Home Messages Index
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index

Re: [Article] China Still Blocks Google.cn

__/ [Vasos-Peter] on Monday 06 February 2006 21:08 \__

>    [Albutt  Bore  claims  to  have  invented the  bimbo  nation  super
> bottleneck.  That's  the problem.  It  is based on  a Star-Trek-Commie
> anticommercial view of the world.  It is time to charge users by their
> usage,  at   each  gateway.   The   free-love,  free-money,  free-AIDS
> mentality  of the  canker  sore sandal  wearers  of the  1960s is  the
> problem! When the  Red Chinese downed a USA plane  near Taiwan in 2001
> they  retaliated in  part by  publishing  computer virus  kits on  the
> web. However, the Chinese government strictly censors and controls the
> internet going  into China. Why do  we not censor  the internet coming
> OUT  of China?  It didn't  seem to  bother anyone  when  the slightest
> information from  the Serbian side was  censored in the  1990s. In the
> summer of 2003  a wave of spam paralysed the internet  and we have not
> been able to use the internet in a normal way since then.]

Use a filter.

>    The  Internet  Is  Broken  By  David Talbot  [Cover  story  in  MIT
> Technology Review Dec 2005]
>    In his office  within the gleaming-stainless-steel and orange-brick
> jumble  of MIT's Stata  Center, Internet  elder statesman  and onetime
> chief protocol architect  David D. Clark prints out  an old PowerPoint
> talk. Dated  July 1992,  it ranges over  technical issues  like domain
> naming  and  scalability.  But  in  one slide,  Clark  points  to  the
> Internet's dark side: its lack of built-in security.
>    In  others, he  observes  that sometimes  the  worst disasters  are
> caused not by sudden events  but by slow, incremental processes -- and
> that  humans  are  good   at  ignoring  problems.  "Things  get  worse
> slowly. People adjust," Clark  noted in his presentation. "The problem
> is assigning the correct degree of fear to distant elephants."
>    Today, Clark believes the elephants  are upon us. Yes, the Internet
> has wrought wonders: e-commerce  has flourished, and e-mail has become
> a ubiquitous means of communication. Almost one billion people now use
> the Internet,  and critical industries like  banking increasingly rely
> on it.
>    At  the same  time, the  Internet's shortcomings  have  resulted in
> plunging  security   and  a  decreased  ability   to  accommodate  new
> technologies.  "We are at  an inflection  point, a  revolution point,"
> Clark now argues. And  he delivers a strikingly pessimistic assessment
> of where the  Internet will end up without  dramatic intervention. "We
> might just be at the point where the utility of the Internet stalls --
> and perhaps turns downward."

It already has, but matters seem to improve. There are still platform and
browser discriminations and cases where usability is forsaken in favour of
flash (or Flash).

>    Indeed, for the average user, the Internet these days all too often
> resembles New  York's Times Square in  the 1980s. It  was exciting and
> vibrant, but you made sure to keep your head down, lest you be offered
> drugs,  robbed, or  harangued by  the  insane. Times  Square has  been
> cleaned up, but  the Internet keeps getting worse,  both at the user's
> level,  and -- in  the view  of Clark  and others  -- deep  within its
> architecture.
>    Over the  years, as Internet applications  proliferated -- wireless
> devices, peer-to-peer file-sharing, telephony -- companies and network
> engineers  came up with  ingenious and  expedient patches,  plugs, and
> workarounds. The  result is that the  originally simple communications
> technology has become a complex  and convoluted affair. For all of the
> Internet's wonders,  it is also  difficult to manage and  more fragile
> with each passing day.

With improvement often comes complexity. The least one can do is embrace
standards, not break them or independently 'extend' them.

>    That's why  Clark argues that  it's time to rethink  the Internet's
> basic architecture, to  potentially start over with a  fresh design --
> and  equally important,  with  a plausible  strategy  for proving  the
> design's    viability,   so    that    it   stands    a   chance    of
> implementation. "It's not as if there is some killer technology at the
> protocol or  network level  that we somehow  failed to  include," says
> Clark. "We need  to take all the technologies we  already know and fit
> them together so  that we get a different overall  system. This is not
> about  building a  technology innovation  that changes  the  world but
> about architecture --  pulling the pieces together in  a different way
> to achieve high-level objectives."
>    Just such  an approach is now  gaining momentum, spurred  on by the
> National  Science Foundation.  NSF  managers are  working  to forge  a
> five-to-seven-year plan estimated to cost $200 million to $300 million
> in research funding to  develop clean-slate architectures that provide
> security, accommodate new technologies, and are easier to manage.

