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Another Inventor of the Internet Wants To Gag It 250

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the not-so-fast dept.
MojoKid writes "Lawrence Roberts is just another guy with the title: 'Inventor of the Internet' in news articles. According to Wikipedia, he's the father of networking through data packets. And he's turned his attention to everyone's favorite data packet topic: Peer-to-Peer file sharing. He's established a company called Anagran, and says their devices can sort out which file transfers on the tubes are P2P, and — you guessed it — can throttle them in favor of other, more 'high-priority' traffic."
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Another Inventor of the Internet Wants To Gag It

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  • by The_mad_linguist (1019680) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:28PM (#23982047)

    An upstart? Trying to destroy Gore's legacy?

    I suppose the internet is unprotected while Gore's off riding moon worms...

  • Mod Article Down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) * on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:33PM (#23982137)

    This has to be the most ridiculous article in the history of slashdot.

    "Lawrence Roberts is just another guy with the title: 'Inventor of the Internet' in news articles."

    That's right, just another guy. Who just happened to be the Program Manager and principle architect for the initial design and construction of ARPAnet.

    • Re:Mod Article Down (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Glug (153153) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:19PM (#23982703)

      Also mod it down because the article is completely misleading - Lawrence Roberts doesn't want to gag P2P at all. He wants to help it survive in a practical manner.

      The problem he wants to solve is how to make someone who's trying to bring up a quick mapquest page be able to do so without sitting there waiting and waiting, and eventually wondering whether there're five people on his subnet downloading the latest 18G celebrity midget porn video. If he solves that problem, then Comcast won't care about using more stupid methods of throttling our celebrity midget porn.

      • Re:Mod Article Down (Score:5, Interesting)

        by crt (44106) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @03:45PM (#23984133)

        I heard this guy speak a the recent Structure08 conference.
        The way his solution works isn't throttling and doesn't rely on protocol inspection, nor does it target P2P directly.
        Instead, it ensures fair bandwidth between users, rather than between flows. Basically his argument is that the problem isn't P2P, it's just that P2P happens to make it hard to share bandwidth because of the huge number of connections it uses. His box makes sure bandwidth is shared fairly between users, regardless of the number of connections they are using. So if you have 10mbit, and 10 users, and all are trying to download something, each will get 1mbit, even if one user is using 10 connections and the others are using 1.
        It's certainly an interesting approach to dealing with the problem.

  • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:33PM (#23982145) Homepage Journal

    Look at the over 4,000 channels of content (much of it in hi-def) legitimately distributed via miro.

    • by RonnyJ (651856) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:46PM (#23982321)

      ISPs probably don't really care whether it's legitimate or not though, it's the impact that large amounts of data has on their network that's the issue for them.

      I don't see that prioritising HTTP traffic etc is harmful though - it can provide a better quality of service to most users, I prioritise HTTP traffic myself. The real issue is whether ISPs are open to the consumer about how their traffic is shaped.

      • by AllIGotWasThisNick (1309495) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:58PM (#23982453)
        I think the bulk of network "management" from ISPs today is not about "prioritizing" anything. It's about preventing the Internet from competing with the ISP's other services (cable, telephone) by targeting specific applications with throttling or eg. Comcast's packet fraud. If HTTP actually received priority, then connections with other protocols would be slower, but neither stopped or violated.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by canuck57 (662392)

        ISPs probably don't really care whether it's legitimate or not though, it's the impact that large amounts of data has on their network that's the issue for them.

        Let me rephrase that. The ISP hasn't provided enough upstream bandwidth for their user base and now wants to charge the destination URL for preferred access.

        I don't see that prioritising HTTP traffic etc is harmful though - it can provide a better quality of service to most users, I prioritise HTTP traffic myself. The real issue is whether ISPs are open to the consumer about how their traffic is shaped.

