the tubes

Urban Giants

A short historical documentary about the intertwined telecom history of the Western Union and AT&T Long Lines buildings

Children of the Drone

Marcel Duchamp had his urinal. Andy Warhol had his soup can. James Bridle has his . . . drone? With his first major U.S. museum exhibition opening this week at Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art & Design, the young British artist is spearheading a conceptual-art movement—“the New Aesthetic”—through Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram, […]

Why the iPhone May Be the Greenest Technology We’ve Ever Seen

What is the environmental impact of a smartphone? Turns out the news is good: From production to use to recycling, these phones are the little engines that could.make a difference.

TED Talk: What is the Internet, really?

When a squirrel chewed through a cable and knocked him offline, journalist Andrew Blum started wondering what the Internet was really made of. So he set out to go see it — the underwater cables, secret switches and other physical bits that make up the net.

Speed Trap

We built the Internet. Now we’re stuck with it.

Don’t Be Fooled by the Cloud

The fantasy of “the cloud” creates an obfuscation that threatens the health and future of the real, physical network. To imagine a future for the network that isn’t only blisteringly fast but also brazenly free requires knowing something of its existing structure — knowing where our internet comes from.

Google Thinks You’re Stupid

Google doesn’t trust anyone—people, officials, even governments—to understand anything. As a result, it is the most secretive Internet entity—and disingenuous about that secrecy.

A Dive Into the Digital Deep

If the Internet is a global phenomenon, it’s because there are tubes at the bottom of the ocean. A look at the undersea cables that connect us.

Here’s What Facebook IPO Money Can Buy (WSJ Speakeasy blog)

Facebook’s IPO today will raise more than $18 billion dollars. We tend to think of that amount of money as different kinds of abstractions, but a significant portion of it can be thought of in these more tangible terms.

The Internet Goes Local (Popular Science)

Locally operated service providers might not help Libya or Egypt at first, but they plant a crucial seed: training smart network engineers.

This Is the Internet (Gizmodo)

The Internet isn’t only on your screen. Or behind your couch. Or in Google’s data centers. It’s also underwater, where fiber-optic cables stretch across oceans and loop around continents.

Here but Not Here

Architecture has yet to acknowledge the impact of social media on our experience of physical space. Our experience of the world around us has changed to a degree not seen since the arrival of trains and cars. But it’s not clear to me that the process of design has meaningfully acknowledged that.