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Building the Interplanetary Internet

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the ping-and-wait dept.

Space 334

sighted writes "Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, now a Google VP, is leading a NASA effort to create a permanent network link to Mars within the next two years. As Cerf outlined in a recent talk, the 'InterPlaNet' protocol is designed to handle the delay caused by interplanetary distances. A signal traveling between the Earth and Mars can take up to 20 minutes."

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I guess astronauts..... (2, Funny)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108894)

... need online pr0n too.

Re:I guess astronauts..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18108974)

All these references to porn are really getting on my chimes!

Screw that (4, Funny)

elhondo (545224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108900)

Martian porn takes too long to download.

Re:Screw that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109250)

``signal traveling between the Earth and Mars can take up to 20 minutes.''

That means any Martian server has only 20 minutes to prepare for any /. melt down.

Re:Screw that (5, Funny)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109458)

Martian porn takes too long to download.

It's worth the wait, dude, trust me. If you like what you see in Tokyo or Bangkok, just wait until you see the freaky shit out of Mars.

Re:Screw that (2, Funny)

sprag (38460) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109526)

Its always too long to wait for tentacle porn!

From Ask Slashdot 2027 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18108922)

My parents recently moved my family to Mars. I'm an avid gamer, but I'm now having a hard time playing online games as my ping is frequently 20 minutes or more. I've added 8 CPUs to my network card, but it hasn't helped the situation any. I'm wondering if anyone has found any solutions to this problem? I'm looking into using wormholes or possibly bending space-time in some other way, but I'm just not sure where to direct my efforts. I really miss playing Doom XV online, and I hear Duke Nukem Forever will be out soon, so any help would be appreciated.

Re:From Ask Slashdot 2027 (5, Funny)

maztuhblastah (745586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109074)

Doom XV online

Fuck online... come on down to Lab 6 and play for real!

-Andrew Hackman
Union Aerospace Corporation

ob Sealab 2021 (2, Insightful)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109550)

come on down to Lab 6 and play for real!
Lab 6 is jerks!

Re:From Ask Slashdot 2027 (1)

AndresCP (979913) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109102)

I guess it's time for the government to bust out that Ansible project they've been sitting on since the first Bugger War.

Re:From Ask Slashdot 2027 (3, Funny)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109324)

Nahh, wormholes and bending space time are too complex.

What you need is a good old fashioned tachon transmitter/reciever. They send signals faster than light, and best of all, the faster the signal, the lower the energy required.

problem is, you keep getting anoying responses for (2)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109378)

messages you have not yet sent. Worse than space-spam.

Re:problem is, you keep getting anoying responses (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109440)

no, time just progresses backwards for the tachyon, it doesn't travel back in time on our existance. Message sent: 11:30, message recieved 11:31, travel time for us: 1 minute, travel time for our tachy friend: -1 minute.

Re:problem is, you keep getting anoying responses (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109462)

So my ping time won't absolutely suck?

Re:problem is, you keep getting anoying responses (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109868)

That depends on how much energy you put into the tachyon emitters... If you put in enough to drain your cities power grid, then it'll suck like normal radio signals... If you put in an amount that would take a year to drain an AA batter, then no.

You'll need the nVidia 88800000 GPU card.... (3, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109340)

With dual Quantum-Nano processors, just open the holo-window dialog box and set the video refresh to -20 minutes. Make sure you avert your eyes from the dialog box when making the change, however, since once it's measured, it ceases to exist.

How exactly is this news? (1, Redundant)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108924)

Other spacecraft have talked back to earth continuously. What exactly makes this work new?

Open protocol (3, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108978)

This would be a protocol that would bind in with TCP/IP. Former space missions used protocols invented by the companies that built the hardware, not necessarily a common framework. This should change all that...

