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The Internet Networking Technology

Web Creators Call Internet Outdated 243

Posted by Zonk
from the we-need-better-tubes dept.
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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Web Creators Call Internet Outdated

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  • odd... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    They talk about web creators and didn't mention Mr. Manbearpig... I mean, Al Gore!
  • by valkabo (840034) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:25PM (#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.
    • by Belacgod (1103921) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @02:33PM (#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?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Culture20 (968837)
      You're hitting mid-life. Don't you need a faster, more stable, younger Internet with HUGE... bandwidth? Try Internet2, just enroll at a major U.S. university near you. *Internet2 may be restricted to Internet bandwidth when attempting to access Internet sites. Internet2 might be monitored by the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the RIAA. Do not injest Internet2. If skin comes into contact with Internet2, rinse thoroughly, then apply a cold compress. If your Internet2 uptime lasts longer than four hours, c
  • Response (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:25PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ctrl-Z (28806) <tim.timcoleman@com> on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:28PM (#20825585) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • Seriously, there really isn't anything that wrong with the Internet.

      My junk mail folder seems to disagree with you.
      • by maxume (22995) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:52PM (#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.
      • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:55PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Spy der Mann (805235)
          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).
          • by fmobus (831767) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @02:31PM (#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)

            • by g-san (93038) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @02:53PM (#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 (Score:5, Informative)

            by Dhalka226 (559740) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @03:08PM (#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.)

            • I'd say anything below 3 doesn't count, either. It's the Internet if it gets to your through Ethernet, Token Ring, PPP, SLIP, Arcnet, PLIP, or X.25 so I don't think Layer 1 or Layer 2 matter at all.

              Plus, don't forget TCP's little brother, UDP. Much of the Internet's woes would be much worse if the applications suited for UDP all used TCP instead. Some of what's currently done with TCP would probably scale better with UDP too. It's a valid choice for lots of tasks, but TCP's better when more reliable deliver
            • A teaching tool (Score:3, Interesting)

              by thegameiam (671961)
              I like to think that I wrote this song (Seven Layer Cake [cdbaby.com]) as a teaching tool...
        • by Doug Neal (195160) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @03:36PM (#20827511)

          Blaming the internet for spam is like blaming pig farmers for low quality hot dogs.
          Sorry, I don't understand what you mean. Please give a car analogy as per standard procedure.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Braino420 (896819)
          In the meantime, what can we do about the low quality hot dogs?
    • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:45PM (#20825833) Homepage Journal
      "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.

      • by PitaBred (632671)
        The only thing I'd like to "fix" about the Internet is more bandwidth to the endpoints, and availability of home ISP's at a reasonable price (affordable to people making $50K or less a year without it being a major expense) that don't do port filtering and try to wall us into their garden.
      • I personally am a little afraid of what some would like to fix about the current tubes we're running on.

        I wouldn't mind if the tubes themselves got fixed. Judging by the slow speeds available to American consumers, it seems to me that the tubes must be leaking somewhere. I think they be careful about installing new valves and filters that would cause the tubes to block up in new ways.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by sharkey (16670)

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

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ex-MislTech (557759)
      many diverse systems together in one unregulated mass

      The series of RFC's for each protocol.

      FTP, SSH, SSL, HTTP(s), DNS, IPsec, PPTP, PPOE, PPP, ATM, Sonet, Frame Relay, xDSL,
      T-carrier, V.35, Ethernet, it is truly too many to list.

      Organizations IANA, ICANN, ITU, ANSI, and several others.

      People may think it is unregulated, but it trust me it is regulated.

      Not to mention what the major long haul providers implement
      via there own machinations.

  • by wwmedia (950346) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:29PM (#20825609)
    and consumers begin to dabble in online video...

    he was meant to say pRon?
  • by valkabo (840034) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:31PM (#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?
    • It's still faster to pack my steam-powered ornithopter full of tapes, sonny boy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      because there products

      Where products?

