rchandraStargate Universe fanPremium
accepting "moving bits is a utility"
I may, may I say, be persuaded to swallow the "Internet should be a utility" argument, but only when I have the requisite control. Even in the modern Internet, this is simply infeasible.
Right now, modulo things like parasitic capacitance in wiring (which at 60Hz lets through miniscule amounts), I can choose to turn a light on or off, a computer on or off, a dishwasher on or off, an air conditioner on or off, buy more efficient appliances/devices/lightbulbs, etc., and directly affect how large my electric bill will be. (As a small side discussion, I definitely do not want to incur the property damage which would occur if I threw the main breaker, and my pipes froze due to the furnace's inability to circulate warm air or even turn on... so in that sense, this control has certain minimal limits.)
The same can be said, again within certain property damage preventing limits, of my ability to control directly the amount of gas I consume (I can choose a thermostat setting of 21 or bundle up some more, burn less gas, and set it at 17 or 18 instead). I can choose not to heat water, or to use less hot water. I can eat out, or simply not cook any food.
Similarly, I can choose how much to open my water taps. This in my case happens to be an interesting one because I have yet to come up to my water authority's 8000gal/quarter minimum...but I have been at 6K or 7K ever since I moved in here ~2 1/2 years ago.
Now....to the Internet however...
I have limited ability to control others' behavior w/r/t my Internet connection. As is very much pointed out in the Linux Advanced Routing/Traffic Control documentation site, the most one really has any control over is egress. Yes, a policing filter/limiter can be applied to an inbound interface, and one hopes the remote host follows the TCP in that the remote throttles back to match the lack of returning ACKs, but that is by no means prohibiting the remote end from sending packets. I can somewhat influence but have no control over how much email gets sent my way. I have no conrol on how many ICMP bytes transit from TWC's CMTS to me. For all they know, someone who's trying to give me the ping of death is traffic I somehow asked for. Every now and again, something screwey happens with SIP and SDP, and the far end continues to send RTP packets after either a hangup or some other loss of the call; usually the far end eventually gets a clue and stops, but that happens anywhere from between less than a minute to hours.
Giving me that control is an untenable nightmare. I cannot simply go to some arbitrary router near the source of my troubles and deny packets from that source; nor would I want to accept the responsibility of making sure that sort of change wouldn't affect anyone else. The best I can do is things like not send TCP ACKs, send ICMP source quench messages, and the like.
So unless I could be given that sort of control (clearly I can't), I don't want to have my Internet turn into being metered like the electric company. There's just simply too much potential variabliity. The ISPs so far have managed quite well to operate with the same flat pricing model, and I see no compelling reason why that aspect of their service has to change.
English is a difficult enough language to interpret correctly when its rules are followed, let alone when a writer chooses not to follow those rules.
Jeopardy! replies and randomcaps REALLY suck!