        It is harmful. It sets the precedent that the ISP can now charge providers of services on the internet for preferred paid access. And these interests have squat to do with your benefit, it is about the ISP charging the likes of Google for access. ISP/Money/profit then will dictate to you what is usable on the internet. You know this is going to work

  • I am all of it. Like it or not, data costs money. I don't want to continuously support people who download more stuff than me. The people that download the most (in terms of bytes) are the people that steal movies and music. I buy my movies, and I buy music; and use the internet for sharing of information and gaming. The problem will only get worse when HD movies get on P2P networks. So, good luck to these guys.
    • I don't want to continuously support people who download more stuff than me.

      So are you going to cancel your isp service if they don't drop prices, or do you honestly consider $50/mo fair for how little you might be using it?

      Posting this while the cable guy is in my back yard upgrading my connection.

    • I'm afraid that you'll find that "high priority" means "corporate".

      The selection criterion won't be copyright infringement, but based upon supplier. Peer-to-peer includes gaming; the agenda here is to force out small-time and co-operative endeavors that challenge 'push' delivery of media.

      Ordering packets according to criteria as regularity verses simple bandwidth is another matter, but sensible QoS is no-one's agenda; it is rather used as a point of leverage for the transparent interest of particular

    • by dbcad7 (771464) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:34PM (#23982871)

      Tell me all about your internet usage... Do you have Broadband ?.. what would warrant you to have broadband as opposed to dialup ? .. is your internet connection slow because of all these large file downloaders ? .. I think it's nice that you pay for all and your movies and music... but I don't game, why should I pay for the bandwidth of gamers ?... You see there are probably millions of people who use much less bandwidth than you.

      You know, we did the whole per hour and limit of bytes thing back in the 90's.. and it sucked... ask the people who got $400 AOL bills for a months usage.. Stop worrying about who uses what number of bytes for what.. That's not the issue.. the issue is upgrading the network to deliver the bandwidth that you pay for at a flat rate.

    • Like it or not, data costs money.

      Yep. Sure does.

      I don't want to continuously support people who download more stuff than me.

      And I don't want to support people who: read/post on Leftist, Creationist, or conspiracy blogs, use BitTorrent for Leftist, Creationist, or conspiracy movies, or... well, you get idea.

      Sucks for both of us, huh?

      The people that download the most (in terms of bytes) are the people that steal movies and music.

      Bytes? I'm working on gigabytes/day.

      I buy my movies, and I buy music; and use the internet for sharing of information and gaming.

      Why should I have to support your gaming? Hm?

      That's a rhetorical question.

      The problem will only get worse when HD movies get on P2P networks.

      Welcome to yesterday, man.

      So, good luck to these guys.

      And good luck to the creepy guys in cars using laptops and stealing wifi! ;D

  • by schnell (163007) <me&schnell,net> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:34PM (#23982153) Homepage

    Seriously - what's wrong with wanting e-mail, IM, VoIP or other packets to be ranked as higher priority? So this device the guy is fronting can detect encrypted P2P traffic - is that what is now equal to "gagging the Internet?"

    Of course, Evil Corporations(TM) can use this for Bad Things(TM), Bush administration must be somehow involved, this will cause the Earth to spin off its axis, etc. But with Comcast et. al. already throttling P2P, what is it that this guy is doing that's so evil? As long as they aren't blocking P2P entirely, I'd rather get my e-mail in a timely fashion that speed up my ISO downloads which aren't time sensitive.

    • Alternatives: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Some alternate scenarios:

      1. bittorrent over ssh
      2. wireless mesh lilypad networks
      3. "community server shares" for members of the previous group
      4. the oldfashioned sneakernet, except this time w. usb sticks
    • by vertinox (846076)

      Seriously - what's wrong with wanting e-mail, IM, VoIP or other packets to be ranked as higher priority? So this device the guy is fronting can detect encrypted P2P traffic - is that what is now equal to "gagging the Internet?"

      How can you tell if someone is using a secure SSL connection for work related purposes (Email, large file transfers, terminal services) and someone that is using SSL for bit torrent?

