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The Internet 2: The New Batch

Started by Cramulus, October 19, 2009, 03:29:03 PM

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Cramulus



So let's say they succeed at making the internet suck. Let's pretend the government figures out how to regulate it, de-neutralize it, restrict p2p file transfer, essentially moderate many emerging forms of communication. Let's pretend that those commercials you have to sit through before all youtube videos become ubiquitous on the net; you've gotta watch a commercial before clicking on a PD thread, ads everywhere, total corporate saturation. Everything you do gets scraped by a bot and filed into a personality profile which assists both marketers and the CIA. You have one ID which you use for e-mail, posting on all forums, surfing for porn, whatever. Anonyminity is decimated. The government is watching everything.

What's to stop people from launching a second, parallel internet? It's not like this stuff is very high tech. Couldn't someone code a means of communication which is very similar to the internet, but works differently enough that it evades internet legislation?

They say we will think of these days as the wild west of the internet.
Is there an open-source solution to keep it that way?

Cain

I've wondered about this.

I think the main problem would be getting the physical infrastructure in place.  You'd either need to work with existing telecoms, or found your own.

LMNO

Wasn't there supposed to be a "Black Market" Internet, or something?

And Cain is right, the physical network is the main problem.

AFK

I think any kind of evasion would be temporary anyway.  Commercialism is a bitch, and a very persistent one at that.  And eventually the Government would find it, and eventually regulate it.  It's happened to pretty much every form of communication.  Hell, I bet the horses in the Pony Express were branded with ads for Wild Bill's Saloon. 
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.

Rococo Modem Basilisk

It can be done, and has been. You can bypass physical networking with RF and such, if necessary -- the wires are not a major issue in the worst-case scenario layed out here. If The Man has the ability to make the internet less fun universally, you have far bigger problems than youtube commercials.

Some early extensions of the arpanet (specifically thinking of the alohanet here) were based on coupling modems with ham radio tech. We've also got the technology to broadcast wifi over absurd distances, for whatever that's worth. AM transmitters generally are designed to bounce off the ionosphere, which is nice for range and (if my *very poor* understanding of waves is accurate) you could set that up to skip over anywhere where interception is expected, and use a different frequency for the return. Not particularly decentralized, but long-range. You could use that kind of tech to link together some tightly knit groups of nodes that are far away from each other.


I am not "full of hate" as if I were some passive container. I am a generator of hate, and my rage is a renewable resource, like sunshine.

Cain

I did wonder about WiFi but I didn't know enough about it to say anything.

Rococo Modem Basilisk

WiFi is doable over long distances, but not practical. However, an ad-hoc network is probably pretty practical for small groups of nodes, with a couple machines dedicated to communication with other groups.


I am not "full of hate" as if I were some passive container. I am a generator of hate, and my rage is a renewable resource, like sunshine.

Shibboleet The Annihilator

Quote from: Cramulus on October 19, 2009, 03:29:03 PM


So let's say they succeed at making the internet suck. Let's pretend the government figures out how to regulate it, de-neutralize it, restrict p2p file transfer, essentially moderate many emerging forms of communication. Let's pretend that those commercials you have to sit through before all youtube videos become ubiquitous on the net; you've gotta watch a commercial before clicking on a PD thread, ads everywhere, total corporate saturation. Everything you do gets scraped by a bot and filed into a personality profile which assists both marketers and the CIA. You have one ID which you use for e-mail, posting on all forums, surfing for porn, whatever. Anonyminity is decimated. The government is watching everything.

What's to stop people from launching a second, parallel internet? It's not like this stuff is very high tech. Couldn't someone code a means of communication which is very similar to the internet, but works differently enough that it evades internet legislation?

They say we will think of these days as the wild west of the internet.
Is there an open-source solution to keep it that way?

Aaactually, what you're talking about has kind of already happened, but kind of in reverse.

They made a new internet for the research papers and whatnot. Basically it's scientist internet from what I understand.

Let me see if I can find a link.

...nope, too much effort.

Shibboleet The Annihilator

Quote from: LMNO on October 19, 2009, 03:37:12 PM
Wasn't there supposed to be a "Black Market" Internet, or something?

And Cain is right, the physical network is the main problem.

There are "darknets" out there (gooooogle it) but AFAIK most of the black market is on the regular internet in IRC channels trading stolen info and whatnot.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

http://www.internet2.edu/

Don't confuse The Internet with the World Wide Web... commercialism may overtake the web, but the infrastructure is already in place to support a different protocol with different features and different functions.

