How the Internet works

cable

Ars Technica runs a nice overview article “How the Internet works: Submarine fiber, brains in jars, and coaxial cables“.  It features plenty of cool images, statistics, and details of the Internet wiring from under the sea to the last mile to the last 100 meters.  It’s mostly focused on UK, but it provides a good understanding of what’s involved in the modern day connectivity.

P.S.: On a less serious note, here’s The IT Crowd take on how the Internet works.  Thanks to Maxym Balabaev for a reminder.

The USSR is a country that poses a serious threat …

The USSR is a country that poses a serious threat to the Western world. I am not referring to the military threat is not actually there. Our countries are sufficiently well armed, including nuclear weapons.

I’m talking about the economic threat. With the planned economy and the particular combination of moral and material incentives,

The Soviet Union managed to achieve high economic indicators.

The percentage of growth in GNP is almost twice that in our country’s . If add to this the enormous natural resources available to the Union, with the sound management of the economy are real rather than the possibilities of expel the global market.

[…]

So we have always taken steps to weaken the Soviet Union’s economy and create economic difficulties there, where the main role is played by the arms race.

An important place in our politics was the consideration of the weaknesses of the constitution of the USSR. Formally, it provided for the immediate withdrawal of the USSR by any republic which so wished, by decision of the Supreme Soviet and by simple majority.

True that the realization of this right was practically impossible due to the cementing role of the Communist Party and security organs. And yet, in this constitutional peculiarity, had potential opportunities for our policy.

Unfortunately and despite all our efforts for a long time the political situation in the USSR remained stable over a long period of time. We had a complicated situation, but soon we got a briefing on the early demise of the Soviet Soviet leader and the possibility of coming to power, with our help, of a person through which we could make our intentions in this area.

That was the assessment of my experts. Always conducive to the formation of a qualified group of experts on the Soviet Union and when the situation required it encouraged the emigration of Soviet specialists needed.

That person was Mikhail Gorbachev, whom our experts qualify as a reckless person, suggestible and very ambitious. He had good relations with most of the Soviet political elite, so he came to power, with our help, it was possible.

The activity of the Popular Front did not require large investments: duplicators comes to expenses and provide funding at officials Yet what was required significant funding support for prolonged strikes by miners. Great debates between you export raised the question on the appointment of Boris Yeltsin as leader of the Popular Front with the prospect of his subsequent election to the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation, in counterbalance to the leadership of Gorbachev.

Most experts were pronounced against Yeltsin’s candidacy because of the peculiarities of his character and his past.

However, there were corresponding contacts, agreements and the decision to force Yeltsin’s candidacy, was definitely adopted. Although with great difficulty, Yeltsin was elected President of the Supreme Soviet of Russia and immediately adopted the declaration of sovereignty of Russia.

Margaret Thatcher

London Olympics security craze – surface to air missiles

Yet another story from Slashdot:

I have to admit, when I first read about this I thought it was a hoax, but unfortunately it’s true. The UK government is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential buildings in London for the duration of the London Olympics. From the article: ‘The Ministry of Defence is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential flats during the Olympics. An east London estate, where 700 people live, has received leaflets saying a “Higher Velocity Missile system” could be placed on a water tower. A spokesman said the MoD had not yet decided whether to deploy ground based air defence systems during the event.

Once again proving to every TV watching idiot that “we are winning the war on terror“.  Congratulations!

University of Central Lancashire Cyprus, (UCLan Cyprus)

Cyprus Mail reports:

CONSTRUCTION of a modern €53 million campus has begun in Pyla to accommodate the first British university on the island, University of Central Lancashire Cyprus, (UCLan Cyprus).

UCLan Cyprus will open in October this year and students will have the option of studying their programme entirely in Cyprus or transferring for part of their studies to the UK. They expect to have 5,000 students initially. All courses will be taught in English.

These are some interesting news.  Of course, we have quite a few universities here in Cyprus, but most of them, with the exception of maybe University of Cyprus, were speed-track-converted from a bunch of colleges.  It’ll be interesting to see how different a “real” university is going to be, and if it will create any worthy competition to push the educational institutions a bit.  The level of local schools wasn’t all that high back when I was a student, and judging by the younger candidates that I interviewed for jobs in the last few years, the situation isn’t getting any better.  Hopefully, the UCLan Cyprus arrival can change this.

Winning The War On Terror

Cyprus Mail recently covered the security measures that are being taken in London for the preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  Here are a few quotes:

SNIPERS in helicopters will patrol the skies over London
[…]
based on HMS Ocean, the largest ship in the Navy, anchored in the Thames
[…]
Fast jets will also be located just outside London
[…]
Rapier air-defence missiles will be located in London
[…]
1,000-strong quick reaction force will also be on stand-by
[…]
About 7,500 armed forces members will work as security guards
[…]
Royal Marines will be based on HMS Ocean
[…]
They will also patrol along the Thames.
[…]
HMS Bulwark and Royal Fleet Auxiliary Mounts Bay will patrol off Weymouth
[…]
Special forces will also be placed on high alert, as well as military explosive disposal teams and units with dogs to search vehicles and buildings.
[…]
The venue security allocation has also been dramatically increased by £271 million to £553 million after the number of security guards was revised up to 23,700, more than double the original estimate of 10,000.

Winning The War On Terror, aren’t we?  I understand the need for security and all, but aren’t that going a bit too far?  Ships, jets, helicopters, snipers, special forces, dogs, patrols, tens of thousands in personnel, over half a billion in funds… When and how will we come to our senses again?