Re:Open protocol (4, Informative)

Leif_Bloomquist (311286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109170)

Actually, the majority (at least recently) use CCSDS [ccsds.org]

Re:How exactly is this news? (3, Informative)

Washizu (220337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108990)

"leading a NASA effort to create a permanent network link to Mars within the next two years"

Re:How exactly is this news? (2, Interesting)

yincrash (854885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109028)

from the article

"We are working on standardising the protocols to enable spacecraft communicate and share information across the solar system," Cerf said while delivering a talk on the 'Future of the Internet'. "Communication between a rover operator on Earth and a rover on Mars, via a relay orbiter, can't use standard Internet protocols end-to-end. That problem is at the root of a lot of the design work we're doing for the IPN... As part of the NASA Mars mission programme, the project aims to have by 2008 a well-functioning Earth-Mars network."

Re:How exactly is this news? (2, Interesting)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109486)

I think this is news now since one node of the future IPN is scheduled to be functional by 2008. The article doesn't specify in what way though; albeit a new orbiting satellite (gateway) around Mars, or just reprogramming some existing Mars mission device already deployed (to test the IPN protocol).

I like pretty pictures and diagrams. So, I found a good presentation [spaceref.com] by Cerf back in 2000 which outlined these challenges and why [spaceref.com] we need the IPN.

Priorities (3, Insightful)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108932)

Parts of this planet we live on don't even have access to a broadband Internet connection, and now they want to plug Mars on the network? Talk about priorities...

Re:Priorities (1)

petabyte (238821) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108976)

Parts of this planet we live on don't even have access to a broadband Internet connection, and now they want to plug Mars on the network? Talk about priorities...

Well, isn't it always about the last mile? :)

Re:Priorities (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109158)

Well, isn't it always about the last mile? :)

Except here we're talking about the last 2.7 AUs of conjunction.

Re:Priorities (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109704)

Except here we're talking about the last 2.7 AUs of conjunction.

Right!!! If NASA pulls this off, then I can take that argument to my local phone company. I'll convince them that if NASA can connect a line like that, then the phone company should have no problem getting DSL or FIOS lines to me.

Re:Priorities (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108994)

Because we all know that we can't do both at the same time ....

Re:Priorities (5, Insightful)

dcskier (1039688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109052)

Parts of this planet don't have broadband yet for economic reasons, this is more of a technical problem to solve. Apples and Oranges.

It makes sense to be looking and working towards the future, this sounds like an interesting project.

Re:Priorities (3, Informative)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109790)

I live within a half mile of one of the most expensive schools in my state (Franklin & Marshall). Almost all of the kids drive brand new cars, many of them luxury cars. They're able to pay for high speed broadband and would spring for 10Mbps symmetrical connections even if they cost $100/month, just because Mommy and Daddy would pay for it. Because of the population density, a few last-mile (more like last-fifteen-feet) runs would make whoever did it tons of money.

But they don't. Why? Because the only two carriers in the city (Comcast and Verizon) are already making tons of money giving sub-par service, and there's no other competition to force them to innovate thanks to our wonderful state government. I can't even get Embarq because Verizon has the CO locked down, and Embarq isn't my "local carrier."

If the state government got rid of the monopolies on cable and phone lines, we'd see some movement.

Re:Priorities (3, Insightful)

Washizu (220337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109072)

What are you doing to connect rural societies? You're just sitting here commenting on slashdot! Talk about priorities...

Re:Priorities (3, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109222)

Hey, hey, hey! There is NO higher priority than posting to slashdot!

That's why no work is getting done in my office right now.

It's easier (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109180)

Parts of this planet we live on don't even have access to a broadband Internet connection, and now they want to plug Mars on the network? Talk about priorities...

It's called picking the low-hanging fruit. There's no Verizon on Mars so putting in a good Internet connection should be pretty easy.

Re:It's easier (3, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109346)

I'm not aware of any places except maybe near the North or South Poles where people don't have access to two-way satellite Internet like DirectPC.

Yes, ping times for games might be crappy, but downloads are quite speedy once you get going (though "chatty" stuff with lots of small messages like Peer-to-Peer also can suck.)

Again, it's economics. I suppose you'll be able to find political hack whiners claiming $80 a month is a "huge ripoff, the gubmint must get involved"; nevermind the investments made to bring it in at that price rather than billions, millions, or even thousands a month.

