Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Who Will Fix the Internet? No One, Apparently

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the internet's-over-folks-pack-your-things dept.

The Internet 370

blackbearnh writes "It seems like everyone focuses on the latest and greatest killer Internet applications, but the underlying infrastructure that all of them run on is showing its age. That's the claim made by a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor. IPv4 is relatively ancient, and even stalled improvements like IPv6 aren't significant enough to matter, according to some researchers. With no one 'in charge' of the Internet, it's almost impossible to get any sweeping technical improvements made, especially since there's no financial incentive on the part of the ISPs and telecoms to invest in basic infrastructure. CalTech Professor John Doyle puts it this way: 'To the extent I've been working in this field for the last 10 years, I've been mostly working on band-aids. I'm really trying to get out of that business and try to help the people, the few people, who are really trying to think more fundamentally about what needs to be done.'"

cancel ×

370 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

RIP Mary Jo Kopechne (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29200917)

You and your unborn child will finally have justice today.

Re:RIP Mary Jo Kopechne (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201175)

Let the porn industry take the lead... (5, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | about 5 years ago | (#29200933)

Let the porn industry fix the internet. They're responsible for most of the traffic.

Re:Let the porn industry take the lead... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201125)

Actually I would think that file sharing is the biggest part of the traffic, followed by porn.

Re:Let the porn industry take the lead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201237)

Sharing Pr0n!

Re:Let the porn industry take the lead... (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#29201473)

Actually I would think that file sharing is the biggest part of the traffic, followed by porn.

What do you think a large slice of file sharing consists of?

Re:Let the porn industry take the lead... (5, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 5 years ago | (#29201279)

Not sure the Christian science monitor will like that answer.

Re:Let the porn industry take the lead... (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29201317)

False.

This is an urban legend that is not true either now (porn made the net boom), or back in the past (porn killed Betamax cause they chose VHS). If you look at the actual video output the porn industry is only ~5% of sales. The dominant force is Hollywood, followed by the school market, then local TV studios, finally business, and porn is a distant last place.

Re:Let the porn industry take the lead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201627)

Sales != demand.

If 1000 people buy my 0.01$ gum every day for a year, that's a whole lot more demand that one guy buying a 3650$ movie once a year.

Re:Let the porn industry take the lead... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201551)

I can just see the scene- The door bell going, the bored housewife answering the door, and some badly dubbed sys admin appears, announces he's here to fix her internet as a dodgy 70's funk soundtrack starts up...

Re:Let the porn industry take the lead... (4, Funny)

orsty3001 (1377575) | about 5 years ago | (#29201753)

If the problems with our current infrastructure was hurting cats, 4chan would fix it.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29200939)

Can anyone succinctly sum up why the current systems are insufficient? I'm not saying they are sufficient I simply would just like to know.

Re:Hmm (3, Funny)

imamac (1083405) | about 5 years ago | (#29200961)

We're running out of IPv4 addresses?

Re:Hmm (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | about 5 years ago | (#29201067)

The article author thinks IPv6 is just a band-aid, though he admits it would fix the address shortage. He is talking, vaguely, about an architectural upgrade but doesn't really say *what*. He only says "more research is needed", which I translate to "give me more funding".

Do you have any insight as to what he's talking about, other than "get off your ass on IPv6"?

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

HBI (604924) | about 5 years ago | (#29201171)

The only conclusion that I can draw from the silence on the actual upgrade is that it's something we wouldn't like.

Re:Hmm (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 5 years ago | (#29201403)

The only conclusion that I can draw from the silence on the actual upgrade is that it's something we wouldn't like.

My understanding from my experience and research into the subject is that in order to upgrade the Internet...

The Tubes demand SACRIFICE!

Re:Hmm (1)

chill (34294) | about 5 years ago | (#29201441)

My understanding from my experience and research into the subject is that in order to upgrade the Internet...

The Tubes demand SACRIFICE!

Well, Ted Kennedy did die today. I wonder if that was some deal between Ted Stevens (D-AK, "Mr. Tubes") and the Devil to keep Stevens out of prison. Satan's minion just got the wrong Ted...

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201573)

Well, Ted Kennedy did die today. I wonder if that was some deal between Ted Stevens (D-AK, "Mr. Tubes") and the Devil to keep Stevens out of prison. Satan's minion just got the wrong Ted...

Ah, Mr. Tubes [wikipedia.org] was the longest serving Republician Senator. He never had a "D" in front of his name.

Re:Hmm (1)

chill (34294) | about 5 years ago | (#29201855)

Sorry, my mistake. It does, however, make the switch look that much more nefarious as Ted Kennedy was most definitely a D.

Re:Hmm (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201313)

I honestly don't even think IPv6 is needed. We just need recall some of those huge blocks of IP addresses that have been allocated for no good reason and implement NAT/proxies more widely.

