↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Building a crash-proof internet, Futurologists on How America will end, Robert Fisk

ON 18 July 2001, a freight train derailed in the Howard Street tunnel running beneath downtown Baltimore, spilling 20,000 litres of hydrochloric acid. The resulting chemical fire destroyed fibre-optic cables owned by eight major US internet carriers. Moments later, Verizon Communications, which operates key portions of the internet's physical infrastructure in the US, lost links to two operations buildings and several other carriers' networks. For many hours, internet traffic slowed to a crawl across the entire country. "That tunnel is basically the I-95 [the main US East Coast highway] for fibre," one repair contractor told reporters. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime place for vulnerability." Eight years on, and events have proved otherwise. A series of catastrophic failures seems to suggest that the internet is rather more vulnerable to accidents, earthquakes or misplaced ships' anchors than people thought. At tens, perhaps hundreds, of places around the world, the net seems to be hanging by a thread. Building a crash-proof internet

The Global Business Network answers the same question for all its corporate and government clients: What happens next? GBN handles a lot of different whats, and even the occasional what-in-the-hell. In 2003, the group's chairman, Peter Schwartz, and his colleague Doug Randall whipped up a not-so-rosy, 22-page report on "abrupt climate change" for the Department of Defense ("The United States and Australia are likely to build defensive fortresses around their countries"). Last year, the municipality of Amsterdam asked the firm to help figure out how it might deal with immigration. GBN has also loaned out its brainpower to Hollywood, advising Minority Report director Steven Spielberg on whether Congress and the Constitution would still exist in 2054. (The answer: yes, with a few buts.) How Is America Going To End? The world's leading futurologists have four theories. By Josh Levin

Why is the Arab world – let us speak with terrible sharpness – so backward? Why so many dictators, so few human rights, so much state security and torture, so terrible a literacy rate?
Why does this wretched place, so rich in oil, have to produce, even in the age of the computer, a population so poorly educated, so undernourished, so corrupt? Yes, I know the history of Western colonialism, the dark conspiracies of the West, the Arab argument that you cannot upset the sheikhs and the kings and the autocrats, the imams and the emirs when the "enemy is at the gates". There is some truth to that. But not enough truth. Robert Fisk: Why does life in the Middle East remain rooted in the Middle Ages?

more fiction:

Surprising Facts About 15 Bestselling Authors by Ethan Trex


Post a Comment

<< Home