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Web Creators Call Internet Outdated

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the we-need-better-tubes dept.

The Internet 243

ElvaWSJ writes "Several networking pioneers are dissatisfied with the Internet's underpinnings, and some are offering remedies to ease the strain that bandwidth-hungry services put on technology networks. Along with other projects here in the US and around the world, numerous companies and organizations are looking to rewrite the underpinnings of the internet. This piece looks at new concerns from old hands at networking, with comments from folks like Larry Roberts and Len Bosack. 'Mr. Roberts's concern over the Internet's infrastructure stretches back years. Even while at ARPAnet, he says he was unsure how long the technology could work, especially since the system didn't ensure that information packets would arrive at their destination. His fears crystallized in the late 1990s when he saw companies begin to use the Internet to make phone calls and consumers begin to dabble in online video.'"

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odd... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825535)

They talk about web creators and didn't mention Mr. Manbearpig... I mean, Al Gore!

Re:odd... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825703)

At least provide a link [wikipedia.org] .

Geez....

Wow.. just wow (4, Funny)

valkabo (840034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825539)

Can we please go at least a week without hearing about the internets short comings? The internets my only friend and you are all SO mean to it. He/SHE is doing his/HER best!!! Besides, If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Leave it alone! (5, Funny)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826555)

How fucking dare anyone out there make fun of the internet after all it has been through? It's running out of bandwidth. Packets aren't guaranteed to be delivered. People are using it for fucking video and telephone. Mr. Roberts turned out to be an engineer, and now he's selling flow routers. All you people care about is carving out bandwidth. It's a series of tubes! What you don't realize is that the Internet is just being the Internet and all you do is write a bunch of crap about it. The Internet hasn't updated its hardware in years. It prefixes everything with "www" because all you people care about is WINNING! WINNING! WINNING! LEAVE IT ALONE! You are lucky it even loads you bastards! LEAVE THE INTERNET ALONE! Please! Len Bosack talked about adequacy and said if the Internet was adequate it would connect to underground cables that have nearly 100 times its capacity. Speaking of adequacy, when is it adequate to publicly bash an international communications network who is going through a hard time?

Response (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825549)

Web Creators Call Internet Outdated
The internet appeared very upset upon hearing this news and responded as it often does to most criticisms:

STFU n00b

Netcraft confirms (4, Insightful)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825585)

The Internet is dead.

Seriously, there really isn't anything that wrong with the Internet. Sure, it may not work perfectly, but how can you ever expect to connect so many diverse systems together in one unregulated mass and have it work perfectly? If you want a better system, go use Internet2 and leave the rest of us alone.

Re:Netcraft confirms (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825753)

Seriously, there really isn't anything that wrong with the Internet.

My junk mail folder seems to disagree with you.

Re:Netcraft confirms (5, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825921)

You're supposed to occasionally delete messages from your junk mail folder, for the exact reason of preventing it from becoming sentient. Nice work destroying us all.

Re:Netcraft confirms (4, Funny)

empaler (130732) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826847)

Mr. Shine. Him diamond!

Re:Netcraft confirms (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825961)

Blaming the internet for spam is like blaming pig farmers for low quality hot dogs. There's a connection, but you're missing other, unconnected factors that contribute more to the problem.

Any system that allows unsolicited contact is going to be open to abuse by marketing departments as all the other communication channels have shown. While DNS and other things aren't as secure as they could be, the structure of email on top of the internet is what allows for most of the abuse. Change the protocols and regulations for email and you'll get less (or at least more accurate) spam without changing the structure of the internet at all.

Re:Netcraft confirms (2, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826021)

You're right, and thanks for clarifying my point. However, SMTP is a protocol, just like TCP and IP are. Changing a protocol's specs _IS_ changing the internet. (At least IMO).

Re:Netcraft confirms (3, Insightful)

fmobus (831767) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826527)

And I always thought IP meant INTERNET protocol...

(meaning: to change IP is to change the Internet. Changing protocols running on top of it isn't)

Re:Netcraft confirms (3, Insightful)

g-san (93038) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826865)

Well in that case, the new internet is here, it's IPv6. We are waiting for it to be adopted. So even if you came up with a new perfecter internet, there would still be a time period where it will have to be adopted. This sucker is too big to reload every router and reboot them with the new code at 0 GMT on Friday ya know.

Re:Netcraft confirms (4, Informative)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827069)

However, SMTP is a protocol, just like TCP and IP are. Changing a protocol's specs _IS_ changing the internet. (At least IMO).

Without getting too network-geeky, while they are both protocols they operate on different levels of the OSI model [wikipedia.org] .

SMTP operates at the highest level (Layer 7); it has absolutely no concern for how messages are delivered, it is only concerned with how to format those messages, how to parse and read them, etc. Once it has the message formatted as what you would recognize as email, it passes it down to lower OSI levels and stops caring. You can completely gut TCP/IP and SMTP will continue to function; likewise you can completely alter SMTP without TCP/IP even caring.

TCP, on the other hand, is a Layer 4 protocol. Layer 4 is where the actual work of sending data takes place once the connection is established, and ensures reliable transmission.