Just about every single company uses firewalls nowadays anyway, there is absolutely no reason for them to have huge blocks of IP addresses like they currently do (they don't even use them!).

Re:Hmm (1)

nmx (63250) | about 5 years ago | (#29201847)

I honestly don't even think IPv6 is needed. We just need recall some of those huge blocks of IP addresses that have been allocated for no good reason and implement NAT/proxies more widely.

NAT requires jumping through all sorts of hoops to try to get back to the host-to-host connectivity that IP used to allow. It's slowing the adoption of things like IPSEC and makes any application that requires peer-to-peer connections a chore to set up. NAT is not a good thing.

Just about every single company uses firewalls nowadays anyway, there is absolutely no reason for them to have huge blocks of IP addresses like they currently do (they don't even use them!).

While I agree that some organizations have many more addresses than they will ever use, firewalls have nothing to do with NAT. Every company *should* use a firewall, of course, but firewalls worked perfectly well before NAT, and they will continue to work after NAT dies a deserved death.

Re:Hmm (5, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | about 5 years ago | (#29201955)

To quote an article [ipv6tf.org] I once read that addressed what you are saying:

  • NAT breaks globally unique address model
  • NAT breaks address stability
  • NAT breaks the Peer-to-Peer model
  • NAT breaks some security and QoS applications
  • NAT introduces hidden costs (applications and operations)
  • NAT inhibits development of new applications

The long and the short of it is that NAT is only a band-aid... it is not a scalable solution. NAT can only be "good enough" as long as the above issues remain unimportant to a majority of people.

Re:Hmm (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29201971)

Have you read the latest Slashdot poll? People want to play Blizzard games on their LANs. Blizzard wants all game creation to go via BattleNet. There are lots of posts arguing that this is fine, because people just need to go through bnet to initiate the game, all of the traffic will still flow over the LAN. There's only one problem; this doesn't work reliably with a NAT.

Oh, and if you reassigned all of the large, assigend-but-unused, IPv4 blocks at the current allocation rate, they would all be gone within 18 months. Good long-term thinking there.

Re:Hmm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201415)

I haven't RTFA. But my little hopeful, idealistic vision for a next-gen internet is a mesh network with an ad-hoc routing protocol that can get your traffic from one side of the globe to the other, without address assignment that is centrally controlled by a hierarchy of government and corporate entities.
A solution I was thinking of was giving each device a (changeable) cryptographically secure address (ie. you generate a key pair, the public key is the address, the private key is your proof that you own that address). In the local area finding the destination could simply be a matter of asking the neighbors if they've seen it. On the global scale geographical routing could be used, with a registry mapping the public keys to their general spatial neighborhood (General so it was less of a privacy concern, say 16-256 km^2). My idea certainly needs more research, especially regarding decentralizing such a geo-address registry and making a working routing protocol that can find good routes over millions of nodes.

Re:Hmm (1)

Bookwyrm (3535) | about 5 years ago | (#29201645)

Well, think about it this way -- why *hasn't* the transition to IPv6 gone smoother/faster? Answer: the current architecture (with its dead-end-to-dead-end philosophy) is not designed to be upgraded. Presumably, some day, some one with ambition will come up with a networking protocol that is *better* than IPv6 (not talking about bigger address space, I mean even better protocol design.) I have problems believing that in a million years we would still be running IPv6 because no one will have come up with anything better. (Maybe because it's been impossible to migrated from, but...) Ideally, IPv6 would have some design elements to make it possible to easily and quickly upgrade to future (non-IPv6) technologies faster.

The problem that making sweeping improvements has such a high cost barrier (or even a decent method for making piecemeal/gradual improvements) is in itself a problem because it slows down the development and deployment of new technologies. Which is why IPv6 has been so slow to be deployed. This is an architectural issue.

Re:Hmm (3, Interesting)

kalidasa (577403) | about 5 years ago | (#29201683)

Here are two examples of the kind of research he is talking about:

Re:Hmm (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 5 years ago | (#29201111)

It runs fine for me. Frankly, I'm afraid that if anyone gets 'in charge', and 'improves' the internet, it won't be anywhere near as free and useful for any Joe Public to get on, express views, be anonymous, etc.

I'm afraid the powers that be, will be the ones 'in charge' of the New and Improved internet, and can bet your sweet ass, they won't make the mistakes they did last time that leaves them without total control.

Their corporate masters, will force them to have severe control on what content can be pumped over it, pretty much necessitating control on what can connect to it (so much for having control of your computer), and the govt. and lawyers will certainly make it where you can't be anonymous, and you will likely need a special license to publish on it.