The knowledge is already there and proposals for better hypermedia systems
exist too. There are also several prototypes, but bringing them into broad
use is the real challenge. Live with and accept the flawed protocols and
continue plastering them, where possible. CSS, microsformats, and XML are
examples of 'fixes' or enhancements to the Web.

>    They also  hope to  develop an infrastructure  that can be  used to
> prove that the  new system is really better than  the current one. "If
> we succeed in  what we are trying to do, this  is bigger than anything
> we, as  a research community, have  done in computer  science so far,"
> says  Guru  Parulkar,  an   NSF  program  manager  involved  with  the
> effort.  "In  terms of  its  mission  and vision,  it  is  a very  big
> deal. But  now we are just at  the beginning. It has  the potential to
> change the game. It could take  it to the next level in realizing what
> the  Internet could  be  that has  not  been possible  because of  the
> challenges and problems."
>    The Internet's  original protocols, forged in the  late 1960s, were
> designed to do one thing very well: facilitate communication between a
> few hundred  academic and government users.  The protocols efficiently
> break  digital data  into simple  units  called packets  and send  the
> packets  to their destinations  through a  series of  network routers.
> Both  the routers  and PCs,  also  called nodes,  have unique  digital
> addresses known as Internet Protocol or IP addresses. That's basically
> it. The system assumed that all  users on the network could be trusted
> and  that the  computers  linked  by the  Internet  were mostly  fixed
> objects.

I fail to see how this addresses the issue of censorship in China. I'm
beginning to suspect it's a hit-and-run post, unless you can prove me wrong.

>    The Internet's  design was  indifferent to whether  the information
> packets added  up to  a malicious virus  or a  love letter; it  had no
> provisions for doing much besides getting the data to its destination.
> Nor did  it accommodate nodes  that moved --  such as PDAs  that could
> connect to the Internet at any  of myriad locations. Over the years, a
> slew of  patches arose:  firewalls, antivirus software,  spam filters,
> and the  like. One  patch assigns  each mobile node  a new  IP address
> every time it moves to a new point in the network.

Anti-virus issues are attributed to bad O/S and software design. Firewalls
and spam filters are intended to block 'junk' traffic, which you could never
truly avoid altogether. You could hinder it however.

>    Clearly,  security  patches  aren't  keeping  pace.  That's  partly
> because  different  people  use  different patches  and  not  everyone
> updates them  religiously; some people  don't have any  installed. And
> the most  common mobility  patch -- the  IP addresses  that constantly
> change as you move around  -- has downsides. When your mobile computer
> has  a  new identity  every  time it  connects  to  the Internet,  the
> websites you deal with regularly  won't know it's you. This means, for
> example, that  your favorite airline's Web  page might not  cough up a
> reservation  form with  your  name and  frequent-flyer number  already
> filled out. The constantly changing  address also means you can expect
> breaks in service  if you are using the Internet to,  say, listen to a
> streaming radio broadcast on your  PDA. It also means that someone who
> commits a crime  online using a mobile device will  be harder to track
> down.
>    In  the view  of many  experts in  the field,  there are  even more
> fundamental  reasons to  be  concerned. Patches  create  an ever  more
> complicated system, one that becomes harder to manage, understand, and
> improve upon.   "We've been on a  track for 30  years of incrementally
> making improvements to the Internet  and fixing problems that we see,"
> says Larry Peterson, a computer scientist at Princeton University. "We
> see vulnerability, we  try to patch it. That approach  is one that has
> worked for  30 years. But there  is reason to be  concerned. Without a
> long-term plan, if you are just patching the next problem you see, you
> end up with  an increasingly complex and brittle  system. It makes new
> services  difficult to  employ.  It  makes  it much  harder to  manage
> because of the added complexity of all these point solutions that have
> been added. At the same time, there is concern that we will hit a dead
> end  at some  point.  There  will  be problems  we can't  sufficiently
> patch."
>    It's worth  remembering that despite all  of its flaws,  all of its
> architectural kluginess  and insecurity and the  costs associated with
> patching  it, the  Internet still  gets the  job done.  Any  effort to
> implement  a better  version  faces enormous  practical problems:  all
> Internet service  providers would  have to agree  to change  all their
> routers and software,  and someone would have to  foot the bill, which
> will likely come to many  billions of dollars. But NSF isn't proposing
> to abandon the old network or  to forcibly impose something new on the
> world. Rather, it essentially wants  to build a better mousetrap, show
> that it's better, and allow a  changeover to take place in response to
> user demand.