IP is a level lower, on the Network level (3). Basically speaking, it figures out how to send the data. It does the job of routing.

While it is a matter of semantics, the lower you go down the more of "the Internet" one could argue it is. I would consider it fair to say TCP and IP both make up "the Internet" (though they do not have to--this was by choice). Things like SMTP, FTP, HTTP, etc. are services that run on top.

(These explanations are greatly simplified of course.)

Re:Netcraft confirms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826223)

So the solution is: change the system so it DOES NOT ALLOW UNSOLICITED CONTACT.

Problem solved.

Re:Netcraft confirms (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826929)

I love how everybody blames the big bad marketing departments for everything.

You're a fucking idiot. It is obvious you work for someone else and collect a paycheck because if you worked for yourself you would realise how god damn stupid you sound.

You fucking peasant.

Re:Netcraft confirms (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825833)

"Seriously, there really isn't anything that wrong with the Internet. Sure, it may not work perfectly, but how can you ever expect to connect so many diverse systems together in one unregulated mass and have it work perfectly?"

Well, chalk it up to a bit of 'tin foil hat-ism' on my part, but, I can definitely see MANY governments wanting a hand in a redesign of the 'internet'.

Accurate identification of all using it (no more anon. access/abilities). Heavy filtering of content (gotta protect the IP of our corporate 'sponsors').....and that silly way the current internet lets most anyone connect their own computer, and be a PEER amongst all the other computers...nothing really special needed to hook up any type server you want to run, and have it be just as accesible as a room of servers from MegaCorp, Inc.

Sure the current system isn't perfect, but, in many cases those imperfections many seek to fix aren't physical...they are the ones that are more theoretical. This current internet lets Joe Q. Citizen do a little too much, speak a little to loudly....while I mourn at the loss of the "wild west" days of the internet already to a great degree, I'd hate to see it disappear entirely.

I personally am a little afraid of what some would like to fix about the current tubes we're running on.

Re:Netcraft confirms (2, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826665)

Seriously, there really isn't anything that wrong with the Internet.

Goatse, tubgirl, lemonparty, penisbird, Tara Reid, the list just goes on.

Jetsons (1)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825603)

Are you surprised? I mean, where's our flying cars? Aren't we supposed to have those? And push-button jobs. And robotic maids.

Re:Jetsons (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825885)

Push button jobs: Your computer keyboard - unless yours has dials in which case you have my deepest sympathies. Robotic maids: Roombas.

Flying cars are a little trickier - but the jetpacks are coming along nicely - check out the flight times on the T-73 : http://www.jetpackinternational.com/equip.html [jetpackinternational.com]

And remember - when being pursued by the police, it helps to be aware that they don't know what roof you're going to land on.

Re:Jetsons (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826151)

Push button jobs

As opposed to blow jobs? You are talking about cyber sex, right? Or is there where the Robotic maids come in? I can't picture R2D2 in stockings... and C3PO would be just too wrong for that.

Re:Jetsons (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827035)

I take that back - a dial for cyber sex makes sense.

and consumers begin to dabble in online video.. (4, Funny)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825609)

and consumers begin to dabble in online video...

he was meant to say pRon?

Re:and consumers begin to dabble in online video.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825869)

Who is p-Ron? Some sort of peeing genius named Ron?

I believe you meant pr0n smarty pants.

Re:and consumers begin to dabble in online video.. (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826819)

pRon is the new white pr0nstar rapper, P. Ron Jeremy, of Hedgehog Records.

Seems like someone misses being important. (5, Insightful)

valkabo (840034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825625)

"The Internet wasn't designed for people to watch television," he says. "I know because I designed it."
Yes, he designed it when baud rates were under 16k. The average person now has megabits of connection ready to use. Hell my cell phone has megabits ready to use. I'm sorry, but this entire article is written for 70 year old men who are slowly being phased out because there products are completly ineffective in todays world. One of them has a router that reads the type of data(email, video, etc) and then sets aside bandwith for it. ...Worst idea ever. What if my email CONTAINS video?! What then internet man?

Faster protocols (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825895)

It's still faster to pack my steam-powered ornithopter full of tapes, sonny boy.

Re:Faster protocols (5, Funny)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825943)

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a trebuchet loaded with a metric ton of backup tapes.

The internet is no country for men.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825993)

Maintaining eye contact isn't going stop it from happening....you think it is, but it won't.....

Re:Seems like someone misses being important. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825997)

because there products

Where products?

Backbone vs your local megabits (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826145)

I think what the guy's talking about is the fact that the system was designed with a certain ratio of capacity between the backbone and the end-users' connections. If everybody has megabits of bandwidth, and they all want to use all of it all the time, you need a huge capacity backbone.

It doesn't matter whether you're talking about 16k baud rates or 10 Megabit connections, if all that data has to go through a bottleneck that's not many times the capacity of the individual connections, you're gonna run out.

Re:Backbone vs your local megabits (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826857)

You do realize that local (metropolitan) backbones were hundreds of megabits even back in the late 90s, right?

And that the reason Akamai came about was to stream large amounts of data from a co-located node as close to the client as possible? It wasn't to keep that portion of the backbone from flooding, but to give the client a better experience.

