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The net is based on technologies and assumptions from 40 years ago; that's a millenium in this age. I can see major changes coming in what, say 10 years, give or take.
A new network could run parallel with the current Internet and eventually replace it(...)
Reminds me of almost 20 years ago when I was studying. The mainframes I used were connected via Bitnet, the VAX VMS systems talked to the outside world via Decnet, my Unix account had a UUCP connection and for downloads separate dialins to BBS systems were used.
NEVER again I would want to use a hybrid network system like in those days. If there is an old but functional Internet, and a new hypermodern network with a lot of possibilities but no applications, I would choose the old Internet. The efforts to introduce IPv6 seem worthless just as XHTML, now W3C started a new working group to enhance HTML.
New is not always better, it is availability of applications and acceptance among a broad public that counts.
A new network could run parallel with the current Internet and eventually replace it, or perhaps aspects of the research could go into a major overhaul of the existing architecture.
I think running a parallel system is the way to go. Easing people into a new system while maintaining the old one is much preferrable to just replacing the internet as we know it. It's a Betamax/VHS kind of thing ... only much more complicated! ;)
I think a new and improved internet is a marvelous idea. I would welcome starting anew with a clean slate and more diverse application possibilities. I know many if not most of you will pounce on me for saying so ... but a more "controlled" internet would also be welcomed from my point of view.
[edited by: Liane at 11:45 am (utc) on April 14, 2007]
Anyone remember X.400? It was what email was supposed to be before SMTP/POP. It established a system whereby everyone along the chain could charge a wee bit of money as your email passed. You could direct the routes your email took.
Don't remember it? Maybe this will refresh your memory [alvestrand.no]. I used to work on an X.400 system. Good riddance. There are still echoes of it around, but I am not aware of it being used in any meaningful way.
Businesses will want to be able to alter content as it goes by. When you get a free email, it will have two lines of text, and forty KB of ads. Some servers will probably find ways to mix the content and the ads, like so many Web pages do now.
There will be six million new places for hackers to access PID now, and they will, hubristic claims of "ironclad security" notwithstanding. In fact, you can bet that many governments will be adding built-in malware so they can get at the traffic. Plus, they will be not trusting other governments not to use the malware they install in any bad ways.
GPS was designed so that the US government can take the whole show down in the event of a war. Anyone wanna bet they won't want to do the same here?
Many businesses will want to add hooks, and you can bet that VERY powerful special interest lobbies will be carrying bribes around in gunny sacks to the committee members. In the US, Congressmen and Senators will be scrambling to get on committees that affect this initiative, because there will be giant piles of dosh for everyone there.
China will probably make most of the equipment here, and will probably be a huge booster of the technology. I'm sure that they won't want to inject any of their own priorities in there.
I actually hope it works, but I don't think it will. People are involved, and messy humans screw everything up.
One thing that happened with the current 'Net is that no one knew where the hooks would go, and the weaknesses would develop. Now, everyone know EXACTLY where they can add their two cents worth for maximum impact, and they will be pulling out the stops to do exactly that.
Still plenty of potential for monopoly problems and human corruption, but it has a far, far better chance than any kind of bureaucratic initiative.
It is more about people wanting to start again so they can charge more for it by having to lock people into the one system.
All of the initiatives listed in the article are on the part of research institutions, groups of educational institutions, or governmental research agencies. (The latter, of course, - and Al Gore - we have to thank for the current Internet. I mean this in a nice way...)
Do you know something that wasn't mentioned in the article?
What do you mean by "one system"? The Internet is, in fact, "one system", if, by that, you mean a system of interoperable standards. Such is necessary for any system such as the Internet to work.
Many of the standards used by the Internet are unsuitable for today's Internet environment, and have been stretched with official and unofficial extensions beyond their original intent.
In particular, both TCP/IP and the Ethernet standard that underlies most TCP/IP implementations (at least on a local-area level) were not designed for, nor do they work well or efficiently at, current operating speeds.
The email system is a mess, with no real mechanism for authentication or positive attribution.
I share with others skepticism of the need for wholesale replacement, think that a phased approach is both more practical and doable. Protocol "tunneling" is likely the key to phased change, as is the plan for switchover to IPV6. (Which may or may not be part of the solution.)
I'd rather see some concrete moves in specific areas, rather than an attempt at wholesale replacement. In particular, no movement in email even though the need has been obvious for years is frustrating.
However, I see the research as useful and feel it should be supported, because at minimum it will generate ideas that can be incorporated into the present Internet.