Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Spam

Auerbach on Internet Cruft 327

Posted by michael
from the spring-cleaning dept.
Captain Beefheart writes "Karl Auerbach has a story on CircleID in which he declares '...Between spam, anti-spam blacklists, rogue packets, never-forgetting search engines, viruses, old machines, bad regulatory bodies, and bad implementations, I fear that the open Internet is going to die sooner than I would have expected.' The Balkanization of the 'Net appears to be upon us."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Auerbach on Internet Cruft

Comments Filter:
  • Summary (Score:5, Funny)

    by aridhol (112307) <ka_lac@hotmail.com> on Thursday August 28, 2003 @03:57PM (#6818136) Homepage Journal
    The Internet is dying

    Right after Usenet, *BSD, Stephen King, etc.

    • Full Text (Score:5, Informative)

      by calebtucker (691882) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:06PM (#6818279) Journal
      Slashdotted.. here's the text..

      There are indications that the Internet, at least the Internet as we know it today, is dying.

      I am always amazed, and appalled, when I fire up a packet monitor and watch the continuous flow of useless junk that arrives at my demarcation routers' interfaces.

      That background traffic has increased to the point where it makes noticeable lines on my MRTG graphs. And I have little reason for optimism that this increase will cease. Quite the contrary, I find more reason to be pessimistic and believe that this background noise will become a Niagara-like roar that drowns the usability of the Internet.

      Between viruses and spammers and just plain old bad code, the net is now subject to a heavy, and increasing level of background packet radiation. And the net has very long memory - I still get DNS queries sent to IP addresses that haven't hosted a DNS server - or even an active computer - in nearly a decade. Search engines still come around sniffing for web sites that disappeared (along with the computer that hosted them, and the IP address on which that computer was found) long ago.

      Sure, most of this stuff never makes it past the filters in my demarcation routers, much less past my inner firewalls. But it does burn a lot of resources. Not only do those useless packets burn bits on my access links, but they also waste bits, routing cycles, and buffers on every hop that those useless packets traverse.

      It will not take long before the cumulative weight of this garbage traffic starts to poison the net. Already it is quite common for individual IP addresses to be contaminated from prior use. I am aware of people who are continuously bombarded by file access queries because a prior user of that address shared files from that address. Entire blocks of IP addresses are also contaminated, perhaps permanently, because they once hosted spammers thus causing those address blocks to be entombed into the memories of an unknown number of anti-spam filters not merely at the end user level but also deep in the routing infrastructure of the net. And a denial-of-service virus, once out on the net, can only be quieted, not eliminated; such viruses remain virulent and ready to spring back to life.

      The net does not have infinite resources - even if IPv6 is deployed the contamination of IP address space will merely be slowed, not stopped.

      Better security measures, particularly on the sources of traffic, will help, but again, unless something radical happens, the contamination will merely be slowed, not stopped.

      I believe that something radical will happen: We may see the rapid end to the "end-to-end" principle on the Internet.

      We are already observing the balkanization of the net for political and commercial reasons. Self-defense against the rising tide of the net's background packet radiation may be another compelling reason (or excuse) for net communities to isolate themselves and permit traffic to enter (and exit) only through a few well-protected portals.

      This balkanization may be given additional impetus by a desire to escape from the ill effects of poorly designed regulatory systems, such as ICANN.

      So, between spam, anti-spam blacklists, rogue packets, never-forgetting search engines, viruses, old machines, bad regulatory bodies, and bad implementations, I fear that the open Internet is going to die sooner than I would have expected. In its place I expect to see a more fragmented network - one in which only "approved" end-to-end communications will be permitted.

      The loss of open end-to-end communications will, in itself, be a great loss.

      But of even more concern will be the fact that these portals, or gates, will require gatekeepers, which is merely a polite word for censors. Our experience with ICANN has shown us how easily it is for focused and well-financed interests to capture a gatekeeper. In the present political climate in which government powers are conferred, without a counterbalancing obligation of accountability, onto private bodies, the loss will be much greater.
  • The loss of open end-to-end communications will, in itself, be a great loss.