I don't get why people freak out over YouTube commercials... Is free video some kind of right or something we're owed? I mean how is YouTube/Google supposed to pay for all of that bandwidth, storage and the regular development updates... most coders don't work for free... they require Mtn Dew and Taco Bell.

And if we build another network, someone will have to pay for all the hardware and the bandwidth... Hell even back in the days of the BBS's I remember sponser ads on some of the bigger hosts... and that was generally a one guy owns it and pays for it all kind of game.

A Black Market Internet would likely be a much worse sort of place than the public alternative... useful for some things (just like the real black market is useful for some things)... but it couldn't replace the actual net.

One possibility which William Gibson discusses is a near future situation where abandoned hosts and servers are still up and active and mostly ignored.... these support a sort of Squatter/Hacker concept where someone pwns the box, sets up their site and runs it until the old system dies... then they move elsewhere.
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Captain Utopia

You can buy a 16gb usb stick for around $15. To put this in perspective, a download containing everything on wikipedia is under 10gb. Or, given that there are 526764 posts in the PD database, if we estimate an average of 1k per message then this entire site is ~0.5gb -- even if that handwaving estimation is off by an order of magnitude it still means that motivated groups could easily remain in contact without even touching the internet. It'd need to be combined with a distributed revision control system, but just about any hacker could come up with a workable technology to do this.

That is in pretty much the worst-case martial law scenario, and it's only likely to occur within a society which has already tasted free and open communication. I don't think any such crackdown on the internet is likely though as it would require a sudden, premeditated and widely held conspiracy to pull it off.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

Quote from: fictionpuss on October 19, 2009, 06:39:26 PM
You can buy a 16gb usb stick for around $15. To put this in perspective, a download containing everything on wikipedia is under 10gb. Or, given that there are 526764 posts in the PD database, if we estimate an average of 1k per message then this entire site is ~0.5gb -- even if that handwaving estimation is off by an order of magnitude it still means that motivated groups could easily remain in contact without even touching the internet. It'd need to be combined with a distributed revision control system, but just about any hacker could come up with a workable technology to do this.

That is in pretty much the worst-case martial law scenario, and it's only likely to occur within a society which has already tasted free and open communication. I don't think any such crackdown on the internet is likely though as it would require a sudden, premeditated and widely held conspiracy to pull it off.

Agreed.

Storage isn't really the big cost anymore... a network for bandwidth would be much more expensive to put in place. I remember the days of twisted pair copper bandwidth, I have no desire to return to that! ;-)
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Cramulus

Quote from: Doctor Rat Bastard on October 19, 2009, 06:09:09 PM
I don't get why people freak out over YouTube commercials... Is free video some kind of right or something we're owed? I mean how is YouTube/Google supposed to pay for all of that bandwidth, storage and the regular development updates... most coders don't work for free... they require Mtn Dew and Taco Bell.

I just take it as an indicator that the internet is changing.

Information Wants to be Free, and all that. & The expectation of commercials is the harbinger of more commercials.


Right now, for every 30 minutes of TV you watch, I'm guessing you consume 8-12 minutes of commercials? The internet doesn't have to be like that. But it probably will be. First it's a 15 second commercial before certain videos. In a few years it could be a two minute commercial before visiting a unique URL. When that finally happens, I hope there is a competing resource which is relatively unsaturated.


Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

Quote from: Cramulus on October 19, 2009, 07:16:36 PM
Quote from: Doctor Rat Bastard on October 19, 2009, 06:09:09 PM
I don't get why people freak out over YouTube commercials... Is free video some kind of right or something we're owed? I mean how is YouTube/Google supposed to pay for all of that bandwidth, storage and the regular development updates... most coders don't work for free... they require Mtn Dew and Taco Bell.

I just take it as an indicator that the internet is changing.

Information Wants to be Free, and all that. & The expectation of commercials is the harbinger of more commercials.


Right now, for every 30 minutes of TV you watch, I'm guessing you consume 8-12 minutes of commercials? The internet doesn't have to be like that. But it probably will be. First it's a 15 second commercial before certain videos. In a few years it could be a two minute commercial before visiting a unique URL. When that finally happens, I hope there is a competing resource which is relatively unsaturated.



Ok, I'm gonna rant a bit... but not at you Cram, just at the topic ;-)


INFORMATION DOESN'T WANT FUCKING ANYTHING.

