Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blog #2 - Youtube Response

The packet-switching technology and evolution of networks that has created the Internet is amazing, but not perfect. Something that always bothers me when discussing the internet is this myth that seems to revolve around it and its ability to route around disaster. Its true that it can absorb even somewhat substantial bumps, but it still has several points of failure that are far more clustered than others. Connections, such as those between networks in America and Europe, still have relatively few channels to pass through.

The thing about packet switching is that it can be deceptive in its protective powers. In 2008, an internet service provider in Pakistan broke Youtube access for the world by making it seem like they were the fastest path for the packet switches to take, even though they were just routing to the equivalent of a black hole. There have also been instances where an undersea cable will be cut (accidentally usually) and cut off entire regions of the world from the Internet for up to a week.

I do not want to attack the strength and value of the amazing work that was described in brief in the video. I just feel that it glosses over some of the major issues that came along with the work and, for the most part, still remain.

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