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Describing The Web With Physics

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the like-a-large-enough-lever-mated-to-a-spring dept.

The Internet 133

Fungii writes: "There is a fascinating article over on physicsweb.com about 'The physics of the Web.' It gets a little technical, but it is a really interesting subject, and is well worth a read." And if you missed it a few months ago, the IBM study describing "the bow tie theory" (and a surprisingly disconnected Web) makes a good companion piece. One odd note is the reseachers' claim that the Web contains "nearly a billion documents," when one search engine alone claims to index more than a third beyond that, but I guess new and duplicate documents will always make such figures suspect.

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Basic politics (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2109582)

I disagree with RMS more often than I agree with him, however, calling him a 'communist' or saying that open-source/free software has 'alot in common with communism'shows that you have not even the slightest clue as to what communism or probably any other political view/party is.

open-source/free software is all about *voulentary* cooperation, and people *choosing* to work together, and people *choosing* to give part or all of their creative work to the masses.

Socialism and especially communism, have absoultley nothing in common with that at all. Socialism and communism *force* you to give up your rights to your creative works, and *force* you to work together with others.

open-source/free software, to give an analogy, is like donating money to your favorite cause, so you can help it reach a goal, or solve a problem

Communism/socialism, is when you find that a large amount of money has been taken from your pay check, and parts of that money go towards a cause, maybe helping out not so well off people in another country, or paying to keep people on welfare (US residents only).

So being against communism/socialism does *not* mean you are against sharing and voulentary cooperation, it means you are against being forced to "cooperate" through taxation, loss of ownership, having your house destroyed to allow for a road to be made, the selective service etc.

Anyone well versed in politics will tell you that open-source/free software has the most in common with Anarchism and especially with Libertarian ideals.

RMS, ESR, and all other open-source/free software "representitives" advocate *voulentary* cooperation, that is, people cooperating and working together from the bottom up, not "cooperation" and extortion of property/funds imposed by the government from the top down.

--Anonymoous Coward

Basic politics (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2112105)

I disagree with RMS more often than I agree with him, however, calling him a 'communist' or saying that open-source/free software has 'alot in common with communism'shows that you have not even the slightest clue as to what communism or probably any other political view/party is. open-source/free software is all about *voulentary* cooperation, and people *choosing* to work together, and people *choosing* to give part or all of their creative work to the masses. Socialism and especially communism, have absoultley nothing in common with that at all. Socialism and communism *force* you to give up your rights to your creative works, and *force* you to work together with others. open-source/free software, to give an analogy, is like donating money to your favorite cause, so you can help it reach a goal, or solve a problem Communism/socialism, is when you find that a large amount of money has been taken from your pay check, and parts of that money go towards a cause, maybe helping out not so well off people in another country, or paying to keep people on welfare (US residents only). So being against communism/socialism does *not* mean you are against sharing and voulentary cooperation, it means you are against being forced to "cooperate" through taxation, loss of ownership, having your house destroyed to allow for a road to be made, the selective service etc. Anyone well versed in politics will tell you that open-source/free software has the most in common with Anarchism and especially with Libertarian ideals. RMS, ESR, and all other open-source/free software "representitives" advocate *voulentary* cooperation, that is, people cooperating and working together from the bottom up, not "cooperation" and extortion of property/funds imposed by the government from the top down. --Anonymoous Coward

some thoughts on complex networks... (1)

eh2o (471262) | more than 13 years ago | (#2115165)

Well, its an interesting read.. but most of the technical stuff is kind of glossed-over .. I'm sure the graph theory behind it makes sense if you know the math.

The article mentions a 0.05% sample... is that statistically significant? Not to mention the fact that 'web page' is a vaguely defined term (i.e. static versus dynamic) -- this makes me doubt that this report contains any type of 'real' conclusions.

However I suspect this type of research must be really juicy for the big search engine comanies (e.g. Google, etc..). I especially like the idea of giving the user a feeling of spatial orientation when browsing the internet (but what would that mean??)... in the end, I'm afraid that the internet/web/whatever is simply changing too fast -- by the time we analyze it enough to determine its topology and organization, something new will be replacing it. Note that the data in this article is already 2 years old... the web has probably at least doubled in size by now.

To really understand the internet, statistical mechanics is not going to cut it-- we need better tools - adaptive ones that learn the new rules without being reprogrammed... ;)

Re:some thoughts on complex networks... (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 13 years ago | (#2123455)

The required sample size can be determined based on desired precision and accuracy, with the general shape of the probability curve playing an effect as well. It doesn't actually matter how big the population is, as long as we know how it's distributed so that we can factor it in to the calculations.

In this case, don't think of it as a .05% sample, but rather as a sample of 500000 data points. Then consider that national surveys can get accurate results with only a few thousand data points.

In any case, it is entirely possibly for their results to be statistically valid.

Slashdot in Space (or terrain) (1)

zauber (321909) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126038)

I especially like the idea of giving the user a feeling of spatial orientation when browsing the internet (but what would that mean??)...

I'm reluctant to post this without having had more time to revise, but one way of spatializing the data is by making it into more familiar terrain. Again, still early stages, but for an example, how about the terrain described by the hyperlinks surrounding Slashdot in a typical week [washington.edu] .

Interesting... (0)

Rinswind (472564) | more than 13 years ago | (#2149442)

It is a beutiful picture concidering the fact that it represents soemthing meaningful like linked websites. By looking at the picture I recon the algrythm would determine the "elevation" of each pixel from he plain. Maybe it will interpolate the elevations between several major pixels on the plain represnting the most linked sites? All thats left is to determine now the algorythm maps "elevetion" to the links topology ;P

Physics or math??? (2, Interesting)

Eythor (445730) | more than 13 years ago | (#2116232)

I'm confused. The subject of the article is "Describing the Web with Physics" while, to me, it looks like Describing the Web with Graph Theory or Mathematics. Is there not a distinction between math and physics?

Re:Physics or math??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2149823)

very true. good point.

give me a break (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2116395)

i think i speak for most everyone here when i tell you to take this fucking so called "news" and RAM IT UP YOUR ASS SIDEWAYS. post some real news for once you motherfuckers and maybe we wouldn't fucking bitch so much about it. and timothy... i hope you fucking choke on michael's cock... you gay fucking faggot!!!!!!!!!

19 clicks of seperation (0, Troll)

evilviper (135110) | more than 13 years ago | (#2118855)

It seems like a sound theory to me...

Now I want to see an equally technical paper on the slashdot effect.

Websense is blocking this site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2120123)

Its conspiracy theorizing time!!!

But seriously this sucks, they claim its porn! Hep me, my boss thinks the web might warp my brain. So they install websense on the fucking routers. Die Cisco, Die Webnofuckingsenseatall.com!!

hmmm (3, Funny)

sewagemaster (466124) | more than 13 years ago | (#2122573)

it's all about the right hand law (with F-normal force represented by the middle finger), friction, and porn!!

*grin*

Slow news day? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2125974)

Man, this has got to be one of the most retarded things posted here in awhile. It's bad enough that some retards bothered to do this "research", but what's worse is that it gets mentioned here on a site which is supposedly "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." Quite frankly, this is isn't worth shit on used toilet paper. You know, they could be using their resources for PRACTICAL RESEARCH instead of this lame academic nonsense which is completely worthless. Please refrain from posting similar garbage in the future.

