Dismiss Notice
You are browsing this site as a guest. It takes 2 minutes to CREATE AN ACCOUNT and less than 1 minute to LOGIN

Internet turns 40, barriers threaten its growth

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by RADIKALI, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. RADIKALI

    RADIKALI Member

    #1
    Sep 2, 2009
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Messages: 35
    Likes Received: 0
    Trophy Points: 0
    As Internet turns 40, barriers threaten its growth



    By ANICK JESDANUN - AP Technology Writer
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] E-Mail [​IMG] Print Comments (0)
    [​IMG] Recommend (0)

    Text Size: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    tool name

    close
    tool goes here


    NEW YORK -- Goofy videos weren't on the minds of Len Kleinrock and his team at UCLA when they began tests 40 years ago on what would become the Internet. Neither was social networking, for that matter, nor were most of the other easy-to-use applications that have drawn more than a billion people online.
    Instead the researchers sought to create an open network for freely exchanging information, an openness that ultimately spurred the innovation that would later spawn the likes of YouTube, Facebook and the World Wide Web.
    There's still plenty of room for innovation today, yet the openness fostering it may be eroding. While the Internet is more widely available and faster than ever, artificial barriers threaten to constrict its growth.

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    AP Photo - In this Aug. 25, 2009 photo, Internet pioneer Len Kleinrock poses for a portrait next to an Interface Message Processor. The Interface Message Processor was used to develop the Internet.


    CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOS

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    #mlt b{font-size: 15px;}#mlt { margin:0 10px 5px 0; float:left; font-size:11px; color:#262626; clear:left; width:309px; line-height:20px; padding:3px; border:1px solid #F0E5B4;}#mlt a {color:#262626;}#mlt a:hover {color:#262626;}#mlt h3, #nav h3 {color:#888; padding:0; margin:0;}#mlt_title { /* background: transparent url(http://media.thesunnews.com/static/images/headers2.gif) no-repeat scroll -10px 0; */ color:#262626; font-family:helvetica,arial,sans-serif; font-size:15px; font-weight:bold; text-transform:uppercase; height:26px; margin-left:-2px; margin-top:-2px; padding:8px 0 0 8px; width:305px;}#mlt_bullet {width:5px; float:left; margin-left: 5px;}#mlt_item {margin-left: 15px;}.story1 #story_body #assets_ad {clear:right;}Similar stories:
    •
    As Internet turns 40, barriers threaten its growth
    As Internet turns 40, barriers threaten its growth


    Goofy videos weren't on the minds of Len Kleinrock and his team at UCLA when they began tests 40 years ago on what would become the Internet. Neither was social networking, for that matter, nor were most of the other easy-to-use applications that have drawn more than a billion people online.
    Instead the researchers sought to create an open network for freely exchanging information, an openness that ultimately spurred the innovation that would later spawn the likes of YouTube, Facebook and the World Wide Web. There's still plenty of room for innovation today, yet the openness fostering it may be eroding. While the Internet is more widely available and faster than ever, artificial barriers threaten to constrict its growth.

    •
    Apple denies 'rejecting' Google Voice for iPhone
    Apple denies 'rejecting' Google Voice for iPhone


    Apple Inc. told federal regulators Friday that it blocked the Google Voice program from running on the iPhone because it alters important functions on the device - yet Apple denied that it has rejected Google's application outright.
    "Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it," Apple said in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC is looking into Apple's block on the Google Voice app as part of a bigger examination of the consumer implications of practices in the wireless industry. It sent questions to Apple, Google and Dallas-based AT&T Inc., the only wireless carrier to offer the iPhone in the U.S.

    •
    Key milestones in the development of Internet
    Key milestones in the development of Internet


    Key milestones in the development and growth of the Internet:
    1969: On Sept. 2, two computers at University of California, Los Angeles, exchange meaningless data in first test of Arpanet, an experimental military network. The first connection between two sites - UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Calif. - takes place on Oct. 29, though the network crashes after the first two letters of the word "logon." UC Santa Barbara and University of Utah later join. 1970: Arpanet gets first East Coast node, at Bolt, Beranek and Newman in Cambridge, Mass.

    •
    FCC inquiries could spawn new wireless regulations
    FCC inquiries could spawn new wireless regulations


    The Federal Communications Commission is taking a closer look at the practices of the wireless industry, potentially the first step toward more regulations intended to push down prices and increase choices for consumers.
    At its first meeting with all five commissioners seated since the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the FCC voted unanimously Thursday to open an inquiry into the state of competition in the wireless industry. The FCC also wants to explore factors that encourage innovation and investment in wireless. The FCC inquiries are information-gathering exercises and it is too soon to know where they will lead. But the agency faces mounting pressure from public interest groups and Congress to investigate common business practices in a market dominated by four national carriers, including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless.

    •
    Apple seals deal to bring iPhones coming to China
    Apple seals deal to bring iPhones coming to China


    Apple Inc. will get to sell the iPhone in the world's biggest cell phone market now that it has reached a deal with a Chinese wireless carrier, China Unicom Ltd.
    Under a multiyear deal announced Friday, the iPhone is expected to go on sale in the fourth quarter, China Unicom executives said in Hong Kong. They declined to give financial details or reveal how much the iPhone would cost, saying only that the price would be "competitive." Unicom, one of three major state-owned carriers, would be the first Chinese phone company to formally support the iPhone, though unlocked iPhones brought in from other markets are in wide use in China.