    But of even more concern will be the fact that these portals, or gates, will require gatekeepers, which is merely a polite word for censors. Our experience with ICANN has shown us how easily it is for focused and well-financed interests to capture a gatekeeper. In the present political climate in which government powers are conferred, without a counterbalancing obligation of accountability, onto private bodies, the loss will be m

    • by aborchers (471342) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @03:59PM (#6818165) Homepage Journal
      I feel that the Internet is our last source of un-censored and un-biased information.


      You're half right...

      • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:38PM (#6819242) Journal
        Are you sure he's even half right? If you get unlucky and use a particular ISP (library computers, AOL, etc.) or live in a particular country (China and Saudi Arabia are good examples), the former is no longer true. If you read any Microsoft story here on Slashdot, you know the latter can't possibly be true.
        • by KalvinB (205500) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @09:20PM (#6820683) Homepage
          you're biased. Nobody exists on the planet who isn't biased unless they have no opinion of anything.

          "bias" is just a buzzword to excuse your brain from the conversation.

          As for being censored, that's not an internet phenomenon. Every form of media has been, will be or is being censored somewhere in the world.

          Don't like it? Revolt, circumvent or move. Welcome to the human race where assholes exist that would like to label people as being and then censor people for being "biased" (e.g. presenting information) in a way they doen't happen to like.

          Ben
    • by cK-Gunslinger (443452) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:01PM (#6818187) Journal

      "I feel that the Internet is our last source of un-censored and un-biased information."

      I think you're forgetting about Fox News...
    • Why did he have drag Balkan ino this?

      Lets see:
      >Between spam,: Yeah, that came from Balkan
      >anti-spam blacklists,: Definetly more Balkan
      >rogue packets,: Ok, maybe some Balkan here
      >never-forgetting search engines,: Balkans fault
      >viruses, Balkan is evil
      >old machines,: Ok, some Balkan
      >bad regulatory bodies,: Everything is Balkan's fault
      >and bad implementations: Blame Balkan

      So please give the peaceful people at Balkan a break!
      Blame the those who tries to regulate Internet i

    • by noname3 (580108) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:11PM (#6818338)
      It makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. I feel that the Internet is our last source of un-censored and un-biased information.

      Hope lies in the blogs. :)
    • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:29PM (#6818561) Homepage
      I feel that the Internet is our last source of un-censored and un-biased information.

      Are you sure, you want it un-censored? Before answering with the enthusiastic: "Yes, I am!" however, consider that anti-spamming is censorship, for example. Also, I would not want Jerry Falwell to be able to reach my children any more, than Jerry would not want his children to be reachable by pornographers (or so he says).

      In other words, beware of what you wish for. Internet used to be the hangout of the few, who did not need many rules and understood each other. It is now the place for everyone -- like a nice park frequented by picnickers. At some point you have to start fining people for leaving garbage on the grass and for playing their stereos too loud -- something, that, of course, violates their freedom.

      Once you accept the need to control people's behaviour, you have to accept the need for some authority to do that. ICANN or SPEWS or anything in between :-)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:31PM (#6818586)
        Anti-spam lists are no more censorship than changing a radio dial. Just because someone want's to say it in no way obligates another to listen.
        • I agree. However, there are simply too many decisions to make in today's life, so some/most of them are delegated to a specialist. Be that your friendly sysadmin deciding on which blacklist to use or your friendly FCC comissioners deciding, what radio jockeys must "beep out" as obscene...

          Note, that although the two sample specialists above are appointed in a totally different manner, they both act as censors (an honorable and coveted position in ancient Rome, BTW).

          The discussion in this forum is somewha

    • by Bonker (243350) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:52PM (#6818813)
      The 'Open' Internet was never unbiased or ucensored. It sure seemed that way, until you remember that a handful of sysadmins controlled which groups got created on usenet and which groups were censored. Those with more networking hardware got to make more of the decisions because more of the traffic passed through their equipment. You blocked 'alt.borkborkbork' in one key place and it got blocked to a great deal of the people who could keep it alive today.

      'Unbiased' will never enter into the equation. Sorry.

      'Uncensored', however, describes the vast number of people who can and do use the Internet and any other communication outlet they can in a myriad of ways to spread their own ideologies, their own software, their own news coverage, and their own gossip. As soon as one avenue for this kind of information is blocked, another springs up.