Personally? No thanks, with all its bugs and problems, and tons of cruft out there, I'll be happy to stick with the current internet system that is out there. I like the idea that I can hook a computer on it, and instantly become a peer with any other computer out there, no matter if it is a farm kid on dial up, or a massive corporation's data center. My box/server is equal, and I can do and publish damned near anything I want.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201511)

I like your point of view. Kinda like mine

Re:Hmm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201755)

> it won't be anywhere near as free and useful for any Joe Public to get on, express views, be anonymous, etc.

The internet isnt anonymous.. and people need to stop believing that.

Posted A.C. for irony. :]

Re:Hmm (3, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | about 5 years ago | (#29201795)

The problem is that congestion control on the Internet is strictly based on the Van Jacobsen hacks to TCP/IP. These work pretty well, but they have problems. First, a lot of IP traffic is not TCP. Second, various IP protocols like Bittorrent actually game congestion control to get more than their fair share of the pipe, and there's really no way to prevent this (e.g., what Comcast tried isn't a good solution).

The belief that no-one is working on this is incorrect, however. There's some very good work being done [irtf.org] in the IRTF (a research organization associated with the IETF). They did a really cool presentation on their work at the Stockholm IETF this month. There are really good people at various ISPs and running the backbones. It is not the case that it's all on autopilot and slowly decaying. E.g., check out Hurricane Electric [he.net] . Comcast has a very good team.

The most hopeless thing I see on the Internet is the continued prevalence of operating systems that are highly vulnerable to attack due to poorly-thought-out security models. Apple is starting to do some interesting work on this - they recently hired the guy who did BitFrost for the OLPC project, for example. A big complaint about Bitfrost is that it's not necessarily all that useable, but if anyone can fix that, it's probably Apple. Would be nice if Microsoft weren't backsliding on this.

The Whole Point if the Internet... (5, Insightful)

rshol (746340) | about 5 years ago | (#29200953)

...is it s diffuse and decentralized nature, a network of networks, not a single network. An organization or individual with the power to "fix" the internet would have the power to destroy it or lock it down.

Re:The Whole Point if the Internet... (4, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 5 years ago | (#29201021)

I suppose IANA could start handing out IPv6 addresses only from now on, that'd shake the industry up quickly enough; and if ICANN announced that they would turn off IPv4 on its DNS roots, it'd have the same effect.

Re:The Whole Point if the Internet... (2, Insightful)

matang (731781) | about 5 years ago | (#29201081)

exactly. sure it's frustrating for an implementation of a good idea to take a really long time, but in turn that usually ensures the implementation of a bad idea will be thoroughly vetted and exposed before its adopted (with a few notable exceptions). i'd much rather risk the eternally promised "end of the internet" with the notion that someone would likely provide a fix before it gets to that point than i would risk having some person or company "in charge". we see how far that gets us with basically every other industry - nowhere. maybe i'm missing something obvious but what other global technology works as well with as little global oversight? it's easier from a "regulation" standpoint for me to email a home video to antarctica than it is to make a phone call to europe. just my 2 cents, ymmv, etc.

Re:The Whole Point if the Internet... (1, Troll)

moon3 (1530265) | about 5 years ago | (#29201149)

The Internet is improving everyday as better routers, faster servers, new better cables/antennas are deployed, the last mile connection options are also multiplying. IPv6 is put on hold as there is no real need for it at the moment.

The only thing "on hold" is the USA, not IPv6 (5, Interesting)

FreeUser (11483) | about 5 years ago | (#29201359)

The Internet is improving everyday as better routers, faster servers, new better cables/antennas are deployed, the last mile connection options are also multiplying. IPv6 is put on hold as there is no real need for it at the moment.

IPv6 is NOT on hold. Most of Asia are already using IPv6. If you use Apple there's a good chance you're using IPv6 without even realising it. The EU is mandating moves to IPv6 in the coming years, and I imagine most countries are doing something similar.

The US may have its head in the sand, but that doesn't mean everyone else does.

Re:The only thing "on hold" is the USA, not IPv6 (1)

edmicman (830206) | about 5 years ago | (#29201757)

Sure, your local machines might be using it, but then what? Do any of the major ISPs use IPv6? What about the *stock* routers/modems/etc. that people have in their homes? I'm pretty sure my local cable co (not Comcast even) isn't assigning me IPv6 address(es), even if my home computers might be able to use it.

Re:The Whole Point if the Internet... (5, Insightful)

javilon (99157) | about 5 years ago | (#29201355)

Mod parent up. The only reason the Internet is not augmented TV by now is that nobody had the ability to "fix" it.

Re:The Whole Point if the Internet... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29201379)

An organization or individual with the power to "fix" the internet would have the power to destroy it or lock it down.

I tend to agree, and dislike the direction the article (summary) seems to be trying to push the underlying facts in. However, there's no reason to think that the internet couldn't be fixed by simply thinking up a compelling, simple, elegant solution.

