Monday, April 14, 2008

Coming soon: superfast internet

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By contrast, the grid has been built with dedicated fibre optic cables and modern routing centres, meaning there are no outdated components to slow the deluge of data.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.”

Yet another story, that may not come into practical life in the near future. Its like nanotechnology heavyweights ascertained in the recent past that aging process will be history by 2020. But now thay are swallowing their own words and slowly readjusting the time table to 2050. Hope things work for this generation.
Sonny Jacob, Muscat, Oman.

Sonny A. Jacob, Muscat, Oman

"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"

"Although the grid itself is unlikely to be directly available to domestic internet users"

So what is it, new internet or no new internet? I hate the way the press reports technology.

henry blince, torquay,

This reflects typical evolution of the Internet. Eventually, probably not in the very near future, we will enjoy something which makes our present situation on a par with the ancient hand cranked telephone. My hope is I'll be around to enjoy it.

Larry Baker, Lewistown, USA / PA

Worst article about grid computing, ever! Completely misses what a grid is, and misleads the public into thinking they can get access to it. Hi, I'm Dan Yocum. I work on grid technologies at Fermi National Accelerator Lab (, specifically FermiGrid (, which is a site on the Open Science Grid ( The "Grid" is *not* a just super fast network. Yes, it utilizes high bandwidth network equipment, but that's not the whole of it. The Grid also includes the computers at the end points of the network connections, as well as all the software necessary to run data analysis on those computers. That software includes the batch processing systems, the authentication and authorization middleware , the resource selection software (i.e., which sites on the grid has available CPU and hard drive space to submit a data analysis job to), the data transmission software, et al. I'm very disappointed in this article.

Dan Yocum, Batavia, USA

The secret truth about CERN is...dont freak out , but, its just a very large clothes dryer. The "Grid" is a smoke screen, dont buy into it.
Im sticking w/ 56k "old faithful". A. C. Clarke, you are missed!

rick, o p, usa/ks

If BT have anything to do with it I doubt we'll notice any difference.

dave, shrewsbury, england

Fred Hoyle described the potential superior speed of optical communications in his 1955 book, Frontiers of Astronomy. It has been interesting to see the concept materialising.
A.C. Clarke has a good depiction of what perfected virtual reality could offer in The City and the Stars (1956).
And for a striking prophetic vision of an Internet-dominated culture, try his novella The Machine Stops, by EM Forster (1909!) -- see this site for a copy:
Ironic that one of the problems he dealt with in another work -- human isolation -- was summed up in the motto "Only connect".

Paul Nash, Dublin,

The implicit discourse of this piece, and therefore of 99% of the comment upon it, is that "speed is good"... I personally find the notion of increasing the performative and simulatory power of the web in all its guises to be a rather revolting goal, as it's merely one step further towards the reification of panoptic fantasy, and one step further along the path of radical alienation!

Govinda Dickman, Bristol, UK

Interesting piece of info, but it's fiction for most of us in good ol' USA.

Cable providers are barely able to give us 10Gb per sec. and they charge up to $70.00 a month for that.

Since they are monopolies and their service is hideous, we may see this type of throughput in 50 years if things stay the way they are.

Maybe Verison could expand their service area of their FIOS service. Here's hopping.

Lenny Shkirenko, Duluth, Georgia / USA

Depending on the point of reference being used, the Internet is about 20 year old. Everything is getting faster, and the speed at which it is getting faster is accellerating.

So what will the next twenty years bring?

David Lockett, Perth, Australia

Google and Microsoft have competing ventures to process at very high speeds with microprocessors only atoms thick (stored at cold tempritures). The machines will be the size of two football fields but will handle ten times the current total world processing power, each. The connections are being built as well (Google partnered with Japanese company for their leg of the new net).

We will no longer have home computers. All processing will be fast and centeralized.

Internet II, as this has been labled for over twenty years, has been in development awaiting the processing we will soon have. It was intended, as the internet was, for use by science. number crunchers, education and governent.

Art Lynch, Las Vegas, NV, USA

This article would be more informative if it told us the actual transmission rate of this grid. Is it 10 gbs, 40, or 100gbs? Before the internet stock bubble many companies were laying fiber cable around the world. Many went bankrupt. In 2000 data could be transmitted at 10 and 40 gig rates. I assume we are now up to 100 gig today.

Walter Hamilton, Portsmouth, US / New Hampshire

sure it sounds great and will problably up and running soon or is allready, but some mastermind will find a way to cash in before anyone benefits from this technology.
here in the good old usa tax payer dollars are allways used to fund these type of science projects and when they become reality we are all on line to pay for the product again its true someone allways winds up rich and the rest of us pay for the next scientific breaktrough
gov funding go to companies and scientist then they develope something beneficial for the world but its sold to us for profit.. i think its great but then again the potential to have quantum light speed internet allso can be something real bad if it falls into the wrong hands, this means viruses, trojans malicious worms and millions of self generating reproducing attacks will allso run at rampid enormus speeds destrying whole sections of backbone in a matter of nano secounds basically we will all pay twice for everything... seems like a good idea

C RODRIGUEZ, bronx, ny

How come this April Fools joke is being published five days late?

Inge Jones, London, UK

I agree with all guys who think this article is highly misleading

Sukhesh, Bangalore, India

Are there no Network Engineers here? All the articles I've read so far have mentioned only 2 technologies to back their speed claims...Dynamic Switching and dedicated fiber. dynamic switching eliminates the overhead caused by tcp/ip by transmitting using only layer 2 frames. And dedicated fiber has a current speed limit of roughly 10Gbs (OC192) even with DWDM over fiber. Now if you have two nodes connected with 10gig NICs at layer 2 you could theoreticaly do 8Gbs transfer speeds (even layer 2 framing has 20%+ overhead). So this 'grid' is just all the latest and greatest networking technologies from end to end in other words this is nothing new or revolutionary.

prvfo, Philadelphia, PA

OK, OK, stop fighting children. Many people have invented many components of the Internet and WEB. That’s the whole point and whole philosophy behind it.

The Inter-Networking protocols were designed to span networks. Now we have another two to add to the mix. Great ! They don’t have to compete, just contribute.

Personally, if someone would run some fiber optic, or even CAT5 into my house I would be ecstatic. But until that day I will watch the technology developments from behind my ADSL modem.

May the first one to give me a fast Internet connection win !

Ronald, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Let's stop arguing, the web is a great tool; and an even faster, stabler, efficient one would be even better!

Who really cares who did what and when, get a life!?

ChasNDave, Cumbria, UK

The Web is the Internet, Mike from Northampton.

They are not separable. The Web is really an additional set of protocols, HTML, HTTP that run over the Internet, itself a set of transport protocols - TCP/IP, UDP, RIP, OSPF, BGP, etc.

If the Internet wasn't there or didn't exist, the 'web' couldn't exist.

The Internet is the interconnection of the various IP based packet networks - originally in the US but now global.

What Berners Lee invented in 1990 was another protocol - to add to the many - to access and transfer information across the Internet. This could already be done using protocols like TELNET and FTP. But one had to know the address of the sever to access the file. He took concepts like Hypertext that was discussed by others much earlier than himself, in the 1960's at Brown university.

But the web was popularised by the Mosaic browser in 1993, not Berners Lee or CERN, which was itself funded by NSC, a funding program intiated by then Senator Al Gore in 1991

Paul, Toronto, Canada

Man, what the world are you talking about Nathan?

"What terrible reporting. Your lead to believe this is all happening at CERN being developed in Europe. No mention of the Internet 2 consortium in Arlington, VA. who is actually developing the next generation internet. Thank god the US is maintaining control of its technology and not handing it over to a bunch of Europeans. They would make a mess of it as they did that constitution for the EU. What was that document something like a few thousand pages?"

What a load of rubbish! First off, "Abilene [the Internet2 network] spans over 10,000 miles and operates at 2.4 Gbps, a speed 45,000 times faster than a 56K modem" (Internet2, Just for your information, 56K times 45,000 is 2,520,000k OR approx 2500 megabytes. The last I checked, that math adds up to a lot less than approx 7470 to 15,000 mb/s at minimum for "the grid."

Note: using FCC definitions for "basic broadband" speeds.

Isaac Madsen, Rexburg, Idaho, USA

To those complaining about the claim that CERN invented the "internet" - you're misreading. It said that the web was invented there, ie what you see in front of you, HTTP. The internet's much more than the world wide web, but CERN developed what you use.

Mike, Northampton, UK

Having followed developments in software and networking since the 1980s, I find this article exceptionally misleading. I am astonished that The Times' science correspondent can confuse the Internet with the World Wide Web. Nor does he explain the difference between the Internet and the Internet Protocols (IP). It is even more surprising that he does not seem to grasp that it is precisely its nature as a "hotchpotch of cables and routing equipment" that makes the Internet so valuable. It is a "network of networks", to which any private or corporate network may be connected - or not, as the owners choose. The whole point of the Internet is that it is available to everyone, everywhere - which means that it must also be a "lowest common denominator". It has always been possible to build a high-speed network like the "grid" you describe, which may then be connected to the rest of the Internet if desired. Of course, it will be a lot more expensive - a point you neglect to mention.

Tom Welsh, Basingstoke,

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989? I thought Al Gore invented the internet? I'm confused.

Tom Haines, Chicago, Illinois

technological singularity anyone?

Billy Ray Valentine, London,

Nathan, what ARE you on? High speed internet is a JOKE in the US. I soooo wish I could get on the Euro internet...
Talk about blindly patriotic, sheesh.

teleri, asheville, USA

"scientists at Cern - where Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989 - ..."

My foot! The US' DARPA Agency commissions advanced research for DoD. It was founded in response to the surprise Sputnik launch in 1958 and fathered the Internet somewhere along the way. Sir Whomever is 31 years behind the power curve. Nice try, no cigar! Check your facts.

Ross Parker, Vacaville, CA/USA

Nathan ,Camp Hill,PA bunch is a technology term I presume in the USA, only in the UK its used to describe a collection of bananas, just a thought......

william morgan, colwyn bay, Wales

Is Al Gore at the center of this research?

Jackstand, Fort Worth, TX

It amazes me how many Americans come to this newspaper's forum. Reading through all the posts from the US it's clear how poorly informed and glib they are on facts and world perception. I suppose they're at least seeking out proper journalism in this newspaper rather than the brainwashing tripe that exists in the US media. Everything you read and see in America has an agenda towards the bottom line.

Rocco, Austin, TX

Well Rick you should know that Al Gore invented everything, global warming, Al Gore..........

Chris, Aberdeen, UK

How do you get this? If you can that is. If not then when can you get it?

Bob Marlie, Valbonne, France

How about "Global Gaming Grid (ggg)" for a full name?

Maybe they could set up a system where people could register domain names --like on the web-- for example.... .

Cloud computing is very likely what Mssrs. Cerf and Kahn wanted the Internet to be all along, but is only now becoming technologically feasible.

Ed, Jacksonville, FL

Progress comes at the speed the market will allow. Innovation comes from necessity. The only way this innovation will be broadly implemented is through the market, through Capitalism.

dougfromeagan, Eagan, MN

Just hope that Indonesia is also join this network :)

Hok, Mojokerto, Indonesia

If you read the opening pages of the PNAC Doc
(Rebuilding Americas Defenses)
You will see that Dick Chaney states that this is one of the step they ( globalists ) are taking to totally run America as a fascist state. They talk and print their intents...I listen and read.

Good luck

Rod, Vancouver, WA

This just sounds like backbone internet connectivity to the home, unless there are some smarts involved on the end user side that we are not being told about?

With existing technology, you can transmit 1000's of Gbps over a single pair of optical fibres. Which is even faster than quoted in this article.

The tricky bit is getting end user/home equipment with IO performance to match!

Shane, Dublin, Ireland

Micron has SDRAM that can transfer at 1066MB/s. So if you wanted to download to RAM you could do 5GB in about 4.8 seconds, Then flush to a SSD in about 36.5 seconds. 5GB is more then many movies so I think you can download a full length feature film in 5 seconds (with a little ingenuity of course). By the way drive times are getting much faster and when (or if) the grid is implemented for users world wide I'm sure our new computers will be able to handle it.

GT, Kansas,

correct me if im wrong, but...Copying that much data in such a short ammount of time is only thoretical. The reality is that your home pc doesnt have the capabilty's to accept that much data that quickly, Im only refering to the file downloading. Unless you have 8 gigs of ram to store that inforation while its being written to a hard drive your actual speed of sending and recieving will still be limited by the speed of the hard drive to retrieve and send data. Streaming it is different but if you are going to download a 20 gig file in 30 seconds you better have 10 procs and 40 hard drives writing together to accept that info. (once your information is on the grid who ones it. there have to be some owership struggles going on. You dont own the server its going to be kept on.)

Chris , Lubbock, Tx

I'd like two please. Immediately.

Andrew Waldron, Bournemouth, UK

I didn't know Al Gore was inventing something new to replace his internet.

richard, Coweta, Oklahoma

I forsee future wars fought over the control of the Grid.

Elizabeth, Houston, TX

Bobb, I would not expect it to stay premium priced forever. Even with as much as it currently costs to hook up to it, there are organizations who have been waiting for just such a thing and will most definitely make use of it. As computers continue to evolve, and the network continues to expand, it's very likely it will reach a price point approachable by consumers. That is, as long as it's not replaced by some other revolutionary technology first.

Drew, Los Angeles, CA

When this thing trips and loses all your "Cloud data" it will come up with a message saying "You should have saved a backuo of everything on your home computer". So what have we gained?

Ed Barrett, St. Joseph, Missouri, USA

I'm not entirely sure that there is all that much interesting information left. Spend a few minutes on any subject on the current web and either the content or your interest becomes exhausted.

No doubt we'll all be enthalled with the latest particle physics experiment results! But seriously, I'd just like my electric bill to be lower, get our government ot stop wasting money, get my kids well educated, and see a doctor quickly. I don't see anything geared to those noble projects.

Yes, we'll have clearly video and audio with animated figures and graphs, but what about the quality of the content behind it?

It will still take 9 months to birth a child, a season to grow crops, and at least a week for your bank to cash an out of state check.

John , San Marino, CA

Will this second-generation Internet succeed? It will all depend on how much the powers that be who control it, decide to charge for the privilege of accessing it.

If it is priced for the mass market, like our current Internet, it will thrive.

If it is premium-priced, especially in economically troubled times like these, it will die on the vine, the way overpriced technological phenomena like quadraphonic sound died in the recession of the 70s, and we'll all continue to blog away happily on the affordable internet we currently have..

Bobb, Rochester, NY, USA

I wonder if Al Gore will claim credit for inventing the Grid like he did for the Internet.


Nancy, Dumont, NJ

What terrible reporting. Your lead to believe this is all happening at CERN being developed in Europe. No mention of the Internet 2 consortium in Arlington, VA. who is actually developing the next generation internet. Thank god the US is maintaining control of its technology and not handing it over to a bunch of Europeans. They would make a mess of it as they did that constitution for the EU. What was that document something like a few thousand pages?

Nathan, Camp Hill , PA

None of this is out of the realm of possibility, as everything in the world is moving ahead at lightning speed. Witness the incredible increase in the rate of CPU speed in computers compared with the speed of computers a few years ago. Cell phones keep changing and increasing capabilities. Science, in general, moves swiftly forward. Where it will all end only God knows.

Fran Cummings, Williamsport, PA

Sounds like a lot of hype.

Folks have been trying to defeat malaria since before they knew how malaria was transmitted. Gin and tonic was one of the first "treatments", and now the chemical of choice is again DDT that dates back to 1874. How come all the super-duper computers to date haven't had any success but fiber optic will be the technological breakthrough?

Grid computing only speeds things up if the problem is 99.999% parallel, like trying to crack cryptography, where you divide the possible keys among a lot of processors.

Other applications, even ones with just a little sequential processing, don't benefit from a grid.

Computer problems that go into exponential possibilities, are generally unsolvable for anything interesting. Turning every atom into a computer linked by the speed of light still won't solve the game of chess.

William Wallace, Apex,

In one way, this story is one step away from being an Infomercial. In another way, it sounds to me they are rewriting history. Sounds like tactics used in a great book of fiction written some 80 years ago.

This whole thing is a dangerous path. The Anti-Christ predicted in the Bible will surely use this to monitor and control everyone connected. They'll have a camera in every room, and a speaker to direct your every movement. "It's time to worship the Anti-Christ, kneal and pray, Big Brother is watching you. " They'll have mind police viewing you as you walk through life, examining your facial expressions and monitoring your every move and everything you say in your sleep.

One passage in the Bible said thousands of years ago, that everyone in the world will see an event occur at the same time. TV, the Internet and now the Grid, will make that all very possible.
Jesus Christ wants to save you. Ask Him in.

Doug, In, Indiana

CERN invented the world wide web and probably the internet because the internet as we know probably didn't exist before this. the US army may have invented the hardware but this isnt the final solution.

Paul, slough,

AIEEE!! The internet was NOT pioneered by CERN, but by the US Government (Arpanet and friends.) The ONLY real thing that CERN did was to produce a presentation scheme/web browser concept. That is FAR FAR from pioneering the internet. I had been using the internet (or is predecessor) by at least 5yrs before the WWW stuff existed (approx 1985 or before.)

John Dyson, Indianapolis, Indiana,USA

Richard, sorry about your situation in Virginia.

But the immutable truth is this will never change. The 95% of anything will never wait on the 5% of nothing. Simply put, it's a dollar waiting on a dime.

In the U.S., you are free to live anywhere, period. NASCAR isn't coming to Topping Virginia; you will have to go to Richmond watch the race.

High speed Internet will get to your area, just like electricity and telephones. But it may take 20 years. When the Internet achieves parity with electricity, water, telephone, etc, then the Government will get around to insuring the service is offered to that area.

Until then, enjoy living in a area "where people lie to be left alone". THAT's the price you pay, for NOT ready access to these other services. Many in the City wish they had what you do. Most value THEIR services and quality of life more than the value of solitude.

Perhaps live somewhere in the middle.

dan, austin, TX, USA

The possibility of having our own information stored on-line in the grid rather than in our desktops' hdisks is more a liability than a breakthrough.

This because there's no way we can trust the grid personnel or the companies who sponsor the project. The recent past showed us the high risk of entrusting our personal data to governments or institutions like the EC or the UN.

That's a «no way».

Besides, what would be the cost - for us, users - of such a monster? In a time of global economic crisis, it would be foolhardy to try and commercialize such a thing.

And Guenter, below, is absolutely right. It was not CERN that developed the internet, instead, it was developed for military use - derived from the ARPAD system.

And there's still a long, long way to go, as he says.

Carlos Portugal, Cascais, Portugal

I am sure that ATT and Comcast will make sure that this will not to make it into the consumer's hand. This is why US is getting seriously behind for broadband.

Jeremy Chone, San Francisco,

The Internet was not invented in Cern - but HTML was. In fact the Internet has been derrived from the military ARPAD system.

Those super fast connections need lots of investment and taking the US as example where the majority of users is still on dialup - there is a long way to go.

Guenter, Holualoa, USA/HI

"Dr. John Papandriopoulos"
seek and find
knowledge will set you free

malakes, koimaste,


Jason, Tempe, AZ USA

I thought Al Gore invented the internet.

Rick, phoenix, arizona

Bob Taylor from Stanford in the USA wrote:

In the U.S. most people believe that the "Internet" was " invented" or, more properly speaking, grew out of a DARPA program, funded by the U.S. DOD to connect educational institutions.

Bob you are correct!

The World Wide Web is only a minor cog in a major wheel that we now know as the 'internet'.

I am amazed every day at the level of intelligence the good Lord in heaven, blessed be his name, has bestowed upon men of all nationalities and creeds of this world.

Mark , Maidstone, Kent

How to connect it?

ely2k, Miami, US,Fl

Does this mean JDSU's stock will return to its old highs based on buildout of this new wave of optical networking?

Ted, Melbeach,

Three words, LAG FREE GAMING!!!
Oh yeah and cures for things and bad stuff but seriously who cares when you can frag people without lag, no me. lol

Eric, Saint Cloud, FL

All that speed and we'll still be charged extra if we download more than 60 Gigs/month.
Looks like you will be able to do that in seconds.

Tim, Toronto,

why 420 years?

jimmy, hibbington, ca

So, at one end of the spectrum of human endeavor you have this wonderful example of brilliant cooperative ingenuity; at the other is Terminal 5.

David Masu, Zürich,

So does this spell the end for mankind, does the film terminator ring a bell as computers will some day soon decide we are a threat to the planet and be able to communicate with each other quicker than a gang of bingo bashers in a tea room.

On a more serious note who will police this platform as espionage and information theft will only flourish with the potential to rape corporations of their intellectual properties in milliseconds. The film and music industry must be real worried to as films and albums change hands in a flash.

Unlike the WWW this platform needs regulation from day 1.

Sean Scholes, Rossendale , UK

The Web isn't a thing. CERN nor Berners-Lee invented a thing. They invented yet another protocol to allow easier transmission of information over the thing - which is the internet.

The internet is an amalgam of many devices - routers and switches - connected via a number of media - fiber, copper, etc - that allow user PCs and Servers to virtually connect.

HTML allowed creation of pages that made it easier for users to access the information on servers.

So CERN didn't create some thing that was different to or better than the Internet. It simply allowed easier use of the internet....

Paul, Toronto, Canada

These days, the consciousness of the human race is degenerating faster than ever. It's like we're hell-bent on destroying the planet we're dependent on. The arrival of a new and faster Internet v2.0 will only mean that powerful people are going to be able to send mind-poisoning memes (masking as entertainment, advertising, mass media information etc.) around the globe at speeds never seen before.

I don't want all this stuff anymore. Technical "progress", nuclear-, nano- and bio-technology in the hands of global corporations, I am sick of it. It's the wrong way, because in our global state of mind, our state of greed, it's the way leading straight to our demise.

Michael, Germany,

Big deal...Japan has had a fiber optic network in every neighborhood for years. And, it is for the home user, not just scientists.

My mother, who can barely work a computer well enough to read email, has a 100 Mbs symmetric fiber line in her home for $35 USD per month.

Sorry, but you all have a long way to go.

Toshiyuki, Osaka, Japan

this all sounds like the matrix to me , already the planet is going mad hopefully i will be long dead when people are in the Matrix ! wierd stuff all i know is this " Computer says NO"

lee harrison, london, uk

Many internet users are already helping find cures for diseases by letting their computers work on non-profit 'grids'. One good example is which lets top scientists study some very difficult medical problems using your computer's extra energy. The best part is that the user does not need any special knowledge, and his regular computer use is not affected.

Chucky H., Los Angeles, California

The grid is complete. Now there is a God.

Dwar, Aluqasia, Earf

w.r.t. the first post. Will we be BORG?

Jerry, Bozeman, USA

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989? I thought ARPA did back in the 1960s.

eric, East Berlin, PA

You want this 'grid' available to everybody? Easy!! Make it known that every porn movie ever made can be downloaded to any PC in 10 seconds!
Just like VCRs, VOILA.

Jerry, Wanaque, NJ

"The Grid" sounds too close to "The Matrix" for comfort here.

John Linko, Grand Junction, CO, USA

have you ever read the terms of service agreement from your isp. privacy, speed, and access are all myths...

frankie, Ada, Michigan

"Although the grid itself is unlikely to be directly available to domestic internet users, ..."

So near the end of the article we learn it's not really going to replace the net.

Sands, Palm Springs, CA

This page took 43 seconds to download on my "up to 20Mb" connection.

Paul Caira, London,

i claim cloud 9

jay, pelham, nh

Sure, sure. if it's as lonney as the latest crop of particle physicists, it's just another pipedream.

Rob, Apache Junction, Arizona

One might think a black hole is in the stages of development, with the amount of information being produced at the speed of light ,with fiber optics. See you all in the vertex state of knowledge.

Donald J. Kleban, Chicago, Illinois

And I though "Terminator III: Rise of the Machines" could never happen! Just wait till out DNA is online...AND REPLICATED!



Introducing our US readers, cynical as ever.

jeff, Manchester,

holographic porn? YES!

john, hobart,

To Joe, from New Orleans -

we have the telephone in Europe.....

Dan E, London,

I want to be isolated within a capsule, partially submerged in a gelatinous substance. I want to exist in a semi-vegetative state and be fed intravenously while my physical mind is wired into a holographic, grid-based collective, where it will be bombarded with archetypal images of what it's like to be human.

But I do not want to pay more than $39.99 per month for this, no installation fee, and I want first 3 months free if they don't include HBO.

MacGuffin, Panama City, Florida

Yeh, so I'm thinking, being taken to court to stop them playing with their new toy, and suddenly, they have this carrot to dangle in front of us to show that they really are the good guys. do I sound a little sceptical? Oh I do hope so.

They're using the LHC to do experiments, to find stuff out, as in, stuff they don't know, or at least don't know for certain, yet they can tell us, apparently with absolute certainty, that none of the fears that have been voiced, will happen. I'm starting to sense something here, a teeny wee touch of arrogance maybe?

Jimmy, Edinburgh, Scotland

it will probably be mainly used for porn, just like the one we've got now.... so much for greatness !!

monica, london,

Let's call it "The Matrix"!

steve, Klamath Falls,

Why don't we just let machines do all our thinking for us ? ( ie. The next Big Thing)

H.T. Benderski, McMasterville, Canada

Just imagine what a mature grid will enable us to do! We could go to Mars and sample rocks while even receiving the smells of the soil. We could land on Mercury, verboten otherwise. We could get aboard the Titanic by booking a walk-around with many others, or dive into a volcano.

We could even go to Jupiter -- deep into its clouds as millions "see" themselves as the only one there.

Robotics -- excellent robotics, even micro-bots, is all we need. We could truly "go where no man has gone before" (or, is capable of going).

After not too many years, we could hop from one to another. Flying to other cities for a meeting would have no more excuses as a necessity. You could appear any way you wanted to others, if at all.

The North and South poles, and the ability to look all around, and choose to feel or not feel would be optional. You would be an invincibler presence in dangereous zones.

No one need be lonely, even if they are paralyzed from the neck down.

Sleep on the blackness of the ocean floor, and set it to awaken you in the Amazon jungle.

If you can think it, and there is a telepresence there, you can go there. You can meet with and talk to people who have died -- just as clearly as if it was actually occurring.

Would this become addictive? Would people disconnect and find that they are filthy, and smell like horse hockey? IOW, would they truly tune in and drop out? You could make your home seem much larger, and look like new, even if it was a shack.

You could nearly participate in any position in any sport -- anywhere and at any time. You could even travel inside of someone once personal miniature e-bots are available. Keep thinking!

Bob Nelson, Jacksonville, Florida

For many of us old geeks - we know the development of networking, and the networking of networks, the development of clustering and the introduction of TCP/IP... This is also clearing documented in old UNIX, AIX, HpUx set-up manual's. There was an Internet, prior to the introduction of “the World-WideWeb� which offered its “Hypertext!� and the http:// process.

Prior to 1988, you had to know the address of the machine you wanted access to. You had to use commands like Archie, Veronica, Finger, Gopher and Telnet. Those were fun days. I remember installing "smart" counters into COKE machines and being able to ping them with a telnet session to report back what flavors of soda’s needed refilled.

SO, just one question, do we really need a faster Internet? Games, Video, 24X7 Advertising 10,000 times faster – oh Joy.

David C. Gibbs, Boise, Idaho, USA

my only fear is "GOVENMENT" and how they will use it !

fred, derbyshire, uk

Even less human face to face interaction.
Are we getting to zero, with only electronic interface?

Buckley, Washington, DC, USA

Along with the "nano-graphic-magnito" that I invented this past year there can be no doubt that individuals will soon have the capacity to decipher the thoughts of anyone located within fifty of their specific loci.

Doug Soderstrom, Wharton, Texas

The technoloy is useless without practicality. In this country if one wants to get internet he/she has to apply for a minimum 12 months contract. That is pathetic, and a clear sympton of mafia among the UK telecomunication companies

John, London,

How many more of my hard earned EU tax pounds are being put towards projects like this? I demand they drop this fanciful notion of discovery and start putting money back to tried and tested isues, like subsidising French farmers

dan, londonshire,

This technology further underscores the "bee" social theory that postulates that human society is more closely resembling both the organizatiion and communication speeds of a bee hive.

Bruce Josloff, San Francisco, CA

What the hell IS "the grid"? Quantum computing/networking? SKYNET?

Find out a way to wire peoples' brains to "the grid" and you'll have your very own hive mind, or 6 billion people with profound schizophrenia?

Mike, Tampa, United States

This provides unprecedented opportunities for hacking and stealing information. There won't be time for recognition by the time a hacker has broken into a system and ripped off everything of value.

The hacking, of course, will be human being to slow it down. Security has demonstrated it can't stop hackers. Only human monitoring of networks has been able to shut down a really good hacker once he's in. Speeds in this range will prevent any security from being effective.

Matt, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Wow, this stuff is exciting. However, I'm not convinced the "particle of life" exists! Why do we not wquestion the theory but always question a process which will take decades to determine? I think it's about getting more money out of the poor saps to support the ivory tower types who think of themselves as "elites!"

Mda, PA, USA

THAT is some exciting news! Can't wait to see it happen!

BUT (and this is coming from the geek gallery) can we PLEASE not confuse the web with the Internet--at least not when it comes to news articles? The Internet is a network of networks. The world wide web is simply a medium for accessing the Internet. Other mediums are SMTP, FTP, etc. It isn't all just "the web" to where it will be replaced by "the grid."

Thank you! :)

Matt, Hemet,

In order to download a Full length feature film in 5 seconds, you'd need something capable of writing the downloaded data to in 5 seconds. Otherwise there'd be no point in downloading it.

Let me think now what is available to the home user that can achieve those write speeds?

No I give up!

I also wonder if to counter the thought of what pirates could do with such fast download speeds, there aren't already plans a foot to replace Blu-Ray with a new super high definition format using 5 Petabytes per film?

Mad Malc, Wolverhampton, UK

In the U.S. most people believe that the "Internet" was " invented" or, more properly speaking, grew out of a DARPA program, funded by the U.S. DOD to connect educational institutions. -- "The ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) developed by DARPA of the United States Department of Defense, was the world's first operational packet switching network, and the predecessor of the global Internet." --

Bob Taylor, Stanford , USA

I think all related technologies coming out of this should be
free for use and also share with differents org like the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence),Nasa,NESDIS provides timely access to global environmental data from satellites and other sources this way we could better our way of life on earth having a clean and pure earth is the call of our generation.

joe martin, daytona,daytona city, usa,fl

definetly skynet... it is time to arm ourselves for the next revolution.

