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Why the Mediterranean Is the Net's Achilles' Heel

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the raise-plow-blade dept.

Networking 195

An anonymous reader writes "A spate of broken cables has brought disruption for many of the world's Web users in 2008 — and the Med has been at the center of the problems. For political reasons, the Mediterranean Sea is an Internet bottleneck through which the majority of traffic between Europe and Asia is squeezed. That traffic must run the gauntlet of earthquakes and heavy maritime traffic to reach its destination. Better and stronger cables are urgently needed to avoid a re-occurrence of the 2008 outages."

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Internet Mythology 101 (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438325)

Why the Mediterranean Is the Net's Achilles' Heel

Becuase Radia Perlman [slashdot.org] held the Internet by the Mediterranean when she dipped it into the river Styx [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438363)

No, because of physics, geology, geography and politics.

I liked the conspiracy theories better. Rational thought isn't all that much fun sometimes.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (4, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438681)

Don't they teach you kids Greek Mythology [wordfocus.com] anymore?

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (4, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439223)

Don't they teach you kids Greek Mythology anymore?

That was the movie with Brad Pitt in it, right? I saw that and 300...what more do I need to know? :)

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (0, Troll)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438691)

I liked the conspiracy theories better. Rational thought isn't all that much fun sometimes.

"Conspiracy theories" can be entirely rational. People working together secretly towards nefarious ends is not only possible, it happens in practice. It is almost certainly the case that at least a few of the claims that get dismissed as "tinfoil hat delusions" are true.

"Space jews did WTC, wake up sheeple" is significantly lamer as an anti-conspiracy troll then it would be as an honest claim. In the later case, it's simply foolish. In the former case, it's political chaff that disrupts legitimate discussion on at least two relatively serious political issues: US government secrecy and our relationship with Israel.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (1)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438835)

Please cite sources. I'm googling right now (hurray slow work day) but I'd be interested to see some real conspiracies that there were conspiracy theorists for before it all came out. Active conspiracy theories have yet to be proven as actually happening or have happened.

The new US Autocracy? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26438921)

Why should we be trying to get a federal system for socialized healthcare? I mean I just think it's a step in the wrong direction. If you think about it, do you really expect a system run by the US Federal system won't be horribly inefficient and prone to massive amounts of corruption? Also where is this money going to come from. No doubt it will come as yet another increase in taxes that will basically subsidize the poor and just shift the bill from insurance companies to a middle class payroll tax.

Government regulation and meddling in the Healthcare industry is what got the United States in this HMO nightmare and you're saying that more Government intervention is going to solve it? Perhaps we need less Government interference and let the companies do their job. Healthcare probably wouldn't be as horrible if it wasn't for the mandates on the insurance company providing everything and the emphasis on having healthcare tied to an employer we would all have affordable healthcare.

Please keep in mind that this Universal Healthcare will be truly free only to the unemployeed and extremely poor. Your hard earned tax dollars will go into a mandatory pool of money to pay for this possibly inefficient system. I would rather the States take it upon themselves, with some Federal assistance, to provide healthcare for their citizens. It's a hell of a lot easier to jump State than to apply for a Visa to another country and stick it out there. If Massechusetts wasn't government paid for healthcare for everyone while Utah doesn't then so be it. Let the local Governments, a truer representation of the local populations, decide it out rather than the ivory tower that is Washington D.C. Haven't we spent enough money already?

I really think people (especially hardline Democrats) should stop relying on their Government for every single thing. It's still going to be your money paying for the thing, might be better to reform the system and actually be able to have a real choice.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (4, Funny)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438987)

I saw a program about a guy that was actually taken prisoner for stumbling onto a fairly major conspiracy in order to keep him quiet. He had discovered that flu vaccine was being tainted in order to send people into a shopping frenzy just before the holiday season. He was taken to an island with others that had stumbled onto various things that couldn't be allowed to slip into public knowledge (the secret for turning water into gasoline, etc).

IIRC, he escaped on a boat built by another prisoner (Number 6) that was built out of toilet paper and scabs. It was small and smelly, but carried him to safety.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439319)

There's no island, just the state of Nebraska. Have you ever really met anyone from 'Nebraska' or 'Omaha'?