Thank you.

Intersting, but flawed. (-1, Troll)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 13 years ago | (#2128356)

The Physics Boys seem to misunderstand the fundamentals of computer science. They write about hyperlinks as though they were physical network connections. It is possible that they chose to study hyperlink structure after discovering that studying they actual structure of the Internet is impossible. Even so, the resulting report is misleading. They make observations of the Internet's Achilles Heal and Virus Thresholds and so forth and use hyperlink data they gathered using thier own Web Crawler to support their claims.

That's Bad Science and I don't have to take it.

Re:Intersting, but flawed. (2)

nihilogos (87025) | more than 13 years ago | (#2113319)

If you misread everything else the way you misread this I doubt you understand the fundamentals of anything. The researchers make a clear distinction between physical networks and hyperlinks, calling them the 'internet' and the 'web' respectively. One of their suprising results is that the internet and web have similar network topologies. Or in their words

Why do systems as different as the Internet, which is a physical network, and the Web, which is virtual, develop similar scale-free networks?

They go on to describe some properties of scale free networks and mention some interesting examples from physics.

So, in summary, you have completedly misunderstood the article.

Re:Intersting, but flawed. (3, Informative)

tbo (35008) | more than 13 years ago | (#2126506)

As a senior undergraduate in combined honours physics and computer science, I hereby pronounce you a moron. The researchers first talk about the structure of the web (hyperlinks, etc.), then they talk about the physical structure (Achilles Heel, virus threshold, etc.). You must have missed the transition, Mullusk.

The interesting thing is that both the web and the physical network follow this power-law structure (or scale-free, as the "Physics Boys" call it).

Oh, don't think it's possible to study the physical structure of the internet? I'd like to introduce you to a new and powerful tool called traceroute [yes, that was sarcasm]. BTW, you can buy maps of the internet [thinkgeek.com] from ThinkGeek [www.thinkgeek] , in case traceroute is too much for you.

How the hell did that guy get modded up, anyway?

Vulnerability to Carefully Coordinated Attack? (2, Interesting)

the_one_smiley (169638) | more than 13 years ago | (#2135888)

There have now been several studies asserting that a concentrated attack on just the top 3% (or some other low percentage), in terms of connectivity, of the major hubs / backbones of the internet would result in some critical failure scenario such as fragmentation into small isolated clusters. But isn't this type of condition valid for a lot of systems besides the internet?

Consider this example, though it isn't meant to be analogous to the internet in any way. What if the President of the USA, the Vice President, the entire Cabinet, the entire Senate, the entire House of Representatives, etc. etc. were simultaneously assassinated? Can you even imagine ensuing chaos? You can even throw in all the state Governers, whatever, but that still wouldn't come out to more than the top 0.0004% of the country's population, in terms of "political importance" or some other metric. Is this scenario plausible or worth worrying about? You decide.

- The One God of Smilies =)

No monkeys used in making this article. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2148058)

They didn't even have the decency to throw a half dozen monkeys in a room with typewriters for a few hours. They had to go and use niggers instead. That's got to be why this article is so fucking worthless. Oh well, I've come to expect nothing but a waste of time form niggers and not only are the article "authors" niggardly, but so are the asswipes that decided that this was "News for nerds." Better get out the dictionary you motherfuckers and learn what "news" means.

fp! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163168)

Först Post och dylikt!

Re:fp! (-1)

Strom Thurmond (R-SC (310866) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163176)

STFU Corn nut dick!

Please remove this account (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163474)

This lamer is impersonating Mr. Drumond.

Re:Please remove this account (-1)

evil_spork (444038) | more than 13 years ago | (#2122341)

You are an AC. Therefore you have no right to call anyone a lamer. You should drag yourself into the street and shoot yourself for posting as an AC.

hmm (0, Offtopic)

isudoru (452928) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163178)

i'm still 15, but i got this book called The dancing Wu Li masters which is about physics without the math. they try to explain physics in plain language as Einstein said it could be done. This was really an interesting cookie to go along with my book. thanks

Warning! Karma Whore. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163184)

st

Warning! Faggot AC. (-1)

evil_spork (444038) | more than 13 years ago | (#2149067)

st

Why Socialism Failed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163180)

Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality and security, socialism delivered poverty, misery and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery. Socialism is now a bankrupt, discredited, and flawed nineteenth century theory that has failed miserably in countries around the world.

In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. However, as we have seen recently, any initial success of collectivism quickly fades as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.

A chain letter or Ponzi scheme is unsustainable in the long run because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism cannot and will not work in the long run because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The collapse of socialism can be traced to one critical defect that guarantees that it will always fail - it is a system that ignores incentives.

In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that INCENTIVES MATTER!

Under socialism, incentives play a minimal role or are ignored totally. A centrally planned economy without market prices or profits, where property is owned by the state, is a system without an effective incentive mechanism to direct economic activity. By failing to emphasize incentives, socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore doomed to fail. Socialism is based on the theory that INCENTIVES DON'T MATTER!

In a radio debate several months ago with a Marxist professor from the University of Minnesota, I pointed out the obvious failures of socialism around the world in Cuba, Eastern Europe and China. At the time of our debate, Haitian refugees were risking their lives trying to get to Florida in homemade boats. Why was it, I asked him, that people were fleeing Haiti and travelling almost 500 miles by ocean to get to the "evil capitalist empire" when they were only 50 miles from the "workers paradise" of Cuba?

The Marxist admitted that many "socialist" countries around the world were failing. However, according to him, the reason for failure is not that socialism is deficient, but that the socialist economies are not practicing "pure" socialism. The perfect version of socialism would work; it is just the imperfect socialism that doesn't work. Marxists like to compare a theoretically perfect version of socialism with practical, imperfect capitalism which allows them to claim that socialism is superior to capitalism.

If perfection really were an available option, the choice of economic and political systems would be irrelevant. In a world with perfect beings and infinite abundance, ANY economic or political system would work perfectly - socialism, capitalism, fascism, communism or any other system would work perfectly. However, the choice of economic and polititcal institutions IS crucially relevant in an imperfect universe such as ours with imperfect beings and limited resources. Only in a world of scarcity is it essential for an economic system to be based on a clear incentive structure to promote economic efficiency. The real choice we face is between imperfect capitalism and imperfect socialism. Given that choice, the evidence of history overwhelmingly favors capitalism as the greatest wealth- producing economic system available.

The strength of capitalism can be attributed to a very clear incentive structure based upon the three Ps: 1) prices determined by market forces, 2) a profit-and-loss system of accounting and 3) private property rights. The failure of socialism can be traced to its neglect of these three incentive-enhancing components.

In a market economy, the price system coordinates and guides economic activity so flawlessly that most people don't appreciate the important role that market prices play. Market prices transmit information about relative scarcity and then efficiently coordinate economic activity. The economic content of prices provides incentives which promote economic efficiency.

For example, when the OPEC cartel restricted the supply of oil in the 1970s, oil prices rose dramatically. The higher price for oil and gasoline transmitted valuable information to both buyers and sellers. Consumers received a strong, clear message about the scarcity of oil by the higher prices at the pump and were forced to change their behavior dramatically. People reacted to the scarcity by driving less, carpooling more, taking public transportation, buying smaller cars, etc. Producers reacted to the higher price by increasing their efforts at exploration for more oil. In addition, higher oil prices gave producers an incentive to explore and develop alternative fuel and energy sources.