      As soon as Napster was shut down, Kazaa and Gnutella became more popular. With Kazaa and Gnutella's decline in popularity due to the rabid, power-mongering influence of copyright interests (RIAA Lawsuits), other, more immune file sharing apps are gaining acceptance.

      Think of the net as a huge, self-regenerating organism. Its cells are not computers, but people who want to spread information via whatever method possible.

      At first it's simple and dedicated solely to its own task. As it's attacked and parisited, it begins to develop defenses and immunities to those attacks. Unlike natural selection, which required brute-force trial and error combinations to build those defenses, the Internet has thinking logical minds building its defenses, which include spam filters, intelligent routing, firewall, mail, and other message protocols, data encryption, steganography, high-bandwidth transmission pipes, error correction, and other tools to control the 'background radiation'.

      I, for one, use data encryption in almost every kind of computer-to-computer file transmission I make, just out of habit. Do you?

      If you don't beleive that the net is building its own defenses, note the truly desperate measures the aforementioned copyright interests are going to now in order to try to stop the evolutionary tide. The RIAA knows it can't keep up technologically with the HUGE number of people people sharing files, so it's attempting to change they way they behave with organized legislation and 'public education' drives.

      The Internet, the people who write software and share data of any kind, is disorganized and seems unable to act in response fast enough. The million monkeys on a million typewriters eventually spouts software like Freenet. Freenet, while hard to use when compared to Kazaa or Napster, is almost completely immune from RIAA, MPAA, or publishing industry attacks, and may even be immune from the best efforts of law enforcement and repressive governments.

      Just today, the RIAA leaked that it can track files by their MD5 sums. How long will it be (later this evening) before someone writes code that will pad MP3s in a way that skews their MD5 sums but leaves the music listenable? How long will it be before that code or something very much like it makes its way into WASTE or Gnutella? Even if this code is made illegal and the writer/perpetrator goes to jail, how will the media industry stop it when it's already in the hands of the public?

      We're not just developing technological defenses either, but mental and social defenses. The EFF makes it possible for anyone to fax their senator and other legislators for free. (http://action.eff.org/ [eff.org]) Various internet websites publish details about public figures and public officials, especially those with the clout to make change.

      Remember who originally reported on Monica Lewinsky? Matt Drudge. Who all will report on the fact that George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld more or less set up undercover CIA agents to take the fall for the Iraq-Nigeria scandal [onlinejournal.com]?

      The Internet is under attack, but without attack, it will never become stronger and immune to those attacks.
    • Help me build a new one. If balkanization is inevitable, at least have your own balkan city-state when the mess begins...
  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28, 2003 @03:58PM (#6818149)
    In case the site is slow, here [martin-studio.com] is a mirror.

    Martin Studio Slashdot Policy. [martin-studio.com]
  • Balkanization

    What?

  • IPv6? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sleepingsquirrel (587025) * <Greg,Buchholz&sleepingsquirrel,org> on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:00PM (#6818171) Homepage Journal
    Gotta love this quote...
    The net does not have infinite resources - even if IPv6 is deployed the contamination of IP address space will merely be slowed, not stopped.
    He must be a long term thinker. If we started allocating IPv6 addresses at a rate of 2^32 addresses/sec (~4 billion -- that's the total address space for IPv4) we will run out of addresses in about 584 billion years. So we better all hope that protons don't decay.
    • Crap, I really can do math.

      2^128(IPv6 addresses)/2^32(IPv4 addresses per second) ~= 79E27 seconds

      79E27 seconds / 31E6 seconds per year = 2.5E21 years

      ...which is a *lot* bigger than 584 billion.

    • Re:IPv6? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by karl.auerbach (157250)
      The unit of blocking may very well fall along the basic proposed unit of IPv6 allocation - the /48 prefix.

      Sure, that potentially leaves 2**80 such blocks - a number that I've heard is akin to the number of electrons in the universe.

      But we'll probably find that the IPv6 space is, like the IPv4 space, carved up, significantly reducing the number of really usable address blocks.

