2105: "Modern OSI Model"

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wolfpurplemoon
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2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby wolfpurplemoon » Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:56 am UTC

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Title text: In retrospect, I shouldn't have used each layer of the OSI model as one of my horcruxes.


Came to find an explanation and there's not even a thread for this one yet!

Tub
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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby Tub » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:05 am UTC

As for an explanation, Wikipedia explains the OSI model.

The comic is missing the cloudflare layer though.

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby NonchalantTurtle » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:01 pm UTC

Tub wrote:As for an explanation, Wikipedia explains the OSI model.

The comic is missing the cloudflare layer though.


It's also missing the behemoth that is Akamai.

This comic might even be too conservative, as Google makes Chrome and provides fiber. If they push QUIC successfully some people will have the majority of their OSI stack managed by Google.

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby wolfpurplemoon » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:48 pm UTC

Tub wrote:As for an explanation, Wikipedia explains the OSI model.



thanks but considering I couldn't understand after reading the explain xkcd I don't think a wikipedia article will help :?

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby ucim » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:57 pm UTC

There are seven seas seals colors of the rainbow other planets layers (of abstraction, or "abbreviation", if you will) in modern internet architecture. To look at a similar example for home computing, the lowest level is that of the physical machine. But rather than have end users interact directly with transistors, there's an operating system in between to make it easier. That's the next layer. But rather than have end users interact with the operating system, there's an application program (like Word or Excel). The same idea carries through into the internet, where in order to "do stuff", users need to interact with arbitrary connected computers. By using layers, the fiddly bits of "lower layers" are hidden from the "upper layers", until at the user level all one does is click an icon and "something useful happens" on another machine far away.

This is a diagram of those seven layers, divided into white and grey regions. According to the comic, the grey regions (note that this includes a lot of layers, and almost includes all of them) are controlled by google and amazon, and the only application is facebook.

This would be scary if it were real.
Spoiler:
It's pretty close to real.
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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:00 pm UTC

As a person, you may use a browser (at the application layer) that composes/interprets web requests/html (via the presentation layer) packaged and unpackaged by the necessary message-passing protocols (session/transport/protocol layers, but if you don't even care that TCP/IP is two of those things (as is the alternate UDP/IP or IPX/SPX or...) then it doesn't usually matter about adding API to it) which is further conveyed by the packet system (transport layer) that is pulsed along the wires, fibres, radio-waves and/or USB sticks of the actual hardware connection (physical) that ultimately pops up your contact with another person back through the packet de/reconstructor, messaging kludge, data-packager/unpackager, high-level syntactic processor and rendering software of the person next to you on the bus but chatting to you only by facebook livechat/whatever the cool kids are into these days.

(Or something like that. There are better technical explanations and better explanatory ones, and I'm probably making errors in both for the sake of a 'quick' explanation.)

Technically, each layer is separate (even the three I didn't want to keep separate), talking to only their upper (if any) and lower (ditto) neighbour*. In this diagram, the all-powerful Google (Alphabet?) and Amazon (AWS, etc) are surrounding all the layers, apparently mediating between supposed neighbours, and their 'cytoplasmic' surrounding means that maybe they even let some things skip immediate neighbours and just controlling the whole thing.

Which given, as pointed out by NT, Google is sitting on tech at layers 1 and 7 (fibre and browsers), and has notable interests at the Operating System level and elsewhere, isn't totally far from being possible. If you make humorous (until it comes true and isn't funny any more!) assumptions. Not sure about Amazon, though if they ever diversified to Sneakernet delivery (by drone!) in the manner of the Cuban Internet then I imagine it would be a Big Two field of play.

Until them, I'm relying on the likes of Cisco holding onto their territory, and denying them Internet Supremacy. (Then there's Huawei!)


* - It's also possible that a mid-layer 'bounces' upcoming data back down an alternate leg, like some forms of proxy router, or bounces things back up before getting things too deep (if you're using a localhost server, for example) and there's no guarantee that OSI layer 8 (the user) is at the top end of either/both lines of communication. But it's generally) assumed that it models the user-to-user "V" connection.

