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Business Wants a New, Profitable Internet 406

An Anonymous Coward writes: "The collapse of "dot com" promises and continuing frustration at the inability of business to harness the Internet for a profit has resulted in calls to modify the basic structure of the Internet itself so it will "obey basic economic laws". See this article in the LA Times. Time to drum out the "hippie anarchists" and put some real business sense into this mess! Or, if you can't adapt your business plan to the Internet, then change the Internet to facilitate you business plan." If you haven't read Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, now would be a good time.
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Business Wants a New, Profitable Internet

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Not only that, but I don't think DARPA [] would take too kindly to being called "a bunch of hippie anarchists."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:38AM (#2191391)
    basic economic laws

    I fully agree.

    Especially since there are no "economic laws". Hell, there aren't even real laws of physics, so how could there be economic laws?!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:54AM (#2191392)
    According to this guy, the Department of Defense which built the Internet in the 1960s is the same as "hippie anarchists". This puts the whole vietnam war debate in a whole new perspective: both sides were the same!
  • by mosch ( 204 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @07:26PM (#2191393) Homepage
    who cares about any of this? somebody wants to create a walled garden, and not allow access to the outside world, uncensored? they're allowed to do that right now, no problem.

    somebody wants an SLA which guarantees a certain QoS to certain customers? well that's possible too, and for large networks it's not even particularly unusual.

    this is an article which changes nothing, except that it makes Bud Michels [mailto], and by association CSP [] look extremely stupid, or desperate. I'm not sure which.


  • by Alan ( 347 ) <> on Thursday July 26, 2001 @10:37AM (#2191394) Homepage
    ... and even if there were, the problem with a medium that doesn't understand borders is that the economic laws of switzerland are probably quite different from those of Canada. Or Peru. Or [insert country here].

    So they'd have to make the internet obey the laws of borders, which makes it about as useful as the postal service for things. Assuming they could do that, you'd still have to do things like let some packets go from anywhere to anywhere.... how long until someone hacks this to piggyback email in those packets?

    Personally this scares the crap out of me. Can you imagine sending an email to and getting a popup saying "This email crosses 4 borders and is subject to peruvian import, and will cost you $1.23, send? [y/n]". Or surfing to and getting "this site is xxx miles away and will cost you $1.00/link clicked, $.50/m access and a $4.00 first access charge [y/n]"

    I'm glad that this will (probably) never happen. Guess it depends on how powerful business is (oh, and all the people who aren't businesspeople and need the internet? well, we won't worry about them will we.....)
  • by rodgerd ( 402 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @02:56PM (#2191395) Homepage
    Why is the Internet expected to comply with "basic economic laws"?

    The Internet complies with basic economic laws quite nicely, as it happens. The problem that certain people are bleating about is that they do't like the way economics are giving them a spanking. One example of this provided in the article was people whining that in order to get hihgly reliable delivery, they have to build and operate their own internal networks, and that it's too expensive. In other words, what's being complained about it that the network you pay for (with your access fees) doesn't act enough like an ultra-reliable private network for free.

    Ta-da! You get what you pay for. If you want a T1 pipe to every consumer, you can either share a network and amortise the cost across all the users (making it cheap, but also with no preferential treatment), or you can buy everyone a T1 to view your content.

    This is an attempt to create a broadcast style economy, where largely artificial scarcity is enforced for the benefit of a handful of companies; think broadcast TV or radio. A one-way relationship rigged to exclude small players so as to exclude economic norms like free market competition.

    It's the analogue of businesses that like a free market for employees when they can drive down wages for assembly line workers, and then squeal like stuck pigs when it allows scarce network engineers to charge like senior executives...

  • Anyone interested in this should go read Where Wizards Stay Up Late [] - an excellent read on the origins of the Intenet.

    One of Cringley's documentary series also had a chunk on historical 'net stuff. Triumph of the Nerds (or similar) was the name of that.

  • If you want an economist to pay attention to you, use the terms positive and normative instead of descriptive and prescriptive, respectively.

  • The Internet is a communication medium. It's like the phone system.

    Yep, It sure is. And when they try to use it to make money, it commences to suck. Just like when they try to use the telephone to make money. My wife and I don't answer the phone between 5 and 8 pm becasue of telemarketers calling from boiler room operations. They are making our phone suck. The same thing is happening with all these companies cluttering up the 'net with images, popups and other slow-loading crap. One news site after another has been glitzified to the point that you don't want to go there anymore.

  • by DG ( 989 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @10:23AM (#2191402) Homepage Journal
    Here's one of the hard, harsh facts of life - politics and philosophy rarely outlive the people who subscribe to it.

    Here's another: the dominant philosophy of a given group of people tends to be that of the people leading the group - and these leaders are in their 50s and 60s.

    These people were typically born in the post WWII boom. They had their childhood in the 50s, their teen years in the 60s, their adult-but-politically-powerless years in the 70s and 80s. They took over the reins of political power from the generation that _fought_ in WWII, who's primary political concerns were the issues fought over in that war.

    That generation was educated in WWII, and when they took political power, they were consumed with idealogical issues (communism, fascism, and capitalism) Their children were educated in economic prosparity (with little focus on pure politics) and now that they have political power, they are primarily concerned with economic issues.

    Compare JFK (a politically motivated leader from the WWII generation) to Bill Gates (an economically motivated leader from the post-WWII generation)

    But _our_ generation seems more and more interested in something else entirely. It's hard to describe or pigeonhole. We're not slaves to a political agenda like our grandparents. We're not (usually) slaves to our greed like our parents.

    We believe in free access to information. We believe that the economic interests of corporations are subordinate to the social needs of individuals. We're better connected to each other than at any other time in human history, and that tends to make us more tolerent of each other.

    The same way our parents (who have power now) can't imagine going on the Communist-witchunts of the 50s, we can't imagine (once we take over power) of passing laws like the DCMA.

    The established order may not like that very much - but who cares? In 10, 20 years, they'll be dying off and irrelevant.

    That doesn't mean that we don't fight and resist certain things now (the jailing of Dimitry is outrageous!) but even if we suffer local setbacks for the time being, we'll still win in the end.

    Just like our children will eventually triumph over whatever idiocies we put in place when we take power.

  • Remember how the Internet started? Funny, I don't remember there being any venture capitalists swarming around DARPA. It was all too technical, too esoteric, and too geeky for them.

    A few years ago, some of the VCs got the idea that this Internet thing was actually a "Good Idea" and they embraced it. They embraced it with vigor and enthusiasm.

    To be fair to the VCs, there may have been other reasons why they didn't show an interest in the internet earlier - in particular, red-tape. If I remember correctly, I don't think that the internet was allowed to be used for commercial purposes before the early 1990's. This is what Al Gore was instrumental in changing in the early 1990's (and what I think he was referring to in his infamous quote which was taken as a claim to his having invented the internet).

  • Some pages will always be put up by some person or group in their spare time because they want to. Some other pages will be put one by a group who wants to spend money to spread a message, for example a politcal web page would probably fall under this catagory. As would say the web page of a town.

    However many web pages that we know and might actualy like, including google, slashdot, ebay, amazon and so forth have to pay the bills. This means that at the end of the day the amount of money the earn *MUST* be greater than the amount that they spend. If you spend $10,000,000 a year and earn $9,000,000 you will sooner or later run out of cash and die.
  • Basic Economic law:

    You have to earn more than you spend. This has nothing to do with national laws.

    As for national laws, well you have to obay the laws of the place you are. If doing X is illegal for you doing with a computer probably won't change that.
  • I wasn't talking about personal debt, but corprate debt. If a comapany can't earn enough money to pay the bills sooner or later it will run out of cash and close the doors.
  • They didn't do their research and based their businesses on something they didn't fully understand. Now they're trying to step in and take control, but what they're proposing further illustrates their ignorance and lack of understanding of the technical (and social) issues.
  • And, yes, 300 emails, no matter how polite they each may be, counts as harassment. Don't do it, please. Think of the children.

    - jon
  • by jonabbey ( 2498 ) <> on Thursday July 26, 2001 @11:15AM (#2191412) Homepage

    We DO NOT need to be harassing a Network World columnist for expressing his opinion to some reporter.

    A lot of people have made the point that the net needs a better economic model, one that allows for better cost allocations for bandwidth usage. The stuff in the LA Times article is just talking about that, plus Quality Of Service and multicast features that will support investment in things like video on demand.

    Nothing terrible here that I can see. If you disagree philosophically, go out and do like Clay Shirky and Jon Gilmore do and write intelligent, thoughtful, non-knee-jerk pieces about the future of the net.

    DO NOT harass a commentator and justify the impression that the net is filled with irrational sux0rs (sux0r, n: one who sux.) who are bent on getting everything they want for free, now, dammit.

    - jon
  • Unchecked greed is not a good thing.

    That's what a LOT of the big businesses possess It's greed without any sense of what tomorrow might bring. It's greed without any sense of propriety. It's greed without playing by any of the rules we've set for ourselves as individuals.

    Unchecked greed ends up producing monsters that slowly gobble up all the competition. Unchecked greed creates the pollution we see in the skies over the cites we live in. Unchecked greed produces the pablum that we're force-fed in the form of pop music and pop television.

    Not unethical? Some of what they're doing is unethical. Do you consider $0.25-0.50 profit earned by a recording artist per every $15-20 record ethical? Do you consider region coding on DVD's ethical? Do you consider keeping you from using a given media item such as a book or record being explicitly controlled by someone else ethical? I don't. Apparently your concept of ethical and mine are completely different.
  • I'll give you "one"...

