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The Death Of The Open Internet

Hemos posted about 13 years ago | from the looking-into-the-crystal-ball dept.

The Almighty Buck 315

Crackerman111 writes "There's an article up on's The Dismal Scientist that's sort of a follow up to the /. post a few days ago that talked about how businesses want a new profitable internet."

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Am I? (-1, Offtopic)

Mr. Troll (202208) | about 13 years ago | (#2159621)

Am i the first?

Yep, and you win a BJ from the lovely MARGE SCHOTT (-1)

fp_troll_bitch (320424) | about 13 years ago | (#2159628)

lucky, lucky you! It's not everyday prizes like this are given out.

4th (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159623)


Re:4th (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159648)

wow... first time i've seen that 20 second comment limit before.. way to go taco! (and just now hitting that 2 minute limit on posting, too! yeesh)

FTB (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159624)

First Teddy Bear!

This is for Ensign Bear -- Thanks for all the fun!

Well (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159625)

maybe the second internet (internet 2) will replace this one when it's dead.

i can dream!

DAMMIT! (-1, Offtopic)

Raging Idiot (457985) | about 13 years ago | (#2159627)

Slashdot really fucking sucks today! NO, I MEAN IT! Fuck you asshole moderators. Fuck CmdrTaco and Hemos too.

Re:DAMMIT! (-1)

Raging Idiot (457985) | about 13 years ago | (#2159717)

The moderator that modded the above comment up as Funny really made my fucking day.

And he wonders why I said slashdot fucking sucks today!?

Profitable Internet? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159631)

I think actually what they want is profitable COMPANIES. Strange that they are blaming the Internet for their inability to make a profit.

Re:Profitable Internet? (-1)

Raging Idiot (457985) | about 13 years ago | (#2159687)

If I had mod points you would be at +5 insightful in a heartbeat dude.

Already have "Profitable Internet" AOL, MSN, etc. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159765)

This closed, more business friendly internet companies are clamoring for have already exitsted for a long time. These are the AOLs, the MSNs, and so on.

They also don't reach as wide an audience as a free and open internet, do they?

Take your pick.

Re:Profitable Internet? (1)

BlueTurnip (314915) | about 13 years ago | (#2159873)

I think actually what they want is profitable COMPANIES. Strange that they are blaming the Internet for their inability to make a profit.

You hit the nail right on the head there. The whole premise of the article, stated in the opening paragraph is that the Internet went bust, and is somehow dead or dying. Several dot.coms did indeed go bust as they were built on questionable business models. (Spend as much as we want, we'll recoup it all with advertising.) True many dot.coms went bust, and that resulted in a certain amount of unemployment in the IT sector, but the Internet is alive and well and growing every day.

So I must say, I disagree with the basic premise of the article. That said, however, it does make some good points about the Internet with its dumb network, smart terminal model, as perhaps not being the best mechanism for content delivery. I tend to agree. Perhaps we will see two networks in the future: the existing open Internet, and a more intelligent network for broadband digital content delivery. Then we could have the best of both worlds.

This, Is Stupid. (3, Insightful)

BiggestPOS (139071) | about 13 years ago | (#2159633)

This is like Fast Food chains getting together and demanding a new, more business friendly roadway system.

umm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159708)

You actually think that hasn't happened?

Re:This, Is Stupid. (0)

Dark_Cobra87 (413519) | about 13 years ago | (#2159724)

Heh, and post people prefer the old road, still....

Re:This, Is Stupid. (4, Insightful)

Johnny5000 (451029) | about 13 years ago | (#2159744)

Ever read Fast Food Nation?

That's not as far from the truth as you might think.

The fast food chains have changed the face of ranching, farming, meat packing, travel, etc.

The moral of the story is, the businesses who stand to make money from a more business friendly internet have the resources to try to make that a reality.

On the other hand, who would want to use their new crappy internet? The money they're making has to come from somewhere- so New Crappy Internet (I think NCI should be the official name) will cost a fortune to anyone who uses it. Nice.


Re:This, Is Stupid. (1)

lamz (60321) | about 13 years ago | (#2159782)

I wouldn't worry about all this Death of the Internet stuff. It's just the pendulum swinging the other way from "the internet will change the whole world and wash your car for you" hype from the last few years.

Goatsex, digitally remastered (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159635)

It breaks my heart to see this immaculate piece of ASCII artwork constantly degrade in the hands of insensitive crapflooders. Therefore, I have taken the time to restore it to its former glory.

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
g [] [] g
o / \ [] \ [] / \ o
a| | [] \ | [] | a
t| `. [] | | [] : t
s` | [] | \| [] | s
e \ | / [] / \\\ --__ \\ : e
x \ \/ _--~~ [] ~--__| \ | x
* \ \_-~ [] ~-_\ | *
g \_ \ _.--------._____ _\| | g
o \ [] \______// [] ___ [] _ (_(__> [] | [] o
a \ . C ___) ______ (_(____> | / a
t /\ | C ____)/ \ (_____> |_/ t
s / /\| C_____) | (___> / \ s
e | ( _C_____)\______/ // _/ / \ e
x | \ |__ \\_________// (__/ | x
* | \ \____) `---- --' [] | *
g | \_ ___\ /_ _/ | g
o | [] / [] | | [] \ | o
a | [] | / [] \ \ [] [] | a
t | [] / / | [] | \ |t
s | / / \__/\___/ | |s
e | / / [] | | | [] |e
x | | [] | | [] | |x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Re:Goatsex, digitally remastered (-1)

Raging Idiot (457985) | about 13 years ago | (#2159701)

Willum: That's BEAU-ti-ful maaan.

Death of the Open Internet predicted (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159657)

Film at 11.

Re:Death of the Open Internet predicted (2)

Rimbo (139781) | about 13 years ago | (#2159760)

Pretty much says it all, doesn't it?

well uh... (2)

gnurd (455798) | about 13 years ago | (#2159666)

screw them. its as much mine as theirs and i like it the way it is thanks. go sell your balls [] somewhere else.

AOLization (5, Insightful)

zpengo (99887) | about 13 years ago | (#2159668)

An Internet driven by business, for business, would hardly have the appeal of the net as it exists today. It would be nothing but banners, keywords, affiliate programs, and all the other garbage that already makes the web so annoying.

I say, let the businesses have their internet, and watch it crash and burn. If they haven't learned yet, maybe this will teach them.

Re:AOLization (1)

wsloand (176072) | about 13 years ago | (#2159746)

I say, let the businesses have their internet, and watch it crash and burn. If they haven't learned yet, maybe this will teach them.

If you so desperately want business to have "their internet" then what network do you plan to work on?

There are other interests that would support the internet, but it wouldn't be a mass media. Would you like it if only educational, government, and military sites existed? If so then you would be missing out on significant resources that are strictly commercial. I personally enjoy buying movie tickets online. I like the ability to find an out of print book on e-Bay or Amazon that I can't find when I scour 10 used bookstores. There are very nice services that a business-less internet wouldn't have.