The information transmitted by higher oil prices provided the appropriate incentive structure to both buyers and sellers. Buyers increased their effort to conserve a now more precious resource and sellers increased their effort to find more of this now scarcer resource.

The only alternative to a market price is a controlled or fixed price which always transmits misleading information about relative scarcity. Inappropriate behavior results from a controlled price because false information has been transmitted by an artificial, non-market price.

Look at what happened during the 1970s when gas prices were controlled in the United States. Long lines developed at gas stations all over the country because the controlled price for gasoline was artificially low, which therefore transmitted misleading information about scarcity. The full impact of the true scarcity was not accurately transmitted because the controlled price was kept artificially low by government fiat. As Milton Friedman pointed out at the time, we could have eliminated the lines at the pump in one day by allowing the price to rise to clear the market.

From our experience with price controls on gasoline and the long lines at the pump and general inconvenience, we get an insight into what happens under socialism where every price in the economy is controlled. The collapse of socialism is due in part to the chaos and inefficiency that result from artificial prices. The information content of a controlled price is always distorted, which then distorts the incentives mechanism of prices under socialism. Administered prices are always either too high or too low, which then creates constant shortages and surpluses. Market prices are the only way to transmit information that will create the right incentives to ensure economic efficiency.

Socialism also collapsed because of its failure to operate under a competitive, profit- and-loss system of accounting. A profit system is a very effective monitoring mechanism which continually evaluates the economic performance of every business enterprise. The firms that are the most efficient and most successful at serving the public interest are rewarded with profits. Firms which operate inefficiently and fail to serve the public interest are penalized with losses.

By rewarding success and penalizing failure, the profit system provides a strong discipline mechanism which continually redirects resources away from weak, failing and inefficient firms towards those firms which are the most efficient and successful at serving the public. A competitive profit system ensures a constant reoptimization of resources and moves the economy toward greater levels of efficiency. Unsuccessful firms cannot escape the strong discipline of the marketplace under a profit/loss system. A competitive, market-based system forces companies to serve the public interest or suffer the consequences.

Under central planning, there is no profit-and-loss system of accounting to accurately measure the success or failure of various programs. Without profits, there is no way to discipline firms that fail to serve the public interest and no way to reward firms that do. There is no efficient way to determine which programs should be expanded and which ones should be contracted or terminated.

Without competition, centrally planned economies do not have an effective incentive structure to coordinate economic activity. Without incentives the results are a spiraling cycle of poverty and misery. Instead of continually re-allocating resources towards greater efficiency, socialism falls into a vortex of inefficiency and failure.

A third fatal defect of socialism is its blatant disregard for the role that private property rights play in creating incentives that foster economic growth and development. The failure of socialism around the world is a "tragedy of commons" on a global scale.

The "tragedy of the commons" refers to the British experience of the 16th century when certain grazing lands were communally owned by villages and were made available for public use. The land was quickly overgrazed and eventually became worthless as villagers exploited the communally owned resource.

The tragedy of publicly owned assets is that there are no incentives in place to encourage wise stewardship. Whereas private property creates incentives for conservation and the responsible use of property, public property encourages property to be used irresponsibly and wastefully. If everyone owns an asset, people act as if no one owns it. And when no one owns it, no one really takes care of it. Public ownership encourages neglect and mismanagement.

Since socialism, by definition, is a system marked by the "common ownership of the means of production", the failure of socialism is a "tragedy of the commons" on a national scale. Much of the economic stagnation of socialism can be traced to the failure to establish and promote private property rights.

As Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto remarked, you can travel in rural communities around the world and you will hear dogs barking, because even dogs understand property rights. It is only statist governments that have failed to understand property rights. Socialist countries are just now starting to recognize the importance of private property as they privatize assets and property in Eastern Europe.

Therefore, without the incentives of market prices, profit-and-loss accounting and well- defined property rights, socialist economies stagnate and wither. The economic atrophy that occurs under socialism is a direct consequence of its neglect of economic incentives.

No amount of natural resources is ever enough to compensate a country for its lack of an efficient system of incentives. Russia, for example, is one of the world's wealthiest countries in terms of natural resources; it has some of the world's largest reserves of oil, natural gas, diamonds and gold. It also has valuable farm land, lakes, rivers, streams across a land area that encompasses 11 times zones and yet it is on the verge of becoming a third world country. Natural resources are helpful, but the ultimate resources of any country are the unlimited resources of its people - human resources.

By their failure to foster, promote and nurture the human potential of their people through incentive-enhancing institutions, centrally planned economies deprive the human spirit of full development. Socialism fails because it kills and destroys the human spirit - just ask the people leaving Cuba in homemade rafts and boats.

As the former centrally planned economies move toward free markets, capitalism and democracy, they are looking to the United States for guidance and support during the transition. We have an unparalled 250-year tradition of open markets, market prices, private property and democracy. The United States is uniquely qualified to be the guiding light in the worldwide transition to freedom and liberty.

We have an obligation to continue to provide a framework of free markets and democracy for the global transition to freedom. Our responsibility to the rest of the world is to continue to fight the seductiveness of statism around the world and here at home. The seductive nature of statism continues to tempt and lure us into the Barmecidal illusion that the government can create wealth.

The temptress of socialism is constantly luring us with the offer: "give up a little of your freedom and I will give you a little more security". As the experience of this century has demonstrated, the bargain is tempting but never pays off. We end up losing both our freedom and our security.

Programs like socialized medicine, welfare, social security and minimum wage laws will continue to entice us because on the surface they appear to be expedient and beneficial. Those programs, like all socialist programs, will fail in the long run regardless of initial appearances. These programs are part of the Big Lie of socialism because they ignore the important role of incentives. Socialism will remain a constant temptation. We need to be vigilant in our fight against socialism not only around the globe but also here in the United States.

The global failure of socialism has begun a worldwide renaissance of freedom and liberty. For the first time in the history of the world, the day is coming very soon when a majority of the people in the world will live in free societies or societies rapidly moving towards freedom.

Capitalism will play a major role in the global revival of liberty and prosperity because it nurtures the human spirit, inspires human creativity and promotes the spirit of enterprise. By providing a powerful system of incentives that promote thrift, hard work and efficiency, capitalism creates wealth.

The evidence from history is very clear. The main difference between capitalism and socialism is this: Capitalism works.

