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Thread: Replacing the Internet?

  1. #61
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    Not for games. For people.

    In many places, people who have limited resources still have some internet access. They can use the vast amounts of free information to teach children and adults, to learn a language or translate one, to diagnose illness, to analyze many things such as farmlands or car engines, to ask for advice (I just did so a few hours ago), to take part in businesses, to start businesses, to meet and interact with people a world away. From life changing stuff to simply learning how to sew a button.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #62
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    I can sympathize with that idea. I have a large copper internet plug around the corner from my house. It is a large building jammed full of old fashion copper telephone gizmos. The problem that this thing creates is that it is owned by one of two large internet companies in the area. Since they don't want trouble ripping out perfectly functional but woeful antiquated tech and replacing it with FIOS, the other company behaves badly. This cause the first company to also behave badly. This is also why I have an intranet.

    For years, it was like we lived in the boonies. Our phone would go dead for months at a time. The rest of the time there was a high pitched whooshing noise through every call. Dial up was our only option. Dial up was unaffected by this noise, I could look up the service number for the phone company, but couldn't call from home. For 13 of 16 years at this location, I didn't have another option. All of these problems have little to do with the building down the street, there is a box behind the house that sits in a foot of water for 3 seasons of the year. It isn't fixed because the first company has no reason to do so because they had a lock on everyone in the area. Since that is no longer the case, I no longer have any dealings with them.
    Solfe, Dominus Maris Pavos.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Then it's not within the purview of this thread. I'm just asking a bunch of civilians to give suggestions on innovations. Nothing more.
    Whoa Clev, I'm only commenting on the side questions that developed past post 18 or so, not the first post. Your question does have physical, real world answers. And those systems are highly confidential. So your answer has already been given as well as it can be answered. Past this and it's either all fantasy or trouble on the hoof.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
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  4. #64
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    I am trying not to go too deep down my path of insanity, but increasing the amount of data coming down to the end user requires both power and intelligence. What we all have now is fairly nice, but if some janitor kicks over a bucket in the wrong room, half of us lose everything and the other half have problems.

    As far as "hardening" out internet, there are a couple of routes. Space radiation hardening, nuclear war level hardening, and removal of mop buckets. Instead of trying to address these exact concerns, you can take lessons from them. What you need the replacement of the internet to do is not resist an overt attack, but to seamlessly adapt to routine problems using a variety of technologies.

    What you want is a paradigm shift, which right now is impractical. I can carry a live connection around my house, but people generally go to "the place" for their tech and wandering through areas of technology is science fiction and doesn't seem to work in the real world. There is a room with a computer, a room with a TV, etc. You need to break that by providing infrastructure. Usually this is outside the home, but it could be inside. If you had a good processor and programmed it up with some choices, you could have the computer quietly downloading remote information for local access on a variety of tools It would have to hold a lot for a long time and it would have to be able to share what it has.

    A real world analogy is a first aid kit. You have one in your car, but it is different than what is in your bathroom and you don't question who uses or needs what. You don't pull this stuff out for dinner parties. Every once in a while, you purge it of expired things and refill things that are missing. This is what your internet replacement would need to do. You would "program it up" with basics: Information about 1st aid, Star Wars 4-6 and 9, Dirty Dancing plus several volumes of books and light music. That never changes, but then the lion's share of data is more flexible. A list of Ron Howard films might be on it for several months, but is subject to purging along with "DIY Dentistry". Your system would have to be smart enough and large enough to retain a lot of local preferences and a means of retaining new information on a more limited basis. In the event of a larger problem, but probably not a nuclear war, local files could be merged over areas to reconstruct what was lost and provide access to a whole locality.

    A lot of problems with the internet today is that someone with a wayward backhoe can kick all of us off of it.
    Solfe, Dominus Maris Pavos.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Your question does have physical, real world answers. And those systems are highly confidential.
    Please explain? What is confidential about what I asked? Confidential to who?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Please explain? What is confidential about what I asked? Confidential to who?
    You're having fun with me, aren't you?
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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    You're having fun with me, aren't you?
    Normally yes. Regarding my question above, no.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    So let me reword the question;

    How could you design a decentralized communication network that could survive EMPs and power grid failures?
    To me, questions of cyber-security are a much greater threat to the Internet and the World Wide Web than EMPs and power grid failures. They are making all the benefits that NCN discussed in post 61 increasingly difficult.

    As an actual example of this, the multinational corporation I work for has been hit hard by the current randomware attack, to the point that we have no network, no e-mail, no electronic communications since Tuesday morning, and many individual computers and servers are now essentially plastic and metal bricks (my own work computer included). I suspect it will be well into next week before I even have a working computer of any sort. Think of the millions and millions of dollar/euros that this will cost one company in both repair costs and lost productivity.