Re:AOLization (2)

quartz (64169) | about 13 years ago | (#2159880)

Um, no. If you listen carefully, only content-delivery companies are whining for "smarter" (read: more controllable) networks, so that they can broadcast their crappy reality shows to you with high priority, or sell you e-books that will format your brain after you read them, to make sure you're not copying their precious content in any way. Those companies can go fsck themselves, IMO. I won't miss them.

Banks and shops and airlines can and do use the Internet as it is today, they have no reason to wish for a smarter one.

Re:AOLization (0)

JohnHegarty (453016) | about 13 years ago | (#2159837)

The last time i check AOL proved access to the non-profit, education and even slashdot. Companies like AOL need to add banners and advertising to make a profit. Its not becuase its their idea view of the web.

(OT)sig response (2)

gmhowell (26755) | about 13 years ago | (#2159857)

Damn, you'd think with a URL like that, you'd at least mention Clifford Performance on the page.

A stand needs to be taken (2, Interesting)

Ratteau (183242) | about 13 years ago | (#2159889)

I say, let the businesses have their internet, and watch it crash and burn. If they haven't learned yet, maybe this will teach them.

Sure, it will teach them - teach them to follow us. While their internet crashes and burns, they will see that the new net that we start in its place is thriving just as theirs had years ago. At that point, they will start migrating to our net and demanding that we make changes to accomodate them...

Corporations and governments dont learn from history, just look at the rolls that massive banking/insurance/investment companies played in the 1929 stock market crash and look at those companies comming back today. Their attitude will be, even if they eventually destroy that net, we will have started another for them to loot. This needs to be stopped here. Unfortunately, I do not know how.

Re: This Is Stupid (0, Redundant)

agusus (470745) | about 13 years ago | (#2159670)

Yeah, I can just imagine it...
The Future: All roads lead to McDonalds.

Re: This Is Stupid (2)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | about 13 years ago | (#2159686)

All roads lead to McDonalds.

I thought all roads lead away from McDonalds! (with apologies to Terry Pratchett for adapting his joke...)

no... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159727)

That's sposed to be Taco Bell. They end up winning the fast food wars.

My Theory (3, Interesting)

ziggy_zero (462010) | about 13 years ago | (#2159672)

My theory is that eventually this evolve into 2 Internets. One used by businesses and *maybe* individuals. The other is the existing one that will be used by the Internet underground, or those who cannot afford the New Internet.

Re:My Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159698)

One used by businesses and *maybe* individuals. The other is the existing one that will be used by the Internet underground, or those who cannot afford the New Internet.

But the "new internet" sounds like it's intended more for home entertainment -- multimedia, music, full-length video, etc. -- than business applications.

It seems pointless to design the "new internet" for home entertainment and price it so that it is out of reach for most individuals.

Re:My Theory about dinosaurs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159737)

My theory about the new internet - the new internet will be as wildly popular as new Coke.[*]
This is my theory, come up with by me.

[*] yeah, corporate Amerika is really in touch with what people want, eh?

Re:My Theory (1)

madumas (186398) | about 13 years ago | (#2159781)

My theory is that eventually this evolve into 2 Internets. One used by businesses and *maybe* individuals. The other is the existing one that will be used by the Internet underground, or those who cannot afford the New Internet.

I don't think we can support two internet. Are those two networks separated? If I want the new internet, I will have to continue to pay for the old to visit the "old" sites? Will I have to disconnect and reconnect like I dual boot my OS? If corporations move to the new internet, who will fund the old backbones?

I think the new network will be built on the top of the old one. They're already building it, it's IPv6 with QoS and it should solve most of the issues pointed in the article. The "important" traffic (from big corporations) will use the "new" internet and the last 2 hop will be the same than the "old" internet.

Re:My Theory (1)

ziggy_zero (462010) | about 13 years ago | (#2159847)

I think some sort of new protocol or way of transmitting data will be invented. All you would need to connect to this *new* internet would be a new PC Card (and ISP monthly costs). Yes, it could be dedicated to multimedia stuff, too.

Re:My Theory (1)

morcego (260031) | about 13 years ago | (#2159893)

That is not too far from todays reality.
The first example is the way sites are built. The same time we have sites that are full of banners, flash, java and so on, and sites that are almost plain/text.
The second example is the IPv6 network. If you are connected to it, you will see that it does not have that many companies (greater exception are some research departments), we most sites are educational, research and so on.
And, lets not forget the Internet2 [] project.

In todays Internet environment, we have more then one "Internet", even suposing the Internet ever existed "per se" (Inter + Net).

Death? (5, Insightful)

sllort (442574) | about 13 years ago | (#2159675)

Admittedly the article has a point, but I do not believe that the point was that "the open internet is dying". I think rather that the point is that "the internet is not a pool of liquid money". This is a good thing. The massive influx of commercial interests into what was once a primarily academic network was, to many who used it, kind of like watching a horde of lemmings descend on a garden. Look at all the damage done in the last 5 years! The destruction of the Online Guitar Archive (OLGA) was the first shot in the many salvos fired by the corporations that came to infest the Internet in the battle to dominate what people saw and interacted with on the net. The lack of financial potential may well save us. Without money, would there be a DMCA? Would there be massive RIAA lawsuits? Would we have elaborately engineered "streaming" media formats that don't let you save video to disk? Would we have millions of sites full of crappy fixed-font "Flash" that only windows users with 1024x768 resolution can read?

Down with the commercial Internet. Up with content and open standards. Look at the power of the site you're reading - created entirely with flat HTML. Broadband isn't the revolution. This is the revolution.

Maybe I listened to too much Dead Kennedy's..... (3, Informative)

Auckerman (223266) | about 13 years ago | (#2159681)

I really don't know what these people are talking about. AOL has become very profitable by getting people to pay for "content" along with being an ISP. The model exists. Not only does it work, but it does require the sectioning off of the internet.

Since this is the case, It would be a stretch to say these "Companies" don't realize this. Which makes me thing there must be some other motive behind sectioning off the internet....

Any Dead Kennedys is too much (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159715)

Jello Biafra is a stupid, ignorant wannabe political asshole. His "music" blows.

Re:Any Dead Kennedys is too much (0, Flamebait)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | about 13 years ago | (#2159751)

That makes two of you.

Shut up! Be happy! Take only the drugs prescribed by your boss or supervisor! Remain calm! Sports broadcasts will continue as normal!

The enemy of progress is questions.

I like Biafra's music too. (0, Flamebait)

maynard (3337) | about 13 years ago | (#2159757)

And you know what? Your opinion doesn't make a damn bit of difference. --M

Bad article (1)

xZAQx (472674) | about 13 years ago | (#2159684)

What a depressing peice of trash this was. The usage of the internet is dwindling? No shit. I can't believe the /. crew would find this newsworthy. Slow day? The author of this article gives us hardly any news, just a sort of haphazard substitution for insight that fails wretchedly. Oh, here's a bit of real news: apache lost ground according to the most recent netcraft survey [] . Read it if you're into that, information stuff.

slashdotted text here (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159689)

The Death of the Internet As We Know It
By Wes Basel

08/2/01 12:00 PM ET

With the Internet boom seriously busted, the shrinking cadre of true believers clings to broadband technologies as the last hope. A pure form of this vision would blame the slow rollout of broadband by local service providers as the trigger that initiated the collapse. The problem is that broadband over the existing Internet is neither economically or technically feasible. What began as a deliberately decentralized network to promote the exchange of research ideas and data became a poor network for commercial applications.