Re:Why Socialism Failed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2110059)

A Guy's Guide to Geek Girls BY LISA MICHAUD a response in light-hearted fun to A GIRL'S GUIDE TO GEEK GUYS This essay is copyrighted by Lisa Michaud, ©1996, 1999. It may be saved, downloaded, or distributed in email or paper form providing that the author's name and this notice remain attached to the essay and no profit is obtained from the distribution. (Any profit obtained from this essay without prior consent of the author is a violation of copyright.) Please link to this essay at http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~masterma/glasses/ rather than reproduce it on another webpage. Do not alter the text of any copy you make in any way. Questions should be directed to the author at michaud@cis.udel.edu. Share and enjoy. Why the Geek Girl? So you realized that you're never going to meet Kim Basinger. Moreover, the pretty thing in your Sociology class or the leggy new secretary in the office has given you the cold shoulder three weeks in a row. You're feeling fairly dejected. You obviously haven't considered dating a geek girl. Unlike the cute things you've been chasing, geek girls learned long ago that physical attributes aren't as important as the person underneath. On the Internet, they can participate in great, anonymous cybercommunities, they can IRC, they can MUD, they can email; they can interact with people intimately without ever meeting them face to face. They are more attracted to intelligence than testosterone; they don't need football players - in fact, most of them find them to be a turnoff. Most importantly, they like fellow geeks - prefer them, even. With a geek girl, a geek guy has a decided advantage. They understand them; they are understood by them. This could actually work. Where to Find Geek Girls Well, every geek girl knows that the Internet is not just a tool. It's a communications device. Most geek girls have a very active online life; that may be the only part of their life that is active right now. Look for them on the 'net, or even, if you're brave, in the lab; but be careful. A geek girl might not be as comfortable with you in person as she is online; sometimes it's best to try the 'impersonal' route first. [1] Attracting the Geek Girl Geek girls are not attracted to neanderthals. In fact, surviving out there amongst the net.tomcats, they have developed rather finely-honed defenses. Therefore, an email saying, "Me Tarzan, you Jane," will most likely be met with a spout of flame the likes of which you have probably never seen before, and if you can't get into your asbestos suit fast enough, it's not our fault. Therefore, the brash approach is not always the best tactic. Before flooding the bandwidth with your testosterone, it is always good to acquaint yourself with the geek girl in question and familiarize yourself with her haunts. Read her favorite newsgroups for a while; verse yourself in her interests. When you feel ready, venture forth a post or two, but be careful; sound intelligent. If it's been said before, don't repeat it. If it's off topic, don't mention it. Most importantly, if it's flamebait, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. One of the quickest ways to turn off a geek girl is to show yourself unknowledgeable of net.etiquette. Twinks need not apply. If she likes what you said, the geek girl may write back to you in private email. Private email conversations are a great way to get to know a geek girl, but do not get ahead of yourself! Thanks to the joys of email, the geek girl has had to fend off as many come-ons as a blonde bombshell who frequents singles bars. Keep the conversation neutral until she changes it. Talking to the Geek Girl There are many topics of conversation the geek girl may be interested in discussing. One of the most popular ones is Science Fiction; geek girls are often avid SF fans, and many will gleefully analyze the latest B5 episode for hours with you; however, there are a few things to keep in mind where the geek girl take on Science Fiction is concerned: Ivanova is God. Voyager got it right: a woman's place IS in the Captain's chair. Or in Engineering. Or anywhere else that requires her to use her brain instead of just being a 'nurturing figure.' Harry Kim is DARNED CUTE. Corollary: Tom Paris is a PIG. [2] The 'spandex in space' phenomenon is evil unless it's Picard in his riding pants. Mulder in his Speedo, while not being a space phenomenon so to speak, is still also quite acceptable. [3] Every geek girl has had a crush on Han Solo or Luke Skywalker. Most of us, both. Many of us still do, secretly. Episodes that explore a character's inner feelings are just as important, if not more so, than ones where they go around shooting things. Geek girls like Spock better than Kirk. Don't ask, it just IS. "Nice butt." [4] Geek girls stick together, and look for themselves in their entertainment. They will pick up on the brainy computer whiz kid actually being a girl for a change. They will cheer when a woman becomes Chief of Engineering. If you know what's good for you, you will cheer, too. "Would someone get this walking carpet out of my way??!" Geek Girl Appearance So you finally get to meet your geek girl in person. What does she look like? Most geek girls have low-maintenance appearances. After all, their online life is often more active than their RL existence, so why bother? More important, however, is the comfort issue. They want to be comfortable; and, in the end, someone who prefers being comfortable to 'looking good' is probably someone who's a lot more comfortable to be around. Jeans are the staple element of the geek girl wardrobe. Glasses, usually strong, are also a familiar touch. The hair can be any length, but in almost all cases, it is OUT OF THE WAY. They don't dress for success. They dress for comfort, for long hours in the lab, for convenience. This is not to say that geek girls aren't capable of looking nice; they can be quite striking when the mood suits them. Most of the time, however, they are under fluorescent lighting and bent over the monitor, so makeup, suits, and high heels are utterly pointless. Not that they aren't anyway, of course. Maintaining the Geek Girl Once you've got her, the next step is keeping her. To do this, just remember that your geek girl has a few special things about her that distinguish her from other women. All women like gifts, but the geek girl's tastes are different. The average woman likes flowers, but the geek girl is not average, and would probably rather not be bothered with something so transient. A Star Trek mousepad would last much longer. Thinking of getting her a necklace? Why not a new sound card instead? A makeup table would not get much use, but a new computer desk would probably see her more than you do. Use your brain when choosing the gifts; that's what she likes you for, anyway. [5] In closing, remember that a geek girl is a rewarding choice for a happy life. Unencumbered by many of the more ridiculous of society's trappings, she is a comfortable person who uses her brain and who wants to be with someone who does the same. If you qualify, a geek girl may be for you! Lisa can be contacted at masterma@cis.udel.edu. [6] Please be warned that although she is happily married, she's no expert on dating, so she is unprepared at this time to give anyone romantic advice, and no, she does not know what newsgroups to look at to find geek girls. She is also uninterested in insults, come-ons, taunts, or threats, so review your ISP's policies on net abuse before you send any of those. Lisa started counting hits in May 1997, but the web counter reset itself after about 24,000 and had to be tampered with. Then it reset somewhere around 40,000. Then she stopped counting for a while. Therefore, she has had some unknown very large number of readers. She is still curious about traffic to this site, so she started a new counter on December 16, 1998 and has since had this many readers: Read the sequel and learn more about the author at: GIRLS WHO WEAR GLASSES

yeah, right... (1)

nycdewd (160297) | more than 13 years ago | (#2116080)

while it is more than evident that you are a troll and should be ignored, i can't let your parade of ignorance go unremarked upon. SOCIALISM is ALIVE and quite well in many countries of the world, the scandinavian countries are quite socialist. COMMUNISM is not to be equated with socialism. the soviet union and the eastern bloc crumbled, yes, but there are other communist countries in the world that remain.

Wow, thats kind of deep. (1)

Flabdabb Hubbard (264583) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163190)

I mean, its like, wherever you look, the same patterns pop up. At the microscopic level, or the macroscopic level. Amazing

Its this sort of technical link that keeps me coming back to slashdot, even though its not as good as it used to be, and it no longer seems to attract the 31337 intelligent posters of the good old days.

Oh well, nothing lasts forever.

Re:Wow, thats kind of deep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2150456)

yes, and to a twat with an UID of >260000
I
can
only
say:
fuck you.

thank you.

Re:Wow, thats kind of deep. (1)

Kalani (66189) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163292)

... and your comment contributes greatly to that ideal.

Fractals (1)

snack (71224) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163513)

Kind of like a fractal... the complexitivity (sp) goes up the harder you look into it.

-Tim

oh, wow (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163198)

yes, this proves my theory true:
people have to much fucking free time

I've got a million of them... (3, Interesting)

Sun Tzu (41522) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163204)

...In the single Continuum of Chaos [starshiptraders.com] game. Seriously, the game is played in a universe consisting of one million sectors, each of which corresponds to a web page -- with multiple sub-pages. Google and the other engines can't really index it because it requires a log in. Further, even if they did log in they would run out of Antimatter long before they got through even a tiny fraction of the pages.

