It'll be the size of the internet in California, but of far less use. Parts of it already exist - we just don't know it yet. Oh, and we're going to need to re-think programming languages and design to deliver it. No, it's not Microsoft's next Windows operating system, but the world's first Ultra Large System (ULS), which'll …
Where do I get a job like that
All that work and study to become a Distingushed Engineer and then you find yourself talking a mixture of bad William Gibson and the marketing wonk who desparately wants to catch the eye of the CEO.
"Anyone alive in 1958 could understand the programming languages we have today. Physicists would be surprised by what we know in physics today. That's bad."
A little exaggeration there. I think there would be at least a few that couldn't. But as programming languages become more abstract and expressive, they become easier to understand anyway, so I'm not sure what he's talking about.
I agree that the Internet is one of these ULSs - it also has all the characteristics that seem to strike this guy as so hard to achieve. It's too complex for any single person to understand, it's large, it's modular and it's fault tolerant.
IMHO, what we're likely to see is a lot of small devices in the future. It doesn't seem unlikely that these will be in constant or near constant contact with a wireless network; I suspect the real ultra-large systems will be more like (legitimate) botnets running on powerful mobile devices than data centres or mainframes.
A transparent liver?
Hmmm, I'm not convinced by this: where's the commercial imperative - how do people make money from all this investment.
What this guy seems to have done is take the rate of growth over the past 10 years and extrapolate - always a dodgy technique and usually comes up with ludicrous results. (E.g. extrapolate transport development in 1940's-50' and we'd all have hypersonic flying belts by now.)
He's also flat wrong about programming languages. While I admit I was taught FORTRAN at university and procedural languages are widely used ('cos they work! ), computer scientists from the 1958 would be completely bamboozled by SQL. It's like saying Old man "Benz" would recognise todays cars.
Finally, when did anyone ever "read" porn?
..and it does what?
Could anyone care to give an example of what this unreliable and constantly failing system which is beyond human understanding would actually do? Provide highly unreliable distributed DNA cracking? Or a constantly failing high-speed communication network? Or generating the two pages of Java for every person on the planet? Work as a precompiler for the not-yet-invented programming language? Maybe even manage all of California's traffic lights? Work for the IRS?
Coor blimey, the possibilities are endless!
Yeah.... what he said!
What the hell is he talking about? He sounds like a Life of Brian-style prophet. All that's missing from his vague and far-reaching nebulous claims is the phrase "raffia-work bases".....
... he was gutted he didn't "invent" the internet, smoked something and then came up with this ramblings which is re-inventing what's already there.
I've done that before, so far I have re-invented a mechancial device for washing cloths (Doh! washing machine), horse-less carriages (DOh! Cars etc) and a box on levers and pulleys to move people up and down various levels (DOH! Lift, american translation - Elevator)
Will it complain about getting really depressed and the pain in the diodes down it's left side.
Sub-etha thumb, towel, off to Barnard Star!!
It's too large for comprehension and bigger than anything we've currently got - but it's only the size of the internet in California. So which is it, larger than anything so far or the size of a subset of what we've got so far.
Also, I can easily comprehend everyone in the world writing 2.5 pages of Java - that's just 6billion HelloWorld programs - what else can you write in 2.5 pages :-)
Standby for Java fanbois flame attack...
I choose the manfrommars icon because he makes more sense than this guy
What you get from looking into crystal balls
Not much crystal, but an awful lot of balls
beyond human understanding?
well since the average PC seems beyond the average user ability to understand, it probably already exists :p
of course if we are talking of beyond understanding – we only need to look at the opposite sex and realise these will be mere child's play in comparison
I think we have found
amanfromMars's day job. Either that or they have the same dealer/ prescription.
Where is this guy from?
"Anyone alive in 1958 could understand the programming languages we have today.
Oh yeah? Throw a few lines of Perl at them and see how they like it. Or even relatively simple C++. Or even do the same to 80-90% of people alive today and watch the results.
The plain fact is that *anyone* can understand *anything*, given sufficient training and experience. Physicists from 1958 would *not* be surprised at what we know today, because knowledge of facts does not equal improvement in intelligence. A physicist from 1958 would be perfectly able to operate in 2007, given training to cover the intervening 49 years.
And in fact software *has* advanced significantly. The primitive software of the 1950s was in an environment where operations and RAM were expensive compared to development time. Software today is in precisely the opposite environment, hence the development of OO, Java and more recently JIT-compiled semi-scripting languages like Python. Quite simply, this guy doesn't know crap about computing *or* physics.
You also have to ask what this network is actually going to *do*. He says it's going to be so much bigger that we can't grasp how big it'll be, but then he says that it's not going to be as functional as existing systems. So... errr... why build it then?
Everyone in the world?
People alive then, well the first that spring to mind apart from me: General de Gaulle, Winston Churchill, Rudolph Nureyev, Mick Jagger, Pablo Picasso, Samuel Beckett...
Can't see any of them being interested in writing 2.5 pages of Java, although no doubt the good General would have had some choice, if fruity, words to say on the subject.
Sounds like this guy is merely predicting that the Internet will get bigger and more complex (safe bet, let's face it) and that it'll have to be organised into manageable chunks (well, it is already, what's the DNS system for?) and since new programming languages have been developed on a regular basis since computing began, predicting that this will continue in the future isn't exactly sticking yer neck out either.
I'll give it a "Where's the IT angle?", although I'll admit to being tempted by the amanfrommars icon. This ain't IT, it's a pathetic attempt at self-promotion.
No no your missing the point...
it's an artificially super intelligent network, if you will a big brain, and therefore with the same problems as everyone else!
Where did I leave the keys, for that secure system from the HM&C?
Wow that's a lovely looking internet beauty, she/he looks like s/he's packing a few terraflops!
"computer scientists from the 1958 would be completely bamboozled by SQL."
...Which was developed in the early 70s.
And, I might add, is extremely simple. I was a procedural C programmer for ages and I got a decent handle on SQL in less than a week.
Computers are built on essentially the same concepts as they were in the 50s, with the same sort of data structures underneath. I think a developer from 1958 could be caught up with less than two years of study if he really wanted to go at it with an open mind, and he'd probably be better than you. Young programmers taught on PHP have no respect for silicon.
That said, I think the rest of the article is just rhetorical nonsense, including the notion that the lack of change is even a bad thing.
In 20 years, all the internet will be run from latvia and we in the uk will be flying cars and having our robot manbutlers serve us locust on toast. People who drove cars in the 1970's would not be surprised by the ethanol propelled thought belts and porn would be interactive and not read on static pages anymore.
beam me up blue!
There's something fundamentally wrong
There's something fundamentally wrong when you need that much code to accomplish something.
No single program should have more than a few screenfulls of code.
You left out some buzz-words
Please work in the following:
...Web X.0 (any number greater than 2)
... as a platform
... open source
Nobody really knows what those mean, so they would be really useful in this article.
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