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The Internet Reached It's Peak Today

By Agent000 in Op-Ed
Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 10:54:35 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

The Internet reached it's peak today. Well, not as much today as within a few weeks or months of today, but the idea is there. Windows XP, lousy broadband, the RIAA, sites failing due to lack of funds: everything seems to be going downhill. Perhaps this is the natural evolution of things.

My reasoning:

Windows XP gets released tomorrow, giving Microsoft a strong hold on the digital audio market and the instant messaging market, in addition to it's already tight hold on the operating system market, the office suite market, and the web browser/email client market. Personal firewalls will become largely obsolete as people use XP's built in firewall, leaving the security of our personal computers in the hands of a company with a sketchy record in making secure products. Script kiddies will cease to bother with Back Orifice when they can commandeer a PC with XP's built-in desktop sharing. Hardware requirements are raised to a level above any other operating system on the market, even the resource intensive Mac OS X.

Of course, for all the cons, the majority will still upgrade anyway. The masses don't care enough to rebel against Microsoft's imposed policies of planning obsolescence. They also don't care enough to take the time to download better products, and so, will use Internet Explorer for browsing, Windows Media Player for music, Windows Messenger for IM, XP's firewall for security, etc.

Because of XP's limiting use of Windows Media Audio, I fear that in the next few months we will see a large number of WMA files proliferating on P2P file sharing services. Although I acknowledge that WMA does offer higher quality and lower file size, it's also very proprietary: you can't playback WMA on any *nix based systems, and on the Macintosh, only the slow, bug-ridden, feature crippled Windows Media Player can play them.

Many major web sites have come to the point where advertising is no longer profitable. It saddens me to see sites begging for donations, and even worse, sites that shut down altogether due to financial constraints. I'm not saying that donating is a bad thing though, for many sites, the micropayment model is working well, but for sites with a smaller fan base, donations are often hard to come by.

I fear the day when I see a massive site like, per se, SourceForge start asking for donations, and I know it could happen very soon.

Broadband access to the home, once affordable, fast, and widely available, is now struggling. With Excite@home filing for Chapter 11 protection, it's now impossible to get cable internet installed in many areas. Where installation is still available, one must often wait weeks for a technician to come to your home. Earthlink has begun offering an "Install your own DSL" program in an attempt to keep up with demand. The large inflow of users has caused connections to slow and ping times to rise. Where I live in Canada, it's often difficult to achieve a good ping for online gaming with my Shaw@home connection, and my peers have reported similarly. As with most large corporations, technical support is poor. The market is controlled primarily by a few large companies, and competition is minimal.

The RIAA is sending in the lawyers, and illegal music swapping is going down, taking a number of useful, legitimate services with it. Maybe they'll even sue EFnet out of existence.

Someday, Average Joe will wake up, boot up his PC, log into Microsoft .NET, listen to his WMA files, and download the latest daily Microsoft security patch. He'll pay disgustingly high prices for his music, his software, his hardware, and even simple information and news. Every thing he does on his PC will be controlled by a few corporations. Of course, this probably won't bother him.

The thought bothers me. It might bother you. The internet, as we know it, peaked sometime around now, and I don't think things are going to get better any time soon.


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The Internet Reached It's Peak Today | 41 comments (39 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Interesting (3.80 / 5) (#2)
by Elendale on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 02:55:31 PM EST

Ok, so lets assume you're right. As powerful as MS is, i think saying that WMA (and other things like it) is going to "win" is a little premature. IE took over not just because it was everywhere, but because it was pretty good software. Sure, it also is evil and has the mark of MS on it- but most users can't tell the difference, they just figured it crashed less than netscape and went with it. WMA, on the other hand, is bloated, vile, slow, and unwieldy. To say it will beat out the cleaner and more useful Winamp (or lookalikes) isn't exactly a safe assumption. In the long run, WMA will be the only thing used unless something (DoJ?) steps in.
But not because it is a good product, unfortunately.