    • 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.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      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 sha

      • by jez9999 (618189)
        if you want everybody to be able to watch a completely different thing at the same time [...] then everybody needs to be able to get full bandwidth to any other site all the time ... Huh?? A video is guaranteed to saturate your connection?
      • by Lennie (16154)
        'If you want everybody to be able to watch the same exact thing at the exact same time, all the time'

        In internet speak, it's called multicast.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Zak3056 (69287)

        If you want everybody to be able to watch the same exact thing at the exact same time

        ...you multicast?

        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.

        As you noted, everyone has scads of last mile bandwidth, which is comparatively cheap to build-out. If the content is THAT MUCH in demand, just cache it closer to the people who want it. This is the entire reason that companies like akam

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Myopic (18616)
      because there products are completly ineffective

      where are products completely ineffective? i sure don't want to go there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044)
      "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 ma
    • by Zeinfeld (263942)
      Yes, he designed it when baud rates were under 16k.

      It is somewhat strange to see a name I have never heard cited as having been a creator of the Web. OK so reading the article it turns out that he was an Internet pioneer, its a common mistake.

      But, "The Internet wasn't designed for people to watch television," he says. "I know because I designed it." - I have never heard Cerf or Postel or Metcalf or Khan or Clarke or any of that crowd make such a sweeping claim.

      And so what?

      What we are talking about

    • One of them has a router that reads the type of data(email, video, etc) and then sets aside bandwith for it.

      Admittedly, I haven't RTFA:d, but I really doubt that is what he wants to do. I would much rather think that he would like for the Internet to work more like the telephone network, so that once a virtual circuit is connected, its bandwidth is guaranteed along the entire route by means of having pre-allocated timeslots. If there isn't enough bandwidth at the time of connection setup, the connection is denied by the network.

      Not that that means that I would necessarily agree with him, but it's not as if it

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by blhack (921171) *
      As far as streaming video goes:

      Why not just allocate a piece of the available IP multicast bandwidth in the same way that pieces of the Electromagnetic Spectrum are licensed out. Sure it wouldn't be on demand, but people have been getting by without ondemand television now for 50+ years. Add to this the fact that the ability to have ~1Tb of harddisk is not difficult...and you've got yourself a nice internet connected DVR.

      jusathought.
    • by aztektum (170569)
      i'm sure if e-mail did work that way and was able to announce itself for sorting, it would pretty easy for it to say "oh btw i have an attached file."
    • What if my email CONTAINS video?! What then internet man?

      Then your mail server admin takes you out back for a quiet chat and you are never seen nor heard of again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by myxiplx (906307)
      What the holy crap? How in gods name did this get modded insightfull on Slashdot? What he's done is try to give an idiots guide to QoS (Quality of Service), unfortunately it appears he didn't realise how big the idiots get around here.

      QoS is the reason you're able to get megabits of bandwidth. It's the reason VoIP works at all (that's phones over the net). Without QoS filtering those video containing e-mails would use up all the bandwidth you need to watch live videos or have phone conversations. Every
  • Web != Internet (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    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.
  • by foobsr (693224) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:32PM (#20825657) Homepage Journal
    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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by neil-ngc (1019290)

      "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

  • by hellfire (86129) <deviladvNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:34PM (#20825691) Homepage
    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.
    • by GeckoX (259575) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @02:09PM (#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? ;)
    • 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 b
  • Poor planning (Score:2, Insightful)

    by packetmon (977047)
    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 thr
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timeOday (582209)
      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.
  • 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.
    • by westlake (615356)
      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.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:38PM (#20825739) Homepage Journal
    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.

    • 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!
      • by timeOday (582209)
        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 alre

        • by Lennie (16154)
          > You still see IPv6 as the future? I think not. It's been around long enough and didn't catch on.

          Actually, IPv6 will come, but that doesn't mean it's really all that much different from IPv4.

          > but webmail is undercutting it (and effectively addressing SPAM).

          I don't see the connection.

          Or are talking about that gmail has a pretty good spam filter ?
        • Webmail does nothing what-so-ever to prevent and/or stop spam. You don't think the mail servers use SMTP on their end and we simply use the web to access it?
    • 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.
      • by BoberFett (127537)
        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.
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:39PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      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!

