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Think-Tank Warns of Internet "Brownouts" Starting Next Year

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the malthus-was-right dept.

The Internet 445

JacobSteelsmith writes "A respected American think-tank, Nemertes Research, reports the Web has reached a critical point. For many reasons, Internet usage continues to rise (imagine that), and bandwidth usage is increasing due to traffic heavy sites such as YouTube. The article goes on to describe the perils Internet users will face including 'brownouts that will freeze their computers as capacity runs out in cyberspace,' and constant network 'traffic jams,' similar to 'how home computers slow down when the kids get back from school and start playing games.' ... 'Monthly traffic across the internet is running at about eight exabytes. A recent study by the University of Minnesota estimated that traffic was growing by at least 60 per cent a year, although that did not take into account plans for greater internet access in China and India. ... While the net itself will ultimately survive, Ritter said that waves of disruption would begin to emerge next year, when computers would jitter and freeze. This would be followed by brownouts — a combination of temporary freezing and computers being reduced to a slow speed.'"

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one word (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775377)

Malda [goatse.cx]

ahahahaha (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775397)

Home computers slow down when kids come home from school and start playing video games? Poppycock. Home computers slow down when adults get home from work, come home, and start watching streaming video.

Re:ahahahaha (4, Funny)

hurfy (735314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775495)

And here i thought it was the geeks getting home and downloading Ubuntu.

Re:ahahahaha (4, Insightful)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775807)

Streaming video will tend to be self-limiting. When the slowing produces a maddening result, folks will go back to watching cable.

Re:ahahahaha (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775851)

Home computers slow down when kids come home from school and start playing video games? Poppycock. Home computers slow down when adults get home from work, come home, and start watching streaming video.

Home computers slow down when adults get home from work, come home, and start watching streaming porn.

There corrected that for you

Re:ahahahaha (5, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775909)

streaming video.

porn

You're just being redundant.

Re:ahahahaha (2, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775955)

Home computers slow down when kids come home from school and start playing video games?

Who is going to notice on a single-user system?

Oh.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775399)

NO00ooo

why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (5, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775405)

that's not realistic at all. It's true we're going to see massive slowdowns in bandwidth, but those are caused by too many users drawing too much data through the 'tubes'.

Not to mention, this could all be solved if the greedy ISPs and network owners spent some of their damned earnings on upgrading the networks.

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775479)

Yes, I noticed the same thing. When I go to popular sites during their peak hours, they take longer to load. Imagine that!

4chan is loading slowly. Better turn off my computer before it freezes...

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (-1, Troll)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775497)

Not to mention, this could all be solved if the greedy ISPs and network owners spent some of their damned earnings on upgrading the networks.

What's more likely is that they'll pocket whatever profits they can until the problem reaches a critical mass and then the government will offer subsidies to upgrade the infrastructure.
Because honestly, the free market has no incentive to maximize your utility.
And that is capitalism at its finest.

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775565)

If it were truly capitalist, they would. We haven't lived in a capitalist society in ages. In a free market, aforementioned "subsidies" would never, ever appear. The bad service providers would evaporate and be replaced by better ones.

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (3, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775767)

The strength of capitalism has steadily declined ever since our Congress issued themselves a checkbook.

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (5, Funny)

mellon (7048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776009)

Yup, and now we're experiencing monetary brownouts, and the financial system is freezing. Oh wait, no, that was because of the streaming peer-to-peer profits in the banking industry! If we don't do something fast, all our industries will crash!

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (5, Insightful)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775811)

You're partially correct. Telecom providers make money by investing in capital equipment (the fiber, copper, routers, switches, etc.), then extracting revenue from that equipment over the long term. This is fine, and purely capitalist. The anti-capitalist part is when they lobby for laws preventing others from entering the marketplace, or lobby for special privileges for domain rights, etc., and shoulder out of the way the smaller operator who can't lobby/legislate as well. The government involvement is the part that makes it anti-capitalist (including Intellectual Property law).

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775971)

You're talking about government subsidize cables and that being capitalism in the same breath.

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (5, Insightful)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775507)

$50 says there's a connection between this group and a major ISP in the USA.