Re:The Whole Point if the Internet... (2, Insightful)

jeffshoaf (611794) | about 5 years ago | (#29201805)

there's no reason to think that the internet couldn't be fixed by simply thinking up a compelling, simple, elegant solution.

You're assuming that there is a simple, elegant solution. There may not be one!

Re:The Whole Point if the Internet... (4, Insightful)

Aragorn DeLunar (311860) | about 5 years ago | (#29201467)

In other words, "An ISP big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have."

Nielsen's law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29200971)

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/980405.html

Ridiculous (5, Insightful)

frankxcid (884419) | about 5 years ago | (#29201029)

Another ridiculous article. Supply will always follow demand. WHo will fix the internet? It doesn't matter, it will always be there as long as there is a demand.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Avalain (1321959) | about 5 years ago | (#29201137)

After thinking about it, I tend to agree with you. There may be no incentive for companies to upgrade right now, but as soon as they are no longer able to hand out new addresses and therefore no longer able to increase their business, they will change rapidly.

Re:Ridiculous (5, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | about 5 years ago | (#29201571)

It is unfortunate, though, that even in business, the incentive of profit is outweighed by the incentive of short-term profit.

Upgrading infrastructure is a big investment over the long term, which makes sense to you and me, but to your average MBA, the question is "what's the ROI for the next two quarters?" and of course, the short-term ROI on a long-term investment is always poor.

So, the upgrades aren't made, and everyone goes on pretending nothing's going to go wrong (if it's not going to go wrong this quarter, there's no danger!) and nothing happens until the problem has been put off for so long that suddenly, it's right around the corner and it's obvious that catastrophe is the only possible result from continuing to ignore it. Then, even more money than would have gone into a phased upgrade goes into an emergency upgrade, patching things left and right, dealing with outages, and generally making a mess of things.

It's the way everything works, though, really -- matters of climate change, unsustainable financial practices -- so long as doomsday isn't tomorrow, no one cares.

Who even said it's broke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201045)

Oh, noes! The sky is falling! We're DOOMED!

I Thought We'd Been Through This? (3, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | about 5 years ago | (#29201065)

IPv4 is an absolutely fundamental part of virtually every network in existence today, and given that networks are a fundamental prerequisite in the modern computing world and see very, very, very, very heavy usage every minue of the day no one is going to take any time out and start tinkering because people think networks and the internet are broken. There's no financial incentive for ISPs or any companies to invest in IPv6 yet and there won't be no matter who is 'in charge' of the internet to 'force' it to happen. You can't mandate anything in an open market, and I just find the possible motivation for that statement bizarre.

Basically, it'll start to happen when we really do run out of IP addresses and things get desperate and it will happen when someone comes up with a sane and straightforward guide for making IPv6 co-exist happily with existing IPv4 networks and making sure everyone knows about it. Until those things happen there is zero incentive to rip out and replace or tinker with something so fundamental. Band aids are the order of the day and have been in every piece of fundamental infrastructure since time imemorial. We must leave this 'rip out and replace' culture in computing far behind otherwise no one can ever take us seriously.

Re:I Thought We'd Been Through This? (5, Funny)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 5 years ago | (#29201115)

There's nothing wrong with the internet. It works just fi

Re:I Thought We'd Been Through This? (4, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29201421)

ATDT 5601750

(beep beep boop beep bleep blep boop)
(squuuuuuooooosh)
(aaaaeeeh)

.
.
.

CONNECT 1200

I agree. There's nothing wrong with the internet, so why bother fixing it? As you can see I can access it just fine and I never needed to upgrade one single bit of my equipment.

+++

ATH

@&%*@... &*(&%(*... CARRIER LOST

Re:I Thought We'd Been Through This? (4, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | about 5 years ago | (#29201547)

@&%*@... &*(&%(*... NO CARRIER

Fixed that for you :)

Re:I Thought We'd Been Through This? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201609)

How did you click the submit button?

Re:I Thought We'd Been Through This? (0)

ftobin (48814) | about 5 years ago | (#29201489)

You can't mandate anything in an open market, and I just find the possible motivation for that statement bizarre.

While I agree with most of your comment, I have to state that there can be good motivations for mandating some things, as there are economic functions which are not always "smooth" or require the equivalent of a force to overcome "static friction", which is greater than "dynamic friction". In other words, the overall well-being of the economic system can sometimes be improved by providing subsidies to overcome initial investment hurdles. Open markets are good at improving situations if the necessary investment required to improve upon the existing is low, but less adept at changes requiring large investments that are not designed to benefit one market participant but the whole market.

Not Necessarily a bad thing... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#29201073)

The existing internet certainly has its rough edges, and they are not insignificant; but an alarming number of proposed "internet fixes" and "new improved internet" proposals seem to be more about serving the interests of incumbents(largely in the areas of surveillance and copyright enforcement) than about making the internet work better.