      And how can you tell the difference between someone downloading the latest torrent of a Linus or BSD di

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dkf (304284)

        How can you tell if someone is using a secure SSL connection for work related purposes (Email, large file transfers, terminal services) and someone that is using SSL for bit torrent?

        You can hazard a guess using traffic analysis. Bit torrent (and other P2P apps) use a different pattern of connections to normal browsing because the torrent clients also act as servers for many simultaneous external clients, and it's very difficult to conceal that, even if the content of the connections is hidden by encryption. (Of course, such analysis cannot detect the legal status of the data being transferred. Not unless the EVIL bit [faqs.org] is set in the packet headers...)

        • by Evets (629327)

          However, much like DRM technology, people will ALWAYS find a way around this kind of thing.

          If it's based on packet inspection, they secure the packets. If it's based on connection patterns, change the connection patterns. If it's based on ... the list goes on.

          The only thing this technology ensures is that the people who are passionate about what they want to do will educate themselves.

      • How can you tell if someone is using a secure SSL connection for work related purposes (Email, large file transfers, terminal services) and someone that is using SSL for bit torrent?

        You look and the mean and variance of packet sizes and interpacket time delays going in each direction, plus the entropy of the data and the server-to-client traffic ratio (or difference, forget which). That's what these guys [shmoocon.org] (warning: mp4 video) did.

        And as an ISP and not just a man in the very middle, you can count the number of connections which have a similar set of values for these ten parameters.

      • by Fastolfe (1470)

        And how can you tell the difference between someone downloading the latest torrent of a Linus or BSD distro for their company server for his work and say someone downloading movies?

        Why does it matter? The intent (ostensibly) is to ensure latency-sensitive applications (e.g. VoIP) are still usable when links become congested. Random Bittorrent transfers can easily accommodate a few extra seconds of delay. Your VoIP phone call cannot. Bear in mind that QoS only matters when links become congested. When

      • by vux984 (928602)

        How can you tell if someone is using a secure SSL connection for work related purposes (Email, large file transfers, terminal services) and someone that is using SSL for bit torrent?

        Volume of traffic alone is enough for most, and really if they throttle large file transfers in addition to p2p, that's hardly a bad thing.

        And how can you tell the difference between someone downloading the latest torrent of a Linus or BSD distro for their company server for his work and say someone downloading movies?

        You can't;

    • Seriously - what's wrong with wanting e-mail, IM, VoIP or other packets to be ranked as higher priority? So this device the guy is fronting can detect encrypted P2P traffic - is that what is now equal to "gagging the Internet?"

      What you're describing is prioritizing (QoS, bandwidth shaping). Unfortunately, Comcast, Bell, et al have been engaging in unnecessary traffic throttling, and lying about it saying that they were merely prioritizing. So it's understandable that people are now getting upset any time

    • by tom's a-cold (253195) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:55PM (#23983121) Homepage
      If I, as an ISP user, can determine the QoS algorithm, that's a different story. But when the providers of the service have a financial incentive to favor categories of content that they sell, QoS is not being done in my interest. It's just a way of further degrading and limiting a service that I paid for. That's manipulative and slimy. Please look at how cellular providers operate for a nice preview of that dystopia.

      Most ISPs already advertise packages on the basis of bandwidth but penalize customers who actually use it, so there's plenty of reason to distrust them in making any decisions on which content should be favored. Hint: if they're making a buck on it, it will have higher priority. If it's costing them money, lower. Nothing to do with what you want or need. Big ISPs don't give a shit about your interests.
  • He must have blew all his creativity years ago and realized that, if you can't be part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem.

  • In other news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Protonk (599901) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:37PM (#23982189) Homepage

    Old people are old. Whether they helped create the system we work with today or not. First, p2p isn't the ridiculous bandwidth hog we all though it was (compared to legit streaming video). Second, p2p was designed as a means around previous circumvention measures. Future circumvention measures will have to change things pretty radically before they will be able to effectively throttle only p2p traffic.

    DPI? encrypt. Throttle anything encrypted? Piss off lots of banking and e-mail customers. throttle based on header info? Spoof the headers.