      You are right in that the result will still be a huge number - and it seems that it is big enough to accomodate some lossage - but
    • Space derbish (Score:3, Informative)

      by Frans Faase (648933)
      It seems that most people don't understand the issue that Karl Auerbach is addressing. Most posters talk about spam, usenet, and www polution. But the problem that Karl is talking about is at a far more lower level. It has to do with the packets on which the TCP/IP protocol is build on. He is talking about how the still growing collection of inter-connected (internetted!) computers is going to contain more and more cruft for all kinds of reasons, producing more and more junk packets traveling around using u
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Every few months some elitist prick looks around at all the idiots on the net, and declares that "The Internet is Dying". Don't believe it. People have been predicting this ever since AOL began allowing Usenet traffic, and it hasn't happened yet.
  • Slashdotted already (Score:5, Informative)

    by mblase (200735) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:00PM (#6818181)
    ...so here's the Google cache [216.239.41.104].
  • When I first got on the internet, early 90's there was this asian magazine called shrimp something or another, nowadays you can't find it anywhere.

    All the porn is locked up!
  • by awx (169546) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:03PM (#6818214)
    Do they count slashdottings as 'cruft'? Either way, this isn't going to increase their opinion of the internet now, is it?

    Google cached copy of article [216.239.37.104].
  • by Zachary DeAquila (31195) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:04PM (#6818241) Homepage
    Email is not the Internet. The web is not the Internet. Usenet is not the Internet. The Internet is no danger of balkanization.
    • by kcurtis (311610) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:30PM (#6818572)
      I think you've missed some of the point. He's not referring to the web, or email, or any other particular part of the internet, but about junk traffic in general.

      Regardless of the cause, junk traffic might at some point push administrators to restrict traffic more than they currently do. Sort of a white list for all traffic, not just of one type.

      Now, that said, this certainly could be more "chicken little" than anything else, but I think his point is valid that more crap traffic could lead to splitting off parts of the internet.

      This would be something like having your border router drop all traffic from chinese or russian networks, on the theory that more crap comes from there.
      • If the level of background traffic ever nearly approached the danger levels he's spouting about, then the big backbone providers will correct the situation.

        They can do a lot to stop spam and ddos attacks the like, but the problem is they get paid for bandwidth - so they arent inclined to care where the traffic comes from.

        But if it gets to the point that its going to erode their customer base, they'll start dropping bad traffic, adding more pipes, whatever it takes to keep the system rolling.

        I'm not worri
    • Exactly. The Internet itself is not the problem -- it's the chaotic nature of its unchecked and unmoderated usage that puts us at risk. Kind of like the streets of a big city and its neighborhoods -- there's areas of the city you don't go into because you can't be sure for your safety, but that doesn't mean that the roads leading there are at fault. The difference is that there's little protection from the Internet thugs coming into your neighborhood.

      I think it's perfectly clear that we're at a crossroa
  • Waaah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gothmolly (148874) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:05PM (#6818251)
    The Internet is no longer the simple playground it was in the late 80s! Waah, no fair! I have to learn something new and deal with a giant, heterogeneous mass of losers, hackers, cluebies and porn stars instead of a half-dozen geeks futzing with the rack of 3 dusty 3B2s in the basement running on AUX ethernet taps.
    Geesh, get over it pal, nothing is static.
    • Re:Waaah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity@@@sbcglobal...net> on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:37PM (#6818658) Homepage Journal
      "Geesh, get over it pal, nothing is static."

      Death is static. The changes in the Internet are signs that it is still alive.
    • His point is that the net is becoming unusable due to the fact that it was designed to be used by intelligent people--but now it's being used by morons. Given that it was meant to withstand nuclear attack, I suppose this demonstrates the morons are worse than nukes. Yay for democracy!
      • Re:Waaah (Score:3, Interesting)

        I presume you don't count yourself among the morons. In fact, just like everybody else around here who complains about "stupid people" you must be a genius. In all aspects of life at that. Sheesh, who hasn't been stupid or ignorant about something at some point each week of our lives? Besides, you ought to be thankful there are so many stupid people about, otherwise you wouldn't look so good.

        This really isn't meant as a flame, it's just that the holier than thou attitude and the everybody-else-is-stupi

  • I don't see it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mblase (200735) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:06PM (#6818264)
    His main argument seems to be that there's a lot of crap on the Internet, and because of this it will eventually become useless. But where's the supporting argument?

