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What The Internet Isn't

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the to-name-just-six dept.

The Internet 485

looseBits writes "Doc Searls and David Weinberger, co-authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto, have put together a 10-part guide for how to stop mistaking the Internet for something it isn't. It contains some painfully obvious and often overlooked characteristics of the 'world of ends' we call the Internet."

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What Slashdot isn't... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244405)

1. Quality journalism
2. Home of heterosexual editors
3. Respectable
4. Good
5. Not shitty

This is a first post for teh GNAA.

Suck it down bitches.

meow? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244409)

or woof?

meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeow

Europeans (-1)

Pres. Ronald Reagan (659566) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244410)

It's not for Europeans, because they didn't invent it (nor could they, given the resources)!

Republicans (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244633)

It's not for Republicans either, because it was invented by Al Gore, a Democrat.

So there!

for sale... (5, Funny)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244414)

You know I saw an advertisement for a computer for sale...

For sale Dell Computer Pentium II with the Internet

I was shocked... First thing I thought was where the hell can I fit the entire Internet on my machine.

Re:for sale... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244419)

Nice try, but that isn't funny at all.

I hope for your sake some of the moderators are retarded.

What am I saying? This post is going to go to +5 for sure!

It's easy.... (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244555)

remember the commercial "you have reached the end of the Internet....please go back...........now"

Where is the Internet? (5, Insightful)

DonGar (204570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244603)

I worked for the computing center when I was in college. When the school was first being connected to the internet, and many people were having their desktops networked for the first time, one of the really common questions from non-technical types was "Where is the Internet?"

A careful summary of world wide networking (this was before web browsers) would be met with a blank stare and "Yes, but where is it?"

We finally decided to tell them it was at a secret location in a closet in Idaho. This seemed to make people feel better.

I never really understood why the most confusing thing was.... "Where is it?"

These people had already learned how to use their email programs and 3270 emulator (virtual mainframe terminal) with no problem.

Thinking back on this.... it makes more sense that AOL had so much success. If AOL was installed you could tell the user that the internet in that little friendly icon right there on the desktop.

Re:Where is the Internet? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244700)

Funny, I live in Idaho. I even have a closet. There is web server in said closet. I am the internet.

Re:for sale... (3, Funny)

magores (208594) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244634)

Kinda similar story, but not really...

I was helping a customer out with some tech support.

My Question 1: Are you in front of your computer right now?
His Answer 1: Yes.

My Question 2: Okay. What operating system do you have?
His answer 2: Dell

Maybe it was the same guy?

Look at the new Slashdot front page! No sidebars!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244705)

My sidebars have disappeared and been replaced with a gigantic text ad bar! Go check it out.

This is not a troll, but since there's no damn place for people to post about Meta issues like this, we're forced to post AC on the top thread..

Obligatory (4, Funny)

gid13 (620803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244717)

Oh, they have the internet on computers now?

Also look at this:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~neteagle/oops/downloa dnow.ht ml

I sent that link to a friend and she thought something was actually downloading. Just perfect.

Re:Obligatory (4, Funny)

Aero Leviathan (698882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244850)

Clickable: http://www.xs4all.nl/~neteagle/oops/downloadnow.ht ml [xs4all.nl]

Also, be sure to check out www.turnofftheinternet.com [turnofftheinternet.com] (turn your popup blocker off.. works best in IE6.. remember your Alt+Tab and Ctrl+Alt+Del.. it's nothing you can't get out of, don't worry). Funny trick to set up in a computer lab, for instance...

Re:for sale... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244735)

I've seen sound cards labeled "with MP3!" and graphics cards labeled "JPEG compatible" on store shelves before.

Re:for sale... (2, Funny)

jabberjaw (683624) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244753)

An english teacher of mine was fond of this question.
Do you have the internet at home? I always wanted to burst out with something along the lines of "Yes, I have the inetrnet at my house, the whole fucking thing, it's in a shoebox under my bed".

Re:for sale... (1)

jabberjaw (683624) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244814)

As I have misspelled internet, one can guess that it was not my favorite class. Heh... oops.

al gore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244415)

al gore is the internet

Re:al gore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244542)

You know what I'm tired of Hearing?

People telling me what the internet should or should not be.

It is what it is, and It can be anything it wants.