    "Two" is so much bunk it's not even funny. Electric distribution was developed in the US, first by Edison, later by Tesla. The incandescant light bulb came from Edison. The fluorescent light from Tesla. The AC motor came from Tesla. Do we have the unmitigated gall and audacity to tell the rest of the world what to do with their electric power distributiuon system, motors, lights, etc.? Nope- and we'd get told where to shove it if we dared to. Why should this be any different?

    "Three" would depend on how much capability the "new" fork could muster. It might start out as a "piggyback", but it might just grow to be the main one. You just can't tell- it boils down to the ingenuity of the individuals building the alternate net (which is actually happening right now with Consume, etc.).
  • AARPNET? American Association for Retired Persons Network?

    The ARPANET was _not_ intended for military purposes. Although the idea of a distributed communications network was suggested in a RAND study on the topic of war interrupting communications, the ARPANET was intended to network research facilities and help make efficient use of computer resources all around the country. (at a time when many programs could only be run on a single computer) I mean, come on. For years, the only installations on the thing were university computing centers.

    Go read through the answers that the people actually involved with creating the ARPANET give to this question, and see how well the nuclear war myth holds up. Sheesh.
  • Yeah, 'Wizards' is one of my favorite books on tech history. I wouldn't bother with Cringely too much. He's better at writing about the personalities of the players involved. He nailed Steve Jobs as probably being a sociopath, and Bill Gates as being a control freak of exceptional proportions.

    If you want a good general history of early-mid microcomputing, try 'Fire in the Valley' to go along with 'Wizards.' Now I just need to find something good on minis other than 'Soul of a New Machine.' (it's okay, but there's more to life than Data General... boy is there)
  • by cpt kangarooski ( 3773 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @10:15AM (#2191420) Homepage
    UCLA and Stanford were the first two machines to be connected, and yeah, I believe they used leased lines. Although no one seems to remember who was doing it, the historic first message is remembered. The people at UCLA attempted to log into a computer at Stanford. Simultaneously they had placed a long-distance call to ensure that things were showing up at the other end. The conversation went basically like so (I'm writing this from memory, but I swear I am not making it up):

    UCLA: (types 'L') We typed an L
    Stanford: We got the L
    U: (types 'O') We typed O
    S: We got the O
    U: (types 'G') We typed G -- oh wait, it crashed.

    This was probably an accurate omen ;)
  • by Glytch ( 4881 )

    "The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn't excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws," said Thomas Nolle, a New Jersey telecommunications consultant.

    Well, I guess if they're not being followed, they're not really basic laws, eh? :)

  • Since when has the Internet been public? Every bit(and byte) is paid for..

    The gripe here seems to be that you just can't get enough bandwidth in on the big I Internet. Build your own small I internet and add a router.. That's what everyone else does if I'm not mistaken..

  • Why not a commercial Net? I'll give a few reasons why it might be desirable, and I encourage others to give reasons why it isn't desirable ("Corporations suck" isn't a reason).

    • The most interesting point made in the article is the "intelligent switches" that prioritize traffic. This can be a good thing -- no more bandwidth clogging Napter/Gnutella/KaZaA users preventing "important" traffic from getting through.
    • A "closed" Net (as opposed to the "open" Net that we have now) may be more resilient to hackers, crackers, and creeps who find it funny to DoS Yahoo. If a private network operator (here I'm assuming that the commercial Net won't be controlled by single interest, vis. AOL/TimeWarner/Qwest/WorldCom/Sprint/GlofaxMegatho rp, which is probably a stupid assumption) has to guarantee bandwidth for paying customers, they will be very interested in keeping such traffic under scrutiny and out of their network (and certainly keep it from passing into another network)
    • It helps with the Ghostbusters problem (i.e. "Who ya gonna call?"), if not totally eliminate it. You can yell and scream at UUNet all you want, but unless you're an SLA-customer, you're SOL
    • It may hasten the Holy Grail -- video on demand. I'm almost completely for it for just that reason...
    • It can encourage open protocols (if the commercial Nets can't speak with each other, they become islands) -- and it may keep a single entity (MS) from dictating what the network will carry through outside influence (control of the majority of OSes)

    It's not perfect, and I can think of a few reasons where the above would not be true -- but there are good reasons to move the Net this direction. I'd be interested to see reasons why it wouldn't be good.

  • Radio is very strictly regulated byt governmant agencies, as is telephony, television, satellite and wireless (in almost every band.)

    Hmm... at the cost of the First amendment, it might be added. Those profiteers you so despise may restrict what you see and/or say, but so will a Government, only the Government can back up their demands with force of arms, whereas those profiteers must sell you on taking away your libert (which, unfortunately, is quite easy to do. People will trade freedom for security at the drop of a hat. The price of Freedom is eternal vigilance, as the man said.)

  • the majority of the bandwidth is provided by HIGH $$ corp's. They will happily follow a trail of money to hell itself. If the corp's are willing to pay they can own the net :(
  • it means those with money decide. It has nothing to do with the common man or class at all. The free market follows the $$$'s plain and simple. There is NO CONCEPT of loyalty or commitment, JUST PROFIT, cold hard cash. A true free market is mean and cold, using you until you have NO MORE then discarding you.
  • It has ALWAYS been spelled that way in England. Take a look outside, there is a WHOLE GIANT world outside the US. I like to visit it as much as possible. It will broaden your horizons, and make you REALLY appreciate the TRUE FREEDOMS we have hear in the US.

    Note this is NOT a knock on any other country, the US has plenty of problems, but we ALSO do SOME THINGS JUST RIGHT :)
  • why do you automatically equate loyalty or commitment to Stalin and facism ? What about the company you have worked at for 40 years that discards you because a 19 year old will do the same job for half the price and has no family to support.
    "The free market follows the $$$'s plain and simple.

    Actually, it follows the will of the people, $$$ or no $$$. Bad ideas that give someone great profit will fail if they are bad"

    Um yeah tell that to the oil industry, or giant agri-businesses. Your definition of bad is foolish, and theirs is not profitable. If it makes money it is GOOD according to the corporate doctrine.
  • what if there is no functional difference in performance beyond pay, and benefits ?? This is happening to programmers all over the place, just ask any 40 year old programmer now, what it takes to get on full time...

    If it is a performance issue I agree the better worker should be hired hands down.
  • by mattkime ( 8466 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:49AM (#2191439)
    "The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn't excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws," said Thomas Nolle, a New Jersey telecommunications consultant. "The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists who didn't have a strong profit motive. But this is a business, not a government-sponsored network."

    In similar news, scientists are demanding that quantum physics obey the laws of newtonian physics.

    "This new science is too hard," complained one scientist. "How can we use quantum physics to make better guns when we're not even sure if schrodinger's cat is alive until we look?"

    "I can't understand this stuff unless I'm as high as a kite," stated another scientist. He continued, "What am I supposed to tell people that I do? I just tell them that I play with marbles all day."

  • This was inevitable. And there will now come into existence a second internet. One with trustworthy biometric authentication.

    That's what business needs. That's what they're going to get. But it'll have to be better, more secure and better controlled than the telephone .
  • Telecom executives say that without a major redesign of the Internet, such eagerly anticipated applications as video-on-demand, Internet telephony and Webcasts of live entertainment events will never be economical.
    Hey, Business Bimboes!!! Time to roll-out IP-v6!!!


  • Just because something is there, doesn't mean that everybody has a God given right to make money off it.

    This is a basic tenet of human nature that, for some reason, seems to elude the minds of some people.

    The internet is out there. That's a fact. It has been true for quite a long time in some form or another.

    Now that home users are able to get broadband access in the form of cable or DSL, the fact is that people are already paying for their access, and if a web site is going to charge $XX for you to visit them, that is $XX above and beyond what they are currently paying.

    Pay per view and subscriptions seem to be working in the cable market, but there has been stern resistance for "pay as you play" on the Internet.

    The MPAA and RIAA are whining and crying, saying that the Internet doesn't provide any protection for intellectual property. Well, guess what? It doesn't. And it won't, no matter how many congresspeople they purchase, and how many stupid acts of legislation they try to get passed. Deal with it.

    People didn't like it that their perfectly good album collection on vinyl was rendered obsolete by studios that now only release stuff on CD. Back in 1980, it required the owners of the albums' masters to be able to produce the CD's. People grumbled, but they bought CD's, a lot of them duplicating stuff they already had on vinyl.

    Today, however, the state of the art has reached the common man. The Internet is only a tool, just like a CD-ROM burner is a tool, and the software for copying CD-ROMS is a tool. These tools allow people to tell the RIAA just what they think about having to pay again and again and again for essentially the same stuff.

    Do you think if listening to radio required a subscription that radio would be as ubiquitous as it is today? Of course not!

    People will "share" the files they have around on the Internet. Deal with it.

    People don't want to view banner ads on web sites. They will ignore them, or they will use software to make them disappear. Either way, they were intrusive and disliked.

    Either invent a business model that can deal with the current reality of the Internet, or end up in the Darwinian garbage heap.

    If you try to invent your own "business friendly" Internet that has none of the things that people can already get from the current Internet, then you will only have an Internet that has businesses there... and very few customers! What would make people want to give up what they have now? It had better be good, or it will go the way of the 8-track tape.

    The Internet managed fine before businesses discovered it, and I feel it will still be around despite what some misguided businesspeople, congresspeople, judges, or whomever decide to do.
  • ``...adding "intelligent" switches and other devices, they believe, the system could work faster, avoid traffic jams, distinguish between high-priority data and other material that can wait, and generally live up to its promise...''

    Let me guess... That would be Cisco's belief, right?


  • ``People tend to forget that the entity that is the net is ultimately paid for by the consumer of the net.''