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (1)

zeropointburn (975618) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439677)

Me, but I could be part of the 'conspiracy'. That is, if western nebraska counts. Doubly so, since I work for one of those shadowy media conglomerates that ate up all those little radio stations over the past two decades... Or do I?

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439797)

I'm still not quite sure what is more amusing.

Your sig itself, or the spelling of Genius.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439069)

Actually, come to think of it, anything on this list [wikipedia.org] would qualify as a conspiracy and, until being proved out, anyone suggesting the truth would have looked like a conspiracy theory nutjob.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439729)

wtf! I didn't expect Italy to come out so bad in that list! well, I totally expected it in reality, but it's hard to believe.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (2, Interesting)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439197)

Active conspiracy theories have yet to be proven as actually happening or have happened.

This definition sets us up for a long argument trying to classify edge cases, which may or may not result in me demonstrating a nice clean example of something that you class as a conspiracy theory later being shown to be factual. That would be an interesting point to make, but not one that I'm willing to spend a bunch of time researching right now.

I'm much more interested in cases where things that do not meet that definition - because they are well documented - get classified as conspiracy theories and dismissed. A good example is Herman and Chomsky's Propaganda Model [wikipedia.org] and the associated claim that the US mainstream media act - to a very large extent - as propaganda outlets for the US DOD. This claim doesn't fit your definition at all. It doesn't even involve a conspiracy. But it still tends to get reflexively categorized and dismissed.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (2, Interesting)

HadouKen24 (989446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439401)

The US government funding mind control research using LSD would probably qualify. The CIA publicly admitted it in the 70's.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (2, Insightful)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439497)

hurray slow work day

Be careful, too many slow work days and you might find yourself with all the googling time you ever needed and then some.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (2, Interesting)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438787)

No, because of physics, geology, geography and politics.

I liked the conspiracy theories better. Rational thought isn't all that much fun sometimes.

I liked the coincidence theories better. Rational thought isn't all that much fun sometimes.

The only "proof" that these lines weren't cut intentionally was that two ships were detained in Dubai (of all places) and forced to pay $10,000 to be allowed to leave.

It didn't cover the fact that the Egyptian government sent out a press release saying that they had video footage of an area where the cable was cut and it showed no ships.

Questioning the official version of events isn't a "conspiracy theory." Conspiracy happens all the time. The government is the biggest conspiracy theorist out there. They have laws against conspiring to commit just about any crime out there.

For all I know the company that owns the cables cut them on purpose so they could later get public funds to pay for infrastructure upgrades.

Conspiracy Theories (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439033)

I think that the US govt should just provide Europe and Asia a free, high speed satellite link for all their traffic to route thru instead of thru undersea cables. The traffic will be all safe and reliable, and of course would be 100% snoopage free.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (2, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438427)

It sounds more like this is the internet's jugular vein or carotid artery than the achilles heel, just to pointlessly analyze the metaphor. I would think the achilles heel would be people who still don't know not to click the monkey or open attachments from addresses they don't know.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438885)

I would think the achilles heel would be people.

There. Fixed that for you.

Re:Internet Mythology 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439433)

He got away?

Pfft, must not have had any...Information....Information.....Information.

This just in... 3 More cut, Not in the Med. (1, Redundant)

KookyMan (850095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438377)

Three of four sub-cables connecting Asia-North America have been cut.

This is getting a little crazy, and pardon the tinfoil hat that I'm wearing, how many 'undamaged' cables does this leave?

I think this is really starting to become hard to blame on 'coincidence.'

http://blogs.zdnet.com/gadgetreviews/?p=669 [zdnet.com]

Re:This just in... 3 More cut, Not in the Med. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26438531)

Breaking news...a month ago.

Re:This just in... 3 More cut, Not in the Med. (1)

KookyMan (850095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438659)

Darnit.. My bad.

I don't know how I got to that article then since I'm usually a bit better screening my news... *Thwaps head.

Ah. Now I know. Bad title + link from an article from today (was about Win 7).... There should be rules against putting 'Breaking' in a title that is static and doesn't disappear after time.

Time to go crawl back in my hole.