Cynical? You bet I am. I'd say I've got good reason to be, though....

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (0)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775775)

For some reason, the line below kind of tells me where their loyalties lie: Telephone companies want to recoup escalating costs by increasing prices for âoenet hogsâ who use more than their share of capacity. I kind of think its just a justified precursor to metering.

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775797)

I would never take that bet; but I would estimate that rather more than $50 were used to establish that particular link...

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (3, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775585)

It's running Windows, Duh!

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

What OS would "freeze" with network brownout? (4, Insightful)

david.emery (127135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776059)

What version of Windows past Win98 or MacOS 8 would 'freeze' due to a "network brownout"?

That kind of comment generated a "WTF?" reaction from me. As did "A respected American think-tank, Nemertes Research"... I never heard of Nemertes Research, and if this is the quality of their work, they ain't getting no respect from me!

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (1)

Timberfox (1537013) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775813)

How much of this traffic can be atributed to skynet?

Re:why would a computer "jitter and freeze" (5, Funny)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775937)

Yeah, this sentence really bothers me:

brownouts that will freeze their computers as capacity runs out in cyberspace

It sounds like some BS description they'd put into a movie when they forgot to hire a tech consultant. You know, like some dude with spiky hair who describes himself as a 'hacker' would be typing furiously on a keyboard, and then suddenly yell, "Oh no! We're in too many firewalls and cyberspace is almost full! All of our computers are going to crash if I don't do something quick!"

Lets crank up those clouds (2, Insightful)

JumpDrive (1437895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775427)

I didn't see this.
I didn't see this.
There just is no good reason not to start moving everything over to cloud computing and SaS.

Re:Lets crank up those clouds (1, Insightful)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775581)

There just is no good reason not to start moving everything over to cloud computing and SaS.

Lets see....there's too much data flowing over the Internet, and it's going to cause slowdowns.

And your solution is to move all data and software to the Internet, therefore causing even more data flow over the Internet, and more slowdowns.

Brilliant.

Not to mention that when your computer "jitters and freezes" you'll have to tell your boss "Sorry. We can't get that sales report out in time, because the cloud is down......Yeah, that means we can't get the proposal for that $10 million project out before deadline, either. Sucks to be us, I guess."

Re:Lets crank up those clouds (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775729)

WOOOOOOSH!!

Re:Lets crank up those clouds (0, Troll)

JumpDrive (1437895) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775687)

Jeez, how desperately off topic could you be.
I mean talking about the latest and greatest fad with dependence on bandwidth availability.
You just don't get it.

Re:Lets crank up those clouds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775907)

Don't you love it when people who don't understand irony think you actually mean what you say.

Re:Lets crank up those clouds (5, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775993)

Don't you love it when people who don't understand irony think you actually mean what you say.

Actually, no, I don't.

Slashdotted! (4, Funny)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775445)

Nuff said

Re:Slashdotted! (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776029)

Are you saying that when you went to this site, you experienced a brownout, and your computer jittered and froze? Perhaps this is all part of their nefarious plan... :')

Same group (4, Informative)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775447)

I remember this from an earlier slashdot of the same group saying the same thing. http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/20/0024248&from=rss [slashdot.org]

Re:Same group (4, Interesting)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775673)

I remember this from an earlier slashdot of the same group saying the same thing.

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/11/20/0024248&from=rss [slashdot.org]

In that article, they predicted brownouts in two years, i.e. November of 2009, so really they've just moved the timeframe back a few months. On the other hand, Bob Metcalfe thought the Intertubes would collapse in 1996. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Metcalfe#Incorrect_predictions [wikipedia.org]

Re:Same group (4, Funny)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776039)

Reminds me of the doomsday cults who predict the end of the world is coming every year, and then when it doesn't, they just adjust their prediction to next year. Sort of like a Cubs fan.

Too bad (4, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775449)

If only someone (cough **telcoms** cough) had been given time and money to expand bandwidth we wouldn't have this problem. Too bad they only had 15 years to try to solve the problem. Guess the internet just grow too fast for 'em.

