Thursday, 23 July 2009

How the net keeps going (Holy webserver Batman...)

Interesting article from the BBC website summarising some thoughts on how the interweb keeps going. Happened across it on a ferry - now there's an example of increased connectivity.
The way data is divided up and sent around the internet in many jumps makes it "delicate and vulnerable" to attacks or mistakes.

However, Professor Zittrain added, the "random acts of kindness" of these unsung heroes quietly keep the net in working order.

"It's like when the Bat signal goes up and Batman answers the call," Professor Zittrain told BBC News.

The ferry was on it's way to Denmark from where I was going to Sweden - where there be pirates (letter's in the pirate alphabet? 1 - Ahhhh...), Some interesting points in a Newsnight article about the whole file sharing issue, which is becoming a fairly important political issue in Sweden.

It raises lots of questions - not least about the impact of fast internet connections on society. We can share files now, because of fast internet, so we do, so what impact does that have on our views about stuff like intellectual copyright and the ability of things like record companies to make money (or, logically, my words and pictures to be controlled by me).

One of the key things to realise is that Sweden, because of it's nature (big country, population v spread out) has really great, fast internet access. File sharing has become easier there quicker, so there's a more immediate impact on Swedish society. Perhaps.

Hmmm, that may be too deep for this time in the morning on ferry after about 8 cups of coffee. But important perhaps.


Anonymous said...

I know broadband makes file sharing easy but presumably it is no less common than people copying audio cassette tapes in the 80s?

Blue Square Thing said...

I think it's a lot more common isn't it? Casettes pretty much had to be copied by hand - except the odd market stall - and were done more or less in a circle of friends or something. I think that's a lot different to me being able to access Dave from California's music collection at the click of a few buttons.

Isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is then...

I file share very infrequently and the impression I had from many people that I have spoken to is that they don't often file share either.

Can't remember where I read it now but I'm sure I read something that said the majority of teens use legal methods of getting their music. I will see if I can dig up the article...