    And I suspect these types of attacks will both continue and continue to get worse.

    They scare me a lot more than an EMP event.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    And I suspect these types of attacks will both continue and continue to get worse.

    They scare me a lot more than an EMP event.
    Good point.
    A lot easier to deploy malware in cyberspace than set off a dirty bomb over the nation.

  10. #70
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    So my argument is - what kind of preparations are made against large scale Internet disruption by EMP, power blackout or virus/malware attack?
    Preparations depending on a small number of people, highly confidential against targeting by security through obscurity? Or preparations that are widely distributed, known to many people, some of whom would talk, but resistant to targeting because too redundant to target?

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    To me, questions of cyber-security are a much greater threat to the Internet and the World Wide Web than EMPs and power grid failures. They are making all the benefits that NCN discussed in post 61 increasingly difficult.

    As an actual example of this, the multinational corporation I work for has been hit hard by the current randomware attack, to the point that we have no network, no e-mail, no electronic communications since Tuesday morning, and many individual computers and servers are now essentially plastic and metal bricks (my own work computer included). I suspect it will be well into next week before I even have a working computer of any sort. Think of the millions and millions of dollar/euros that this will cost one company in both repair costs and lost productivity.

    And I suspect these types of attacks will both continue and continue to get worse.

    They scare me a lot more than an EMP event.
    Agreed. Even if resisted with some success, the security is already crippling the advantages of electronic communication. It is not inconceivable that snail mail with wax seals will make a comeback.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post

    And I suspect these types of attacks will both continue and continue to get worse.

    They scare me a lot more than an EMP event.
    If there's a silver lining, it might be that it is sometimes said that people who live in too antiseptic conditions don't develop strong immune systems. I don't know if one could go so far as to say a certain level of disease presence is actually a good thing, but there might be some value in developing resistance to potentially worse infections. And we can hope that in this case, the parasites might be smart enough not to kill their host.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2017-Jun-29 at 06:54 AM.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    If there's a silver lining, it might be that it is sometimes said that people who live in too antiseptic conditions don't develop strong immune systems. I don't know if one could go so far as to say a certain level of disease presence is actually a good thing, but there might be some value in developing resistance to potentially worse infections. And we can hope that in this case, the parasites might be smart enough not to kill their host.
    I have thought about an ETI who have no concept of crime on their planet...and then an alien, whose planet was like ours turned up...
    Formerly Frog march..............

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canis Lupus View Post
    Agreed. Even if resisted with some success, the security is already crippling the advantages of electronic communication. It is not inconceivable that snail mail with wax seals will make a comeback.
    Our PC clients at work are already so saddled with security and monitoring software that they regularly lag to the point of unusability many times during the day. This sometimes adds up to hours per day, depending on what we're working on or how bad the lag is.

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  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    Our PC clients at work are already so saddled with security and monitoring software that they regularly lag to the point of unusability many times during the day. This sometimes adds up to hours per day, depending on what we're working on or how bad the lag is.

    CJSF
    It is very easy to bog down a system by injudicious selection of security software.

    I have uninstalled several popular security software apps in the past because, frankly, they slow my machine down more than any potential threat would. And I told them this.

  16. #76
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    If we do replace it can we keep a secret from some people.
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  17. #77
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    Think about it - a global "entity", with billions of self-managed components, which is self-healing and self-configuring. Completely redundant and immune to physical attack. As the OP said, it was designed to withstand a nuclear war, after the initial concept was proven by academics. Of course, that original design has been subjugated in the decades since, with many choke points and single points of failure, put in place by the commercial backbone carriers in order to reduce costs and increase profits. I guess that made it commercially viable.

    As far as replacing it with something better, I believe the military is already using their own "private" internet. For public use, it's hard for me to imagine anything better than the original Arpanet design, which I describe above. The design of the current internet has been butchered to the point where it has become somewhat unstable and vulnerable. Some people bring up the need for better security, which is problematic since the internet was designed INTENTIONALLY without any security whatsoever. The designers wanted a complete open architecture. All the security measures that have been retrofitted to the current internet are kluges. Other than that, I believe getting back to the original design would be much better, but expensive.

    My preference would be to keep the current architecture running until quantum security becomes available and for a reasonable cost. Then, replace the whole internet.

    Krankor.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrotimer View Post
    If we do replace it can we keep a secret from some people.
    The replacement will be identical to the old one, with one exception: it will not support comments on articles, blogs, news items or videos.

