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Internet Overload?

Well I know that one problem I have is trying to deal with the vast amount of data out there: just trying to get an angle on what the 'Malaysian blogosphere' might consist of gets my head spinning. Information overload is something we have to deal with more and more now (one symptom of this is the kids dragging a trolley bag of books to school, I suppose): Nardi et al. suggest that blogs may be popular specifically because of the limited interactivity they offer: i.e. they offer a way to communicate with others, and present a digest of one's public face, that can be interacted with at one's one speed - though the more popular bloggers have also often noted the pressure to produce regular postings in order to keep their audience happy.

Anyway, there was an article on BBC recently about "Warnings of 'internet overload'" . Apparently the backbones of optic fibres are not an issue, as "scientists are confident that each strand can be pushed to carry almost limitless amounts of data in the form of light." (Kelly), but as more people use more video and other realtime connections, there is a possibility that routers and local copper wire loops cannot keep up with the demand.

As far as Malaysia is concerned, it seems like for once our ISP(s) are ahead of the times...
"The real issue that people are going to face, and are already noticing at home, is that ISPs are starting to cut back on the bandwidth that is available to people in their homes," said Mr Thompson. "They call it bandwidth shaping... They do this because they have a limited capacity to deliver to 100 or 200 homes, and if everybody's using the internet at the same time then the whole thing starts to get congested. Before that happens they cut back on the heavy users."

or perhaps it's just a case of being lapped? ;-)

A recent study reported in the Technology Review gives a possible solution to the problem - using peer-to-peer connections to take some of the load off the "80 or so critical nodes" (Graham-Rowe) which form the centre of the internet network - not a lot when you think of it!

It's an interesting idea, though there must be security and privacy issues that would pop up.
They also produced some cool looking graphical representations of the nodes on the internet

From Technology Review

The larger the dot, the more connections it has, and the closer to the centre, the more it is connected to other well-connected nodes.

(I love 'internet maps' for some reason, this site has interesting historical maps, going back to Arpanet).

All this makes me think again at how I would really benefit from the help of someone knowledgeable in programming/software to do my research. I would like to have a customisable search engine that could follow links, and IP addresses - or something to tell where the bloggers and commentors are...
Something like the image below, but integrating physical offline location and commentors too...

From Herring et al.


Works Cited.
Graham-Rowe, Duncan. "Mapping the Internet ". Technology Review. 19 June 2007. 21 June 2007

Kelly, Spencer. "Warnings of 'internet overload'". BBC News. 15 June 2007. 21 June 2007

Nardi, Bonnie A., Diane J. Schiano & Michelle Gumbrecht. "Blogging as social activity, or, would you let 900 million people read your diary?". Proceedings of the 2004 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work. 2004. 7 Nov. 2006

Herring, Susan C. et al. Figure 3. “Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis 'From the Bottom Up'". Proceedings of the 38th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS'05) - Track 4. 2005. Hawaii. 107b. 7 Nov. 2006

Lanet-vi program of I. Alvarez-Hamelin et al. "The shape of the online universe". 21 June 2007


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