Re:Too bad (4, Funny)

HasselhoffThePaladin (1191269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775521)

Uh-oh, someone's got the swine flu.

Re:Too bad (2, Interesting)

deck (201035) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775837)

Fifteen years ago? Twenty two (22) years ago I was told that we would have fiber-to-the-premesis within a year or two by the Southwestern Bell installer. It hasn't happened in that area yet. When you have a monoply there is no incentive to change.

Iam facing a brownout now (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775453)

For the past 12 hours today, rapidshare.com has not been accessible to me on a random basis.
It pings all the time, but the HTTP protocol is not available.
So?
Iam unable to download my today's quota of HD movies and stuff.
Damn you internet.

Re:Iam facing a brownout now (4, Funny)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775979)

and stuff.

I see what you did there. But you're not fooling anyone. We know what you really mean. And no, we don't feel sorry for you.

Metered Service (4, Interesting)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775457)

We would see massive power brownouts if electricity was being billed as an unlimited service too. The fact the internet service is still this way is silly. Meter it and move on.

Re:Metered Service (5, Insightful)

sofar (317980) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775603)

This will never fly because of simple mathmatics: 95% of the internet users pay too much for their connection anyway and use maybe 5% of their fair share or allotment.

If your plan would come into place those people would see their monthly bills drop like a rock.

Guess who won't be allowing any of that? Not to mention that anyone who's in the top 5% range of usage will drastically flee to cheaper operators or even adjust their download behavior.

All that metered access would accomplish is a gigantic drop in revenue for ISPs.

Re:Metered Service (3, Insightful)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775825)

>>> This will never fly because of simple mathmatics: 95% of the internet users pay too much for their connection

Citation Please

Re:Metered Service (4, Insightful)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776031)

How about common sense?

Re:Metered Service (2, Insightful)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775855)

What makes you think ISPs would lower the fee on the lowest-bandwidth tier?

Re:Metered Service (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776055)

Not to mention that anyone who's in the top 5% range of usage will drastically flee to cheaper operators

Not saying I disagree with everything you're saying, but the obvious response (devil's advocate or otherwise) to this is that such cheaper providers will then get a disproportionate number of heavy users. Either they'll be able to handle them or they won't. In the former case, good; in the latter case, they'll either have to introduce similar measures to the other ISPs or collapse. That, or things will balance out.

Re:Metered Service (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776061)

You're not thinking like a business owner - all they need to do is take the exact same package they sell now and stick a 10-20GB allowance on it. The majority of users would probably see no change, the heaviest 20% or so would get stung with excessive per-GB charges. Net result: increased revenue for the ISPs. There would only be a revenue drop if they allowed it, and I don't see that happening.

The worst of it is, I actually think bandwidth caps can be a reasonable measure to take (certainly preferable to traffic shaping and other crap like that); the problem is that they're usually set far too low for the cost, sometimes even combined with other traffic control measures, and (most importantly) are inflexible and set to screw you on 'excess use' charges at the drop of a hat.

In an ideal world (although one not quite so ideal that there's enough capacity to dish out unlimited connections): the cap should be set based on actual available capacity rather than with the intent of hitting users with extra charges, there would be no alteration or interference with any traffic or network ports, they should take a three month rolling average of data transfer to allow for short periods of unusually heavy use, and the contract should allow the user to specify what is done if their average usage does go over the limit.

Re:Metered Service (5, Insightful)

Twanfox (185252) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775827)

What sort of limited resource (other than bandwidth) are you consuming when you use the Internet vs Electricity? With Electricity, you are consuming power generation at the power plants, a non-unlimited source. With the Internet, the only thing limited are the resources to get you what you want, not the actual data you are concerned about. Does Google run out of bits to send you? Does your trading software say 'Oops, no more bits today'? No, it doesn't. Instead of comparing Internet Bandwidth to power generation, perhaps you would liken it better to roads (yay car analogies!). Even metered (tolls), it still exceeds it's maximum capacity (traffic jams). The only resolution is to build out the infrastructure (bigger road) to handle more traffic at once.

