Friday, June 22, 2012


Andrew Blum, 06.22.2012 Andrew Blum speaking at the Mechanics' Institute about Tubes.During the Friday lunch hour I heard Andrew Blum speak to members of the Mechanics' Institute about his impertinently titled book Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, in which he describes the Internet's physical infrastructure. He was inspired to think about the physical manifestation of the Internet when his home Internet connection went down. A repairman came, spotted a squirrel gnawing on an outdoor cable & remarked, "I think the squirrel is chewing on your Internet."

Mr. Blum is bright & articulate, & his talk covered NANOG, fiber optic cables, Internet exchange points, data centers, plus a reference to South Park. To Mr. Blum, the Internet even has a distinctive smell. He showed slides, & I liked seeing photos of an undersea fiber optic cable being connected to land on a beach in Portugal. He visited the Oregon data centers of both Facebook & Google, & while Facebook was happy to give him a tour of their showcase facility, Google scoffed at the idea that they should let him see inside theirs.

§ Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet
Andrew Blum
Fri, 06/22/2012 - 12:30pm
Mechanics' Institute

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