Arty Awesomeness Featured Science & Technology Video Clips

See Where the Internet Lives: A Tour of Google’s Data Centers

The majority of us aren’t concerned with the background processes that run when we use Gmail, watch a YouTube video, or do a Google search. The computational requirements for bringing these services to the 2.4 billion Internet users are pretty hefty but Google’s billion-dollar network of data centers are able to handle more than 3 billion daily search queries and to index 20 billion web pages a day.

Physical access to their data centers has only been reserved for a privileged few, but Google recently commissioned photographer Connie Zhou to take a few snaps of their high-tech facilities. In a segment called Where The Internet Lives, we get a virtual peek into colourful and highly organized collection of coolant pipes, server racks, and tape libraries. See the arty photos of Google’s data centers after the jump. There is even a street view clip that shows the inside the Lenoir data center in North Carolina.

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Infographic: The Internet a Decade Later

Some of us spent an obscene amount of time on the Internet, so much so that we won’t come to bed because someone is wrong with the Internet.

An animated infographic from Bested Sites shows how the addiction has grown in the last 10 years from the sheer numbers of Internets users, to the time spent browsing, to what some sites looked like then and now.

See The Internet A Decade Later after the jump. If your Internet connection hasn’t improved in the last 10 years, it may take a while to load.

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H+: Adventures in Transhumanism

Transhumanism (which my spell checker insists is the misspelling of transvestitism) is a movement that seeks to improve the mental and physical characteristics of humans through the liberal use of technology. It is the main subject of a new sci-fi web series that premièred just the other day.

Aptly titled H+, the digital series produced Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects) advances ideas like Project Glass into a future world where human beings are connected to the Internet 24 hours a day via a device planted in their bodies. While some are more than happy to accept the H+ computer into their lives, others are opposed to the technology for the fear of breaches in privacy and the ever looming threat of hackers. It’s not long before a virus outbreak kills millions of users, leaving the remaining humans to fend for themselves in an offline world.

The first two episodes were flighted on August 8th on YouTube, with a new episode due to be added every Wednesday. Have a look at these two H+ episodes after the jump.

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Personas: How Does The Internet See You?

The Metropath(ologies) exhibit at the MIT Museum is an art installation about living in a world that happens to be over-supplied with information. Personas is a component of that exhibit, using some high tech jiggery pokery and the Internet to track your Web persona.

The process couldn’t be simpler – go to the Personas site, type in your name (first and last name, please) and after some number-crunching, it will spit out a data portrait, letting you see you the way the Internet sees you.

Personas scours the web for information and attempts to characterize the person – to fit them to a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from a massive corpus of data. The computational process is visualized with each stage of the analysis, finally resulting in the presentation of a seemingly authoritative personal profile.

Personas demonstrates the computer’s uncanny insights and its inadvertent errors, such as the mischaracterizations caused by the inability to separate data from multiple owners of the same name.

Here’s the data portrait for onelargeprawn. Click to embiggen.

I’m glad there’s no reference to occasional drug abuse (I didn’t inhale), but I’m slightly concerned about where all that aggression is coming from…I bet it’s my doppleganger, I call him Klaus. Say hello Klaus. Hello.

Get your own data portraits at Personas. And let us know how if you find anything interesting.

Data portraits of Jacob Zuma, DJ Fresh, and Megan Fox are after the jump.


Online Cartography: The Internet Mapping Project

The Interwebs is a vast, intangible, untameable place. Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick at Wired magazine, considers it “immense ghost land of disembodied places” that we are able to navigate through every day and return with our body parts intact. So he reckoned we must have a rough map of the Internet in our heads, and at a recent TED conference, he asked people to draw a map of the Internet as they see it, indicating their “home” on the map.

He has collected over 50 maps so far. Here’s a small gallery – click to embiggen.

See more maps at Kevin Kelly’s flickr set.

You can get involved in the Internet Mapping Project by downloading the blank PDF from Kelly’s website and submitting your own map.

[via picocool]

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I see the future…


I hate to be rude (no I don’t really!) – this is a private joke for Prawn1 – but it’s so funny I had to put it up here.

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