    Junk mail hasn't brought the postal service to its knees. Telemarketers are a pain, but people still use phones and even find new ways to travel with them. Every communication medium lends itself to abuse, but that has never eliminated the medium itself. Only a superior, easier, more widespread technology has ever done that (telegraphs giving way to telephones, for instance).

    It's just another guy claiming the end of the 'Net is nigh, people. Move along.
  • Quite the contrary, I find more reason to be pessimistic and believe that this background noise will become a Niagara-like roar that drowns the usability of the Internet.

    Between viruses and spammers and just plain old bad code, the net is now subject to a heavy, and increasing level of background packet radiation.


    Okay, so unlike the universe's background radiation which tends to get more and more diluted, does this mean the innurnet is in a big crunch phase? that it'll collapse back to a infinitely massi
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:08PM (#6818295) Journal
    You either deal with the online idiots, or abandon the internet. The pros of the internet FAR outweigh the cons, IMO.

    Frankly I dont see the spams and ddos attacks and blah blah that you all get so worked up over as much of a big deal. I get little spam, on the order of a couple dozen a year. Big ddos attacks on commercial sites have never really bothered me. Whoopty do.

    There are jerks at the mall, but its still the best place in town to buy a new pair of pants.

    "Elitist jackass thinks we need to abandon internet because he's offended by penis-enlarging spam". Big boo-hoo deal. You run off and start your own internet then. Those of us with balls (or a reasonable equivalent) will stick around here, thanks. Because it really isnt that bad.
    • Females have balls, they're just better protected :)
    • You, sir, are retarded. Just because you only get a few spams a year, obviously that means everyone else does and they're just being whiny bitches about it? Get a grip. Yeah, there are jerks at the mall, but if the mall were full of jerks throwing goatse posters at you and screaming at the top of their voices to the point where you can hardly hear yourself think, they could GIVE away pants at the mall and nobody would go.
    • Well, I get about a million spams a year, but that doesn't make the Internet any less useful. I still hear from this cute girl I've been talking to via email, and hearing from her is worth wading through a thousand spams to get to her.

      And hearing from my boss when he's upset, however unpleasant it can be at times, is a lot easier over email than him screaming in my face.

      As long as those thinsg are true, your essential point is accurate. I liked the metaphor of that nice fellow who responded with the ana
  • Sure, most of this stuff never makes it past the filters in my demarcation routers, much less past my inner firewalls. But it does burn a lot of resources. Not only do those useless packets burn bits on my access links, but they also waste bits, routing cycles, and buffers on every hop that those useless packets traverse.

    Conspiracy to support the tax [slashdot.org] theorists in Florida?

    • Taxation has been used in the past to act as a deterrant against use (or abuse) of certain resources. Take alcohol, for instance, prohibitive prices will help reduce overall consumption of alcohol. But is that really the right solution? It may actually have a -ve impact....it may drive an alcoholic to stealing/etc to pay for his poison.

      Moreover, tax on alcohol affects only those who (ab)use it. The tax on LANs ass the asholes in Florida propose would affect legitimate users as well as spammers, and other

  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:10PM (#6818319) Homepage Journal
    'I fear that the open Internet is going to die sooner than I would have expected.'

    His server certainly died sooner that I expected.

  • by douglips (513461) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:10PM (#6818327) Homepage Journal
    See also Jargon File: Imminent Death of the Net Predicted! [astrian.net] and Brad Templeton's classic timeline [google.com].

    Yes, that was 1989. Same old same old...
  • by Captain Rotundo (165816) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:12PM (#6818349) Homepage
    Things change. There is no static "open internet" that is going to 'end' abruptly one day. All social and technological systems are in a constant state of flux. Maybe the internet looks less open now than it was 'then' and maybe it looks to be trending away from the great utopia it never was, But the system is above all of this ultimately. Maybe for most people the techno-utopia will cease, but that is because that is what most people wanted.