The internet is basically a decentralized hub-spoke design. The more hops you have to take, the smaller the pipeline to your specific machine. It was never designed with any sort of ratio in mind as it was always meant to be expandable.

And finally, managed P2P could actually be the answer to those design limitations, but that puts a much bigger load on the edge, which ISPs have hopelessly borked by overselling and underprovisioning. Yet even with their failures, huge amounts of data flow across the network via unmanaged P2P, far more than these original designers would have believed possible.

What's the factorial of 300 million? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826339)

The average person now has megabits of connection ready to use.

I'll let the "average person" part pass (since I just don't know any better), but the megabits in question are at the last mile--there's a bottleneck where all those last mile circuits feed into an uplink that doesn't have nearly as much bandwidth as they do in the aggregate. And that's by design; the whole point of a communications network like the telephone network or a packet-switched network is to make the most of a limited resource by sharing it.

If you want everybody to be able to watch the same exact thing at the exact same time, all the time, you run a wire from a central station to everybody interested (or even easier, you transmit a radio signal). The bandwidth requirement is just whatever your broadcast requires. However, if you want everybody to be able to watch a completely different thing at the same time, all the time, and that thing could be provided by anybody else in the network, then everybody needs to be able to get full bandwidth to any other site all the time. And for that you have to build the equivalent of a wire running from each subscriber to every other one. What's the factorial of 300 million?

The only way to get it to work is to weaken the assumptions; e.g., sometimes you won't be able to watch TV over the internet because too many people are already doing so. Or the number of choices you actually have is small, relative to the number of subscribers (which allows for some tricks to share bandwidth). Or you can't really watch whatever you want whenever you want.

Hell my cell phone has megabits ready to use.

Yes, on a set of on-the-air channels shared with whatever other subscribers may be in the vicinity.

Re:Seems like someone misses being important. (2, Funny)

Myopic (18616) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826707)

because there products are completly ineffective

where are products completely ineffective? i sure don't want to go there.

Re:Seems like someone misses being important. (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827019)

"One of them has a router that reads the type of data(email, video, etc) and then sets aside bandwidth for it. ...Worst idea ever. What if my email CONTAINS video?! What then internet man?"
Umm.... Wow ....
What video in your email would an attachment. What would happen is it would get transmitted to your computer slightly slower than other types of data like streaming video or audio...
Which means that your voip phone, streaming music, and or streaming video wouldn't get interrupted by you downloading your mail.
In other words IT WOULD WORK EXACTLY THAT WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TO AND WOULD BE FREAKING BRILLIANT! It is very common in routers. It is QOS or Quality of Service!
If it mail had a link to a streaming video source then the router would know that and give that video stream higher priority.
You may be kidding but it is hard to tell. I have found that one can never be sure if someone is clueless or trying to be funny.

Web != Internet (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825641)

The Web is an application on the internet but it is not the internet. There are many things that use the internet that aren't the web.

Re:Web != Internet (1)

Tim4444 (1122173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826437)

No. World Wide Web is the name of a particular internet - aka the Internet (capital I). ...and yes, we know there's more to the Internet than port 80.

Vice of Google thinks differently ... (4, Interesting)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825657)

Quote [wired.com] : "However, unlike many, Cerf doesn't think the bandwidth issues, frequently stated as a potential stumbling block for video over the web, will be a problem. Cerf thinks that a combination of faster connections, improved network technology and not "streaming" content will alleviate any issues."

Seems like he is not engaged in a (recent) startup.

CC.

Re:Vice of Google thinks differently ... (2, Interesting)

neil-ngc (1019290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825773)

"However, unlike many, Cerf doesn't think the bandwidth issues, frequently stated as a potential stumbling block for video over the web, will be a problem. Cerf thinks that a combination of faster connections, improved network technology and not "streaming" content will alleviate any issues."
The guys in the article aren't saying the internet is done for. They're saying the technology currently in use wasn't designed for the kinds of uses it's being put to. Yes it works, but there's a limit to it. Thus, they are working to improve the technology, which apparently the source of your quote agrees is necessary.

Re:Vice of Google thinks differently ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826271)

TFA: "We can no longer rely on last-generation technology, which has essentially remained unchanged for 40 years, to power Internet performance," says Mr. Roberts, who is 69 years old. Last month, his start-up, Anagran Inc., introduced a piece of gear called the flow router that he says can help modernize the Internet."

TFA: "Len Bosack, ... Last month, his company, XKL LLC, unveiled a system that allows businesses ..."

That advances in technology improve/replace current/old design would not be news, would it?

CC.

IN short (0, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825689)

programming is hard, please change they way everything works ti suit us.KTHXBY

idiots.

Another stupid "advertisement article" (4, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825691)

From TFA

To tackle the problem, a slew of start-ups are producing gear and software to accelerate Internet traffic or to increase the network's capacity. These include companies run by Messrs. Roberts and Bosack, as well as Riverbed Technology Inc. and Big Band Networks Inc. Other companies, such as BitGravity Inc. and Limelight Networks Inc., are creating "parallel networks" -- essentially scaled-down versions of the Internet -- to escape the glut of traffic on current networks.