    World saved.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog march View Post
    I wondered, a while back, if a sort of amateur internet could be made using CB radios.

    Why has it become unable to carry out that capacity? I would have though it still could...
    They did that a long time ago, I was involved with `packet radio' back in the 80's, and here in Oz at least (I assume its similar elsewhere) there are actually 2 channels assigned to data transmissions only on the uhf cb band

    http://www.wia.org.au/members/digital/packet/


    http://www.acma.gov.au/Citizen/TV-Ra...brs-fact-sheet
    Can I use my CB radio to transmit data?

    Yes. Data can only be transmitted on UHF channels:

    22 (476.950 MHz)
    23 (476.975 MHz)

    Transmission must comply with the restrictions imposed in the CBRS class licence. These channels are dedicated to data purposes and should not be used for voice communication.
    R.I.P. Bad Astronomy

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    To me, questions of cyber-security are a much greater threat to the Internet and the World Wide Web than EMPs and power grid failures. They are making all the benefits that NCN discussed in post 61 increasingly difficult.

    As an actual example of this, the multinational corporation I work for has been hit hard by the current randomware attack, to the point that we have no network, no e-mail, no electronic communications since Tuesday morning, and many individual computers and servers are now essentially plastic and metal bricks (my own work computer included). I suspect it will be well into next week before I even have a working computer of any sort. Think of the millions and millions of dollar/euros that this will cost one company in both repair costs and lost productivity.

    And I suspect these types of attacks will both continue and continue to get worse.

    They scare me a lot more than an EMP event.
    I sympathize. One of the last things that happened where I used to work was they outsourced every single IT person. I was an Honorary IT person who managed to avoid be slashed off at the knees. In any event, many of the IT people who lost their jobs came back as consultants, which was a good and bad thing. Lost of benefits vs. mad money. Some were not so lucky. Shortly there after, we got hit by some monster "virus" that seemed to know our infrastructure. I was without a computer/login for months. Frustrating because I was a QA person who tested computer software. I was "stuck" using my personal Linux machine for while. Ugh, it was 7" netbook which was less than optimal.

    Towards the end of my time there, people began lamenting the facts. A) some people weren't invited to come back a contractors, and B) some places didn't have laws about certain IT related activities. My guess was that some who got let go decided to come back through some sort of backdoor and clobber us. It was pretty clear whoever launched the virus on us could see what we were doing because it was incredibly adaptable to what we did to stop it. After a while, it even went after my Linux machine. I took that pretty personally.

    Thankfully, this happened in February and knew my last day was in June, which stretched in to July, because I opted to cover someone's marriage plans. I could see the end in sight so I was a little more patience than normal.
    Solfe, Dominus Maris Pavos.

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post

    I suspect it will be well into next week before I even have a working computer of any sort. And I suspect these types of attacks will both continue and continue to get worse.

    They scare me a lot more than an EMP event.
    I have always thought of computers as--not a replacement for the old ways of doing things--but as added value. Every company should be prepared to work in a 1950's setting at the drop of a hat. That may sound naive--but it wasn't long ago that folks still had the old clunk-chink
    http://smallbusiness.chron.com/use-c...ter-12907.html

  22. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    I have always thought of computers as--not a replacement for the old ways of doing things--but as added value. Every company should be prepared to work in a 1950's setting at the drop of a hat. That may sound naive--but it wasn't long ago that folks still had the old clunk-chink
    http://smallbusiness.chron.com/use-c...ter-12907.html
    One of my credit cards has no raised numbers on it and would not make an imprint. Another has small raised numbers but they are on the back and towards the bottom. I doubt it would work very well in an imprinter and even if it did the numbers would be backwards. It seems the card manufacturers have abandoned making imprinter-compatible cards.

  23. #83
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    I had such a situation just last night. I took my sister's kids out for Sal's Famous Pizza, but a storm had knocked out the pizzeria's computer and their card reader. So it was cash only. I had to go to the bank ATM. Well, turns out the storm wasn't over, and other complications ensued, and consequently long story short we had Burger King to eat.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  24. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    The Internet was created by what is now DARPA to serve as a national means of reliable computer communication in case of a global nuclear war. I submit that it seems to have already developed beyond the point where it can usefully carry out that capacity.

    Could a more secure system be put in place? And if so, what would be required?
    In the event of a nuclear war I suspect that the internet would be the first thing to go due to either EMP or just no longer even physically existing in those air-conditioned

    buildings, so probably was never going to be a reliable or even secure war-time communication method.

    So, yeah, I'd go along with needing to replace it even if it weren't for the rising costs of certain beloved internet offerings.

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