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Networking The Internet

Can Mesh Networks Save a Dying Web? (thenextweb.com) 201

From an anonymous reader: "The web is dying, but mesh networks could save it," writes open source hacker Andre Staltz. He warns that Facebook, Google, and Amazon plan to "grow beyond browsers, creating new virtual contexts where data is created and shared," and predicts the next wave of walled gardens will be a "social internet" bypassing the web altogether. "The Web may die like most other technologies do, simply by becoming less attractive than newer technologies."

He wants to build a mobile mesh web that works with or without internet access to reach the four billion people currently offline, adding that all the tools we need are already in our hands: smartphones, peer-to-peer protocols, and mesh networks. His vision? "Novel peer-to-peer protocols such as IPFS and Dat help replace HTTP and make the web a content-centered cyberspace... Browsers can be made to work like that, and although it's a small tweak to how the web works, it has massive effects on social structures in cyberspace... Now that we have experience with some of the intricacies of the social web, we can reinvent it to put people first without intermediate companies... We can actually beat the tech giants at this game by simply giving local and regional connectivity to people in developing countries. With mobile apps that are built mesh-first, the smartphones would make up self-organizing self-healing mobile ad-hoc networks... In internet-less regions, there is potential for scaling quickly, and through that, we can spawn a new industry around peer-to-peer wireless mesh networks."

He cites mega-projects "to rescue the web from the internet", which include progress on peer-to-peer and mesh networking protocols, followed by adoption on smartphones (and then a new wave of apps) -- plus a migration of existing web content to the new protocols, "to fix the overutilization of the wirenet and the underutilization of airnets, bringing balance to the wire-versus-air dichotomy, providing choice in how data should travel in each case...But it can only happen if the web takes a courageous step towards its next level."

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Can Mesh Networks Save a Dying Web?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 08, 2018 @12:42AM (#55883141)

    Best that you just accept it and move on.

    Wait. WTF? The web is dying???

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 08, 2018 @12:42AM (#55883145)

    his dumbass is mixing up layer 2 and layer 7

    news for nerds my ass, more like stories from idiot millienials

    • Pretty much, yes. The (alleged) problem is not access, but content and context.
    • I was sure I was reading something from Wired magazine...the web is dying, so let's fix it by building the web...but somehow this isn't theirs...
    • Maybe it's not Andre.

      Maybe it's Ayn Rand.

      In any case, it's horseshit.

  • Inversion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alternative_right ( 4678499 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @12:46AM (#55883159) Homepage Journal

    The promise of the internet: decentralized information.

    The reality: 90% of the traffic goes to FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) monopolists.

    The only solution: get away from a single source of access, and to one where we can route around the herd and its chosen megacorps.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      WTF AYFTA? They're only monopolists because people decide to use them. People can decide to route around them whenever they want to.

      • People can decide to route around [the Internet giants] whenever they want to.

        Unless all ISPs serving your area have decided to deprioritize and/or charge per bit for traffic other than to the Internet giants.

        • Unless all ISPs serving your area have decided to deprioritize and/or charge per bit for traffic other than to the Internet giants.

          I don't think you understood the article. With a wireless P2P mesh network, you don't need an ISP.

          • by Bing Tsher E ( 943915 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @02:13AM (#55883419) Journal

            Except there is this funny thing called hundreds of vacant square miles between all the Metropolitan Areas with high populations.

            So I suppose each big city could have it's 'mesh' and there could be some 'bridges' between each mesh. I'd call that an ISP.

            • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:33AM (#55884865)

              Except there is this funny thing called hundreds of vacant square miles between all the Metropolitan Areas with high populations.

              This exactly. I was dealing with some people who were insisting that emergency communications could be solved via mesh networking with F.C.C. Part 15 low power Routers, or if you had an Amateur Radio license, some of the Channels are open to higher powers.

              Either way, the things need many individual stations, and since the RF at these frequencies doesn't travel far by design, RF characteristics and power, Those rural and low population areas would have to be literally littered with nodes.