Of course, the gentlemen crying wolf are the same people who run companies who can sell you stuff to fix the problem. There's no new problem here. The tubes, according to business people, always seem to be in a sorry state, about ready to crumble the moment the wrong person clicks one more time on that link promising Brittney Spears porn. And yet, I have been able to get my email every morning since 1993 when I got my first email account.

Typical fearmongering article designed to drum up new business. Mod me up, give me my karma now, and move along, nothing to see here.

Re:Another stupid "advertisement article" (4, Funny)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826171)

Mod me up, give me my karma now, and move along, nothing to see here.
Well, it worked for you...can you blame them for trying the same? ;)

Especially since (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826579)

ALL old systems are "outdated" and could be done better. That's just life, doesn't mean that we are going to replace them. Could we have done the Internet better if we knew where it would have gone? Sure, but we didn't. So guess what? Now we gots what we gots. It works, we'll make due with it, and modify it as we can and as we need to.

I am with you, on being real tired of these "X is outdated and is going to collapse!!!111" articles. Yes, everything is old, everything is outdated, everything could be done better. Shut up, it isn't going to go to hell, no we don't need what you are selling.

While it'd be nice if everything was updated with latest technology, latest techniques, we've been living in an "outdated" world forever, it works just fine.

Re:Another stupid "advertisement article" (1)

splict (1024037) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826607)

There's no new problem here. The tubes, according to business people, always seem to be in a sorry state, about ready to crumble the moment the wrong person clicks one more time on that link promising Brittney Spears porn. And yet, I have been able to get my email every morning since 1993 when I got my first email account.

"if you type google into google, you can break the internet. so no-one try it! it is not a laughing matter. you *can* break the internet..."

Re:Another stupid "advertisement article" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826663)

These include companies run by Messrs. Roberts and Bosack, as well as Riverbed Technology Inc. and Big Band Networks Inc. Other companies, such as BitGravity Inc. and Limelight Networks Inc., are creating "parallel networks" -- essentially scaled-down versions of the Internet -- to escape the glut of traffic on current networks.


I'm starting a new start-up which will build scaled-down versions of their "parallel networks" which will escape the eventual glut of traffic on their "parallel networks."

Patent pending.

Poor planning (1, Insightful)

packetmon (977047) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825717)

This has been one of the biggest problems with most companies as well... Poor planning and design. There is no way SmallCompany.com or MomAndPop.org could have known that by going world wide they'd gain a slew of business that would overwhelm their poor little SoHo office. Now they have to upgrade and add 20 servers, 2 routers and a firewall. Get real for a minute. Most companies, government organizations, etc., can't control growth and expansion, it grows, implodes at will. National Lambda Rail [nlr.net] however thrilling it may sound is a bandaid solution. I can see it now... "K Engineers, this weekend we'll be migrating ARIN and APNIC over to ipv?.lambdarail.net for better speeds"

Re:Poor planning (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826351)

I'm not sure what you mean, but I think it's about 10 years too late to accuse ARPAnet / Internet of poor planning. It already worked. It filled the earth with the first ubiquitous data backbone. I wouldn't be very surprised if it's still called "The Internet" 500 years from now.

Time to Light up some Dark Fibre? (2, Insightful)

Zombie91836 (699598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825719)

It's my understanding that we have thousands of miles of "dark fibre [wikipedia.org] ", or unused fibre optic cables running under our grounds. As capacity needs expand, are we looking to use any of this unused resource? Dotcom bubble enterprises paid a lot of money to install it, and then they went bankrupt and the fibre remains unused.

From what I understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826499)

It isn't being used because it is the "old" type of fiber that only allows for one "color" of light. The newer type allows for a full spectrum, so instead of 1 bit at a time you get 8 or more. See what I mean? I think it has something to do with adding those expensive fiber cards into core routers, if you're going to buy them and have to pay to use fiber you want the fast/good kind and not the older slower kind.

Re:Time to Light up some Dark Fibre? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826669)

It's my understanding that we have thousands of miles of "dark fibre", or unused fibre optic cables running under our grounds.

dark fiber buried beside the interstate highway, the railroad track, or the high-tension line doesn't translate into bandwidth that you can sell to your retail customers.

There is only one reason anyone would want (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825739)

to change the internet: Control.
To establish borders and break the very thing that gives the internet so much potential and effect.
A world where no one could blog about monks being killed. A world where people fighting tyranny can't be heard from. and yes, a world where you can't watch porn.

Re:There is only one reason anyone would want (1)

UserGoogol (623581) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825857)

My god, you have opened my eyes! I never realized that IPv6 was an intricate fascist conspiracy to take over the world, but now it's so clear. I must be ever vigilant against commie-fascist "upgrades" to the Internet when, as we all know, IPv4 is the most perfect telecommunications protocol ever devised!

Re:There is only one reason anyone would want (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826675)

You still see IPv6 as the future? I think not. It's been around long enough and didn't catch on.

As for IPv4 being the most perfect telecommunications protocol ever devised, I think it is. At least, there really are no challengers, since nothing else has ever achieved such massive deployment. That in itself is the biggest testament to IPv4.

