Thursday, May 30, 2013

“The Internet really IS a series of tubes! Who knew?”—David Pogue

Yes, David, the internet is made by people and it is made up of tubes, servers, and all sort of real physical stuff! I confess to thinking that electricty was a type of magic until my fifth-grade teacher set me straightand I'm pretty certain that some of today's students think about the Internet in the same way. You just log on and go, right?
In Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, Andrew Blum will take your students from the room in L.A. where the Internet began to the busiest streets in Manhattan as new fiber optic cable is laid down; from the coast of Portugal as a new transatlantic undersea cable that connects West Africa and Europe is laid down to the Great Pyramids of our time, the monumental data centers that Google and Facebook have built in the wilds of Oregon.

Along the way, Andrew not only explains how it all worksbut why students should care about how vulnerable all this infrastructure is and what how all this interconnectedness will impact their lives.

“An engaging reminder that, cyber-Utopianism aside, the internet is as much a thing of flesh and steel as any industrial-age lumber mill or factory. It is also an excellent introduction to the nuts and bolts of how exactly it all works.”
   —The Economist

And, here's Andrew at TED.

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