Many of the internet's virtues are a result of the fact that it grew up before anybody outside of a narrow circle knew that it was going to be significant, so its development was relatively uncrippled. We aren't going to have that opportunity again. Any "new internet" proposal is going to have the grubby claws of "stakeholders" all over it.

Re:Not Necessarily a bad thing... (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 5 years ago | (#29201409)

That's a good point. If you want to see the kind of Internet the industry wants, look at the US mobile phone market.

Re:Not Necessarily a bad thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201661)

Just like Healthcare... The system is great. It's the people that have no control over it that are making it out to be an epic problem.

Re:Not Necessarily a bad thing... (1)

imamac (1083405) | about 5 years ago | (#29201723)

Very true. This is what unencumbered capitalism can accomplish...

Proactive...not (5, Interesting)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | about 5 years ago | (#29201075)

There will be no proactive solution; this sort of thing will only be improved upon in increments as things break. John Doyle mentions "Band-Aids" but that's exactly how it needs to evolve....like any other living organism.

Re:Proactive...not (3, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 5 years ago | (#29201817)

Yeah, bandaids until you need a cast, casts until you have a bone replacement. We seem to be at an early cast type of phase.

This looks like a job for... (2, Funny)

abshack (1389985) | about 5 years ago | (#29201103)

Internet-Fixer Man!!! With his large hoard of anonymous, probably overweight, definitely awkward, mostly perverted, could be educated, willing to take risks, bunch of trolls from 4CHAN, he's going to fix the internet in no time flat!

We need more competition (5, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | about 5 years ago | (#29201109)

It seems to me that most of the country is still in a situation where there are one or two options for high speed internet in any given area (only one here). If we allowed more competition, we would probably see a rush to upgrade infrastructure, as most people are damn tired of this "large pipe, limited download" crap, and the first ISP to offer either no cap or really high cap and maintain fast speeds is going to take every last customer from crappy services like AT&T.

Having some centralized organization handle network upgrades will work out about as well as it did in the 90's, ie not at all. They'll just pocket the money and continue to clamp down on their customers. The only way to improve service is to increase competition.

Re:We need more competition (3, Informative)

Courageous (228506) | about 5 years ago | (#29201695)

If we allowed more competition,...

It's not merely an issue of allowing more competition. For example, here in California cable TV is not a state-granted monopoly. And yet, you will find close to zero overlapping cable TV regions. Why? Because it makes little economic sense to the operators to do that. One operator, having paid for infrastructure, can lower prices in its region to below what a new competitor could afford, because the new competitor, having to lay down duplicate infrastructure, will be taking it over the barrel on paying for its new infrastructure. So the new operator just shies off from the whole thing. It's really a kind of willful collusion, but there's nothing evil about it. It's just good, obvious business sense.

At best, you can hope for the phone company, the cable company, and maybe some new third leg of wireless operators to form some kind of three way competitive market for delivery services. I don't think this is nearly enough, however, for any thing at all resembling competition. Markets with relatively small numbers of participants tend to engage in huge amounts of tacit collusion. Basically, it's very easy for the various players to watch each other's prices, set similar price points, and become lax about the whole thing. The victim is the consumer.

Real competition occurs in thriving markets where new competitors enter with innovations that lower the fundamental cost basis of their products. This forces competitors to adopt similar innovations or die. This seldom happens in small markets with a static set of competitors, because they're all set in their ways, and know the others are set in their ways. I.e., they can happily never change a thing and GET AWAY WITH IT.

So basically, don't hold your breath on any kind of real competition occurring here. While I'm a big fan of competitive markets, I'm a big cynic on this market. On a bad day, in a bad mood, I think we should just regulate the entire thing.

C//

A useful source? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201113)

Christian Science?

Re:A useful source? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201235)

Yes actually. One of the most unbiased news sources available.

No this isn't sarcasm.

Re:A useful source? (3, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29201401)

Yes. It's a very respectable source indeed. Also, Christian Science (promoted by Christian Scientists) is entirely different from the science promoted by Christians (who are a different group).

render unto ceasar... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201179)

now that the felonious billionerrors 'banking' industry has drained the coffers of most of US, we'll be afforded the chance to re-establish our affairs without being held hostage by unending/unrepayable debt & gottiesque 'interest rates'. mynuts won; please delete this robbIE, just like all those others. you must be somewhat asscared?

strong encryption for *everything* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201205)

It needs strong encryption for all IP traffic, and built in but optional anonymity.

That's the only way to avoid large and powerful groups (governments, etc) from controlling and censoring it.

The only way to prevent politicians and others from trying to control it "for our own good" is to build in technical measures to prevent that from happening.