Trying to classify it into a certain set of descriptions leads only to people doing stupid things like trying to change it and trying to abuse it.

hmmm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244420)

"It contains some painfully obvious and often overlooked characteristics"

Yes, we already know - porn...

Re:hmmm (1)

stev_mccrev (712012) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244734)

shouldn't that be 'obviously painful'?

About a year ago... (5, Informative)

DeHackEd (159723) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244424)

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/03/07/153223 3

A href (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244601)

DUPE [slashdot.org]

Re:About a year ago... (2, Insightful)

l1_wulf (602905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244755)

[smartass]
Well, that just goes to show that /. has effectively reached critical mass where in order to post anything "new", the editors have to recycle previous posts. Sorta like the old arcade games where your score is reset to 000000 because of the player's mastery. Good job /. I look forward to re-reading more fine articles like this.
[/smartass]

Seriously though, I missed this the first time it was posted. It looks interesting, but I got distracted with making the text different sizes. By the time I was done playing, I remembered I wanted to make this post...

Wait! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244425)

What is this Internet you speak of?

Old news... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244427)

Umm...I'm pretty sure I remember stumbling upon this article years ago. Why is it headline news now?

Re:Old news... (4, Insightful)

djupedal (584558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244530)

This and things like the today's 'worst security flaw ever' from MS, are all topics bubbling up prior to a security conference next week in SF, where pundits are surely to roast BG, one of the speakers, to a char.

The internet isn't better off because of slackard MS. They were late to the party (just like today's patch took 200 days), and they use it for their gain, with lack of concern, as usual, for the 'customer'.

Remember, a 'headline' here is what you find yourself in when you have to take a leak at a basketball game. Just because a topic is raised, doesn't mean squat that it has value to anyone.

Re:Old news... (1)

azav (469988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244632)

Yup. It is a repost. It's been several months though. That may be within the rules.

Political, not descriptive (5, Insightful)

JonSari (159879) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244428)

This describes what they want the Internet to be, not what it is or what it will be. The characteristics of the Internet they describe will change based on who uses it, as it molds itself to suit the people to use it as a TOOL.

Re:Political, not descriptive (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244516)

Its not incorrect as much as simplistic. The author refers to "the internet" like "the government". What is the government? Its not congress or the president or even the dmv. Thats "A government". "The government" is simply an agreement between 2 people. I agree to give up some of my freedoms and in return you give up some of yours (or none of yours depending on what type of government we are talking about). Now that does not describe in any way what "A government" is or how it works but it is the meaning of "the government". In the same way "The internet" is just an agreement between two people where one agrees to send data to the other. This doesnt tell you what "an internet" does or how it works or what yopu can do with it but it is still accurate.
"But wait!" you say.
"What do you mean AN internet? Isnt there only one internet?"

No there are many internets just like there are many governments. A LAN is a type of internet. It simply uses a different agreement just like in China you give up different rights then you do in the US.

Re:Political, not descriptive (1)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244524)

Although I think the Internet will always be "stupid" (as the article put it).

Re:Political, not descriptive (1)

jay-oh-eee! (750468) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244664)

I have to agree; adding that, IMHO, I think the Inet shouldn't be owned, censored (by non end-users) or regulated, but the point is that's what I think. But this won't change anything.

Bill Gates... (3, Funny)

CeleronXL (726844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244430)

Anyone can make the Internet a better place to live, work and raise up kids. It takes a real blockhead with a will of iron to make it worse.

So Bill Gates is a blockhead with a will of iron now?

Re:Bill Gates... (2, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244760)

Not necessarily, just the executives at VeriSign. (rimshot)

FreeNET (5, Informative)

ikewillis (586793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244432)

"The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it," John Gilmore [toad.com] famously said.

Indeed, and this is exactly what FreeNet is designed to do:

http://freenet.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Perhaps the fear of every government everywhere, FreeNet allows for secure and anonymous communication.

Re:FreeNET (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244539)

What about the rumors that it's been cracked? I don't recall when, but it was certainly a Slashdot article.

Re:FreeNET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244552)

I can't believe you just slashdotted Sourceforge...

Google cache for freenet.sf.net (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244619)

Well it seems sourceforge has been slashdotted (the irony). Here's google's cache:

The Freenet Project - index [216.239.53.104]

The Freenet Project - faq [216.239.53.104]

Yes, but (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244433)

can it run Linux?

