Published: Monday 30 June 1997

The day the Internet died
Pundits often predict that the Net will soon grind to a hat under an intolerable burden of spam, newbies and Web pages that rant about Microsoft. It hasn't happened yet - but in late April the Net suffered a near-death experience when 40 per cent of it went offline. For details on what happened on!, The Day the Internet Died see http ://fkix.flirble. org/. The page has links to news stories about the crash and apologies from the company that caused the mishap. The only other time the Internet came close to collapse was when a computer student, Robert Morris, unleashed a worm virus. For More iformation on what happened see http-// students/darbyt/kges/worm.html.

Future of the Net
A week is a long time in politics and a lifetime on the Internet, where technologies and companies spring up and wither away with alarming rapidity. Given that everyone was caught napping by the explosion of interest in all things Internet, it is unlikely that any predictions about it will be accurate. However, there are some foolhardy folk sticking their necks out. The OECD (the 'club' of leading capitalist nations) has put its predictions about what the Web will look like 20 years from now on the Net at http://www.oecd.orglsge/au/ highligh.htm. It talks about the tech nical and political hurdles that will have to be overcome for the Net to continue growing.

Promising the moon
For a lesson in how not to establish a new world, the pages at http://www. take some beating. The pages offer plots of land on the moon for sale. Anyone tempted to buy one might care to read the text of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. Articles I and 11 declare all celestial bodies to be the common property of mankind. See for yourself at outersp.html.

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