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Why the Internet Needs Cognitive Protocols

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the if-my-toaster-ever-tweets-i-will-throw-it-out-the-window dept.

The Internet 156

An anonymous reader writes "We keep hearing that the 'Internet of Things' is coming – that day when we'll all have not just smart phones but also smart refrigerators, smart alarm clocks, and smart roads and bridges. A new article in IEEE Spectrum magazine makes the argument that this won't happen unless engineers do some serious rethinking of how the Internet's basic routing architecture works. The author, Anthony Liotta, offers some interesting solutions based on two networks in the human body: the autonomic nervous system and the cognitive brain."

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156 comments

Make an internet for Things (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44428883)

That way I can block all those important tweets from my barbecue.

Re:Make an internet for Things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429185)

Bad idea, you may overcook your sausage.

Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

maliqua (1316471) | about 9 months ago | (#44428893)

when the machines rise against us our fridges and bridges will destroy us all

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44428995)

I'm sorry, nobody can tell me why I need these things. I know what is in my 'frig, I put it there. I don't need my stove connected to the net, nor my washing machine, etc.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#44429077)

You may know it. But the NSA doesn't.

You say they are not interested in the content of your fridge? Well, if they are interested in what you eat in the plane, then why should the not be interested in what you eat at home?

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429141)

do you *NEED* a smart phone, do you *NEED* a car do you *NEED* cologne, scented hand soaps, light bulbs, electric stoves, video games, internet, or any number of other things we enjoy in first world countries

no you need food water and shelter, if that is all you have then kudos to you but since i suspect you didn't yell your comment aloud and have it find its way to the internet? I suspect you already have way more than you need.

Is it a value to most people probably not, i think it would be neat, tho i wouldn't pay a premium for it.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 9 months ago | (#44429275)

Some say by 2020 or so, food, energy and water are not a problem anymore. It will be dirt cheap:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEWLjVmweoE [youtube.com]

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 9 months ago | (#44429871)

Food hasn't exactly been getting cheaper...

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 9 months ago | (#44430029)

Thats because energy hasnt been getting cheaper....

There is a reason that all the big food conglomerates are now also big shipping conglomerates.. its because thats where the profit is.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (5, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#44429203)

I want my fridge to know what I have so that I literally never have to think about buying food again. It tracks what I use an orders more. Someone drops it off at my door and I put it back in the fridge. I *can* do all of that manually, but there's no benefit to my participation so I'd rather have the free time and brain power to spend on something else. And the fridge can actually do it better than me, because it can look at use rates and determine if an order for more milk is required today or if it could wait until Thursday when I'll also be out of bread.

And that's just one example with one appliance; I could sit here all day and name more. It's fine if you don't want to do those things, but it's ridiculous to pretend that no benefits exists, and that no one else is interested. Your lack of imagination and/or interest does not define society.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#44429251)

I want my fridge to know what I have so that I literally never have to think about buying food again. It tracks what I use an orders more.

If that works for you, I feel sorry for you having such a boring food plan.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#44429279)

Because having staple foods restocked automatically would prevent me from buying other foods I only want occasionally?

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#44429605)

If you're going to buy food anyway, it's a no-brainer to add some milk to your shopping cart. Indeed, it's less effort than constantly checking your door if some milk appeared that your fridge ordered for you. Not to mention that you generally know if next week you will be on vacation and therefore ordering new milk is a bad idea, but your fridge most likely won't.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 9 months ago | (#44429889)

You think, at least in the first case, that a fully automated system like he envisions wouldn't, at a minimum, know when it's delivered and notify you? It's sending out a notice that the milk needs to be delivered, which presumably connects into a food distributor's system in some way. Why wouldn't the notice that the delivery has arrived be able to be linked in as well?

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (4, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | about 9 months ago | (#44429285)

Put another way, "It's 2013, damnit, how can it be I'm sitting here without toilet paper!"

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#44429451)

Put another way, "It's 2013, damnit, how can it be I'm sitting here without toilet paper!"

You are supposed to use the three sea shells.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 9 months ago | (#44429481)

Just check it before you sit down.

I check every time and I have never been caught wanting paper in my life.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 9 months ago | (#44429617)

Or keep the spare toilet paper in a basket on top the tank.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (4, Insightful)

the phantom (107624) | about 9 months ago | (#44429721)

Or in a sealed baggie in the tank. You wouldn't want a random house guest to leave you without TP.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429327)

And that's just one example with one appliance; I could sit here all day and name more.

And when you completely surrender the management of your daily life to "smart" appliances, you have that much more time to sit and come up with these gems.

Except you will instead be sitting around whining about your grocery provider when they turn out to be just as mercenary and incompetent as your cable, internet and mobile service providers.