Re:This just in... 3 More cut, Not in the Med. (2, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438959)

It's not "just a coincidence". It's common occurance. Cable cuts happen. All the time. It's just gotten a lot of attention lately because of the attached conspiracy theorists looking to "prove" that Bush was going to attack Iran (he didn't).

If it was an attack of some sort, don't you think they'd have cut all four?

It really, really does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26438397)

That traffic must must run.

Why why did did you you write write the the word word "really" "really" twice twice?

New policy: for every error found in the summary, $100 will be deduced from the editor's paycheck.

Re:It really, really does (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26438663)

$100 will be deduced from the editor's paycheck.

Ha! Joke's on you! They pay us in SCO stock....

not stronger cables... bigger mines attached ;) (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438429)

no mystery who cuts a cable when they sink at the same time, is there? a few of those, the marked cable routes will be avoided.

Re:not stronger cables... bigger mines attached ;) (4, Funny)

jammindice (786569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438551)

1. acquire non-sea europe to asia internet backbone
2. hire ships to "drop anchor" on internet cables
3. ???
4. PROFIT!!!

Jeez. (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438447)

In the 90s it was backhoes. Now it's giant cable-eating squid. What next, volcanic eruptions? Really, the problem is two-fold -- first, cables break. Hey, it's several thousand miles long and several thousand feet down, and it's just laying there. Of course it's going to break. You could make the cables out of Unobtainium and they will still wither and break eventually. It's a fact of life. The real problem isn't that they fail, the problem is that the telecommunications companies don't have redundant links because of the expense. So, in summary, the problem is economics. And Cthulu. But you can't stop one of the great old ones, so let's focus on redundant links instead. -_-

Re:Jeez. (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438817)

So, in summary, the problem is economics. And Cthulu.

He Who Lies Dead but Dreaming has no part to play in the damage to undersea cables, I have this on good authority. The Telcos are actually agents of Cthulhu (duh! -- you should know this by now if you've ever called telco tech support); the internet is just one of his dreams, which will serve to increase chaos and drive us all to madness.

Seriously, though, blaming the problem on economics is a copout. Why are costs to lay redundant cables so high? What can be done to convince the telcos that laying redundant cables is a good idea? What can tip the CBA to the B side?
(br>There are lots of reasons a truly redundant system is prohibitively expense. The cost of negotiating rights-of-way through multiple nations, for example. The increased costs to shipping (external cost to the telcos) from avoiding cable paths (and this is magnified with true redundancy, since redundant cables should not follow the same path). The costs of running and maintaining landlines in politically unstable areas. And, not least of all, the costs in materials, capital, and labor to run redundant lines.

The way to tip the scale in favor of running redundant lines is to either reduce the cost of doing so, or increase the benefit from doing so. How much money do the telcos lose when a line goes down? Over time, is that more than the cost of running redundant lines?

So yes, it's economics, but saying it's economics is glossing over the important details.

Re:Jeez. (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438971)

Seriously, though, blaming the problem on economics is a copout.

Not all of us type "KeyserSoze 10000" at the console whenever faced with a gold shortage.

Why are costs to lay redundant cables so high?

Perhaps designing something that is several thousand miles long, and under several hundred PSI of pressure, to lay at the bottom of an environment that contains sulphuric acid plumbs, volcanic pits, and large numbers of angry monsters, is not easy.

What can be done to convince the telcos that laying redundant cables is a good idea? What can tip the CBA to the B side?

Threats of violence, regulation, and regular bombing of the opposition has worked well for us in other areas.

How much money do the telcos lose when a line goes down? Over time, is that more than the cost of running redundant lines?

Obviously, it is not more than the cost of running redundant lines or they would have done so by now.

So yes, it's economics, but saying it's economics is glossing over the important details.

Circular logic works because circular logic works because circular logic works because circular logic works because circular logic works because...

Re:Jeez. (1)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438951)

Pakistan did it when they were off net for weeks in 2005. If you look at recent outages you'll see Pakistan is relatively unaffected because they spent money fixing the lack of redundancy.

Re:Jeez. (1)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438965)

Just in the 90's? Gee, our internet connection got cut last year by a backhoe.

