Skip to comments.What if the Internet breaks?
Posted on 12/11/2009 12:55:09 PM PST by FromLori
The 40-year-old system might be vulnerable to technical collapse or cyberattack, which could cause widespread chaos in fields from banking to health care to government.
When your Internet service goes down it's at best an inconvenience. If you rely on it for business, it can quickly cost you money.
The fight over 'net neutrality' So imagine: What happens if the Internet breaks? Picture people wandering the streets lost without GPS or maps on their iPhones, unable to pay for food or other goods with a simple swipe of a card.
Companies would have to resort to faxes and phone calls instead of e-mail; they'd quickly reach capacity and be unable to function. Credit cards wouldn't work; stores and hospitals would run short of supplies. Even electrical power to our homes could be disrupted. "It would be a mess," said Dave Marcus, the director of security research for McAfee (MFE, news, msgs). "You would be taking businesses that were designed to do all their point-of-sale and financial transactions through the Internet and going back to pen and paper and taking checks in a car to the bank. People would lose their minds."
On the 40th anniversary of the first transmission over the earliest version of the Internet, it's more than an idle question to examine the network's fragility. It's been more than 20 years since the last systemwide overhaul, and Internet infrastructure is still based on 1970s ideas about computer networks. Headline-making outages of popular Web sites such as YouTube and Twitter merely hint at the damage a full-blown failure could wreak. The Internet protocols that allow computers to communicate in networks have infiltrated every sector of our economy.
"The Internet has moved from being a toy or orn
(Excerpt) Read more at articles.moneycentral.msn.com ...
Al Gore will fix it. After all, he invented the internet.
What does GPS have to do with the Internet?
A better question is: What happens when the White House takes control of the internet?
Picture people wandering the streets lost without GPS or maps on their iPhones...Now that's serious... :-)
Henry Blodget - Dec. 5, 2009, 8:32 PM
Jenna Wortham explains the power of Apple's mobile app platform in a long article in the NYT.
Apple has the opportunity to do in mobile what Microsoft did on the desktop: Own the standard platform upon which every popular application is based. The irony of this cannot be lost on Microsoft, which has flubbed its own opportunity to do the same.
Google's Android could mount a strong charge here because it's hardware agnostic (the same way Microsoft Windows is, ironically). But otherwise it's Apple's game to lose.
IAN LYNCH SMITH, a shaggy-haired ball of energy in his late 30s, beams as he ticks off some of the games that Freeverse, his little Brooklyn software company, has landed on the iPhone App Stores coveted (and ever-changing) list of best-selling downloads: Moto Chaser, Flick Fishing, Flick Bowling and Skee-ball.
Skee-ball, Mr. Smith says, took about two months to develop and deploy and then raked in $181,000 for Freeverse in one month. The companys latest bid for App Store fame? A game featuring a Jane Austen character in a lacy dress who karate-chops her way through hordes of advancing zombies.
Theres never been anything like this experience for mobile software, Mr. Smith says of the App Store boom. This is the future of digital distribution for everything: software, games, entertainment, all kinds of content.
I wish the librarian wouldn't suggest that you go home when you fall asleep in the lounge.
Expect cost to consumers to rise and service deteriorate.
Those with AT&T phone service probably know what I mean.
To Ms. Lewis:
Really? You penned this as a serious piece? Really?
How old are you...10?
If you’re using an iPhone (or other ‘net-dependent device) as your GPS, all your location/mapping/satellite info & pictures comes from the Internet; shut off the ‘net connection and all your iPhone can do is tell you latitude/longitude.
I reckon we’ll go back to libraries and Playboys.
“I broke the internet”....call from a clueless user
It would be a blessing in disguise.
(though I’d miss FR)
I remember using something called a “Map”.
The key phrase here is "on their iPhones". The Google Maps application downloads maps and images in real time, using the phones data connection to the 'Net.
Thats what I was implying in my comment below the article. He wants a new electrical grid and a new internet.
Propaganda leaked by our government
GE Smart Grid
It is a series of tubes, I will pour liquid plumbr in my computer....
DARPA designed it to be robust and route around damage. You might be able to take a subset of users off the 'Net, or take a set of co-located servers off the 'Net. But, it's far too decentralized to take the entire 'Net down.
Localized parts of the 'Net are more vulnerable to a clueless backhoe driver than to a "cyber attack".
