Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Internet Outdated & Not for Video

That's right - and don't take it from me, take it from Larry Roberts - one of the founders of the internet in 1969, when he helped build ARPAnet. As he says in the Wall Street Journal:
"The internet wasn't designed for people to watch television...I know because I designed it."
He also states that "We can no longer rely on last-generation technology, which has essentially remained unchanged for 40 years, to power internet performance." The article is an interesting read, but the argument is essentially that the technology powering the internet is outdated, not that what we are doing online is outdated, or that video shouldn't be online (rather, not with the technology we're using now). The network is outdated.
I would argue that most of what we are doing online is dated as well - we are sooo far behind where we should be by now. I remember back in 1992, taking a class on Cyberspace, when everyone was sure that within a couple years we'd all be wearing virtual reality goggles going through cyberspace and interacting with media, information and each other in much more advanced ways than anyone is doing now. A recent issue of MIT's Technology Review (registration required) dreams about what happens when you combine Second Life with Google Earth - but I'm still waiting for that mashed up with CC Mixter, YouTube, Kaneva, Twitter, Slingbox and some robotics. And I'm pretty sure Mr. Roberts has thought more than I have about that, and can tell me the backbone still can't handle it.

1 comment:

Ray Privett said...

A few months ago at Google New York, I saw a lecture by Vint Cerf, one of the original architects of TCP/IP. He talked about how IPv4's capacity, which now is a problem, was almost arbitrary, though at that point it seemed expansive. He stressed, though, the importance of changing over to IPv6, which he described as one of the most important internet transitions ever, which will prepare us much better for the future (and serve us better in the present). He also blamed himself for IPv4's limitations but also pointed out that they couldn't have known how big this whole internet thing would get.