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby wolfpurplemoon » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:01 pm UTC

ah, thank you both for that :D

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby moody7277 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:46 pm UTC

Basically this is a graphical version of https://xkcd.com/676/, but for the internet?
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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby dtilque » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:07 pm UTC

Here's an attempt to remove Google from someone's life.
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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby The Moomin » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:27 pm UTC

Is OSI Jenga a thing?

Can you try removing different components until the entire system collapses?
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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby Flumble » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:23 pm UTC

dtilque wrote:Here's an attempt to remove Google from someone's life.

That whole series is great. :D And I'm amazed people still use facebook; I thought everyone had moved to whatsapp/signal/snapchat/instagram/twitter/discord over the last years.

The Moomin wrote:Is OSI Jenga a thing?

Can you try removing different components until the entire system collapses?

Kind of: going by the 7-layer OSI model and the ubiquity of HTTP/HTTPS traffic, you can safely take out layers 5 and 6. Because for some reason everything from encrypting a connection to request/response to session cookies to the actual content of a page is all stuffed into layer 7. (At least from what I gather from the wiki pages. Maybe some people do split them into different (OSI) layers.) Removing layer 5 kills VPNs and most ways of discovering devices on your home network, but that's survivable. I don't even understand what layer 6 is, but it seems esoteric enough that we can remove it too without collapsing the internet.
You can replace a combination of layers by something else to keep it from falling over, but that's like adding supports to a jenga tower before removing a brick.

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby GlassHouses » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:06 am UTC

Flumble wrote:
The Moomin wrote:Is OSI Jenga a thing?
Can you try removing different components until the entire system collapses?

Kind of: going by the 7-layer OSI model and the ubiquity of HTTP/HTTPS traffic, you can safely take out layers 5 and 6. Because for some reason everything from encrypting a connection to request/response to session cookies to the actual content of a page is all stuffed into layer 7. (At least from what I gather from the wiki pages. Maybe some people do split them into different (OSI) layers.) Removing layer 5 kills VPNs and most ways of discovering devices on your home network, but that's survivable. I don't even understand what layer 6 is, but it seems esoteric enough that we can remove it too without collapsing the internet.
You can replace a combination of layers by something else to keep it from falling over, but that's like adding supports to a jenga tower before removing a brick.


I'd say as far as reality, i.e. the Internet, is concerned, layers 4 and 5 correspond to TCP, layer 6 is SSL/TLS, and layer 7 is HTTP. Of course SSL/TLS is a beast of a protocol with quite a bit of structure of its own.

Do they still teach the OSI model? And if so, why?

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby ucim » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:11 am UTC

Flumble wrote:d I'm amazed people still use facebook; I thought everyone had moved to whatsapp/signal/snapchat/instagram/twitter/discord over the last years.
Whatsapp and snapchat are owned by facebook. I won't be surprised to see the rest of them bought by facebook in short order. (To be fair, signal is a protocol, not an app, and facebook uses that protocol for FB messenger.

Read the ingredients. Chances are, you're using facebook whenever you blow your nose. And if not, somebody else is using it on your behalf.

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby Flumble » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:25 am UTC

)

Regardless of who owns what, I was amazed that the author of that gizmodo article* had problems with not being on facebook first and foremost. Not using whatsapp and snapchat seemed a lesser nuisance.
In my social area facebook has been dead for ages, and when people aren't using whatsapp, they're mostly connected via instagram/snapchat/pinterest (and discord and forums.xkcd.com for specific circles).

ucim wrote:Chances are, you're using facebook whenever you blow your nose. And if not, somebody else is using it on your behalf.

Definitely. :| I'm part of whatsapp groups. Most people in those have or have had a lot of facebook activity so their social circles and interests are well known, so that little dot of which facebook only knows the phone number (if they don't readily have my name and mugshot due to photo tags) probably has similar interests to all those groups. And even if my person isn't valuable to facebook per se, I'm still a bridge between social groups that facebook wouldn't have known about without my whatsapp use.
Oh and they got all my attachments in plaintext. Perhaps attachments are end-to-end encrypted these days, but I've seen and opened attachment urls in the past. (Like https://somethingmedia.whatsapp.com/long-randomized-string/attachment.png; no cookies or keys needed. Maybe this also was because my client (yowsup) disguised itself as an old nokia.)

ucim wrote:To be fair, signal is a protocol, not an app

signal private messenger is though. :wink:


*to be precise, not the no-google article linked earlier but the no-facebook article by the same person

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby smartalek » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:26 am UTC

Three or four questions for anyone who knows:

What are the absolute number of people in the world, and/or what percentage of the world population, are in a position to get the joke without having to do a fair amount of research and reading?

