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The Internet

Vint Cerf: 'The Internet Is For Everyone' 163

Joel Rowbottom writes "Vint Cerf has written a damn fine RFC (3271), entitled 'The Internet Is For Everyone'. It's a good, well-balanced document which details the 'Internet Society's ideology' about the growth of the 'Net, where we can go now, and where we might be in some years' time. Worth a read."
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Vint Cerf: 'The Internet Is For Everyone'

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  • hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:25AM (#3420924) Homepage Journal
    Apparently he's forgotten that if you don't have a _computer_ you can't claim your pie of the internet.

    Of course, we all do, so let's ignore the problem.
    Tea anyone?
  • Hmm. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zigg ( 64962 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:31AM (#3420948)

    Noble sentiment, but Mr. Cerf is misguided if he thinks "the Internet for everyone" is going to be accomplished through unquestioning support of the ICANN cabal and the establishment of universal laws to "protect" intellectual property. Both of these seem to be to be a way to destroy, rather than build, the Internet.

    Now, if we could replace ICANN with something a good bit more democratic, and put in some globally recognized laws to protect us from IP law's reach, then maybe we'll get somewhere.

  • by Florian Weimer ( 88405 ) <> on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:42AM (#3420981) Homepage
    Vint Cerf seems to view users mainly as consumers. He doesn't even mention the danger of proprietary protocols, trade secrets and patents, and the domination of big media conglomerates, which has already started to divide the Internet in the content-producing Rich and the content-consuming Poor.

    It's unfortunate that the days of the beginning Internet mass media, on which everyone could publish more or less equally, rapidly become history, and nobody seems to regret it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:42AM (#3420982)
    Simple, we use IPv6.

    On a related note, the percentage of IPv4-adresses assigned to American (US) organisations, businesses, people is unproportionally high.

    That 's why the European Union is trying to push Cisco et al to implement IPv6 faster then originally planned.

    [Off-topic: I don't know what happened to IPv5. Maybe they follow kernel-numbering guidelines: odd numbers are for experimental use, even numbers for stable standards.]
  • by paulie walnuts ( 572545 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @12:00PM (#3421021)
    "Similarly: The Internet is becoming the repository of all we have accomplished as a society. ... But no mention on having to work through the garbage." True, but is this any different than libraries. No one ever said that ALL the information contained within the walls of a library is good and useful. It is however a place to find info, if you're willing to do the legwork to find it. Ultimately it is always up to us as individuals to filter out the good signal from the noise of input we receive from all directions.
  • Re:1000 million? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Oswald ( 235719 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @12:12PM (#3421047)
    Don't feel bad about not knowing that "billion" meant different things to different people. This is the first I've heard of it. Judging by the comments you've received, it seems pretty clear that it's news to some people on the other side of the pond, too, since about half the responders seem to think you're simply too ignorant to know the meaning of the word. That makes them as parochial as you and me...and less observant, since the guy who wrote the RFC clearly uses "billion" to mean 1000 million several times in reference to population (unless the British actually think the number of people in the world is 11,000,000,000,000).
  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @12:14PM (#3421051) Journal

    Things always go this way - the people built stuffs, useful stuffs, and then the wealthy and powerful will come and take it away.

    Internet is just the latest "useful stuff" about to be taken away from us.

    Who's the "wealthy and powerful" in this case ?

    Ask Hollywood.

    Ask Disney's Eisner.

    And ask that "Mickey Mouse Senator".

    With all the existing and upcoming draconian laws, the Net will be taken away from us.

    Not just copyright. Not just royalties.

    The Net is what they are after.

    We, the Netizens, are "out of control", so they are here to "provide law and order".
  • Re:SpringTime (Score:2, Insightful)

    by minusthink ( 218231 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @12:17PM (#3421060)
    whoa, there's an outside now?
  • by Florian Weimer ( 88405 ) <> on Saturday April 27, 2002 @12:32PM (#3421098) Homepage
    This isn't self-defense, but self-delusion. Slashdot and Sourceforge have already become part of the corporate Internet. In fact, Slashdot is a fine example for the content-dividing effect of the Internet: The Internet is now so large that you cannot pay the bandwidth for a successful site.

    If you'd chosen Usenet or some of the IRC networks as examples, I would have agreed. Centrally administered services can hardly keep the spirit of the earlier days, but truely distributed services can do, if they supported by many companies and individuals, not only by providing content, but also by offering infrastructure.
  • by JordanH ( 75307 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @12:49PM (#3421158) Homepage Journal
    The Internet is for everyone. Anyone who has a display device or printer that can bring up RFCs.

    I'm always struck by how much value there is in simple language presented simply. No flash, no java, no PDFs, no PS, no markup, no bold, no underlines, just straight text. Would this, or any other, RFC be any better presented in HTML? I know there are HTML rendering of the RFCs, but are they really any better.

    Whenever I go into a business that really uses their computers for customer service, I note how simple the user interfaces usually are. Most POS,Airlines,Car Dealerships and COMPUTER STORES are still green screens with text. Some are GUI, but have they proved to be any better?

    Look, hypertext is great, having multiple applications on the screen (simple GUIs) is great, beyond that has all of our complex presentation really bought us much except narrow the audience of who can receive the information or applications?

    The Internet is for Everyone, unless the technologists insist on making it only for a few.