              They didn't like it when at best I pointed out that they could at best put up a special mesh in a building or two. Or use the wireless already in the building if it had it. Or even better and faster, run temporary copper.

              • Yes.

                Mesh requires density of devices.

                What's with this third-world crap?

                It's a paradox.

                • Yes.

                  Mesh requires density of devices.

                  What's with this third-world crap?

                  It's a paradox.

                  I cant say for certain, but it sounds like Techies and a certain amount of cannabis are involved...

                  "Doooood! What if like everyone in the nation turned their wireless routers into this kickass network? Oh my Gawd, that would be so awesome!"

                  "Oh hell yea dude! That would kick ass, man. Now hand me the fuckin' Cheetos!"

          • by vlad30 ( 44644 )

            you don't need an ISP.

            That is the problem somewhere you will need something be it your email address or IP there will be some service that you will need and that will need to be paid for.

            And therein lies the problem payment if you want it for free then they will give you ads which just plain suck and make the internet suck as to sell ads they will give you the lowest common denominator and those that charge for service have yet to catch on that you need to supply quality

    • Re:Inversion (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cshark ( 673578 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @01:35AM (#55883317)

      The promise of the internet: decentralized information.

      And it still is. The bigger problem is law, as a broad general topic, as it relates to the internet. The web used to be a wild frontier where anything goes. I've been working on it since the beginning, and more of that wild appeal is disappearing by the day. Monitoring by governments, likewise, is a concern.

      The reality: 90% of the traffic goes to FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) monopolists.

      So? Facebook, Google, and Apple don't really own anything. They aggregate content, and they're useful for that. Netflix drives video. They're only a major player because of the size of the files they move. Not because of the number of sessions they generate. Personally, I'm a lot more worried about corporations like Comcast, that hold their users essentially at gunpoint, while they make sure that there are no other options for access in the markets they work in.

      The only solution: get away from a single source of access, and to one where we can route around the herd and its chosen megacorps.

      The source of access is the isp. No two ways about it. Once online, people can choose to use facebook or netflix, or not. The ISP is non-negotiable. I honestly don't know if I want to live in a world where every app is OpenBizarre.

      There are serious drawbacks to a horizontal decentralization of the server infrastructure which are persistent no matter how you do it. If a website or profile is unpopular, it may be more difficult to access. If the profile or website is only online when a user is, then you've got issues. You could try to solve it by providing hosting services against the network, but then you're doing the same thing you were doing before.

      I don't think the web is going away anytime soon. Especially as app stores continue to lose traction. There's probably a better solution out there, but I don't think anyone's thought of it yet.

      • I don't think the web is going away anytime soon. Especially as app stores continue to lose traction. There's probably a better solution out there, but I don't think anyone's thought of it yet.

        The Intertoobz is becoming mature. As much fun as it was back in the day - and damn, it sure was fun, those old days are gone.

        And the people who are still interested in tinkering with new technology are moving on. This leaves the toobz being the playground of smartphone addicts, Grandma, and The big corporate players.

        Mostly the toobz have become boring. I still come here to get interesting conversation, and I'm forced to use Facebook, but the web itself is only marginally interesting. We're moving on.

    • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

      The Internet allows decentralized access to data. It promises nothing.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The megaocorps now control search. They can derank any result for any party political reason they want.
      We need a new search engine that actually gets real results rather than filters the internet politically.
      • Try https://www.ixquick.com/ [ixquick.com] ...

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          Thats is great for privacy angel'o'sphere.
          The political deranking from the original search engine is still not avoided. The same selected results are just much more private.
          The world needs a real, new search engine again.
          • If you organize the funding we can write on :)

            • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
              The funding for a new search engine?
              The funding examine how an existing search engine does its human guided and automated deranking?
              Reverse engineer and correct for the political search results? What result deranked back to page 1000 is back in the top 10 results?
              Look at how search results got done in the past when the brand was growing and had to be still be accurate to gain marketshare.
              What happened when the deranking pushed results back.
              • Well,
                the deranking by google ,is part of your search history, location, language etc.
                The upranking (search completion suggestions) is partly references to actual news, I guess that isma tricky part.
                As we actually don't want unjustified deranking, who cares, how google does it?
                A simple, like/hate system would probably enough for the start.
                Frankly I would be more concerend about the actuall cost of holding the search indices etc. than about algorithms.

