To single out one person in one particular circumstance and lock her away for most of her natural life because she did not stop a student from what he or she could do outside the classroom any day of the week strikes me as cowardly, hypocritical, and pretty dumb, too.

The trial of Julie Amero reminds me of another trial held a long time ago, by a similar bunch of concerned citizens who had posted spies, not in a school computer, but near a place where a woman met her adulterous lover. The spies caught the two in the very act. The woman's lover they allowed to go free; but they hauled the guilty woman before another person they hoped to get in trouble, a troublesome preacher who had been challenging the concerned citizens' unquestioned authority to say what was right and what was wrong.

The preacher's name was Jesus. The concerned citizens were the scribes and Pharisees of Jerusalem around 30 A. D., all ready to take the woman out and stone her to death, as their law required.

All Jesus did was to write in the dust of the street (the words were not preserved for us), and then say, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." And St. John records that one after another, beginning with the oldest, her persecutors quietly slipped away, until there was nobody left except the woman and Jesus. He told her to go and sin no more.

I think Julie Amero has learned her lesson about computers, about pornography, about students who see pornography, and a whole lot about the creaky, hypocritical system of law in Connecticut. Her lawyers (who do not work for free) have promised to appeal, but that will take time and money. If you think justice has not been served in the Amero case, you can inform yourself further and then contribute to her defense at the website listed below. And if you do think justice has been served in this matter in all respects, then I just hope you never get the chance to judge me!

Sources: For the time being, Wikipedia has an entry for Julie Amero at It lists many news reports and other information, along with her personal website, where contributions can be made. I thank Peter Ingerman for drawing my attention to this case, which is well summarized in a USA Today article at
Forbidden Fruit has just been published by Oxford University Press.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Death in Space: NASA Ponders Eternal Questions

Sometimes the Freedom of Information Act helps you turn up stuff that you'd almost rather not know. Mike Schneider of the Associated Press recently wrote a story about a NASA memo he obtained that way. As one of the most open agencies of our government, NASA is presumably used to operating in a fishbowl, but I would imagine that even the most open-minded of NASA's bureaucrats cringed a little when this document was made public.

The subject was how to deal with certain undesirable eventualities that might take place on a long mission such as the three-year flight to Mars that NASA plans some day. In a crew of five to ten people, somebody's likely to become ill over a three-year period, maybe even fatally ill. And on an interplanetary flight (at least one not powered by Star Trek warp drives), you can't just turn around any old time and go back. The memo goes no farther than to say that NASA needs a policy about what to do if a crew member becomes so ill that death is likely or certain, and for that matter, what to do with the body.

Another ethical conundrum the memo raises is whether a sick astronaut whose need for medical care is endangering the lives of the other astronauts should be guaranteed all the help he or she needs, or whether early "termination of benefits," so to speak, would be in the best interests of the mission.

I will give NASA credit: the memo doesn't try to answer all these questions, it just brings them up. Schneider found that NASA is working on these questions with the help of outside bioethicists, but I'm not sure that's the right approach. Here's why.

NASA is the quintessential engineering bureaucracy. Engineers and the engineering attitude pervade the institution. Engineers are used to working with inanimate objects that obey physical laws without exception. When the objects do fail in the purpose for which they are designed, it is always in accordance with those same physical laws, which is why scientific and engineering knowledge is so sought after among engineers. If you can just know enough about the physics, chemistry, dynamics, and so on, you should in principle be able to predict every possible outcome, or else design a system so that only a certain number of outcomes are possible in the first place, and deal with them in turn. Once you find that answer, it will work every time the same conditions arise. You've solved the problem.

But engineering know-how can take you only so far. The issues that the Mars-mission document addresses are not technical ones. They plumb the depths of what it means to be human and why anyone would volunteer for a dangerous three-year hike in a cold merciless vacuum in the first place.

In my view, NASA may be spending too much time and money on outside experts and perhaps not paying enough attention to the astronauts themselves. Much has been made about "The Right Stuff" and what it took in the 1960s, and what it takes now, to be an astronaut. Most of the early U. S. astronauts were former military test pilots. That is no longer a necessary qualification, although it doesn't hurt. What it takes to be an astronaut now, it seems, is a Ph. D. in something technical, a sterling resumé, and the patience of Job to wade through an arduous application procedure, and to train endlessly while waiting in line for your turn in space, which you hope will come before you hit retirement age. Is this the type of person best suited for what many people regard as mankind's greatest remaining adventure? Maybe we should look a little farther than we've looked up to now, and in a different way.

To the kind of person I'm thinking of, the advice of some bioethicist with a Ph. D. would be superfluous. True courage always knows what to do, whether it is to take a calculated risk for a great cause (which every astronaut who gets aboard a Space Shuttle already does) or to sacrifice one's life for a mission, which might well come about during a trip to Mars. Back before exploration became the business of bureaucracies, people had to be this way in order to attract support. Take the example of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, whose pioneering explorations of the Antarctic by land and air in the 1920s and '30s were financed virtually entirely by private contributions. Byrd is largely forgotten now, and recent historical discoveries concerning his claims to have flown over the North Pole in 1926 have cast doubt on their validity. But the style of the man (admittedly, reinforced by autobiographical books he published to finance his projects) was that of the courageous, risk-taking adventurer who gave technical preparation its place, true, but who then simply accepted whatever remaining risks there were as part of the job. Byrd was the closest thing the 1930s had to an astronaut: a man who went where no one had gone before, taking with him other brave souls who were willing to take chances with him.

No, Byrd took no women along, at least during his early expeditions. And yes, he nearly died of carbon monoxide poisoning during one stay in the Antarctic and had to be rescued. But those kinds of risks didn't stop him from going through with several more expeditions, the last one only a couple of years before he died in 1957.