So what changes are coming down the pike? Policy-wise, I do think there's a risk of national firewalls proliferating around the world, in fact I suspect they already exist in a sense, though for monitoring rather than filtering. I don't foresee any big sudden crackdowns in the West, rather a gradual erosion of privacy and consumer rights that may lead to the same place. Technology-wise, I think everything will just be natural extensions to today's Internet for the forseeable future. SMTP is often criticised as the weakest point in most users' Internet experience, but webmail is undercutting it (and effectively addressing SPAM).

Re:There is only one reason anyone would want (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825939)

Oh, now I get it. The Internet is absolutely perfect and any attempt to change anything is a conspiracy. Blah!

New and better things come along and the current way the internet works is no different. Loosen the tin-foil.

Re:There is only one reason anyone would want (1)

BoberFett (127537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827201)

You'd have to be a fool to believe that any re-inventing of the internet wouldn't have all kinds of government controls layered on top of it. The first time around the internet caught most people by surprise. Now politicians know the power of a worldwide computer network and will not hesitate to control every aspect of it they way they currently do with broadcast media.

WTF Slashdot? (0, Troll)

handslikesnakes (659012) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825743)

You *do* know the difference between the Internet and the Web, right?

The solution according to Roberts (5, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825751)

The solution according to Roberts:

"Last month, his start-up, Anagran Inc., introduced a piece of gear called the flow router that he says can help modernize the Internet. The equipment analyzes Web traffic to discern whether it is an email, a movie or a phone call and then carves out the bandwidth needed for transmission."

No thanks.

The solution according to Bosack:

"Last month, his company, XKL LLC, unveiled a system that allows businesses to connect to underground cables that have nearly 100 times the capacity of current telecommunications pipes."

That would be really nice, how about making use of all the dark fiber first.

All in all, we see the people who were involved in the creation of the Internet now got into the private business and use all possible means of pushing said business forward. It's almost sad they did so good job the first time, that now they have created solutions in search of a problem ...

Re:The solution according to Roberts (2, Interesting)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825935)

I think that is referring to dark fiber. Throughout the article fiber is referred to as if it's some new revolutionary thing that runs on sun magic and will make molasses pour fast.

I wouldn't worry about not making that connection though, it's almost impossible to even tell what the point of the article actually is. Is it a biography? A review of new tech? A warning of impending danger? Who knows! It's just vague sentences strung together!

Re:The solution according to Roberts (1)

flonker (526111) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825989)

Well, the question is, did they come up with the solution first, and try to drum up the problem to make sales, or did they come up with the problem first, identify how to fix it, and start selling solutions? In most cases we assume the former, but considering these are new products, it could easily be the latter.

Re:The solution according to Roberts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826083)

the solution according to me is multi TB proxy servers at the exchange level.

Nothing new here... (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826207)

Roberts: "The equipment analyzes Web traffic to discern whether it is an email, a movie or a phone call and then carves out the bandwidth needed for transmission."

Not sure if I'm missing something here; what's the difference between this and traffic shaping [wikipedia.org] ? Traffic shaping already exists for the express purpose of assuring QoS for things like VoIP. In order to take it to the next level, you would have to implement it in a multinational telco's network.

Bosack: "A system that allows businesses to connect to underground cables that have nearly 100 times the capacity of current telecommunications pipes."

... how about making use of all the dark fiber first.

Spot on, suv4x4. We already have the ability to increase bandwidth to most areas via the existing dark fiber [wikipedia.org] , so the only bit that matters is the last mile to your door (which companies like Verizon [wikipedia.org] are working on currently); that's not the problem. Just like when you get a shiny new hard drive, you fill it quite quickly because you have the free space. Increased bandwidth always leads to increased consumption.

The question at hand is how to make internet routing more efficient so as to ensure QoS to the real-time services like voice/video communications and (to a lesser extent) maintain reasonable latency for real-time games (most FPS games don't require much bandwidth, just extremely low latency). Both companies claim to solve or help the issue, neither seems to do that. This is just advertising, not a hard-core restructuring of the internet. For that, we'd likely need another project like Internet2 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The solution according to Roberts (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826227)

That would be really nice, how about making use of all the dark fiber first.

Maybe it's "dark" because the companies that own them want too much money?

The Internet is like Walmart (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825759)

Too many people know the workings of the current Internet. This is like Walmart and product placement on shelves.
Once too many people know where the stuff they really want is, they can go directly there and get it without browsing all the isles looking for it and ending up with extra stuff as well. Too many people know about the Internet as it currently exists, time to redo the shelves on the Internet and force people to start wandering thru it again, looking for what was where it should be yesterday.

Re:The Internet is like Walmart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826751)

You mean... like moving slahdot to omgponies?

Article Translation/Summary: (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825763)

IPv4 is creaky, migrate to IPv6 for good justice.

Re:Article Translation/Summary: (1)

Jorgandar (450573) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826531)

There is really nothing wrong with IPv4. It should have worked, and should still work, for many years to come. There is something wrong with the way we allocated the IPs. It comes down to human error, once again. IPv6 won't fix THAT part which is broken - the people.