Actually, it doesn't take an anchor per se to cut a cable. If the anchor is tethered by a steel wire cable instead of a chain, the steel cable will chew right through the fiber-optic cable, no matter how many layers of armor it has. The anchor itself doesn't have to do the cutting.

Re:Jeez. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439371)

The real problem isn't that they fail, the problem is that the telecommunications companies don't have redundant links because of the expense.

Last time this came up, somebody in the field posted that the cables just aren't shielded in most locations, because of the expense. There are apparently best practices that have certain pipes or something wrapped around the cables in anchor areas, and certain depths they're supposed to bury the cables at, but they just skip those parts.

They obviously feel it's cheaper to settle the terms of their SLA's than lay cable properly. So, customers need to demand better (more expensive) SLA's and that equation can change.

Re:Jeez. (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439611)

Actually, the cables are buried, but the currents and earth quakes can expose the cables in spots.

Re:Jeez. (1)

F3V0H1B (1313103) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439825)

I believe if the telecommunication companies thought this through and made the communications redundant by having some kind of fail safe(s) it would have less dramatic consequences.

Re:Jeez. (1)

techess (1322623) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439859)

But you can't stop one of the great old ones

See that is where you are wrong. While it is difficult to beat Cthulhu, it is possible. The group you are playing with just has to be good at working together. Though I prefer to win by closing & sealing all the gates before Cthulhu awakes.

For those of you looking for a great co-op board game check out Arkham Horror http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkham_Horror [wikipedia.org]

heh (4, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438475)

I never had any issues any of the times this happened. I was able to do all the stuff I normally do and visit all the sites I normally visits. This leads me to conclude that the solution is rather simple. The people who are affected by these outages should do something.

Re:heh (1)

Simon Huet (1141671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439279)

What did I just read? You american are not going to save the world??!! I'm shocked (and not amused) :)

Yup, didn't affect me at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439445)

I could still contact my favourite servers in Japan from the Netherlands, so as far as I'm concerned the outages didn't happen.

Better Cables needed in Florida (-1, Offtopic)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438491)

Comcast is a problem that needs fixing. They are over selling their lines and causing users problems. And when they talk about high speed net connections i almost go into riot mode. There are no high speed connections in America! As in several other areas we are dragging our butts and leaving skid marks all across the land. Now if we could just lay cable over all those skid marks maybe we could catch up with such bastions of electronic delight as Latvia or Estonia. We are a slow, slow, nation.

easy fix (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438525)

I thought of something that should be a pretty simple fix. Why don't they just string the wires over the Mediterranean?

Re:easy fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26438549)

Somali pirates?

*ducks*

Re:easy fix (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26438829)

Well, which is it? Pirates or ducks?

Re:easy fix (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438647)

You can maybe do that between Gibraltar and Morocco, but then you have the problem of getting the Spanish and Gibraltar governments to agree to a cable across their border.

Re:easy fix (1)

jzarling (600712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439599)

I saw and article or maybe a tv show once that mentioned the currents through the straits are pretty intense, Im betting it was thought of and ruled out because of this.

Overstated consequences (3, Insightful)

ninti (610358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438527)

The article seems a little alarmist. For instance, this line: "The 2008 outages hit local economies hard and a stronger quake could plausibly bring Mediterranean economies to their knees, by denying them access to crucial global markets for days or weeks. A 2005 study at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich calculated that a nationwide internet blackout would cost Switzerland 1% of its GDP per week." But of course a cut in the Mediterranean will not be a "nationwide internet blackout" for Switzerland much at all. In fact, if India and the mid-east gets cut off from the rest of the Internet, the rest of the world won't care all that much.

Re:Overstated consequences (2, Informative)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438671)

If India was cut off, that would be a major problem for all the companies that have outsourced call centre and tech jobs to them, and for their customers.

Re:Overstated consequences (0, Flamebait)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438849)

>"If India was cut off, that would be a major problem for all the companies that have outsourced call centre and tech jobs to them, and for their customers."

You talk about that like it's a bad thing...last time I checked, having call centers in India is a pisser for everyone but the ones collecting a 'veddy!veddy!gut' paycheck as part of the joke, er, sorry, I mean, process.

