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The Short History of the Internet: From ARPANET to the Metaverse

Last Saturday marked the 53rd anniversary of the Internet. While the vast majority of its five billion users have been online for less than a decade, the Internet was taken into use on October 29th, 1969, when two computers connected to the ARPANET exchanged a message. Although the Internet has been around for a while, it remained below most people's radar until the late 1990s when the dot com boom started. more

Saint Martin Launches Smart-IX Internet Exchange Under CaribIX Project

The recent launch of a new internet exchange point in Saint Martin has propelled the territory towards a better, faster and more resilient Internet. The French Caribbean territory's new IXP, called Smart-IX, was launched in October under the auspices of a recently launched CaribIX project, which is coordinated by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), supported by the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), funded by the INTERREG Cara├»bes programme... more

The Data Divide

A report from the Center for Data Innovation warns of a new broadband gap they call the data divide, which is when some parts of society are not sharing in the big societal advantages that come from using and understanding the huge amounts of data that are being generated today. The report includes examples of the data divide that make the concept easier to understand. more

The UK Seeks to Enforce Tougher Standards on MSPs

The UK government is proposing new regulations to strengthen cyber resilience in the private sector. Their intention is to expand cybersecurity rules for critical infrastructure (CI) operators to include managed service providers (MSPs), more stringent breach notification requirements, and legislation to establish the UK Cyber Security Council as the standards development organization for the cybersecurity profession. This is a welcomed development, but more details about implementation and enforcement are needed. more

The Future of Data Storage

One of the consequences of our increased use of broadband is a big increase in the amount the data that we store outside our homes and businesses. The numbers are becoming staggering. There are currently about 3.7 billion people using the Internet, and together we generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of online data every day. The trends are that by 2025 we'll be storing 160 zettabytes of data per year - a zettabyte is one trillion gigabytes. I store a lot more data online than I used to. I now store things in the cloud all day long. more

Transparency Meets Sustainability: Announcing the SDIA Open Data Hub

Last month, the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA) announced our Open Data Hub, a resource that's meant to boost transparency, trust, and data availability to help researchers, industry, and society realize a sustainable digital economy. It is essentially our answer to the challenge recognized across the sector: that the lack of reliable data is one of the most foundational issues we face in creating a sustainable ICT ecosystem. more

Another Portent of the Decline and Fall of the Telco

The Swedish carrier group Telia has recently announced the sale of its international wholesale business to Polhelm Infra, an infrastructure investment manager jointly owned by a number of Swedish pension funds. Why would a telco operator sell off what was a core part of its operation to a pension fund? The Internet was originally conceived as a telephone network for computers. (I should mention that this was not a concept that was unique to the Internet at the time. more

The Internet and the Cloud Are Going Into Space

Unlike Bezos and Branson, they're going to stay there. Today we have space-based internet access and a terrestrial internet; within ten years, we'll have a space-based internet. Internet traffic will travel more miles in space than on terrestrial fiber. By that time, the great cloud data centers of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and their competitors and successors will mostly be in orbit as well. Five years from now, this transition will be obvious, accepted, and well underway... more

The Risk Factors of CDNs and Centrality

On the afternoon of June 17 of this year, there was a widespread outage of online services. In Australia, it impacted three of the country's largest banks, the national postal service, the country's reserve bank, and one airline operator. Further afield from Australia, the outage impacted the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and some US airlines. The roll call of affected services appeared to reach some 500 serv more

Where Did “Data Shadow” Come From?

Anyone who works in privacy is familiar with the term "data shadow": the digital record created by our transactions, our travels, our online activities. But where did the phrase come from? Who used it first? A number of authors have attributed it to Alan Westin, whose seminal book Privacy and Freedom (largely a report on the work of the Committee on Science and Law of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York) set the stage for most modern discussions of privacy.  more