Tip: "Smart" appliance mfrs. won't be your friend. They will be selling you out to the company that pays them the most to charge you the most to provide the least service in return.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (2)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#44429491)

Why would I let my appliance choose my grocery provider?

The problem with my cable and wireless providers is mostly related to their monopoly, and to a lesser degree to the capital costs of running such a business. Neither of those applies to grocery providers; there are currently 3 separate provides in my area that offer online ordering and delivery.

But more broadly, if you want to sit here and come up with ways this could be terrible, I'm not going to argue with you. It certainly could be terrible. Look at all the terrible things cars have done for us -- accidents, traffic, pollution, etc. On the whole though, I'm glad cars exist, and I suspect I'd be glad that smart appliances existed as well.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 9 months ago | (#44429593)

Why would I let my appliance choose my grocery provider?

Because, based on current tech trends, it will be totally locked down and unable to order from anyone else? Or, at least, it will take a 30% cut of everything you buy.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429881)

Why would I let my appliance choose my grocery provider?

Most likely, you won't have a choice. Appliance manufacturers and grocery providers will partner up to offer you the short term carrot of deeper integration and "just works" functionality, and then in wield the stick of vendor lock-in.

It is very hard for Grocery Store A to discourage you from taking your business to Grocery Store B, because they don't have many hooks into your grocery-buying. Their best option is to provide better prices and service. Granting them more hooks into your life will be a disincentive for them to give a flying fig what you think about their service. Sure, you could replace your entire kitchen worth of network integrated appliances because you don't like the watery milk they keep delivering. . .

As for cars, I can imagine a world without cars that would be superior in many ways to the one we live in. Can't you?

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429399)

This sounds like a basement dweller's wet dream, an automated system that can allow him the full comfort of civilization without him actually doing anything or face actual people. You could skip all the refrigerator and delivery part and simply have a tube system that delivers goo in all your rooms. If you want green goo, just stick the tube in your mouth and press the green button.

The world does not work like that - at least for most people. Eating out is a common social activity. Trying new stuff and being adventurous in the kitchen is a great past time. Eating is one of the major pleasurable activities in life. To me, your grocery replenishment system could be compared to a hole in the bed where you can stick your dick and a felatio simulation takes place. Handy, but no thanks.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (2)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#44429513)

Exactly what part of having groceries automatically stocked would prevent any of the things you listed. Eating out? Trying new food? Enjoying eating? How does having rice delivered to you automatically prevent you from doing those things?

Does having water delivered to you in pipes prevent you from trying new beverages or enjoying an afternoon on the lake?

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 9 months ago | (#44429533)

The world does not work like that - at least for most people. Eating out is a common social activity. Trying new stuff and being adventurous in the kitchen is a great past time. Eating is one of the major pleasurable activities in life.

How does having more time to actually do that cooking and eating take away from that? Is running all over town to obscure specialty shops to obtain certain new and adventurous ingredients a required portion of that activity?

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 9 months ago | (#44429465)

I want my fridge to know what I have so that I literally never have to think about buying food again. It tracks what I use an orders more. Someone drops it off at my door and I put it back in the fridge. I *can* do all of that manually, but there's no benefit to my participation so I'd rather have the free time and brain power to spend on something else. And the fridge can actually do it better than me, because it can look at use rates and determine if an order for more milk is required today or if it could wait until Thursday when I'll also be out of bread.

All puppydogs and unicorns good citizen! good to see you are of teh correct mindset.

in the grand world of modernia, you will get ads on your refrigerator telling you that you really want Heinz Ketchup instead of that Delmonte crap, Please press yes to order the better ketchup experience!

Multiply that by every item in the fridge, and you too will experience the consumers nirvana.

And as na added treat, your insurance carrier will be very interested in your useage of the contents of that device, as well as your physician.

Mr profplump, your food sensors have determined that you have used a larger portion of food than is healthy - verify if you have guests not sensed by your home protection system that consumed extra food to continue

It has been determined that you are consuming excess calories, Mr ProfPlump. Your refrigerator has entered safety mode, and will remain locked until 5 hours have passed. Notifications have been sent to your Doctors and insurance carrier for adjudication. Sorry for the inconvenience.