Re:Metered Service (1)

cheetah (9485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775903)

The problem with metered service is the downward cost of bandwidth over time. Ten years ago I remember paying about $1000 month for 3mbit of connectivity(At a data center). Today I could get 60-100Mbit of connectivity for the same cost. Bandwidth isn't like electricity, if it was it would have cost 10cents per kw/h in 1999 but today it would only cost 0.1cents per kw/h...

Any comparisons between Electricity and Bandwidth will always fail due to the massive downward cost of bandwidth. I would be fine with bandwidth metering or caps if they were tied to the real cost of providing the bandwidth. But I don't see how any system to measure this cost would be free of corruption or provide encouragement for infrastructure upgrades.

Re:Metered Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775913)

No its not. We pay for internet based on the speed of usage, not the amount of use.

You get to draw as much electricity to your home as you need, but you get billed by how much electricity you use.

As far as the Internet goes, you pay for a certain speed of draw. Imagine paying 30 bucks a month for "unlimited" electricity, but you can only draw a maximum of 1600 watts.

The bullshit comes because the AT&T and TWC want to limit both the amount you pull and the speed you pull it at, and charge you more at the same time.

Fuck them.

Its been said before... (1)

oasisbob (460665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775459)

Bob, is that you? [caffeine.net] ... I hope that Nemertes Research owns a blender [wikipedia.org]

Computers? (2, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775465)

...waves of disruption would begin to emerge next year, when computers would jitter and freeze. This would be followed by brownouts â" a combination of temporary freezing and computers being reduced to a slow speed.

Will all computers do this? I think not. They are either referring to servers or the network as a whole.

Re:Computers? (2, Informative)

Yaur (1069446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775711)

Maybe whoever WTFA doesn't know the difference between a computer and a network.

Re:Computers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775843)

Or maybe they think a computer is like a VCR, so that when it "pauses" the video jitters and freezes.

I'd call BS, but it doesn't capture the stupidity of TFA. We need a new term.

It's all very logical. (3, Insightful)

MunchMunch (670504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775469)

I mean, if the internet were to slow down to almost a standstill... then my computer would completely freeze, just like it does when I unplug my ethernet connection.

Think-tank, where thinking tanks. (1, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775675)

Subject says it all but since it is so funny, insightful and shows how amazing a human being I am in 5 little words (and because the lameness filter forces me to showing that slashdot coders are silly and not worthy of kissing my furry butt, I will repeat here).

Think-tank, where thinking tanks.

Re:It's all very logical. (2, Informative)

mellon (7048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776063)

Sadly, there are cases where you get this effect, usually not because you are unplugged, but because you are plugged into a network that's broken in some way, and all kinds of processes on your computer block waiting for replies that never arrive. This is utterly pathetic, and should never happen, but it does.

What else is new? (5, Funny)

kclittle (625128) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775471)

"This would be followed by brownouts a combination of temporary freezing and computers being reduced to a slow speed."

I have Comcast; how will I be able to tell when this starts to happen, compared to what I see today?

Re:What else is new? (1)

evilkasper (1292798) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775539)

That's a very good question.

Does slow internet really cause freezing? (2, Informative)

brentonboy (1067468) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775487)

brownouts that will freeze their computers

In my experience, when the internet is slow or a server is having problems, the webpage takes longer to load. It doesn't affect anything outside the browser, and my other programs remain "unfrozen."

Re:Does slow internet really cause freezing? (5, Informative)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775741)

No, of course it wouldn't - not unless your web browser is poorly written and stuck in an I/O blocking state, consuming all available CPU cycles. But that doesn't happen these days, and hasn't for a decade+. Never mind the bravado in which the article states these things is, and always has been, nonsense.

The network is not the device! Yet! (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775503)

Aaargh, it's infuriating that a thinktank that has the false authority to make proclaimations like this conflates network performance and computer performance. It's like Intel's "MMX makes the internet faster" crap, but in reverse. A slow network does not suddenly make your favourite offline photo editing app slow down.

(I will of course withdraw these objections if it transpires that the think-tank have come back from the near future where everything's done on The Cloud.)