    It sure seems that business people forget that. Those are the folks who happily send me junk mail that is most likely largely subsidized by the poor schmucks standing in line buying first class postage stamps to mail in their gas/water/electric bills or the occasional greeting card for someone's birthday through the regular mail. Then Mr. Businessman still complains about how expensive it is to use the mail. As long as it costs them anything at all, they'll bitch and moan about it.


  • ``You want these companies (sprint, etc.) to continue running the backbone of the Internet? You want them to maintain it? Fine, but don't expect them to do it for the love of mankind. They do it for money''

    Right. People do pay Sprint, et. al., monthly fees. If this isn't enough to keep them in the business of providing internet access then there's obviously a problem. But I haven't seen too many posts demanding that they wanted free internet access.

    As for:

    ``You don't like what Big Business is doing to the internet? Well, I don't like all of it either, neccessarily, but it's not illegal, or even unethical.''

    I happen to think that it is unethical for Big Business to raise false alarms about how the internet is unreliable, inefficient, etc., etc., and then claim that it'll take Big Business to make everything better. It's a lie. I find those unethical.

    We have something rather similar here in Chicago. Lot's of major businesses making public statements about how O'Hare Field needs major new runway expansion projects. ``The airport's broken! It's unreliable! Blah blah blah.'' Sound familiar? The prevailing attitude from Big Business is: ``Who cares what those people think is best; we in the business community knows what's best''. Guess who most of these business leaders are? Heads of companies that'll see major financial benefits if runway construction proceeds: construction companies, the airlines (does anyone seriously think that more runways is going to relieve congestion? Has adding more lanes to a highway ever provided more than a very short term relief from traffic jams before they got worse? No, but you can be sure that a similar argument for additional lanes was made by people whose interests were very well served by pouring more concrete), other companies whose products will be used for infrastructure, etc., not to mention trade union leaders looking for a quick means of justifying the dues that they take from each member's paycheck. Do I think this is unethical behaviour on the part of Big Business? Damn right! Is it any different from what's Big Business would propose for the internet? No.

    This whole ``concern'' on the reliability of the internet on the part of Big Business is just a means of hyping some imaginary problem that they can later make tons of money from.


  • ``So basically he's calling defense scientists working for DARPA a bunch of hippie anarchists...''

    I think I remember seeing pictures of some of the guys at BBN who were involved in the earliest days. Some of them had BEARDS! Just like Lenin!


  • by rnturn ( 11092 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @11:28AM (#2191449)
    ``generally live up to its promise as a worldwide communications and entertainment medium.''

    Who promised that it was going to be an enterainment medium? Please, we all want to know who made that promise.

    ``because it is configured as a huge web of interconnecting pipelines, the Internet is almost universally accessible and resistant to local damage, political censorship or the designs of corporate landlords.''

    And it's those last two items that have the status quo's underwear in such a bunch.

    ``its shortcomings in service quality and reliability have lost their charm, which is evident to anyone who has waited a seeming eternity for a Web page to load or suffered through a weeklong outage in an e-mail account.''

    Methinks that these problems are due to the servers installed at the sites where users are experiencing such poor performance. Quit trying to blame the poor performance of your web servers on the internet. ``Mr. businessman, you need to upgrade your server hardware and/or your communications line(s)''. And by ``weeklong outage in an e-mail account'', I take that was meant to refer to the recent Passport fracas. Anybody who goes around telling reporters that this was a fault of the overall architecture of the internet is a liar. Pure and simple. It was an execrable architecture, software, policies, and procedures -- and almost certainly the execution of those procedures -- at a certain large vendor of proprietary PC software that was responsible for that mess. Not the internet.

    ``(IAB chairman) Klensin is equally critical of executives irked by the difficulty of making money from the Internet the old-fashioned way by controlling the customer's access to scarce resources and services. These people, Klensin contends, need to look harder for novel ways to exploit the new medium.''

    Bingo! We could sure use more creative thinking and less ``but I learned how to make money this way in business school'' lack-of-thinking. If you cannot adapt then get out of the business of trying to make money on the internet. There are plenty of other ways to make money in the world; find one of those and stop trying to screw up something that you don't understand.

    ``The Internet service provider (Excite@Home), however, argues that its subscribers remain free to surf the rest of the Web without interference, and that @Home is merely improving access to material that might prove especially popular.''

    Well that material blessed with high-bandwidth accessibility is surely the most popular with Excite@Home executives who certainly will charge whopping fees to those providers for the privilege of getting it loaded more quickly onto the computers of potential buyers.

    ``Giving Walt Disney Co. material preferential treatment, for example, would not mean @Home would block its users' access to Disney rivals, he said.''

    Of course, Disney would never dream of offering to pay more to Excite@Home (and @Home would never dream of offering that option ;-) ) if Warner Bros were unable to place content on that high-speed pipe. And while it may not be blocked through some configuration on Excite@Home's network, it'll be effectively blocked by forcing users to access it at near dial-up speeds (or maybe a little better than that).

    ``Michael Roberts, former chairman of the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, a public body that oversees the distribution of Internet addresses. But he added, "It's too big, too important, too political to be treated as something for only a band of talented engineers to preside over."''

    Should that have read ``Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, a pseudo-public body''? And I like the overall tone of that comment: ``It's too complicated for y'all to let a bunch of geeks to care for. Heck, most of these guys can't even get dates. Just leave it to business people. They'll take care of you.''

    And, of course, many of us have had the privilege of dealing with companies with those highly-praised business motives who cannot seem to employ any of those talented engineers. Hint: the internet needs those talented engineers to keep things running smoothly far more than it needs those protectors of Capitalism.

    ``"The [Internet] is in trouble because it threatens so much of the establishment that it's provoked a backlash," (David) Isenberg (telecommunications expert and former AT&T Laboratories network engineer) said. ''

    Another Bingo! How did that fellow describe this sort of thing? Oh, yes: a ``disruptive technology''.

    Have a good one...


  • If this weren't so tragic it would be funny. Corporate America is essentially whining "Mommy! The world doesn't work the way I want it to, make it go away!" Unfortunately there is a very good chance that the cheap whores we've elected, or had appointed to office "on our behalf," will do exactly what these losers (in every sense of the word) want.

    Capitalism relies on scarcity to function. Scarcity of food, scarcity of land, scarcity of medicine, scarcity of products. If something is not scarce, but rather abundant, then no "free" market can form around it. The air we breath is an obvious example of something so abundant and readilly available that no one would consider paying just to breath it. Water in many places is similar. Now, of course, even something as abundant as air can have value added (the oxygen cafes in California come to mind, as do pressurized oxygen systems for aircraft and scuba divers), but as it stands, in its raw state, its value is orthogonal to the capitalist system. Not valueless, for none of us would live ten minutes without it (making it perhaps one of the most valuable things around), but intractible as far as applying the Capitalist paradigm to it.

    Socialism and Communism presuppose a level of abundance at least sufficient to provide "everyone" with certain basic products. As the physical world rarely has such abundance, such systems falter and even fail because of their conflict with our physical reality and the scarcity of the products and services their adherents generally want, things like food, electricity, and such. On the other hand, every nation on the planet practices communism in its pure form every day with respect to air ... the oxygen I breath may be produced by your tree, but I breath it nevertheless. Why? Because it is so abundant that no amount of pro-capitalist or anti-socialist posturing, demagaugary, or hysteria is going to get anyone to seriously consider paying for the air they breath. The only way something like that would happen is if breathable air were to become scarce, as it would be for colonists in space, or citizens of a world so polluted that nature's natural sources of oxygen became unusable.

    So to with information in the internet age. Take away the virtually free replication and distribution of information and we would be back to where we were twenty years ago, where information was scarce not because of its inherent nature, but because of the limited means available to distribute and share it. At one time this wasn't the case, when a culture's entire informational wealth was handed down from elder to youth in the form of folk lore, tribal rights, music, and so forth.

    The internet was designed to allow information to flow freely, to be shared as widely as needed, and to become as ubiquitious, and as plentiful, as air. It has to a large part succeeded, so much so that the Information Barrons and Copyright Cartels have been falling over themselves bribing lawmakers in nearly every developed nation to pass some equivelent of the DMCA, the Sony Bono Copyright Extention Act, and various anti-hacking and anti-speech laws.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Efforts to impose an inappropriate economic system, such as capitalism, on the internet, where information is as abundant as air, will have consiquences at least as bad as those efforts to impose an inappropriate economic system, such as commmunism, on a world of physical scarcity. Legislation designed to do so will be at least as draconian as that which once governed the Soviet Union, perhaps even more so as even the Soviets never tried to charge for, nor ubiquitiously monitor, their citizen's use of oxygen.

    We've already seen the kind of "free" world the Copyright Cartels and Information Barrons are persuing through their use of the DMCA to silence speech, drag 14-year old programmers from their homes in the middle of the night *cough* Motion Picture Association of America *cough*, and imprison visiting software engineers for exposing fraudulant marketing of products by large American corporations *cough* Adobe *cough*.

    Is it really surprising the same people are now trying to make the most liberating and empowering medium ever created, the internet, simply go away?
  • hehehe :)
    I was going to post a message just like that. :)

    The problem is, what can anyone do about it? Nothing is offlimits from the grasp of greedy business men. You can say heathcare, bill of rights, etc, but that's just a load of crap. The United States still hasn't passed a universial heathcare program, and big businesses doesn't hesitate to walk on your rights when it's *profitable* to do so. I digress...

    I haven't quite figured out what to do about it, but one thing that has me paranoid is an urgency flag in IPv6 (Is it in the RFC? Or am I imagining things again?). Just because some company has some e-commerence infrastructure now their packet is more important than mine? The purpose of the flag is to allow real time streaming such as surgeries and such. But it's wide open for abuse.