Re:Yes, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244486)

Indeed it can.

Re:Yes, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244547)

In Soviet Russia, Linux asks if it can be run on YOU!!!

YOU FAIL IT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244615)

your joke sucks donkey cock.

Stunning (0, Flamebait)

Eldie (513978) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244436)

What a stunningly boring and pointless article. I can usually pull myself, with significant pain, through an article this tedious. Not this time.

I particularly like that the article starts off with a byline, but the authors' names aren't even linked to more information about the authors. I guess these two are such icons of punditry that everyone immediately knows who they are? T. D. US.

Re:Stunning (1)

seasleepy (651293) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244808)

This is an interesting post?

The authors are relatively well-known, and even if you didn't know them, Google and 2 clicks will show you directly to their [searls.com] biograpies [hyperorg.com] .

Personally, I thought most of the points were fairly obvious, but the article'd be very thought-provoking for my friends who aren't as used to thinking about "the Internet" as some sort of entity.

opinions versus facts... (0, Interesting)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244457)

The Nutshell

Opinion: 1. The Internet isn't complicated
That's an opinion. Considering more and more people are logging on, and I just read an article about older people turning to the Internet, consider the following... Just because to the author, the Internet, and using it is easy, does not mean it is not complicated for a new user

Opinion 3. The Internet is stupid.
No people are stupid. Personally (this is my opinion) I believe the next generation is going to be hellishly smarter than the one I grew up (growing up) with (in). Where else can you learn so many things from without leaving your home. Encyclopedia? They're limited.

Opinion: 4. Adding value to the Internet lowers its value.
There is no true 'value' per se as one cannot grasp anything physical. But where else can you find mega bargains, mega information...

Re:opinions versus facts... (2, Informative)

Bozyo25 (242110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244485)

You clearly didn't read the article.

He goes on to explain what he means by those statements, and nothing in your comment has any relevance to what he wrote.

Re:opinions versus facts... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244500)

As far as your first two comments: If one defines the internet as "a protocal for moving bits from one computer to another" (as the authors of this article do), then the internet is simple and stupid: it's simple, because it's just a protocal; and it's stupid, because it doesn't know or care what kind of bits it's moving. Of course, in practice the internet means more than just "a protocal for moving bits from one computer to another." So your real disagreement with this article is their definition of the internet.

Re:opinions versus facts... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244511)

That's an opinion. Considering more and more people are logging on, and I just read an article about older people turning to the Internet, consider the following... Just because to the author, the Internet, and using it is easy, does not mean it is not complicated for a new user

They don't mean the protocols or the software, or anything like what you're suggesting. They are simply saying that the internet is something that carries information from one point to another. That's pretty simple.

No people are stupid. Personally (this is my opinion) I believe the next generation is going to be hellishly smarter than the one I grew up (growing up) with (in). Where else can you learn so many things from without leaving your home. Encyclopedia? They're limited.

Well, if by "smart" you mean "tech savvy" I might agree with you. People are still as dumb as always when you get down to it. But, again, you're missing the point, because the internet has data available (much of it false or incomplete, I might add), that doesn't refute their claim that the internet is stupid. A library is stupid, yet it is full of information.

There is no true 'value' per se as one cannot grasp anything physical. But where else can you find mega bargains, mega information...

They mean, the internet is just a mechanism for transferring information. Trying to layer something else on top of it, like "pay per view" or "content protection", runs counter to the basic principle of transferring information.

Finding "mega bargains" is in fact a transfer of information, which is what the internet is all about. Charging you $1.50 for that information? No, that's not what the internet is about.

Here's a thought experiment for the MegaCorps: what if it is simply not possible to make profit on the internet?

Re:opinions versus facts... (4, Insightful)

cjhuitt (466651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244549)

I think you're confusing the point that the authors are trying to make.

Their point seems to be that the Internet, so far as it exists, is a shared idea of how to transport things from point A to point B. And it has a Protocol that you may have heard of somewhere. Remember this - they're talking about things on a IP level.

Now then:
Opinion: 1.
The Internet isn't complicated
That's an opinion. Considering more and more people are logging on, and I just read an article about older people turning to the Internet, consider the following... Just because to the author, the Internet, and using it is easy, does not mean it is not complicated for a new user.