In short, NO - Hell NO! A refrigerator or stove or other simple appliance does not need networked. It won't make the devices run any better, and any advantage is easliy nullified by disadvantages. Are you actually naive enough to believe that you wouldn't be targeted by every product producer out there, who will be very very happy to actually document if their food is in the device? Which of course is trivial RFID and weight stuff.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (2)

Score Whore (32328) | about 9 months ago | (#44429705)

I'm surprised that this is what you think having a net connected fridge will do for you. If you actually go look into all the people proposing smart grids and smart appliances, these connected devices are connected so that the central planners can turn your shit off during "peak" usage periods.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

jasax (1728312) | about 9 months ago | (#44429757)

One day we (the Humanity) will be laid back in a bed, tubes stuck deeply into ALL our external holes (the power), several open holes in the skull with HDMI, USB and 100 GB internet links (communication interfaces). Machines will know how to feed us, refill the food stocks, and suck our waste solids and liquids just in time. Then we will "have ALL the free time and brain power to spend on something else" (on interesting stuff, I suppose...).

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 9 months ago | (#44429471)

Let's say your fridge can figure out what you like to eat, how much is in stock, and when and where the stuff is on sale.

"Good morning. There are two english muffins left. Peanut butter is on sale. I have compiled a list of groceries. Please say 'yes' to have them delivered tomorrow morning."

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (2)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 9 months ago | (#44429125)

when the machines rise against us our fridges and bridges will destroy us all

It is a very real concern.

I do not want random people attacking Things.

We already have enough problems with "smart homes" where random people are figuring out how to look at cameras (to identify the home for robbery) and unlock doors remotely.

As more devices are added, how many small exploits are people going to find? Will we hear about the occasional house burning down because some skript kiddie ran the equivalent of: for(every toaster, stove, furnace, grill, etc in the world) { start cooking; }

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (2)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#44429347)

One of the major problems with "smart homes" is that they aren't a commodity and there isn't a standard method of communication or authentication and they aren't subject to wide scrutiny (also that most current versions are not in fact very "smart"). Many of those problems would be worked out if such systems were more common.

Take, for example, early automobiles. They all had different controls in different places. They required different pre-start, start, driving and shutdown procedures. They ran on different energy sources with different requirements and limitations. But as cars became more popular they became standardized, safer, more secure, cheaper, etc. Today cars all have the same major controls, the same security interfaces, etc. There's no reason to think the same process wouldn't apply to "smart" appliance design. (It has already been applied to regular appliance design -- ovens used to vary quite a bit in the arrangement of their doors, heating elements, controls, etc. and just like cars now they're all nearly identical).

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (1)

lennier (44736) | about 9 months ago | (#44430385)

I do not want random people attacking Things.

I think it's actually going to be the other way around.

Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429197)

Fridges and bridges and barges, oh my!

LOL Obummer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44428919)

What about the NSA backdoor? Obummer demands it!!

Internet all the things? (1)

AuralityKev (1356747) | about 9 months ago | (#44428949)

Internet ALL the things!

Re:Internet all the things? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429089)

I accidentally the whole internet.

Natural stupidity, not AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44428961)

Yes, connect everything to the net.
But let's not forget, no authentication, no sanity checking and no way to stop your fridge being turned off and your oven being turned on.

After all, it's worked so well for the nuclear power stations.

Kudos to Belkin for leading the way with their networked mains incendiaries.

Re:Natural stupidity, not AI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429021)

We need people to have cognitive protocols. The internet will just have to wait until people are smart enough to use existing technology (let alone what we'll have by the time the majority of people can use technology safely).

Re:Natural stupidity, not AI (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44429209)

We need more articles filled with sciency words strung together to make word salads so ignoramuses can make money. The only thing I can give the writer of this article for is he didn't put the word "quantum" in any where.

Re:Natural stupidity, not AI (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 9 months ago | (#44429329)

Yeah, it's a dumb article. Who's to say today's routing protocols aren't "autonomic"? I say they are. Anyways, the Internet is far too mature for fuzzy analogies to have anything useful to say about it. If you are serious, allow us to benchmark your implementation and then we will see whether it is a good idea.

None of this needs to be networked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44428963)

What an enormous waste of electricity. So what if I don't have an up to the minute accounting of the contents of my fridge, or the ability to turn the lights off with the press of a button on my phone?

Amen to the routing rebuild, though. When someone at the ISP level in one country messes up a BGP record, the entire world shouldn't lose access to Youtube.

Re:None of this needs to be networked (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 9 months ago | (#44429331)

Waste of electricity? I'd argue the opposite. Modern home automation technologies are largely very power efficient and can be used to set up power-saving routines that are only possible by having a greater awareness of the user's proximity and other environmental factors.

The issue right now is that there are several competing "standards" out there, such as X10, Insteon, and Z-wave, the latter two of which are wireless protocols that are more power efficient than wifi, while making some concessions that largely don't matter for what they're being used to do, while the first one sends small signals over your existing electrical lines. Besides those, Bluetooth Low Energy is increasingly being used to recognize the proximity of the user to other devices (e.g. unlock the door as I approach), and cellular signals coupled with wifi allow the phone to detect when it has crossed virtual geofences that can act as triggers to disable devices you accidentally left turned on at home (e.g. turn off my entertainment center that I accidentally left on when I had to rush out the door).