    I don't know what can be done to protect anindividual's rights and make certain aspects of things (Non commercial Internet, Heathcare, Equal Rights, etc) offlimits to corporations while still being America... the land of the free.

    I'm still working on my manifesto...
  • If a person cant cut it in the real world of business they either teach or write books/columns.

    I.E. the articles are written by people that couldn't manage a business if they tried, and it shows.

    Real businessmen/women keep their mouths shut and stick to becoming filthy rich...

    I don't hear the CEO of ebay whining like a baby... only the columnists that dont have what "they" have.

    another example of the press giving a microphone to a moron (Kinda like Dvorak... an idiot with a column...)
  • by Bearpaw ( 13080 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @10:22AM (#2191456)
    What Nolle refers to as "basic economic laws", it seems to me, is actually the sequestering of resources by a few based on their access to money and influence.

    Amen, sibling. Even if there are such things as "basic economic laws" -- which is not at all clear -- it can't fail to comply with them, anymore than than Thomas Nolle can fail to comply with the law of gravity if he jumps off a cliff.

    "Having money gives me the right to manipulate the system to make more money" isn't a basic economic law, it just works that way often enough that it might seem like a basic law. Especially to those relative few who benefit from it.

  • Why is the Internet expected to comply with "basic economic laws"?

    I have a sort of answer to your question. I recently read a book called, "Spiral Dynamics", which describes basically 6 different value "memes" which have been found to exist in people. And that quote sounds suspiciously like the speaker holds the "ORANGE" value meme (each vMEME is colour coded for convenience). Many people in this forum probably hold the GREEN vMEME, (see the book for a description), and hence sort of can't believe how anyone could be so "evil" -- how could anyone think that the internet is just a vehicle for profit??

    People who hold different value memes just won't see eye to eye. And typically, whatever vMEME you happen to hold, because you value that vMEME, you dis-value all the others, so a competetive/profit valuing ORANGE person will think that people who try to work together for the common good are "just a bunch of hippies", while people who hold the GREEN vMEME will see the profiteering ORANGE viewpoint as being evil and self centered.

    The point is to recognise that the other person simply holds a different value MEME, and as such, will value things differently to what you value -- so you just have to learn how to acknowledge and include their viewpoint, while getting them to understand the limitations of their viewpoint. IANAPsychologist, but just thought that what with this issue being basically about two different groups with different values, ie. "Hey, we business people (ORANGE vMEME) value profit and competition, and we see the world in terms of how it can be made to generate profit" versus the academic group (more GREEN vMEME) "we work for the betterment of all by the sharing of knowledge, and see everything as something to be studied, understood, and shared" -- that I'd mention the theory of Spiral Dynamics.

    Yes, there are people out there who see a tree as a "resource for profit making". The internet, to their eyes/worldview, is no different. Their worldview is not wrong, it's just limited -- ie. we have actually evolved, at the cutting edge, beyond just profit making, and have begun to think about global environmental issues, but that doesn't mean we stop making profit -- rather, we include profit making, in carefully managed ways, as part of the greater "web of life".

    As I said, the problem is when one vMEME thinks it's the "best" vMEME -- when profit makers think profit is the highest goal and the very meaning of life. But there ain't no big "treasury in the sky" place like the Ferengi believe.

  • I've found both the article and the majority of comments here to be grossly misinformed. The reason is quite simple, in that none of these people know much about networking. It's a hard subject that few people grok. I don't understand a whole bunch of it because there's just so much to know.

    Anyhow, what people in the real world (as distinct from pundits and soundbites) want is differentiated Classes of Service (aka QoS). Currently the internet runs pretty much on a single Class of Service: best effort. That's your Ipv4 ToS bit set to zero. As Rei mentioned, most routers ignore ToS because they're not configured to handle it.. and neither is the backbone they're connected to.

    This is changing as companies begin to realise they want CoS and are willing to pay for the priviledge. They're happy to have most of their non-critical non-time-sensitive data to go over the wire on a best effort basis, since that doesn't really require much effort on anyone's part. That makes it the cheapest access you can get. If they want to send VideoConferencing data or Voice over IP, and an ISP can guarantee them the bandwidth and latency it requires, then they're happy to pay a premium for that.

    That's where networks are going. You order a big fat pipe and allocate 10% to the highest class of service (guaranteed delivery, low latency), maybe 25% to low latency because you're a Quake fanatic, perhaps 10% more for guaranteed delivery and the rest best effort. Making everything the top CoS is akin to leasing your own ATM or FrameRelay backbone: too expensive if all you need is 10%.

    It's happening already in various parts of the net, and it's a _good_ thing because it means corporates get the performance they want (by paying for the priviledge) and everyone else still gets the standard internet. It's all running over the same wires/fibre, just logically partitioned. The end result is that _everybody's_ bandwidth gets upgraded.

  • As a "Sprint certified data partner" I can tell you that the private network they are looking for already exists in Sprint's private ATM cloud. And the same probably goes for the other major providers.

    Of course, that costs money. Ironically, they seem to want all the benefits the Internet already provides without the "limitations" that empowered their emergence. Moreover, they want it at the current low cost level. It appears that the good business sense they want to add begins after the world has already organized a way to cheaply communicate without boundaries. How quaint.

    I can see it breaking down like this: Two seperate networks, one high bandwidth with packet delivery timing guarantees, one low bandwidth (i.e. the Internet as we know it today). The faster network will probably run on IPv6 and will have the cable companies as the backbone not the telephone companies. The logic is that the cable networks are essentially flattened already. Transmissions go from a place like AT&T Broadband's Digital Media Center (in the US), to a satellite, to the cable MSOs, and finally to their destination. If the MSOs lease private lines between them, they've got the topology for real time network applications and the authority to control it. Essentially, the cable companies have the best shot at "starting over" through consolidation. I'll bet that companies like Vivendi are thinking along these lines already.

    The public internet at that point will lose its charm for businesses because there will be a better business alternative. At this point, I can see the public net becoming a government controlled entity in many countries since private businesses will be putting their cash into the other network.

    What does this mean in terms of rights? The only thing I'm sure of is that now is not the time to stop fighting for them.

  • No. There clearly are economic laws. But the ones that can be accurately identified all apply at a very small scale.
    Someone once said it:
    1) You can't win
    2) You can't break even
    3) You can't get out of the gameAnd that's probably close enough to think with. And it's true. But you need to consider the whole effective system. Once you introduce money (in the current US economics), you've introduced Banks, the magic creation of more money than you own (banks are allowed to lend ... is it 3 times their deposits?, the Federal Reserve System isn't under that strict a limit, however. And the Feds can order printed as much money as they feel like.
    That's as real as an El Mir copy of a master. Exactly. The money has value as long as you believe it does, and no longer. It's magic not bookkeeping, unless you count cooking the books as legitimate accounting.

    Who was it that didn't understand the basic laws of economics?

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • Yes. These are the laws of thermodynamics. In economics, considered as a system, they are also the rules.

    As in thermodynamics, individual particles/entities can gain increased energy/wealth at the expense of the decreased energy/wealth of other individuals/entities.

    It is inaccurate insofar as economics isn't a zero-sum game. Usually, however, all of the costs aren't/can't be taken into account. So we don't know how often economics isn't a zero-sum game. Only the assertions which various folk make. And this falls into the area covered by the original poster who declared that there weren't any laws of economics. So I restricted myself to the areas that were not covered under that ruberic.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • It's the end points that are failing. The "in-cum-bent-on-raping-the-customer" telcos can't get DSL deployed right, even though the technology is sound. And the cable companies are no better.

    For starters, let's take a look away from the internet for a moment and see how another of the operations of these large corporations is working: tech support. For the most part it just totally sucks. And the bigger the company, the worse it gets. The telcos and cablecos are among the worst. If they can't get that operation right, they are hardly going to be able to get something as complex as the internet right. And they haven't yet.

    Yes, the internet has problems. But you're not going to get problems solved by letting them do it. Sure, things like massive broadcasts over the net to millions of people, or maybe even a billion in a few years, are going to totally overload it. A good broadcast infrastructure needs to be deployed within the net. All the suits needs to do is ask the jeans to design it, supply the cash, and it will get done. But they won't have it that way because the whole issue comes down to just one thing: control.

    He who controls the internet controls information. He who controls information controls the world.

    This is one of the reasons why so many of us have been fighting the likes of Microsoft. I could care less if they make high quality software or totally shitty software (I happen to believe they fall somewhere in the middle). I oppose Microsoft only because of their attempt to control information. But they aren't the only ones with their eye on the big cloud. We need to watch out for the likes of AT&T (yeah, the guys that tried to squelch it all in the first place), AOL/TW, and others. Watch what they are doing with content and see what I really mean.

    We need some kind of ranking system for these companies that shows how well they do what they do, and what risk they pose in terms of trying to control information.

  • Why are you still sending your name queries to ICANN controlled root/gtld servers? You know you don't have to.

    Of course there have been some failed efforts to create alternate roots. Part of the reason for such failures is because the people involved were small timers trying to think they were big corporations. Either way, profit motive was their downfall. It's not wrong to make money at something, but if you think profit first, product second, you're most likely not going to have either one. Once we have an alternate root started without a profit motive in its control (but not excluding businesses), then I think it can succeed.

    Imagine, if you will, two separate networks. One is like these corporate suits are proposing. The other is like the internet used to be back in the day (e.g. no banner ads, no spam). Now how will these networks differ in terms of things like domain names (assuming this technology is still used)? That's right, they will be different name spaces. And what is so wrong with that? Separate name spaces would help separate the information network from the commercial network.

