We take the Internet for granted. We take the commercial Internet for granted. What we don’t appreciate is how far we have come from where it all started. Here is a long watch — a video that captures the Internet’s journey and how it got to today. This is the coffee break you need. 

The internet as we know it has become a butt of many jokes. We all depend on it, but everyone has no problems hating on it. It is viewed as the root of our problems — hate, traffic snarls, lack of social skills and even cold food. I know, I know. As a true believer in the network and its power, I think of it as a beautiful thing. And it all started today, 50 years ago, when two UCLA scientists sent a message to a Stanford University professor over the predecessor, ARPANET. The Conversation has listed five major milestones that helped create and shape the Internet, 50 years after the first network message. It is worth a read.

Facts & Fiction of Space Internet Claims

Elon Musk wants to rebuild the Internet in space. He wants the space network to carry half the long-distance Internet traffic. How much is that? If the current trends of doubling of traffic every two years, then we should expect that the total Internet bandwidth in 2020 will double from 2018 to 2 petabits.

With OneWeb, Telesat and SpaceX’s combined infrastructure, the space network wouldn’t be close to it, though with its mega constellation, Starlink, SpaceX could theoretically have a capacity of 24 Tbps. That is very impressive — I have tracked satellite broadband for a long time, and nothing comes even close.  However, it is not so impressive if you consider a single pair on a modern submarine cable carries more traffic than that.

The myth I’m exploring isn’t if SpaceX could carry MAREA’s traffic—it’s if they could carry half of used internet bandwidth in 2020.  These new satellite constellations are going to be very important to reach underserved areas and provide them with lower latency. But the idea that they could take on half of long distance traffic isn’t yet feasible. Luckily for Elon, he has another great quote: “I say something then it usually happens. Maybe not on schedule, but it usually happens.”

Great analysis by Alan Mauldin, an old friend of ours from the day of the broadband blog.

Read article on Teelgeography

Nostalgia Internet doesn’t really matter

Nostalgia has come to the Internet, and it is too little, too late. Nostalgia is not what defines the future. Sub-10 year-olds won’t give a damn about the nostalgia-Internet. Unfortunately, that is why we see incumbents always miss the generational drift. Sure, I might use analog film, write with fountain pens and listen to long play records, but it doesn’t matter to the young ones in my family. They know what they are doing, even though still in early teens. And when my goddaughters grow up in a few years, they will be fully equipped to deal with information overload, influencer dichotomy and would be able to discern fake news. For them, it will be something new, something different. Just like it was for us. Another way to read this story — a certain cohort of Internet people including myself are getting old  (Photo by RawPixel via Unsplash)

Read article on Wired

China’s Great Cannon

It is an astonishing story about how China is playing a villainous role in the non-Chinese Internet.  The writers point to a new tool called the Great Cannon and how it helped “channeling the flow of data out of China” and “selectively insert malicious JavaScript code into search queries and advertisements served by Baidu, a popular Chinese search engine.”  It is an excerpt from James Griffiths’s new book The Great Firewall of China: How to Build and Control an Alternative Version of the Internet

Read article on Technology Review