Where’s the Net?
It reaches around our planet, but where could you go to find the Internet’s source?
Turns out it’s in many places. There are 3,900 co-location data center sites, about half in the U.S., that host multiple websites and connect billions of people. Thirteen big Google data centers scattered around the globe (seven of them in the U.S.) store our search histories. Four vast Facebook centers (three in the U.S. and one in Scandinavia) are constantly a-buzz with inane conversations and selfies. Twelve independent companies run all of the world’s root name servers (many of which translate domain names into IP addresses), and a lacy network of some 329 major undersea cables stretching thousands of miles transmits 99 percent of the world’s data between continents. And of course the Net is also circling out there in space and sizzling between cell towers and humming in the air all around us wirelessly.
Maybe someday they’ll implant a chip in each newborn so everybody will be connected all the time. To watch people, especially young people, and their near-constant attention (not to say addiction) to their cell phones and tablets and laptops now, maybe that day has almost arrived.
p.s. My new novel Killing Ground is live on Amazon in print and e-book. The story is set in Africa against a background of elephant poaching that is still decimating the once great herds across that vast and troubled continent. There's an easy buy button on www.philbowie.com Please have a look and maybe pass the word on to your social media friends.