The Internet is a dumb network with smart terminals. The network itself functions automatically through pre-determined algorithms of routing and formatting. Once the network is built, there is no internal intelligence required for each transmission. The intelligence of the network is concentrated at the endpoints, the personal computers and servers at the terminus.

For this reason, attempts to bolt the Internet onto less intelligent media outlets in the home, such as TVs, stereos, and cell phones, have resulted in ungainly hybrids. Consumers find such Frankensteins clumsy and inelegant, and requiring too much personal interaction to operate. Adoption of web TV and other such services has been disappointing. Wireless Internet services have also been a nonstarter with U.S. consumers.

Furthermore, the capacity of the Internet is still far short of being able to beam video-on-demand and other such broadband ideas to a significant portion of U.S. consumers. The Internet was designed for text delivery. As a basis of comparison, digital e-books require a few megabytes storage space, music CDs are 650 megabytes, while video DVDs are 8.5 gigabytes. So even if there is 80% unused capacity in the current Internet backbone, it is too small by a factor of 100 or more.

Finally, the decentralization of the Internet and thus lack of control by any group of operators promotes its lack of reliability and responsibility, even as it promotes the high pace of innovation. On this non-intelligent network, security is dependent on the end-user, and thus subject to the vagaries of system administrators and amateur home networkers. Consumers and copyright holders alike remain rightfully cautious of letting loose too much data onto the net, as there is no reliable method for tracking its dissemination and use. Viruses are easily written and released, and unwanted email and privacy intrusions are difficult to prevent.

Economically, the difficulty in assessing tolls for distribution drove the Internet backbone into commodity-status. Operators compete primarily on price, since they have no method for guaranteeing quality. The result was a business with very high startup costs and low margins, the opposite of a desirable outcome.

By contrast, the telecom network is the opposite: a smart network with dumb terminals. The intelligence and thus control of the network is contained in the switching technology, allowing the operator to ensure and contract a given quality of service. This allowed the pre-breakup AT&T to promote their famous "Five 9s" performance, 99.999% reliability. The ability to control access and routing also allowed higher margins, and thus profitability, despite the high startup costs.

Changes to the net are already under way. Cisco and its competitors are designing new switching technologies, allowing greater control of the pathway. Business uses concentrate on virtual private networks and other methods for secure, high quality internal company nets. Consumer initiatives are focused on authentication and identification schemes operating on the existing Internet, and proprietary satellite or cable delivery technologies. Thus, the Internet is evolving into a smarter network, which will allow easy access by dumber terminals.

The portion of any network that provides the most profitable business opportunities is the intelligent portion, because that is the portion generating control and thus allowing pricing based on quality. In the telecom age, the prime monopoly arose as the network provider, AT&T. In the Internet age, the prime monopoly was the gatekeeper to the PC, the Microsoft operating system. Now as we move to a smarter network again, Microsoft is trying to move their operations onto the network.

With the network getting more intelligent, high-quality end-to-end connections become a possibility. Workable consumer and business broadband services could result, although the capacity constraint remains. Such services would not require a universal operating system and associated software understandable by all the end-users, rather it would be more efficient to design the link-up and download software independently for each application.

The plethora of development tools and consumer services offered with the latest versions of Microsoft operating system upgrades is a direct response to this movement. The development tools that make up the .Net initiative put Microsoft directly at the center of the application delivery process. The consumer identification routine built into Windows XP, called Passport, makes them the gatekeeper at the end point, as well.

If successful, this strategy would make Microsoft the monopoly network provider of the next decade. Whether it would be more beneficial for consumers and the overall economy for this monopoly to be averted, or allowed and then regulated, is an uncertain public policy question. Uniform standards would promote the development of such applications and thus be an unqualified good for the economy. Yet, the potential for non-competitive pricing practices is large.

Furthermore, the total loss of the open Internet would seriously dampen innovation. An open, decentralized network, placing the intelligent components directly into end-user hands, has been the ideal model for innovation. Even in the telecom age, most of the major innovations actually occurred from the usage of the telegraph, which in its early stages was a very unintelligent network with very intelligent terminals. Wire news services, stock ticker tape, wire funds transfers, intercontinental cables, all arrived before the telephone system. It is likely that some small part of the open Internet will survive, if only among the technically literate, but a renewed level of public and research support may be desirable to maintain this modern engine of innovation.

If it isn't broken, don't fix it (5, Insightful)

leereyno (32197) | about 13 years ago | (#2159691)

I think it is really funny how some suits are complaining that the internet "doesn't follow economic laws." Think about that for a moment, if we discovered something that didn't follow the laws of physics, we'd quickly go back to the drawing board because it would be obvious that our understanding of physics was flawed. Not so with business types I guess.

The greatest strenght of the intenet is its decentralized nature. It reminds me of the form of govenrment the founding fathers tried to create, one where no one person or group had too much control and anything that one group did could be countered by the others.

So now some suits don't like the fact that they can't exploit people online they way they have been able to do traditionally. Well boo fucking hoo. There is plenty of money to be made online, just look at Amazon or Ebay.


Re:If it isn't broken, don't fix it (4, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 13 years ago | (#2159756)

I think part of the issue is that of control. Companies like to know that they are in control in the end results, like a dictator. The internet is not like that and it scares them.

Other things which are worth noting is that, while I don't have any figures for this, the number of dot coms going bust is probably around the same for any number of real world business in the same geographic zone, ie world-wide. Another is banner ads and the complaint people don't click on them. Heck, nobody clicks on adverts in a paper magazine, so how an earth can they say that the final response rate is any less?

This goes back to the orginal point, a company will try to adapt the market to their own ends, if they can't then they will complain that the environment is not tailored to their needs. Life is chaos, and if you can't stand the chaos, you are better playing elsewhere, IMHO.

Re:If it isn't broken, don't fix it (1)

thud2000 (249529) | about 13 years ago | (#2159769)

Well, maybe just eBay. Amazon isn't exactly awash in profit.

Re:If it isn't broken, don't fix it (4, Interesting)

gmhowell (26755) | about 13 years ago | (#2159887)

Before discussing laws of economics, let's remember that most business types think that the DJI is the economy, or at least an indicator of it. That's wrong. Just plain wrong. Many of these people forget that the science of economics is generally the study of margins. Perhaps even more importantly, most economic assertions are based on several assumptions, many of which are 'broken' on the internet.

If anything, the internet opens a wonderful world of the study of applied or real-world economics. One of the failings of economics is the assumption of complete or total information. IOW, each party in a transaction has complete knowledge. In the real world, this doesn't, or rather, didn't, exist. With the internet, each party in a transaction does, or at least, can, have all the information they want/need. This is the chance to study that assumption, and see if it is valid.