It also needs a strong foundation in open and platform independent protocols to prevent it becoming a series of uncooperating little fiefdoms with different companies wrestling for control.

ha ha very funny. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201247)

'Christian' Science. Im rolling in laughter. I have tears in my eyes. Thats like a hot fudge sunday and you have to eat all the fudge before it ruins the icecream.

Ignorance is bliss, personified. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201535)

Ignorance is bliss, and you, sir, seem to be positively rolling in it. CSM, strange as it may seem, is generally regarded as being of surpassing quality (vastly superior to your "mainline" news channels and rags).

The irony is that most religious people I know revile the CSM as being liberal, ungodly, and in all manner of secular.

Improvements ARE being made... (4, Insightful)

gravyface (592485) | about 5 years ago | (#29201265)

I fail to see how/why the TFA is lumping everything under one problem called the "Internet". Break it up into little bits, and you'll see that there *are* mostly effective working groups and vendor coalitions solving issues, up and down the stack, every day.

Pakistan's bandwidth (1)

superphysics (1619033) | about 5 years ago | (#29201283)

Ref: the article linked to in the post. "Pakistanâ(TM)s relatively anemic data pipeline"? That's a major understatement.

Hands off (5, Insightful)

blueZ3 (744446) | about 5 years ago | (#29201299)

The problem correlates to what makes the Internet so successful: it's a wide-open, essentially unregulated space.

With no centralized authority, you get benefits like anonymity (see how long that lasts once the bureaucrats get their hooks in it--oh noes! the terrorists! think of the children! we must track each user), innovation (in just a few years we've gone from hypertext to graphical MMORPGs--I can just see trying to get the paperwork through on that one) and freedom (I don't suppose the good people at 760 United Nations Plaza would be interested in protecting the freedom of expression of fascists, for instance).

Of course, with anonymity comes spam, with innovation you get new and better malware, and with freedom you get a lot of crazy talk. But unless you're ready to throw the baby out with the bath water, it's probably best to leave well enough alone. Since politicians of all stripes are essentially unable to understand opportunity costs or unintended consequences, I shudder each time I read one of these FUD-o-thons.

Re:Hands off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201675)

The Internet is bad. It allows malware to propagate, etc.

The highway system in America is bad. It allows people will ill-intent to get from point A to point B easily.

So, to try fixing the Internet would be like putting checkpoints on each and every road in America.

Is this a bad analogy?

By the way, the only concern I have about the Internet is when secure data needs to be transmitted between businesses and such. Like, medical records, banking info, etc. Of course, that can be solved by creating some sort of private internet.

All hail Al Gore!

Where do I start....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201323)

So let's see....

There was that several billion dollars of tax money in the mid and late 1990's that were given to the Telco's to improve infrastructure that went no where...

Corporations are suing city broadband co-op's that crop up where service availability is monopolistic or shotty.....

There's AT&T, who just recently posted one of the largest annual profits in history....

What's that? Time to provide Internet access as a utility? Yes. I would think so.....

Tin foil hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201327)

The way this article is written, it sounds like the author WANTS someone 'in charge' of the Internet' This to me sounds far worst then IPv4 VS IPv6

Net Neutrality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201375)

It's always entertaining to see the same die-hard supporters of Net Neutrality chastise the ISPs for not investing in infrastructure. "Hey spend your own money making your networks better, faster, etc. but once you do, remember, you have no say in what you're allowed to do with it..."

Re:Net Neutrality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201823)

It's always entertaining to see the same die-hard opponents of Net Neutrality prop that same ol straw-man (and it is one...) up and then knock it down.

You see...they're already getting paid for the service level that they're providing- they want to get paid twice or three times and nobody set it up that way in the first place. They didn't invest in infrastructure because of the presence of net-neutrality- they didn't invest because they're damned greedy and they got away with the level of oversubscription they pulled until recently. Now they're in a bind, not going to be able to reap the ridiculous profits they were, and are going to have to spend more money on things to keep it all going. So, they want to gig someone else for it- and gouge someone that they didn't have a contractual relationship with, wouldn't have unless they thought this silly deal up, and runs counter to the whole way the Internet is ran and makes it as special as it currently is.

If you did what they proposed, either an ISP would pop up that would NOT do this stupid thing- or they'd end up like walled gardens. There's a reason you don't hear much about AOL, Delphi, etc. anymore. The Telcos and Cablecos that're whining have apparently forgotten that in their desire to keep their profits up.

Be thankful for the problems you have (3, Insightful)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | about 5 years ago | (#29201417)

If there was someone "in charge" of the internet, we wouldn't be worried about being unable to change technical standards by proclaimed fiat, but instead about why we were using both ancient and nearing unworkable technical standards, and why we were unable to even apply band-aids to the problem, lest the ship be rocked, incompatibilities result, special interests slighted, and the status quo in danger of coming out of stasis.