The idea behind the internet isn't complicated, which is what they are trying to say. See, the idea is that you hook end points together. Gee, doesn't sound too complicated to me. I thought they wrote about this well, if a bit simplisticly from a technical perspective.

Opinion 3.
The Internet is stupid.
No people are stupid. Personally (this is my opinion) I believe the next generation is going to be hellishly smarter than the one I grew up (growing up) with (in). Where else can you learn so many things from without leaving your home. Encyclopedia? They're limited


The seem to mean that the internet (IP) is stupid because it doesn't know about what is going on above it. That's just the point that leads to the others. It doesn't know what it is transporting. It just moves it from point A to point B. So while the internet is enabling many smart people (this generation and next), it in itself doesn't know more than "this thingy goes from here to there".

Opinion: 4.
Adding value to the Internet lowers its value.
There is no true 'value' per se as one cannot grasp anything physical. But where else can you find mega bargains, mega information...


Here's where things get kind of complicated, I'll admit. The values talked about are two different kinds of values. I won't go through this, but advise people to RTFA. In summary, this point says that anything that makes the IP less stupid (so that it knows more about what it is transferring) results in some sort of restriction or impairment to transporting other things, which lowers the overall value.

So, The Real Nutshell: The internet (protocol) doesn't know what it is transporting, but just transports it. This is a good thing, but many people fail to grasp that this is the reality of the situation, which leads to many headaches. Especially for those of us who do grasp the idea, and happen to like it.

Option 3... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244658)

I disagree with your option 3. The next generation will not be smarter. This is a common misnomer that just because someone has access to higher tech that means they must be intelligent. Technology makes people stupider but makes them think they are smarter.

Take cars as an example. Cars used to be complicated to drive and I believe people used to be better drivers. Now a car is a box with a go pedal and a stop pedal. People don't need to think about the mechanics of driving so they are less likely to be thinking AT ALL whilst they are driving.

Re:Option 3... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244852)

"Technology makes people stupider"

point made

I always thought the Internet was... (0, Redundant)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244460)

...a huge number of interconnected computers.

It's not "the Web", it isn't email, it sure ain't news, nor Google. It's just bits routed between computers. What you do with those bits is up to you.

Re:I always thought the Internet was... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244487)

That's pretty much what the article says. Did you read it?

RTFA? (0)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244502)

Of course I didn't read the article - just like the majority of the people who will read my post. This is Slashdot, after all.

Well, for starters... (3, Offtopic)

whyde (123448) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244465)

AOL is not the internet.

Neither is that "IE" icon on your windows desktop.

The internet is also not just for pornography anymore.

Re:Well, for starters... (1)

CeleronXL (726844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244471)

I love it when people open up the IE icon and refer to it as opening the Internet. :\

ObAOLResponse (1, Funny)

red floyd (220712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244580)

AOL is not the internet.

But... but.. their commercials flat out say, "AOL is the Internet"!!!!

They wouldn't lie to me, would they??

Let's all sing, digitally (5, Funny)

writertype (541679) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244470)

OK, everyone hold hands. Yes, that means you, 63.47.108.33. Connect to 23.126.156.3. Good. Now, let's all sing/IM/VOIP call/FTP/HTTP:

We are the world
We are the Internet
We are the ones who make a better place
We are the bloggers.

(Take it away, Bob Metcalfe!)
It's a choice we're making,
We're changing our own lives...

Re:Let's all sing, digitally (3, Funny)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244618)

You seem to have forgotten about the 39 outbound connections (from spyware) telling all sorts of E-marketing firms what your up to and also the 400 inbound pop-ups also tracking all your communicatins on the internet..

Another worthwhile analysis (1, Interesting)

emo boy (586277) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244475)

http://www.internetisshit.org/
Thanks for listening.

ObSimpsons Quote (3, Funny)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244481)

Moe: "Well, if you're so sure what it ain't, why don't you tell us what it am."

In A Related Thread, What Boring Is (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244482)



What? You want more of this nonsense?