And I'm just talking about stuff that's doable right now with relatively cheap components. IfThisThenThat (ifttt.com [ifttt.com] ) acts as some awesome glue to make various components such as your phone, your Belkin WeeMo devices, your Phillips Hue lights, or other such accessories play nice with each other. But others don't even need that glue, such as the Canary [canary.is] security device, which is designed to disrupt the home security market (side note: it's in the middle of it's Indiegogo funding, so you can get in for a cheaper price than retail still, despite the fact that it's almost been funded 10x over at this point).

As for the contents of your fridge, I agree that it doesn't matter if you know what they are, but imagine if your fridge could use less electricity by directing cooler air to specific compartments where it knew you had food that needed those temperatures? Many condiments don't actually need to be refrigerated, so it might direct less cool air at them, while directing more of it at the vegetables that you want to keep crisp. I'm a bachelor who hates going grocery shopping and eats out a lot, so I have a near-empty fridge and a freezer that's been empty for a few weeks now, yet it never even occurred to me until I was writing this post that I could have changed the settings of my fridge to save a decent amount of energy.

And turning off lights at the press of a button on your phone is overrated, as you said, but what about doing it automatically? We're not too far away from stuff like Star Trek's ubiquitous, "Computer, lights!" becoming a reality here, not to mention the automated proximity based signals that I mentioned earlier. You can already hack stuff like that together for yourself on the cheap, and there are more and more devices being aimed at end users that are doing things along these lines.

And the Nest [nest.com] ? Come on, don't tell me you think that it wastes electricity compared to the majority of alternatives available out there. It knows when you're home or gone, can be set remotely from afar, and has loads of other smart features built into it.

We're in the future now, and as we have more devices collecting more data in the home, we can be putting it to work in being less wasteful with what we have while also providing us with a more home that is as responsive as we expect our software to be. It's a win-win, and it doesn't involve being able to see a list of everything in my fridge at any moment. :P

Re:None of this needs to be networked (1)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#44429429)

Or an enormous saver of electricity. If my house knew when I left and when I was 20 minutes from being home it could turn off climate control for the entire period I was gone, without any reference to a schedule or the like, and still be at the desired temperature whenever I was present. If my house knew when I was in bed with the lights off it could likewise turn the heat off until 20 minutes before the alarm time set on my phone, or until I was back up and out of bed, again without being tied to a (frequently wrong) schedule. If my house knew when I was gone it could completely power down all of my personal electronics and appliances rather than letting them idle all day. If my house knew when I was gone it could allow the freezer to get to a slightly higher set point than would normally be acceptable, because it would know that I'm not about to open it and let all the remaining cool air out. And of course there's the basic lighting control that ensures empty rooms are not lit and the amount of lighting is varied to be appropriate for ambient conditions and the task at hand.

That's just a handful of presence-monitoring examples; there are many other opportunities for power saving given slightly smarter power distribution and human interfaces. Blindly putting a P4 into every appliance clearly would be a bad time for energy use, but there are lots of interesting things you can do to save power with just a little more information about what people are doing in a building.

Re: None of this needs to be networked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429509)

You all are very clever guys. Useless morons...

Re:None of this needs to be networked (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 9 months ago | (#44429545)

If my house knew when I left and when I was 20 minutes from being home it could turn off climate control for the entire period I was gone, without any reference to a schedule or the like, and still be at the desired temperature whenever I was present.

You can already do this without having to network up every appliance in your house.

Serious Rethinking (4, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#44428965)

Serious rethinking is what people who think they want smart toasters need to do.

I really don't feel the need to see every device under the sun attached to the internet. And I certainly don't want my car being tracked by smart roads and bridges. It's bad enough that they're already using license plate cameras to track us all.

just think of the risks . . . (1)

waterbear (190559) | about 9 months ago | (#44428999)

DRM on home appliances, anyone?

Re:just think of the risks . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429091)

It would be too late when you have a Star Trek type of food replicator...
I hate to see the DRM or licensing terms on food or any goods that could be replicated by by sampling.

Re:just think of the risks . . . (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44429163)

"You have not licensed your replicator to produce chicken soup. Please select either 1. Mealworm-flavored protein muffin or 2. Twinkies"

Re:just think of the risks . . . (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#44429149)

I can just picture it now.

"I'm sorry, Spluggies Brand Bread did not renew their agreement with your Anus 11 Brand Ultratoaster. This toaster does not authorize the toasting of Spluggies Bread."

