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The Internet is Dead, Long Live the Intranet

Mark Cuban, who famously got away with selling Broadcast.com to Yahoo in 1999 for $5.7 billion, declared Wednesday: "The Internet's dead. It's over." Speaking before a room of operators of high-bandwidth cable systems, Cuban said the Internet is for old people, adding that YouTube was the "new application" of any importance. The future, he said, belongs to intranets, or closed networks.

Which would be a good thing given his Internet service provider audience. Cuban said cable and satellite networks have become superior platforms for building interactive services, not the open, stretched-for-bandwidth mess the Web has become.

Enclosed environments, such as the networks run by Verizon Communications and Comcast, allow higher-bandwidth experiences capable of producing the kind of HD-quality programming you can see on your television sets. Developers will bring their applications to these networks instead of Web video providers, like Joost and Veoh, which operate on a cluttered network forced to handle millions of requests for different types of information. Cuban said developers creating office applications would be better served on these networks, too, because users would have faster responses and better experiences.

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