In past blogs, I have said some negative things about NASA and the Space Shuttle program, mainly that the antique shuttles ought to be retired rather than trying to squeeze a few more increasingly hazardous flights out of them. But this is not to say that we ought to simply give up on space exploration because it's dangerous. If anything, that is an excellent reason to keep trying. Only, we need to pay more attention to the character of those who we send into space, giving them much greater authority and responsibility than they currently hold in the bureaucratized system that is NASA. Columbus, Magellan, Byrd—they not only went on the voyages, they ran the whole show. Maybe the answer will come from the private sector once again, as entrepreneurs find safe and effective ways to make end runs around NASA's bureaucracy and do more with less. Of course, the government could always stop them. But the U. S. isn't the only country in the space game any more. I'd like the first man (or woman) on Mars to be a U. S. citizen, but it doesn't have to be that way. We can get there, but only if we try. And while machines can do wonderful things, running robot cars around Mars is no substitute for being there.

Sources: The article by Mike Schneider on NASA's plans for the Mars mission appeared in numerous venues, among them the Austin American-Statesman on May 6, 2007, at

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

If I Could Redesign the Internet

If I could redesign the Internet, I'd fix it so I could find out who sent anything I receive: personal emails, spam, bomb threats, you name it.

If I could redesign the Internet, anybody who wanted to send thousands of emails at once, legally or otherwise, would have to pay up front first.

If I could redesign the Internet, my browser couldn't be taken over by some little ad for low-interest mortgages that suddenly balloons out and hides the thing I'm trying to read.

All right, so the last one is more along the lines of a pet peeve. But the first two are reasonable. If we could easily and reliably find out exactly who is sending spam and malware, it stands to reason that not nearly as many people would do so. And if bulk email had a cost structure similar to direct snail mail, spam wouldn't go away, but we'd get a lot less of it. So why don't we just fix these problems right away? The reason can be illustrated by a little story from my days as a radio engineer with a large mobile-radio firm, back in the 1970s.

At the time, I was on a team of fresh young engineers charged with designing a new mobile radio for police cars and fire trucks. One of the first things we did was to take a look at the connector between the radio and the antenna. The connector is like a bridge that carries the "traffic" of the radio waves. If the bridge is bumpy or full of holes, you're not going to get much traffic across the bridge. Similarly, if the connector is of poor quality, you're going to have problems sending the radio waves back and forth to the antenna. The connector on the old radio design we were replacing was called a "PL-259," a type that dated back all the way to World War II, and we decided we were going to replace it with a newer design that presented a smoother path to the waves. Then we had our first progress meeting.

At the meeting, an old-time manager listened patiently as we presented our ideas for the new design, including our plans for the new connector. "Are you finished?" he asked. When we said yes, he replied, "You kids obviously haven't heard about the First Commandment of mobile radio design."

No, we guessed we hadn't. What was it?

"Thou shalt only use a PL-259. Neither shalt thou even think of using any other connector." He pointed out that thousands of police cars and fire trucks all over the world had antennas that connected with a PL-259, and there was no way he was going to let us change it. It was what engineers call a "legacy problem": there's too much hardware (or software) out there that a change would obsolete. Thus perished the notion of updating the connector, at least for that new design. Eventually, long after I left the company, I learned that they did manage to replace the PL-259, but probably only after a long internal battle and a lot of hand-holding for customers who had to replace antennas or use adapters.

This minor episode illustrates the major problem with changing certain features of the Internet. Take the problem of anonymity. Way down at the level of the basic protocols or rules followed by all the machinery that runs the Internet, there is simply no way to ensure that you can figure out who sent what. The reason for this is partly historical. In the Internet's early days, it was a research toy shared by a few large, sophisticated, and trustworthy computing centers. For several years, it probably never entered the mind of anyone involved that one of the users would deliberately try to misuse the system to conceal their identity. By the time the Internet was large enough to attract such people, it was too late to start over with a new set of protocols that contained built-in security. There are also a lot of problems and delays caused by the fact that people using the Internet move around a lot now, with laptops, PDAs, Internet-capable cell phones, and whatnot. The system was originally designed to deal with fixed mainframe computers that were as likely to move around as the Washington Monument, and the patches and fixes that have been added to deal with mobile users are inefficient and complicated.

More patches and fixes aren't the answer. For these basic legacy problems to be solved, it looks like we will have to wait for a new Internet altogether. The National Science Foundation is paying for research into how we'd like such a new system to look with its Future Internet Network Design program (FIND). But estimates for how much it would cost to scrap the existing system and install a new one range into the many billions of dollars.

Who's going to pay for it? Well, one way or another we already support the present system, through bills to our Internet service providers, tax dollars, and other ways. It will be interesting to see how far we can stretch the old protocols, but some day they'll start looking the way that PL-259 connector looked to us young engineers. Right now it's not just a crusty old manager stopping us; it's the expense of changing over. But as the Internet becomes a vital part of life-critical services such as medical telecommunications, we may have to start something like a two-tier system, rather like the HOV lanes on freeways: an expensive but super-reliable and super-secure network, and then the regular old system for everybody else, with maybe nodes here and there connecting the two.

I'm no computer scientist, so I'll let the experts figure out how to make the transition. But spamless email and freedom from malware seem like pretty attractive goals, even if it does cost a bundle. And if somebody does eventually figure out a way around the new safeguards, we might have a few years to enjoy the Internet as it was intended to be.

Sources: A series of articles by Anick Jesdanun on redesigning the Internet was carried by the Associated Press and reprinted in several newspapers, and carried online in part by the Hartford Courant at,0,5625095.story?coll=hc-headlines-business on Apr. 15, 2007, and also in the Austin American-Statesman print edition of Apr. 23, 2007, pp. D1 and D4.