Subsidies (2, Interesting)

swordboy (472941) | about 13 years ago | (#2159693)


While businesses may want a profitable internet (they *are* businesses and thus exist only for profit), the bulk of consumers do not want to touch anything to do with online commerce. Sure, they will pay their AOL bill every month, but unless your dishing out pr0n, you'd better think of a real, fail safe, free method of getting the cash from the consumer to the businesses.

Hell... I considered myself exempt from such blind thinking but then I rec'd a message from the CEO of stating that their customer database was breached by a hacker and that my card may have been exposed. Gasp...

Re:Subsidies (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159738)

Meanwhile, learn to close your tags.

Re:Subsidies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159791)

fix your tags...
You're scaring my grandma!

Re:Subsidies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159876)

It wasn't a hacker. It was a cracker, who was exposing flaws in egghead's existing security system.

Self-normalization (1)

lavaforge (245529) | about 13 years ago | (#2159696)

A push towards a corporatized internet will only lead people to find other means of communication. Who wants to take bets on when every geek house has a wireless tower on top of it?

yeah well.. (3, Insightful)

WickedClean (230550) | about 13 years ago | (#2159702)

It is much easier for an 'internet business' to be profitable if they ACTUALLY SELL SOMETHING!! People are finally figuring out that nobody clicks on banner ads, and so advertising revenue is down.

Think about it, advertising on the net is unique in that it is integrated within the content. the closest thing would be magazines where the ads are mixed with the content, but most magazine ads are on their own page.

In radio, you listen to a song, hear a commercial, then another song. They don't stop in the middle of the song to tell you about McDonald's and then play the rest of the song - but that same principle is what internet advertisers are wanting to do.

Bottom line is advertising on the net just does not work very well, especially pop up ads.

Has anyone seen the pop up ads that appear just a bit too far to the right, out of the screen area, so that the maximize button is on the edge of the screen. If out of habit, you click the top right of the pop up window, you will maximize it rather than close it. Sneaky, sneaky.

The Guerilla Net (4, Interesting)

Nihilanth (470467) | about 13 years ago | (#2159705)

I don't know if L0pht Heavy Industries (now part of @Stake consulting) still maintains this project, but they used to host technical writeups of their progress on establishing a "guerilla" wireless network using radio waves. The "nodes" or transmission stations were designed to be inexpensive and expendable (in case they were siezed or destroyed by the authorities), and were able to acheive some semblance of Windows Networking at speeds comprable to (last i checked) 9600 baud modems. Its been a while since i kept up with it, but it seemed like a viable alternative if "the worst happens" to the internet. Sure, it wouldnt be fast, you wouldnt be able to play quake through it, but it would be free, unmoderated and uncensored.

Granted, implimenting this would seem a bit rash now, but its an interesting thing to be aware of, that it would work. Keep the plans in a glass case with the words "break open in case of fascism" printed on the front..

The Open Internet (0, Troll)

K45 (207177) | about 13 years ago | (#2159710)

Love it or leave it.


huh? (1)

jaiteend (410415) | about 13 years ago | (#2159711)

okay, so the article is saying that business doesn't like the internet because no one organization controls it? (or more to the point, MY business doesn't control it.)
okay, so a bunch of people are getting together and making "smarter" equipment so that the internet doesn't need to be so darned de-centralized anymore and "we can reliably promise our customers the best internet experience possible".

if business doesn't like it, well zerbert on them. that's the beauty of this network. if you don't like it, put up your own and maybe hook it up to the rest. and people will see how your network is better, or marketted better in any case, and you will be in control.

there ya have it. bringing old school ideas (making good product and good advertisements) to new school technologies. because the idea of bringing out the lawyers (modern day equivalent to calling for mommy) isn't going to cut it in this playground.

Death of the open internet predicted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159713)

film at 11.30, right after death of the internet
film (2, Informative)

4n0nym0u$ C0w4rd (471100) | about 13 years ago | (#2159716)

OK, this article claims the "open" internet is dying......but as I carefully scan through the article the only actual information besides what is wrong with the internet today is "Cisco and competitors are already designing smarter switches". Now can anyone explain how having intelligent switches that control the path of data better will "kill" the open internet. It doesn't seem to me that just because data will flow more efficiently the open internet will die. Hell, they don't even explain what the "closed" internet is and how it will come about....overall a losy article that is extremely short on facts to support it's position. (1)

telbij (465356) | about 13 years ago | (#2159870)

I think the idea is that smart nodes can filter the traffic. At best this would mean fast loads for company information that was paid for, and slow loads for old school free content. At worst they could drop any unpaid packet.

Find-Replace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159725)

Find: "terminal" Replace with: "user" the article makes sense

Minor editing change... (3, Funny)

Robber Baron (112304) | about 13 years ago | (#2159731)

Thus, the Internet is evolving into a smarter network, which will allow easy access by dumber terminals.

Uhhh...shouldn't that be dumber users (hopefully with shiny new visa cards)?

News Flash (0, Flamebait)

Johnny Starrock (227040) | about 13 years ago | (#2159734)

"businesses want a profitable internet"

Businesses exist to make money. It's stunning how few people seem to understand this.

Several networks? (1)

daanger0us (473406) | about 13 years ago | (#2159745)

I know there is freenet, but has anyone actually thought of/proposed several networks for this? Something like your pornnet, biznet, pubnet, schoolnet, etc?

The net isn't stupid, it's differently robust (5, Informative)

isdnip (49656) | about 13 years ago | (#2159747)

The author seems to buy in to Isenberg's "stupid network" hypothesis, which is a good one for Isenberg's rubber-chicken business but not terribly accurate when taken literally.

The telecom network isn't more "intelligent" than the Internet. The Internet has many times more CPU power than the phone network: A phone switch needs a little CPU time to set up a call, while a router needs a little CPU time for every packet. But Bellcore back in the 1980s coined the term (trademark?) "Intelligent Network" to refer to their architecture for using outboard processors and Signaling System 7 to supplement the feature capabilities of AT&T (now Lucent) and Nortel switches. Isenberg correctly notes that the Internet is different, so he called it the Stupid Network, which is correct as an antonym but not literally accurate.

What the phone network offers (and does amazingly well on) is Quality of Service (QoS), which is a measurable set of performance metrics. The Internet was designed specifically to not use QoS; instead, it shares its resources on an as-available basis with all comers. This is called "best effort" but that's a euphemism for "no particular effort".

Trouble is, people are overloading the Internet with services that really want QoS. Now a decade ago, the telecom industry was foreseeing a way of doing that using Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), a protocol that offers selectable QoS. But the Internet got commercialized and caught on instead. ATM became relegated to a niche technology (it's most widely used inside ADSL networks) but the global ATM network that had been foreseen never happened.

So now people are looking to the Internet to do all the things that it was designed not to do! I don't mean "not designed to do". MPLS, for instance, is the latest saviour-designee, but it can even be implemented as ATM! (Doesn't have to be, though.) So we're back where we were a decade ago, only we have to wave an "Internet" wand over everything or it won't sell.

