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102 comments

EGYPT! !I HEAR YOU KNOCKIN BUT YOU CANT COME IN !! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101298)

Personally, I don't see how it can. Do the math, it doesn't add up unless the providers gouge the advertisers, and it won't take that long for users to figure out they're being gouged when the results come up flat.

These days, newspapers are facing many difficult problems.

If there is a college or University near you, see if they have a newspaper archive. There is one at the University of California at Berkeley that I often visit. There are hundreds of different papers going back to the 1800s. Browsing through these, you can get a pretty good feel for the popularity of papers and the competition between papers, as they all tried to scoop the others and inform the public.

The newspapers back in the 1920s, for example, were very entertaining, and I could see how people would buy two or three different papers a day.

The nation has thousands of papers around the country all doing original reporting. San Francisco had The Chronicle, The Call, The Bulletin, The Examiner and others all employing hundreds of people each before the newspapers invented and discovered the cash cow first known as "want ads" soon to be known as "classified ads." Want ads were both popular and a pure money maker. Every inch of a want ad page was pure profit.

This model was ruined forever by Craigslist and eBay. The paradigm shift took so much cash flow away from the newspapers that staff had to be cut and the quality of the product suffered creating a viscous cycle of ruination. People were less attracted to the cheaper product and circulation declined further causing other ad rates to fall, causing cutbacks, and so on down the drain.

So what does distribution on the iPad do to save the newspaper model? It saves the cost of a truck to deliver the paper to the various hubs, and it takes the delivery people out of the picture. It also saves money on paper and ink. So it basically saves money on one or two line items on the spreadsheet: printing and distribution.

In its stead, it adds a cost called iPad layout expense. The paper has to be redesigned for reading on an iPad. This means using some expensive software specifically designed to be used by publications publishing on the iPad. Knowing the way Apple operates, this means a system incompatible with other pad readers, such as the Kindle and Motorola Xoom. When all is said and done and when you factor in the cost of maintaining large server farms to do distribution, the amount of money saved is negligible. Because the people who are in this industry are so gullible, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't cost them more to do the iPad version than the print edition.

Of course, no matter what they do, they can't cover the lost revenue from classifieds.

Advertising in general becomes something of an issue as most people who subscribe to these iPad papers will be located internationally, so the local Macy's ads that prop up the NYC papers wouldn't be practical.

The final nail in the coffin will be clever aggregators who will deliver a custom paper for news junkies. The app that does the aggregation will cost like $2 (or free) as an app with no further fees. With it, you get a great newspaper pieced together from the stuff on the net. Compare that to $40/year for a subscription to one lone paper.

The fact is this app will win the day. It may or may not be as slick as the iPad papers we'll see shortly, but it'll be a lot cheaper if not free.

The upcoming experiments will be fun to watch and probably give developers a lot of ideas. But will any of these things save the newspaper as we know it? Sadly, no.

Re:EGYPT! !I HEAR YOU KNOCKIN BUT YOU CANT COME IN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35102530)

and wtf has your post got to do with TFA about Egyptian Government killing internet acccess for it's citizens?

Re:EGYPT! !I HEAR YOU KNOCKIN BUT YOU CANT COME IN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35106428)

I think the marvel is how she typed all that and was still fp. Does a gypsy come from egypt?

'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch'?? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101328)

WTF is the damn difference? What BS is this statement trying to make? Am I supposed to feel better about the pending 'Kill Switch'?

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101482)

What it means is, you don't need a "kill switch" to shut down the entire network infrastructure of a country. You just need to give a few phone calls, and this is already possible - in Egypt and elsewhere.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102000)

That's what a kill switch is. It's a law that enables the head of the state to shut down parts of the internet without judicial oversight.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35106450)

Oh, you mean it's not a big knife switch mounted near a huge Van de Graaf generator throwing off lightning bolts for theatrical effect?
Or maybe just a pushbutton switch on a Cisco router somewhere in San Francisco, that magically shuts the whole thing down?
That takes all the fun out of it.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102014)

Exactly the whole debate of a "kill switch" is distractive. The real issue is that censorship can and does already happen, and what we should to do about it. There a number of central control points on the Internet, all of them depend on governments and corporations acceptance, funding to function normally. The US is using domains, others use DNS, Egypt now used psysical disconnection, china uses interception of data for sniffing. These are known, and from these it can be safely assumed that many, many more of these abuses exist without public knowledge. Tor works but is having too few outgoing nodes, proxies have trust problems, using these is an infraction themselves in many places, DNS cannot be redirected sometimes, the physical connections are always run by a corporation, not grassroots organizations interested in freedom of expression.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101962)

WTF is the damn difference? What BS is this statement trying to make? Am I supposed to feel better about the pending 'Kill Switch'?

