Internet Obsolete? - Super Fast Coming

From The Sunday Times

April 6, 2008
Coming Soon: Superfast Internet

Jonathan Leake, Science Editor

THE internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds.

At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, “the grid” will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds.

The latest spin-off from Cern, the particle physics centre that created the web, the grid could also provide the kind of power needed to transmit holographic images; allow instant online gaming with hundreds of thousands of players; and offer high-definition video telephony for the price of a local call.

David Britton, professor of physics at Glasgow University and a leading figure in the grid project, believes grid technologies could “revolutionise” society. “With this kind of computing power, future generations will have the ability to collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine,” he said.

The power of the grid will become apparent this summer after what scientists at Cern have termed their “red button” day - the switching-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the new particle accelerator built to probe the origin of the universe. The grid will be activated at the same time to capture the data it generates.

Cern, based near Geneva, started the grid computing project seven years ago when researchers realised the LHC would generate annual data equivalent to 56m CDs - enough to make a stack 40 miles high.

This meant that scientists at Cern - where Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989 - would no longer be able to use his creation for fear of causing a global collapse.

This is because the internet has evolved by linking together a hotchpotch of cables and routing equipment, much of which was originally designed for telephone calls and therefore lacks the capacity for high-speed data transmission.

By contrast, the grid has been built with dedicated fibre optic cables and modern routing centres, meaning there are no outdated components to slow the deluge of data. The 55,000 servers already installed are expected to rise to 200,000 within the next two years.

Professor Tony Doyle, technical director of the grid project, said: “We need so much processing power, there would even be an issue about getting enough electricity to run the computers if they were all at Cern. The only answer was a new network powerful enough to send the data instantly to research centres in other countries.”

That network, in effect a parallel internet, is now built, using fibre optic cables that run from Cern to 11 centres in the United States, Canada, the Far East, Europe and around the world.

One terminates at the Rutherford Appleton laboratory at Harwell in Oxfordshire.

From each centre, further connections radiate out to a host of other research institutions using existing high-speed academic networks.

It means Britain alone has 8,000 servers on the grid system – so that any student or academic will theoretically be able to hook up to the grid rather than the internet from this autumn.

Ian Bird, project leader for Cern’s high-speed computing project, said grid technology could make the internet so fast that people would stop using desktop computers to store information and entrust it all to the internet.

“It will lead to what’s known as cloud computing, where people keep all their information online and access it from anywhere,” he said.

Computers on the grid can also transmit data at lightning speed. This will allow researchers facing heavy processing tasks to call on the assistance of thousands of other computers around the world. The aim is to eliminate the dreaded “frozen screen” experienced by internet users who ask their machine to handle too much information.

The real goal of the grid is, however, to work with the LHC in tracking down nature’s most elusive particle, the Higgs boson. Predicted in theory but never yet found, the Higgs is supposed to be what gives matter mass.

The LHC has been designed to hunt out this particle - but even at optimum performance it will generate only a few thousand of the particles a year. Analysing the mountain of data will be such a large task that it will keep even the grid’s huge capacity busy for years to come.

Although the grid itself is unlikely to be directly available to domestic internet users, many telecoms providers and businesses are already introducing its pioneering technologies. One of the most potent is so-called dynamic switching, which creates a dedicated channel for internet users trying to download large volumes of data such as films. In theory this would give a standard desktop computer the ability to download a movie in five seconds rather than the current three hours or so.

Additionally, the grid is being made available to dozens of other academic researchers including astronomers and molecular biologists.

It has already been used to help design new drugs against malaria, the mosquito-borne disease that kills 1m people worldwide each year. Researchers used the grid to analyse 140m compounds - a task that would have taken a standard internet-linked PC 420 years.

“Projects like the grid will bring huge changes in business and society as well as science,” Doyle said.

“Holographic video conferencing is not that far away. Online gaming could evolve to include many thousands of people, and social networking could become the main way we communicate.

“The history of the internet shows you cannot predict its real impacts but we know they will be huge.”

When I read the title I thought you’ve been talking to my bride :twisted:

I can hardly wait to get more SPAM faster, sign me up :mrgreen:

In the future they may be able to run ALL legitimate email through a security
server. Those who do not sign on would be outside the loop and all
email service providers would reject those not part of the approved list.

Higher speeds would allow virus and trojan scanning on the fly by these
security servers. Higher speeds would allow this service without a bottle

This would stop spam…IMHO.

You’ll basically be able to watch every show or movie ever produced (including www.NACHI.TV) anytime, from anywhere.