"Your milk carton has been determined to come from Canada. The Sphincter X73 Megafridge will not permit you to insert it, as there is no cross-licensing agreement with Canada."

I can just see sites dedicated to rooting your shower so you can use European shampoo and conditioner.

Re:just think of the risks . . . (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about 9 months ago | (#44429155)

"If you want to use this toaster for bagels you will need to pay an additional $4.99 licensing fee"

Re:Serious Rethinking (1)

JanneM (7445) | about 9 months ago | (#44429205)

I can imagine a minor use for this kind of thing: Have appliances disclose operating conditions, such as energy used, detected faults and things like that. Our fridge is already doing some cool stuff locally, without a net; it keeps track of when during the day we open it and when we don't, and goes into a lower-energy mode when we're unlikely to open the door for a long while. Makes a noticeable difference in our power bill.

But in practice, any such system will of course be maker-specific, demand a particular version of Windows/OSX/iOS/Android, and be completely locked to a vendor application that is buggy, incomplete and with an UI that is epic in its awfulness.

effect of weed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44428969)

These are people who gets hefty paychecks for some bluesky thinking which results nothing.

Junks.....

Asshats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44428989)

The article is completely stupid and wrongheaded.
The reason we won't have an internet of things, is that it's useless and we don't actually want it. If the internet of things would increase productivity and make money (other than by selling it to suckers) it would already be here.

The reason the internet doesn't work as well as a LAN is because it doesn't have a single monolithic user/owner. Important parts of it are owned and controlled by hostile entities who are in a state of constant warfare against the users and against eachother.

Making the routing algorithm more complicated doesn't fix that.

Re:Asshats (1)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#44429139)

It can't work because it doesn't exist already? Or because you personally don't think it would be useful (without even a passing thought as to how your lifestyle might change if you never had to think about buying food again)?

Are there other developments we should run by you for approval before we continue our work?

Why? (4, Insightful)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 9 months ago | (#44428997)

My 'dumb' router is never going to decide my fridge needs to route through china to send my grocery list to my phone. He complains about the slowness of lookup tables but somehow AI is going to tax routers less?

Is this why he's a professor teaching networking and not a network engineer?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429067)

I actually read this drivel. He obviously has no concept of how routers, switches and the lot work much less the concept of something complicated like cognitive routing, never mind what type of network you'll get if you enabled every wireless phone to route anything.

Lots of dead routes and phones. Our networks are progressing just fine as they are, where they need intelligent routing they get it where they need local routing you get it and as the load type changes we'll manage adapting just fine.

  I've personally written Gnutella clients handling client to client routing tables and I regularly thank god a real network exited underneath with equipment designed to handle it!

Re:Why? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#44429589)

The author does know how they work, he's working on cognitive routing as a professor in the Netherlands.

The article is drivel, however, you are right. Why? Maybe because all he wants to do is work on a topic that is interesting to him, and he needs to find a way to convince other people to fund it.

Re:Why? (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about 9 months ago | (#44429433)

Here is a dire warning [slashdot.org] from 13 years ago about the imminent collapse of the Internet due to routing table growth. Lots of speculation in the comments about IPv4 address exhaustion as well. Clinton was actually still in office then.

Our routers do not need biologically inspired routing algorithms. Our routers do not need AI. Route aggregation, IPv6 and faster hardware will suffice.

Check back in 2026 and see if I'm not right.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429569)

Especially considering IPv6 was specifically designed to support a full blown "internet of things" well into the 21st century.

The routers are overloaded and inefficient because IPv4 space is fragmented and addresses have started to be traded like a fungible commodity - something that was never supposed to happen. This is not something that "cognitive protocols" will solve any better than IPv6 already does.

Smart devices communicate via remote servers (2)

erice (13380) | about 9 months ago | (#44429737)

My 'dumb' router is never going to decide my fridge needs to route through china to send my grocery list to my phone.

Actually, it might. The quick and easy smart device schemes I have seen require that all communication between devices route through an external server. If hosting starts migrating to China and local infrastructure to to short circuit these paths doesn't become pervasive in the mean time, you might very well find that your fridge talks to your phone via China.

Smart Network? Slave Network. (1)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | about 9 months ago | (#44429015)

We already know that adding complexity to the network only leads to more congestion. Why a renewed push down this path? Because some are determined to make data as expensive as possible.

  What we need is dumber networks, at the same time, more flexible networks. the idea that (parts of) the network should be aware of things like the context of a message or network conditions, by drawing loose comparisons from biology is simply a human's attempt to enforce his will upon the physical world. No matter how hard you try, E=MC^2 even if you build a virtualized platform where it doesn't.