It actually does make a difference, because it means that the Mubarak regime was able to keep each ISP scared enough to intimidate them into doing exactly what they said, even when that meant effectively cutting off their business. The timing of the calls -a little more than 13 minutes total- tells us that there was no hesitation from any of the ISPs. The only exception was the Noor group, who somehow managed to evade this order and remain online for days after the others had disappeared.

The fact that a government functionary can pick up the phone, say, "Shut down your network" and be complied with without the slightest hesitation doesn't say a thing about technology, but it teaches us a lot about the nature of government, and perhaps makes it a little clearer to those of us in the outside world just what the pro-democracy protesters were willing to risk their lives for.

Side note: It was James Cowie at Renesys who first posited this scenario [renesys.com] within hours of the shutdown.

I wrote a much longer consideration of the effects of the Egyptian outage [imagicity.com] for my country's national daily. In a nutshell, the design of our physical networks makes them vulnerable to the kind of coercive pressure exerted by the Mubarak regime. And a some of the powers-that-be like it like that.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102100)

And you think it would be different anywhere else in the world? If the US government called Sprint and Comcast and told them "cut the power OR ELSE!" they wouldn't do it?

Think about it: They know exactly that the government can't do that for more than a few days. Else the economy is crippled beyond repair. Facebook, Google and all the other precious data mines would have left the country before you can say "relocation". Oh, they might even keep the workers. What's the problem with them working in the US, code is easy to transport. Needn't even hire container ships to get it around the planet. And if not, well, India has allegedly some they can hire.

OTOH, NOT throwing the switch when the feds want you to can reaaaaally make your business difficult. For more than a few days. Shame that you want to pull cable, unfortunately you can't dig up our road. We also just had a company start on a citywide WiFi network, and NO, it's not you. And btw, you have been selected for a random IRS audit. Long version.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102276)

"And btw, you have been selected for a random IRS audit. Long version"
or even worse the "Deep Forensics" version
because you know that they will find something you are not correct on.

Dem Treasury Boys iz a ruff bunch y'all dunna want to mess with dem.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35103368)

Dem Treasury Boys iz a ruff bunch y'all dunna want to mess with dem.

When you speak in this manner you sound illiterate. Or black / nedneck. Or both.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102366)

"If the US government called Sprint and Comcast and told them "cut the power OR ELSE!" they wouldn't do it?"

I imagine they would, for a time. But with the amount of lost revenue, they wouldn't comply for long unless legally compelled.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102870)

Which is pretty much the same scenario that just played out in Egypt.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (2)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35106000)

Yes, given how the Dept of Justice has shown how they will interpret existing laws w.r.t. torture, detaining terrorist suspects, violations of how NSL's must be used, rendition of non-combatants, etc..., there is 100% likelihood that they [as in, the command structure under the President] already have a legal opinion saying they already have the power to order any and/or all parts of the internet shutdown.

IF was at comcast I would do but first make all ca (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35102908)

IF was at comcast I would do it under a order but first make all cable channels go free maybe even clear qam (some cable boxes freak out if they can't talk back to the head end / other parts of the cable system or if they loses some control signals)

Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple links (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102194)

Modify physical layout of the connections. Every house, block and street to have multiple links to each other, and proper routing in place. Servers should be distributed and virtual, no addresses. Attempts at censorship would become hard.

Data communications deserve total freedom of expression, just like in-person and voice communication. No central should have any controls.

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102362)

And who would pay for all this? Technology could be a big help, but it's going to take something more sophisticated than that.

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102384)

I have given some thought to this in the past. My current thoughts are towards some sort of shared-storage for blocks, exchanged wirelessly. Everything from PCs to mobile phones could take part then. Want a file? Maybe your neighbour has a piece, or your co-workers, or the person you pass in the street with the software on their mobile phone. A moment of contact, and the pieces are transfered. Latency would be pathetic, but it's an interesting concept for things where time isn't a factor. It might function something like the Freenet protocol.