    • Well,
      I notice people who do not even know what a 'web address' is.
      They type 'facebook' into the search/addeess field, ignore the auto completion of the browser', hit return and then click on the first search result to end up at facebook.com.

    • I think there is sort of a Gresham's Law (bad money drives out the good) in play on the Internet. "Bad users drive out the good ones" or something like that. The early visions of the Internet as a democratizing global community are still in play to an extent, but the dreamers ignored the tragedy of the commons that is inevitable. I think a lot of people are withdrawing into closed systems because they do not want to deal with all the trolls and assorted other Internet beasties.
    • The only solution: get away from a single source of access, and to one where we can route around the herd and its chosen megacorps.

      Money has an eyeball radar. There is no escaping it.

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @12:50AM (#55883167)

    He warns that Facebook, Google, and Amazon plan to "grow beyond browsers ..." ... and predicts the next wave of walled gardens will be a "social internet" bypassing the web altogether.

    You know that the Web is more than just social media and online shopping sites - right?

    He wants to build a mobile mesh web that works with or without internet access ... He cites mega-projects "to rescue the web from the internet", which include progress on peer-to-peer and mesh networking protocols,

    So... using other networks, but not "the internet"? You know that "the internet" is a network of networks, perhaps even different kinds of networks - right?

    • by TheLongshot ( 919014 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @01:11AM (#55883231)

      You know that the Web is more than just social media and online shopping sites - right?

      As Google, Facebook and Amazon have gobbled up more of the Internet, this is becoming less true. Back in the day, remember the concern people had over Internet Explorer and the influence Microsoft had? Well, Google controls how most people find things on the web and a browser that controls how they see it. Amazon hosts a large percentage of web sites through AWS. Facebook is the dominant social network where people communicate with each other. Now that Net Neutrality is dead, ISPs now can control who goes over those pipes. The concern is real.

      • by slack_justyb ( 862874 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @02:28AM (#55883465)

        As Google, Facebook and Amazon have gobbled up more of the Internet

        But you're missing the entire point here. That's not a technical failure. There isn't some line of code that went wrong or some flaw in OSI that caused that. That's how capitalism works. Build a new browser and it'll just become the next IE, Chrome, whatever, five - six years down the road.

        Well, Google controls how most people find things on the web and a browser that controls how they see it.

        You've got duckduckgo.com and firefox.com. You are welcome.

        Amazon hosts a large percentage of web sites through AWS

        Again, not a technical issue, that's a "I'm lazy as fuck to fire up or my boss is too cheap to buy a machine that I can touch and connect to the Internet directly." This kind of mentality is a tick-tock thing on long enough scales. Give it maybe another ten or so years and we'll be right back on the tock side of things.

        Facebook is the dominant social network where people communicate with each other

        THEN STOP FUCKING USING IT! Trust me, you'll feel a whole hell of a lot better. Shit you might even sleep better at night. I told everyone on Facebook they can call, email, snail mail, whatever but honestly I don't give a shit about your one like equals one prayer BS, and I have never looked back. It's that simple, just stop using it. I know people are all like, "but what about Aunt Rosey or..." No, no, no, no, you're thinking too much on this. Just... S-t-o-p using it. That's all.

        Now that Net Neutrality is dead, ISPs now can control who goes over those pipes.

        ISPs have been controlling what goes over those pipes which is why we needed NN in the first place. It's disappearance isn't the hearkening of some new dark era of the Internet, it's the return to the brain dead, the dollar is first, nickel and dime story that we use to have. It'll also more than likely be the thing that drives people to download once and store on hard media at home for local consumption (tick-tock).

        The concern is real

        Yeah, and I'm not saying you're wrong, the problem is that the problem isn't what you think the problem is. The problem is people being greedy as fuck and there isn't a technical means to stop human beings from being idiotic dumb fucks of human beings. Except, I will admit that I am keen to one purpose solution to the problem. [ietf.org]

      • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @03:39AM (#55883599) Homepage Journal

        Well, Google controls how most people find things on the web and a browser that controls how they see it.