  • by sharkey ( 16670 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @10:13AM (#2191466)
    Didn't you know? Al "Flower Child" Gore fathered the Internet at a campus love in.

  • by B.D.Mills ( 18626 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @03:39PM (#2191468)
    Back in the dawn of time, the Net was designed as a redundant network. If one link went down, there was usually another path available, and the data could get through. The architecture of the Net resembled a spider's web. These redundant links cost extra money, but with government funding that's not really a limitation.

    When ISPs and other companies started using the Net as their business, they chose to implement few redundant links. They cost extra money, they said. Why have two or three separate links to the net when one will do the job?

    So what happens when a lot of ISP's and bandwidth providers do this? The net architecture becomes more like a tree with little redundancy. Unlike webs, trees have many vulnerable points. Thus, it is common to see sites being unreachable. For example, my reaching Slashdot from my desk at work in Australia is a journey of over 20 hops, and if any of these links goes down, Slashdot becomes unreachable. The reliability of my connectivity to Slashdot over all these hops is about 95%-98%.

    So the solution? Change the architecture of the net by putting it back the way it was! Put back the redundant links, and to hell with the bottom line of the penny-pinching providers. And get the corporations who want reliability to pay for it! The Internet is NOT FREE, yet corporations seem to want to make money off the net without paying for it. Well, big corporations, you get what you pay for.
  • Shit Happens when you introduce disruptive technologies into a marketplace.

    Amen! There are relatively few laws of economics, but they are real and you can't violate them without getting bit in the ass.
  • The basic laws of economics still rule. If we have indeed entered a post-capitalism phase, then it won't matter if people listen to you are not. It will still happen. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
  • Privatized regulatory system? Isn't that an oxymoron?

    But that's beside the point. There was zero privatization of the energy market. All that happened was a de-monopolization of the energy production industry. Each of those newcomers on the production side was still regulated by the state. The distribution side remained a monopoly and was still regulated by the state. This created an imbalance and it almost destroyed itself. PG&E and SCE were/are monopoly purchasers of energy, and monopoly distributors of energy. By law. Purchase direct from an energy producer without Gray's permission and go to jail. Sell your excess energy without Gray's permission and go to jail.
  • The internet is chock full of scarcity. Landlines are scarce. Switches are scarce. Servers are scarce. IP addresses are scarce. Domain names are scarce. Bandwidth is scarce. Technical expertise is scarce. Reliability is scarce.

    And yes, information is scarce. Scarcity goes beyond the cost of reproducing information. It also applies to the creation of information. There's a shitload of information out there. But 99.997% of it is worthless to me. The information I need right now is very scarce. It might not have been created. And if it has, I might not be able to find it. And if I do find it, I might very well discover that it is useless to me without the application of some other equally scarce tidbits of information.
  • I hate to be the one bearing the bad news. But the internet's core infrastructure is already owned by commercial interests. It has been for twenty years. The vast majority those cables, switches, routers and servers are not owned by any government or public agency. They are owned by private commercial interests.
  • Almost, but not quite.

    There is not "right to profit", but there is a right to attempt to earn a profit. Big difference. In todays mis-educated environment, too many people think "right"=="guarantee". This is bogus. There is no guarantee of profit. But there is a right to pursue happiness so long as you do not infringe upon the rights of others to do the same.

    You have the right to pursue profits, to set your prices as high as you want, or as low as you want, to keep any profits that your earn, yada, yada, yada. But you do not have a guarantee to profits. You do not have a guarantee that people will buy your products if you set the price too high. You do not have a guarantee that you will be financially solvent if you set your prices too low.
  • Got to agree. Too many businesses don't want to compete on a level playing field. They find it more profitable to hire a DC lobbyist than to hire a competent engineer or marketeer. From what I have seen of the world, these types are everywhere, from the big multi-nationals to the small mom-and-pops.

    When I say "business friendly", I mean an atmosphere that lets a business survive or fail on its own merits, on a playing field where the rules are known all and apply to all equally.

    Those who would trade a little freedom for a little security deserve neither.
  • Privacy and anonymity are scarce outside of the internet as well. I'll go out on a limb here to say that they aren't really rights. You certainly have the right to pursue privacy and anonymity, but you don't necessarily have the right to have them given to you.

    If you want privacy in the real world, you buy window shades. If you don't have window shades and your house faces a busy thoroughfare, you have only yourself to blame for your lack of privacy. In the real world it is up to you to ensure your own privacy. You have the right to buy and install window shades, but you don't have the right to have window shades provided for you.

    Anonymity works the same way. If you want to be anonymous, it is up to you to make the effort. If you want to be anonymous, don't give out any information on yourself. Use cash for all transactions. Use a mail drop. Wear a disguise. Scurry through the shadows. Don't enter the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

    Privacy and anonymity are indeed scarce goods on the internet, just as they are in the brick-and-mortar world. It looks like a good business opportunity to me! If the public doesn't see them as valuable commodities, then obviously these services need better marketing.
  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @10:21AM (#2191477) Homepage Journal
    Yup! That's what we are! I've heard "hippie anarchist" used over the decades as a cheap euphemism for "libertarian". So I'll examine the internet in terms of a laissez fair, anarcho-capitalist, free market.

    (Of course, the internet ain't 100% free market. The following musings are mere generalization. Since utopia is not an option, there are exceptions to everything.)

    The internet works according to the principles of volunteerism and property rights. The internet is private property. Pure an simple. We just don't see it as such since we think of it as a whole. In reality it's millions of tiny homesteaded properties all connected together. Companies and individuals own the backbones, servers, domains and software. We have organized ourselves into a working system without having to resort to government fiat and decree.

    The internet runs by way of voluntary cooperation. We don't have any law backed by the use of force. We don't have policemen running around with guns. We only have mutual agreed upon rules of conduct. When these rules are broken, we do not throw the perpetrators in jail, but utilize non-violent solutions. If a section of the backbone decides to charge an onerous price, we route around them. When a server becomes a haven for spam, we boycott them through established protocols. And when a member abuses their free speech, we excercise ours through flamage and email bombing.

    Where needed services were missing, some entepreneurial sorts stepped in and offered them. Domain names are one example. I own my NIC and it's MAC address. But basing a global network of addresses based on device addresses is highly inefficient. So I rent a static IP address from my ISP. This works quite well and is extremely efficient. IPv4 addresses are getting filled up, but even as we speak we are self-organizing around a new IPv6 standard of addressing. No need for Congress or Parliament to get involved. But though static IP addresses are great for computers, they are lousy for humans, so along comes another party offering domain name services. Thus I rent my domain name as well. A good analogy would be "I own my home and it's physical location, but pay rent to have it listed with the post office."

    If folks don't like this free nation we have built, they can always construct their own. Simply and easily. Intranets. VPN's. If they wish to recruit others and put out the capitalization, they can even create their own parallel but separate backbone.

    But this LA Times article is bizarre. The internet is business friendly. All anarcho-capitalist societies are. Did a lot of businesses get hosed in the dotcoms of last year? Of course! But this is nothing new. Market booms based on stupid speculations have always occured. Read up on the history of tulips for a surprising parallel.

    If he wants corporations to be in control of the backbone, he needn't worry. They already are. It just isn't owned by those he considers "worthy". Tough beans! This is the free market. If you don't like we won't stop you from creating an alternative, or block you from trying to convince the backbone owners from selling to you.

    Who you going to call when the internet sputters, grinds or even breaks? I don't know. But that's his problem. Why doesn't he get off his butt and create connection insurance? There are no laws here to prevent him.

    In the meantime the internet is working quite well. If there is a problem, it is because people see the net as a "whole" when it is not. It is a collection of individuals and companies working together voluntarily to synergize a new nation open for homesteading by all.
  • by .@. ( 21735 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:50AM (#2191478) Homepage's happening now. Klensin has significantly nonzero sway within ICANN governance. ICANN itself is comprised mostly of intellectual property lawyers and executives who have espoused sentiments closely matching those in this article. Medin, though relegated to a role as figurehead within @Home, has significant influence over strategic architectual decisions within @Home (and subsequently, AT&T Broadband to an extent). AOL-TW stand on the threshhold of acquiring both @Home and Amazon. Microsoft stands ready to yet again "embrace and extend" the software model, the hardware model, and their integration both on local busses and over networks. Couple that with InfiniBand and similar bus-decoupling advances (iSCSI, 10GB Ethernet), and the future is bleak: Corporate-controlled push-only Internet, and the demise of what we now know as the "home computer".

    The pieces are in place. At this point, the only thing that will effect change is massive lobbying within ICANN (instead of x00,000 /. readers/posters, how about x00,000 concerned ICANN participants?), support of groups like the EFF, and direct lobbying of local congresscritters.

    Without it, by 2010, you'll be paying other people for the privilege of letting them decide what you can do with your computer. And Linux won't matter much as a movement, because the control battle isn't on the computer anymore; it's moved beyond the OS. The Open Source movement is fighting a war its already won.
  • I personally don't see why we can't merge the two networks, have two seperate networks, one smart, one dumb, have them merge at the ISP which routes both to your home though one line, and then have the smart ends (the individual computers), dictate what network the traffic is going to go through by using different addresses, which can be easily identifided as to what network they are intended for.
  • Of course they can't make money. The Internet is a communication medium. It's like the phone system. The only people that *make* money are the phone companies. It's a tool and tools aren't there to make you money. You use them to *save* money (or, time, but we know what that's worth).

    Every time someone uses a website to make a bank transaction you get closer to getting rid of a few very expensive tellers.

    I don't get it. No one's ever bitched about the postal service not making them any money.

  • They won't do that because they know it wouldn't work. Consumers don't want "biznet", they want "Internet". As long as their is ANY media distribution channel that the media conglomerates can't monopolize, they will fight to control or destroy it. The RIAA understands that the best way to make money is to monopolise all distribution channels.