    I'm not arguing that it is pointless. just very hard and liable to have a greater negative net effect for non-infringing users than we would anticipate. Nevertheless that does not stop companies from doing things that will eventually be deemed not in their self interest.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Didn't the recent Bell stats ( http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/06/27/007209.shtml ) show that p2p isn't actually the problem? so why should it be throttled in favour of 'higher priority traffic'

    • by Fastolfe (1470)

      I'm not sure what you mean. The studies showed congestion occurring sometimes. Do you want your VoIP call being dropped 2-5% of the time because someone fired up Bittorrent? Prioritization is not about throttling Bittorrent. It's about choosing what gets dropped when congestion occurs. Something has to get degraded.

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:38PM (#23982213)

    And so does Cerf, and all of the other co-called inventors, and fathers. They got us into this mess.

    Someone needs to sort out egalitarian access, hopefully some visionaries and NOT a large group of non-vendors, so that the process can be as inclusive as possible.

    My suggestion: two channels, one for QoS-respected traffic, the other free-for-all. The QoS channel costs you, per period time. The free-for-all is all you can eat. Vary the mix you want to purchase, or offer at your free hotspot or WebbieTubeBar. You get what you pay for, no more, and less if you don't use it.

    The pontiff approach ain't working.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fastolfe (1470)

      My suggestion: two channels, one for QoS-respected traffic, the other free-for-all. The QoS channel costs you, per period time. The free-for-all is all you can eat. Vary the mix you want to purchase, or offer at your free hotspot or WebbieTubeBar. You get what you pay for, no more, and less if you don't use it.

      So the problem with this approach is one of cost/administration. The QoS-enabled path must be a QoS-trusted path. That is, you have to ensure that everyone in that path is going to be honest and re

  • Youtube (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Deliveranc3 (629997) <`deliverance' `at' `level4.org'> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:39PM (#23982229) Journal
    Seems to be getting hit by filtering. So they are attacking legal forms of high volume, low priority traffic.

    There was an article a few days ago about a man with an $85,000 phone bill, something VOIP could cure if we could trust it to work consistently.

    If the ISPS can "lower" priority on some packets can't they just raise the priority of VOIP and html requests. Eventually P2P would mimic them (and in the meantime it would blend with other traffic so it shouldn't take a significant loss.

    A lot of ISPS have a "heavy traffic lane" high latencies but unlimited throughput, that is probably the wrong solution why not a "low traffic lane" to support the small fast transfers (IM,VOIP,SSH).

    If they can sniff the general hidden packets for patterns that show it's p2p it should be easy to find the stuff that isn't p2p.
    • by osssmkatz (734824)

      The canadian man in question who had the $85,000 cell phone bill had it from downloading high-resolution movies and other things using his cell phone as a modem. Most geeks know (although he did not) that the unlimited plan is only designed to be used on the phone, not on the computer. VoIP would not have helped with this.

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:41PM (#23982257)

    Perhaps I'm slightly biased here, because I usually see P2P being used to transfer large data files (e.g. Linux ISOs), but it strikes me that certain types of traffic should have a priority.

    Think about it: downloading something like an ISO or video is somewhat different than downloading the various bits and pieces of a web page or streaming video or making a phone call via VoIP. Network congestion or throttling for the former is not really an issue since it does not diminish service. You will get your data, even if it takes twice as long. Yet most people won't want to wait a couple of minutes for a web page to download, won't want to watch their video screech to a halt as it buffers more data, or deal with horrendous amounts of distortion due to higher compression on their VoIP call.

    Now there is a problem with this technology: it could just as easily be used to block as to throttle. And that is what we should really be concerned about. Alas, if we go around freaked out about throttling low priority traffic our larger concern (blocking) will probably lack credibility in the eyes of policymakers when that time comes. And it will come.

    Be smart about the battles you pick.

    • Ok. Lets say your viewpoint is true: some traffic is more important than others. That point is substantiated by the fact we have interactive sessions (http, ssh) and bulk data transfers (bt, ftp).

      My logical "hacker" choice is to wrap everything around the high priority protocol. After all, http was never meant for large files, yet most file servers are purely http.

      In reality, priority should be set by the user as part of the interface, and not by anybody else. Thanks to congestion algorithms, the lowest com

  • by joocemann (1273720) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:45PM (#23982307)

    If our current private internet entities fail to realize that there can be no universally determined difference between one data or another, we need to either regulate or take that power from them.

    There is no 'more important data'. That term is a relativistic concept that bears no actual meaning when read by anyone but the original believer. What is more important to one person is worthless to another.

    The internet is a well established virtual representation of public interaction. It has many intricate elements, all of which should be preserved in the aspect of freedom. There is no universally determinable difference of importance between one data or another; the quality is only relative.
    ---------
    Anyway, if these companies want to place values on data, we need to exercise our ability consumers and citizens of this country to tell them WE DON'T AGREE WITH WHAT YOU SAY IS IMPORTANT.

    I'd hate to see it, as it would probably be worse, but we could probably socialize the whole internet in the U.S. Take all those companies and acquire all their assets through some form of virtual eminent domain, etc.

    Our failure to achieve our very popular goals of freedom in the US will most likely fail due to LOBBYING. Our desires as a majority are easily ignored. Hold your congressmen responsible. Write them and tell them what you want.

    People of America: Take Control Back. Spread truth, refuse corruption, and get off the goddamn couch.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kijori (897770)

      There is no 'more important data'. That term is a relativistic concept that bears no actual meaning when read by anyone but the original believer. What is more important to one person is worthless to another.

      Maybe not, but it's obvious that some types of data are more time-sensitive than others. If your P2P connection spikes and dips regularly it makes no real difference; if your average speed is fine it doesn't even matter if sometimes it drops to 0 to make way for other types of traffic. VOIP and regular streaming video are very time sensitive, and need a solid connection; they don't necessarily need the same average downspeed as P2P, but they need to be able to guarantee a minimum speed (especially for VOIP,

  • by v1 (525388) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:47PM (#23982335) Homepage Journal
    p2p could also be interpreted as the reaction of the public to the current state of IP law.

    In today's world there is so very little the individual can do to change laws that favor big businesses. This is simply those individuals reacting to laws that they cannot change, by finding ways to do what they believe they should be allowed to do.

    In the end, the absurd laws and the p2p about negate each other, so I'm not in favor of people trying to "fix" p2p unless they are also undertaking a fixing of the laws that are providing p2p with justification.

    Examine the situation from a different perspective. In the wild west there were small towns that didn't have effective law enforcement or court, and there was a wide measure of "mob rule" / rioting when a big business started running the town, getting the laws of that town changed to their favor and owning the local judges. Sure, you can work to dissolve the mob, but that doesn't really fix the problem. If you're truly interested in fixing the problem, you have to deal with the mob and the company (and it's effects/actions) that's causing the mob to be necessary. If all you work against is the mob, you've only made things better for the minority.

    We've been trying for years to fix the laws and it just keeps getting worse. Then came along p2p and suddenly all the injustices were dealt a serious blow. It's still nowhere near even, but it's taken a big enough bite out of the injustice that the "mafiaa" is looking to beat down the newly formed resistance against it. Can't say as I blame them, they've got a sweet thing going and don't want to lose it. But I'm on the losing side of the issue so I'm rooting for the underdog.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:51PM (#23982383) Homepage

    Oh, the virtual circuit guy. I interviewed with Telenet when they had 13 employees, so I met him in the 1970s. Telenet HQ was in a big mansion-like house. It seemed too weird to succeed, and I didn't want the job.

    The virtual circuit vs. datagram battle is almost forgotten now, but it was a major issue before fiber optics provided vast cheap long-haul bandwidth. Remember, the ARPANET backbone was only 56Kb. Long-haul leased bandwidth was incredibly expensive through the 1980s.

    If the backbone bandwidth is the constraint on network traffic, congestion management of a pure datagram network is very tough. I had to run such a network in the early 1980s, which is why I have all those classic RFCs and papers on network congestion. We figured out how TCP should play nice to avoid congestion collapse, and how fair queuing could give the network some defenses against overload. That was enough to make a network of reasonably-well behaved nodes not doing anything with real-time constraints behave.

    In the days of congested backbones, virtual circuits were looking like the future, because they were more manageable. Bandwidth could be assigned at connection setup, and each connection throttled. Tymnet and Telenet worked that way. That approach became obsolete when local area networks became widely used; none of them were virtual circuit, so the backbone had to be at the datagram level. Then fibre optics came along and saved the backbone.

    We still don't really know what to do when the backbone is the bottleneck and latency matters. "p2p" file transfer isn't the problem, though. HDTV over the Internet is the problem. There isn't enough backbone bandwidth to support the world's couch potatoes with real-time HDTV streams.

    Microsoft at one point proposed a system where real-time HDTV would be multicast, while video on demand would be heavily buffered. That could work, but multicasting with bandwidth guarantees requires more centralized control than the Internet usually has today, which is probably why Microsoft and parts of the broadcast industry liked it.

    The "p2p" thing is a side issue. The big issue is going to be who gets to throttle whose HDTV streams. The cable guys want really, really bad to charge extra for those streams, regardless of who originates them.

    • by abigor (540274)

      I think your analysis is spot-on and very well put. I too have long felt that all that p2p hand-wringing on the part of ISPs is just a feint to get the price infrastructure in place to manage hdtv streaming.

  • Snake-oil liniment of the pioneers.

    Folks you may not know what you want, you may not know what you need, but I can guarantee you, my Anagran-oil will cure what ever ailments y'all got from clogged up Internet pipes to tube-pipes so tight that a family of pencil-dick politicians could not touch all sides with a collective hard-on.

    Buy my Anagran-oil for what ails you, and you will never need to fix your infrastructure, invest in broadband contraptions, or do anything that will cost far more than my distinctiv

  • Its necessary... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nweaver (113078) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @12:59PM (#23982469) Homepage

    The problem is, what users expect is long-baseline fairness (measured over minutes to hours) evaluated between users.

    What the network provides is either nothing (UDP) or short baseline fairness (measured over round-trip-times) evaluated between flows.

    Thus everyone benefits if the short flows from the light users are given priority, as they don't have to wait but it has almost a trivial effect on the big heavy users.

    I don't like one aspect of his solution, however, is that it focuses on apps first and then users, when it should be the opposite: focus on users first then applications.

  • by FurtiveGlancer (1274746) <AdHocTechGuy@aol ... inus threevowels> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:05PM (#23982543) Journal
    You may not always get what you paid for, but you will always pay for what you get (an expansion of Heinlien's TANSTAAFL [wikipedia.org] principle).

    Enjoy the ride, until you truly have to pay for what you get. Any New York lawyer will tell you "unlimited" anything is physically impossible and, thus, merely a marketing term. Your plan is "virtually unlimited," especially when compared to 2.4 kbps dial-up.

    Increasing reliance on VoIP makes it essential to grade services and throttle in a reasonable fashion.
  • The original case I believe was to charge the providers the bigger percentage for their bandwidth. At that time the providers were the universities, the businesses, etc, the people that provided the average user with the content. You see that even today when you compare your network connection's upstream and downstream. My DSL is 936 up and 1536 down. My cable is 2k up and 20k down. And those lines cost 2-4x as much as non business lines that have really crappy upstream without too much less downstream

  • by Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:21PM (#23982727)
    I hope him and Al Gore enjoy blowing each other. I couldn't care less if this guy worked for ARPA or not, doesn't mean any of his opinions mean squat to me or should to anyone else. If he's who he claims to be, then ARPANET was something completely different than what the internet has become today -- and besides all that, he's just trying to peddle his 'wares and pandering to the IPSs -- so he can effing bite me. Get lost, grandpa; go tend to your lawn and leave the rest of us alone.
  • I know who/what I'd like to throttle, but TCP/IP packets aren't one of them.