Christian... science ? (0, Flamebait)

dargaud (518470) | about 5 years ago | (#29201513)

Anyone cares to tell me what the words 'christian' and 'science' are doing together ? I mean, do they live in a universe with different rules with different science or what ? No, I'm not thinking about the evolution denier idiots, I assume this refers to run of the mill christians. So why the specification ?

Re:Christian... science ? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201651)

Historical, essentially. The Christian Science Monitor is so called because it's associated with the Church of Christ, Scientist, sharing the same founder. A bunch of mid-level crazies who are strong believers in the power of faith healing. The paper tries to keep it's distance from it's patron church, well aware that to be seen in their association would threaten it's credability.

Re:Christian... science ? (5, Funny)

Afief (1183299) | about 5 years ago | (#29201707)

Dear mr.Christian Science,

Your attempt to make us panic and throw a metric shitload of money into your inadequate research to end net-neutrality has failed. The average slashdot reader knows more about the intricacies of the Internet than you expect and can therefore tell you that doom's day is far off. We know that because the Terminators need IPv6 to keep track of their innumerable minions.

No IPv6 no doom's day.

Thank you for your time,
Average Slashdot Joe

Re:Christian... science ? (2, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 5 years ago | (#29201765)

It's called Christian Science Monitor basically because the founder was also the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist and she demanded that it be called that. Despite it's name, the paper is 95% secular and is actually known for its fair and balance reporting, especially for avoiding sensationalism (ironically in this case). Their staff has even won a handful of Pulitzer Prizes over the years.

Re:Christian... science ? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201831)

Christian Science is a religious group founded in Boston by Mary Baker Eddy in the 19th century. They believe that healing can be accomplished through prayer. Yes, they sound odd, don't they? Nevertheless, part of their worldview is a deep abiding interest in world affairs, and a complete lack of the sort of bias about them you would expect. Their newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor, is one of the finest, most respected dailies in the US, and its journalistic standards are unimpeachable (though I wouldn't personally stretch them too far on healthcare). As a result of those high standards, the print edition is going out of business. See the Wikipedia article on the Christian Science Monitor (i.e., CSM).

Re:Christian... science ? (1, Offtopic)

k8to (9046) | about 5 years ago | (#29201917)

It's a religion that has existed longer since you've been alive. They come up quite regularly in popular entertainment as the most respectable group who believe in "faith healing" and avoid surgery etc.

Independently from their oddities, they've published a very highly regarded news source called the Christian Science Monitor for many decades. They are respected for their independent voice, accurate reportage, and even handed investigation.

This is all common knowledge. Read about something that isn't a computer sometime?

Re:Christian... science ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201929)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Science_Monitor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Christ,_Scientist

Keep off the Grass, or myLawn (1)

omb (759389) | about 5 years ago | (#29201521)

The basic internet is fine, IPv4 and IPv6 both transmit datagrams, and that is all you need; WHAT we DO NOT need is big government or CORPORATE AMERICA __improving things__.

Re:Keep off the Grass, or myLawn (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | about 5 years ago | (#29201621)

Or corporate europe or corporate asia. Corporate America is not any better or worse than the others.

Nobody (1)

CxDoo (918501) | about 5 years ago | (#29201533)

It's not broken, it doesn't need fixing.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Christian Science Monitor? Religion+science? (0, Troll)

Fastfwd (44389) | about 5 years ago | (#29201575)

Is this a serious publication with an unfortunate name or a journal that promotes creationism?

Re:Christian Science Monitor? Religion+science? (1, Offtopic)

stubob (204064) | about 5 years ago | (#29201693)

Here, let me find the wiki page for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Science_Monitor [wikipedia.org]

"Despite its name, the Monitor is not a religious-themed paper, and does not promote the doctrine of its patron church. However, at its founder Eddy's request, a daily religious article has appeared in every issue of the Monitor."

Re:Christian Science Monitor? Religion+science? (1)

arkenian (1560563) | about 5 years ago | (#29201967)

The CSM is a serious paper which tends to focus on international news. Probably one of the best, actually. It is owned and operated by the Christian Science church (of which, to be clear, I am not a member.) But other than the rare editorial, that doesn't really influence the reporting at all. Its reporting style makes it something like the NPR of news papers.

No incentive to invest?... (1)

MikeRT (947531) | about 5 years ago | (#29201579)

especially since there's no financial incentive on the part of the ISPs and telecoms to invest in basic infrastructure.

Who does he think has been paying for most of the network upgrades? The government? The martians? Does he think that God has sent down an army of angels to quietly build up our infrastructure?

Al Gore (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 5 years ago | (#29201589)

Time to bring Al Gore out of retirement so that he can reinvent the Internet.