    All societies, including the 'internet society' are emergent phenomena. One thinks the 'network' is dying because they idealized it in another form, not in a 'better' form or a 'worse' form just their form. Simply put it is a case of the "good old days" syndrome, people constantly complain about society pointing out how great it once was, and they will continue to do so. If we let the internet die it is because collectively we didn't care to have it live. Sure there will always be complainers with valid points because it is very easy in hindsight to pick out what was better than you have now, while glossing over what was worse.

    Sure I'd like to see Usenet and IRC be as good as I remember them, and I'd like everyone to pretned Flash was never invented and stop using it, but am I willing to give up on all the things (graphics, non-console interfaces, high-speed, mass access, etc) that both killed Usenet and brought about Flash? NO.
    • Maybe for most people the techno-utopia will cease, but that is because that is what most people wanted.

      Huh? Do you know anyone who thinks an end to end internet is a bad thing once they understand the concept? I don't. If it dies, it's through ignorance.

      [blither] ... One thinks the 'network' is dying because they idealized it in another form, not in a 'better' form or a 'worse' form just their form. Simply put it is a case of the "good old days" syndrome, ... [blather] ...there will always be complai

    • Simply put it is a case of the "good old days" syndrome,

      Sigh... Gone are the days when you could say: "Those were the days".

  • Always Free? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by matth88 (621021) * on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:12PM (#6818354)
    I'm optimistic about this. The fact is that, barring China and some other pariah states, that there is free *connectivity* (not neccessarily free communication) between everyone on the Internet. There will always be an opportunity for people to build new channels (think network layers) on top of this infrastructure. It will always be possible to encrypt communications on these channels. So there will always be a minimal level at which the network must remain free.

    Is is perfect, seamless, elegant, etc? Maybe not. But it will remain "open."

  • This guy thought about writing an article on the great Internet, stopped xmule for a moment to do a tcpdump and discovered with horror that hundreds of unknown machines are trying to connect to his on unknown ports ? Oh the humanity!
  • Computing survived 8088 processors running at 4.77 MHz, with only 5 1/4 inch floppy disks for storage. If computing can survive that, the Internet can survive anything.
  • So far I only know that this guy doesn't have a very good bandwidth as his server went down within 60 comments on the story. It would be nice if story authors would throw in at least a one-liner explaining why should I care that some guy thinks internet is going to die.
  • by klaxor (702442) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:17PM (#6818420)
    In the present political climate in which government powers are conferred, without a counterbalancing obligation of accountability, onto private bodies, the loss will be much greater.

    Which, I think is precisely the problem. We don't get an uncensored Net, we only get to choose the censors. In the U.S., the Net isn't censored by the government simply because allowing people to visit "questionable" sites gives the government the ability to compile a list of terrorism suspects.

    Really, the problem is much more insidious than that - how many people know that AOL filters their content? When it comes down to it, while we decry other countries for their draconian censorship, we ourselves have merely moved the censorship from the government (who are 'accountable' to the public at large) to American corporations (who are accountable to no one, as Enron has shown). I fear the latter more than the former, because unlike governmental oppression, corporate suppression of free speech is not covered by the constitution!

    Really, the Net is no longer a geek's toy. It is now the Net of the masses, and we can expect that things will get worse. The average person has no use for Linux kernals or for distributing free software, so you can expect these to go first. Indeed, as the SCO case has shown, Corporate America can effectively outlaw the distribution of anything that infringes on their income model by doing little more than filing a lawsuit.

    Yeah, it's changing. The Internet is only as free as its users, and slaves are signing up in droves.

    • AOL UK doesn't seem to filter any content. Their connection software has content filtering in it, much like any other netnanny-like software that you can get off the shelf, but because we are both consenting adults neither me or my girlfriend seem to have any need to enable it.

      I was idly flicking thru my favourite pr0nsites last week on my girlfriend's connection and had no problem...
    • Indeed, as the SCO case has shown, Corporate America can effectively outlaw the distribution of anything that infringes on their income model by doing little more than filing a lawsuit.

      How exactly has the SCO case shown this ?
  • by cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:19PM (#6818439)
    1) (*)BSD is dying.
    2) The Internet was built on BSD.
    3) The Internet is dying.
  • "The Balkanization of the 'Net appears to be upon us."

    So we are going to split up an arbitrarily formed body into several pieces based on some imagined construct of difference, which masks the true rejection of totalitarianism and structual violence?