    I'm paying loads for my internet connection, it's my desire to use it how I like, whatever time of day or night. Stop telling me how I should use my connection, go build more backbone and local capacity that you've been scrimping on installing all these years.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:33PM (#23982855) Journal
    P2P traffic throttling is just the wedge. It is intended to legitimize throttling. If the telcos get this accepted, the next step is to throttle traffic of big sites who don't pay the telcos extra for their traffic to have priority. Goodbye Vonage, etc..
  • by f2x (1168695) <`flush2x' `at' `gmail.com'> on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:57PM (#23983145) Homepage
    It sucks whenever that horrible word rears it's ugly head. "THROTTLE." Ugh! It hurts the most just after the "R". I agree that the internet should be free, but let's face it: It's not.

    From my understanding, various entities actually own and maintain different parts/sections of the Internet. So when you pay your ISP for internet access, you should only be entitled to whine about the parts of the internet they actually control. It amazes me to think how many people seem to believe they have a true "end to end" connection through their ISP to every computer in the world! The sense of entitlement they exude is almost nauseating. If the route your connection is taking to "GothicKitty42" (a legitimate business associate in Denmark) is being throttled as it passes through Briton, feel free to take control and re-route your own path through the internet. Oh wait... You're too busy watching that DVD you just burned. You certainly can't be bothered to monitor your own QoS when you're paying as much as you do for that broadband connection!

    And here's where I actually have to take issue with Bit Torrent type clients. While they don't overload a centralized server, they actually make less efficient use of the network as a whole since everything usually finds its way through the same old trunks of copper and fiber time and time again. All those little packets swimming around like a puddle of sperm looking for an egg... It's a redundancy nightmare of exponentiating proportions.

    I'd love to see how some of these people would react if tomorrow they woke up with a peer to peer mesh network instead of their current arrangement. I bet they'd cuss to no end whenever they saw traffic freeloading through their node. They'd probably be racing to the computer store and buying software to shake off those pesky packets so they could get the most out of their internet connection.

    But that's just my opinion.
  • by fialar (1545) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @01:57PM (#23983149)

    Having worked for an ISP, I can tell you. The problem isn't prioritizing traffic. It's capacity and scaling.

    If you are a small ISP with a OC-3 and you have 1000 lines, that means if all lines are active, each one would only have an average speed of 6Kbps.

    That's not very good. The problem is, in the UK, an OC-3 from BT costs £20,000+.

    People buy broadband for cheap (£8-£15/month), and expect spectacular results. It just can't happen.

    All networks seem to be oriented towards the idea that 90% of the DSL lines will be idle most of the time. With the advent of BBC's iPlayer and more streaming video, this network model falls flat on its face.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      If you are a small ISP with a OC-3 and you have 1000 lines, that means if all lines are active, each one would only have an average speed of 6Kbps.

      155Mbps/(1 OC-3) * (1 OC-3/1000 lines) = 155Kbps/line.

  • by sorak (246725) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @04:25PM (#23984479)

    I know that the "Al Gore Claimed to Invent the Internet" thing is used in a lighthearted way, but he never made that claim [snopes.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Noren (605012)
      "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." - Al Gore While he did not use the word 'invent', he was nonetheless was arrogant as hell in this statement, and well deserving of mockery. Yes, I know he got some funding legislation passed. Politicians who think they deserve all the credit for the things they spend the people's money on are deeply arrogant and mistaken, and should be held to account.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday June 28, 2008 @08:14PM (#23986135)
    You may be an IOTI (Inventor of the Internet), but you're not helping here, Sir. The Internet exists to ship bits around in a reasonably efficient, highly redundant, manner between connected computers. You may already know this. What those users desire to ship between themselves is none of your d@mn business any more than we should have roadblocks on the Interstate searching cars for pirate DVDs, or confiscating and imaging iPods at the international border.

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