|MadSci Network: Computer Science|
My question concerns the feasibility of a universal wireless computer Internet. While my suspicion is that the use of radio frequencies on a large scale will never prove to be a practical method of worldwide terminal-to-terminal cyber-communication, I would very much like to know what the experts consider possible. My question has its origin in two articles, both of which I read some years ago and both of which have come to seem related in my mind. The first was an account of a series of experiments at PARC, the Palo Alto Research Center, in which small computer notepads were linked to each other using the same technology which makes cellular telephony possible. The second article reported that the transmissions of cellular telephones are beginning to interfere with each other, particularly in environments where they are more thick on the ground (in yuppie dominated high-rise apartment buildings, for example). I add to these considerations two conjectures which as yet remain in the realm of science fiction but which seem to possess a certain inevitability. The first is the view, propounded most notably by the Microsoft Corporation, that personal computers will become as ubiquitous as telephones are today and that under these circumstances little distinction will be made between online and offline environments. One conceives of a world in which the majority of the population will be connected to the Internet most of the time. One may also speculate that most computer users will prefer a highly intelligent virtual reality interface both on and offline. Should these circumstances arise, it seems to me that the bandwidth problem will begin to assume massive proportions. A further concern is that such an infrastructure must be workable under the most demanding of conditions, specifically in densely populated urban areas and particularly in the Far East where overpopulation remains a persistent embarrassment. Indeed, I suspect that this will be a significant burden worldwide; the U.S. population, for example, continues to grow at about 1% annually, potentially doubling during the next 100 years. A final consideration is the question of security which is, if I am not mistaken, a thornier issue when data is openly broadcast (although I suppose that this hurdle might be overcome through universal encryption). My question has, therefore, three parts: Firstly, is there a way to prevent billions of wireless computer transmissions from interfering with each other (or is there perhaps another mode of wireless connectivity that is interference-free)? Secondly, could these billions of wireless computer transmissions support the extraordinary bandwidth demanded by a universal Internet that is capable both of supporting artificial intelligence and of generating virtual environments? Finally, if my assumption is correct, i.e., that universal wireless connectivity is impractical, what are the viable alternatives?
Re: Universal Wireless Computer Internet
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