  • This guys complaining that QoS costs so much today because you basically have to rig private networks. Personally I think that QoS will always be expensive, because I think the majority of people will be more than happy with low-priority packets for the vast majority of data transfer. People have very low standards (just look at the success of Windows) - and quite frankly, who is going to pay double to ensure their email gets to the other side of the planet in 2 seconds instead of 8 seconds? And sure, the web would feel a little more responsive with QoS packets, but most people I think wouldn't pay much extra to get that. As for streaming video, I doubt the majority of streaming video on the Internet means enough to people to want to pay extra to ensure they get it smoothly (e.g. some random news clip from, who cares if it breaks up a bit?)

    I might be dead wrong here. Perhaps streaming entire movies etc might be a different story.


  • "The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists who didn't have a strong profit motive. But this is a business, not a government-sponsored network."

    The AARPNET was created to ensure communication between NORAD and the White House/Pentagon in the event of a nuclear war.

    Would you like a Python based alternative to PHP/ASP/JSP?

  • So what we're really saying here is the guy has no access to someone experienced in reading a traceroute.

    What gets me is that these people think they can avoid problems that occasionally affect the Internet. Let's see what happens when a backhoe hits a fiber optic trunk or one of their BizNet COs misconfigure a router. And how come they're not pushing to get everyone onto IPv6? Some of their concerns are addressed by that migration. Is it the answer to every one of their problems? No. But it would be more cost effective than ripping out the whole Internet and starting from scratch.

  • by schon ( 31600 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:31AM (#2191494)
    When I see crap like this, I am immediately reminded of the phrase "replace the word 'internet' with the word 'telephone', and see if it still makes sense."

    What they fail to realise is that the internet is a communications medium. Just like the telephone.
    The two have remarkable similarities: they are both large-scale networks, designed to facilitate information flow across large or small distances. (In fact the only real technical difference is that the telephone was designed to transmit sound, and the internet was designed to transmit data.)

    When someone says "How do you make money off the internet?" - just replace that with "How do you make money off the telephone?"

    Try it with this article - once you put everything in context, you'll see just how stupid the quotes are.
  • One slight problem, you really can't make money off just the telephone network any more. They are now being forced to use services to make the money. You see economics has taken hold and pushed the marginal profit to zero. No one can make money off just the network now.

    But I really think that this whole "movement" is just some people pining for the days of the "Information SuperHighway". The network described sounds just like the proposals back in the early 90's for it. High speed video, text, interactive TV. Remeber that? Which would be all well and good, except that the Internet already existed, the Web had just been invented, so everyone just used those instead of re-investing. (The start-up costs are lower since there was no R&D costs.) This really is just the network providers ( Mainly AT&T and its subsideraies @Home, etc ) wanting to make money on n idea that they think got unfairly buried. If the models don't fit, they really need to change their models, not the internet.

    My guess is at the rate people upgrade their computers, there are so many old copies of the TCP/IP software, that getting rid of the current network is impossible. Even for needed upgrades like IPv6
  • But, business wants you on their 'Net.

    If packets can be filtered, anything can be blocked or slowed imperceptibly "for the sake of the children."

    The "children" in reality are the ads and "content" released by those mothers... :)
  • Basic Economic law:
    You have to earn more than you spend. This has nothing to do with national laws.

    I don't know about where you live, but here in the US there are millions of people living in violation of that "Economic Law". Ever hear of credit cards? Consumer debt? Chapter 11? Fair Credit Reporting Act?

    Also, laws governing situations where someone is living beyond their means vary from state to state (although most of them are national).
  • by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @11:19AM (#2191506) Homepage
    You cough up the dough, you go first.
    Great shit, I've just had a vision...

    BigCorpNet: Would you like to sign up for BigCorpPremium service?

    User: I already get 1Mbps DSL. Go away.

    BigCorpNet: But with our PREMIUM service, your traffic will get PRIORITY!

    User: Wait... you're buying bandwidth priority so you can sell me what I already had six months ago?

    BigCorpNet: And all you can do is bend over and take it like a lady. Now shine my shoes, boy.

    I really don't like this idea.

    -grendel drago
  • by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:39AM (#2191507) Homepage
    Wait... someone hosting an expensive backup system over a PUBLIC NETWORK that they AREN'T PAYING FOR is complaining that they don't control it? Spare me!

    Ha! Big businesses hide behind "Free market! Invisible hand!" in meatspace, but they're sorely outmatched inside the network. So they clamor for control to be handed over to them on a silver platter. Fuckwits.

    The internet is like the telephone? Uh, try keeping up a correspondence with your buds in Sweden and Germany from California on twenty bucks a month.

    "neighborhood Internet service providers that may be run by high school kids with a high-powered server computer and a leased phone line" -- really? If by "run", they mean "tended by unpaid labor", then *maybe*.

    If these corporations want a reliable network, they can build their own. No fucking way is control of the public net getting turned over to them for a pittance.

    I'm *outraged* about this. You should be too, every one of you.

    -grendel drago
  • by xixax ( 44677 ) on Friday July 27, 2001 @01:52AM (#2191510)
    "The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn't excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws,"

    Economics is populated with charlatans, faith healers and witch doctors who are completely deluded as to their ability to understand a fundamentally chaotic system. These guys are right up there with snake oil salesmen in their pseudo-science. Next they will be asking the physicists to repeal the law of gravity because it offends some misguided Keynesian dogma. Small wonder that rocket scientists are in such demand in the stock market[1].

    The sooner these morons are put ship and fired into deep space, the sooner we can on with making a living. (The rocket scientists could even get to build rockets)

    Reminds me of man's argument with God in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    Xix. [1] An Amusingly accurate grammatical error

  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @10:06AM (#2191519)
    > The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn't excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws," said Thomas Nolle, a New Jersey telecommunications consultant. "The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists who didn't have a strong profit motive..."

    No, Mr. Nolle, the historical fact that it was devised by a bunch of military strategists (who just happened to design something that was also very useful to hippie anarchists ;-) is the reason why it fails to comply with basic economic laws.

    (Plus, someone should tell him that the "laws" of economics are wholly unlike the laws of physics, and one of those "laws" says that Shit Happens when you introduce disruptive technologies into a marketplace.)

    And finally, the basic economic law of supply and demand doesn't seem to have fallen by the wayside.

    Take Napster (out of its misery, please ;-). When the price was zero, and the product was freely-copyable MP3 files of every artist under the sun, lots of people "bought" Napster's product. Now that external factors have raised the price, and reduced the value of the product (DRM-encumbered .nap files from a few select artists), there's less demand for Napster.

    Were there costs? Sure - bandwidth costs money. But telcos' overbuilding of the backbone (combined with the failure to bring broadband to the home) was the fault of a poor business decision -- the assumption that there'd be consumer demand for the extra bandwidth.

    Had there been demand for the bandwidth (incidentally, something like the old Napster would have been a great source of demand!), and had they been able to deliver that bandwidth to the home, the telcos would have made a fortune.

    Don't confuse poor business decisions with the end of economics.

  • by meepzorb ( 61992 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @11:15AM (#2191524)
    Well, let's see, it was *my* tax dollars that paid to develop and build the Internet, years before Corporate America had even heard of it.

    So yes, I feel pretty damn entitled, thank you. :)

  • by 0xA ( 71424 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @11:09AM (#2191535)
    If these corporations want a reliable network, they can build their own. No fucking way is control of the public net getting turned over to them for a pittance.

    What public network? If I do a traceroute to it goes though my ISP, through UUNET, through exodus and hits OSDN. At no point does my request transit a publicly owned network. The people who own the pipes control the internet. Sprint, UUNET, AT&T, these guys are in control.

    The vision this idiot quoted in the article scares the piss out of me too but I think we're almost too far gone to fight it. QOS (quality of service) routing means that some packets are flagged as important as they transit the netowrk and get priority routing. QOS is on its' way to a backbone near you, real soon now.

    Consider this:
    If I'm downloading a tarball from and a router discovery packet shows up, it goes first. I have no problem with that, it is a good thing. However, this jackass wants the network to behave a little differently, if I'm downloading that tarball and a packet shows up that is part of the streaming movie trailer my moron neighbor is watching, it goes first. Why? Because cut a deal with the backbone provider to get priority routing.

    We are only a couple of years from a n-tier quality of service based network. You cough up the dough, you go first. I really don't like that at all.

  • by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:34AM (#2191538)
    What companies are calling for the restructuring of the internet? What a bunch of crap (typical of the LA Times). The internet is driven by the same economic principles that govern our highway system. Much of the internet transport falls under the domain of a public utility. Just like the highway system. Some private ventures get special access rights to set up profit making operations, like gas stations and fast food joints on a major interstate. The analogy that the internet pipe is dumb is flawed. The pipe is not dumb. The pipe routes packets in the best possible manner. However, the pipe doesn't know what is in the packets, just like the stop light doesn't know what is in your car.
  • It's the ATM paradox:
    ATM's big feature is guaranteed quality of service. When you set up a TCP/IP connection, the Internet does not reserve network bandwidth for you to guarantee that your data will not suffer network congestion or loss. ATM does offer guaranteed reserved bandwidth. This is its big advantage.

    Or is it? If you reserve bandwidth for one user, then you have to refuse to let anyone else use that bandwidth. Everyone always talks about reservations in the context that you are the one who gets the bandwidth and it is everyone who is refused. What about when you are the one being refused? Reservations suddenly doesn't seem so wonderful any more, do they? The only way to make sure no one is refused service is to engineer your network so that you have enough bandwidth for everyone -- but if you have enough for everyone then why do they have to keep making reservations? That's the ATM paradox.