Re:Overstated consequences (4, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438931)

Fuck 'em.

That'll teach companies to move their jobs overseas. Those companies(and their overpaid executives) can cry a river to the employees they laid off only to give their jobs to India. Mods: I ask you to think about this before you mod me down, but if you want to waste your points, I don't give a fuck! :) Have a nice day.

Re:Overstated consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439475)

Yeah! And all the people employed in the US by foreign companies should be laid off as well. And then anyone who is employed by a business that relies on export earnings should be laid off. We don't need your dirty foreign money. Or importing goods. Yeah. No foreigner is going to get their hands on God's very own currency.

USA! USA! USA! USA!

Mod me down! Mod Me down because you are all working for the "man". YOU JUST CAN'T HANDLE A TRUTH-TELLER LIKE ME WITH MY UNVARNISHED "REAL AMERICA" TRUTHINESS.

(obligatory +5 interesting)

Re:Overstated consequences (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439759)

Well, to be fair, India and China can always choose not to outsource to the U.S. 20 years from now when they're rich and mighty.

It works both ways as long as so much depends on some little string threaded through the Ocean. Companies could stay rooted in one nation and deal with the ups and downs(with the benefits of academia and defense employment), or they could constantly go in circles chasing the cheap through constant relocation.

Re:Overstated consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439057)

1. Put an on/off switch on the backbone
2. Turn switch off during peek call hours
3. ...
4. Profit

A solution to the economic downturn in the US. Lets see how long it takes for those tech jobs to come back...

Re:Overstated consequences (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439145)

Hm, let me adjust my tinfoil hat for a second...

Say some organization wants to reduce offshoring in the US, as a means of stimulating employment in the US.

Say that one way to 'encourage' bringing offshore jobs back onshore is to limit the benefits (or increase the costs) of offshoring.

Say that there is a small number of vulnerable points, that disabling of would greatly increase costs/reduce benefits of offshoring.

Say that the organization mentioned above has access to the greatest naval materiel in the world.

I know it's a stretch, but in the interest of a good old conspiracy[1] theory, is it possible that the US Government is disabling global information infrastructure in order to bring jobs back onshore?

[1]Besides which, you can't spell "conspiracy" without "piracy", which just about seals the deal for me, that's too much of a coincidence to believe that this theory is false.

Re:Overstated consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439661)

If the US guvmint didn't care about letting jobs be outsourced in the first place, why would they suddenly care enough to go cutting undersea cables?

Re:Overstated consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26438767)

... In fact, if India and the mid-east gets cut off from the rest of the Internet, the rest of the world won't care all that much.

Except people outsourcing their IT.

Three words (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438571)

Redundant routes duh

Re:Three words (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439421)

I'll just have to get redundant anchors then. ;)

Gauntlet != Gantlet (2, Informative)

hedronist (233240) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438615)

Arrrrgggghhhh! From Bartleby.com:

A gauntlet is "a heavy glove, often armored" or "a glove with a heavy cuff covering part of the arm." To throw down the gauntlet is to challenge someone; to pick up the gauntlet is to accept someone's challenge.

A gantlet is "a lane between two lines of people armed with staves or whips, through which someone being punished is forced to run while being clubbed or whipped by the people on either side" (run the gantlet) and, figuratively, "any series of trials and difficulties."

Grumble grumble ...

Tell that to Clint Eastwood (1)

localroger (258128) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438727)

Because I'm sure as hell not going to tell him.

I am torn... (1)

mckwant (65143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438741)

Torn between being happy knowing how to use the word properly, but having (yet) ANOTHER thing about which to be a grammar nazi.

So thank you, but only a little bit. No, slightly less than that.

Re:Gauntlet != Gantlet (4, Informative)

Xolotl (675282) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438841)

Actually gauntlet is the preferred spelling for both, although the etymology behind the use of gauntlet for punishment is different (the first meaning is from French, the second from Spanish). Gantlet is also correct, although archaic, for both.

See: gauntlet [thefreedictionary.com] .

Re:Gauntlet != Gantlet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26438929)

Thank you for kindly pointing out that the OP is really just yet another of the many on the web who think they're a lot smarter than they really are.