Re:It's easier (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109470)

I'm not aware of any places except maybe near the North or South Poles where people don't have access to two-way satellite Internet like DirectPC.

Have you ever actually used one? Everybody I know who has one (dozens of people) hate it. VPN is unusable, web surfing hurts (try doing AJAX with 3-6 second response times) and ssh is break-out-the-modem time. As you mention, games are unplayable.

The once case you do cite, downloads, is OK, though a bit slow.

Oh, and the entire network can crash for hours to days at a time.

And nobody in the class of folks I mention above would complain about an $80/mo bill for a good internet connection.

Re:Priorities (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109448)

For many of those countries, having broadband internet is not exactly a top priority. When it starts with:
-avoiding war areas.
-securing clean food and water supply.
-having access to decent medical services and education.
-getting a job that pays more than the poverty level. ...
then even slow internet is a luxury that comes way behind a decent home, clothes, meat, a vehicule, electricity, a TV...

Martians must have always been big Democratic (1)

oldwarrior (463580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109466)

party contributers. Explains Elliot Spitzer.

ob. Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18108936)

"Ah, I see you have the machine that goes..."

(20 minute delay)

"...ping!"

Doom Server (1)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108938)


While the latency would make it almost impossible, I would love to play a game of Doom on a Martian server.

Re:Doom Server (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109044)

Unless you were there. Doomcon 2010: On the surface of mars.

Re:Doom Server (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109166)

LAN gaming, and the live action version. Gimme my boom stick.

Re:Doom Server (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109094)

Why bother? Just bring along the modified paintball guns, and reenact your favorite scenes.

(I call dibs on the Cacodemon costume. I'll bring along a couple HL2 players as Lost Souls.)

Latency Bright Side (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109304)

On the bright side, the latency of someone on Mars playing against someone on Phobos isn't that bad.
According to google: (2 * 6 000 kilometers) / the speed of light = 40.0276914 milliseconds
Which is better than what i get playing with people in the US from Israel.

Ping (4, Funny)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108960)

Pinging marsbase.com [1.55.123.1] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 1.55.123.1: bytes=32 time=1199990ms TTL=1200000
Reply from 1.55.123.1: bytes=32 time=1199997ms TTL=1200000
Reply from 1.55.123.1: bytes=32 time=1200030ms TTL=1200000
Reply from 1.55.123.1: bytes=32 time=1200017ms TTL=1200000

Ping statistics for 1.55.123.1:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 1199990ms, Maximum = 1200030ms, Average = 1200016ms

Re:Ping (5, Insightful)

Coffee Warlord (266564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108992)

We have a colony on Mars, but we're STILL using IPV4. God help us. :)

Don't worry (3, Interesting)

pato101 (851725) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109844)

They are going to use MAT (Mars Address Translation)

Re:Ping (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109066)

What's with the TTL? Interplanetary routers? That's pretty ambitious!

Re:Ping (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109152)

no just stupidity. YOu do no need more hops for greater distances.

Re:Ping (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109282)

I'm guessing he plans to fill up the entire galaxy with 802.11 routers and use them for net connectivity.

Deja vu (1)

tiltowait (306189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109138)

Sounds like an old joke [slashdot.org] I read somewhere.

Re:Ping (4, Interesting)

Steve Cox (207680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109150)

From the presentation on IPN I saw a few years back, it appears that you wont be pinging marsbase.com..... they actually fancy adding a couple of levels to get some real TLDs.....

ping marsbase.com.mars.sol

When I saw the .sol in the presentation I was pretty impressed... theres a little bit of future proofing in that one....

Steve.

Re:Ping (0, Offtopic)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109380)

Sorry, guy. "Sol" is not the name of Earth's sun, in spite of linguistic etymology.

I named it "Freeda" last year. And no, that's not a misspelling.

It's true. Earth is in orbit around the sun Freeda.

Re:Ping (1)

IPFreely (47576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109382)

Yeah, but you just know that everyone will want a .sol domain no matter where they are. I means, seriously, who would want a .beta.cancer or a .apus domain?