Re:The network is not the device! Yet! (3, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775575)

All the average user is capable of understanding is that the internet will be slow. But didn't you listen to Scott McNealy? The Network is the computer. Therefore, the user's computer will stutter and choke! IT MUST BE TRUE!

Re:The network is not the device! Yet! (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775883)

the network is not your device.

The network is devices though. And those devices still use memory and CPUs, albeit different than ones we use in our computers.

But everyone treats bandwidth as some sort of amazing and mystical thing.

All bandwidth is, is routers and fiber optic cables.

You buy more routers and fiber, you have more bandwidth.

Complete FUD (4, Funny)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775547)

Everyone's computer is going to jitter or freeze because the net will be over capacity? Are the rest of you still using Windows 95 or other OS's that don't multithread properly?

Otherwise, the idea that your whole computer will freeze due to a network issue is kind of laughable...

So far, carriers have added capacity often enough to stay ahead of the curve. I don't see why that would change now.

Distributed internet? (2, Interesting)

quercus.aeternam (1174283) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775559)

I'm sure if we just set up some sort of beowulf cluster among our desktops and set up a cloud on top of it it would solve all of our problems.

Windows 7 is already going there - the actual plan is to use the XP VM to host the internet locally - like freenet, but umm... controlled by Microsoft instead of the evil... umm... people. Yeah.

Peak Internet Apocalypse (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775567)

It seems most of these fluffy fear pieces are mere convenient flak for those that want some government excuse for broadband rollouts. These rollouts may or may not be warranted, but fear mongering is not convincing, especially when they tout increasing use of you tube or BBC iplayer as bringing down the global backbones. As you tube and BBC gain users, the response will be more and more local CDNs. There is no reason anyone's global backbones need be involved to stream you tube from India to USA.

Share and Enjoy (3, Insightful)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775615)

Meh... this just smacks of astroturfing for "tiered service agreements" that the ISP's have been trying to push for a decade!

Besides, aren't random freezes and jittering just part of Windows "charm"? :)

Respected (3, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775629)

> "A respected American think-tank, Nemertes Research.."
What does that mean, respected? By whom? Some IETF plenary council? Paris Hilton?

Is "respected" meant to imply the report is accurate? Why don't we judge reports on their own merits - soundness of methodology, reproducibility - rather than alleged reputations of the report's issuer?

Re:Respected (5, Informative)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775699)

Respect in this case comes from the Internet Innovation Alliance [internetinnovation.org] who fund it. Of course, AT&T funds the IIA

Make of that what you will. I know that the first thing I think is "shill", followed closely by "astroturf".

Watch for this study to be cited in some bills regarding tiered service agreements any day now.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775637)

This is the obligatory annual "INTERNET BROWNOUT OH GOD NO" article.

just when it was getting good (1)

Timberfox (1537013) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775643)

nooooooooo, we're running out of internet? i still have 2 more seasons of "I Love Lucy" to download!

Nemertes and Net Neutrality (4, Interesting)

1sockchuck (826398) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775647)

Nemertes' research pops up often in discussions of net neutrality. See the Save The Internet [savetheinternet.com] blog for another perspective on their data.

Do they expect people to take them seriously? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775655)

When they make such technically brain dead statements as, "Internet brownouts will make computers freeze!" do they really expect anyone to take them seriously?

Re:Do they expect people to take them seriously? (1)

pyster (670298) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775677)

Idiots often expect dumb shit man.

Uh-huh.... (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775659)

'brownouts that will freeze their computers as capacity runs out in cyberspace,'

If a problem with the internet connection actually freezes someone's computer, whoever had a hand in creating the operating system is a complete idiot.

Re:Uh-huh.... (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775953)

If a problem with the internet connection actually freezes someone's computer, whoever had a hand in creating the operating system is a complete idiot.

Hey, the spec never said that problems with an internet connection wouldn't make a computer freeze. And it was faster to code it like that. Works As Designed.

Wow, they are full of insights! (1)

sherpajohn (113531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775667)

On the front page is this one - must have taken a team of highly skilled research scientists to come up with it:

"Flu Fears Likely to Fuel Rise of Telepresence".

No shit Sherlock.