        But when it comes to search, there is no real vendor lock-in. Don't like Google's search? Think they are blocking relevant results? You can use DuckDuckGo, or Bing, or Yahoo. And you can change right now, as there is no search lock-in.

        Amazon hosts a large percentage of web sites through AWS.

        Citation needed. They are hardly the only hosting service out there; they aren't doing anything you can't replicate through some other provider, like Google, Microsoft, or any number of smaller regional players. If they don't want to host your site, you have options.

        Facebook is the dominant social network where people communicate with each other.

        The massive user bases of WeChat, WhatsApp, Line, iMessage, Skype, and Google Hangouts (never mind old-school SMS) would seem to show that users have a lot of options in the user-to-user communication space. While wildly popular, I'm having a hard time seeing what service Facebook provides that you can't get elsewhere should you choose.

        Now that Net Neutrality is dead, ISPs now can control who goes over those pipes. The concern is real.

        Net Neutrality is only dead in the United States. The world is a damn big place outside the US. I would agree there is a real concern that inside the US there are some real concerns that the tier 3 access providers may start picking winners and losers, but outside the US that's only the situation in countries with tight Internet control, such as China or North Korea.

        Yaz

        • But when it comes to search, there is no real vendor lock-in. Don't like Google's search? Think they are blocking relevant results? You can use DuckDuckGo, or Bing, or Yahoo

          Or Startpage! [startpage.com]

          Net Neutrality is only dead in the United States.

          It's more like... "no longer enforced at the federal level". But yeah, that still sucks. And it sucks for Europe as well because you're currently reading text that was served to you from the United States.

          • It's more like... "no longer enforced at the federal level". But yeah, that still sucks. And it sucks for Europe as well because you're currently reading text that was served to you from the United States.

            The lack of Net Neutrality rules in the US probably won't affect tier 1 or tier 2 ISPs however. They don't really have a business case to deny carriage to anyone. And besides which if that ever were the case, sites could simply pack up and move their hosting to some other first world country outside the US.

            However, even if for some reason Slashdot was being disadvantaged by the lack of NN rules in the US and for some reason didn't feel like moving their hosting to outside the US, it would hardly be some g

    • You know that the Web is more than just social media and online shopping sites - right?

      That admittedly is a problem, however it is currently in the process of being addressed as the web is gradually shifted to more resemble cable TV where data mostly flows one way.

      Strat

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        The web has always been a medium in which data flows mostly in one direction. It's server-client architecture, and always has been.

        • Bullshit. When the Web was invented, the plan was for everybody to have a workstation (it started on Next workstations) that had an httpd running on it. You would put your 'blog' in a folder on your system shared to the world. People would link together.

          There is even still a web browser, Seamonkey, that has the old symmetrical design. It has a 'Composer' component like browsers of the past, so you can WYSIWYG together a web page to share to the world.

          • Your point does not make your parent wrong.
            Just because your workstation can be a server for someone else does not make the http protocol a pear to pear protocol.
            You still have technically a client/browser on one machine and a server on the other. The servers don't communicate with each other, nor dose the browsers. And until recently with newly introduced comet calls or web sockets the servers did not send data to the browser without having a http request first.

            • Just because your workstation can be a server for someone else does not make the http protocol a pear to pear protocol.

              Thanks, now I have to go to the store, through the snow, because now I want a pear.

    • So... using other networks, but not "the internet"? You know that "the internet" is a network of networks, perhaps even different kinds of networks - right?

      My first thought is that what he's talking about sounds a lot like way back in the stone age when you had to work your way through different "exchanges" to maybe possibly reach Aunt Flo on the other side of the country, by negotiating with various operators...

      • So... using other networks, but not "the internet"? You know that "the internet" is a network of networks, perhaps even different kinds of networks - right?

        My first thought is that what he's talking about sounds a lot like way back in the stone age when you had to work your way through different "exchanges" to maybe possibly reach Aunt Flo on the other side of the country, by negotiating with various operators...