So what can we (the open source hackers, the Mac freaks, the government/academic researchers, the non-AOL users) do about this? We've been putting up with what basically amounts to a hostile takover of the net. You might argue that the net doesn't belong to anyone- but that's slowly becoming untrue. Microsoft wants the net to belong to them, AOL wants the net to belong to them, RIAA wants the net to belong to them, MPAA wants the net to belong to them, and we (the people, the public) want the net to belong to us. I think, however, it's too late for the internet. The government isn't going to step in in time (another 3 years is plenty long, and that's assuming Bush doesn't get elected again for his "wonderful job" with the terrorism or something) and in fact has been supporting the corps' takover of the net. So we lose.

The solution is to create a GPL'd net. A network that is (by definition and law) free. Free from control, free (not necessarily as in beer, though) for its users. A network where everyone is "equal"- corporations can have web sites if they feel like it, but have to leave others alone.
A better designed net. One that won't collapse under the strain of fifty million, or even five billion users.
One where the ground rules are set (basically) in stone right at the entrance: Though Shalt Not Spam, Though Shalt Not DDoS.

Hell, there's even an Internet2 being worked on right now. I don't think it is what we're looking for, but it has at least the "scalable design" part down. What should we be looking for? What do we want? If this is the peak of the internet, then lets start creating the next Big Thing.


When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.

My idea (none / 0) (#8)
by spacejack on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 03:57:57 PM EST

for a P2P network is one that uses watermarking. I want a client that I can use to select "public domain", "free for personal use", "pay for commercial use" and "promotional" (i.e., music singles, trailers, comic book teasers, etc.). Watermarks would enable filters to properly classify/reject invalid material.

The problems we'll face are whether or not watermarking can be made 'indelible', and all the idiots who'll try to flood it with illegitimate content. If we can solve that, we'd have a pretty damn cool network.

[ Parent ]
Sorry junior... (3.00 / 3) (#3)
by Zeram on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 02:55:36 PM EST

WinXP got released on Thursday Oct 25, not tommorow (Sunday Oct 28).
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
Don't forget... (3.00 / 1) (#4)
by FuzzyOne on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 03:00:42 PM EST

Don't forget, that it was also October 26 that Bush signed Ashcroft's USA PATRIOT Act into law. Freedom and privacy on the Internet also appear to be on the downturn.

Unbridled freedom and the frictionless exchange of ideas seem to be the foes of commerce and government.

It's the end of the world! (4.11 / 9) (#5)
by spiralx on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 03:08:59 PM EST

Blah blah blah Microsoft blah blah blah RIAA blah blah blah corporate hegemony.

I can't stand these whiny rants about how the internet is dying at a time well before it's even reached anything like its potential. Sure things are changing, and from your perspective it may even be getting worse, but the fact is that your opinion is in a minority, and the increasing growth of people across the world coming online and traffic seems to dispute it.

Windows XP is highly unlikely to make a serious dent in anything within the next couple of years, as the majority of people still use Windows 9x and have no desire to change. I mean something like 80% of all desktops PCs only have 64Mb of RAM, not enough enough to run anything newer! And with PC sales slowing down, less and less people are going to be getting XP on new machines.

Plus I think Microsoft already have a fairly large hold on the media and messaging fronts in many ways. There are always going to be people who use the Microsoft stuff because they want as little hassle as possible, hence the growth of MSN Messanger. These people are going to use MS stuff whether or not its on their desktop already, they want something that works and don't want to have to bother looking and evaluating alternatives.

Yes, commercial broadband in the US is going through a rough time, but there are places around the world where you can still get it. And is it any surprise that a technology with so much infrastructure changes required is going to have problems to start with?

RIAA? Bleh. I don't like their control over the music industry, but I also don't like the blatent piracy that most P2P networks support either.

Oh well, I suppose it was about time for another "it's the end of the world!" rant.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey

Timeliness (1.75 / 4) (#6)
by truth versus death on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 03:17:38 PM EST

Did it reach its peak today or yesterday? (Or Thursday? Wednesday?)