That's right you hippie bastards, this old school Internet geek is telling you right here, right now... Information has no consciousness and wants nothing. The meme "Information Wants to Be Free" was originally intended to point out that information that is for sale,  leaks over time and can eventually be found freely, if you know where to look. It sure as hell doesn't mean that all Information Should Be Free.

Considering where we are in the evolution of the net right now, IT IS Changing and I for one am damned pleased.

You know where I went to after the World Wide Web got started? The online Smithsonian. It had some pictures. That was pretty much the whole fucking web. Then came Homepages... you could spend hours going from one /~mysite to another... and people would have terrible colors matched with terrible fonts and terrible pictures.
Now... now I can watch a movie online, on-demand whenever I like for $8 a fucking month, that's cheaper than renting two VHS videos from the Italian guy down the street when I was a kid (4.50 a movie!). It used to take an hour to download a single goddess damned song. Now I can watch College Humor for 15 minutes while communing with Eris, then I can set the bong down and get to work on some crazy online project, or play a video game with my friends (and not that bastard 3d Tank Sim that we thought was awesome in '94) or chat online with my philosophical playmates.

The Web has changed, its improved by leaps and bounds. Its still recognizing the potential that lots of us saw back in 1990, and exceeding it faster than any of us thought. The Internet has provided a medium where the free exchange of information is possible. Hell, its a medium where the free exchange of information is so easy that people seem to expect it from everyone, everywhere, all the time.

But, that's simply not reality.

It isn't cheap to run a website even though YouTube is built from the ground up and peered with some great content caching to make things cheaper. We're talking about millions a year... are they just supposed to spend millions on a free service out of the goodness of their heart?

YouTube serves a billion videos a day... A FUCKING BILLION VIDEOS STREAMING ON DEMAND ALL OVER THE WORLD. Holy Fucking Christ, I would have said in 1990*, you are crazy... streaming video? that's silly... a billion streams of videos? You're insane! A Billion Streaming Videos that you don't have to pay for, that you can upload your own videos to (for the world to see) and that can provide independent movie creators a HD quality medium to push their own stories! I would have called bullshit. (Now, in 1994 when I read a tech article about working bandwidth splits on cable... I might have felt a little differently).

Commercials will exist in any medium where there are people and a need to make money. If YouTube doesn't make money... then it doesn't get to serve up a billion videos for long. Instead it will just get to serve up Chapter Seven Bankruptcy Papers. I suppose YouTube could just put out a tip jar, or pull an NPR and come one for a week every few months, interrupting your video to ask for donations... but, really, do you think that would work? Enough to pay expenses, PLUS pay for new toy development?

If we ever make it to some post-capital based society, where bandwidth, disk space, processors, power, rack space, engineers and developers are all free.... then I'd be pissed that YouTube made me watch ads. Right now, how the hell else is this stuff supposed to remain in existence? Lots of people love to rip on television ads, but how else to they suppose the lights, camera and action would be paid for?!










* Not really cause I was a Christian and didn't say Fuck...

- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Captain Utopia

Quote from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8280557.stm
Online spending grew 4.6% to £1.752bn in the first half of 2009, while TV spending shrank 16.1% to £1.639bn.
I think we'll see online advertising become less obnoxious than TV advertising, as it becomes the biggest source of advertisement spending.

Why TV will never change:

  • To be popular and maximise revenue shows have to start on the hour, less popular shows start on the half-hour
  • The shows are all made around the ~40 minutes of content an hour model -- one network cannot arbitrarily decide that they'll just cut down the amount of adverts for a show they're syndicating, as there is no additional content to put on.
  • The advertising model/Neilson ratings scheme is broken, overvalued, but maintained by the same people who benefit from it
  • The networks are stupid and cling to old business models. Case in point "remote-free tv" - 40% premium on advertising rates, with half the number of adverts in a show - experiment scrapped because it didn't break even with traditional models. Well no shit, to break even you'd need to double advertising rates, a 100% premium.

But the web can deliver targeted adverts to me, Google knows enough to not try to sell me tampax, and in this way advertisers get value they never could before. I don't mind giving away some data if it means I get less adverts, or if the adverts I do get I might actually be interested by.

And at the end of the day, if you give a choice between a 15 second advert at the start of a youtube show, or 5 minutes dispersed throughout a show on microsoft video.. advertisers are going to notice that they get better results with the targeted campaigns.

There's no reason why it can't be win/win, with the current TV model there's basically no way they can survive without being the way they are though.