        We still had to do that, for a while anyway, when I was still in college and our main server was a VAX 11/785 [wikipedia.org] running 4.3BSD [wikipedia.org] - host!host!host!user

    • You know that the Web is more than just social media and online shopping sites - right?

      It wouldn't matter if people were technology literate but the rise of steam, world of warcraft and facebook means the average person has no clue how technology works and have are being taken advantage of. PC games have been outright made defective and part of the software is held hostage by drm, it's a far cry from the open games of the 90's. No dedicated servers with PC games these days that release the server exe's because they want total control of the software.

      The average consumer is too stupid not to

    • by ngc5194 ( 847747 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @02:50AM (#55883511)

      I'm with fahrbot-bot here.

      My reading is that a mesh network is a physical layer networking technology/philosophy that is especially useful where resilience and ad hoc qualities are beneficial. Cool.

      I have no doubt that the big application layer providers mentioned plan to expand their service offerings to control more and more of the market. I also have no doubt that they would like to provide more and more content behind their walled gardens.

      What I can't imagine is how a physical layer technology solves the problem of the application layer elites trying to control more and more of the application layer world. If someone could explain this to me, I'd be grateful. Alternatively, I will continue to assume that either the article is as silly as the summary makes it sound, or the summary is garbage.

      • A mesh network does not go over established wires/networks.
        It goes from hand held to hand held via wifi or bluetooth or similar technology.
        In other words, there is no ISP etc. involved.

        • A mesh network does not go over established wires/networks. It goes from hand held to hand held via wifi or bluetooth or similar technology. In other words, there is no ISP etc. involved.

          Unless the mesh covers everywhere you want to go (so to speak) around the world, your packets are going to travel over some ISP, backbone or infrastructure network (ie: the Internet) at some point. So, there's no "replacing the Internet", just coexisting and cooperating with it.

    • Yeah, except the big ISPs are probably going to start divvying up what was the Internet in favor of a de-evolution back towards walled gardens. Between that and the Great Firewalls that some countries have and/or their restrictive policies for the Internet, it's getting hacked to bits.
  • No. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    For fucks sake, who thinks this is viable? The internet ONLY worked because by the time it reached end users, it cost little time to set up and offered a lot of utility. Meshnets are, from an end-user perspective, far worse.

    "How do we save the web from the internet?" The article asks. Well, if you want to save the web from the internet, you have to start with physical infrastructure at near-parity to the current multibillion dollar one. And jerking off to the ideology of decentralisation won't get you there

    • Meshnets are a viable technology. It will, like everything, get adopted first by nerds. Once the network is set up the normal people will want on. A meshnet routers is no more expensive than a cable modem, and you only have to pay for it once. There's no ongoing subscription, just buy the hardware and power it and you're set. It makes sense from every angle, the internet is already designed to work that way - you don't need to create a second internet, you just need to have people replacing their $70-$
      • While this is intersting, at some point a router needs to be connected to theminternet, to have, well ... acces to the internet.
        The interesting part about meshnets are ad hoc networks in case of a catastrophe that invloves power failure and failure of internet and cellular infrastructure.
        Or revolutions/demonstrations like right now in Iran where people need to communicate without giving the government options to block communication completely.

  • This works (Score:4, Interesting)

    by neoRUR ( 674398 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @01:03AM (#55883203)

    In places like Cuba, where you don't have internet all over the place, then it works to have the packets routed through people cell phones or other devices to go out to all.
    But don't confuse the base internet pipes with those companies that sit on top of it. The Base Internet is fine.

  • OSI 7-layer model (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JimToo ( 1304315 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @01:04AM (#55883213)

    Old, basic and obviously forgotten.

  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@AAAtpno ... inus threevowels> on Monday January 08, 2018 @01:15AM (#55883247) Homepage

    Can we go back to where it states that the web is dying, I was too busy laughing and lost track of the rest of the post.