I still think it's at a local minima.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
The Internet: (4.20 / 5) (#7)
by spacejack on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 03:52:03 PM EST

More than just music piracy.

I find it hilarious to hear that the fear of .wma files on P2P networks equates to the death of the Internet.

My view? I used to do CD-ROM work for companies. The internet has almost replaced that, except for a few niches. And now the industry is bigger than ever.

The only things that have been killed off are things without any hope of making a profit. IMHO, things are finally getting 'real' again.

Real... (none / 0) (#37)
by Sanityman on Wed Nov 07, 2001 at 10:50:17 AM EST

...as in Real Media? (So much nicer than that nasty MP3!)

Call me idealistic, but I find cash a rather poor heuristic when it comes to measuring the value of the social revolution that the Internet can/could have made possible. Especially when it's in so few pockets.


If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
"You can't spray cheese whiz™ on the body of Christ!"

[ Parent ]
Excellent FUD (1.16 / 6) (#9)
by DeadBaby on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 03:58:18 PM EST

Nice Job. It's wonderful. It made by daily 2 minute hate so much more fun. PLEASE WRITE MORE!!!!


"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
one nit (4.75 / 4) (#11)
by regeya on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 04:34:35 PM EST

Love it, really. So many people ripped it apart for the apparent anti-Microsoft slant. *sigh* and these are the people who accuse Free/Open Source advocates of being biased . . .

I fear the day when I see a massive site like, per se, SourceForge start asking for donations, and I know it could happen very soon.

Well, yeah; the sort of equipment to keep such a huge site going, as well as people to keep the whole shebang going, doesn't come cheap. What, you think VA selling proprietary extensions to the SourceForge code will be enough to keep VA afloat? And that they'll keep running it out of the love of Free/Open software? Love only goes so far; after that, some cash is necessary. :-)

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

**Death of the Internet Greatly Exaggerated** (4.00 / 8) (#12)
by Kasreyn on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 05:28:26 PM EST

They were moaning and saying the internet had passed its peak when AOL opened the doors to everyone in '93. I wasn't online back then (my parents were too |_4m3 to get me a modem), but the historical evidence is that a lot of the old net geezers were loudly proclaiming that that was IT, the internet was done for. And ever since then we've had more such doomsday predictions. The low accuracy rate of all such predictions thus far disinclines me to believe that yours is any different.

The internet IS changing. The trust-based, open internet is being left behind. But not everyone thinks this is a sad thing, the way you and I do. I dislike XP myself, but I don't think the internet is dead yet, and I don't claim to be wise enough to know what the peak is (or maybe was).


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Jumped the Shark in '93 - TRUE! (none / 0) (#36)
by bediger on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 05:48:08 PM EST

They were moaning and saying the internet had passed its peak when AOL opened the doors to everyone in '93.

Well, AOL, Compuserve and Prodigy all started allowing access to usenet, SMTP email and FTP at about the same time. All three were *major* sources of email and usenet spam and abuse and the management of all 3 services just didn't have a clue about how to educate their users about what not to post, what not to email, how to write a legible email, etc etc etc. All 3 services spent more effort denying problems and attempting to shift blame and spewing corporate crapola than they did stopping spammers and educating users. It was highly infuriating.

Usenet, for one seems not to have recovered completely.

-- I am Spartacus.
[ Parent ]
Lose this part (4.57 / 7) (#13)
by Neuromancer on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 05:30:10 PM EST

Script kiddies will cease to bother with Back Orifice when they can commandeer a PC with XP's built-in desktop sharing.

You can telnet or SSH into any *nix system. This is one of its strengths. Windows is just catching up in this aspect, and this system is actually a good thing (depending on implementation, I was never happy with SMS).