Oh wait, this is /. That's everyone here. As you were.

Re:Gauntlet != Gantlet (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438853)

Are they pronounced the same?

Re:Gauntlet != Gantlet (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439245)

I doubt it matters, both words have no real meaning in modern day society anyway, so their only significance is historical.

Re:Gauntlet != Gantlet (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438869)

Get off my lawn!

Re:Gauntlet != Gantlet (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438897)

According to the all-powerful Google:define [google.com] (and the Oxford Dictionary [askoxford.com] ), gantlet appears to be an alternative spelling of Gauntlet. They do, in fact, mean the same thing(s).

Thanks for playing, though.

Actually, Gauntlet == Gantlet, chief... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439027)

It's always fun to get to use a pompous, self-indulgent know-it-all's own "sources" against him.

http://www.bartleby.com/68/95/2695.html

Re:Gauntlet != Gantlet (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439183)

Arrrrgggghhhh! From Bartleby.com:

A gauntlet is "a heavy glove, often armored" or "a glove with a heavy cuff covering part of the arm." To throw down the gauntlet is to challenge someone; to pick up the gauntlet is to accept someone's challenge.

A gantlet is "a lane between two lines of people armed with staves or whips, through which someone being punished is forced to run while being clubbed or whipped by the people on either side" (run the gantlet) and, figuratively, "any series of trials and difficulties."

Grumble grumble ...

If it's important enough to use "must" twice before running it, it can be spelled "gauntlet". I'm not sure what the rule is if "must" is used thrice though.

Re:Gauntlet != Gantlet (2, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439499)

And here I thought a 'Gantlet' was a chart which showed exactly when you would be hit with whips and staves, so that each hit would come after the ones before it and only when there were enough people and whips available to do it.

optical links (5, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438667)

Instead of cables, which can be broken, they could use optical links.

Due to the distance and bandwidth needed, powerful lasers would be needed.

Since vast stretches of open water need to be covered, an aquatic platform would be needed, one that could be repositioned for optimal spacing or to avoid obstacles.

Unlike other gratuitous mentions, this really is a case were we could use some frikin sharks, with frikin lasers mounted on their heads.

Re:optical links (0)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439073)

We're talking about some pretty powerful lasers here. Would a shark be able to support such a giant (significant pause) "la-ser"?

Besides, the cost of such a concept might run as high as (significant pause) one mil-li-on dol-lars!

Re:optical links (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439207)

Are you a member of the Flat Earth Society?

Re:optical links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439225)

wrong. I've got the two words that fix this problem: semaphore towers.

It will put a lot of people back to work, too...

isn't this obvious (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438693)

"The team found that removing links that connect two nodes each with a large number of connections has a disproportionately large effect on a network's performance." Did we need a researcher to perform experiments to figure this out?

O Brave Achilles (4, Funny)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438711)

Don't worry, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia! I know your Internet access hangs rather perilously, but calm yourself! I've written a song about it!

(somber, drum beat a la "Ballad of the Green Berets")

O Brave Achilles
Your packets spill
Through the Black Sea
and the Dardanelles

A hero bold
So proud and true
The finest bits
Traverse his tubes

But when the Fates
Judge the big wet
Will their fell looms
Cut the Internet?

(LUTE SOLO)

Re:O Brave Achilles (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438939)

Every song should have a lute solo.

Re:O Brave Achilles (1, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439559)

lute solo

Is that Han's younger brother?

Uncharted (5, Informative)

dj015 (680676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438749)

Though there is abviously no excuse for the cables that have been there for a while with newer cables you often find that they have been layed straight through what was once an anchorage as they get closer to shore and nobody has "gotten around" to updating any of the charts yet. I had this situation in the Azores a while back when we anchored in what was shown in all charts and publications to be the only anchorage available only to be met on the dock by a not so friendly police man shouting something in Portuguese along the lines of we just laid a load of fiber optic cables through there and your anchor is on top of them... of course we moved immediately into the port which was what we planed to do in the afternoon but when we asked the Harbour Master why there had been no notice to mariners about the new cabled a shrug of the shoulders was the most informative answer we could get.