PhysicsWeb (2)

LocalYokel (85558) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163207)

It just seems appropriate that a Physics site called PhysicsWeb would have an article about Physics and the Web, don't you think?

Re:PhysicsWeb (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 13 years ago | (#2134705)

No, not really. What makes you say that?

Re:PhysicsWeb (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163228)

No.

Don't forget! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163211)

Google's figure hasn't been updated in a long time. It's probably way more than 1.3 billion now. (Notice that google.com shows a static number of "pages indexed".)

1,000,000,000 urls (4, Insightful)

grammar nazi (197303) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163212)

The story mentions "nearly 10^9 urls", so duplicate documents would be counted multiple times.

Most of their research seems to be on 'static pages'. They state that the entire internet is connected via 16 links (similar to the way that people are connected to 5-6 aquantances). I believe as the ratio of dynamic to static content on the internet increases, this will bring increase the total number of clicks that it takes to get one site to the next. For example, I could create a website that dynamically generates pages, the first 19 pages are all contained within my site and the 20th time that the page is generated, it contains a link to google.

The metric functions that they use are good for randomly connected maps, but they don't apply to the internet, where nodes are not randomly connected. Nodes cluster into a group depending on topic or categories. For example, one Michael Jackson site links to other Michael Jackson websites.

99 bottle of beer (3, Funny)

xixax (44677) | more than 13 years ago | (#2109897)

100 million URLs on the net, 100 million URLs
Take one down, pass worms around,
99 million URLs on the net...

Xix.

Re:99 bottle of beer (2)

pmc (40532) | more than 13 years ago | (#2111473)

100 million URLs on the net, 100 million URLs Take one down, pass worms around, 99 million URLs on the net...

99 million, 999 thousand, 999 URLs on the net, surely?

Re:1,000,000,000 urls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163237)

Grammar note: "the Internet" is a proper noun and should be capitalized. "An internet", as in, some network of interconnected networks, is not capitalized.

Re:1,000,000,000 urls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2129188)

Nice idea, but like so much grammar, this depends now on house style. Some academic journals expect it to be lower-cased.

Re:1,000,000,000 urls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163429)

Is the internet really a person, place or thing? I'm not really sure in that one. We can rule out person, but it could be concidered to be a place and a thing at once. Definitively, a noun can be only one at once, because a person cannot be a thing, and a place cannot be a thing. Also, proper nouns cannot be things to begin with. So, it cannot be a proper-noun by definition.

It's official, you are an idiot.

Re:1,000,000,000 urls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2109895)

Of course it's a noun dumbass. I suppose you flunked the fifth grade and never went back to school. Thanks for playing.

Re:1,000,000,000 urls (1, Offtopic)

demaria (122790) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163508)

Well if I am not mistaken, the AP style guide says "Internet" when talking about the Internet, internet in the general or otherwise sense.

www.m-w.com defines "Internet" as a noun.

Re:1,000,000,000 urls (1)

Paolomania (160098) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163401)

The metric functions that they use are good for randomly connected maps, but they don't apply to the internet, where nodes are not randomly connected.

Actually the article describes the finding that the connectivity of nodes on the web and Internet follow a power-law distribution instead of the poisson distribution one would expect with a randomly connected graph. Maybe we should read beyond the introduction of the article before we post?

Re:1,000,000,000 urls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163437)

...distribution instead of the poisson distribution one would expect with a randomly connected graph
uh, why would you EXPECT a randomly connected graph? Why on Earth? If anything, the amount of randomness is probably a little HIGH (i.e. sometimes a site will link to its hoster, even though their content has nothing to do with each other.) Other than that, you would expect the graph to segment horribly. Which is why Google's ranking system works so well -- each node in a relevant "clump" has a highly weighed vote -- so the site that the most "Michael Jackson"-clump sites point at is the one that'll make it to #1. Even if thirty times as many sites point to a CNN article, and that CNN article happens to contain the search term. Unless, of course, the sites doing the pointing are themselves in the Machael Jackson clump.

Surprising claim... (1)

mwillems (266506) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163213)

...is that no search engine covers more than 16% of the web. are the authors confusing the "hiiden web" (i.e. web-based databases, such as newspaper articles) with network topology, which is what they are concerned with? I would have thought that google covers most of the web (in terms of topology), not 16% of it. Michael

Internet is not web (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163371)

You are confusing the two. WWW is the documents, etc. Internet (which is simply the DARPA net suit connectivity with the underling routing protocols and physical connectivity) is simply a transport mechanism. It can carry anything, it just so happens that the web is the most popular (along with email).

Describing the web with biology.... (2, Insightful)

swordboy (472941) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163220)

The Code Red thing was interesting in the respect that, if it had worked, it would reveal just how *evil* homogeneity is. In nature, it leads to plagues and/or like disasters.

It turns out that computing may prove similar.

Different is good!

These figures are normally HTML-only (1)

iReflect (215501) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163225)

One odd note is the reseachers' claim that the Web contains "nearly a billion documents," when one search engine alone claims to index more than a third beyond that, but I guess new and duplicate documents will always make such figures suspect.

Also remember that most search engines are indexing only html pages and are probably only counting said pages in their "pages indexed" figures. The web CAN contain other media that may be considered documents. The obvious one is PDF.

Re:These figures are normally HTML-only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163374)

Well.. at least Google search inside PDFs from the Net too. It's a start.

Advantage of Scale-Free Topology (2, Interesting)

Grokopen (35265) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163235)

A few days ago, /. had a story on how big-businesses wanted to get rid of the current *open* Internet for an allegedly better version: The Death of the Open Internet. [slashdot.org]

The problem with getting rid of the current Internet is that we would probably lose the advantage of having scale-free topology ... something the PhysicsWeb article discusses at length. Scale-free topology is one of the key factors in keeping the current Internet stable and relatively fault tolerant even as the number of users have grown exponentially. I doubt that those who want to replace an open Internet would create a replacement that would incorporate this type of scale-free topology.

Re:Advantage of Scale-Free Topology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2111940)

I was thinking about this too, it seems that the forces and companies (read, for instance microsoft) that want to re-engineer the topology and access/delivery of internet content don't realize in their greed and haste in wanting the future billions/trillions of dollars don't consider is the reality that very controlled internet structure would by it's nature have to have a very centralized control architecture that could not possibly handle all the current and future growth of the net. Very much like how the communism model broke, it could not handle a world where informational, technologic and economic forces where all diverging in 10 different directions at once. It figures that microsoft, a company just that produces crap products hasn't a clue that it's idea of a centrally controlled internet won't fly (if they had good R&D capabillity, chances their product's wouldn't suck so badly, but it seems that physics will probabbly save us from the microsoft/brazil version of the future...if not, then we are really doomed and most peaple will grow up to hate the computer revolution...

LAIN (1, Insightful)

Schezar (249629) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163243)

"The number of nodes in the wired is rapidly approaching the number of cells in the human brain." Or something like that.

What will happen as the net becomes more and more like a brain? Can it have a soul?

Or worse, can it comprehend the garbage we use it for? ;^) "Sorry Dave, but I cannot allow you do download that pr0n..."