At any rate, they may be openning a potential security hole, but not one that isn't there by default on ANY *nix system. It also doesn't matter if you PERSONALLY choose to run an encrypted client, and have your .hosts configured well, the simple fact of the matter is that most users of Windows systems would not fare any better at replacing these features in *nix with any of the more secure alternatives, and that we cannot blame MS for trying to catch up to *nix in this respect.

A brief list of features that could easily be remote holes (by far incomplete) of a similar nature on any *nix system.

Any database, since almost all open an IP socket that allows administrative access.
RSH SSH telnet
X-Windows, since it opens an IP socket, which can also be used for root access
X-Window frontends: xdm, gdm, since these provide login services

These ARENT BAD PRODUCTS, but they offer similar, password protected, access, much like remote desktop sharing does, and are standard in most modern *nix boxen. This is much the same as blaming MS for allowing users access to sock_raw.

ssh vs. desktop sharing (none / 0) (#39)
by vectro on Fri Nov 09, 2001 at 02:07:38 PM EST

The difference is, OpenSSH is written by the OpenBSD people, who have a history of writing secure software with continuing auditing. Desktop sharing is written by Microsoft, who has a history of writing insecure software ridden with exploits and a failure to fix said exploits.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Uhmm (none / 0) (#40)
by Neuromancer on Thu Dec 20, 2001 at 10:21:40 PM EST

You can't blame MS for trying to improve their product. There are security holes in unix systems too... I mean, would you slam linux just because a lot of people write standard utilities in scripting languages for it rather than compiled code?

[ Parent ]
Improving (none / 0) (#41)
by vectro on Fri Dec 28, 2001 at 04:00:29 PM EST

I don't think anyone is blaming MS in this thread. It was merely pointed out that Desktop Sharing is likely to be a security disaster.

And as I pointed out above, a statement that both linux and windows have had security problems fails to take into account the issue of magnitude.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Another thing I find amazing (3.83 / 6) (#14)
by spacejack on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 05:48:41 PM EST

People seem to overlook this simple fact: Anyone (anyone not under a totalitarian state anyhow) can create a website, and put pretty much whatever the hell they want to create on it.

This is an incredible opportunity for people from all walks of life. Many sites provide you with simple tools to help those with no HTML/FTP experience, and it just gets easier every day. Just don't expect to make piles of cash directly off of the site, keep your expenses low, and the creative possibilities are endless for anyone with a little motivation.

I am very optimistic about the future of the 'net, and like most other people here, I think the reports of its death or peak are greatly exaggerated.

Put it where? (4.00 / 1) (#15)
by J'raxis on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 10:58:21 PM EST

And put it where? The free hosting providers like GeoCities have such rediculous policies about content that anything more than your pictures of your cat will get pulled for violations, or anything popular will hit the monthly bandwidth limit in two days. Not to mention the pages get plastered with their advertisements.

And paying for hosting is becoming something only a few can afford. My site is on one of the cheapest hosting providers I can find, but that’s because it’s one guy with a single desktop machine with a relatively-small pipe to his upstream.

No, the Internet is going the same way radio and TV went soon after they were invented.

— The Cynical Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

WHAT?? (3.42 / 7) (#16)
by spacejack on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 11:39:24 PM EST

$25/year?!! It costs more to buy paints for a painting! It costs more to buy a cheap camera to take photos! It costs more to buy a cheap PC to write a novel! Your phone bill is more than that! Your cable bill is more than that! Your weekly grocery bills are more than that! A single shirt or pair of pants costs that much! It costs more than that to make a few colour copies of an illustration! It'd cost more than $25 to mail out 25 manuscripts for a novel! It costs more than $25 to buy a guitar! It costs more than $25 to buy a synthesizer! It costs more than $25 to see a hockey game! It costs more than $25 to buy hockey equipment! It costs more than $25/year for a dialup account! It costs more than $25/year (that's less than 7 cents a day!) for just about anything! I mean make your own lunch every day for a week and you've saved a year's worth of hosting right there!!

Christ, in the U.S. you're practically forced into buying a car just to get around! Why aren't you rioting in the street right now and burning shit down FFS??

