Recently finished “Tubes: A journey to the Center of the Internet”. While this is definitively not the book of the year, it gives a good overview of what is the Internet.
To make the long story short, it is clear that the real value of this bunch of electronic components is the data stored in the data centers. This is not the hardware or the wires but the data, in terms of quality and quantity.
This raises two main questions:
- Sustainability: what does that mean today to have several tera-bytes stored on hard-drive. This is really worth to store all the data on remote hard drives and build building dedicated to cool them ? What is the impact on the long run ?
- Privacy: why companies are so worried for protecting the data they own and are eager to pay a high price for storing such amount of data ? When companies are ready to invest a lot to store your e-mail or just your browsing history, one can wonder what is the real value of this free service.
Although this book does not provide any new concept, this is a good one to understand the physical structure of the net and its potential impact on our world.