Be on the wave or under it
The News 02/04/02
The Next Internet?
The Internet started out life as a way for major universities
and government research centers to communicate and collaborate.
Imagine the mixed feelings with which researchers viewed the tremendous
explosion of the Internet
since it was commercialized, after 25 years of relatively slow
growth, in 1994.
On the one hand, there is now more information available on the
Internet than anyone thought possible back when the first four
Internet nodes went live (UCLA, Stanford Research Institute (SRI),
University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), University of Utah).
On the other hand, the commercial Internet is so busy and growing
so rapidly, it's hard for researchers to get the bandwidth they
need for really large projects.
Today's Internet doesn't:
- Provide reliable end-to-end performance
- Encourage cooperation on new capabilities
- Allow testing of new technologies
- Support development of revolutionary applications
The Internet was not designed for the congestion caused by millions
of users. It wasn't designed for multimedia or even for real time
interaction. Yet these are the characteristics of today's Internet.
Faced with these limitations to innovation, Internet2 was formed
in 1996 as a consortium led by universities working in partnership
with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network
applications and technologies.
The consortium's mission is to develop and deploy advanced network
applications and technologies, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's
Internet. Each university pays $500,000 to $1 million or more
a year to gain access to Internet2 and upgrade its campus network.
At a recent seminar sponsored by the University of Minnesota
Management Information Systems
Research Center, Myron Lowe of the University of Minnesota's
Office of Information Technology described the Internet2 effort
and some of the applications being developed using it. According
to Lowe, there are now 187 member universities, 70 member corporations,
and 28 GigaPoPs (high speed access points) on Internet2. The backbone
network, dubbed Abilene, is a 2.5Gbps backbone covering more than
10,000 miles coast to coast.
One of the important uses of Internet2 is videoconferencing,
with several major telepresence initiatives taking advantage of
the new network's bandwidth. One such effort is the Access
Grid, which has 81 nodes. The Access Grid supports large-scale
distributed meetings, collaborative work sessions, seminars, lectures,
tutorials and training and focuses on group-to-group communication
rather than individual communication.
Another effort is the Virtual
Rooms Videoconferencing System (VRVS), a project of CalTech
and the CERN Lab in Switzerland (which gave us the World Wide
Web). VRVS provides a worldwide videoconferencing service and
collaborative environment to the research and education communities
over Internet2. The system includes more than 6,150 registered
hosts in more than 50 different countries and hosts an average
of 190 multipoint videoconference and collaborative sessions worldwide
A related Internet2 application is tele-immersion, being developed
Tele-immersion Initiative (NTII). This effort, led by VR pioneer
Jaron Lanier, aims to enable users at geographically distributed
sites to collaborate in real time in a shared, simulated environment
as if they were in the same physical room.
Rather than transmitting live images of participants, the technology
creates a new environment for participants to interact in. In
a tele-immersive environment computers recognize the presence
and movements of individuals and objects, track those individuals
and images, and then project them in realistic, immersive environments.
This allows participants to interact with nonexistent objects,
like simulations or models.
Other applications include tele-operation of an electron microscope,
real-time 3D brain mapping, interactive courseware by North Dakota
State's WWW Instructional
Committee, and the Visible Human, a three-dimensional, computer-generated
cybernetic body, that can be viewed from any angle, dissected
and reassembled by anatomy students, or used as a model to study
the growth of cancer cells. Astronomers can also control the famous
telescopes on the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii from their desktops.
in store for the Internet2? First of all, more bandwidth. Lowe
said the Abilene backbone will be upgraded to 10 gigabits/second
and employ new multiple wavelength capabilities by next year.
Also in store is competition. European researchers were recently
given access to GÉANT,
a gigabit research network serving more than 3,000 European academic
and research institutions that will eventually operate in 32 countries.
But will the masses ever be let on to Internet2, inevitably forcing
the researchers to build Internet3? Not necessarily. The Internet2
is based on the same high speed fiberoptic circuits available
to anybody. It's the technology that runs it that's important.
Thus, it's likely that, rather than giving Internet users physical
access to Internet2, the consortium will migrate the new technologies
developed on Internet2 onto the existing Internet. Among these
technologies is Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which will
be the subject of a future SNS.
For now, Lowe said, one of the true pleasures of Internet2 is
no pop-up ads. I doubt that researchers would ever give that up.
York Times (registration required)
- Shameless Self-Promotion Dept.: StratVantage
has launched a new service, CTOMentor, designed to allow Chief
Technology Officers and other technical leaders to get rid of
the Guilt Stack, that pile of magazines youll get around to
CTOMentor is a subscription advisory service tailored to customers
industry and personal information needs. Four times a year CTOMentor
provides a four-hour briefing for subscribers and their staffs
on the most important emerging technology trends that could
affect their businesses. As part of the service, subscribers
also get a weekly email newsletter, Just the Right Stuff,
containing links to the Top 10 Must Read articles needed to
stay current. These and other CTOMentor services will let you
Burn Your Inbox.