The problem with ATM, btw, was that nobody figured out a good price model. QoS costs money to provide. When you provide QoS with an "Internet" label, it will still cost money, and the price problems will still exist.

And the nice thing about the real Internet, the one that carries data, Slashdot, Morpheus, non-real-time file transfer, SMTP mail and lots of other good things, is that its insensitivity to QoS lets it, well, ride on top of whatever's out there. It can be hidden in tunnels, treat censorship as damage and route around it, and survive all sorts of abuse. So I don't think that the "walled garden" folks will be able to kill off our Internet. Hell, if they take their shameless streaming commerce and its fans who think of it as "channels" with them, the rest of us will still get by just fine. Or, more realistically, we'll have more, not less, choice. Because the real Internet won't die.

Re:The net isn't stupid, it's differently robust (1)

beddess (91414) | about 13 years ago | (#2159829)

there are still other problems with atm if i recall correctly. the europeans wanted 32-byte cells so they wouldn't need echo cancelers because they'd keep the latency lower. and the us wanted 64-byte because they already had the echo cancelers. and the actual 48-byte size doesn't help either of them.

A commercial "internet" (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | about 13 years ago | (#2159754)

This is the most horrible thought imaginable.

Why? After all, the "free market" is what people crave. (Actually, people are only -told- they crave it. The "free market", as invented by the French, has had almost no long-term effect. The old trading Empires have simply been replaced with new trading Empires. Standing still isn't progress.)

The problem with the Internet, however, is that the Corporate Sector never paid for it. Nor did they design it. Nor (for the most part) do they run it. Nor could they, as it stands. It requires far too much cooperation, openness and integrity.

What the Corporate Sector wants is a free lunch. Or, at least, a free launch. A new way to sell their junk and tripe, without any of that R&D nonsense, and without any bills to pay.

If this happens, what -WILL- happen IMHO is that serious "Internet" users will find ways to migrate onto Internet 2, or some comparable tripe-free network.

And, what will happen then is that all the Domestic Users at Home (DUH) will decide that the Internet has lost all the good stuff, and they will switch over to some (inevitable) ISPs that serve this new, high-speed network.

Once that happens, of course, the prawn-merchants and the advertisers will drop the old Internet, and switch to this new, exciting service, where they will get to plague humanity all over again.

Of course, when they do that, the high-power users will complain that their new ultra-expensive networks are too slow, and they'll go and build an even faster one. At THEIR expense.

And, so, the entire cycle will repeat. Endlessly and stupidly.

The high-power users don't -really- need a faster network. They need to have all the advertisers and prawnographers deported to the Andromeda Galaxy. That'll improve network capacity by more than enough.

Advertisers and Web Crawlers are the ones -really- killing the Internet. I've seen guesstimates which place the total bandwidth eaten by banner ads plus web search engines at around 65% of the Internet's capacity.

Sending those BSE-rejects into deep space may well be the only hope humanity has of survival. I only hope it's not too late.

Ahhhhhhhh! (2)

Uttles (324447) | about 13 years ago | (#2159758)

This article is scary. The author actually says the internet is a dumb network with smart terminals. It's true, the internet itself isn't the most complex thing, but you know what, there's brilliance in that. I think that's why it's so successfull. People like a simple, efficient system that they can use and have some control over.

The best analogy to this is the highway system, especially in cities. The internet today is like the open road, whereas a tightly controlled network would be like the subway system. Most people prefer the open road, I know I do, unless there's just so much traffic that driving makes no sense at all. Roads are simple, they are pavement with a few signs and lights (routers.) You can put just about any traffic on them, some more annoying than others (like 30-something females standing about 5'2" driving Ford Excursions...) People like to drive because they can control what's going on, or at least they get that feeling. People like to have the internet be simple so that they can enhance it as they prefer, not as some company dictates. The subway on the other hand, it has restricted traffic, subway cars. They only go certain places, but they go there quickly and usually on time. It's very convenient, but only when you need to specifically use the subway, IE go to one of it's specific stops. The range, or scope of the subway is therefore very limited, similarly to the way a coroporate restricted network is.

Anyway all this babbling is really just me trying to say: please don't change the internet, I like it just fine the way it is, I want to be able to drive, thanks.

The Internet as a social system (3, Interesting)

Grokopen (35265) | about 13 years ago | (#2159761)

What I am disappointed by is that many people ... both in the business world and outside that world ... can't see the Internet as a social system. What do I mean by a *social system*? Towns are a social system. So are cities, regions, and nations. Families, schools, workplaces, etc., are social systems as well.

In social systems like cities, regions, etc., mechanisms that allow for commerce and profit-making are A PART of the larger social system. Ie, commerce is a subset of the larger (super-)set of society. Profit-making is one of many things that are a part of social systems. Friendship, education, conflict, cooperation, etc., are also parts that make of a social system.

The Internet AS IT IS can accomodate commerce. In fact, the freer (in the free speech and not the free beer sense) the exchange of information is ... which you would get in a non-big-business dominated Internet ... the better a social system like the Internet lives up to the idea of a marketplace ... where there is free (again, in the sense of minimal restrictions and not free beer) exchange of goods and services.

But just as commerce is a subset of other social systems, commerce should be seen as a subset of the Internet as a social system. Commerce should not dominate and become the be all and end all of the Internet. You can't hope to have a vibrant and viable social system like the Internet if it was solely made up of commercial interests.

AOL is a good thing! (1)

Victor Tramp (5336) | about 13 years ago | (#2159762)

it keeps people who don't belong on the internet off of it! and they want to proprietarize their network or access methods? good! go for it! the further removed the masses are from the internet, all the better for research..

what really gets me about this article is how it says that the internet was great for the research community, but terrible for the commercial community.. well DUH!!! who do they think makes the commercial world possible?? RESEARCHERS!! and what is good for one is not necessarily good for the other..

inertia makes the world go 'round, not money..

Science is what advances technology, not marketing!

alas, no use.. there will be war between noblemen and businessmen.. go nietzsche..


Sucker punch (1)

decesare (167184) | about 13 years ago | (#2159763)

The author basically says in the first 10 paragraphs or so that the current Internet hardware/software infrastructure simply isn't capable of supporting some of the more bandwidth-intensive applications (video-on-demand, smart devices, web-browsing cell phones) that some business-people have dreamed that it could support, and that the so-called smart devices (like interactive TV) haven't really taken off yet either, because they are too unwieldy to use. OK so far, but nothing I haven't already heard or read elsewhere.

But, he makes a very clumsy transition and uses three of the final five paragraphs in the article shilling for Microsoft, describing how the white knights at Redmond were riding in to save the day with Passport and .NET. How M$ is going to contribute to the infrastructure side of the equation is left as an exercise to the reader's imagination, I suppose.

In short, I know is not geared to techies, but it's not a very good article, just the same.