    • The web is dying. It's being replaced by a bunch of proprietary apps you need to install to gain full access to any particular site on a mobile device. Facebook app, Google Maps app, YouTube app, Amazon app, etc. The reason the web worked on the PC was because you only had to install one app - a browser. Then you just typed in a different address for each site you wanted to visit into the browser, and like magic it was almost like you'd installed an app specific to that site. No more. I had to go thro
      • ...you do know that the internet is more than just mobile devices right? People still have laptops and computers.

        You know that, right? Right?

        • I think the article is 90% clickbaity hyperboleish bullshit. ...But this was one of the insightful bits.

          You DO know that the web is just a subset of the Internet, right? The Internet does a lot more than serve webpages. File transfers, email, and all the data that goes into phone apps. When you load facebook on a phone, you're not using http (I think. I'm trusting the article a bit here, which I acknowledge is dangerous). The insightful part was that blue and yellow graph about where traffic to faceboo

  • The "World Wide Web" is not the Internet, it's what is the cumulative result of using the Hyper Text Transport Protocol. The Internet is the amalgamated cable, routers and servers which send information around, including the Web. I agree that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which dictates what qualifies as being Web has gone to shit and needs to be replaced but that has nothing to do with the hardware.

    The Internet is more alive than ever, it's only what the Internet is used for that needs to be replac

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      What is at the end of the network?
      Hotline? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
      The use of a tracker to find your fav servers new ip?
      A network of wifi hardware around a city that anyone can join but never has any connection to the internet.
      A server that is found and has information, files on it?
      The dark web ? Something that can be part of the internet but is more secure to political censorship? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
  • ... writes open source hacker Andre Staltz.

    So... he downloads the source and edits it? Cool. Something to add to my resume. :-)

  • by slack_justyb ( 862874 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @02:01AM (#55883381)

    From the piece of drivel written

    In other words, the internet economy simply isn’t ready for a scenario where IPv6 is used everywhere and NAT is abandoned. We are stuck with what we have.

    That is exactly the crap I hear that stops IPv6 migration. This person literally is the reason why they are lamenting IPv6's slow adoption. But that said, so we have this technical argument for why the "web" is dying, even though it's an Internet argument. But let's backtrack to this little gem.

    The advent of NAT routers also allowed for that intermediate computer to become a guardian and protect other computers from some dangers of the open internet.

    If that's what you are doing, you are doing it mostly wrong. That's not a function of NAT, that's a flipping function of *routing*. You can literally have all kinds of globally addressable IP addresses on systems, connect them, and then have 100% of them respond to 0% of the incoming requests. You literally do not need NAT for that and if that's the sole reason you are using NAT (to be more secure), you more than likely shouldn't have your job. That's not saying NAT doesn't have a place or anything, but that is me saying that if your rationale is solely for security, you will find lots of folks that will tell you otherwise [f5.com]. Again, NAT has a place, time, and use, but this person writing the piece is missing every single point of that. Now I know everyone is going to foam or spout with their opinion on NAT, but you have to snap out of it because, remember these are "Internet" issues not "web" issues and as you keep reading, if you aren't keeping that point in your head, you'll just get sucked into this argument of "NAT is awesome v. F*** NAT!" So I digress, let's actually continue.

    It also meant that some computers were first-class citizens on the internet, while other computers were subordinates. In addition, the scarcity of IP addresses caused them to be considered valuable assets, and so it became a business opportunity. IP addresses are being sold so that some computers can become first-class citizens on the internet.

    I had no actual problem with this point until that last part I highlighted. That's when my brain snapped out of it and was like, "Wait, this has absolutely nothing to do with why Facebook, Google, et al are these massive black holes." This person is literally making this overly complicated, but weak attempt to dumb down an argument about the web, on technical merits that have nothing to do with what reasonable people would call "the web". And that point became even more clear here.

    As a consequence, the internet has allowed intermediate computers to rule. These are like parasites that have grown too large to remove without killing the host. The technical flaw that favored intermediate computers prefigured a world where middlemen business models thrive. Google and Facebook connect consumers with advertisement publishers and charge fees for each ad.

    Oh Mother of Stars that's eight hundred times pi radians of all kinds of wrong!! IPv4's short comings have **NOTHING** to do with why the big boys on the Internet are who they are. It is at this point your brain should be saying, "This person has about as much clue as to what they are saying as a canine on the ISS [giphy.com] has of managing the station." I assure you it does not get better as it goes.

    Novel peer-to-peer protocols such as IPFS and Dat help replace HTTP and make the web a content-centered cyberspace. This way the link to an image can be something like QaPdNnDWRLF1b — a so-called hash of the image, summarizing it — instead of mywebsite.com/pic.jpeg so that even if mywebsite.com servers are removed,

    • For people with intermittent or unexistent connectivity, ISP-free mesh networks with moderate but consistent speeds become quite attractive. Facebook and Google are desperate for getting an early grip of those four billion people, e.g. through Internet.org and Project Loon. However, because their middlemen businesses are tethered to the internet, all of these projects require the old hierarchical structures of ISPs and cables.

      What I'd like to now is where is this place in the world where people typically own smartphones, but who don't have any sort of Internet connectivity?

      I have little doubt there are parts of the world where people have dumbphones with no Internet connectivity (North Korea?), but I don't think there is anywhere on this globe where there is a major area filled with people saying "well, I paid a bunch to get this amazing smartphone, but I can't use any of its features because there are no options for Internet ac

    • Ok, but how do you really feel?

    • by G00F ( 241765 )

      I couldn't agree mroe on you that they don't have a clue about what they are talking about. Confusion of web vs internet and not understanding that the internet is a mesh of networks..

      Makes me think they grew up as a special snowflake that got passed along.

      P.S. I like NAT/PAT.

  • Web is great for it's purpose to compose and link information. However, it sucks as an alternative to well written apps that it replaced. I am glad that technology is catching up and that companies are investing resources to keep social forums clean rather than everything being a wall of dick picks. I am also glad that there are freer options like 4chan and completely decentralized facilities like Tor/Bittorrent for absolute free speech. But these are (important) edge cases, not mainstream Internet passtime

  • Get their internet censorship proof and encrypted.
    Too many gov, mil, NGO, people, brand owners want to censor and totally stop free speech, search results.
    Create an internet that works again that does not get blocked.
    Links can be shared without losing an account, been banned, reported.
    Something that is resilient to the US party politics of a few computer brand and social media owners.
  • No.

    It is not.

    Also, Betteridges Law

  • I heard about this giant, world-wide mesh network once, but I've forgotten what it was called.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @03:28AM (#55883585)

    Set aside some of the ridiculous hyperbole and optimistic technological claims of the article, and look just at the technologies it mentions. Some of them are pretty cool and could have their valued uses. I've praised IPFS many times on this site because it has the potential to distribute static content in a manner that is more affordable, reliable, and bandwidth-efficient than just putting it up on web servers. Throw in a bit of decentralised wireless, and your cellphone data use could plumet - rather than download all those big updates over the cell network, it'll just ask the phone of the person sitting next to you to send them via wlan, and only need to go to the cell network if it can't find a copy in range.

    Just don't view distribution as a way to 'replace the internet.' It's a supplement. It can do certain things better.

  • Has Netcraft confirmed? Or is this just clickbait... yeah, I think it's the latter.
  • This statement is more accurate than the silly one Andrew Staltz made.
  • OK, let's take control away from ISPs by using our smartphones to route around them. That's great but I think maybe you forgot how smartphones are connected to each other?
  • Mesh network = network topology, web = HTTP, the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol which is at a completely different level of the OSI model. Why is this drivel on slashdot? It's complete nonsense. Aren't the editors supposed to have some understanding of the internet?
  • Any time some dipshit tells you the Web's dying, just ask them what they think they're selling, and then cut them off and send them on their way. Like Jehovah's Witness door-to-door people.

  • by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Monday January 08, 2018 @10:10AM (#55884747) Homepage

    Every time a new class graduates university, a few of them realize there's problems with the way things are and decide they're smart so they'll fix them. That's great, but of course they fail to do the basic work of coming up to speed on all the reasons why it is the way it is.