  • by reemul ( 1554 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @01:06PM (#3421193)
    "On a related note, the percentage of IPv4-adresses assigned to American (US) organisations, businesses, people is unproportionally high"

    Umm, maybe because the internet was *invented* here, and the early adopters got large netblocks assigned? Lets not go all tinfoil-hat wearing conspiracy theorist over this, ok? It's not because the US is just mean to you poor downtrodden Europeans, we just had a head start and given the projected usage - that we now know was far below what actually happened - the allocation system wasn't too terribly efficient, because no-one thought it needed to be. As late as the 1996, setting up a business ISDN account with a mid-size local ISP got us a full 254 addresses assigned, even though we only really needed one of them and had just 5 employees. Now, if I still had those addresses, I could probably make more renting them out than the company paid me in salary. Who knew?
  • by Bookwyrm ( 3535 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @01:33PM (#3421264)
    Distributed services tend to take a hit in efficiency in terms of cost/resources than centralized services, though the service may be better -- centralized services tend to be able to take advantage of efficiencies of scale and mass production. Unless you can convince every one that it is worth paying more for the best and not just 'good enough' for them, centralized services will be out there if not the norm. The better solution is to find ways to allow for both centralized, decentralized, and hybrid systems to coexist politely. (i.e. both Wal-Mart and the mom-and-pop store.)

    I am incredibly tired of hearing people constantly spout off how everything would be so much better if service ABC was distributed. It is such a consistant refrain of:

    We should replace the centralized
    service-name with a distributed model, so that everyone can do their own service-name for themselves. By developing the right technologies to make service-tools available for everyone, we can all benefit. If everyone had access to service-tools and could do their own service-name, then innovation can flourish as everyone becomes part-time service-person and might develop new and exciting uses in service-name.

    If you stand in front of a bunch of (service-person = ) programmers, and say replace service-name with 'network services' and service-tools with 'computers', then everyone cheers. However, if do substitutions like service-name = "grocery stores/food distribution and production", service-people = "farmers", and service-tools = "farming tools and overalls", people start hemming and hawing -- unless, perhaps, you proposed that in front of a bunch of farmers. Or "sewage services", "sanitation engineers", and "septic tanks." -- unless when proposed in front of bunch of sanitation engineers.

    Chaos/freedom yields innovation, but order/discipline yields production. Between the two is a varying place where the efficiency of the resources consumed verses the quality/quantity of what is produced is maximized. People may want the best in everything, but they cannot afford it -- people will pay for the best priced "good enough" -- this does not necesarily drive an improvement in quality, only efficiency. There's a reason why people don't grow their own food, manage their own waste, generate their own electricity, perform their own appendectomies, purify their own water, build their own homes, mine their own ores to hand-forge the nails they need to hammer together the boards they cut from the trees they felled to build their own home, etc. Doing it all yourself might, eventually with practice, yield far superior and customized services/products (from your own point of view), but it requires more effort.

    Some people choose to put forth that effort, but equally important is to able to choose not to and buy services from some one else so that a person might focus their energies on their endeavor of choice and excell within that field, not spreading their energies around just to survive.

    It is a good thing that if a person wanted to, they could grow their own food, make their own clothing, do everything for themselves -- they may come up with something interesting, after all, and they should be free to. It is also a good thing that if a person wants to buy services from other entities, even (gasp) from a centralized service so that the person may focus on their chosen endeavor -- one rather suspects Stephen Hawking would be hard pressed to grow his own food (without the purchase of considerable automation, at least.) People need to have the opportunity to choose what they want to buy and what they want to do themselves.

    It's a bit of a rant, perhaps, but I just disgustedly tired by those who froth at the mouth about how centralized services are bad... while drinking coffee at Starbucks. When they are wearing/using products made in sweatshops in foreign countries while spouting off how "everyone should do their own network services for themselves because centralized service models suck", it's just adding insult to hypocrisy.

    Centralized services are not inherently bad, nor distributed services inherently good. They are just models -- only when you map the model to an actual system or process and establish criteria for measuring performance can you then make a judgement on bad verses good. What is good is being allowed to make that decision for one's self and choose the model one wants to use -- no system should be entirely one or the other.

    (And as far as not being able to pay for the bandwidth to run a successful site, that's why the Internet needs to go to a pay-to-play model where the people browsing should pay for the bandwith. Then no site is 'penalized' for success.)
  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @02:22PM (#3421427) Homepage
    The Internet is not the Internet without end-to-end transparency and addressability. Any randomly selected node must be able to send and receive packets with another randomly selected node.

    Anything that prevents this, NAT, DHCP with static DNS, "transparent" proxies, draconian firewalls or usage policies, is bad. Unfortunately, many Internet users are second-class citizens, limited by technology or corporate policy to the status of "information consumers".

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @02:26PM (#3421443) Homepage
    I weas just going to point out, in relation the signal to noise ratio, that your post right here could easily be considered part of the noise. Slashdot is full of people like myself who like to talk, and so we all do, with only the modding system to keep some of us sane or doing work.

    Of course there's a problem of shifting through the garbage that bombards your senses. I deal with that problem every time I go to a library, or step outside in a city, or turn on the television set. In some ways, I find that the 'net is better at allowing me to filter out the crap than paper-based information sources. And I'm not just talking about google's ability to thwart pages' attempts to up their ratings, but also that if you truly want you can only visit a few websites and not deal with anything else.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.