And who exactly will be that Big Daddy to have the opportunity to change the
world? Will it be Google and their rumoured private network? Whatever is
proposed, people will turn their backs at it, which leads to fragmentation
of content. That is the last thing the world needs.

>    To  that  end, the  NSF  effort  envisions  the construction  of  a
> sprawling   infrastructure   that   could  cost   approximately   $300
> million. It would  include research labs across the  United States and
> perhaps link with research efforts abroad, where new architectures can
> be given a full workout.  With a high-speed optical backbone and smart
> routers, this test bed would  be far more elaborate and representative
> than the  smaller, more limited  test beds in  use today. The  idea is
> that new architectures would be battle tested with real-world Internet
> traffic.  "You hope  that provides enough value added  that people are
> slowly and  selectively willing  to switch, and  maybe it  gets enough
> traction  that  people  will  switch  over,"  Parulkar  says.  But  he
> acknowledges, "Ten  years from  now, how things  play out  is anyone's
> guess. It could be a parallel infrastructure that people could use for
> selective applications."
>    Still, skeptics  claim that  a smarter network  could be  even more
> complicated  and  thus  failure-prone  than  the  original  bare-bones
> Internet.  Conventional wisdom  holds that  the network  should remain
> dumb, but  that the smart devices  at its ends  should become smarter.
> "I'm not happy  with the current state of affairs.  I'm not happy with
> spam; I'm not happy with  the amount of vulnerability to various forms
> of attack," says  Vinton Cerf, one of the  inventors of the Internet's
> basic protocols, who  recently joined Google with a  job title created
> just for  him: chief  Internet evangelist. "I  do want  to distinguish
> that  the primary  vectors causing  a lot  of trouble  are penetrating
> holes in operating systems. It's more like the operating systems don't
> protect themselves very well. An argument could be made, 'Why does the
> network have to do that?'"


>    According to Cerf, the more you  ask the network to examine data --
> to authenticate a person's identity, say, or search for viruses -- the
> less efficiently  it will move the  data around. "It's  really hard to
> have  a network-level thing  do this  stuff, which  means you  have to
> assemble the  packets into something  bigger and thus violate  all the
> protocols,"  Cerf says. "That  takes a  heck of  a lot  of resources."
> Still,  Cerf  sees   value  in  the  new  NSF   initiative.  "If  Dave
> Clark...sees some notions and  ideas that would be dramatically better
> than what we  have, I think that's important  and healthy," Cerf says.
> "I sort of wonder about something, though. The collapse of the Net, or
> a major security  disaster, has been predicted for  a decade now." And
> of course  no such disaster has occurred  -- at least not  by the time
> this issue of Technology Review went to press.

The Net has not collapsed because of all that 'glue' people have spewed out,
whether it's challenge/response filters one employs or the many firewalls
that intend to prevent DDOS attacks. Referrer spam, copyrights infringement 
and content denial, censorship or mirroring are more issues, among many.

> - = -
>     Vasos-Peter John Panagiotopoulos II, Columbia'81+, Bio$trategist
> BachMozart ReaganQuayle EvrytanoKastorian
>        http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/vjp2/vasos.htm
>   ---{Nothing herein constitutes advice.  Everything fully disclaimed.}---
> [Urb sprawl confounds terror] [Remorse begets zeal] [Windows is for Bimbos]
>    [Homeland Security means private firearms not lazy obstructive guards]

Just a few comments: while the above is an intersting read, the page says
"(Uses  any  browser  - avoid stupid incompatibilities.)" and also
"(Problems? Increase font size and number of colors)". Even with fonts
resized, the text remains illegible.


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    Have you hugged your penguin today?
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  4:20am  up 20 days 23:36,  11 users,  load average: 0.46, 0.49, 0.55
      http://iuron.com - Open Source knowledge engine project

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index