I swear the arguments you guys come up with are truly laughable. It's ridiculous. You know what, if you're not willing to pay at least $25/year to show me your content, I don't want to see it because it's probably too shit to waste my time, and you obviously don't give a damn about it yourself, so why should I? You really think people are so pathetic and lazy and such cheap bastards that they won't care enough about their work to pay a lousy 25 bucks to show it? When just about every other distribution method will cost more?

MAN there are some crazy motherfuckers on this site. Don't you have any sense of perspective? Did you think for one freaking second before you posted that? FUCK!!

[ Parent ]
s/25/100 (2.66 / 3) (#17)
by spacejack on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 11:44:31 PM EST

But my comment still stands. $100/year is nothing.

[ Parent ]
$100 (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by twodot72 on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 09:14:56 AM EST

Funny how quickly your claim went from anyone not under a totalitarian state can publish a website, to most people in the US can publish a website.

[ Parent ]
funny (3.00 / 3) (#20)
by spacejack on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:38:33 AM EST

I don't live in the U.S. Did you have a point?

[ Parent ]
My point (4.00 / 3) (#22)
by twodot72 on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 01:12:59 PM EST

My point was this: you began by saying how anyone not in a totalitarian state can set up a website. Then, when this statement is questioned, you're screaming and ranting about how $100 is nothing and how you don't give a crap about what anyone who can't pay that has to say.

Now that I know you don't live in the U.S. I don't know what kind of dollars you're referring to either, but whichever kind it is, a large part of the worlds population cannot easily afford $100/yr. So basically, you're saying that you don't gve a crap what the poor has to say. This in stark contrast to what you were saying in your original post (or did I misinterpret?).

Incidentally, I happen to agree with most of what you said in your original post, except I would replace the "anyone" with "more people than ever before".

[ Parent ]

sigh (3.00 / 3) (#23)
by spacejack on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 01:58:24 PM EST

So, because I clarified the fact that I was talking about the same cross-section of Internet users as the article was, it suddenly became an opportunity to bash me as some spoiled westerner huh?

With comments like "Where I live in Canada, it's often difficult to achieve a good ping for online gaming with my Shaw@home connection" and "The RIAA is sending in the lawyers, and illegal music swapping is going down", I doubt very much the original article had anything to do with the world's oppressed/starving masses.

[ Parent ]
Oh (3.00 / 2) (#25)
by twodot72 on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 03:28:10 PM EST

Clarified? You did? I just saw a long rant about how $100 is nothing... good thing you clarified your clarification just now.

Sure, the original article was not about the oppressed masses, but with your talk about "anyone not in a totalitarian state" I thought your reasoning was supposed to apply to the whole world. I never imagined you were thinking only about the western nations. After all, we don't have a very large problem with totalitarian western states, do we?

[ Parent ]

exactly (3.66 / 3) (#26)
by spacejack on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 04:01:02 PM EST

A lot of people in other countries have a lot more pressing issues than whether or not they can afford to put up personal websites, trade mp3s, play low-latency videogames, etc.

[ Parent ]
Another thing (5.00 / 1) (#24)
by spacejack on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 02:16:15 PM EST

Yesterday I stopped on the street for a few minutes to talk to a fellow who belongs to Falun Dafa. He had large photos of tortured Falun Dafa (aka Falun Gong) members on billboards and was passing out papers and information about the intolerable conditions they live under in China. Do you know what they're asking for? From the leaflet:

Your support can make a difference. If you would like to help, here are some suggestions:
  • Call or write letters for action or attention from your local or international media, government, human rights organization, etc.
  • Help us tell the truth about Falun Gong to the people around you.
  • Call or write letters to the Chinese embassy or consulate.
Contact us or check out Current News: www.minghui.ca/eng.html

Nowhere did they say anything about music swapping, the RIAA, WMA, WindowsXP or .NET technologies.