    How is disciplining the Internet the same as the tragedy of Southeastern Europe? Did you know that the Balkans are actually a small mountain range in Bulgarian. Most places in the "Balkans" are far from what you think are the "Balkans", physically, mentally,
  • Death of the internet predicted! Details at 11.
  • i think, that the internet is not about to die but that it is the future of computation. just looking at the market today can support this. look at things like .NET, the popularity of *nixes (systems designed from the groud up for multiuser networked environments), and upcoming web services. all of these things show that the internet is only bound to grow and become more powerful in its future rather than die.
  • by globalar (669767) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:23PM (#6818486) Homepage
    I never much paid attention to editors. But you might consider it after looking at this story. Really, this is inane.
  • by beta21 (88000) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:23PM (#6818493)
    Just in case anyone else was wondering what the hell balkanization was?

    Main Entry: balkanize
    Pronunciation: 'bol-k&-"nIz
    Function: transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): -ized; -izing
    Usage: often capitalized
    Etymology: Balkan Peninsula
    Date: 1919
    : to break up (as a region or group) into smaller and often hostile units
    - balkanization /"bol-k&-n&-'zA-sh&n/ noun, often capitalized
  • I think what I'd like to see one of these columnists talk about is the state of the advertising industry today. Why is it that some companies feel the need to advertise is such obviously offensive manners such as spam, junk mail or telemarketing? Whatever happened to producing a quality product, advertising in responsible ways and having sales generated based on a great idea or product? Is this kind of "traditional" advertising not working any more?

    I think in some ways, the old ways aren't working as we

    • Whatever happened to producing a quality product, advertising in responsible ways and having sales generated based on a great idea or product? Is this kind of "traditional" advertising not working any more?
      What if you're a manufacturer of penis enlargement pumps? They may be 'quality' penis enlargers, and they're certainly based on a great idea, but... how would you advertise responsibly for them?
  • Stop the presses! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MhzJnky (443677) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:24PM (#6818504) Homepage
    My goodness, is he saying there's useless crap flying around the internet! My goodness what ever will we do !?

    In all seriousness, the internet, like all things, will reach a balance. To give and exapmple, if everyone's email is to full of spam, people will stop using email, the spammers won't reach anyone, and it will no longer be profitable to send spam. People will utilize a new form of comunication, similar to email but more controled.

    We, esspeicaly Americans, are so used to balances being forced on us, though government regulation, that we're not willing to wait for natural processes to work.

    The internet is the internet and will always be the internet. That what people want. The protocols may change but the idea will stay the same.

    (yes, I can't spell, get over it)
  • The concept of the open, free, wonderful Internet is a concept that disappeared the instant the .com TLD was created and the gates restricting users from AOL and other fast-food watching, prime-time television viewing hangouts were removed.

    Freedom is a responsibility, not a right. It's been that way for centuries in all reality. Any time you have a huge land-grab with no real regulation or accountability, you eventually have the idiot masses come through and turn it into a grabage heap. Empires grow, empir

  • What the hell does he know? The Celtics have sucked ever since they lost Larry Bird.
  • by Junks Jerzey (54586) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:32PM (#6818590)
    The physical internet is not dying, of course. That's just silly. But some internet services--especially email and the web--have been abused to the point where the benefits are cloudy.

    Imagine a random person who buys a computer and gets connected to the internet. Within a few months she gets more spam and virus emails than regular mail. Some of them contain pornographic images, many appear to be from people she knows, because their PCs are infected. Some are just plain misleading, such as a message from someone who says he has the information she requested. One is a message that appears to be from eBay, asking to confirm her userid and password. Sometimes she emails friends, but they are incorrectly deleted because her friends get so much spam too. She clicks on the wrong link in a Google search and gets a site that opens 20+ full screen windows and has to kill the browser to get rid of them. Sites contain misleading popups and ads about security vulnerabilities and potential viruses and system updates. Instant messaging windows with ads pop up every fifteen minutes or so. Clicking on the wrong button is a dialog--or misunderstanding what is being asked--results in some spyware being installed that pops up messages even when off-line.