Re:LAIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2112686)

It's very possible. But how would one access any information the entity might produce? Taken as a one to one analogy to a biologucal brain, one neuron, or computer wouldn't be able to convery information very well. All you get is either on or off.

Biological brains convey information via cooperation of large numbers of neurons acting together to drive motor neurons. What would be analageous to that on the internet?

I wouldn't expect a magic eight ball or ghost in the machine, but there are most likely some crude form of "intelligence".

Think of a cellular automata that has a fixed set of rules that are activated according to the state of adjacent cells. Nodes on a network are constantly resending, resizing, redirecting packets according to a fixed set of rules. Considering the number of nodes on the internet, there should be sufficient fertile ground for various intelligence or life primitives to come about.

Such a thing might reveal itself as a packet storm of some degree or form. But packet storms are things that are problematic and are actively quashed and avoided as part of the design of networking gear. It would be seen as noise in the data.

If the system has been designed well enough to prevent these patterns from appearing outright as noise, they will just appear elsewhere. Maybe in patterns of delay, congestion, routing paths. Other subtle things.

But something has to be there. It's a complex system that has many the elements that are fertile to primitives that are associated with intelligence, or at the very least cellular automata.

Re:LAIN (2)

norton_I (64015) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163428)

This is an idea that has certainly been discussed before, but the answer is "almost certainly not".

First of all, the formation of a scale free network was caused by measurable "evolutionary" pressures for fault tolerance. In the absence of some similar evolutionary advantage to developing a global conciousness, it doesn't seem likely that it would happen spontaneously.

On the other hand, if some (possibly unintentional) goal was aligned with that, I wouldn't be totally surprised if through maintenence and updates, some form of conciousness arose.

Except: characteristic time scales on the internet are very large compared to connections within the brain. Any large scale behavior, including conciousness, would be expected to be slower than a human brain by orders of magnitude.

Re:LAIN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163431)

Nothing has a soul. Why would the web be any different?

Re:LAIN (4, Interesting)

Erasmus Darwin (183180) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163472)

What will happen as the net becomes more and more like a brain? Can it have a soul?

Please don't take this the wrong way, but that's honestly the sort of question I'd expect from someone who doesn't understand computers.

While I believe in the possibility of machine intelligence (along with the moral, ethical, and most importantly philisophical questions that raises), the net is more of a data transfer mechanism than a processing mechanism. Short of very delibrate projects, such as SETI@Home, you just don't have your average machine on the net doing random computation. In that sense, the net really hasn't changed much since its inception. Further, if you did have a distributed consciousness, what would the consequences of lag, network outages, and outright crashes be? In that sense, it would be interesting to see if random/semi-random/genetic algorithms are capable of generating an intelligence capable of coping with such noise. However, I think such issues would rapidly kill off something before it became "evolved" enough to cope. If we do get an intelligence, I think it'll be something that happens on purpose. It may be distributed (maybe as a redundant, non-real-time simulation of a brain), but I doubt it'll be a spontaneous Skynet-like entity.

Re:LAIN (1)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 13 years ago | (#2110263)

Well, I don't think his thought deserves total dismissal. The question is whether consciousness is something peculiar to human brains (if you want you can assert that all vertebrates have consciousness, but I'm not entirely certain) or a property of any extremely complex system. I don't think the Internet would be a candidate for consciousness since information just gets sent from one end to the other without being acted on. Of course, we can never be certain because we will never have a way of asking the Internet if it is conscious.

Re:LAIN (1)

evilocity (304228) | more than 13 years ago | (#2134970)

(rantness>thought out argument, proceed with caution)
I think this discussion has been somewhat flawed, in that it has been considering the internet and its human operators as separate entities. However, the Internet is so driven by human action nd interaction that it is impossible to view it as the technology alone. Yes, it is just a communications network, but with humans at its nodes, the internet may be able to act as a brain, albeit a primitive one for the moment. Ideas of group conciousness are not new, they can be traced back through Freud and Roussaeu in the Western tradition, possibly just as far or further in the East. That humans organize their social groupings the same way as biology organizes their brains would seem to lend a bit more credence to this idea. Of course, one could argue that a group conciousness is not as intellegent, self aware or responsive as individual conciousness, but in the past, group conciousness has been limited in scope to towns, villages, and tribal groups. Cities and nations push the slowness and dumbness of group conciousness to the point that it is probably meaningless (i doubt that they are nonscaling systems). The Internet, however, allows us to form a non-scaled social network of unprecedented speed and size.

What does this mean? The possibility for conciousness is there, and perhaps the reality is, as well. But a concious Internet will not go running amok, create a body for itself, or any of that other sci-fi stuff, because it is us. Unless, of course, the whole net condenses on aol or .net.

Oh, and btw, Lain was an ai created on the net, not out of the net, at least as far as I understand Lain, which isn't very.

Re:LAIN (1)

asdfdf (463985) | more than 13 years ago | (#2152816)

I second this.

If the internet became 'alive' we would all see a _lot_ of packets going around we didn't understand. We would all see hits to say our webservers from totally random IP's containing code to take over our machines and change them, as any brain changes itself. Such a system would never happen, and if it did we'd have it all over the news about the internet slowing down, and the 'internet' taking over machines.

Besides I'd get loads of messages in my apache logs..

oh wait

wtf

HELP!

Re:LAIN (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163523)

I agree. A lot of recent science-fiction treats AIs not as spontaneously arising from the Internet but as deliberate projects to create AI. (Usually, something goes horribly wrong, but that is one of the genres of sci-fi.) One of my personal favorites was the story that had an AI that had been 'killed' twice by the NSA, and they weren't even aware that they had done it, giving rise to the theory that it had been at such a non-robust stage that it was easy to 'kill'.

An Internet-wide AI.... hmm... lag would problem be analagous to senility or Alzheimer's, network outages would be memory loss or brain damage, crashes would be brain damage as well. However, given that a network will eventually come back up, and no crash lasts forever (although I'm certain MS is working on a 5 9's crash), it wouldn't be permanent brain damage. And theoretically, such an AI could become 'accustomed' to lag and work around it.

But it's all still speculation...

Kierthos

my theory (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163249)

Niggers are just a kind of chimp that learned to talk.

All I have to say is.... (-1, Troll)

niXter (122409) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163266)

Fuck Off [angryshirts.com]

sorry.

Re:All I have to say is.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163273)

tell that guy to whipe the shit splatter off his face and i might by a t-shirt.

Re:All I have to say is.... (-1, Troll)

niXter (122409) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163311)

again...

Fuck off [angryshirts.com] !

Re:All I have to say is.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163341)

nope it's still there.

Re:All I have to say is.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163366)

Yeah I get the same poop mark. Is that you Nixter? You really shouldnt go around with poop on your face.

Re:All I have to say is.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2136559)

maybe it's figgy pudding.

All is goo in the land of Microsloth (0, Troll)

clinton(x) (512349) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163276)

Fucking Winders NT. I was going to summarily execute the machine it was running on (you guessed it - it crashed), drag it out into the car park and break into and hotwire my old best friend's dilapidated dumped de-registered car and start taking potshots, screaming howling berating and throwing Jack Daniels bottles at it whilst I reversed backward and forward over it, but then I calmed significantly and remembered that all is goo in the land of Microsloth.

when describing (1, Funny)

+a++00 y0u (324067) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163286)

I try to avoid physics and use words instead. It is sooo much easier than having to remember all those equations. ugh.