Miles over the head (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429053)

I am on internet and routing protocols 4 more thn 0 years..These proffesors are those who plugs RJ45 to Usb ports....

Junk head.....

Do we really need smart appliances? (4, Funny)

NobleSavage (582615) | about 9 months ago | (#44429065)

The last thing I want to worry about is security vulnerabilities overflowing my toilet. I really don't want my refrigerator, toaster, coffee maker, and microwave on line.

Re:Do we really need smart appliances? (1)

profplump (309017) | about 9 months ago | (#44429261)

The fact that your toilet can overflow means it already *has* security vulnerabilities -- you've just accepted them. I don't know why you're assuming the new ones would be worse than the existing ones; if your toilet is capable of overflowing, wouldn't you rather it told you when that happened and tried to turn off the incoming water supply, as opposed to silently flooding your house?

There are certainly *risks* associated with change. But there are also opportunities. Denying the possibility of improvement without even understanding the new risks is pure folly.

Re:Do we really need smart appliances? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429489)

I saw your other comment and wondered why anybody would want their food chosen and delivered for you. Now I see that you are deluded. Toilet overflowing is a security risk? Shit, I guess electricity going out due to a natural disaster is also a security risk.

Stop misusing words. An overflowing toilet is not a security risk unless your shit is clogging the toilet. In that case PEBKAC.

Re:Do we really need smart appliances? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#44429787)

if your toilet is capable of overflowing, wouldn't you rather it told you when that happened and tried to turn off the incoming water supply, as opposed to silently flooding your house?

That never happens. An overflowed toilet happens when you are staring at it, and it got clogged. Rarely will a toilet decide to start flowing things out when you are not around......

Re:Do we really need smart appliances? (1)

maliqua (1316471) | about 9 months ago | (#44429309)

But its a risk i'd be willing to take if my toilet could provide ratings, statistics or feedback on my 'work' there

Re:Do we really need smart appliances? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#44429791)

my toilet could provide ratings, statistics or feedback on my 'work' there

Now that you mention it, that would solve the Facebook problem.

Did you hear? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429121)

Some college students hacked a $80 million super yachts GPS.

Physics is a bitch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429127)

Major Internet service providers around the world are now reporting global latencies greater than 120 milliseconds

Did you know that the speed of light carries information at most 300 kilometers per millisecond? so for a latency of 120 milliseconds, the information can travel at most 36,000 kilometers. The Earth is 40,000 km around at the equator making 45 degrees north latitude only 20,000 km around. Between the two is the vast majority of all internet communication. So the fastest we can throw stuff around a circle that is 36,000 km in circumference is the time it takes light to go 36,000 km. Fancy that. Global latency is bumping up against the universal speed limit.

Surely there will be many claiming neural network mapping or The Cloud will be able to make things faster that the global constant. This is one of them.

In other words:

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, the speed of light, you know
Twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely is your birth
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth

Re:Physics is a bitch (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 9 months ago | (#44429373)

Well, those cognitive routers will license technology from Sirius Cybernetics Corporation which allows the routers to see the future. Since the routers will know in advance what packets will arrive when for which destination, they can figure out the routing in advance, and as soon as the packet arrives, sent it to the right port immediately.

Re:Physics is a bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429761)

You need to devide by two unless you plan on routing all your traffic to that PC next to you all the way around the world.

Better solution. (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 9 months ago | (#44429263)

Offload as much bulk traffic as possible to content-addressible networking. Use packet switching for specific-destination time-sensitive communications, and hash-addressed caches for the 'want this, don't care where from' things like static content. With an IP fallback, in case none of the nodes in range have the requested data.

There. That's just greatly reduced the traffic the internet needs to route, added considerable redundency and greatly enhanced the experience for mobile use by allowing for much more effective caching of static content. Two parallel networks, each doing what they are best at. Packet-switching for low-latency 1-to-1 communications, and CAN for dissemination, static content and publication.

Now I just need to find someone with a few hundred million to invest in new infrastructure to support this thing.

smart refirgerators, etc? Please not this again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429291)

I see it's that time in the yearly news cycle where this stuff comes round again with the predictability of Summer.

No, consumers do not want or need an internet connected refrigerator that orders food and drink itself as it runs out - people like to eat a variety of foods depending on what they feel like that day, this has had a good 15 years to happen and it just HASN'T for this precise reason.

As for a smart alarm clock - why does it have to be "smart"? It's an alarm clock! You set it to wake you up at a particular time! That's all it needs to do ! (Unless you use the alarm functionality on your phone.... in which case - also no sale)

By smart roads and bridges we are referring to computerised traffic flow monitoring and control - it's been in use for years so again no big news.