If they say the interweb demand is going to exceed capacity, I say we either add more pipes or make the ones we got bigger...or maybe we need to ream 'em out - are they gotten clogged up with fat and pr0n and bad music videos and stuff?

thank god! (3, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775681)

Thank God! I'm glad someone knows what's going on in this confusing world of ours!

As far as what the OP says, aside from the wild fear mongering and hilariously dumb power distribution "analogies", I do tend to experience connectivity problems during peak hours (Sunday nights specifically). That is, I lose connectivity: upstream and downstream simply cease for periods of time (5s+), and I'm unable to connect to anything (including DNS) on the outside. It's infuriating.

The Tubes are full? (1)

lorg (578246) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775683)

I know it might sound totally crazy but can't we just you know ... build more of these tubes and then connect them to the other series of tubes so the interweb tube system doesn't fill up so fast.

Can't at least the "experts" get it right? (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775721)

This would be followed by brownouts -- a combination of temporary freezing and computers being reduced to a slow speed.

I consider it bad enough that I have to explain, every time I helps someone clean up their machine, that MSN loading slowly does not mean they have a slow computer.

And now we have so-called experts warning us that network lag will cause slow computers?

What next, a warning about how Windows 7 requires 16 GB of storage, causing a wave of panic among those who don't understand the difference between RAM and HDD space?

this wont affect me at all. (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775753)

ive been using an alternative-internet technology based on corn and soybean oil for years now...with the only side effect being that my slashdot posts sometimes smell like french-fries or donuts.

Respected my ass (1)

DnemoniX (31461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775769)

If this is the flavor of stupid being put out by respect think tanks I would hate to see what the less respected tanks are churning out.

Heat death of the Universe coming early? (0)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775785)

Frozen computer?
Hah! I'm using a socket 478 Pentium 4, biaatch!

There is no hope of freezing this computer if the power is on, no matter what is happening with the internet.

I use it to heat my house, you insensitive clods!

Re:Heat death of the Universe coming early? (1)

mat128 (735121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775923)

haha same here

The "eeeevil" solution. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775793)

Internet brownouts, eh? High-traffic issues and network congestion? Gee, if there were only a technology available out there that would decentralize the demand and give us the capability of sharing very large files...Hrm. Anybody know where I could fin[post censored by RIAA/MPAA. Copyright 2009 RIAA/MPAA. All Rights Removed.]

Same old same old (4, Insightful)

Flimzy (657419) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775819)

I remember similar doomsday stories when the 28.8kbps modem came out. "With such fast Internet access to homes, the backbones will now be overloaded!"

News flash... ISPs and Telcos know how to increase their bandwidth, too... it's not just the last mile that's getting faster and allowing people to do more and more frivolous things with their Internet connections.

Sheesh.

Death of the Internet predicted... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775845)

...again. Film at eleven.

Respected by Who ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775849)

"A respected American think-tank"

Respected by who ??

The future is now (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775857)

This would be followed by brownouts -- a combination of temporary freezing and computers being reduced to a slow speed.

So what you're saying then, is the future looks exactly like the Comcast service I have today.

Glad to know I'm inoculated against disappointment.

Last Message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775893)

"Congratulations! This is the last page.

Thank you for surfing the web, so much that you finally came to the very last page. There are no more links to visit nor anymore pages to view."

Slashdot has that feature now. It's bad ad code. (3, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775895)

Take a look at why Slashdot's pages load so slowly. There are several layers of "document.write(some javascript that loads something else)" just to load ads. The browser can't do the loads concurrently; they all take place sequentially. Each "document.write" has to finish before the code in it can be run. Also, some of the CSS is being read from "s.fsdn.com", which is a rather slow server at times.

It can get worse. Try Rushmore Drive [rushmoredrive.com] , the slowest-loading search engine home page known. This is a spinoff of Ask. There's enough ad-related crap on that page that it takes 10-15 seconds to load. And this is without any personalization or content-related overhead. It's all inept ad serving.

Those are both sites maintained by supposedly competent professionals. Sites where some third-tier web programmer just cut and pasted code from other sites can be much worse.

We can probably deal with increases in Internet traffic just by improving ad-blocking.