    Call it a mid-life crisis.
    A variety of factors are to blame. Spam and hacking attacks force network operators to erect security firewalls. Authoritarian regimes block access to many sites and services within their borders. And commercial considerations spur policies that can thwart rivals, particularly on mobile devices like the iPhone.
    "There is more freedom for the typical Internet user to play, to communicate, to shop - more opportunities than ever before," said Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor and co-founder of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. "On the worrisome side, there are some longer-term trends that are making it much more possible (for information) to be controlled."
    Few were paying attention back on Sept. 2, 1969, when about 20 people gathered in Kleinrock's lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, to watch as two bulky computers passed meaningless test data through a 15-foot gray cable.
    That was the beginning of the fledgling Arpanet network. Stanford Research Institute joined a month later, and UC Santa Barbara and the University of Utah did by year's end.
    The 1970s brought e-mail and the TCP/IP communications protocols, which allowed multiple networks to connect - and formed the Internet. The '80s gave birth to an addressing system with suffixes like ".com" and ".org" in widespread use today.
    The Internet didn't become a household word until the '90s, though, after a British physicist, Tim Berners-Lee, invented the Web, a subset of the Internet that makes it easier to link resources across disparate locations. Meanwhile, service providers like America Online connected millions of people for the first time.
    That early obscurity helped the Internet blossom, free from regulatory and commercial constraints that might discourage or even prohibit experimentation.
    "For most of the Internet's history, no one had heard of it," Zittrain said. "That gave it time to prove itself functionally and to kind of take root."
    Even the U.S. government, which funded much of the Internet's early development as a military project, largely left it alone, allowing its engineers to promote their ideal of an open network.
    When Berners-Lee, working at a European physics lab, invented the Web in 1990, he could release it to the world without having to seek permission or contend with security firewalls that today treat unknown types of Internet traffic as suspect.
    Even the free flow of pornography led to innovations in Internet credit card payments, online video and other technologies used in the mainstream today.
    "Allow that open access, and a thousand flowers bloom," said Kleinrock, a UCLA professor since 1963. "One thing about the Internet you can predict is you will be surprised by applications you did not expect."
    That idealism is eroding.
    An ongoing dispute between Google Inc. and Apple Inc. underscores one such barrier.
    Like some other mobile devices that connect to the Internet, the iPhone restricts the software that can run on it. Only applications Apple has vetted are allowed.
    Apple recently blocked the Google Voice communications application, saying it overrides the iPhone's built-in interface. Skeptics, however, suggest the move thwarts Google's potentially competing phone services.
    On desktop computers, some Internet access providers have erected barriers to curb bandwidth-gobbling file-sharing services used by their subscribers. Comcast Corp. got rebuked by Federal Communications Commission last year for blocking or delaying some forms of file-sharing; Comcast ultimately agreed to stop that.
    The episode galvanized calls for the government to require "net neutrality," which essentially means that a service provider could not favor certain forms of data traffic over others. But that wouldn't be a new rule as much as a return to the principles that drove the network Kleinrock and his colleagues began building 40 years ago.
    Even if service providers don't actively interfere with traffic, they can discourage consumers' unfettered use of the Internet with caps on monthly data usage. Some access providers are testing drastically lower limits that could mean extra charges for watching just a few DVD-quality movies online.
    "You are less likely to try things out," said Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist and one of the Internet's founding fathers. "No one wants a surprise bill at the end of the month."
    Dave Farber, a former chief technologist at the Federal Communications Commission, said systems are far more powerful when software developers and consumers alike can simply try things out.
    Farber has unlocked an older iPhone using a warrantee-voiding technique known as jail-breaking, allowing the phone to run software that Apple hasn't approved. By doing that, he could watch video before Apple supported it in the most recent version of the iPhone, and he changed the screen display when the phone is idle to give him a summary of appointments and e-mails.
    While Apple insists its reviews are necessary to protect children and consumer privacy and to avoid degrading phone performance, other phone developers are trying to preserve the type of openness found on desktop computers. Google's Android system, for instance, allows anyone to write and distribute software without permission.
    Yet even on the desktop, other barriers get in the way.
    Steve Crocker, an Internet pioneer who now heads the startup Shinkuro Inc., said his company has had a tough time building technology that helps people in different companies collaborate because of security firewalls that are ubiquitous on the Internet. Simply put, firewalls are designed to block incoming connections, making direct interactions between users challenging, if not impossible.
    No one's suggesting the removal of all barriers, of course. Security firewalls and spam filters became crucial as the Internet grew and attracted malicious behavior, much as traffic lights eventually had to be erected as cars flooded the roads. Removing those barriers could create larger problems.
    And many barriers throughout history eventually fell away - often under pressure. Early on, AOL was notorious for discouraging users from venturing from its gated community onto the broader Web. The company gradually opened the doors as its subscribers complained or fled. Today, the company is rebuilding its business around that open Internet.
    What the Internet's leading engineers are trying to avoid are barriers that are so burdensome that they squash emerging ideas before they can take hold.
    Already, there is evidence of controls at workplaces and service providers slowing the uptake of file-sharing and collaboration tools. Video could be next if consumers shun higher-quality and longer clips for fear of incurring extra bandwidth fees. Likewise, startups may never get a chance to reach users if mobile gatekeepers won't allow them.
    If such barriers keep innovations from the hands of consumers, we may never know what else we may be missing along the way.
     
Loading...