AirTalk for June 18, 2012

In a wireless world, the Internet’s pipes and tubes rule

Need the answer to a question? Google it. Need to remember a friend's birthday? Look it up on Facebook. While reference books and maps gather dust on the shelf, the likes of Google and Facebook wouldn't exist without the Internet, the information superhighway that powers our lives. Yet even though we operate in a wireless world, the Internet is a physical being.

In his new book, "Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet," journalist Andrew Blum charts the journey of the network of cables and servers that make up the Internet; from its humble beginnings in Los Angeles to the latest addition to the world wide web's communication link stretching from Europe to Africa. Running unseen along railways, highways and under the seas, Blum looks behind the scenes at some of the world's major Internet users, and answers questions on how one of the greatest innovations of the modern age is protected from cyber-vandalism.

How has your life changed with the advent of the Internet? What skills have we lost due to the Internet? If you have children, how do you make them aware of how to find and source information without 'googling' it? Or do you think the Internet has broadened the horizons of education beyond what can be found in books?

Andrew Blum, Author, Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet (Ecco); journalist whose articles and essays have appeared in Wired, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Business Week, Metropolis, Popular Science, Gizmodo, The Atlantic, Architectural Record, and Slate, among many other publications.


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