Re:when describing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163375)

But then, you don't end up describing it as accurately.

Physics can EASILY kill the web (0, Offtopic)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163293)

Just get my high school Physics teacher to lecture the Internet admins when they shut down the Web for cleaning this New Year's. They'll sleep forever, long after the Internet has been replaced.

Hi to Mr. Konkle! Still doing your grade book in pencil? Physics might have been Phun, but you certainly killed that, didn't you?

Tim Berners Lee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163382)

Was a physicist. No physics, no web. Sorry about your lousy teacher though.

Read the fscking article... (5, Interesting)

friode (79255) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163301)

One odd note is the reseachers' claim that the Web contains "nearly a billion documents," when one search engine alone claims to index more than a third beyond that

Look deeper, grasshopper:

...This expression predicts typically that the shortest path between two pages selected at random among the 800 million nodes (i.e. documents) that made up the Web in 1999 is around 19 assuming that such a path exists...

...the typical number of clicks between two Web pages is about 19, despite the fact that there are now over one billion pages out there...

Hey, Timothy, next time try reading the article instead if skimming it.

TYPICAL SLASHDOT EDITOR FUD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163527)

Typical bullshit from idiot slashdot editors. I swear, the only reason I read this site is to laugh at the editors get rightfully flamed for their idiocy.

Re:Read the fscking article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163536)

Excellent point.

Perhaps Slashdot has a not-so-innocent bias towards Google? Kickbacks, perhaps? Maybe like Transmeta...

With VA Linux going down the tubes, the money has to come from somewhere!!!

Errror..Does not fempute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163333)

The web site is physicsweb.org not physicsweb.com.

Other Explanations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163335)

Google indexes a lot more than the Web. For instance, it has the nicest collection of PDF's I've seen anywhere all accessible as text. Sweet function.

Re:Other Explanations (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163350)

Free the russian for-profit script kiddies!

Boycott Adobe! Boycott PDF!

complexity and deregulation (3, Interesting)

beanerspace (443710) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163346)

The article does a good job at pointing out the seemingly chaotic and certainly cell-like nature the internet. However, unlike the article, I'm not sure if more research and/or more computer science will solve the problem.

THat's not to say that understanding how the various layers of complexity architecture and dynamics won't provide an answer ... and not because I think such diciplines suck, but because we have and will continue to have commercial influences on how networks are established.

Certainly some, in fact many businesses will higher and follow good practice. The problem comes about when some large companies don't. Or worse when mergers and buyouts occur, e.g. Verizon, CIHost and a few others come to mind.

Not to sound anti-business, because business has footed much of the bill for Internet expansion ... but rather to voice concern that sometimes there is a big disparity between technical solutions and the shareholder's bottom line.

Re:complexity and deregulation (2)

tbo (35008) | more than 13 years ago | (#2121128)

I'm not sure if more research and/or more computer science will solve the problem.

What problem are you talking about? Their research found that the current structure of the internet is extremely resilient to random attacks. Yes, co-ordinated attacks against key routers could work, but every network has some vulnerability, and the best solution is probably just to make sure the few key routers are well-protected and hidden. As Mark Twain says,
The fool says, "don't put all your eggs in one basket," whereas the wise man says, "go ahead, but watch that basket!"
There's no problem that needs to be solved, so I don't know where you're going with this "Not to sound anti-business" rant. The current chaotic approach to building network infrastructure works great, just like many natural systems.

Few Months Ago.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163348)

Actually, the bow tie theory press was a year and a few months ago. i.e. 5/00.

GRABULASA!! (-1, Offtopic)

Dmitry Skylarov (470197) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163358)

Come on, guys, we've gone almost five hours without another duplicate Code Red story! Pick up the slack!

Mod that author up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163360)

That was the most interesting article I have seen posted on /. this year.

critical threshold for virus spreading (1)

winnetou (19042) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163373)

The authors claim the threshold is 0, but Bliss [uni-paderborn.de] never made it in the wild.

The mere existence of that term IMHO shows that the threshold is greater than 0.

Re:critical threshold for virus spreading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163416)

if it wasnt released into the wild it would be at 0, the threshold, if it were more than that (i.e. released) it would be above the threshold and continue spreading

Re:critical threshold for virus spreading (3, Insightful)

norton_I (64015) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163462)

The virus infection threshold is based on something like this model:

1) Some set of nodes are infected
2) Each of those nodes has a probability of X of infecting it nearest neighbors.
3) repeat
I just made that up, and there are many oportunities for variations (add the ability for nodes to be cleaned and/or vaccinated), but under models like this:

random networks have a critical threshold for X, above which they will infect the whole network, below which they will die out.

scale-free networks will have a macroscopic fraction of the network infected for any value of X.

First of all, there are additional features not caputred in this model, which could be important for "viruses" like Bliss which have an extremely low probabiliy of infection.

Second, the internet is not exactly a scale free network. As mentioned in the article, while the dominant behavior is a power law, if you go high enough, you find exponential cutoffs. This could cause some viruses to die out (I am certain Bliss isn't the only one that never made it).

i had a feeling... (2)

Prion86 (463800) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163383)

this was going to show itself sooner or later. im no math guy, nor am i a computer guy. i am in fact a molecular biologist and i play with complex systems every day. i was thinking about how everything is connected to the net these days. cell phones, pda's, cars, even appliences. with all this stuff, the physical topology of the net is very dynamic, almost to the point its evolving on its own. despite the fact it is an entirely man-made thing, it looks very organic. all these complex systems look the same. as chaotic and complex as it is, it seems as tho someone (with too much time on their hands) saw how it is behaving like things found in nature. looks like i was thinking along the right lines.i just wonder with the speed of expansion what it will be like 5 years from now. i hope it doesnt develope morals...

get it out of your hands (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163408)


A Guy's Guide to Geek Girls
BY LISA MICHAUD
a response in light-hearted fun to A GIRL'S GUIDE TO GEEK GUYS

This essay is copyrighted by Lisa Michaud, ©1996, 1999. It may be saved, downloaded, or distributed in email or paper form providing that the author's name and this notice remain attached to the essay and no profit is obtained from the distribution. (Any profit obtained from this essay without prior consent of the author is a violation of copyright.) Please link to this essay at http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~masterma/glasses/ rather than reproduce it on another webpage. Do not alter the text of any copy you make in any way. Questions should be directed to the author at michaud@cis.udel.edu. Share and enjoy.

Why the Geek Girl?

So you realized that you're never going to meet Kim Basinger. Moreover, the pretty thing in your Sociology class or the leggy new secretary in the office has given you the cold shoulder three weeks in a row. You're feeling fairly dejected. You obviously haven't considered dating a geek girl.

Unlike the cute things you've been chasing, geek girls learned long ago that physical attributes aren't as important as the person underneath. On the Internet, they can participate in great, anonymous cybercommunities, they can IRC, they can MUD, they can email; they can interact with people intimately without ever meeting them face to face. They are more attracted to intelligence than testosterone; they don't need football players - in fact, most of them find them to be a turnoff. Most importantly, they like fellow geeks - prefer them, even. With a geek girl, a geek guy has a decided advantage. They understand them; they are understood by them. This could actually work.