I call "predictable unimaginative hype / outdated futurology" on this one - the same reason that "smart watches" will fail badly.

Re:smart refirgerators, etc? Please not this again (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 9 months ago | (#44429611)

As for a smart alarm clock - why does it have to be "smart"?

So, when your employer decides they need you at 7am, not 8am, they can just log in and change your wakeup time.

You didn't think this was intended to benefit _YOU_, did you?

Makes little to no sense at all (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about 9 months ago | (#44429469)

How is a "mesh network" (which is typically high latency) going to help latency when local bandwidth is seldom a problem?

This is drivel, makes no sense, and is just a bunch of buzz words thrown together by somebody who has no clue.

Re:Makes little to no sense at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429851)

I don't know if it's drivel or not--I think that's a bit harsh--although I think you raise some good questions.

Having some part of the network be of a mesh nature isn't a bad thing necessarily. Right now it's sufficiently centralized that governments can really muck things up if they want. A mesh network would address some of those concerns.

My basic point (and I think, one of his main points, if not the only one) is that latency isn't the only concern in network structure. I agree that some hybrid (as a poster commented) would probably be ideal.

Professor of network engineering? (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 9 months ago | (#44429561)

"Engineering" means operating in the real world not some academic fantasy land of half-baked ideas littered with buzzwords.

The Internet is not a decentralized network of ad-hoc peers it is a ridgid higherarchical network where the physical path reigns supreme. Even in nature and in brrraaaiiinnns there is higherarchical structure behind all transport of information and material.

The problem with all of the adhoc mesh, self organizing shit is it has all been tried and it mostly sucks, wastes resources and does not scale. You can be clever all you want but all the algorithms in the world have much less value compared with paying someone to run more fiber for a new physical path.

Intelligence is quite dangerous within the network given that humans are currently smarter than machines. When machines start making ASSumptions about the importance of packets each machine assumption becomes something a human can expliot. Intelligence belongs in the peers at the edge where we all have the ability to do really clever things without asking anyone else for permission, without turning the Internet into a "trusted" network and without having to worry about repercussions of the Internet being as "smart" as my fully buzzword compliant spam filter which regularly fails against human advasaries...surprise...

Re:Professor of network engineering? (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 9 months ago | (#44430379)

Actually mesh routing works quite well, it is basically how the Internet operates. TCP/IP works quite well on mesh because it will automatically figure out the lowest cost and the broken paths. The problem is typically with UDP or higher-layer (usually closed-source) protocols that pretend to re-invent TCP on another layer as well as too many technologies are bolted onto the wrong protocols. There is no reason VoIP-protocols couldn't work on TCP other than bandwidth and a bit more processing on either end of the link, but at least you can see the rationale. But when you then bolt on video streaming services on top of UDP (UDP doesn't care whether or not it gets delivered) you end up streaming lots and lots of unnecessary content to dead endpoints. So let's bolt on another Transport Protocol and a Messaging Protocol using the same UDP-stream (looking at you Adobe).

In-house mesh networking (wireless) is physically impractical because you need new wiring and in most cases a single router can handle the load and isn't going to be the problem. It's a solution looking for a problem.

There is no reason we don't have an Internet-of-things other than cost. It costs $5-25 to add "Teh Interwebz" to a device, it costs probably $5/device in development costs for a UI and $5 in support costs. That's $15-45 on a microwave that costs $35 at Wal-Mart. So you're at Wal-Mart looking for another microwave that will die somewhere in the next 2 years - $35 or $80...

Some good ideas, some catastrophically bad ideas (2)

RR (64484) | about 9 months ago | (#44429701)

I find it telling that Liotta (the author from TFA) is not mentioned in any IEEE RFCs, except in RFC 5345 [ietf.org] to say that he makes claims with no real-world measurements. But that's just appealing to authority.

The most troubling part of his proposal, I think, is the elimination of Postel's Law. [wikipedia.org] The Telco-oriented people have been telling the Internet community people all along that what we need is an intelligent network that provides QoS guarantees. The Internet community rejected that, with the result being an Internet that grows in speed and adapts to countless unforeseen applications. Liotta uses the human autonomic nervous system as metaphor, but the fatal flaw is that the human autonomic system has only one brain. The Internet doesn't work with a single controlling entity.

Likewise, his illustration of the Youtube clip is not entirely accurate. Companies like Google and Netflix are making colocation deals [arstechnica.com] with a bunch of the Internet Service Providers, so that most videos don't have to travel through the backbone, Time Warner Cable aside.