This quote says it all about politics and tech (5, Informative)

Ender77 (551980) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244490)

"The first correlation is with the unbalance between technological acceleration and political retrogression, which has proceeded earth-wide at ever widening danger levels since 1914 and especially since 1964. The breaking apart is fundamentally the schizoid and schismatic mental fugue of lawyer-politicians attempting to administrate a worldwide technology whose mechanisms they lack the education to comprehend and whose gestalt trend they frustrate by breaking apart into obsolete Renaissance nation-states." - The Illuminatus! Trilogy

The Cluetrain Manifesto sucked, and now this... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244492)

So these two screwed up pretty much 80% of their predictions in the Cluetrain Manifesto, and still expect people to take them serious.

I read the article in question about a year ago, and it was ripe smelling of "high on themselves" then.

Course I get tired of people telling me what the Internet is all about, yet they haven't been using it as long as I have.

But what *IS* the internet? (4, Funny)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244497)

> It's the largest equivalence class in the reflexive transitive
> symmetric closure of the relationship "can be reached by an IP
> packet from". --Seth Breidbart

I think I got that from the nanog list a few years ago.

Ironic? (1)

ATomkins (564078) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244503)

I find it ironic that the "Choose a style" menu at the top-right doesn't work in Safari, but works fine in Mac IE, despite the fact that:
"We don't have to worry that its basic functions are only going to work with Microsoft's, Apple's or AOL's "platform" -- because it sits beneath all of them, outside their proprietary control." (8.a.iii)

Re:Ironic? (4, Interesting)

evn (686927) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244648)

You confusing the web with the internet.

The internet itself is made up of many parts: email, usenet, IRC, world wide web, ftp, telnet the only thing they really have in common is that all of those work on top of IP (internet protocol).

The internet itself works fine on just about every platform. The services provided on top of that may be hit or miss depending on how and who impliments them.

Of course, you knew that, but a surprising number of people think that the web is all there is to the internet. I've met CS majors who still don't quiet get that AIM is part of the internet. They'll send me a message and say "my internet is down".
"...how did you send me this message?"
really they're just having some site not resolving.

I respectfully disagree (4, Insightful)

The Terrorists (619137) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244506)

For me the internet has been:


a device to prevent four Palestinians from committing suicide by talking them dowjn realtime


a device to conduct career counseling of disadvantaged global youth in europe, africa and the middle east


a device to teach myself html, php and css


a device to advance my career through spontaneous, informal networking


in fact, i basically live my business life and more and more of my personal life on the internet. and this is not a bad thing, in fact it has maximized my power and leveraged globalization for myself and millions of other members of the brown horde.

Re:I respectfully disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244557)

rofl, best troll ever. the mods just don't get it do they!

Re:I respectfully disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244745)

a device to teach myself html, php and css

A little circular, no?

Religious about IPv4? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244510)

Is this a veiled attempted at trying to suggest that IPv4 is perfect, and that DNS is perfect, and that technologists, researchers, and (oh, evil) companies should not bother trying to fix or improve things? It pretty much reads that anything any company tries to do is stupid, and evil.

It sounds so 1997, like it should of been written when people still read Wired [wired.com] .

Adding value can be a good thing... (5, Insightful)

pdaoust007 (258232) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244513)

"Adding value to the Internet lowers its value

Sounds screwy, but it's true. If you optimize a network for one type of application, you de-optimize it for others. For example, if you let the network give priority to voice or video data on the grounds that they need to arrive faster, you are telling other applications that they will have to wait. And as soon as you do that, you have turned the Net from something simple for everybody into something complicated for just one purpose. It isn't the Internet anymore."


The way I see this, prioritizing packets also ensures that a minority of users can't abuse the network ressources the everybody else want to use.

Right in my home network I had to prioritze RTP packets (VoIP) so that other people in the house couldn't screw up my phone conversations when saturating my uplink or downlink. The same can be true on a national backbone, especially in failure conditions where you will get links that saturate.

We can't stop the Internet from evolving either, it has probably turned out to be very different than what it's creators had envisioned...

Re:Adding value can be a good thing... (2, Insightful)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244529)

Somehow I reminded of Full Metal Alchemist, in which the main law observed in the show is the law of equivilent trade, which says that no matter how much is gained, this gain comes at the cost of something equally precious.

Re:Adding value can be a good thing... (1)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244766)

Here, here. I think maximizing the routing of internet to return small packets of information with less lag (and less speed), large packets of information with more lag but more speed, and streams of information at a constant rate with constant lag would help everybody. So long as the trade off was enforced at all points, I think it would be honored by protocol developers.