[ Parent ]
Read it again, moron (none / 0) (#27)
by J'raxis on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 05:05:45 PM EST

A little sensitive to criticism, aren’t we? I said my hosting provider was one of the cheapest I know of. Secondly, it’s $25 per year for the domain name and $75 per year for the hosting.

Try reading it again, moron, then look around at what most other hosting providers charge. Most charge monthly, and at least $20 per month. You claim anyone (your emphasis) can afford these kinds of charges; I rather doubt that.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Then I have a deal for you (3.33 / 3) (#28)
by spacejack on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 06:11:53 PM EST

Try these guys out.

By anyone, I thought I'd narrowed the scope of who I was talking about in my first post. And then twodot72 goes off on some tanget about this. Arrrrgh!

[ Parent ]
Scenario (4.66 / 3) (#29)
by spacejack on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 07:36:57 PM EST

You're out of work. Destitute. You live on the street and beg for change, wash car windows, busk for change or whatnot. Everyone keeps telling you to get a job, but for some reason all those stores with help-wanted ads in the windows keep turning you away. You want to tell the world of your woes and how shitty life on the street is in the hopes that maybe something will be done. What do you do?

1. Do what you normally do for change, until you've got a dollar.
2. Go to the public library, reserve a PC (this is where your dollar comes in handy 'cause that's what it costs here to get on a library PC with internect connection).
3. Register yourself a Hotmail account.
4. Register yourself a Kuro5hin account, and as many other websites with liberal tendencies as you can find.
5. Register yourself a free 50megs.com account.
5. Write your story in Hotmail. Save it in your drafts folder as a backup.
6. Put it on your free web host. Mail it off to all the newspapers in town. Mail it off to sympathetic publications. Submit it to K5. Submit it to wherever else you can think of. If you didn't know of any of these sites, ask around. Find out what sites are good for this sort of thing. (You might try doing this on the street too, before going to the library).
7. Repeat until it's published to your satisfaction.

So tell me again, how is the Internet going the way of TV and Radio? The only way it's going to go that way is if people are too apathetic to take advantage of what it has to offer. And to tell the truth, that is my biggest fear.

[ Parent ]
Cheap hosting IS around... (none / 0) (#35)
by darrick on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 10:48:38 AM EST

(I don't mean this to sound like spam, but it does. :-( I'm just trying to get a point across.)

The Internet is the most significant informational invention since the creation of the printing press. Now, anyone with access to a computer and connection can publish anything they want. It's incredible, and extremely empowering. I know I get a rush when I put stuff on the Net.

Now, I've been on the "low end" of society before, making less than poverty. And I had a website on Geocities, and e-mail through Yahoo! Mail. It ain't great, but it works. I see no reason that anyone in any reasonable locale can't get their ideas out onto the Net.

As for "real" hosting, there are plenty of places. Sprocket Data, where I work, has really inexpensive hosting, including a $99/year virtual hosts (or $9.95/mo, if you pay monthly) and $35/month dedicated servers (yes, your own server, all yours, on the Net!).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you have any content worthy of publication, you should be able to afford some hosting like this. And, if you are destitute, there are other solutions, like Geocities or 50megs.

[ Parent ]

WMA has no future (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by Blarney on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 01:06:48 AM EST

In the future, there will be enough bandwidth that people will digitally distribute music in full CD quality format. Even if a 3 minute song needs 40 megs instead of 4, the increase in fidelity, spatialization, and clarity will be a desirable luxury to many. And when we all have 1TB hard drives and cable modems that actually WORK at rated speed (unlike the one I have now from Comcast), it will be an affordable luxury.

Even if WMA succeeds, its days are numbered by advances in technology. Unless you need to cram lots of audio into a little storage (like the Conger's Bad Fur Day Nintendo cart uses mp3 for) you'll just use 44100Hz, 16 bit PCM. Why not? There will be plenty of room.