Yes, no one will fix the Internet. (1)

tecnico.hitos (1490201) | about 5 years ago | (#29201631)

WHO is too busy dealing with the swine flu to think about this.

What they have to do with this anyway?

That is true everywhere (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | about 5 years ago | (#29201635)

These statements are not surprising and such things are true everywhere. In computer architecture for example, no one wants to change a hell lot of things because that may lead to new compilers, rewriting legacy codes etc and no one is interested in doing that even if it can provide tremendous performance and scalability benefits. There are radical ideas, but if they are too radical and need a lot of change, then nobody wants them because of the effort required to change existing systems. I think to some extent this may be true here too.

Simple: Who ever makes something that catches on (1)

not already in use (972294) | about 5 years ago | (#29201699)

There is a lot that could be implied by saying "Fix the internet," but all that's really needed is a full duplex asynchronous protocol that's light weight and secure. We're at a point now where browsers are adhering better to standards and compiling javascript on the fly to machine code, yet we're still piggy-backing on http.

Aside from that, the summary doesn't make a lot of sense. What does IPv4 have to do with the internet being broken? We're just running out of IP addresses but even now it's not an impending issue as IPv6 is becoming more widely supported. And where is the infrastructure lacking on the side of ISP's? Saying "the internet is broken" is such an open-ended statement I still wonder what the submitter is trying to get at.

fundamentally wrong (1)

feepcreature (623518) | about 5 years ago | (#29201713)

TFA says that the internet was just an experimental demo that worked too well and ended up getting adopted. Wrong. It started as an experimental but real network that was to be used for real work. The basic principles were deliberately, and well, chosen.

The environment has changed, but the basic principle of a simple network with intelligence at the "edges" - in the devices that connect to the basic bit-shuffling network - is sound. That above all is what has allowed so many innovative services to be rapidly and successfully deployed.

This allows some less desirable features, but that's the price of flexibility. Same with roads: they are a flexible network, which means the bad guys can use them for trafficking or drive stolen cars. If you build too many controls into a system, you make it less versatile.

The problem with "sweeping technical improvements" is that improvements are often tradeoffs, and (as someone else pointed out) any changes will have the grubby claws of "stakeholders" all over them. They are most likely to serve powerful interests rather than users and they are much less likely to foster the innovation that has made the internet such an explosive success, and such a multiplier of potential.

The article also has a slightly US-centric view of the IP6 issue. In other parts of the world there is not the same relative abundance of IP addresses, and IP6 deployment seems to be a bit further ahead. The Beijing Olympics used IPv6, and ISPs in India and Australia for example run commercial IP6 services.

With all due respect, John, I am head of IT and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29201715)

... I have it on good authority that if you type "google" into Google, you can break the internet, so please no one try it. Even for a joke.

Main problem (1)

COMON$ (806135) | about 5 years ago | (#29201725)

In my opinion is the lack of actual technical professionals. We have too many people who know how to fix product A, because they were trained to fix product A and that is what they do. So when product A becomes un-fixable it gets replaced with another product A.

We will see the massive changes in tech when the CS and IT folks who entered the market in the 2000s make it to management and start controlling the tech. These are individuals that have grown up with change and are adaptable to it. A large number of them WANTED to be geeks, they arent paycheck hunters and are genuinely interested in the advance of tech. Why do I think this? Of the people I know that have adopted newer techs, eg IPv6 or maintain stricter code, or push for HTML5 or whatnot, they all are individuals who graduated high school or college in the last 10 years...just my observation though.

Technical vs. Practical (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | about 5 years ago | (#29201799)

The internet has very many technical shortcoming and many businesses make their living off of compensating for them. It turns out that the trade-off between fixing the technical problems and paying someone to compensate for them falls in favor of paying someone. What's the problem here? The only reason to make the technical changes is when the costs are too high (which apparently hasn't happened yet) or physical limits are reached (e.g. running out of IP v.4 addresses). I don't see a problem with this...

Future Internet Symposium 2009 (1)

aharth (412459) | about 5 years ago | (#29201845)

There's the Future Internet Symposium 2009 (http://www.fis2009.org/ [fis2009.org] ) in Berlin next week which exactly targets the topic in the post. From the call for papers: "With over a billion users today's Internet is arguably the most successful human artifact ever created. The Internet's physical infrastructure, software, and content now play an integral part of the lives of everyone on the planet, whether they interact with it directly or not. Now nearing its fifth decade, the Internet has shown remarkable resilience and flexibility in the face of ever increasing numbers of users, data volume, and changing usage patterns, but faces growing challenges in meetings the needs of our knowledge society. Yet, Internet access moves increasingly from fixed to mobile, the trend towards mobile usage is undeniable and predictions are that by 2014 about 2 billion users will access the Internet via mobile broadband services. This adds a further layer of complexity to the already immense challenges."
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>