IPv6 will be no better if we make the same mistakes, we'll use up all the IP addresses just as fast.

Every few years (1)

Casandro (751346) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825785)

Every few years people cry out that the net is going to break down because it's to slow.
Come on! Get over it! There are lots of simple ways to build fast networks. A single fiber can easily transport 10 Gigabits per second. And a typical cable has more than 100 of those fibers. So even with todays technologies 500 Gigabits per second on a cable is perfectly doable.

The main problems currently are this:
It's hard to build a high traffic server as all the traffic will concentrate.
ISPs don't want to invest in new lines.

If you'd really change something about the network, do the following:
In IPv6 make an optional header which tells the router to try to cache it transparently, if it can. If it can, it will send the packet to a transparent proxy which will also send that header in it's queries.

So after a while you would automatically build a network of cascaded proxy servers. The network would automatically be in it's optimal configuration. If you choose not to use the proxies, just don't use that header. It's good enought if a few routers along the way support this new header, the others just need to pass it throught.

Reliability (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825795)

Even while at ARPAnet, he says he was unsure how long the technology could work, especially since the system didn't ensure that information packets would arrive at their destination.

So long as you're running packets over copper, or fiber, or radio waves, or any other physical medium, you're going to have the possibility of packet loss. Oops, I unplugged the cable.

I always thought that was the brilliance of IP: once you admit that packets will always be unreliable, you can build a platform on top of that which does what you want. Pretending it can be 100% reliable is a fantasy, and it doesn't help us build better networks.

The web is the same way: no database geek would have ever thought of throwing referential integrity out the window. But Tim realized that there would always be the possibility of not being able to connect, so we have the 404 page, and the web is flourishing.

If Larry has an idea for a way to guarantee packets arrive, that's great, but somehow I doubt it's physically possible. And as long as we don't have it, the best way we know how to build networks is to allow for the possibility of failure, and deal with it.

Even web clients are smart enough to say "Sorry, can't seem to connect to some-server.com right now", but if cable TV goes out all I get is a blank screen. And if my network starts to get flaky, I can pause an online video and come back later when it's fully downloaded; I can't do that on TV. Is online video really that bad? On everything except bandwidth, we're doing pretty darned good, and bandwidth is being solved as we speak.

Re:Reliability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826547)

But Tim realized that there would always be the possibility of not being able to connect, so we have the 404 page, and the web is flourishing.
HTTP code 404 ('Not Found') only occurs when the client does successfully connect to the server.

P2P Intelligence? (3, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825807)

I am not familiar with the internal workings of P2P software, but I wouldn't be surprised if most of the algorithms only take into account bandwidth type (modem, DSL, LAN, etc) and which peers are 'super peers' or regular peers. The one piece of information that would be important is network hierarchy, so that you give priority to local peers first. An example order would be: local LAN -> local ISP -> anyone else. The idea is that by optimising for close peers you reduce the amount of traffic going beyond the network. This is also a sort of compromise that could appease certain stingy bandwidth ISPs, since they pay less to the providers they depend on, since the amount of data leaving and entering their network is reduced.

I am not sure how you could work out which peers are considered local. Maybe hop count could do the job, but I don't know how effective that is.

Re:P2P Intelligence? (2, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825873)

Forgot to mention the above becomes important in an environment where network neutrality is eliminated. ISPs could provide caching for certain types of P2P data and content, and only make this cached data available to their customers. The only question is what would be the deciding factor as to what is cached, given the issue with data that is either being distributed without the copyright holders permission or data that is being distributed with permission, but the ISP doesn't get to make a cut off. Unfortunately money and copyright issues will always be part of the equation.

Re:P2P Intelligence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825963)

Actually, I think some p2p networks may use ping time for that, although that would only give a rough estimate of network distance because it does not tell how much bandwidth is free on the connection between the hosts.

Dont forget the golden rule ! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825813)

"If it aint broke, DONT fix it !"

There would be NO problems if the ISPs didnt oversell and invest the phenomenonal cash they made on overselling instead of gulping it.

Its not internet's, users', or techies fault - its the big buck's fault. Ages old greed

No thanks (2, Insightful)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825815)

The article is basically just talking about bandwidth and how it may not be sufficient for video and television. The only solution other than stuff that essentially boils down to "increase bandwidth" is this one:

The equipment analyzes Web traffic to discern whether it is an email, a movie or a phone call and then carves out the bandwidth needed for transmission.

So the solution is to start having ISPs analyze my network traffic ? How about NO ? No thanks. I'd rather they just implement multicast, and don't use lack of bandwidth as an excuse to start spying on the users. Heck, traffic analysis obviously won't work with encrypted content, so shall we have to choose between privacy and quality of service? I for one do NOT welcome our existing overlords snooping more on what we do, and I would prefer it if they stick to net-neutrality and actually implement protocols like multicast, that have been designed to deal with the bandwidth issues.

multicast? (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826257)

I was hoping somebody would bring up multicast. I've seen the term bandied about in the past, and I assume it refers to an IP-based equivalent to TV broadcasting. Multiple people receive the same stream, giving up control over when they tune it. Certainly makes sense for 'interntet TV' - especially if you could TIVO the stream to get time-shifting capability that way.