They also have the ability to send the internet over the existing power grid.
Interesting. Every wall plug will get you online.

This FALSE statement has discredited the entire article.

This meant that scientists at Cern - where Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989 - would no longer be able to use his creation for fear of causing a global collapse.

EVERYONE knows that AL GORE invented the Internet! :roll:

In the interest of accuracy;

Originally Posted by fcarrio
This FALSE statement has discredited the entire article.

*This meant that scientists at Cern - where Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989 - would no longer be able to use his creation for fear of causing a global collapse.

EVERYONE knows that AL GORE invented the Internet! :roll:*

Al Gore during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “late edition” program on March 9, 1999 when asked to describe what distinguished him from his challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, Gore replied {in part}

**During my service in the United States Congress *I took the initiative in creating the Internet. ***


  1. Make something:
    transitive verb to bring something into existence.

  2. Give rise to something:
    transitive verb to result in something or make something happen.

  3. Produce inventions or art:
    transitive and in transitive verb, to use imagination to invent things or produce works of art.

[size=3]Thanks for the information… Kinda like Hillary claiming that When her airplane landed in Bosnia that she was wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest and that she was running, zig zagging while under sniper fire!

Actual video footage showed her standing on the run way being greeted by smiling little school girls carrying bouquets of flowers! This all took place with her smiling daughter Chelsea by her side!

Al Gore inventing the Internet and Hillary Clinton dodging snipers … both can be attributed to slick politicians seeking their 15 minutes of fame.

[/size]Thank God we live in the age of “instant information” where their fallacies can be disproved.

According to Vincent Cerf, a senior vice president with MCI Worldcom who’s been called the Father of the Internet, **“The Internet would not be where it is in the United States without the strong support given to it and related research areas by the Vice President in his current role and in his earlier role as Senator.”

** The inventor of the Mosaic Browser, Marc Andreesen, credits Gore with making his work possible. He received a federal grant through Gore’s High Performance Computing Act. The University of Pennsylvania’s Dave Ferber says that without Gore the Internet "would not be where it is today."

Joseph E. Traub, a computer science professor at Columbia University, claims that Gore "was perhaps the first political leader to grasp the importance of networking the country. Could we perhaps see an end to cheap shots from politicians and pundits about inventing the Internet?"

*in·i·ti·a·tive - **

  • **introductory act** or step; leading action: to take the initiative in making friends.    

2.readiness and ability in initiating action; enterprise: to lack initiative.’s personal, responsible decision: to act on one’s own initiative.

Couldn’t agree more Frank. Isn’t it great how we can set the facts straight instantly?

OK. A vast, ultra-fast interlinked net of super computers around the globe.

Anyone else expecting " the terminator" to make an appearance?

( Who gives a damn about Al Gore? He, no matter how you want to split hairs, claimed to be responsible for the invention of the INTERNET. That didn’t quite work out so now we have the Man Made Global Warming sham. The guy just won’t quit. Maybe you Americans should elect him just so he will go away!)

I would have to read these quotes for myself!

Don’t forget Al Gore also claimed to have invented the calculator, the slide-rule and Pizza!:roll:

Well Frank, he did all of those things, in his own little world! Oh, how about telling George, we’re going to deport him to Canada, Al that is.

I would never be so cruel to our Canadian brothers!

In reality, what is the known as the Internet was born from the US Government’s old ARPANET. It utilized what was commonly known as TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/internet protocol) to transmit packets.

IP, as it is known today, replaced others as the transmission protocol of choice. Other protocols used, including DEC’s LAT and several others, eventually gave way to IP, which allowed for routed networks over a wide area, as opposed to flat networks over the wide area. At some point, the US Government abandoned (or opened) the “Internet” and started working on a second proprietary medium once callid “GOSIP”.

But, to truly understand the magnitude and age of the “Internet”, one needs to research the oldest Class 1 and Class 2 address owners.

ARPANET was designed for military operations and research information sharing. The Internet was never invisioned nor truly designed for the speed and traffic it supports today. Computer scientists have feared that the Internet would eventually collapse under its own weight.

Something called Internet II has been uin development for several years. “The Grid” is something I have never heard of before. There is a definite difference between the hypothetical and reality. As it stands today, there is still but a single international entity which controls all internet addresses, and it is the US.

Time will tell where and if this grid ever becomes the real deal, or functions as near flawlessly as the current WWW communications meduim.

Sending Al Gore up here? That sir, is an act of war and a crime against humanity!

It is amazing how so many different people take credit for the same thing…

Vincent Cerf, a senior vice president with MCI Worldcom who’s been called the Father of the Internet:roll: