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The internet is doomed - according to Radio 4

The item on this morning's Today programme (The BBC's flagship daily newsfest) had me choking on my coffee - the basic premise is that the amount of viruses and trojans knocking about spell the end of the internet as we know it.

But it was more the lazy, tabloid blurring of boundaries that bugged me. The next time I hear "the internet is infected"  I will track them down for a session with my big, heavy explaining stick. The internet is a massive piece of infrastructure using a common set of protocols to run a variety of services. Lots of different devices can access and use it. It isnt' just PCs running web browsers and it can't get infected as such. It can however suffer from the amount of traffic - ironically the BBC's own iPlayer leaps to mind. 

Whether this is dumbing down, sloppy journalism or just that I'm reading it all wrong - I don't know. You judge - Have a read here

Yes - PC viruses, trojans and botnets are a huge problem. But - ahem - they're usually PC specific. Or rather - Windows. They don't infect other operating systems. My Mac's quite safe - and I daresay all the folk buying the Linux Eee PC aren't worried either. 

Also - there's no reason why there can't still be freeware and shareware available to download and use. People just need to use a little common sense and have an operating system that won't install and run software without their knowledge - for that's the real problem. 

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Comments: (2)

Elizabeth Lumley
Elizabeth Lumley - Girl, Disrupted - Crayford 18 June, 2008, 11:13Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I listened to that same report on Radio 4! My first thought was all the doomsayers in the middle 1990s who used to tell me "you just wait, the Internet is due for a massive brown-out or even black out--you just wait, it is all going to break down before the year 2000".

Yes, breath, thankfully, not held.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 June, 2008, 14:16Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The internet was devised by DARPA to withstand nodal outages - that's why TCP/IP, the key underlying technology of the network of networks, is a 'connection-less' protocol.

You always expect nay-sayers and doom-mongers, but if they're given voice on the Today programme then it really does credit the stereotype that Radio 4 is quaint and a bit fuddy-duddy.