Re:Ping (5, Interesting)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109504)

ping marsbase.com.mars.sol.milky
Now it's really future-proof

Re:Ping (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109670)

So, who will be in charge of the galTLDs?

Re:Ping (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109752)

Probably some corporate hack who's donated a lot of money to some political candidate in the US and doesn't really understand the total coolness of solar system wide TLDs.

Re:Ping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109202)

tracert marsbase.com

Tracing route to marsbase.com [1.55.123.1]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

    1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms 192.168.48.1
    2 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms my.router [192.168.67.1]
    3 * 22 ms 23 ms router277.nasa.gov [123.243.23.241]
    4 231321 ms 231321 ms 231321 ms moon.colony.net [111.241.161.51]
    5 23132121 ms 23132121 ms 23132120 ms uplink.halleys.comet.net [101.245.161.5]
    7 2313211243 ms 231321241 ms 2313212144 ms marsbase.com [1.55.123.1]

Trace complete.

Re:Ping (1)

mr-mafoo (891779) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109518)

dag nab it, you got there first!

uucp (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18108972)

uucp. done.

Let me be the first to say it... (1)

Zonekeeper (458060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18108980)

LAGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!

Re:Let me be the first to say it... (1)

bonvondies (1065816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109914)

ah, you must not be using the ansible correctly. noob.

can't wait ... (1)

GlitchyBits (1066840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109006)

Martian v1agra for free !


More seriously, what's the point of getting the internet working on an interplanetary scale when we are heading to a bandwidth dead end on that good old earth internet ?

So P2P now means planet-2-planet ;) (5, Funny)

Marbleless (640965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109038)

Forget Sealand, build a torrent server on Mars and see what the MPAA does :)

Re:So P2P now means planet-2-planet ;) (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109162)

Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Reply from the Martian MPAA... (5, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109388)

OHHHH!....that makes me VERY ANGRY!!! (huff huff huff)....Very Angry INDEED!!!!

Re:So P2P now means planet-2-planet ;) (1)

GlitchyBits (1066840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109574)

The problem with p2p is that you still share content while downloading, they would still be able to trace you.

imagine: gww://google.com (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109084)

The Galaxy-Wide-Web!!! And imagine the texting fun! Free VoIP Calls from Phobos and Deimos!

Re:imagine: gww://google.com (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109196)

Not to be pedantic, but that would more likely be http://gww.google.com.../ [gww.google.com]

not on the galaxy wide web ;) (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109366)

Let's hope they cache in the asteroid belts.

Re:imagine: gww://google.com (1)

plastic_grass (529934) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109266)

Only if we assure that the Interplanetary network is neutral. Did I just open a can of worms?

Spam? (1)

ganiman (162726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109114)

Does this mean that there will be spam on Mars too? Or maybe we'll get spam from the martians! Damn, time to write some better spam filters...

20 minutes! (2, Funny)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109128)

A 40 minute ping really sucks for gaming and means no one is going to let you play.

So Who Pays When (0, Flamebait)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109148)

. . . the server goes up in smoke after 1.5 billon /.ers all try to connect at once?

\. mars (1)

kj_in_ottawa (838840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109198)

Great now we can start DoSing planets. You just had to put a link up on \.
kj

What is the maximum latency for communication? (2, Interesting)

jmagar.com (67146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109210)

I wonder what the acceptable max latency could be for 2 way communications. We have become quite used to having near immediate mode communications, and computer networks are possibly dependant on it. At what duration in time does distributed computing fall down? What is the maximum time to live on a TCP packet?

I'll be keeping an eye on this to see how they address these sorts of issues. Also, does this not relate to RFC 1149 [ietf.org] ? Certainly the latency issue is common.

Re:What is the maximum latency for communication? (1)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109338)

I wonder what the acceptable max latency could be for 2 way communications.

Months or years. Keep in mind that people used to communicate over long distances via hand-written letters, and that was the only option.