Something is missing from the article (4, Insightful)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775917)

They forgot to add "My name is Time-Warner Cable, and I approve this message" at the end.

I'm getting serious deja vu here folks... seems to me we already got through a wave of this "the internet is going to burst" stuff years ago. Guess what? The internet is still going, much to the misery of some of the telecom companies that would have loved to have an internet state-of-emergency declared so they could come "rescue us" with filtering, heavy traffic shaping, and metered usage. Instead, they're trying to introduce these things behind closed doors or, when they can't like in the case of metered usage, through public tests which are being met with a lot of negative backlash.

This isn't really a technology limitation. This has nothing to do with dead websites clogging the net (LOL) and it isn't going to freeze anyone's computer.. at least not until every bit of our apps are in the cloud. This is the telecomms refusing to use money they were given for what it was for and balking at using their own profits do to it now. With little competition in most cases, these companies would like nothing better than to convince the general populace that the internet is as good as it can ever get now and that prices will need to be hiked and metered usage added to ration what we have.

And no, I don't think metered service is a good solution. I don't have any faith in these companies not to sorely abuse it. We've seen already how the ones that also manage cell service act... I don't trust them not to put a insanely inflated number on the cost of bandwidth per mb or gig (see cell text message for an example of an insanely overpriced service).

Sigh (1)

supernatendo (1523947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775933)

Really? Are we sure? This has nothing to do with IPv4 running out of addresses and IPv6 not being implemented in time? I wonder if they just numbed down the 'technical jargon' to be featured in more mainstream news... Bandwidth issues are not as bad as the issues with IPv4...if ISP's finally stop overselling their networks this would cease to be a problem. As an added bonus, more ISP companies would be demanded by the public thus creating more jobs and more competition in the market, as well as increasing the infrastructure of the network. Besides, the real problem in bandwidth issues is spam and botnets, not kids playing games or people watching hulu...

FUD! DOOM! (1)

be0wulfe (252432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27775935)

uhhh ... what the HELL does more traffic and less capacity have to do with your computer jittering and freezing!?

Your computer will run fine. You may be paying for metered internet, have every bit you access stored for review by a governmental droid, but your computer will run fine until the inevitable bloatware and toolbars slow it down.

This hand is the internet
This hand is your computer
*smack* that's for associating the performance of one with the other.

On a more serious note, this is why I wonder about the wisdom of offloading everything to the cloud. Mainframes and shared processing anyone? Local clients must continue to be able to function in a disconnected state.

So much for SAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27775985)

If the net slows down this much, who will want their business-critical software to sometimes run?

Ha! (3, Informative)

Orgasmatron (8103) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776003)

The summary was so bad that I actually read the article, expecting that I could then come here and post the usual flame about mangled, misleading, or otherwise just bad summaries.

That was a HUGE mistake. The article really is bad enough that no improvement in the summary would have been possible.

The author of that article confuses "computer" and "network streaming". The confusion seems to be quite deep, perhaps to the point that the author thinks of computers as mere display screens for this magical "internet" thing that does all the work.

Imagine that you read an article about a traffic jam, but rather than saying that the flow of traffic at the moment didn't seem to be very fast, it instead suggested that the cars would "jitter and freeze". That's how I felt when I read that article.

wait, what? (1)

rjolley (1118681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776007)

Why the hell would my computer slow down or freeze because of network congestion? My throughput my go down, but that has nothing to do with the performance of my machine, it just means webpages will load more slowly. Time to panic! Seriously though, we can all blame the telcoms for not investing their huge tax breaks in new infrastructure electing to instead go on boat rides and the like.

Read between the lines! (1)

gnuASM (825066) | more than 5 years ago | (#27776021)

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 : brownout \brown"out\ n. 2. a partial reduction in the amount of electric power available to customers in a region, such as by reduction of voltage or selective cutoff of certain customers;

"The companies" have already been testing selective cutoff of internet access, and some are even making appearances of "backing off". This "study" is simply telling the truth. "The companies" are going to increase their practices of selective cutoff. This is just propaganda to get the general public to believe it's not "the companies" doing it deliberately.

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