I'd also like to get a hold of that "broadcast" thing we were all promised for telecasts, internet radio, etc...

Obligatory Simpsons Quote (5, Funny)

Raynach (713366) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244528)

Homer: Ahh, so the internet is on computers now...

illegal internet (2, Insightful)

super_ogg (620337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244534)

One day soon, the internet will become illegal to use or at least without consent of your government. Mark my words.
ogg

Re:illegal internet (1, Funny)

OpenSourcerer (515213) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244617)

I hope I can get the consent forms online.

But it's the dominant strategy! (2, Insightful)

Hobobo (231526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244570)

"it's a bad thing for users to communicate between different kinds of instant messaging systems on the Net.

But if you draw the game theory table for this yo quickly realize that blocking communication between them is the dominant strategy. Especially for the market leader.

Re:But it's the dominant strategy! (2, Insightful)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244822)

But if you draw the game theory table for this yo quickly realize that blocking communication between them is the dominant strategy. Especially for the market leader.

Only if 1) there is significant advantage (in this case, monetary) from possessing users, and 2) it's a zero sum game. Simply because that is the current strategy, the only monetary benefit to IM is as a value add (I don't know anywone who's paying for IM specifically, do you?), and that value add would become more valuable (paradoxically) if it had fewer limitations.

And, as long as there is no easy interoperation, it's not a zero sum game, because many, many users will run more than one IM simultaneously (and at the same time, too.)

What it isnt... (1)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244579)

...controlled by microsoft... thats for sure

In that case... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244582)

I hope he goes for a real-world case study -- the end to end transfer of a given porn movie. Definetely something your manager can read and relate to, plus it gives you an easy springboard onto such topics as average throughput, burst transmissions, etc :)

Wrong about advertising (4, Insightful)

flikx (191915) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244583)

He's completely wrong about advertising on the internet. Once advertisers treat it as a medium similar to television, that is exactly what it will become. The process has already started, and a majority of sites have flagrant advertising. The recent idea of television commercials displayed fullscreen between pages is yet another example.

Junkbuster is a joke, like spam filters, most advertisements easily slip by. Want to subscribe to a site? How about a couple dozen. The small $5 - $15 fees can add up to well over $800 per month for an average internet user.

I didn't bother to read the rest of the article, but this guy is clearly living in a fantasy world. A world with cave trolls, elves, magic goblins, and internet users with a clue.

The only alternative at this point is to start a new internet, completely seperate from the existing network. Maybe the spammers and advertisers could be kept at bay for another decade or so.

Re:Wrong about advertising (1)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244796)

Well, for what it's worth, when slashdot first reported on this site a year or two ago, advertising on the Internet was waning in usefulness. I remember because I worked for an advertising supported company at the time and was pretty annoyed at the way they seemed to be gloating over the "fall."

Of course, advertising has since sprung back fairly well.

Incidentally, my junk filter at work was pretty good when I ran it (it was an add-on to Firebird), but I don't use it anymore. Firebird's default anti-pop up settings stop the ads that really bother me, i don't care about the rest.

Re:Wrong about advertising (3, Informative)

toasted_calamari (670180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244826)

I agree with you on all points except the accuracy of filtering systems.

I use pithhelmet [culater.net] on safari to filter ads, and i find few if any that get by. Not only that, but it runs a javascript routine to adjust the layout so that you don't even know that they were there. This, combined with Safari's popup blocker mean that I see almost no advertisments online, EVER.

I use a baysian email filter on all my computers, and would estimate that they filter close to 90% of spam with essentially no false positives.

From where I stand, ad and spam filters work fine for me.

Basically, this is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244588)

Despite this article's annoying use of absolutes (I know, I know, they're effective, but I hate it when people write an article as if its the last thing that will ever be written on that subject), they're mostly right. Think about it. We can do more on the Net now than 5 years ago, despite the best efforts of the RIAA, MPAA, US Govt, and pretty much every corporate interest out there. I have a feeling this will continue into the future, too.

Content is not free. (5, Insightful)

dnahelix (598670) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244614)

Perhaps companies that think they can force us to listen to their messages -- their banners, their interruptive graphic crawls over the pages we're trying to read -- will realize that our ability to flit from site to site is built into the Web's architecture. They might as well just put up banners that say "Hi! We don't understand the Internet. Oh, and, by the way, we hate you."

