Is the Internet broken?

Summary:Bob Frankston keeps telling me he's trying to fix the Internet.  Ask him what's wrong with it.

Bob Frankston keeps telling me he's trying to fix the Internet.  Ask him what's wrong with it.  But sit down.  The answer is complicated, you may not understand it all, but you'll walk away convinced that it is indeed broken.  Venture capitalist Brad Feld (Mobius Ventures) picked up on MIT Technology Review's cover story:

This month’s cover story was The Internet Is Broken and is a fascinating (and probably important) article about the cost the Internet’s basic flaws which result in the need for a “clean-slate approach” being advocated by MIT’s David Clark (an Internet old-timer and chief protocol architect from 1981 – 1989.)

Clean slate approach? I haven't looked at the MIT piece but I can assure you that there are a number of walled garden-builders that would start throwing Miracle-Gro on their flowers if there was even the slightest possibility that they could capitalize on a transition to such a thing.  The FUD and technomarket-babble would stoop to new lows and it would take an act of God for Internet users to avoid the wolves in sheeps' clothing.  That doesn't mean a clean slate isn't the right way to go.  We could certainly use one on the DRM front where, as evidenced by the introduction of yet another DRM scheme and associated media player (this time Google's, but tomorrow, someone else's), things are quickly spiraling out of control. 

Topics: Enterprise Software


David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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