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (2)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102704)

And when are they going to set this up? Who is going to maintain it? How will they afford it? Will these people have enough time left over to live their lives?

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102732)

As with any other open-source project. Code is cheap, and needs only a few people to write it. So long as it runs off-the-shelf, common, affordable hardware. Might see a lot of interest from pirates, eager to escape transfer quotas.

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103826)

enable "local peer discovery" in your torrent client... Seriously though, it would be nice to have some open source firmware for wireless devices that had mesh support that could be configured as always on or to turn on discovery when the wan connection dropped.

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35104208)

We're thinking along the same lines, yes. Only I'm thinking local as in physically local - broadcasting a 'I want this bit of data frame' at intervals, and seeing if any devices in the vicinity are running the protocol and have it in storage.

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (2)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103420)

Vendors won't cooperate with this. They want exclusivity to their customers. They don't have the same ideology.

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103844)

Like TCP/IP? UDP? Multicast? NetBios? QoS (802.11p etc)? Good thing all those protocols used to talk between devices are manufacturer specific. Oh wait, they aren't.

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103998)

The educated technicians that try to implement this will find their networks shut down in other ways. The average Joe won't use such a network because it's not the default and they don't understand the technology or its implementation. The moment they have trouble with anything it's a reset to vendor-specific settings. The traffic will be shaped because it can be shaped at whim by the ISP; there is no Net Neutrality. So how does this idea succeed?

Idealism is great until it meets reality. That's not saying reality can't be changed BTW, but until it is you have to work within the known parameters or you're accomplishing nothing.

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35104224)

I could connect my cable lines to every single one of my neighbors -- in fact, I could connect up to every person in my town. I could install routers to continuously analyze and route traffic between us, and it would be an extremely stable/redundant/flexible system. Whenever the ISP decides to cut off service, I could still connect to the machines of the people in my community, but how does that help give us access to the internet?
 
Your idea is so full of fallacies that it is actually difficult to even point all of them out because they are all interlaced with one another. What you are suggesting is not helpful, at all. If you're suggesting the whole internet be turned into a P2P network, then what you are suggesting is simply not possible. The only solution to this problem is to stop the ISP's from ever shutting down their services, even when asked by the government. Any other solution is simply fantasy and would only be seriously considered by teenagers who, as we all know, are certainly the smartest people in the world.

Re:Decentralize, everyone routes and multiple link (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35105244)

but how does that help give us access to the internet?

because only one person needs to find a feed once to any of the desired content and your all able to see it.

simply not possible.

It's actually fairly simple concept. Squid allows remote proxys, so if everyone of these houses had a squid proxy, and you had them all linked as remote proxy to yours, any content (even during a blackout) that any of them had connected to would be available without using the outside link. With wccpv2 which is supportable using most cisco routers, and of course dd-wrt squid can also cache streams, such as youtube, etc. So if the USA labels something like wiki-leaks as "dangerous" and flips the switch, if anyone in your back link had accessed that content, it would still be available to all.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103034)

The fact that a government functionary can pick up the phone, say, "Shut down your network" and be complied with without the slightest hesitation doesn't say a thing about technology, but it teaches us a lot about the nature of government, and perhaps makes it a little clearer to those of us in the outside world just what the pro-democracy protesters were willing to risk their lives for

+1

This is another example of why I get p1ssed off when people refer to the USA as a "police state" (I'm Canadian). People who use this term so loosely really have no idea what living in a police state truly means - It means the internet being shut off with a few phone calls, something that wouldn't happen in the USA without court orders, time, and much protest. To use the term "police state" to refer to nations like the USA belittles the risks people in true police states are actually taking..

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102216)

Am I supposed to feel better about the pending 'Kill Switch'?

You're not. But the kind of people who make these sorts of phone calls will be delighted.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102792)

Timothy had nothing better to write about on this day, then to try and speculate what real story look like.
Goes the same with the editors that let this story pass

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102858)

This is an example of people not understanding the difference between a metaphor and literal statement. When we talk about the president of the US having his finger on the button of a nuclear arsenal, we don't mean that there is a button somewhere that he would actually push with his finger. In fact, if he chose to launch nuclear missiles, he would make a phone call in which certain protocols would be followed, which would prompt additional phone calls and other communications to be made according to established protocols, and eventually a bunch of people would manipulate controls at their stations to initiate the launch. The "finger on a button" is simply a metaphor, something that some people apparently have difficulty grasping.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

kryliss (72493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35104982)

That is incorrect!! According to Monsters Vs. Aliens. It's a huge red button on the wall.. right next to the identical huge red button for coffee. :)

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103384)

You don't think that the Fed's couldn't do that in the US now?
The only good part is there are more then a few ISPs out there, and most of the big ones would ensure they have lawyers involved. I'm sure the situation can, and has, come up where a smaller ISP shuts themselves down because some Federal agent has showed up with some paperwork. I know it's happening to web-hosting companies now...

Anyone that thinks the 'kill switch' would be some jolly-red button like in the end of 'Land of Confusion [youtube.com] ' button is just silly.

Re:'Series of Phone Calls' instead of 'Kill Switch (1)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103644)

WTF is the damn difference? What BS is this statement trying to make? Am I supposed to feel better about the pending 'Kill Switch'?

Technically, there is a difference.

It means that an internet outage could be averted by a preemptive phone outage!

it's a figure of speech (5, Insightful)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101350)

I think some people are imagining a light switch. Next to a red nuke button and a bat phone.

Re:it's a figure of speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101410)

People are so stupid :(
AIDS or HIV doesnt kill people, guns doesn't kill people(always), stupid does!

Re:it's a figure of speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35102098)

And the US has a whole lot a stupid. In surplus!

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102876)

We're even exporting it, in the form of television programming.

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103046)

It doesn't get much stoopider than American Idol, and that shit came from England.

Still, I wish I could disagree.

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101454)

Well it would be cool if it was a light switch, then some staff-member could accidentally turn it off before going home for the night.

 

Re:it's a figure of speech (2)

sir1real (1636849) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101478)

This is a common misunderstanding. It's a giant pull switch with the word INTERNET spelled out in big letters on top. You have to break the glass panel that surrounds it before pulling the switch.

Re:it's a figure of speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101536)

and POTUS would have to have someone from Pentagon to break the glass, as he has someone carrying the football (source: internets).

Re:it's a figure of speech (2)

Rick17JJ (744063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101578)

I had visualized it being a toggle switch with a flip up safety cover (instead of having to break glass). The safety cover would be there to prevent someone like a janitor from accidentally mistaking it for a light switch.

In addition to the "Internet" label, a warning sign for visitors would say something like "Please do not flip this switch to see what it does."

Re:it's a figure of speech (2)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102012)

You obviously have no experience of janitors in server rooms.

They somehow feel the need to lift the glass and remove the dust from inside. (Since they don't normally read English, the warning label does not help.)

Yes I did work in the lab where the cleaner unplugged the Vax (mainframe) to plug in the (Vax) floor polisher. Sure there was a sign saying "Only for Vax", but just when you make something foolproof, God makes a bigger fool.

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

monktus (742861) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101974)

That happened to me you insensitive clod! My connection went down for about a day last year and when I checked my ISP's status page when it came back up, it turned out someone at BT had accidentally disconnected them from BT Wholesale while testing a circuit.

Re:it's a figure of speech (5, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101490)

Exactly, the law wants to legalize in the US exactly what happened in Egypt. It will be a series of calls still. Currently though, if the President calls Level 3 and says, stop your series of tubes from flowing, Level 3 may or may not do it, and is not obligated to.

The law would give the president the same power here as in Egypt (with regards to the internet that is).

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102006)

mubarak wielded total power for 30 years, it's not like his system needed a law for those calls. he didn't need any law for anything he did. a sham system for 30 years with disputable beginning and no scripted end.

if there was "need" then obama could do it overnight too, in practical sense though he would need to get everyone else to do what he says to achieve that. he's got direct access to military so _if_ he had good reasons he could cut most of landline internet inside 24 hours(into slowly repairable state) and probably disrupt most american run satellite services too.

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#35106072)

True, but there is a big difference between "Shut down or I will send tanks to your building" and a legal request. It takes a lot more guts to send the military, and tends to provoke the people. When you hide behind the law, it seems more legitimate.

You sure of that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35103216)

You sure of that? Because AT&T went to great expense to accommodate NSA in a wiretap room. Wikileaks was cut off just after a SENATOR phoned Amazon.

What makes you think that "level 3 may or may not do it" will be any less "may or may not" than the ISP's in Egypt did? They weren't obligated to either.

Re:it's a figure of speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35103452)

Ya I am pretty sure that exists already.

I am sure the phone conversation went something like this: "Turn off the internet or you will be getting a visit by the Secret Police."

Do you really think that if President Obama called up AT&T that that would refuse? If Secret Service show up? I am sure it would be phrased a lot nicer, and there wouldn't be an "or else" but it is kind of implied. "For the sake of the children and against the horrible terrorists, you must turn off the internet or people will die!"

The big red button is simply a formal agreement that they will. Its not to say they wouldn't anyway.

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

TafBang (1971954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101518)

I like how this is the Highest rated comment... what's new slashdot.

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

arunce (1934350) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101532)

Like the red phone at White House.

Re:it's a figure of speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101588)

Like the red phone at White House.

Except, of course, the nuclear "hotline" is not red phone at the White House. It's a text line (originally a teletype, probably upgraded now.)

Text? (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102022)

It's a text line (originally a teletype, probably upgraded now).

Probably the nukies have twitter accounts now.

Re:Text? (1)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102128)

Probably the nukies have twitter accounts now. Yea, so once transformed into a flower pod they can tweet: "Not again!"

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101942)

well, it's cool to think that someone has a big history eraser button that's hardwired to do exactly that.

judging from the chaos in egypt, it wouldn't have been a wonder if large parts would have just gone down simply because technicians etc weren't coming to work because they couldn't reach(and the foreign techs were the first to leave and even those who stayed behind are now being evacuated).

the internet killing didn't do much for the protests though, maybe even escalated them, as people who wanted information had to go to the streets to get it. it didn't affect foreign journalism either, lynching of the foreign journalists has done much more to that but they have been able to push reports back to their home offices through the entire happening.

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

Chardansearavitriol (1946886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103256)

Well, yes, they are, but really thats a lot more palatable isnt it? Its a lot nicer to think that we can hold the internet being taken down on a single jackass with an itchy trigger finger. Realising that it takes many many people working in concert to intentionally remove the ability of a large segment of the population from communicating, and realising that that is what just happend, is wholly depressing.

Re:it's a figure of speech (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35104890)

Yeah. If Egypt had turned off all their overseas connections, mass 'net disruptions would've occurred (remember when those undersea cables kept getting severed?).

Instead, Egypt just killed routing for packets destined to Egypt - packets transiting through Egypt were unmolested and send on their merry way. Otherwise significant amounts of connectivity would be lost and there would be far more political pressure on Egypt to restore connectivity.

If the US did the same, it'll be easier since a good chunk of traffic terminates in the US, so the difference between cutting off all outside links versus just blackholing all packets destined for the US is far smaller. And while Canadian/Mexican/Central and South America traffic would be heavily disrupted, I'd guess an overwhelming majority of packets terminate in the US so the difference would be minimal. Though, someone will have to explain to me how the kill switch for the US won't impact US businesses - VoIP/email/etc. are fairly important business uses of the Internet and I'm sure a number of companies would practically shut down...

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101372)

It wasn't a magic button? It was someone in a high position calling someone else in a high position saying make this happen? Really?!

So what happens after the calls? Switch! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101420)

What a stupid, stupid article. The internet just doesn't disappear if you tell it to do so in a stern voice you know...

Re:So what happens after the calls? Switch! (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102036)

RTFA

Re:So what happens after the calls? Switch! (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102444)

RTFA

YMBNH

Glancing at the summary (2)

SquirrelDeth (1972694) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101428)

I first noticed the following two phrases "time it took" and "series of phone calls" the first thing that popped in my head was "WTF they still have dial-up"? Which made me do a double take and read part of the article and waste some time.

Re:Glancing at the summary (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102706)

WTF they still have dial-up

well, how else are the remote administrators supposed to access the routing centers and turn the internets back on?

Hardly matters... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101432)

... when both the intent and result is exactly the same.

