I mentioned in my The Fork in the Road post in July that one of the likely outcomes of the increase in computing power and connectivity was the overwhelming of present government (and, I forgot to add, military and corporate) power by individuals using the ‘Net and its connections to gain abilities far out of proportion to their status in 20th Century society.
We are presently witnessing the birth of this world. At the present time, a group of criminal crackers are in the possession of a distributed computer network of between one and ten million computers that they have seized (without the owners realizing it) with a program called the Storm Worm.
Assuming that most of the machines that this program are controlling are gaming-type computers, the individual or organization that presently controls these computers has more computing power than the ten largest supercomputers on earth combined.
Please note horrible math on the part of the Washington Post–the total computing power of the diffuse array is actually 1-10 petabytes, not 1-10 million petabytes as the article states. This lower figure still puts them in the same class with the currently most powerful non-governmental and hopefully non-evil entity, Google, which has between 20-200 petabytes of RAM.
Hired experts have not been able to get a handle on this botnet and shut it down because its creators (no doubt using a bit of their new-found power) have been changing its rules faster than they can counter them.
This is the future, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the next level, please roll 1d6 for additional hit points, your new geek masters will be here shortly. This kind of progress is also why I refuse to concern myself overly with elections, except for the need to delay the governmental power grab long enough for that seizure to be futile.
Added note: Here’s a lovely article on the rest of the power currently on earth. Please note that this blog, my writing on it, and any YouTube videos that I embed are all powered by Google. This is true ubiquity. If there’s a Great Programmer, I imagine that he/she could very well be employed by Google in the OverVerse.