    • by flonker (526111)
      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.
    • 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 conne

    • 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?
  • 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.
  • IPv4 is creaky, migrate to IPv6 for good justice.
  • Reliability (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:43PM (#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.
  • P2P Intelligence? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:43PM (#20825807) Homepage Journal
    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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. Unfort
  • "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 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BlueParrot (965239) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:44PM (#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.
    • 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?
      • 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.
      • by amorsen (7485)
        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.
  • "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 goin

  • by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @01:50PM (#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!
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Phone companies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Deadplant (212273) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @02:37PM (#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]
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @02:47PM (#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.
  • Outdated indeed! I keep checking every day, but suck.com still hasn't been updated in over six years!
  • Wait a min (Score:2, Funny)

    by Garrick68 (1165999)
    "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?
  • ...wholeheartedly agree with the Web creators on this subject. Here, only old people use the Internet.
  • If only we had... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chelloveck (14643) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @03:57PM (#20827879) Homepage

    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.

    Gee, if only we had some method to control the transportation of packets. I envision it starting with something like a handshake between two hosts so each would know that the other was ready. Then you'd want to assign sequence numbers to each packet so the recipient would know if a packet had been dropped. The recipient might have some way to acknowledge each packet, so the sender knows that the recipient received it. And there might even be some way for either endpoint to tell the other that it's finished with the conversation, allowing timely cleanup of network resources.

    Nah, I'm dreaming. If such a magic "transport control" protocol were possible, surely the inventors of the Internet would have figured it out by now.

  • "Web creators", TFA says, yet I can find no mention of TBL. Are there some other Web creators around that I haven't heard of?
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday October 02, 2007 @08:22PM (#20831499) Homepage

    Having been around at the beginning, I should comment on this.

    There are some fundamental problems with the way the Internet works, but hardware has saved us from having to solve them. The biggest problem is that we still can't deal effectively with congestion in the middle of a pure datagram network. We know what to do out near the edges (look up "fair queuing", which I invented), but in the middle, where there are too many flows and too little transit delay, that doesn't work.

    The practical solution to the problem has been cheap long-haul bandwidth in the backbone of the network, with routers to match. Early users of the modern Internet may remember the days when MAE-EAST and MAE-WEST would choke on traffic and the whole backbone would start losing half the packets. That was solved by cheap fibre optic links. Today, we have a network where the "last mile" usually saturates before the backbone does. This is what makes the whole thing work. But we never did get a good technical solution to that problem. We have some good hacks: the congestion window in TCP and "Random Early Drop", which together sort of work. At least where most of the traffic is TCP. We still don't have equally effective ways of throttling UDP traffic.

    Roberts is a virtual circuit guy. He founded Telenet, which was a virtual circuit system. (I was recruited by Telenet when they had 13 employees, but turned them down.) Telenet was a flop commercially; it didn't scale up well. Telcos love virtual circuits, because they create connections they can bill. And they keep trying to get virtual circuits into the network. X.25, ISDN, ATM, and PPPoE are virtual circuit systems, and they all came from telcos. Roberts is still pushing variations on his virtual circuit scheme.

    There are continuing attempts to get some kind of billable virtual circuit thing into the network, and those attempts consistently come from telcos. There was a scheme tried for using multiple PPPoE connections over ADSL links to provide multiple classes of service, with the good ones being more expensive. That didn't fly. The whole "net neutrality" thing is about this. What telcos really want is to be able to charge based on the "value to the consumer". The wireless phone people do this, and cash in big - SMS messages cost more to send than photos. The wireline telcos see themselves being cut out of the revenue stream as video moves to the Internet. They want to create a place where they can step on the hose and cut off the flow unless you pay them extra.

    I wrote the classic RFC on this [faqs.org] too many years ago. Read the section "Game Theoretic Aspects of Network Congestion". It's still valid. But, as I said above, we don't have to solve the theoretical problem as long as throwing cheap backbone bandwidth at it works. Cheap backbone bandwidth will continue to be available unless some monopoly situation develops that prevents backbone bandwidth from being provided near cost.

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