Re:Hardly matters... (4, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101440)

What it does mean is that the discussion about a kill-switch is moot. In most countries, only a handful of organizations run international backbones. Just about every country could take the net down in such a fashion.

A literal kill-switch might just work a bit faster.

Re:Hardly matters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101660)

It's not a moot discussion.

legal real kill-switch = the president has the final say.
legal "phone" kill-switch = the "internet people" can disobey orders.
illegal real kill-switch = the president has the final say.
illegal "phone" kill-switch = the "internet people" should disobey orders.

Re:Hardly matters... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102406)

legal "phone" kill-switch = the "internet people" can disobey orders = The police come around, arrest the internet people for disobeying the order and physically pull every cable they can find.
illegal "phone" kill-switch = the "internet people" should disobey orders. = The police come around, beat the internet people, throw them in jail without charge and physically pull every cable they can find.

Re:Hardly matters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35102980)

Thhhhats the America i know!

People assume they have a say in the matter about this whole switch concept .... The US Govt want it, the US Govt get it end of story...

Re:Hardly matters... (1)

kryliss (72493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35105236)

As in anything dealing with the government. It all boils down to, the government has police with guns, the government has the military with guns. You may have guns, but they have more, and when they surround your home/business with enough guns, you will loose. The government also has laws, if a law doesn't exist for their need, they create a law for that need.

Re:Hardly matters... (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101986)

What it does mean is that the discussion about a kill-switch is moot. In most countries, only a handful of organizations run international backbones. Just about every country could take the net down in such a fashion.

In most other countries, even the government would have to get lawyers and judges involved. In most functioning democracies, they wouldn't succeed, except perhaps in wartime.

A literal kill-switch might just work a bit faster.

Mostly because it would remove the role of lawyers and judges...

.., and Democracy.

Re:Hardly matters... (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102770)

In most functioning democracies, they wouldn't succeed, except perhaps in wartime.

Welcome to perpetual wartime.

Re:Hardly matters... (1)

beaviz (314065) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102608)

What it does mean is that the discussion about a kill-switch is moot. In most countries, only a handful of organizations run international backbones. Just about every country could take the net down in such a fashion.

In my country it would go like this:

Head of state dials up a very large backbone provider:
HoS: "Hello, will you please turn off your routers?"
VLBP: "No."
HoS: "Ahem. I don't think I've made myself clear. Turn off your routers."
VLBP: "No."
HoS: "Listen. Either you switch them off NOW or I will make sure that you will NEVER get any business from the state EVER again and I will make sure you get the FULL audit for the last 50 years of accounting."
VLBP: "Ehh... Maybe we could have a little "accident" knocking out all our routers for some time."
HoS: "Thank you. Pleasure doing business with you. Your multi-billion money contract will be renewed next year."

Same result as a "kill switch" - less work.

Obvious? (1)

HFShadow (530449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101464)

Um, duh?

Did we really except Egypt to have organized enough to have a big red button for him to push? A lot of people communicate these days by phone, especially when you can't email them.

Long-term economic damage (2)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101540)

The Government-imposed internet blackout lasted five days, beginning last Friday, and ending on Wednesday.

...and the economic damage will last much longer. What company would want to have its operations in Egypt when it might have its net connection broken for days at the whim of the ruling power?

Re:Long-term economic damage (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102058)

internet connectivity is the least of the worries of the companies with professionals in egypt right now.

the business implications from the internet drop are also minimal compared to the revolt in total, it's not like they could have worked anyways. economically that affect is also quite minimal when contrasted with the fact that cairo is pillaged and looting has been widespread and people are in a general strike, or would be if they had the option of going to work(those with jobs to begin with). "sorry I'm having trouble taking your call because bricks are being thrown at the window".

Re:Long-term economic damage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35103654)

What company would want to have its operations in Egypt when it might have its net connection broken for days at the whim of the ruling power?

Any company that still makes a profit from it. Just because you make less of a profit compared to when everything works flawlessly does not mean that you make no profit at all.

Re:Long-term economic damage (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35105648)

Fear not: Egypt's government has hired Hill and Knowlton to promote the country "as an outsourcing location." Uh, money well spent, I'm sure now that Egypt is a case study in why not to outsource. (source: the US Foreign Agents Registration Act database, which is searchable online. https://twitter.com/Integrilicious/status/31803089807740928 [twitter.com] )

All of this can change if Mubarak leaves and he country really opens up. Give it a few years: a timezone near Europe, a large English-speaking population, and a lot of enthusiasm. Who knows?