Bussiness and Anarchy (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 13 years ago | (#2159768)

I understand that business needs security, speed and reliability to make profit. The internet doesn't provide any of those, that is true, but at least it is there *now* and that is why it is used. (Again they start about that video-on-demand-stuff, never understood that, but I disgress)

So do we need more control by companies, less freedom on the internet?? (well, I knew the pre-web I saw the changing). I don't think so, but coudn't it be possible to gradually upgrade all the internet connections (takes time, I talk long term) so that speed is guaranteed? This for the technical (hardware side)

Now comes the more interesting part: I want coexistence. The internet as we know it and the one companies wish. I think it could be done (but then I'm not a network specialist) So implement a "network" (virtual of course) on TCP/IP that does QoS and encrypts everything that is transferred. How it could be done, I have no idea, but there are bright people around. Usual internet traffic can go on, but for the "uber-network", you pay a small extra fee to access it (and the companies could pay too...after all we have to finance the hardware upgrades described above), which makes life better for everyone. Companies can do business on a firm base, and we can meddle around posting on /. and surfing for p0rn, not that I do that ;-)

Silly Perhaps (2)

EXTomar (78739) | about 13 years ago | (#2159776)

Imagine in how a bunch of people where saying "the phone system that is out there isn't friendly and profitable to business so we need to change it!" Any company that steps out in pulbic and claims this is nutty and so is trying to the same thing to the Internet.

Companies need to stop treating the Internet like content controled media like TV and Radio. It might be possible for things like AOL and MSN but out on the open Internet? Thats as crazy as checking everyone's phone to make sure they aren't talking about how to download "illegal" mp3s.

You can make money on the Internet just not the easy way these guys want it to be.

The War is coming. (3, Insightful)

telbij (465356) | about 13 years ago | (#2159789)

I don't think it's a safe assumption that the Internet is not a money-maker and that it fundamentally wants to be free. Certainly we would all like to stick with our traditional Internet values, and enjoy a free and giving 'net.

Everything that the free Internet does and facilitates is in direct contradiction with our economic ideologies (at least in the US). The rapid rate of technological innovation has our traditional capitalism busting at the seams. The only thing that holds it together is the massive power of corporations working with legislators to promote huge amounts of new legislation that protect companies' rights to make money for anything.

While this country's ideologies were based on personal freedom, and the separation of church and state, I think that those values are not enough in today's society.

I think a new world leader is likely to emerge in the centuries ahead with ideologies based on the separation of state and business. Think about it, the free market is a wonderful ECONOMIC tool. It provides unequaled productivity and efficiency. However, it does NOTHING for GOVERNMENT. The government should be there to set down the ground rules, things like environmental protections, and anti-trust laws.

Corporations as citizens is an alarming concept. It promotes the idea that business has the RIGHT to make as much money as possible. That is utter BS... the free market should dictate how much money can be made, and the government should dictate how far companies can go to sell their products.

The Internet is a reflection of people's needs to be free and have a realm of expression outside the control of big business. Let companies do what they will to squeeze every cent of profitability out of the Internet. I think the end of American greed-based capitalism is on the wane.

Re:The War is coming. (1)

telbij (465356) | about 13 years ago | (#2159808)

end = era

Ignorance is Bliss (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159792)

To paraphrase the article 'because the BACKBONE was built to do nothing but shift data, no one can make REAL money doing it, because it is a comodity.'


The scary part is, changing the basic way in which data moves across the network is in no way going to solve this issue. proponents of MPLS would have you believe otherwise, but the bottom line here is, unless you are going to force consumers to have a dedicated device for all the functions that a PC gives in one box, the edges are not going to get dumb, and let the networks have control over them again. To even suggest that we should go back to an 'appliance' level of sofistication in our technology simply because carriers can not shift thier strategy from the 'network is in control, you are all at my mercy' view is typical of an old time phone codger.

While this viewpoint is becoming increasingly common amongst telco execs who rode someone elses IP network into the 'internet' business, (after all, we ALL tend to equate the unknown to it's rough equivelant in our known universe), the fact remains, if you want to setup a toll booth on the network, you have to build in the access technologies to control it.

going back to a 'circuit switched' methodology (which is basicly what MPLS is going to give you) for figuring out how much to bill is not going to save you from the folks that figured out that the core of a network can NOT ever be congested to the point of dropping data, only the edge of the network is. In which case, you need a means to selectivly drop traffic based on whatever metric your marketing droids can come up with.

Strangly enough, this technology already exists and has been deployed by several of the newer carriers, and at least one of the 'old boys' is moving in the same direction.

Amazingly, it will not require them to change thier backbones at all, and will enable all those 'extra' services that telco-types point to as the big money makers on the voice business.

(so this article is basicly an un-informed rant , IMHO)

Can we translate this into telco terms, so even the densest bell-head 'gets' it? Sure! Just for example (and I know these don't equate 1:1, but this isn't an analogy, so much as an example of how the phone company makes money off you, and how an IP Provider could make the equivalent moneys)

Personal network based firewall = call waiting
optional network address translation = outsourced PBX service

the list is obviously endless of all the applications you can support, if your edge is smart enough to deal with it.

A surprising thing (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | about 13 years ago | (#2159794)

You know it's aways surprised me, esspecially after reading articles like this that there are things the providers have not already done. (Disclaimer: I am NOT promoting these ideas nor do I sugguest ever using them, in FACT please Don't). If the providers want to control content, and delievery, how come they give out real world IP's? They would have much finer control, if the cable modem nets, and home DSL nets were basically giant NAT networks, use one real IP hide the users behind it with private IP's they can get on and interact with the internet(Basic Dumb user happy), the compnay can control what flows on their net(Ie. Good bye servers, and other bandwidth hogs). Then they could charge a higher rate to get a real IP(more Yes infact please more) to the people(Like us) who want real world access, and know Yes we will run servers, no we really are not interested in your extended services, we know how to do that ourselves, and yes we are probably going to take up more bandwidth, please segment us off the main router so we don't slow down the causal browsers. Just a thought.

Missing the point (1)

gelcaps (251461) | about 13 years ago | (#2159801)

This isn't about the failed dotcoms, that was a big bust because of overinflated IPOs and business models built on untested assumptions.

The concern now seems to be reworking/replacing the internet with something that's more suited to delivering content to dumb terminals such as set-top type boxes for streaming video, applications for cellphones, etc. It seems that adapting phones to the web just isn't working, and well, the unpredictable delays/latency in streaming video must not be very impressive to shareholders.

This doesn't worry me in itself... i only worry that Big Business wants to eliminate what they feel is unnecessary traffic (p2p apps/ftp/irc/etc) so as not to impede the flow of profit-generating activity. That's what scares me.

Gotta look at this proactively (1)

putzin (99318) | about 13 years ago | (#2159804)

I don't think we can get away with no corporate involvement or change. Sorry, but the world works based on corporate money. The upside is that they have the money to do things. The downside is that many daily decisions are made by a small cadre of white male republican technophobes. But I don't think that it is the death of the internet, or the impetus to turn away all corporate involvement.