Is there anyone other than IT professionals in that cohort?

And

How dumb should I feel that I am not among them?

TIA for any comprehensible answers -- regardless of the impacts on my ego.

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:29 am UTC

smartalek wrote:Is there anyone other than IT professionals in that cohort?

I'm not an IT professional (I just play one on the internet) and I get it. But maybe I'm close enough to "IT professional" to count? My first job was selling and fixing computers in a retail store, and I've since done some web development and design and now do graphic design, so I am immersed in computer and internet stuff, but I would expect that to be at least if not more true for the bulk of the XKCD audience, and not enough to count as "IT professional". I don't need to know the OSI model for anything, and I probably couldn't tell you all its layers from memory, but I know of it enough to get the joke.
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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby Mikeski » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:45 am UTC

smartalek wrote:Is there anyone other than IT professionals in that cohort?

I have never worked in IT, nor had a software job. I took some Computer Science courses in college, and know some OSI mumbo-jumbo from there. Enough to understand "Seven" without looking it up, anyway.

My current job involves the bottom layer, technically, but I need to know nothing about the OSI model to design hardware. Make bits go from here to there real fast. Done.

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby eviloatmeal » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:15 am UTC

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby Archgeek » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:18 am UTC

The Moomin wrote:Is OSI Jenga a thing?
I'd say as far as reality, i.e. the Internet, is concerned, layers 4 and 5 correspond to TCP, layer 6 is SSL/TLS, and layer 7 is HTTP. Of course SSL/TLS is a beast of a protocol with quite a bit of structure of its own.

Aren't SSL and friends supposed to be layer in 4? I mean, it stands for Transport Layer Security, after all.
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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:31 pm UTC

As an IT Professional (and an IT Amateur/Volunteer at other times) I know it's not common knowledge*, but I sort of hope that even those that don't have it (sort of, it's not been too much used directly) engrained as a fully-numbered diagram in their head would still know of it, in principle, even if not they could easily decipher (or have a good guess at) what each layer means in the standard diagram.

Like I'm no expert at permafrost phenomena but I think I understand freeze lines, and what's 'wrong' with that humorous representation.


* - Why I have felt it Ok reporting back to colleagues that I've assessed it as an "OSI Level 8 issue", through the phone on the desk of the person I've had to visit to resolve some 'complaint' about their PC unable to connect with a resource. And it's much less known than the "TF Bundy" note from medicine. Which is far from my speciality, yet I've also heard of.

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby GalFisk » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:53 pm UTC

The genius thing about layers, is that anyone working to create a layer, only need to know how to speak with the adjacent layers. This means the manufacturer of the network card doesn't need to care about what protocol is being used or what information will be transmitted, they only need to make it conform to a standard method of communicating with the next layer.
Likewise, the creator of the webpage doesn't have to care if it's going to be transmitted by fiber, wireless, satellite or pigeon, they only have to make it work in the web browsers.

None of this is simple, but it's at least doable. Everything in computing is built from these abstraction layers, which allows insanely complex systems to be broken down into pieces that one human can manage in their head, and still function as a whole.

Many great bugs and vulnerabilities come from layers far apart interacting in some obscure way noone thought about - for instance software can be made to access memory in a certain way causing electric interference between supposedly isolated cells in a memory chip (Rowhammer).

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Re: 2105: "Modern OSI Model"

Postby Kit. » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:08 pm UTC

GalFisk wrote:The genius thing about layers, is that anyone working to create a layer, only need to know how to speak with the adjacent layers. This means the manufacturer of the network card doesn't need to care about what protocol is being used or what information will be transmitted, they only need to make it conform to a standard method of communicating with the next layer.

Then you try link aggregation through a switch between a server and a router, and it doesn't work.


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