Where to Find Geek Girls

Well, every geek girl knows that the Internet is not just a tool. It's a communications device. Most geek girls have a very active online life; that may be the only part of their life that is active right now. Look for them on the 'net, or even, if you're brave, in the lab; but be careful. A geek girl might not be as comfortable with you in person as she is online; sometimes it's best to try the 'impersonal' route first. [1]

Attracting the Geek Girl

Geek girls are not attracted to neanderthals. In fact, surviving out there amongst the net.tomcats, they have developed rather finely-honed defenses. Therefore, an email saying, "Me Tarzan, you Jane," will most likely be met with a spout of flame the likes of which you have probably never seen before, and if you can't get into your asbestos suit fast enough, it's not our fault.

Therefore, the brash approach is not always the best tactic. Before flooding the bandwidth with your testosterone, it is always good to acquaint yourself with the geek girl in question and familiarize yourself with her haunts. Read her favorite newsgroups for a while; verse yourself in her interests. When you feel ready, venture forth a post or two, but be careful; sound intelligent. If it's been said before, don't repeat it. If it's off topic, don't mention it. Most importantly, if it's flamebait, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. One of the quickest ways to turn off a geek girl is to show yourself unknowledgeable of net.etiquette. Twinks need not apply.

If she likes what you said, the geek girl may write back to you in private email. Private email conversations are a great way to get to know a geek girl, but do not get ahead of yourself! Thanks to the joys of email, the geek girl has had to fend off as many come-ons as a blonde bombshell who frequents singles bars. Keep the conversation neutral until she changes it.

Talking to the Geek Girl

There are many topics of conversation the geek girl may be interested in discussing. One of the most popular ones is Science Fiction; geek girls are often avid SF fans, and many will gleefully analyze the latest B5 episode for hours with you; however, there are a few things to keep in mind where the geek girl take on Science Fiction is concerned:

Ivanova is God.
Voyager got it right: a woman's place IS in the Captain's chair. Or in Engineering. Or anywhere else that requires her to use her brain instead of just being a 'nurturing figure.'
Harry Kim is DARNED CUTE. Corollary: Tom Paris is a PIG. [2]
The 'spandex in space' phenomenon is evil unless it's Picard in his riding pants. Mulder in his Speedo, while not being a space phenomenon so to speak, is still also quite acceptable. [3]
Every geek girl has had a crush on Han Solo or Luke Skywalker. Most of us, both. Many of us still do, secretly.
Episodes that explore a character's inner feelings are just as important, if not more so, than ones where they go around shooting things.
Geek girls like Spock better than Kirk. Don't ask, it just IS.
"Nice butt." [4]
Geek girls stick together, and look for themselves in their entertainment. They will pick up on the brainy computer whiz kid actually being a girl for a change. They will cheer when a woman becomes Chief of Engineering. If you know what's good for you, you will cheer, too.
"Would someone get this walking carpet out of my way??!"

Geek Girl Appearance

So you finally get to meet your geek girl in person. What does she look like? Most geek girls have low-maintenance appearances. After all, their online life is often more active than their RL existence, so why bother? More important, however, is the comfort issue. They want to be comfortable; and, in the end, someone who prefers being comfortable to 'looking good' is probably someone who's a lot more comfortable to be around.

Jeans are the staple element of the geek girl wardrobe. Glasses, usually strong, are also a familiar touch. The hair can be any length, but in almost all cases, it is OUT OF THE WAY. They don't dress for success. They dress for comfort, for long hours in the lab, for convenience. This is not to say that geek girls aren't capable of looking nice; they can be quite striking when the mood suits them. Most of the time, however, they are under fluorescent lighting and bent over the monitor, so makeup, suits, and high heels are utterly pointless. Not that they aren't anyway, of course.

Maintaining the Geek Girl

Once you've got her, the next step is keeping her. To do this, just remember that your geek girl has a few special things about her that distinguish her from other women. All women like gifts, but the geek girl's tastes are different. The average woman likes flowers, but the geek girl is not average, and would probably rather not be bothered with something so transient. A Star Trek mousepad would last much longer. Thinking of getting her a necklace? Why not a new sound card instead? A makeup table would not get much use, but a new computer desk would probably see her more than you do. Use your brain when choosing the gifts; that's what she likes you for, anyway. [5]

In closing, remember that a geek girl is a rewarding choice for a happy life. Unencumbered by many of the more ridiculous of society's trappings, she is a comfortable person who uses her brain and who wants to be with someone who does the same. If you qualify, a geek girl may be for you!

Lisa can be contacted at masterma@cis.udel.edu. [6] Please be warned that although she is happily married, she's no expert on dating, so she is unprepared at this time to give anyone romantic advice, and no, she does not know what newsgroups to look at to find geek girls. She is also uninterested in insults, come-ons, taunts, or threats, so review your ISP's policies on net abuse before you send any of those.

Lisa started counting hits in May 1997, but the web counter reset itself after about 24,000 and had to be tampered with. Then it reset somewhere around 40,000. Then she stopped counting for a while. Therefore, she has had some unknown very large number of readers. She is still curious about traffic to this site, so she started a new counter on December 16, 1998 and has since had this many readers:

Read the sequel and learn more about the author at:
GIRLS WHO WEAR GLASSES

Re:get it out of your hands (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163495)

Uh, I just went for the one with the big tits, and it's worked out great--10 years next Saturday.

Re:get it out of your hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163501)

But come to think of it, that was the second time I tried that, and the first time nearly killed me, so we'll just say I'm batting .500.

IBM "bow tie" paper (4, Interesting)

mgarraha (409436) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163419)

In "Graph structure in the web [ibm.com] ," Kumar et al. divide 200 million web pages into four categories of roughly equal size:

The first piece is a central core, all of whose pages can reach one another along directed hyperlinks -- this "giant strongly connected component" (SCC) is at the heart of the web. The second and third pieces are called IN and OUT. IN consists of pages that can reach the SCC, but cannot be reached from it - possibly new sites that people have not yet discovered and linked to. OUT consists of pages that are accessible from the SCC, but do not link back to it, such as corporate websites that contain only internal links. Finally, the TENDRILS contain pages that cannot reach the SCC, and cannot be reached from the SCC.

So is your home page an innie or an outie?

Newton's World Wide Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163423)

The Force of the web is equal to the product of the Mass of web and the Acceleration of the web.

I am infinitely grateful... (1)

Nathdot (465087) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163476)

... that they didn't try to Describe The Web With Gym Class.

I sucked at that! (As I imagine many /.ers did and do)

:)

naming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163482)

throughout the article they confuse the words 'network topology' (relating to physical connections) and website links (i.e. URLs). its pretty annoying

Microsoft, Betamax, Qwerty, oh my (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#2163504)

This simple model illustrates how growth and preferential attachment jointly lead to the appearance of a hierarchy. A node rich in links increases its connectivity faster than the rest of the nodes because incoming nodes link to it with higher probability this "rich-gets-richer" phenomenon is present in many competitive systems.
And there's your explanation for how VHS beat out beta, QWERTY beat out other arrangements, and Microsoft won out in the OS and Apps biz. A small initial advantage gets magnified over time. The wingbeats of a butterfly become a hurricane.

19 Degrees of separation (0, Troll)

nihilogos (87025) | more than 13 years ago | (#2163511)

That makes goatse.cx [goatse.cx] a little too close for comfort. Keep those homepages with pictures of your cat coming people.
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