I'm no fan of popups or banner-ads, but if that pays for content
that I otherwise would not be seeing, then so be it. I think
commercials have made for a rather successful business model
for television, which is as pervasive as ever, even after more
than 50 years.

I also think the slew of dot-bombs from the past few years
proves that you can't give away something for free forever.
I would much rather put up with ads than have to open an
account with every website that provides quality content.
(subjective, I know)

I use the internet very very frequently to find information that
I need. Outside of my monthly charge for internet access, this
information is all free. It's free to me for one reason alone:
Internet Advertising.

The only thing people seem to be giving away for free on the
internet is their opinions, which I'm up to my neck in!

The internet (2, Funny)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244636)

isn't a place for Geeks to feel superior

isn't a place to find pornography

isn't a place to talk sexually to a 50 year old man sitting half naked in his studio appartment.

Simple stuff, but right on the money (5, Interesting)

big-magic (695949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244638)

These 10 points may sound obvious to the slashdot crowd, but to many people they are not. Unfortunately, the content owners are trying their best to turn the Internet into another channel on your television set. And the national governments do not have a reason to prevent it. And since many people are blissful in their ignorance of this issue, they will not even complain if the underlying freedom of the Internet is slowly taken away.

The part about the Internet "routing around damage" is an important feature that will be central to the battle over the future of the Net. It has taken the content owners and the government awhile to realize this property of the Net. That's the reason for the increased push for DRM and tightening copyright laws. I believe it is also the reason for the increased push for governments to directly "govern" the Internet. The fact is that the Internet makes many governments uneasy. It's a very large, uncontrolled system.

But the most important thing for us to fight to protect is the end to end connectivity. As long as I can connect to the person to which I want to communicate without going through an "approved" centralized server, the basic features of the Net will stay intact. It will be hard for the government to change this without completely destroying the value of the Internet. But I don't think that will prevent them from trying.

My prediction is that we will see increasing talk about changing the Internet to "protect the children" and "stop the terrorist from using the Net" as entry points for stricter authentication, auditing, and control, as well as increased centralization of the structure of the Internet. As much as I hate the thought, I think it's inevitable. Now that I've depressed myself, I'll take off my tin foiled hat.

Slashdot back up now? (0)

GonzoDave (743486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244654)

That'll teach Taco to open ParisHilton.exe attachments

What The Internet Isn't: (4, Funny)

MichaelGCD (728279) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244666)

the internet isn't fun now that goatse's gone...

Missed the big point (1)

Bull999999 (652264) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244708)

It's kind of interesting that the "The Real Nutshell" didn't even mention military.

The Internet Is... (-1, Redundant)

Abit667 (745465) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244711)

The Internet is Serious Business. Or should I say Internet...

Open Spectrum? (3, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244725)

From the article:

The federal agency responsible for allocating spectrum might notice that the value of open spectrum is the same as the true value of the Internet.

I hope to god he isn't refering to the electro-magnetic spectrum.

"Yeah, we used to brodcast on 109.5 FM, but then viacom put in a transmitter with twice the power of our station."

Hey man! Wanna buy my IPO? (1, Insightful)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244744)

Please, god, no. No more Cliff Stolls-ish people telling us how cool stuff is. No more libertarians checking the stock market every three minutes. Not another jack-ass with a Plan!! Please

What is this, 1997?

Just shut up. The internet is a screwdriver.
Turn shit.

The internet isn't... (-1, Flamebait)

ScottCanto (705723) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244761)

...Al Gore's invention.

World of Ends (1)

neko9 (743554) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244779)

...if we can just remember one simple fact: the Net is a world of ends. You're at one end, and everybody and everything else are at the other ends.

sorry don't now about others but i have another end right here on this very chair :-)

Inter net (1)

starm_ (573321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244786)

"The Internet is a way for all the things that call themselves networks to coexist and work together. It's an inter-network. Literally. What makes the Net inter is the fact that it's just a protocol -- the Internet Protocol, to be exact. A protocol is an agreement about how things work together."

I was told in school internet meant INTERnational NETwork.
can someone clarify?

jobs (1, Insightful)

Jesus IS the Devil (317662) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244788)

Another thing you guys have to realize is, that the internet is also a destroyer of many domestic jobs.