    The internet was already designed as a decentralized network. It's already fundamentally peer-to-peer at its lowest level. It automatically routes around damage.

    The fact that companies built centralized services like Facebook and Google on top of them doesn't mean you need to throw away the whole network. Email is federated (you can run your own email server if you want) and worked just fine until Facebook offered everyone the devil's bargain and they mostly all accepted it.

    Building a mesh network can't solve this problem. Why can't you build a Facebook on top of a mesh network? Answer: you can.

    Facebook and Google are huge because they offer stuff "for free" in exchange for your personal information, which is worth far more to them than they money it costs to run the service. You can go invent a distributed communication and/or social network where it's not supported by selling your data, but then the users will have to pay, and almost nobody will want to pay the few dollars a month it will cost. If most people won't pay, then there won't be enough people on it to be a viable network.

  • Those of us who used “the web” before the dot com bomb 1.0 © 2001 will likely attest the “web” died long ago. There was a time when the internet was a wonderful place of sharing and learning. The “godz” shared their knowledge, and those to whom such wisdom was bestowed, passed it on. We built and answered questions and learned because it was the right thing to do. A time when browsers just loaded, unencumbered by relentless multi-media ads. The web was built by t
  • I would be far better if users could simply define what they'd like to see and pick or create the look and feel for how to see it.

    It frustrates me to no end that others take over my browser windows, showing ads and videos to me that I do not want to see. Also, why do I have to learn a different system for every single website? Different colors, styles, menu types, etc..

    I really want control over my own system.

    I would prefer just define what content I am looking for, have the browser query for that and dis

  • "The web is dying, but mesh networks could save it," writes open source hacker Andre Staltz. He warns that Facebook, Google, and Amazon plan to "grow beyond browsers, creating new virtual contexts where data is created and shared," and predicts the next wave of walled gardens will be a "social internet" bypassing the web altogether. "The Web may die like most other technologies do, simply by becoming less attractive than newer technologies."

    "The U.S. Postal Service is dying, but mesh postal delivery could save it," writes someone with a fantastic view of his own colon...

    "Social postal delivery will bypass the USPS altogether. People will just deliver mail FOR each other, and even though letters may not get to anyone truly rural, or be able to go from one city to another if no one HAPPENS to be going that way, at that time, until someone does, that's a perfectly fine and acceptable replacement for the USPS. Sure, sometimes instead of delive

  • "to fix the overutilization of the wirenet and the underutilization of airnets, bringing balance to the wire-versus-air dichotomy, providing choice in how data should travel in each case...But it can only happen if the web takes a courageous step towards its next level."

    What the heck does a 'balanced dichotomy' with taking the 'next bold step' in the evolution of the web?

    This reads more like a transcript from a slacker boardroom bingo game than anything useful...

    I think the submitter needs to stop watching HBOs "Silicon Valley" stoned...

    • "to fix the overutilization of the wirenet and the underutilization of airnets, bringing balance to the wire-versus-air dichotomy, providing choice in how data should travel in each case...But it can only happen if the web takes a courageous step towards its next level."

      What the heck does a 'balanced dichotomy' with taking the 'next bold step' in the evolution of the web?

      This reads more like a transcript from a slacker boardroom bingo game than anything useful...

      I think the submitter needs to stop watching HBOs "Silicon Valley" stoned...

      Actually, sounds like they've been playing the latest version of Shadowrun. The wired internet goes down due to global virus attack and crash, so there was this wireless mesh IoT going on and people decided to just put it into production and shift everything over, because that would be easier than fixing the wired version. Did I mention this was after the paper eating bacteria destroyed all written records?

  • Oh Hey! I saw this on reddit [reddit.com]. Someone linked to the initial posting [staltz.com] on the dude's site. I shot it full of holes and he actually responded down in the comments. Looks like he didn't take any of my criticisms and is continuing to push it. He also posted it up on /r/technology.

    Lemme see... the highlights of all that bullshit....

    1) This is hyperbole in the extreme. He's lying to you to generate traffic and controversy. Clickbait.

    2) He makes up bullshit terms like "closed web" and "Wirenet"

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