Bascially, we are going to need the corporate investment to continue doing what we love. Many of the sites and the activities netizens do every day are only possible because a large check backs them up. Can I afford to run a large website with lots of content and bandwidth making less than $100G's and having to live as well? Think not. However, the collection of individuals who would be loathe to give up the freedom that the current system offers is hopefully large enough to avoid a total loss to blind corporate interest. Gotta find a balance here folks. Change is un-avoidable, but we need to remember that we have some ability to regulate that change. We need to exercise that ability when it is called for.

Avoid A War! (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | about 13 years ago | (#2159809)


Even if the businesses did try to implement this, they would still get huge resistance from the private owners of infrastructure who are in-the-know. This would have huge legal costs, and would only cause headaches in terms of standards, reliability, routing, legal restrictions, etc.

The businesses (who undoubtably have huge financial reserves) should just wire their own internet. It would be supremely expensive, but they would greatly benefit from owning all the infrastructure, implementing their own protocols, routing tables, etc. And of course Earthlink, AOL, MSN and such would transparently wire up all their lusers to this network, while leaving all of us in peace. We could still buy an account for it if we wanted, but that should be our option.

That way, the businesses would 'own' their 'own' internet for their own purposes, avoid battles with free speech advocates, EFF, slashdotters, etc, and not make enemies because they would be acting at least somewhat intelligently.

That's just what I think, anyway.


How to make profits on the Internet (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159810)

1) Figure out your all your costs: Raw materials and/or the wholesale price of the item you're selling , server space and bandwidth, salaries, finance charges, electric bills, you name it. For the Stanford MBA in the audience, by "costs" I mean "money that you have to pay to someone else". Call this number "a"

2) Figure out how much revenue you'll generate by selling your product. Again, for the Stanford MBA, "revenue" is "money that someone else pays you". You can figure this out by applying an advanced mathematical technique called "multiplication". Multiply the selling price of your product by the number of units you expect to sell. There are calculators and computer programs to help you with this if you have difficulty. Call this number "b".

3) Compare b to a. If b is greater than a by a large enough amount that you'll make significantly more than just putting your capital in a savings account, you're in good shape. If a is greater than b, you're screwed. Find some way to decrease a or increase b. Do this before you start your business. If you can't do it, the business model is uneconomic. Give it up and think up something else.

This appears to be a bit harder than the alternative: selling $10 bills for $1, then blathering about "failure to abide by economic laws" when the business fails.

Must .. have .. details.. ! (1)

sparkane (145547) | about 13 years ago | (#2159816)

Can anyone comment on the changes that are supposedly taking place in Cisco software to make the backbone less dumb?

While corporations' desire to take control of the internet is obviously nothing more than an attempt to stick big-guy costs to the little guy and create exploitable monopolistic apparatuses like Ameritech (aka "Fucking Ameritech") in Chicago (where I live, and do not own a land line), I'm wondering what are the actual concrete details to this alleged "end" and if there isn't some pre-spin reason behind any of the changes supposedly taking place.

Re:Must .. have .. details.. ! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159890)

This is a veiled refrence to cisco's many MANY attempts to impement some form of TAG switching into IOS...

Basicly, by adding another tag onto the data, it is supposed to allow one to better control the actual path/shunt to a diffrent queue than a pure destination based forwarding system.

In other words, it's ATM. But since certain companies made sure that ATM and IP would go head to head, it has become a political and marketing necessity to re-implement ATM (which, BTW, has extreamly awsume standards, but no one has been able to completely implement all the features, meaning multi-vendor ATM networks don't really exist)

Rather than simply saying 'map IP application to ATM QoS, and let the ATM switched handle it until it hits the core', the larger IP router companies claimed ATM could never forward as fast as IP, there was a tremendous 'cell tax' on putting QoS info overhead onto IP, and you should just by Packet over Sonet infrastructure, and forget this whole QoS mess...

Until one little company actually managed to map IP applications to indivdual ATM SVCs... then cisco had to backpeddle and come up with Tag Switching, which has evolved into MPLS, which is a re-implementation of ATM, but using a higher overhead protocol (IP) to do it...

Companys that are starting with a 'green field' are implementing MPLS today. even though it doesn't completely work, it has enough features to warrent a good look. and because the router vendors pulled focus off of ATM, no one ever spent the money to build a 10 Gig ATM interface (that I know of, they all stopped at OC48).

The good news is, all this re-engineering/re-implementation is going to keep a lot of us in green for at least the next 5-8 years while the carriers flush money down the toilets trying to make all this stuff work. (and it WILL work, but the 3% extra usable capacity they get is going to drive the cost of the network up another 20% :) )

Internet as a Profit Center (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 13 years ago | (#2159823)

Wish I could recall where I heard or read this, but average use of the Internet is going down. While there are still people addicted, many of those have only been at it a short time. As popular features go offline or require fees (e.g. Napster) some have lost interest and left entirely.

There's something about this pattern which reminds me of the Citizens Band (CB) craze, back in the 70's. It didn't fade because some business model came along to make a profit (other than average quality guts shoved in some golden case with an eagle plastered on it, these were only 4 watts input, after all) As the bandwidth increased and sets were offered with USB and LSB (that's upper and lower sidebands, not interfaces) usage still dropped off and where you could once find dozens of models at Radio Shack, they probably only carry one or two slow moving models now (all of which wouldn't surprise me if they were made in 1980 and still being emptied from a Ft. Worth warehouse.)

So as business attempts to restring openness of the internet, locking users into limited formats and routing through services enough to line everyone's pocket on Wall Street, they should be aware that the market is now shrinking (can you say commoditizing? I betcha can!) They'll have that to contend with. Probably only so much success can be found for the new business model and that'll hit a slump down the road, too.

With any luck business will lose interest in the internet and we can all go back to unix shell accounts. =)

No more free ride... (1)

prdugan (463007) | about 13 years ago | (#2159828)

Now everybody hum along... "It's the end of the net as we know it... and I feeeeel fine...."

Not like it's the same net anymore anyway. You have a few small places where ideas are still exchanged openly (** /. brown nosing for more karma **) ... but overall the net is now owned and controlled by lawyers & self appointed self serving entities (ICANN, etc)

Homer Jay Simpson: Oh, they have the Internet on computers now.

Marketers have low self esteem (1)

chowpalace (166596) | about 13 years ago | (#2159833)

this is akin to blaming your car for oversleeping and missing work.

Fits nicely into M$'s plans? (2, Interesting)

4mn0t1337 (446316) | about 13 years ago | (#2159834)

From the article: the decentralization of the Internet and thus lack of control by any group of operators promotes its lack of reliability and responsibility.

Isn't this voice just the kind of thing that Microsoft is drooling for [] ?

If Cringely [] is right, then Micro$oft is *just* the company to step up to the plate and make a new internet (TCP/MS) and save us all.

heh..heh..heh... MicroSoft... "reliability"..."responsibility"... heh...