It destroys domestic jobs because it makes communication with foreigners easy. Think of how many tech support jobs and programming jobs are moving offshore, partially because the internet has made it efficient to do so.

so, in other words.... (5, Interesting)

Stormie (708) | more than 10 years ago | (#8244825)

I do take issue with that particular writeup, although it is true in many senses.

Today, many so-called internet users have their access mediated by firewalls and NAT. This reduces the set of internet services available to them.

(I'd even say, as a slight exaggeration, that their ISPs had engaged in false advertising by calling it "Internet Access")

By the original definition of the internet, anyone with access (control of one host) could send packets to any address:port combination, and open any port to inbound connections.

This means that everyone with internet access should be able to run an HTTP, FTP, or UT server. But many people are prevented by their ISP's routing policies.

Firewalls and NATs supposedly "add value" to the internet by making it safer for some users. But it's not made a lot safer (worms get through even today), and it has "lowered value", because creating new applications is more difficult. For example, today there is a movement towards SOAP [soaprpc.com] ; XML-RPC. Unfortunately, one of the motivations to promote it is to allow arbitrary, application-specific traffic to travel over port 80. To work around firewalls which only permit HTTP, we're starting to see a legitimization of tunneling commands over HTTP.

(I'm not saying that was the original goal of SOAP- but sneaking around firewalls is one reason that some developers are eager to try it)

So there's an example of why "adding value to the Internet" is generally bad.

However, there are cases where it may be good. We all know that IPv6 will be a postive (someday). Multicast extensions to the internet were developed well after it was first created, and are generally accepted as a good thing, although their deployment so far is well short of universal. Multicasting is a superset of existing internet functionality (assigning a single packet to be destined to multiple recipients).

Multicasting may turn out to have downsides, depending on how it's implemented (and I haven't followed development closely enough to be sure what the direction is). If it creates an unfair environment, where large corporations (CBS, MTV, RIAA) can create multicast streams, but individual users cannot, then it will cement inequality and make internet use move closer to resembling traditional television viewing. I feel justified in hoping this won't happen, however.

And QoS (quality of service) is a debatable issue, not a flat-out bad one like the article suggests. IP, the existing internet protocol (not to be confused with Intellectual Property), makes no guarantee that packets will arrive quickly or in order. It doesn't state that packets will travel at the same speed as each other. It doesn't even state that a packet which is sent will ever arrive, only that the network make a "best effort" at getting it through someday.

Since IP makes no guarantees of transmission speed, adding an optional mechanism to request QoS efforts won't break the existing protocol definitions. Yes, it may disturb some people to consider that internet packets, which used to be fair and unbiased, may someday have preference given to them based on the sender's bank account- but look at the alternative:

  • Today, internet access is filtered by bank account- if your wealth is too low, you can't use the internet at all. Allowing some packets to be more expensive to send allows the rich to subsidize the poor, who might be able to afford some access instead of none.
  • Today, deploying applications like voice, moving video, and arcade games over the internet is difficult, because your packets have latency and jitter. That's because they are competing will all kinds of email, IM, HTTP, FTP, and NTTP protocols as they move accross the network. To make low-latency interaction work better, we can either invest a lot to make the entire internet super-fast, or invest a little to recognize which packets need high speed, and bump them ahead of the lines.
  • Someday, your ISP will decide to charge you by the gigabyte. Won't you want to be able to request a reduced rate, by intstructing your software to request low-priority packets, instead of rapid-response ones? (This is analogous to last-minute airline tickets)

Basically, there are only a few internet applications which really need low-latency response: speech, video, gaming, and maybe some forms of web browsing. Everything else, especially emails and big downloads over HTTP or FTP, would work absolutely fine with 10 or 100 times the per-packet latency.

As long as there is a reasonable bound on how much faster a quick, expensive packet is than a slow, cheap one- say, not more that 100 times slower- QoS won't block any people out from using the internet, and it'll make it cheaper and easier for high-speed users to get going.

Ragging on POTS again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8244859)

When the Internet can provide better reliability(by design it cannot) and Quality of Service then the end of the POTS has come. Not a day sooner and anyone who thinks so does not run a mission critical delay-sensitive/bandwidth-sensitive wide area network.
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