    You can fix all of these things. You can learn what to avoid. You can become horribly paranoid about everything. But most people don't want to be a system administrator that has to keep up with all of this nonsense.
    • She clicks on the wrong link in a Google search and gets a site that opens 20+ full screen windows and has to kill the browser to get rid of them.

      And now that her browser is dead, she can't use the Internet. :)

      Seriously, this isn't really a serious problem. And when it will become very serious, the result will be a solution, not a death of the Internet (web/e-mail/IM/whatever). Yeah, it sucks to live during the time of changes (for some), but once the changes are over, everything is back to normal.
    • You can fix all of these things. You can learn what to avoid. You can become horribly paranoid about everything. But most people don't want to be a system administrator that has to keep up with all of this nonsense.

      Easier said than done. Until people realize that a computer connected to the Internet is very very different from other consumer electronics, and even quite different from computers they used in the past, this isn't going to get solved. It's real easy for the /. crowd to criticize these folks

  • Where are the dancing babies and the Turkish singles for this generation? Where are the outrageously good deals on DVDs and electronics? Where are the fan sites that could fearlessly post MP3s? Where are the independent sites of interest? ESPN was swallowed, Slashdot was swallowed, Suck.com died, etc.
  • Forbidden

    You don't have permission to access /article/215_0_1_0_C/ on this server.
  • Eye of the Beholder (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lowqwashus (700446) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:33PM (#6818604)
    Remember 9-10 years ago when the good 'ole research-oriented Internet was first defiled by the masses? This article may have actually mattered then. Now, who bloody cares? Yes, the amount of crap on the Internet is increasing but so what? Strip malls and outlet shopping are where farms used to be. And before that, there were those who lamented farms that replaced the wilderness. If you don't like the strip malls, don't go there.
  • by Goner (5704) <nutate@PASCALhotmail.com minus language> on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:36PM (#6818638) Homepage

    My kneejerk reaction was, "yeah right." But after doing a teensy weensy bit of skimming at his site, he has a very good point. As major points of access are bought by large corporations, control becomes easier and easier. Perhaps in ways that savvy users can circumvent, but one would bet that for example, most Chinese internet users don't have any idea how to circumvent the great firewall.

    Also, spam really does prevent email from getting through. I know that nearly anyone actually trying to email me at nutate at hotmail isn't going to get through to me unless I know them already... (and in which case they wouldn't be using that email address to contact me.)

    The man's been looking at the internet since 1974, so he seen what's happened firsthand. But here's an analogy (of sorts) that just popped into my head. Last week I saw the documentary film Catching Out [catchingout.com] and the filmmaker did a Q&A about it afterward. One of the audience members asked her whether she thought that freight train hopping (the centerpiece to the film) was dying. She said that there are two schools of thought. One is from the old folks, who say "It's just too hard these days. Security's too tight, so I quit" But the young kids, she said, who'd grown up with this higher security think it's still a thriving enterprise.

    Personally, I'm young enough to think the internet is going to be used and free for me for as long as I can concieve of. But for those who don't care to fight the restrictions (or don't notice them), they'll be, for lack of a better word, stuck (w/ msnbc as their homepage?...).

  • by Anonymous Struct (660658) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @04:39PM (#6818674)
    I think that for people with the pioneer spirit, like the folks who were building webpages back in 1994, the internet as we knew has been dead for a while. Much of what made it interesting was the fact that it was new and mostly undiscovered, and there was a lot of anticipation and excitement about its potential.

    Now that it's gone mainstream and its direction has gone into the hands of large corporations, it just isn't that interesting anymore. It's kind of like the western half of the United States -- now that everybody lives there, it's just another place. Sad to think that the most interesting days are well behind us, but honestly, when was the last time you were really excited about anything internet-related?
  • Heh (Score:2, Funny)

    Thank you for contacting CircleID, we our currently being slashdotted.
    Eye have a spelling chequer, it came with my pea sea .... ;D
  • by danila (69889)
    Internet is dying! In other news, Moore's Law will soon be invalid. Please tune to our news at 10 to watch the broadcast of the impending doom.
  • ...just as soon as we have our next Internet Cleaning Day [e4fun.com]. So relax, and make sure you're unplugged for the duration.
  • How is it that people seem to think that the resources available stagnate?

Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun.

Working...