There are problems with the current Internet [bufferbloat.net] and projects to redo the basis of networking, [ieee.org] but Liotta's proposals remind me of those fantasy "cities of the future" fiction that I used to read when I was a kid.

Underwhelmed. (1)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#44429745)

Routers could manage data flows more effectively if they made smarter choices about which packets to discard and which ones to expedite. To do this, they would need to gather much more information about the network than simply the availability of routing links. For instance, if a router knew it was receiving high-quality IPTV packets destined for a satellite phone, it might choose to drop those packets in order to prioritize others that are more likely to reach their destinations.

And if a router knew it was receiving packets destined for a competitor's service, it could slow them down a bit and maybe drop a bunch.

What's the point of making every device a router? It's not going to have the bandwidth or latency of a real router. And I doubt there's that much local traffic to justify a mesh system by default. Maybe it makes sense given the P2P culture out there, but I still wonder how much of the local network will have the content you want?

And it's worth noting that the human body consists of highly specialized parts. Only a few cells are actually connected to the nervous system. It's certainly not every cell in the body in some sort of distributed network.

Then there's "MAPE".

One idea, proposed by IBM, is the Monitor-Analyze-Plan-Execute (MAPE) loop, or more simply, the knowledge cycle. Algorithms that follow this architecture must perform four main tasks:

In other words, traffic signals and road signs. While driving, humans don't respond well to sudden changes or warnings. It's not going to end well, if the intersection you're about to cross suddenly is chock full of traffic. Or there's no warning for the exit on your highway, except a sign at the very exit itself.

I just don't see the analogy to the human brain here in any of their examples. It's all rather crude stuff. And what really is the advantage of doing these things at the lowest possible level, over shoveling packets as fast as possible and letting higher layers of logic handle the subtleties of networks?

Semantic protocols are a total joke (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44429775)

What is this? The 1980s again. Didn't the failure of 'semantic' OSes and file-systems teach anything? Semantics should be imposed top down by 'applications', NEVER bottom-up.

The worst aspect of modern Computer Science is how applications are discouraged to the point of being BANNED from informing the underlying OS and resource managers exactly what use of resources would be optimal to the application. Instead, the underlying layers- following the same cretinous logic as this article- have to pretend they are 'psychic' and second guess the needs of any running application.

Trust the system memory-manager, you are told. Trust the OS scheduler. And yet, only the application can truly know how and why it needs to use the memory and CPU processing resources.

There is NO SUCH THING as AI. There is Human intelligence, and the rule sets Humans program into computer applications. So-called AI is nothing more than specific uses of Human derived rule-sets. An NO, having a Human rule-set cause an algorithm to search for specific rule patterns in a database does NOT constitute true AI either.

This does not mean there cannot be algorithmic improvements in the routing of Internet traffic- of course all systems tend to have room for improvement. But dribbled 'ideas' along the lines of "copy the brain- it 'thinks' so that's the ultimate solution" were cretinous in the 1950s, and are just as cretinous today.

PS the PS4 console from Sony, released later this year, allows as much 'to the metal' coding as possible, where the applications (ie., games) DO get to tell the underlying systems exactly how to behave. Top down semantics will allow this hardware to still be competitive in 5+ years time. The 'second guess the user' bottom up pseudo 'AI' semantics that will be controlling memory and thread scheduling on our ordinary computer devices in the same time period will need many times the computer power to even draw equal in performance.

Likewise, at the lowest level, a network should be clean, simple, elegant and neutral. Moronic hacky low level gimmicks designed to target whatever data flow is currently 'trendy' would ruin the network, but for obvious reasons there will always be morons who lack any understanding of the layer model, and propose such changes. Packets should NEVER care what kind of data they are carrying. The rules that control 'frequency' and 'priority' should come from semantically aware higher levels. Higher levels that never need to change the underlying physical design of the network in order to change how the network functions.

The physical aspect of a net should be entirely concerned with more packets at more speed with more reliability. Mechanical syntactical concepts only. And this, of course, is the current state of the Internet There is no value, despite the idiot claims of the author, in choosing to move certain packets 'slowly' (such packets should be issued slowly at higher layers, obviously). And as for bandwidth stealing packets like video, well only the improvement of total network bandwidth can help here, obviously.

Enough already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430007)

Since I haven't lost enough independence, now all I need is 14 year old Eastern Block hackers and the NSA having open access to my HVAC and refrigerator. No thanks Internet, can you go away now?

The premise is nonsensical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44430059)

The Internet's infrastructure strains under the weight of streaming video (something it wasn't designed for), not tiny, infrequent messages from many devices. All the smart devices in my house, and future house, won't come close to using the bandwidth of one Netflix movie, even over multiple years of use.

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