People don't care (none / 0) (#34)
by Cameleon on Wed Oct 31, 2001 at 09:07:41 AM EST

Sadly, people don't care about quality. Even now, bandwidth isn't that much of a problem for a lot of people, and noone should be using mp3's at 128kbit anymore; they just sound horrible on equipment that's halfway decent. But everyone who just downloads all top40 songs, or all the songs from their favorite band, doesn't care about quality, can't hear the difference, or just downloads everyone elses music.

Five years ago, 128kbit mmp3's were everywhere, being downloaded on crappy 28.8k modems. Now, with broadband, and encoders like LAME available and high quality within reach, almost all mp3's I get from people are still 128kbit. Why would those people be distributing large wavs or (even better) losslessly encoded audio in a few years? They don't care about quality, as long as it's convenient.

Sadly, this means that there is a future for WMA, since it is at everyone's fingertips, since it comes with everyone's OS, and therefor, it will be used.

[ Parent ]

A myth (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by ucblockhead on Sun Oct 28, 2001 at 11:44:12 AM EST

Because of XP's limiting use of Windows Media Audio, I fear that in the next few months we will see a large number of WMA files proliferating on P2P file sharing service
That seems unlikely given that Windows XP does not break any mp3 encoders.

The only thing that was taken out was the ability of Windows Media to encode mp3s. Third party encoders were not effected.

This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

Yes, I know... (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by Agent000 on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:26:50 PM EST

I know that it's still possible to everything you could do before with MP3s. My concern is with Average Joe User, who wouldn't care enough to use anything but the defaults.


[ Parent ]
Defaults (none / 0) (#38)
by Sanityman on Wed Nov 07, 2001 at 12:13:24 PM EST

<ANECDOTE>I had a colleague call up today, accusing me of sending a PagePlus file instead of a Pow*rpoint presentation. It wasn't of course: PagePlus had appropriated the .ppt extension, and his box was config'd to hide extension, so my file just said 'PagePlus file' by it.</ANECDOTE>

My point being: if J Public sees a file, be it MP3, WMA or whatever, by default they aren't even going to know what the file type is. They'll just see 'Windows Media File' by the icon. And they aren't going to install any 3rd party s/ware unless hitting return doesn't work.

As Orwell said in 1984, controlling language gives you a measure of control over how people think. The 'language' of a GUI is the visual interface between the OS and the user, and this is owned by Microsoft.


If you don't see the fnords, they can't eat you.
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[ Parent ]
Imminent death of the net predicted. News at 11. (4.00 / 2) (#30)
by Keepiru on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 06:35:10 PM EST

This has been predicted before. For a dose of perspective, I refer to you to this entry in the venerable Jargon file: Imminent Death Of The Net Predicted!


Reached it's peak, not dying. (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by Agent000 on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 07:00:55 PM EST

Perhaps I should clear up something. I never said the internet was dying, I just said that it's reached it's peak. I don't believe that the internet is dying, if anything, it is proflierating greatly. Although it will grow in quantity, it's quality and flexability will be lacking. The Internet in the future will be a very regulated and corporate one, for worse, in my opinion.


The Internet is Alive and Well (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by CompWiz85 on Tue Oct 30, 2001 at 10:38:20 PM EST

While i find you perspective interesting. I have to agree with some of the other responses from earlier. the Internet is alive and well, although i disagree in one respect. Even if microsoft where to take over the bulk of the internet, there would still be that one part that is free. Thats where systems like Linux, BeOS, etc.. come in. These systems, which are under the GNU license allow people the free trade of ideas and code. Its because of this very fact, the microsoft will never control the net completely. Even if they were to get laws passed saying that we were no longer allowed to cruise the net on the system of our choice, we would just create a new under ground net. We are the internet. If not for our networking, and exchange of Ideas, then what is the internet. The internet today is, and i hope will continue to be a place of free speech. The internet is alive and well, and will continue to be for sometime, and until you see a law saying that we cannot continue to exchange ideas as we are now, then I say stop worrying, and enjoy the present.
The Internet Reached It's Peak Today | 41 comments (39 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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