    More here [] and here [].

    As for streaming the same video to lots of people at once, there is a fine answer already, called multicast. But corporations foolishly don't turn it on on thier networks.
  • But any changes in the network's basic structure will face numerous obstacles, including resistance from traditionalists who believe that the Internet is popular precisely because it cannot be controlled by big companies.

    Umm - did they happen to notice the DDOS attacks on Yahoo!, Amazon, etc. that were carried out for no apparent reason? Corporations seeking to control and prioritize the Internet are just begging to be hammered by every kiddie with a script. "Traditionalists" might not mind so much, either.

  • Remember how the Internet started? Funny, I don't remember there being any venture capitalists swarming around DARPA. It was all too technical, too esoteric, and too geeky for them.

    A few years ago, some of the VCs got the idea that this Internet thing was actually a "Good Idea" and they embraced it. They embraced it with vigor and enthusiasm. The results were:

    * They piled millions upon millions of dollars on startup companies that were run by inexperienced, bright-eyed, I-think-I'm-part-of-a-new-paradigm kids

    * They ran up the stock market by helping to inflate valuations on these worthless companies.

    * They got filthy rich before the market collapsed.

    * And now that the pathetic dot-bomb companies have failed, they want to ignore the few success stories (anyone notice how eBay is bringing in "profit" - yeah, that's where you actually make more money than you spend) and tell us all that because of their own stupidity, the Internet is flawed.

    Businesses are using the Internet in myriad ways to improve service, streamline production, and eliminate waste.

    But the reality of "pure play" Internet companies is that most of them simply won't work. To VCs I say this: Get over it. Look for real business models that will lead to profitability. The days of 50x returns are over. You don't need another mansion in Los Altos anyway.

    The Internet works for business - just not for the overhyped, underbrained, overmonied ones.

  • How can anyone expect dot coms to cut a profit when the few that actually sell something sell it so close to the break even point?! I would much rather buy my stuff online at the same price I could get it locally than have to deal with jerk off drivers and mallrats.

    The Internet structurally doesn't need to change, it needs to change the mindset behind its commercial enterprises. The Amazon.coms will not be able to cut a profit until they set realistic prices and spend more time trying to get a reputation for excellent service than pissing off people with patents. If Bezos is so concerned about protecting his company and getting a good name for it, why didn't he sign the patent over to a not-for-profit group like the FSF or EFF?

    What is being made quite apparent is that those behind the major ecommerce companies usually have no clue how to run a business. The smaller ecommerce companies have to be doing something right, because they have little venture capital and 99% of them would be out of business in the blink of an eye if they lacked business savvy. The biggest mistake the ecommerce giants made was getting their customers used to VERY low prices, prices so low that profitability would be unthinkable unless pricing policies changed.

  • by egomaniac ( 105476 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:31AM (#2191578) Homepage
    Funny, but I haven't heard the common man complaining about the internet being unreliable and needing big corporations to step in and save it. I use the internet every day and very seldom (nowadays at least) have any trouble whatsoever.
    The LAST THING I want is more commercial control of the internet's core infrastructure, and I imagine most of you agree. (Disclaimer: I work at a big internet company, and nobody here's been complaining about it either). Yet this article makes it sound like businesses are up in arms about it. Does anyone else out there have that experience? Is your business complaining about the anarchistic 'net?

    I have a strong feeling this is just FUD being spread by telecom companies who want a bigger piece of the pie -- can you imagine more corporate control somehow bringing costs *down*?

    --- egomaniac
  • by Galvatron ( 115029 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @11:56AM (#2191588)
    The Internet actually obeys the (descriptive) laws of economics almost perfectly (as do most situations with no intellectual property laws). Marginal revenues = marginal costs. Let me say it again. Marginal revenues = marginal costs. Need me to say it one more time? No? Alright then.

    Fundamentally, no one should make an economic profit. That is to say, no one (including CEOs) should end up with a salary any higher than necessary to find someone with the required skillset, and the profits remaining for dividends should be no higher than necessary to secure enough investors to get the business off the ground. The idea of .coms as wildly profitable businesses just because they were on this new thing called the Internet was always ridiculous. It would be like expecting someone listed on Pricewatch to make enourmous profits because they sell high tech equipment. Instead, those companies make just enough money (most of the time) to keep from defaulting on lease payments.

    Likewise, most of these pure internet plays will likely end up with just enough money for a small content staff (or whatever staff they need to get their jobs done) and bandwidth. This is how economics WORKS! That's not to say people's lives are crappy under Capitalism, it just means that only monopolies (which usually only form with government support, like the phone companies or those with intellectual property (Disney, for example, has a narrow monopoly on Mickey Mouse products)) can throw the kinds of wild spending sprees that the .coms were famous for. Real capitalism tends to produce many companies, all barely hanging on by the skin of their teeth, as you see in computer assemblers/parts resellers, restaurants, farming, and so forth.

    The only "intuitive" interface is the nipple. After that, it's all learned.

  • by legLess ( 127550 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:50AM (#2191594) Journal
    From the article:
    "The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn't excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws," said Thomas Nolle, a [dumbshit].
    I wonder if he understands what he's saying? For purposes of this discussion, there are two types of laws: prescriptive and descriptive.

    Prescriptive laws are, for instance, speed limits. They don't attempt to describe the world but to govern it. These are human social constructs and subject to rapid change. They have a goal (e.g. prohibit bad behaviour), and can be adjusted depending on how well they serve that goal. If you disobey one of these laws you're likely to be punished by your peers.

    Descriptive laws are, for instance, gravity. They attempt to understand and explain the world we see. They are not human constructs (unless you're a solipsist), and are not subject to human modification. They serve no goals (unless you're a deist), and do not change. There is no opportunity to disobey these laws.

    So what is this guy saying? What types of laws is he talking about? If he means that the Internet is not obeying the descriptive laws of the science economics, then he's fucked: if a verified experiment conflicts with what you think is a law, then the law goes (hint: scientific method). That would mean that the Internet is an exception to economic law. Ergo, economic law is full of holes. Oops. Not much of a descriptive law, eh?

    If he means that the Internet won't obey the prescribed laws of the human construct of economics, he's equally fucked: if economic laws work so well, why are we in a recession? If they work so damn well, why was the Internet a surprise to most people? Why was the dot-com hype and crash a surprise?

    In short, he's full of shit. He wants economics to be a science so he can be its High Priest ("Only I can interpret the laws of the great God economics."). But he wants it to be a set of regulations that he can impose on things he doesn't understand. Typical late 20th century capitalism, eh?

    "We all say so, so it must be true!"

  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:39AM (#2191596) Homepage
    This article is silly. Have you ever read over the structure of IP and TCP headers? There's all sorts of neat things in there. One field, I don't remember whether it was TCP or IP, actually does this - sets various priority flags for the data - whether you're concerned about throughput, response time, etc. Near all routers ignore them. Why? Its not profitable.

    You don't need to re-write the net. You need to put pressure on backbones to actually use the full potential of the current net (and, to be more swift in implementing IPv6).

    -= rei =-
  • by M_Talon ( 135587 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:36AM (#2191612) Homepage
    To quote the article:

    "The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn't excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws," said Thomas Nolle, a New Jersey telecommunications consultant. "The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists who didn't have a strong profit motive. But this is a business, not a government-sponsored network."

    Bleh. First off the Internet is based on an idea the military came up with (ARPANet), so it wasn't devised by a bunch of "hippie anarchists". Secondly, it wasn't designed with business in mind, it was designed to propogate information. This is a grand case of a supposed expert not knowing what he's talking about.

    As said before and most likely again, the issue shouldn't be changing the Internet to fit businesses, but rather changing the businesses to fit the Internet. Yes, a lot of ideas failed. That doesn't mean the Internet is useless. It simply means you have to look at what it can offer and use it for that. It's a learning process, but so many higher management types don't want to take the time to do the neccessary research. They want results, and fast, so they make the techies throw something together with a poor business model and a poor support structure. And guess who gets blamed/laid-off when the whole thing goes south?

  • by No Such Agency ( 136681 ) <abmackay@gmail.REDHATcom minus distro> on Thursday July 26, 2001 @10:08AM (#2191617)
    If this is indeed valid contact information for this capitalist bastard ^H^H^H^H^H^H person, then yeah, send him an e-mail telling him how wrong he is! But be articulate and polite, so we don't see an article in the LA Times where he says "The Internet is basically populated by ranting jerks and script kiddies, as well as those anarchistic hippies."
  • by shalunov ( 149369 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:36AM (#2191624) Homepage
    It's fascinating how drooling journalists and business suits thoughtfully discuss Internet architecture. Somehow, these people believe they're qualified to make judgements on issues they have no clue about, such as the end-to-end design principle [].

    We cannot give these people an Internet that's good for their needs without throwing away the net as we have it now. Perhaps it's very good that Michels (whoever this guy is) says in the article: "We don't have any control over the Internet". Mr. Michels, it's by design. Even bright people don't have control over the Internet. Business suits should think about what they understand and leave engineering alone.

  • by Diomedes01 ( 173241 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:30AM (#2191646)
    "The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn't excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws," said Thomas Nolle, a New Jersey telecommunications consultant. "The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists who didn't have a strong profit motive. But this is a business, not a government-sponsored network."
    You're fscking kidding me, right? First of all, I can't believe that this guy can say that with a straight face. Why is the Internet expected to comply with "basic economic laws"? Nobody is twisting a business' arm and forcing them to do business on the damn Internet. If they try and fail, then obviously it's not their fault, it's the underlying technology that's to blame. This is a pathetic and whiny excuse. Yes, the original infrastructure wasn't designed to handle the load that the 'net has today, but the 'net of today isn't the same as the AARPNET of yesterday.
    By adding "intelligent" switches and other devices, they believe, the system could work faster, avoid traffic jams, distinguish between high-priority data and other material that can wait, and generally live up to its promise as a worldwide communications and entertainment medium.
    By saying this, they basically mean "We want hardware that gives our data priority!" Well, guess what, schmuck. This is one medium that you're going to have one hell of a time controlling. If QoS is that important to you, design and implement your own private ATM network.