Has this actually been designed, or is it just something people talk about? Anybody have a URL that goes into detail?

Re:multicast? (1)

ZwJGR (1014973) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827023)

Multicast in in current form will simply not work on the global internet. Period.
It requires that routers store lots of state information for each route, which is not viable in a mesh layout, and multicast addresses (in IPv4) are a limited number of (class D?) addresses. IP multicast is only useful for local LANs/private networks in its current form.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Multicast [wikipedia.org]

Systems like X-Cast look more tenable for the public internet too me.
(Info is spread thinly, use google).
In this sort of scheme the list of destination is encoded as unicast addresses within the packet header, and routers replicate the packet when there is a fork in the routing for the destinations.

Re:multicast? (1)

huckamania (533052) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827039)

Multicast was supposed to be one of the features of IPv6. Not sure if they ever really got it working. Also, not sure how it would actually save with bandwidth over the internet, unless the clients are on the same subnet.

Re:multicast? (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827171)

Multicast requires routers/switches to keep track of who subscribes to which stream. It isn't realistic to do on the Internet backbone. It's good and very useful for company-wide stuff, and even for ISP-wide stuff though.

ohhhhh gopher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825817)

ohhhhhh gopher with your low bandwidth requirement, how I yearn for your return in this bloated video web2.0 nastiness. If only everyone used gopher clients and browsed the 'web' with Lynx and spammers were locked up then all this capacity would be free.

Something's off... (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825853)

"The Internet wasn't designed for people to watch television," [Mr. Roberts] says. "I know because I designed it."
... later ...

[Mr. Roberts] raised $317 million from venture capitalists for Caspian to manufacture the flow-based routers that could analyze Internet traffic and improve how that traffic moved.

Now, maybe I'm dense here, but when he says that he designed the Internet, I imagine that he's talking about a lower level than the design of routers. In fact, earlier, he says that one of the problems is that it doesn't guarantee that packets arrive at their destination, leading me to believe that he's talking about, at highest, the IP level. So my question is, how is this router project related? What does it have to do with the Internet problems we're supposedly facing? Is this router going to change the basic design of the Internet? I don't know, I can't say exactly what's wrong and I can't say if it's the article author or Roberts or the editor, but it's just so off I smell bullshit somewhere.

Another thing that gets me is, how is it bad that we don't guarantee packet delivery? (At lower levels and for some protocols.) If we put that in, say, IP, how would we then have UDP? And how is TCP's transmission guarantee not a guarantee? I mean, yes, it's possible you won't get your packet, but at the very worst you can detect that you didn't get your packet, which is about as good as it's possible to do while operating in the real world.

Reading through the article I got the same hand-wavy, smoke-blowing impression many times, which is odd given that it's about a couple of people who created the Internet. You'd think they would point out hard facts and real problems. Anybody else see something off with this article, and maybe see what agenda it's actually going for? It reads like something that belongs in the pessimistic bizarro-New Scientist.

Re:Something's off... (1)

userw014 (707413) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826239)

What bothered me was this articles emphasis on the issue of dropped packets.

It sounded to me like a re-hash of the early arguments against connectionless, datagram oriented networks (IP) by advocates of connection, virtual circuit oriented networks (X.25, primarily phone companies.)

If you're dropping packets and you're charging for packets, that means that you have to come up with a rebate scheme for rebating the dropped packets (and counting the dropped packets too.) The article seems to have been written by a WSJ bean counter who thinks that if you can count it it must be worth charging for.

What does Hollywood think? (2, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825887)

Internet is like, so last year. Stone tablet and carrier pigeon are back in style this year. All the Hollywood celebs are doing it. You should too!

TCP (1)

StuffMaster (412029) | more than 6 years ago | (#20825909)

Did I miss the part where he said TCP doesn't ensure packets get to their destination? ...'cause I was under the impression that it did.

Perhaps this "networking pioneer" can enlighten me.

Nothing to see here - move on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20825919)

TFA is little more than a self-advertisement for his latest attempt to sell QoS routers. Since leaving the DoD in 1971 he has attempted to sell QoS routers. And failed repeatedly.

"Even while at ARPAnet, he says he was unsure how long the technology could work, especially since the system didn't ensure that information packets would arrive at their destination. His fears crystallized in the late 1990s when he saw companies begin to use the Internet to make phone calls and consumers begin to dabble in online video."

So 40 years ago he had concerns. Seems that we're doing pretty well then, because this crappy 40 year old technology continues to change the world, and continues to work. Sure, it has its issues. And a lot of people who work to overcome them.

"The Internet wasn't designed for people to watch television," he says. "I know because I designed it."

Anyone seen the internet fall over recently because of iTunes, VOIP, torrents or youtube? When was the last time a DDOS attack had a lasting effect on the internet? He completely neglects to mention the thousands of other researchers and engineers who have built on what he designed.

I don't know whether QoS routers have a market in the internet or not. It seems to me that the Tier1 ISPs built out a lot of dark fiber in the late 90s, which we are now starting to use. Google have been building out fiber recently. It seems to me that the internet is scaling fairly nicely without them.