If you mean semi-realtime communication (sitting and waiting for an answer) most people won't put up with latencies longer than a minute or so. While you're waiting for a reply you can go do something else, and at that point, you might as well just be using email.

Re:What is the maximum latency for communication? (3, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109376)

The maximum TTL on a TCP/IP packet is 256 (I'm pretty sure it's unsigned). Of course that means absolutely nothing in this context because the TTL is only decremented (by one) when your packet goes through a router (it's designed to reduce the damage caused by routing loops). That said, there are timeouts in the TCP 3 way handshake that make setting up a regular plain vanilla TCP connection with Mars impossible unless you can figure out a way to exceed the speed of light. That's why you have to switch to IPN on the long hop to Mars and run applications that don't care about 20 minutes worth of delay. The applications are really the hardest part, you either have to set up fancy proxies or specifically build your application to handle long delays.

Re:What is the maximum latency for communication? (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109436)

Technically, TCP/IP functions at any latency. You can do asynchronous communication with any amount of latency - your FTP session (assuming the server on the end doesn't close the session) will run just fine, provided you've got big enough TCP window sizes. Of course, the initial SYN-ACK three way handshake will take an hour with 20 mins each way, but writing a download manager that copes and just gets on with it wouldn't be too hard. You would have to configure the remote server appropriately though, since most firewalls and hosts work in seconds for establishing a TCP/IP session. If I recall correctly, the default on checkpoint firewall was 50s to establish the SYN-ACK. And you beat me to it on posting the RFC1149 reference. So much for my attempt at cheap karmawhoring.

Re:What is the maximum latency for communication? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109676)

I think first and foremost, you'd need 2 machines set to identical time synchronizations. One on Earth, one on Mars, which all communications are checked against for message time verification. After that, its just a matter of creating the intended comm's package size/format, for data to be structured around.

It sounds strange but, you really need the server on Mars to be set to an Earth timezone, as we are 'Homebase', and already set up for 24hr clock. I don't think we want to reprogram the Mars server for a 30+hr clock, communicating with its point to point thats on a 24hr clock.

Hell, they couldn't get metric to standard correct. What makes you think they can get interplanetary comm's right?

Re:What is the maximum latency for communication? (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109796)

Doesn't NTP have 'latency tolerance' built in? At least the clock synch part's easier...

The 'which timezone' should people be quoting just got a whole lot worse though. What's the GMT offset again?

And all the astronauts will be on WoW (1)

nightsweat (604367) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109220)

Complaining about the lag.

Re:And all the astronauts will be on WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109538)

[19:05 Guild][Marsadin]LFM Mana tombs
[19:05 Guild][Earthlock]OMMMMGGGGG LAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGG!!!!!!!
Earthlock has gone offline
Earthlock has come online
[19:25 Guild][Earthlock]OMG Did you get lag just then?
[19:45 Guild][Marsadin] Nope, must have been a blip.

Don't re-invent the wheel. (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109252)

RFC 1149 [ietf.org] already documents how IP can be implemented with high latency low reliability environments. You don't really need to be re-inventing the wheel. Although I'll admit, a spacegoing pigeon would present an engineering challenge, so you might just want to stick with something a little more conventional like radio. But you can probably adapt the latency part...

The next story on SlashDot... (0, Troll)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109310)

The next story on SlashDot will be:
"Google Announces Plan to Cure Cancer"

Random VP quoted as, "Fuck, why not? We're burning money on every other non-competency we can think of too."

Hey editors: how about a limit on the number of vaporware PR pieces from any particular corporation in any given week.

quantum link, 0 ping F.T.W. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109386)

Quantum link, instant transmission of data. No need for a medium (cable).

Come on.. i want 0 ping to mars... start working scientists.. chop chop!

News Flash (1)

JrOldPhart (1063610) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109442)

(United Press Interplanetary) 2009
The MPAA and the RIAA have teamed up in an attempt to
eliminate the Martian servers via saturation bombing
the surface of Mars.
These servers are hosting
illegal copies of "Rocky XLVI" and "Oceans Fifty Four"
along with re-re-remakes of many other of the Hollywood cash
cows.which are hosting

Big cache? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109492)

Wouldn't the obvious answer be to have a big cache on Mars, that refreshes itself at night/periodically during day, so that they can have access to stuff fast locally, and with 20-minute delay for "sync with earth"?