Airborne (2, Interesting)

SebaSOFT (859957) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438811)

What if you put the cables floating with 10k millions of balloons?

Re:Airborne (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438857)

You've been playing World of Goo a bit too much.

Maybe (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438877)

Maybe Cthulhu will quit trashing the lines if we offer to set him up a frame r'lyeh switch back at his pad. You know he's all about pirating the tentacle pr0n.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439265)

Wrong ocean.

R'lyeh is a sunken city located deep under the Pacific Ocean and is where the godlike being Cthulhu is buried.

"the Med"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26438903)

Hi USA. It's nice that you're writing about the Mediterranean, but please, don't call it "the Med". We know you like to shorting words (it seems there are many pedophiles crossings [ped xing] in the USA). But we really like to call the our beloved sea "Mediterranean".

Thanks
Mediterraneans

Re:"the Med"? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439521)

Hi Anonymous Coward, please do not abbreviate our country as USA. It is The United States of America. As a matter of fact, do not abbreviate anything. Ever.

Re:"the Med"? (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439685)

LOL--"do not abbreviate anything. Ever." Read your "sig" lately?

Re:"the Med"? (1)

hey (83763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439527)

Please refer to the USA as The United States of America.

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26438957)

Personally I don't see the problem - split the world, we don't much care about them or they about us.

Alright, I'll say it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439203)

Better and stronger cables are urgently needed to avoid a re-occurrence of the 2008 outages.

I call bullshit...

Smarter, and fiscally responsible ship's captains are needed to prevent future outages like 2008's...

...except (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439205)

>> Better and stronger cables are urgently needed to avoid a re-occurrence of the 2008 outages." ...Except I seem to recall that it appeared to be deliberate sabotage, as in both big cases of the Mediterranean outages, multiple key cables all went down within hours of each other after years of no problems.

Just laying stronger cables obviously won't make much of a difference if it was indeed sabotage.

because (1)

moxley (895517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439379)

Because somebody keeps cutting the cables and blaming it on ship anchors?

Italy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26439385)

Does Italy being shaped like a boot have anything to do with the Achilles' Heel?

Achilles heel? For whom? (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439417)

Partially tongue-in-cheek, partially serious....but my Internet in the US works just fine to connect to other US destinations likely without passing through the Mediterranean. 99.9% of my destinations are US-based and hosted - I know the US isn't the center of the world, but this sounds like an Achilles' Heel for the *other* side of the world :-P

Israeli wire cutting (-1, Flamebait)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439447)

Given the Holocaust Israel is committing right now in Gaza how much care do you think
they're going to take to cut the "right" cables when they want to cut off the Arabs?
Do you really think someone who dumps white phosphor on women and children gives a damm
about someone else's network outage?

Re:Israeli wire cutting (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439525)

Given the Holocaust Israel is committing right now in Gaza

      Spoken by a true student of... er, no, not history that's for sure. This isn't a holocaust, it's a mere reconnaissance in force. Call me when they start burning over 20,000 people a day for the crime of "Not Being Israeli". THEN you'll have your holocaust.

      Why do people scream "war crimes", "genocide" and "holocaust" all the time since the war in the Balkans? War is ugly. Chuck rockets at your neighbor and what do you expect? I'm sure Canada wouldn't tolerate it from the US. We'd have to invade them and burn down their White House again.

Re:Israeli wire cutting (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439789)

I'm sure Canada wouldn't tolerate it from the US. We'd have to invade them and burn down their White House again.

You'll run out of ice to skate on, Mountie!

more landings (1)

hey (83763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439495)

Seems to me if they had more landings (eg multiple landings per country per cable) then it would be more robust. Probably most of the breaks happen close-ist to shore so have a backbone in the middle (or 10 miles out) at a landing every so often.

And software that can route around a land-10-mile break.

Why sea cables? (3, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26439701)

Europe and Asia are connected by land. While it might have to divert around a few non-cooperative countries, you'd think that sufficient backbone could be laid down over land routes to all necessary countries. It seems like underwater cables would be used only when absolutely necessary (such as from North America to Europe or Austrialia to Asia - and even then satellite is available (though with higher latency and lower bandwidth).

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