At least we’ll know who to blame.
The author does not understand how the Internet works, therefore she does not understand what "breaks" means. The Internet was designed to survive multiple nuclear attacks, distributing control and routing data around failures. It's not something that "goes out" like an electrical blackout. There is nothing to "break".
Two scenarios come close to what she's getting at:
- Local outage. If a dominant last-mile ISP suffers a catastrophic event, a whole lotta customers in a small area may lose 'net service. Those outside the area are not affected.
- Backbone overload. While the Internet was designed to assure transfer of data from A to B, it was not designed to handle such heavy loads as we have today (streaming video, gazillions of users); shutting down one of the major conduits would slow performance enough to cause problems. This is akin to a total shutdown of a major freeway thru a city.
These are, however, not the complete "break" she thinks could happen.
What was he trying to say?? lol
The point I was trying to make is obama wants a new electrical grid and internet 2 so I see this piece as propaganda.
Wow, 40 years old! Getting pretty long in the tooth! And creaky in the joints! It's a wonder it doesn't simply collapse due to old age!
Yeah, she writes the piece as if there is some central computer that runs the entire net. The millions of servers out there would still function.
The only way to control the 'net is to shut down communications. That's becoming increasingly harder because of all the different types of communication.
Oops, switched to VOIP for those. Looks like I'll have to set a fire and use smoke signals.
Just imagine the mail if all of the automatic bill payments suddenly need a stamp instead.
Just imagine when we get the bill for the new internet.
Thats why regular maintenance is so important. You have to change out the belts and pulleys from time to time, and bring it in for lubrication on regular intervals.
And for overall health of the system, I suggest adding a little STP to the air intake quarterly.
Duct tape it!
LOLOL, and what does your library use? Carrier pigeons??
And what is going to happen when Overlord Gore finally dies? Has anyone thought of what we are going to do then? Has he explained how it works to anyone else? We are doomed, I say. Doomed.
I know several people who considering getting rid of their ISPs and instead visiting the library a couple times a week for online access, and to check emails at their gmail accounts.
Meaning what? Paid for how?
The existing "grids" were installed at gargantuan cost far beyond what any mere community organizer can comprehend. They cannot be just ripped out and replaced wholesale by nanny-state busybodies. The cost of single-project replacement far exceeds any benefits; upgrades can only be achieved by capitalistic motivation. 'tis sheer arrogance to think they can be replaced by decree and funded by taxes.
That's what the 'Net is: communications. Everything else is either a client or a server.
Yes, there are different physical layers: cell phone, Wi-Fi, twisted pair, coax, fiber, etc. But, my point is that the 'Net is a mesh. If you take out part of the mesh, you might isolate the systems connected to that part of the mesh (if they have no alternate route).
Everything else will just route around the break. It might be slower because overall capacity has been reduced, but it doesn't isolate them.
We have approx. 25 stations at our library and this is just a little Town library. On weekends...every station is usually taken.
I think Gore has a contract in place with Disney Animatronics.
He will never die. He will at some point be merged with the backbone to eliminate bandwidth issues, though.
You forgot one other key component:
Duct Tape, BUBBLE GUM, and Bailing wire......
See "The Machine Stops."
I probably jumped too quick with my reply but my first thought was of the WHOLE internet going down, lol.
I have a Freeper friend, here on the forum, who frequently uses her library. They allot her one hour and she said she is surrounded by children, who are not as quiet as they should be.
It certainly wouldn’t be great for Freeping. I know the cost of cable is high for many now.
That's the way it's SUPPOSED to work.
But it's far cheaper to have NO redundancy or only pseudo-redundancy (redundant circuits in the same conduit, for example) and there are plenty of places on the 'net where that is the case.
I just wrote to another about the library alloting one hour a day - if you are even able to ‘get’ one of their computers.
Your earlier comment made me giggle because I was thinking in terms of the whole internet being down, not just your provider, lol.
I realize that large parts of the 'Net could be slowed down with targeted attacks, but complete outages are restricted to small areas. The exception is an ISP with poor geographical diversity.
A number of years ago, my company was bumped off the 'Net by a flood in a basement several hundred miles away. The ISP didn't have redundant connections to our area, with enough routing diversity to prevent that kind of vulnerability. We dumped them in short order.