Re:Big cache? (1)

kahrytan (913147) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109888)

How many hard drives would that take? The Internet has terabytes of information and growing rapidly everyday. By the time they could do a massive cache server, It would need more then 1 petabyte of space.

I'm kicking martian players out of my guild. (1)

wooden pickle (1006975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109508)

We have a couple of druids who are just horrible healers. I thought it was because they recently moved to Mars, but it turns out they're just feral specced.

Current limits of technology (5, Informative)

Valdez (125966) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109530)

Now, IANACG, so check my math. ;)

Mars is, roughly, between 50 and 250 million miles away from earth, depending where we are in our solar orbits. Recently, the closest it's been in a long while is nearly 35 million miles (back in 2003 according to the Intertron)... but the distance swings rapidly as we race around our orbits... it can go from 40 million to 200 million in the space of a few months. I'm using 50 million as a rough average for the sake of illustration.

Given the speed of light, as fast as we think we can go, is *only* 670 million mph... that means the fastest one way trip we think anything can do is still going to take 4.5 minutes... it'll be better when it's closer (just over 3 minutes) and worse when it's on the opposite side of the sun (22 minutes)... and remember thats just one way!

Even if we plant a colony on mars, you won't be seeing ms ping times between earth.sol and mars.sol until there a breakthrough in our understanding of physics and we figure out how to go faster than the speed of light.

For those who didn't want to bother to read this post, if you want to play Halo XXV on a Mars server, you'll need to figure out a way to communicate with that installation at superluminal speeds.

What a fun project! (4, Interesting)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109536)

I had a friend who was doing some consulting for a company that wanted to offer satellite based internet connectivity. When they first tried out the system, things took forever to download, despite the fact they had many Meg of bandwidth. Each picture that loaded involved a separate TCP/IP connection, which takes several back and forth messages to establish - which was sluggish because of the latency going to the geosynchronous satellite. (This was several years ago, and all the vendors have very sophisticated understanding of the issues).

With a twenty minute delay, the standard practice of resending dropped packets becomes more prohibitive (the send/NAK/resend would take an hour!), so you'd have to make the encoding redundant enough so that most errors could be recovered by the receiver - without doubling the bandwidth. Oh, it would be fun!

Ok, I'll go back to writing documentation now. >sigh

Martian Packest (1)

ntufar (712060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109556)

Bah, Matian Packets [wikipedia.org] have been around for ages.

Maybe (1)

Quixote (154172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109612)

we can ask him how to build a better Slashdot search engine also? dupe! [slashdot.org]

So, this means (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109696)

So this means that the SLA will state that an acceptable ping time to the backbone is 40 minutes?

InterPlaNet? (4, Funny)

alexmcmorris (1067264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109726)

InterPlaNet? When the time comes is Pluto going to get shafted again?

Sweet! Amazon Women on the moon! (2, Funny)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109746)

We can test it by using it on the moon first, and use it to download porn of Amazon women. I bet there will be plenty of volunteers to test that out.

Standardization... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109854)

The one small step for man, one giant leap for hackers...

More lawsuits (2, Funny)

Marvin01 (909379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109858)

I hear that Google is already getting sued by the Martians over copyright violations.

TxROLL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18109906)

and enjoy all the Gloves, condoms For *BSD because Than its Windows perfor8ing.' Even chosen, whatever can be like 40,000 coming In ratio of 5 to

Instant messaging? (1)

pfortuny (857713) | more than 7 years ago | (#18109930)

I wonder what the name will become?

Delayed Instant Messaging?

Uninstant Messaging?

20-minant Messaging?

Please we ****need**** instant teleporting before our conversations get muddled in THE WAIT.

"Oh, I was chatting with John, but he got asleep during THE WAIT"

Or THE DELAY. At least that would be a *real* problem.
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