As part of its launch, CTOMentor is offering a two-part white
paper on peer-to-peer technology: Peer-to-Peer Computing
and Business Networks: More Than Meets the Ear. Part 1,
What is P2P?, is available for free on the CTOMentor
Part 2, How Are Businesses Using P2P?, is available for $50.
- SSPs Bite the Dust: IDC recently published
an analysis of the Storage Service Provider marketplace, which
has had a rash of company failures. Does this mean the "storage
on demand" idea of locating your storage on someone else's
machines on the other end of a network wasn't viable? As a standalone
business model, it may not be. But IDC states that "the
original SSP model now is being adopted by the likes of IBM
Global Services, EDS, BellSouth, Qwest, AT&T, and other
outsourcing and telecommunications firms."
By combining SSP services with a larger package of services
such as Web hosting and telephone services, these firms stand
a good chance of wringing some profit out of the concept, according
to IDC. IDC has historically been quite bullish on the SSP idea,
but is now revising their original February 2001 SSP forecast
downward from $10 billion worldwide through 2005. Nonetheless,
IDC projects nearly 50% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for
2001 through 2006 for the total managed storage services market,
which includes storage managed on a customer's own site.
The company doesn't say why we should believe this estimate,
when the one from a year ago was so inaccurate.
- European 3G Operator Relief: Much has
been made of the lead European countries enjoy in the penetration
and use of wireless technology. But European wireless operators
have faced a crisis of their own making. When various European
governments held auctions for wireless bandwidth for development
of 3G (Third Generation) wireless services, wireless operators
bid the prices into the stratosphere. This saddled many operators
with billions of euros of debt or investment, and as a result
has hampered their ability to actually develop 3G services (which
include high speed data access, location-based services, and
eventually, wireless video). To date, only one small trial 3G
network, on the UK's Isle of Man, has gone operational,
serving only 200 devices.
So the second-most advanced wireless region (after Japan)
is virtually dead in the water. Recently, European regulators
have eased license fees and taxes to try to get the industry
moving again. France has drastically reduced the license fees
and changed future payments to a performance-based royalty
scheme. Spain has cut their radio spectrum tax, and the Italian
government is considering extending the country's five 3G
licenses from 15 to 20 years.
Japanese wireless innovator,DoCoMo, is experiencing its
own problems. The company's sales target is 150,000 3G users
by March, but it only sold 11,000 3G handsets in October,
when its 3G service, FOMA, went live with regional coverage.
DoCoMo launched a popular trial video service, imotion, in
November that will run through March. But just a week into
the trial, the company had to recall 1,500 NEC N2002 handsets
due to a software problem. The glitch destroyed users' e-mails,
content based on Java, call records and some of the handset's
The imotion service offers three types of multimedia files
for download: full-motion videos, such as sports clips and
trailers; slide shows of still pictures; and pure audio. DoCoMo
has signed 28 content providers including Sony Music and Fuji
TV. However, the FOMA revenue hasn't met expectations as customers
are still using their old cell phones to make voice calls
less expensively. DoCoMo has also launched a Location-Based
Service (LBS) called DLP, and has moved to license its technology
in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Third Generation Bulletin, December 2001, volume 3, issue
New Top Level Domains Go Live: Four
of the seven new gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) have gone
live since September. Here's a table of the "Go live
dates" for the new global domains:
September 23, 2001
November 7, 2001
January 15, 2002
January 30, 2002
Demonstration: November 14, 2001
Full Operations: mid-July, 2002
(Stage 1 registration March-Apr 2002)
ICANN agreement not yet complete
Both .info and .name registrars claim they had 500,000 names
registered about one month after going live. Hardly a land
Office XP Hates ZoneAlarm: Alert SNS
Reader Jeff Ellsworth sends along this complaint: Why would
Microsoft release an Office XP Service Pack with a known conflict
with a popular personal firewall? I don't have an answer for
him, and neither do Microsoft or ZoneLabs, maker of the ZoneAlarm
firewall. Seems that if you don't totally uninstall ZoneAlarm
before applying the Office XP Service Pack, you won't be able
to access the Internet afterwards.
Microsoft points users to ZoneLabs, and ZoneLabs, well, they're
kind of silent on the issue. Jeff tried their tech support,
which, for free users, only accepts emails and says they'll
get back to you within five days. He tried upgrading to ZoneAlarm
Pro, which gets you an answer in one to two days. Finally,
after trolling the newsgroups, he found the instructions on
really uninstalling ZoneAlarm, which turned out to be on the
ZoneAlarm site as part of a resolution to conflicts with a
Windows XP install.
ZoneLabs' uninstall program doesn't really, totally, absolutely
uninstall ZoneAlarm. You have to muck about in the registry
and also search your disk for possible orphan files. Add to
this the fact that, if you use Microsoft's install off the
Net option for the service pack, your computer is unprotected
while you download and install the service pack. Unfortunately,
this kind of issue is typical. Doesn't anyone care about the
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