Good (1)

HoldmyCauls (239328) | about 13 years ago | (#2159849)

Now, I won't EVER have to see another banner ad on MY Internet. I think most people would agree that this one would be better if big business would get OFF it and let those of us with intelligent interests do what we want with it. You want a new network? Good. Go ahead and build your OWN infrastructure. See who follows.

billsh!t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159851)

no one can argue that one needs a means by which to keep the lights on, butt all this billyunheir buy nightfall bull only worked for a few felons. we're hoping to stryke IT rich, by giving away these nifty shots of rupert murdoch's staff [] . yes, we know the resemblance is uncanny.

The internet ain't what it used to be.. (0)

spam368 (43865) | about 13 years ago | (#2159852)

Yea, the internet sure doesn't seem like what it used to be, it used to be more "free" people didn't worry about "intellectual property", everyone did what they wanted, posted what they wanted and it was all o.k., if you couldnt handle it, get we have to worry about what we post on site, we worry about whether our webpages will be considered someone else's property...blah blah blah......anyways thats my little rant.

Keep the Network Dumb! (2)

webmaven (27463) | about 13 years ago | (#2159855)

While making the network 'smarter' would enable businesses to control 'quality of service' in a more direct way, this will also fossilize the network just as it is today, and eliminate future development of innovative uses for it.

Many large businesses have been using dedicated connections to EDI providers such as AT&T which has always used a 'smarter' store-and-forward protocol. The result, has been a charge-per-transaction revenue model that has locked these businesses in over a very long period of time.

Rather than trying to turn the Internet into a 'smarter' network, I suggest that efforts should focus on building a smarter network in parallel to the Internet, using the same wires, routers, firewalls, etc. That way, when the new network fails to provide some needed flexibility (and it will), developers can fall back on the flexible-but-dumb internet. This will also ensure an upgrade path exists when the smart-but-brittle network needs to be replaced with something else.

Call this the 'pluggable protocol' model. It also allows for multiple special purpose protocols to operate at the same time. There could be a protocol designed specifically for MMORPGs, for example, that was optimized for minimizing latency.

The alternatives for future development otherwise are rather poor. Imagine trying to build a peer-to-peer network over EDI. Not pretty.

This article is written for PHB's (5, Interesting)

Stiletto (12066) | about 13 years ago | (#2159856)

I've found a general rule that works pretty well when reading stuff linked from slashdot:

Never trust any writing that uses the word "consumers"

This writing is pro-corporate propaganda, written by and for corporate heads. Anyone who only thinks of me or anyone else as a "consumer" is pushing further the idea that people are numbers--whos only purpose is to contribute to the all-important corporation's bottom line.

Some people may think that this is the way things should be, but many do not.
Read the article again. Everytime he says that some quality of the Internet is bad, you should read it as "bad for corporations, but good for real people." Read it this way and you'll have an idea of what the article is really about.

worked in the old days (1)

oogoody (302342) | about 13 years ago | (#2159864)

The internet worked in the old days with slow dialup modems over uucp. There will alwyas be an open internet. You can't stop it.

A new internet (1)

dr-suess-fan (210327) | about 13 years ago | (#2159872)

Hmm.. I've thought about this for a while now. Maybe not enough but..

Even if the current internet turned to complete garbage by some 'new commercial internet', how easy would it be to start a new one. You know, like how the internet started in the first place.

University A: "you know, this isn't meeting our goals anymore, it's no longer about sharing information"

University B: "yeah, I agree. Let's start a fresh link together, maybe others feel the same way and will join in. "

...and so on. You'd have to be more careful of who you let in perhaps. I don't think commercial entities are bad for the internet. I just wonder how easy it would be to start a different internet if the need did arise.

Just wondering out loud....

its not the internet they want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2159875)

They want the WEB, lets get it straight people. So let them develop some business specific web browser and have no one use it. Big deal.

And the Queen Mum is dead too (2)

kfg (145172) | about 13 years ago | (#2159877)

So is Mark Twain. Ok, so he really IS dead now, but he wasn't when he had to make the claim that reports of his death had been greatly exagerated.

Business wants a profitable internet. Very good. Business can *want* anything they damn well please. That dosn't neccessarily make it so.

It has been said that the best business is a post office box that people send money to. "Business" wants an internet that transfers all of your assets. . . plus 10%, into the corporate bank account simply because you logged on.

Business likes to think it has a RIGHT to make money. It dosn't. I has a right to do business and *attempt* to make money. It is up to the *customer* to decide whether a company gets their business. Even then poor managment can blow it and lose. It is an often ignored truism that the most likely time for a small business to fail is when it succeeds! Can anyone out there say "Osborne"?

I knew you could.

I have concocted a plan for a business friendly, profitable, internet.

Offer goods and/or services that customers believe are desirable at a price that they find a good value.

This is my theory. It is mine. That is why I call it my theory.

I think that gives me the right to name it. I think I'll call it. . .



Firewall off AOL (1)

Mnemia (218659) | about 13 years ago | (#2159881)

I remember having the idea like 6 or 7 years ago that we should just firewall AOL and its kin off from the "real" Internet to solve all the problems. This would keep all the people that the marketers are looking for in one place and stop the spread of the commercialization cancer at its source. The people who WANT that type of content could just use AOL or whatever and be happy, and the rest of us would be able to find useful information online again (ala pre-Netscape/IE/etc). I know this idea sounds elitist, but I really think it has merit. It isn't so much about saying that we are "better" than the AOLers as much it is about segmenting the networks to deliver different experiences to different audiences instead of just letting the marketing-driven commercializtion to spread over the entire Net. Maybe this wouldn't be a problem if the segmentation of the TLD's had actually been enforced...

DSL domino effect (1)

mgarraha (409436) | about 13 years ago | (#2159901)

Rhythms NetConnections filed for bankruptcy [] this week. Here we go again.

Four months ago, AT&T acquired Northpoint's network but not their customers. This forced Northpoint to shut down their network, and forced all their partner ISPs to scramble to get their customers online with Covad or Rhythms.

Now that Rhythms is bankrupt, I fear a similar shutdown, putting a crushing burden on Covad, which is already so weak financially that NASDAQ delisted them two weeks ago. If, as many expect, Covad dies in another few months, that leaves the Baby Bells and the cable companies.

Excite@Home is looking for a buyer too. Maybe there's some truth to that article after all.

Oh, help! Oh, bother! Oh, help and bother!
- A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Grow up (-1, Troll)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | about 13 years ago | (#2159904)

For those of you bemoaning the death of the Internet by scum-sucking-evil-money/power-hungry-dudes, read on. Otherwise go elsewhere.

GROW the F*** UP! Who do you think runs the Internet? A bunch of bearded Birkenstock wearing, peace loving, fellers? No. Absolutely not. Where do you thing the traffic travels over? Corporate wires. Who funds research into network protocols? Corporate World! Who funnels money into university and college programs? Guess who!

Get a frigging clue newbie. U R 0wned and U don't have the good sense to know it.


Let them build it. (1)

bama_shine (473113) | about 13 years ago | (#2159906)

If business wants a more profitable Internet, let them build it. As long as they don't try to tear down the existing Internet, I think this would be a good thing.
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