Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book? In the book, the author takes you on a journey to these router stations, introduces you to the people that lay the underground cables, and even attempts to get into Tubes is an eye-opening page turner about the cables, routing stations, and data centers that make up the internet. Like Tracy Kidder's classic The Soul of a New Machine or Tom Vanderbilt's recent bestseller Traffic, Tubes combines on-the-ground reporting and lucid explanation into an engaging, mind-bending narrative to help us understand the physical world that underlies our digital lives. Nevertheless, even in the writing style there are a few nagging problems. You can map it and touch it, and you can visit it. Blum tries to invoke the Transcendentalist calling on Emerson and An amusing diversion of a tech book exploring the hard realities of the internet infrastructure. Does it matter the locations on the planet where networks aggregate? But I can't help but feel this book would have been a lot more interesting if Blum had used his Zen quest to dive deeper into the underlying chips and software that make the Internet hum.
This is a book about real places on the map: their sounds and smells, their storied pasts, their physical details, and the people who live there. Andrew blum plunges into the unseen but real ether of the internet in a journey both compelling and profoundyou will never open an email in quite the same way. We ridiculed the statement, but actually when you look at the fibers and underground sea cables that make up the backbone of the internet, you will realize that Stevens might deserve a bit more credit. It is a shockingly tactile realm of unmarked compounds, populated by a special caste of engineer who pieces together our networks by hand; where glass fibers pulse with light and creaky telegraph buildings, tortuously rewired, become communication hubs once again. What follows is a interesting and personable exploration of global networking.
This book is basically a technical history of the internet and its actually not bad. I know, I know, that sounds like a reviewer for a travel book who says he wished the writer had gone to Spain instead of Kazakhstan. Wires stretch under the sea, all over the world. The internet is a thing, not an idea, not the virtual, not psychology, not a medium. However, it fell a bit flat for me.
I think about it all the time, and so do a lot of people I know. There were passages that were just trite or silly, as well - the squirrel chewing up cable, complete with exclamation points in the text; the description of Silicon Valley as startup mecca, when that description even seemed dated and pedestrian in the 1980s; and the reference to The Dalles as a digital Kathmandu. This is a book about real places on the map: their sounds and smells, their storied pasts, their physical details, and the people who live there. What would it look like? This books shows us that. Syrian hackers or hackers sympathic to the Syrian regime and who call themselves the Syrian Electronic Army are demonstrating what havoc they could wreak if Western powers follow through on their tou What the Internet Is: Fragile or Robust? The story involves a german professor otto lidenbrock in the original french professor von hardwigg in the most common english translation who believes there are. There are wires, buildings and cables. Our mental map of the network is as blank as the map of the ocean that Columbus carried on his first Atlantic voyage.
There's a slight amount of history of the beginnings, as well as a little with communications overall. Yes, we know that binary code is just circuits off and on, but how does that get transformed into light? An errant squirrel chewing through Mr. I was left hoping for more. Even though the book is already five years old, it isn't very outdated. As it turns out making a book about it was taking it just a few steps too far. You can map it and touch it, and you can visit it.
But, yes, a big but. Our mental map of the network is as blank as the map of the ocean that Columbus carried on his first Atlantic voyage. I've received emails from a couple of them recently, saying that the book was full of old friends. You will never open an email in quite the same way again. But as I got deeper into my research, the same handful of places kept coming up, run by a relatively intimate group of network engineers. Yet the largest technological construction that people interact with on a daily basis has its limits.
From the room in L. An amusing diversion of a tech book exploring the hard realities of the internet infrastructure. Overall, there is very little to the 'internet'; little variety that is. Does it matter whether the data center is in The Dalles or Prineville? I understand the need for comparison, but over and over and it sort of creates a cognitive dissonance that this thing which actually exists that is not conceptual must constantly be explained in terms of things that it absolutely isnt. No, but it means one needs to go deeper into the technology than Blum did.
A journalist who has written often for Wired, Blum began his quest when a squirrel gnawed through a fiber optic cable connecting his computers to the internet. And Blum is rather sanguine about where this all leading us. I enjoyed his perspective, humor, and insight. Again, Blum does a great job at describing the limited parts of the internet, I can picture how beautiful a refrigerator sized router can look bathed in the soft glow of fluorescent lights, but, you can only read so much of the same thing. If we are truly to understand how things fit together—the personal and the political, the virtual and the physical—we must start, like Copernicus, by removing ourselves from the center of the universe.