  • I am not the an all knowing seer, but you had to figure this was coming, and we have heard rumblings before. Its been appearent, in things like the road runner services sending montly news letters about the great things you can find(for a fee). Its inevitable that eventually the network providers, would want to become contant providers and start showing preference for the content they wish to provide over the content that an intelligent user could search for on their own.
    The Time has come for us to start demanding freedom of connection. Once the ISP has given us a line and an IP(Via Cable/DSL/Whatever) we should have everyright to do what WE want with that connection. If the world in this article comes to pass then and ISP would be looking at our packets for service type. Then saying "well thats a Quake packet no need to rush with that one, this packet thats coming through showing the lastest commercial for Chevy Trucks(who our database says paid us this month) via Realaudio(Who is the exclusive preferred video content provider for out network) is much more important. The way it should be, for the most part is, and should remain is equal consideration for all packets. Big Business please get off the internet, the real internet users(not the AOL lamers) have more important things to do. The true probelm is that its hard to get to the backbone, and because of that we have little control of what happens on the way there. Things should get opened up more, and that would solve some problems. it should be my choice what traffic I give and take and what i do with my connection if i want to run a web server, and a mail server of my own(which I do, in violation of the terms of service with my cable provider) then I should be able too. They really peved me as it appears they recently blocked my server from being able to answer DNS queries, which took my domain down for several days while I was away on a trip. They are the only game in town for high speed internet, and its annoying to not beable to do what i wish with my connection(verizon will not do DSL to far away, refuses to ISDN(to slow anyway), and refuses to create the infrastructure for anything else so i am stuck with my cable modem. I hate to involve the govenment, but perhaps its time for some consumer protection laws reguarding the internet.
  • by maddogsparky ( 202296 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:49AM (#2191668)
    Basic economic laws are based on supply and demand of scarce resources. This makes sense when there is a significant cost associated with duplication of an existing product. It doesn't make sense for the Internet; once something is digital, it is almost free to copy. This flattens out the traditional supply/demand vs price curve into almost a flat line.

    Businesses that have traditionally been able to control their prices to maximize profit suddenly find themselve unable to do so. With near infinite supply, price controls are nearly impossible. That's why O.S. works so well and business has had such a tough time on the net. It's hard to be successful and greedy when what you're selling doesn't cost anything to reproduce.

    Bandwidth is not free, and I can understand a market for that. The information on it is free to reproduce, and businesses that have grasped that have done well (barring lawsuits). Hopefully, people will realize the benefits of privatization don't apply to everything (compare with California electricity) and won't cave in to businesses whose only care is their profit, not public good.

  • by saintlupus ( 227599 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:48AM (#2191685) Homepage

    Attention corporate whores:

    I write to you as someone who's been on the Internet a fairly long time. I'm not the archetypal grungy Unix guy from the basement, but I remember cursing when my favorite gopher holes were replaced by web sites. I don't write my own device drivers or build my own hardware, but I try to learn from those who can.

    That's the point of the Internet, you see. Learning.

    I don't want your advertisements shoved in my face. I don't want banner ads or flash filled sites funded by this week's trendy diet cola. Hell, I don't even want graphics all that much. I want information.

    The Internet has the potentiality to be the greatest repository of information in the history of the world. You're trying to turn it into the digital equivalent of the crinky paper fliers in my Sunday newspaper.

    I don't want it. Very few people do.

    I wake up in the morning and there's a Pepsi ad on the radio. Then there's one on the television when I watch the news. I figure I'll escape to the movies, there's one there as well. What the hell would I want to look at more ads for?

    Speaking as a .org-owning netizen, you can take all of your "economic responsibility," fold it until it's all sharp corners, hold it in the palm of you manicured marketer's hand, and shove it straight up your ass.

    You want streaming video ads and the like to every desktop in America? Build your own fucking network. That's not what this one is for.

  • by baptiste ( 256004 ) <> on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:30AM (#2191701) Homepage Journal
    Time to play that time honored American game: Who you gonna blame?

    Was it stupid business plans? Venture capitalists with unrealistic expectations?

    I guess it was only a matter of time til failures started to blame the network that gave them the opportunity to succeed.

    Let the lawsuits begin as usual. God how I wish some people would just accept responsibility for their actions and get over it!

  • A painter doesn't complain that his canvas is too rough, or that paint isn't tactile enough, or that the colours that he mixes are too unreliable to match his vision. He just paints, and whether the painting is a masterpiece or a failure is built in how he paints it, not in the source.

    The internet is a canvas, and it's a rough one -- there are holes broken by patches of smoothness, low pings breached by high ones. The brushes are IP Protocols, very simple things built on buffers and packets. They don't stream well, or lend themselves to flawless point to point conversation. There are security issues. And the paint is HTML...a dirty sort of paint made for painting houses. There are display issues. There are compatibility issues. It is difficult to rely on, because people can handle things pretty much however they like. A color that perfectly matches an offline swatch will look different on a monitor with a different contrast setting. People don't always get HTML...they don't understand links or buttons.

    The internet is a set, understandable material: why are businesses blaiming their own failings on it? "We can't get it to do tricks for us," they say, but they're asking it to do the wrong tricks. Webcasting? This isn't TV, it's's made for text and graphics, it's TTY to the extreme. And companies that understand what the web is -- a vehicle for interactive information exchange -- are doing quite well on it. AOL, for example, and ebay. The problem is that a lot of businesses don't want to paint on the canvass they've got...they want to sculpt! They're building up layers of paint and pulling the threads out of their brushes in an attempt to make the internet do what it wasn't designed for and isn't ready to do.

    Besides, ownership isn't the answer...we've had non-tcpip information services in the past, and they've had very limited appeal. If you remember the old modem nets, the biggest problem was the lack of uniformity. You couldn't send mail to Bob@AlbanySuperChat if you used HundsonValleyInfoCOnnect. You had so many problems due to the fact that not everybody want to use the same computer or the same network. But all owned infonets assume this, and in the end are doomed to failure because of their closed protocols. Do you think television would have survived if each network required you to buy an expensive proproetary TV from their network or "partners"?

    The internet is an ever-changing entitiy...speed enhancements and new concepts liek IPv6 will eventually lead to a network that is both streamlined and open. Corporate entities building a new network from scratch will result in a needless expenditure of technology for uncertain (and probably low) returns. Only through open standards can an information solution be truly pervasive...otherwise, it's just more plastic & light.
  • by Haxx ( 314221 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:44AM (#2191723) Homepage

    Look what this fool wrote.

    The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn't excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws," said Thomas Nolle, a New Jersey telecommunications consultant. "The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists who didn't have a strong profit motive. But this is a business, not a government-sponsored network."

    Why not drop him a line
    (609) 753-0004

    -Im standing next to a Mountain, Chop it down with the edge of my hand.
  • by underpaidISPtech ( 409395 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @10:35AM (#2191747) Homepage
    Heh, that's exactly what the network is for. Stockholders, VC's and CEO's control the Internet, because they OWN it. You do not. Neither do I. Huge, global, all-encompassing media conglomerates and Telecommunications giants ARE building their own network, and the free ride is almost over.

    I read an old Wired article once that was about the pioneering days of the original radio buffs and hobbyists, and how eventually the free ride ended and we wound up with modern day radio as a result. Sorry guys, the Arpanet is dead, it died back in the early 90's.
    This is inevitable. Unless we all chuck out a whole shitload of money (read:taxes) to support this beast-- private interests, the all-mighty buck, and old-fashioned red-blooded American capitalism will decide the next incarnation of the net. It's just so ironic to hear all the socialist rhetoric. The Sixties are over guys, and I need to get fed, because the postwar treasurechest is near empty. The great economic juggernaut of America, land of the free, home of the brave. A country bouyed by the downtrodden, underpaid, underfed masses of the world, built on the genocide of the American Indian, and the slavery of Africans. Fucking people over is the great New World past time.

    Corporations are slowly becoming more powerful than goverments, and we are moving towards a technocracy. Get used to it. It's a natural phenomenon. The printed word, the telegraph, the radio, the TV, the Internet. Information is free. It's transmission is not. So until we are all psychic, chances are some privately held, for-profit individual or group will determine what we see, hear, and think. If you doubt it, look at the natural world. YOU are the universe, part and parcel, and obey its LAWS. The laws are amoral and without judgement. They simply are. And if you look at the course of human history and animal behaviour, you will see that there has always been and still are elite groups of people who control the masses resources.

    Thank you for holding, a representative will be with you shortly. Welcome to Disney Internet, please have your IPV6 address, and your computer operator license ID ready, and the first available service rep will assist you.

  • by mimbleton ( 467957 ) on Thursday July 26, 2001 @09:37AM (#2191780) Homepage
    "!" Well, guess what, schmuck. This is one medium that you're going to have one hell of a time controlling. "

    Not so fast.
    Remember that vast majority of the infrastructure of the net is controlled by private companies, running on hardware almost exclusively from a single source (Cisco.)
    All they need is to strike some sort of deal with Cisco and voila, 10 years from now we end up with exactly what this guys was asking for.
    I am not saying it is right or wrong, but it IS possible.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?