Re:Nothing to see here - move on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826081)

*I* am crappy 40-year-old technology, you insensitive clod!

wrong title. ARPA/Internet != Web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826077)

The article did not mention the creation of the web at all.

If it did, I assume it would mention Tim Berners Lee.

non-guarantee?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826289)

Well, certainly for UDP there is no guarantee, but TCP include guarantee of packet delivery as part of the spec IIRC. UDP relies on the applications & services using it to handle failure to receive packets on their own...

Of course this all ignores the real purpose of the internet was to create a network that could, potentially, survive fragmenting and loss of nodes while still being able to operate, and IIRC was the primary motive for the creation of DARPANET. Note the "D", especially since we are now acknowledging that the "D" supplies most of the research $$$ again.

If we are redesigning it, can I have it.. (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826505)

.. in a nice shade of Ferrari Red to match my car? Thanks.

its good enough (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826507)

The trouble with something like the internet is that it's "good enough", and due to it's current sheer size, creating a replacement that works better and can handle that kind of volume would be VERY expensive. It's better to replace the pieces that absolutely need packet guarantees as needed, and work outward from there. As the demand for such a service increases, the money to pay for the infrastructure replacements will become available. No company is going to throw down the multiple, multiple billions needed to get a brand new, highly "beta" internet going, when there's still so much $ to be made from the current (albeit slightly broken) version.

That's what the Internet needs-- a fork! (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826523)

Yeah, let's get rid of all of those buggy and exploitable protocols and get somethings safe, serene, and a joy for ISPs to deliver.

Wait wait don't tell me....

Yeah, Internet II.

Uh oh, already been done? A worldwide OC-192 highway? Drat.

Sorry there, old salivating VC buds, perhaps it wasn't that simple. Maybe we need to look at it one step and application at a time. What-- we need to time data together so as not to cause multimedia latency issues? Drat.

The web creators call the internet outdated... (1)

dontspitconfetti (1153473) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826537)

And are in the process of downloading an update via the Internet.

Phone companies (2, Interesting)

Deadplant (212273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826627)

So light up a couple more fiber strands and upgrade from gig to 10gig equipment. (then from 10gig to 100gig)
But noooo, there's no money for that because the telecomms have spent all their infrastructure money on "QoS" and spying equipment.
Instead of upgrading the capacity they buy hugely powerful equipment to analyse these vast data flows and selectively reduce the quality of service.

The problem with the Internet is the big telecom companies making selfish business decisions instead of the correct technical decisions. (see Bell Canada peering)

I say we buy up the fiber for a new network and run it publicly like the roads.
Customer owned fiber is the way to go.
http://www.canarie.ca/canet4/library/customer.html [canarie.ca]

In other news... (1)

Tim4444 (1122173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826703)

Fat Cat Corporations Say Internet's Too Competitive Religious Right Says Internet's Too Dirty China Says Internet's Too Liberal Prakash Singh Says Internet's Too Expensive Al Gore Says Air's Too Free Take a number and sit down.

Packet loss doesn't affect video (too much) (1)

ferespo (899921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826737)

Even while at ARPAnet, he says he was unsure how long the technology could work, especially since the system didn't ensure that information packets would arrive at their destination. His fears crystallized in the late 1990s when he saw companies begin to use the Internet to make phone calls and consumers begin to dabble in online video.'"
Excuse me if I miss something, but isn't UDP capable of handling that kind of data? In fact, a few packets missed don't affect phone calls or online video.
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_Datagram_Protocol [wikipedia.org]

UDP does not guarantee reliability or ordering in the way that TCP does. Datagrams may arrive out of order, appear duplicated, or go missing without notice.
....
Common network applications that use UDP include the Domain Name System (DNS), streaming media applications such as IPTV, Voice over IP (VoIP), Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) and online games.

"Web creators"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20826759)

They're not some HTML kiddies, they're the people who invented the whole thing! Is it possible that /. editors don't know the difference between Internet and WWW?

The foundations are based on obsolete assumptions (2, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826767)

All of the core internet protocols are based on an obsolete assumption of what the core user base is. The internet is no longer composed primarily of trustworthy, technically savvy, geeks and scientists. So, for the past 15 years, we've been layering safety and utility layers on top of this flawed foundation. Look at the evolution of E-mail. E-mails are sent over the same SMTP sessions that used to be driven by manually-entered commands. Add to that some primitive and flawed approaches to protocol standards, and we do have a little bit of a mess. The news to me isn't that the internet is flawed, but that the IT community has managed to scale these foundation technologies into the modern internet age. Yes, it's outdated, but it also still works.

I Know What They Mean (1)

cloudscout (104011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826829)

Outdated indeed! I keep checking every day, but suck.com still hasn't been updated in over six years!

Wait a min (2, Funny)

Garrick68 (1165999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20826995)

"The Internet wasn't designed for people to watch television," he says. "I know because I designed it." I thought Al Gore said that he designed that there tarraweb thingy?

We Koreans... (1)

temcat (873475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20827141)

...wholeheartedly agree with the Web creators on this subject. Here, only old people use the Internet.
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