Still a killswitch (1)

saikou (211301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101546)

You don't expect that president of Egypt personally was calling providers, do you?
He flipped a switch. A big sign "SHUT DOWN INTERNET NOW" lit up in a special room, and well trained officials called ISPs with instruction to turn off that internet thingie. And ISPs said "Sure, no problem! Done!"
Killswitch :)

Pictures from Egypt (4, Informative)

Skylinux (942824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101558)

Check out these links for some truly cool pictures. These pictures speak to me and show me the pain and suffering of the Egyptian people.
But they are also some of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen because they show people fighting to change their lives.

Feb 03 http://totallycoolpix.com/2011/02/egypt-protests-anti-mubarak-vs-pro-mubarak-riots/ [totallycoolpix.com]

Jan 30 http://totallycoolpix.com/2011/01/the-egypt-protests-part-2/ [totallycoolpix.com]

Jan 28 http://totallycoolpix.com/2011/01/the-egypt-protests/ [totallycoolpix.com]

Re:Pictures from Egypt (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101950)

A friend of mine is over in Cairo covering the protests. He's in the main square with the anti-government protesters, so far he's been gassed twice, bricked once and nearly mowed down by a truck, all while on air.

Re:Pictures from Egypt (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102292)

It's nice to see the Egyptian males out and about.

Re:Pictures from Egypt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35103480)

Steve Ballmer was there

That stone ... three different languages. (2)

niftymitch (1625721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101640)

Oh Egypt... a land where your words were lost but for a small stone
with three versions take heart.

Take pictures, document them. 8.5x11 glossy with a
PARAGRAPH of writing on the back tells us the truth
as you see it. Small pictures well selected are good.

Do not listen to CCN or FOX...
For one that twit Pierce what is his name is getting tiresome in his
bias and bating of "guests". Guests that may now feel
abused and more hostage than guest.

Spam (4, Funny)

talsemgeest (1346555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101646)

In other news, spam out of Egypt almost completely ceased during the internet blackout!

Re:Spam (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35102456)

In other news, spam out of Egypt almost completely ceased during the internet blackout!

In related news, anti-Mubarak protesters were heard shouting, "We want eggs, baked beans, democracy, and spam!"

Re:Spam (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103526)

Don't they prefer eggs, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, democracy, and spam?

Re:Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35102750)

In other news, spam out of Egypt almost completely ceased during the internet blackout!

Too bad the Nigerians couldn't overthrow their government on a more regular basis.

Re:Spam (1)

Frekja (982708) | more than 3 years ago | (#35104366)

Gah. My company's IT security policy is exactly like this: if you can't use your computer, you can't get viruses, right?

http://www.wordpress-freelancer.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35101656)

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Re:http://www.wordpress-freelancer.com (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101726)

I thought I had clicked to disable ads... Clicks the button again repeatedly

Button? More like a hand lever... (2)

cdp0 (1979036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101776)

Stupid people! Why would you think it's a button ?!
It's Egypt after all (Pyramids, Sphinx etc), surely it has to be a hand lever or something similar.

Re:Button? More like a hand lever... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35102322)

I'd prefer some sort of knob. That way, while the Internet could be turned off, we could also dial it up to 11 as necessary.

Re:Button? More like a hand lever... (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35103008)

Or some sort of ancient sudoku puzzle where if you get it wrong poison darts are shot at you or the room fills up with quicksand and you die instantly.

Re:Button? More like a hand lever... (1)

kryliss (72493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35105364)

Nope.. all you have to do is remove a small golden statue off of a pedestal. Weight changes and the pedestal drops.. This will in turn cut off the internet but you had better move out of their fast as the large 50 ton stone ball rolls towards you.

Not real hard . . . (1)

bedouin (248624) | more than 3 years ago | (#35101868)

Since there's only like 3 ISPs here, generally ran by incompetents. TEData I'm looking at you -- specifically.

And if the phone call doesn't work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35102780)

the government can send a tank to your door.

How would you block the tubes with a switch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35102788)

I was always under the impression he used a Kill-Cork.

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