S, gary, IN

As the wicked wolf said to Little Red Riding Hood, "The better to see you with, my dear!"

Bill W., Free Union, Virginia

'Downloading entire feature films within seconds'... and the heads of the entertainment conglomerates are complain *today* about online P2P file-sharing?

Evan Burroughs, Winnetka, California, USA


Tony, Las Vegas, Nevada

The superfast Internet is a logical step forward in the global communication systems. I have noticed recently that the present Internet is getting slower and slower, probably due to overcharge.
The real question is will the superfast become as global and as popular, serving ordinary customers as well as governments and big business companies. And - of course - will it be costly or not? The history of most of the inventions shows that every new invention will become less costly after some time. ISo it happened with the cellular phone systems, which used to be "exclusive" and very costly in the 1990s and are cheap and universal now. The superfast and the more efficient Internet is much needed and it should develop very fast.
David Dastych
(working on the Web and earning his income from several countries)

David Dastych, Warsaw, Poland

This sounds fantastic! Hey, can we send liquid through it? Then we could solve the problem of one third the world's population not having enough clean water to drink.

iain carstairs, bedford, uk

John are completely erroneous.
The article correctly states that the WEB was invented at CERN.
The INTERNET and the WEB are completely different things.

Roger, London,


Jeffrey Powers, Boise, Idaho, USA

fibre rules!

rebecca, st.augustine, usa/fl

Dr Torn - you're right of course. Al Gore helped to invent global warming. Silly me.

Edward, Lincoln, England

"Joe" was being facetious. Everyone knows Al Gore didn't invent the internet but he has taken huge criticism for a comment he made that led people to believe he was making that claim. It's a running joke here in North America and used by opponents to make him look silly, which he is.

Eric, Toronto, Canada

The great thing about the origional internet, was that you live in a cave and run a cyber business. Before the internet you needed to be near resources. When DSL came along you could only keep up if you had access to the new technology. I live in an area where DSL won't be offered for 10 more years. My only choice is Satelite feeds. This technology will widen the gap even more. It sounds great and all sugar coated, but I think it only gives the areas with huge population centers more control . In these areas the majority of people are used to services and turning to their government for answers, ahereas in the rural areas people more often want to be left alone and don't trust giving up their control. Now who will be the the ones with access to all our information? What will happen to all the web businesses that don't have access? How about just contacting companies and government; will it be like having a rotary phone today? I love things to improve, but I have questions.

richard, topping, virginia

Umm I don't think that people realize that their is already this "ultra high speed internet" available. Some countries are just much farther behind because they dont embrace technology as well as others. For example where i grew up the absolute best internet you can get is a pathetic 3MB connection with at most a 300K upload speed which costs about $60us a month. Where I live now (south korea) you can get a 100MB connection for about 30000W which is about $30us. this "ultra high speed internet" isnt anything new its just fiber optics. Unfortunately most US companies wont take the time or money like other countries to upgrade their equipment.

Raziel, Songtan, Korea

Joe from the USA you are sadly mistaken:

Chris, London, UK

At what point would such a superbrain become self-aware? And what would its first thoughts be?

Jess Moore, Forney , USA/TX

It seems a April fool hoax

srini, Dubai, UAE

@jack, louisville, kentucky

I'll think you'll find that this initiative isn't the result of "capitalism" CERN is publically funded via the EU.

@Edward, Lincoln, Dan Quayle invented the potatoe, not Al Gore who famously didn't invent the Internet - nor enable it.

Dr tom, london,

Ohhhhhh, just relax and let the "future" arrive. You can figure out what to do with it once it's here.

Pschneid, Pottsboro, Texas

To Judy; God already invented protection for children. It's called loving, responsible parents.
BTW is anyone surprised that the internet is going to get faster?

ken, Jacksonville, Florida

Gotta love the right-wing morons who perpetrate the myth that Al Gore claimed to have invented the internet. Funny how they never have a source to cite on this one. HA HA !

midvanisle, courtenay, canada

and BT will make it available 20 years after the rest of the world

John Ledbury, Kings Lynn, England

What could this do for projects like Folding@home?

Floyd, Long Island, NY, USA,

It's a series of tubes dammit! When will you people learn!!!

Mr. Gore will not be pleased.

Ken, Bridgetown, Barbados

Completely erroneous. CERN did not invent the internet. It was a US dept of defense initiative to harden communications during nuclear war. TCP/IP and networking was invented by a bunch of brilliant US students. All the elements were in place in 1970.

John Redpath, metuchen, NJ, USA

this is just what Big Brother needs to place interactive video screens in your bedroom! Bravo! And while they're at it....Cern will try making a black hole that could swallow the Earth. Brilliant !!

What we need is a worldwide ETHICAL United Nations that is situated BETWEEN the Scientists and the Legislators, so that scientific breakthroughs can be directed toward the development of the human race, instead of towards its demise.

And while they're at it, they can get rid of weapons of mass destruction ! Disarm now !!

Maybe one of England's new cross-species mutants will show us the way..... Hail to the Future !

mike miller, newark, nj, usa

Al Gore invented the 'potatoe', not the internet.....

Edward, Lincoln, England

The internet is already too advancedd for what we can handle. Hacking and idenity theft is already out of control and this will just give the pirates more resources. How about scientist and programmers work on advancing security issues first then work on more advanced computers and internet!!!!

Jim Small, Atco, N.J. USA

I would prefer a superhuge, superfast merry-go-round in which all the mad scientists could ride their hobby horses.

Tell me, who will be sitting within that cloud where everyones' data is stored?

Wilson James, Jamestown, NY

Oh, yeah, I'd trust my data to storage on a grid network...Not.

And how would we ensure that omnipresent nanny states like the all-and-ever-intrusive British government or the anti-liberty European Union bureaucrats can't nab our data and turn it against us in their drive to create optimum oppressive state?

Solve those issues and the grid sounds like a pretty good derivative of the network DARPA created...

jColes, Elba, AL, USA

I'm afraid stating that the LHC, which is a massive machine with its components arranged along a 27 km circumference, and the grid, as it was suitably described by Jonathan Leake, were devised and made only to find the elusive Higgs boson is a gross oversimplification that does not do justice to the true scope of the projects.

Any physicist would in fact eagerly proclaim, eg, that the conditions immediately following the birth of our universe will be, however fleetingly, produced Also, collidng lead nuclei at near the speed of light, we expect to be able to gather evidence of other dimensions of the physical world, by simply listening to the overtones of these events echoing within such hitherto undescript realms. And we can't help mentioning the generation of "custom-made" black holes, and many other things.

The Higgs is eagerly sought for because it is the ultimate evidence that we need to support the "Standard Model" - our map of reality at the sub-nuclear level.

Roberto Ruggiu, Roma, Italy

oh good god hurry up!

sebastian stephenson, leixlip, kildare,ireland

Al Gore did not even say he "gave" anyone the internet. Here is the exact quotation that was subsequently distorted by America's right-leaning media step by step until it's been accepted as fact:

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

Viking, Lansing, MI, USA

Check yours. What Algore actually said was,
"I took the initiative in creating the Internet" which is actually much closer to "invented" (attributed to him by Wired Magazine) than the the nuance you tried to provide

J. Patterson, Cloverdale, CA

DonT be rediculous. We all know that Al Gore invented the internet and he invented global warming. Let's give credit where credit is due.

Cracker, Memphis, TN/USA

A confusing article, ask Cisco if most companies are using outdated equipment for internet access.

It's not BT's outdated infrastructure, the government has to work out how to give all the population fibre access.

Peter, Weston-super-Mare, UKJ

Re: The Grid

Are we sure we need it?

Chris, Toronto, Canada

Could the Large Hadron Collider be used to build another planet so we can get off this one and get away from nu-labour, eco-mentalists , sticky beaks , Red Ken , McDonalds , Simon Cowell , cctv , George Bush , especially Gordon Brown , in fact all politicians.Or do we put them on the new planet and we tidy up the mess here.

Nick Dixon, Sutton Coldfield, England

Oh, very nice. Now wait until BT gets involved...

Then it'll become "Speeds of up to..." and crippled by BT's antiquated exchange/local loop infrastructure!

Chris, St Leonards, UK

wait - wait ..... can it make casserole???

David, Sarasota, fl

excellent -- imagine interactive holograms for personal or business use -- of course, the goosestepping left will put a stop to it -- for you can not enjoy the fruits of capitalism without being branded anti-earth

jack, louisville, kentucky

Joe...check your facts:

i, The Web and the Internet are not the same thing.

ii, AG said I 'gave' you the Internet....not I 'invented' the Internet.

Roger, London,

Faster Porn. hehehe

Mike, Phoenix, Arizona

How many Al Gores are there out there claiming to have invented the internet?

Bill, Eldon,

This sounds like an amazing achievement.

I have a feeling that the music and film industry wont like it though,why?

Imagine downloading an HD film in a matter of seconds form someone else on the other side of the world without paying for it?
There would be almost no chance of tracking this kind of behavior or any other for that matter. I would prefer to be anonymous on the internet and i think a lot more people would as well.
Seems like faster internet would level the playing field for everyone :)

J Sutton, High Wycombe, Bucks

So young children can get access to pornography and the like even faster than they do now! How about inventing protection for kids first?

judy, Liverpool, England

hmm this sounds all too familiar...has anyone seen terminator?.. i can see this as the new skynet. LOL

korak, sydney, australia

This may just be representitive of a devious mind, but with faster and faster internet speeds, paired with tigher and tighter piracy clampdowns - there doesn't really seem much point, does there?

Don't get me wrong, this sounds amazing and I'm in awe of the technological advancements, but I can't think of a legal use for anything that would necessitate these kinds of speeds.

Pirate, Wales, UK.,

Wait a minute; have you checked your facts? Al Gore invented the internet

Joe, Roswell, USA

what i need is time ti use it

satish, pune, in

All it means to me is bad news arriving faster

V Cooper, Yeovil, UK

Where can I buy? That's the only question I have.

Tom, Hendserson, Colorado

this sounds great, but what about the social impact in a society where I already need to prize my children off the computer with a crowbar.

Alec Grocott, Manchester, Britain

I see a tremendous danger here people. If many people choose to keep their info in "cloud storage" on an internet dependent upon electricity, what happens when the power goes off worldwide in a natural catastrophe, which, though regular, is something our species hasn't yet experienced, such as a super massive solar flare? Asimov, Clark and others have mentioned in their writings and speculations that extremely sophisticated civilizations would leave virtually no trace of their existence as all their information would be stored in a manner so highly evolved and fragile......such as "cloud storage", that once the machines used ceased to function, all the information accumulated by that civilization would be lost forever. So, rather than new machine entities being born in 30 years, we may be thrown back to the dark ages and relying on the info left in BOOKS to reteach us simple things like feeding ourselves. So, I urge EXTREME CAUTION. Carve it in stone, Mister.

victor compton, Cherbourg, France

This al depends on the Large Hadron Collider not destroying the planet, which they think might be possible.

Meg, San Ramon, CA

Does this mean that I will get junk email 10,000 faster than today?

JohnKerry, Boston, MA

And so one spin-off of CERN will be that the entire world will benefit from an incredibly fast Internet. And the Large Hadron Collider has not even been fired up yet. What future benefits may be in store for mankind?Congratulations to the Europeans for having the courage and foresight to explore new frontiers in science! In the United States we junked our Super-Collider. As a result we are quickly becoming a scientific backwater.

Robert Boeckmann, Bartelso, USA / IL

So typical of Europeans: only available to academics and your betters, keep it out of the consumers hands, just like the telephone....sheesh

Joe, New Orleans,

So, eventually we Plebes will have access to the "New & Improved Ultra High-Speed 'Internet' ". Oh yeah. RIGHT!!

Just here in the USA about 50% of Internet users still only have access to the slow pokey dial-ups.

Oh -- Cable and DSL presently for the rest of us? Sorry, but both are still not fast enough.
Perhaps the South Koreans with their nationwide Ultra High Speed DSL connections may be the fortunate ones.

Juan Pablo, Naples, USA / Florida

TECHNICALLY, the World Wide Web WAS invented at CERN. It just happens that the WWW runs on top of the Internet, which grew out of the ArpaNet built by DARPA prior to that. The WWW is NOT the same thing as the Internet, but most people use the terms interchangeably, leading to the above confusion.

Richard, Berkley, MA, USA

People, read the article! There is a difference between the World Wide Web and the Internet. Tim Berners Lee is credited with inventing the Web, the Internet is a different kettle of fish, namely the whole idea of IP and the infrastructure the web sits on top of.

The Internet was a military invention and never designed for public use, the invention of IP packet networking was a giant step in the direction of what we take for granted today but it was only a complex data network until Tim Berners Lee took that and turned it into the web we all use today. He built the first web page and the first web browser, invented hyperlinks and domain names.

But crucially Lee and his colleagues at Cern did was to give it to the world and make it free. They gave us the web that we use and take for granted today.

On a side note, the current time to download a movie is 3 hours or so, what?? with a modern ADSL2+ broadband connection a typical hollywood movie can be downloaded in around 10 mins!

GM, Brisbane,

The article is correct - Tim Berners-Lee (CERN) invented the World Wide Web ~1989. Of course ARPAnet (precursor to the internet) has been around since ~1960. The important thing to remember is that "the internet" is not the same as "the world wide web". The web is something that runs on the net.

Jason, Central Coast, Australia

I would have been psyched about this a couple of weeks ago. Then I read an article about how much power is used by all of the servers we already have... most of them dedicated PCs running at 5-10% load. Not to mention the power required to cool the buildings that contain them.

Face it folks, we're toast...

Brad, Denver,

Great so now I can d/l stuff quicker meaning I will have time for other things. Naw, just means I will have to d/l even more stuff. Imagine all those people that will d/l 1000's of movies that they will never have time to watch, but fill the living space with. ;)

Kevin, fullerton, ca

By about 2030, global networks of this nature will have evolved ineradicable interactive, synergistic contexts akin to sentience-- "emergent orders" existing everywhere and nowhere, immune to human interference or even understanding.

Whether such cyber-entities act positively, negatively, indeed at all, will transcend their original designers' comprehension. Perspectives on cosmological space/time scales, instantaneous parallel-processing in quantum realms, solutions to profound questions we could not even ask, will be routine a generation hence. And beyond the rudimentary capabilities of 2030 stretch millennia of qualitative bootstrap effects.

"Reality simulates itself", more real than real. Beyond science, beyond technology, lies super-awareness that engenders its own cosmos. Take that, Ilya Prigogine!

Pyrthroes, Shrewsbury, NJ

@G K McDonough

There is, quite simply, nothing about a faster connection that facilitates fraud. The limits on hackers and spamers has nothing to do with the speed of transmission.

abde, andies, usa

Grid computing is the future, but centralization is not.

Doug Brenner, Minneapolis, USA

Gore's moved on to his global warming scam. He dopesn't have time for this 90's fad any more!

Neuman, Houston, TX

Al Gore did invent the internet, as a matter of fact. At least the version you're using right now. Without his efforts in Congress everyone would still have to use library computers for an hour at a time with dial-up. Thanks to Al, schools, colleges, and other non-profit agencies hooked on to the faster internet connections and with that brought about new technologies which made fast home computer use possible.

Quentin, Monett, Missouri

You can bet that scammers and spammers are already devising ways of reaching even more people and filling your email with even greater quantities of filth, get (them) rich schemes to free you of your money while many others are envisioning faster downloads of porn images. Lets hope sanity prevails and when designing it they will also provide escapes from a lot of the downfalls of the current internet along with the dangers from being able to spread viruses that much faster.

G K, McDonough, Georgia

Yes, the article specifically says Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the WEB. Obviously the internet was around sooner, you can even read archives of Usenet newsgroups back to at least the early '80s on Google. The WWW and the internet are 2 different things.

Ross, you sound like someone who has gotten too much liberal education. You need to stop listening to lefty professors who equate the word "corporate" with "evil." They have the most sad, negative view of our incredibly successful, powerful country. The argument you are spewing is as illogical & incorrect as it is needlessly negative. How has commerce or anything else on the internet prevented people from using e-mail & news or doing research? E-mail is now universal & free. Research seems to be getting easier every day as Google improves its search engine. And it's all done for the wonderful, powerful profit motive yet provided totally free to the user thanks to advertising. I feel sorry for people who can't appreciate true progress.

Eric S., Hazleton, Pennsylvania, USA

April Fools

John, Los Angeles,

I definitely prefer having my data safe on my own computer and would never want to save it somewhere on the web. Keep your "cloud computing." I don't want it.

James, Miami, Florida,

Eh...This doesn't count for me much. I live in a rural area- hah, rural, seven miles out of town- and I can't even get DSL. I download at 3 kb/ps, so unless there's some sort of cheap way they can spread it to everywhere, my phone company definitely won't be investing in it.

Good idea- but they shouldn't say that everyone will benefit from it. If it did, that would be amazing. But I highly doubt it, what with all the disappointment i've been through with internet. in my area.

On a more comical note, we're one step closer to SkyNet.

Josh, Live Oak,, FL

So is this a really big series of tubes?

Adam, C,

the internet is *NOT* currently "fast enough for every Tom, Dick & harry". currently, it takes aproximately 3-4 hours to download a dvd quality feature film on even the fastest of residential broadband connections. in a world of video on demand, this is NOT acceptable. these networks, will not only bring instantaneous video, but multiple real-time streams. it would put an end to expensive cable, enable the common person to become a high production value video producer for incredibly inexpensive (ending the "only companies and people with lots of money can be tv broadcaster" problem), it will enable us to send and recieve any type of data in real time, allow us to keep tiny computers with virtually no processing ability and use them to access , fast, grid-enabled computers to solve big computing problems, people to share computer resources with others so instead of having 1 computer compress a movie, render animations, or look for the next cure, there could be hundreds of thousuands

Josh Hardin, Storrs, Connecticut

That's pretty cool, the Internet as we know it started as in much the same way, it'll probably be 5-10 years before it becomes a much more tangible asset for the larger society as a whole though. Early adopters may see a benefits but, to completely supplant the internet, it'll take a lot more time maybe 10-15 years.

Ian Gordon, Queens, NY USA

what's next..............the Matrix?

rob, seattle,

DID CERN REALLY DISCOVERED THE "Z" PARTICLE? The following text is taken from Volume 1 of The Quest for Right:

The nonsensical chase of the Z is underscored by the fact, as expressed earlier, that, when two particles collide at tremendous speed, they disintegrate on impact. The collision, like two glass marbles crashing head-on at a speed in the thousands of kilometers per second, reduces the already minute particles to powder of infinitesimal size. The resultant bits of nonparticulate debris flying away from the impact do not bear a charge and are of no further consequence in atomic reactions. The energy accompanying the disintegration, in the form of electromagnetic waves, is so minute as to be inconsequential; the energy would not equal the solitary blink of a firefly much less the equivalent of the combined output of every electrical power plant in the world, even if for only a millisecond. The verdict is already in on CERN's announcement; there is no such phenomenon as...

C. David Parsons, Douglasville, USA/GA

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989?
I thought it was failed US presidential candidate Al Gore.

Johann Foo, Selangor, Malaysia

This isn't anything that new, my company Viatel, like others use fibre optics (DWDM equipment) to send 1600gb/s of data down a single fibre. The problem is that no router can process that much traffic. In fact routers that process and reliably route gigabit ethernet are still far from cheap. It's still going to be sometime before routers come on the market that are capable of processing that amount of data, and when they do, they'll be very expensive as by definition, ISP's will require less equipment to provide improved services. Getting the data from A to B, simple, processing all the data at high speed and routing it to each various destination, that's still a little way off.

Jeff, Surrey,

Surely this is the work of the Devil and should somehow be regulated. Too much speed. Can it possibly be good for us? Think of the possibility for copyright violation. Consider the children.

Richard, San Mateo, California, USA

Al Gore also invented Global Warming.

TJ, Beverly Hills, CA

Grid computing has actually been around for a while. Do a web search for SETI@Home (one of the first, now merged into BOINC), Folding@Home, and BOINC. All of these are current grid computing projects, and have been around for years.

The difference here seems to be a dedicated infrastructure, though you should keep in mind that other organizations have the same thing (most famously Google's internal network), though such networks are not generally accessible to all, as the article implies this grid will be.

Generally, this article names a lot of different technological developments while implying that they are somehow integrally linked as a part of this specific grid, which might be confusing to some people.

Stephen Dewey, Dorchester, MA

We're no longer going to have to wait for the Second Coming of Jesus, we can just download Him. It might take a couple of minutes, though.

Neil, Los Angeles, CA USA

So faster than fast = real fast, huh? Broadband is plenty fast enough for every Tom, Dick & Harry. Like Paul said..."Let it be."

Roger C., St. Louis, usa

i thought al gore invented the internet

leo, new york,

To make "the Grid" acceptable to business and masses is going to require strong "standards" and new programming languages. Professional Developers must be consulted and participate in the development of these standard programming languages. My experience is that if we let “researchers� control the field we are going to end up with a very complicated system. We need simplicity and security. The current internet was not developed with security and simplicity in mind that is why we are in such a mess today.

Rick Fernandez, Boynton Beach, Fl / USA

Impressive to say the least. I wonder how I might invest in this "the grid".

Ryan Swanson, Port Hueneme, CA

It's about time. We've known for years it was possible.

Donald Cole, Lost Springs, Kansas/USA

Wow. Just, wow.

Jack Rail, Phoenix, US/Arizona

Imagine the marketing.

"Piracy. Now 10,000x faster."

Assuming that the normal internet connection goes at 1mb, this new technology would give a speed of 10,000mb =1250MB=1.22GB.

I didn't know that hard drives could transfer at 1.22 GB/sec, especially hard drives in notebooks.

Kumar, Herne Bay, Kent

This is idiotic. Neither processing speed nor transmission speed (bandwidth) are limiting agents in public computer networking ("the internet"). Rather, the salient constraints are complexity, inscrutability, lack of storage, inequality, interoperability, and abuse. Just think of the digital equipment you have at home and work now. Are bandwidth and horsepower the primary cause of your headaches? No. My wife ordered Verizon Fiber-to-the-Home a few weeks ago and I had it canceled: our email and other networked applications in our various PC and devices are in such disarray that migrating to a different carrier would have brought our household to a standstill.

Al Berteinstein, Princeton, NJ USA

All this is really going to do is allow people to download porn at such a rate that souther California won't be able to make it fast enough -- though it'd be fun to watch them try! >)

Matt, Rochester, NY, USA

Those guys did not invent the internet. The US dept of defense invented it long before the late 80's.

Jake, NY, NY

uh... the web was invented in 1989? What about Vint Cerf and a host of other people. Berners-Lee was critical, but hardly invented the internet solo.

nick, chicago, il

I believe that you may need to check you facts on the creators of the internet. It was most certainly not CERN.

James, Little Rock, USA/Arkansas

Hey C.B.R.,
F.Y.I.: The 'web' is not the 'Internet'. The web was invented, as stated, by Sir Tim Berners-Lee at CERN. Yes, the 'Internet' was created in the U.S., but not the web.

R., Salt Lake City, U.S.A./Utah

Sometimes I wish I was born later - I am 30 right now so we will see our good shares of "I can't believe that". The grid should stand on its own (seperate from the NAP's, etc...) that way we will have a backup if somehow we all lose access to the grid. Oh yeah, what are we doing now if we all lose access to the web? Backbone ISP's go down (all of them) - do we plug it into the wall and dial-up? What are we dialing into? Oh yeah, are true RJ-11 phone lines even original phone lines any more?

Forrest, Cape Coral, FL

Fascinating and compelling / what will the world be like in 50 years?

Caleb, Bowling Green, KY

Um...why aren't you giving credit to Al Gore for inventing this?

Mack Hall, Kirbyville, Texas

Wow! No more transmitter, tower, or license required

Jerry, Houston, TX

I would never trust all my info to the internet.

Of course, hackers could steal it even now.

Interesting, that in Hebrew, the letters for www are also numerals, as in Roman numerals, and the numerals of www are 666....

Bonnie Burch, Tadd, UK

C.B.R. -
The web and the Internet are not the same thing. The people working at Cern did make a significant contribution to the way we currently use the Internet by developing web protocol (HTTP) and HTML, as well as formally suggesting the name world wide web. They also founded W3C. Before this pages were static and did not allow interaction the way they do now.

Adrienne, Tucson, AZ

The Grid is the transistor, integrated circuit, internet and PC, combined, of the 21st century.

G. David Atkins, Cripple Creek, USA/Colorado


You had newsgroups and email in 1989 but sure didn't have a web browser. The web(as it defined today) did not exist in 1989 and compuserve could not have had it.

Darren, Jacksonville,

I question the promise of this new technology. Telecommunications is broadly broken down into circuit switched and packet switched technologies. Phone networks are circuit switched in that a circuit is built between parties and a dedicated bandwidth is given to each circuit. Packet switched networks are like the Internet where each piece of data is broken into "packets" which are sent out over the network to their intended location. Packet switched networks are efficient because each of the physical circuits are used efficiently because there are no empty packets sent to represent the parts of phone conversations where nobody is talking.

In addition, in circuit switched networks, the equipment in the middle of the network would need to know about each connection to set it up which would be a computational nightmare whereas packet switched networks don't care who is talking to whom. In summary, this article is written by someone who has no idea why the Internet is as scalable as it is.

mitch, charleston, sc

I like it!

Joseph W. Schultz, Mesa, AZ

I can't wait to store all my info on some remote hard drive.

JJW, Los Angeles, CA

telecom providers and business providing technologies such as dynamic switching are dangerous for network neutrality. I'm all for faster data transfer, but we need to make sure the ISPs and telecoms don't try to kill the democratic and innovative side of the web by charging tolls for the large-file-lanes.

As long as everyone is free to use dynamic switching and similar tech equally and freely (which will diminish congestion costs), bring it on!


Wow, this is going to fast for me, my PC will be obsolete in the near furure !!

tom , chilliwack, canada

Unfortunately, it will be used to spy on Americans. The "agents" whether local police, or others, will connect live cameras tied to telephone poles, trees, and hidden in many different ways while pointed at the residence of not so much a criminal as an enemy of the state for making unapproved remarks about government.
We are not at that point in the USA, but we are not far away. Governments around the world are grabbing technology as fast as they can and using it in new ways in conjunction with new laws passed out of fear to justify spying on the citizenry. What a shame we have allowed this to happen. America was much much more free before 911. Since then, each America citizen is a suspect and can be spied upon at will and without court orders by many agents of so called government. Our founders would call this tyranny.

Tracey, Houston, Texas USA

Skynet come true? Might be time to get out of Dodge.

Fred, Denver, CO

Cern "invented the web in 1989"? Since when? The Pentagon started the Internet in the 1960s. In 1989, I was logging on to the Internet via Compuserve. Very odd claim.

C.B.R., Los Angeles,

And my computer will still find a way to slow everything down!

Stephen, Chatsworth, California, USA

and to think that the best part of the story was omitted: The powers-that-be will now be able to monitor your every thought and activity....Of course they would never think of doing something like that, now would they?

frank, melbourne,

I thought al gore invented the internet

andy, haarlem, nl

My head just exploded.

shah, new york, USA

Bla Bla Bla. Actually the fundamentals of what tomorrow will be, already exist today. The impact of the internet is already defined. We are just waiting for the speed to catch up to what we want to do on it. The forties/fifties tube technology created the revolution that would be refined by the transistor and then the semi-conductor of today. When 2-way radio hit, we socialized with it. There isn't much difference except in the form of data we exchange today. The concept of cloud computing is little more than a rehash of the early mainframes with dumb terminals. The people who write software love the idea of that kind of control. Hopefully the future generation will be smart enough to think thru this kind of hype. I still remember how we would all be living in the future. None of the things I read then have actually happened. Parallel computing is a great asset to highly complex computing but to make it the greatest since sliced bread is hyperbole. I already have four cores at home.

James Dean MCSE, Dallas, Tx

Now all I need is a jack behind my ear or maybe one behind each ear and I can bypass these silly senses and start thinking in a totally different way

Lee, mims, FL

I for one am pleasantly surprised by reading this article. Even
though I knew something would replace the Internet one day,
I could not envision what that would be. It is sad that the Internet as it was conceived has been terribly abused, misused and hacked mostly by big business which renders
it useless now for the ordinary everyday individual like myself. Today it is used to extend intranets for large companies, marketing scemes, display of movies from server farms, etc, etc. instead of the intended purpose which was research by students, email, news and all other helpful uses that make our lives better. Leave it to money-hungry entrepreneurs to
ruin great inventions for the sake of corporate profit. Of
course there are those on the other side who would argue that
these corporations create jobs and this is true. So, now they
can use this new super-fast Internet and we will have our Internet back again and up to speed.

Ross Luber, Sonora, California

Cern did not invent or "pioneer" the internet; DARPA did. The scientists at Cern invented the Web.

Haile, Cleveland, US

This is immensely exciting. I'm sure there will be portals through which ordinary users will be able to work through the grid without actually being a part of it. You'll, however, need to drag the US screaming into the 21st Century, for at this time the country is very backward in broadband distribution and it all costs a bundle.

Dayahka, Aberdeen, Wash


Will Al Gore stake a claim on this one as well?

rich, st. petef, us/florida

You are confusing the Internet with the World Wide Web. The internet was a creation of DARPA in the US, while the World Wide Web was in fact a product of CERN. The two terms are related, but not synonymous.

Jake, Clifton, NJ

I think you'll find the US government funded development of the internet. What the CERN kids pioneered was the world wide web.

tim lerners bee, london, england

The author of this article does not understand Grid computing, and the sensationalism on display in fact cannot overcome an ill informed comment that is preoccupied with speed, for the sake of speed.

Grid computing has been a long time around it is only now making inroads to the wider populations.

The concept is simple enough, break down the tasks, and hand over each bit of the task to different computers, then await for the results to come back, and aggregate the results and hand over to the initiator.

bit like Henry Ford and his task assignment and process break down. the trick is in breaking down the task, and keeping a tab on the results.

f. smith, sunderland,

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