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How the Internet Works


MikeL

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did you know, the internet weighs about the same as the average egg. A PhD student worked out that because all data technically has mass, he/she measured all the electrons in motion for all the active data on the internet, and the internet weighs roughly the same as an egg.

 

and thus, your useless information for the day.

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did you know, the internet weighs about the same as the average egg. A PhD student worked out that because all data technically has mass, he/she measured all the electrons in motion for all the active data on the internet, and the internet weighs roughly the same as an egg.

 

and thus, your useless information for the day.

 

I have to disagree.  The internet consists of more than the electrons that carry the data, so every node would need to be included in the mix.  I think we would need to include the power used to run all the machines too.

 

Still, if we consider only the electrons involved it would be impossible to come up with an answer because internet traffic isn't the same from one moment to the next, nodes are removed and added, and even when we are on the internet there isn't a constant flow of data to and from our machines.  It's not like other forms of communication.  It even spills over into networks that weren't intended for internet use, so the whole idea that it can be quantified is wrong. 

 

I don't think that the NSA could even do it, and they are probably more capable than anyone in that area.

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did you know, the internet weighs about the same as the average egg. A PhD student worked out that because all data technically has mass, he/she measured all the electrons in motion for all the active data on the internet, and the internet weighs roughly the same as an egg.

 

and thus, your useless information for the day.

 

Useless? Maybe. But very interesting to ponder? Absolutely. :)

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So I think they oversimplified one piece of this too much...

 

When I visit the GA site, this happens:

 

My PC needs to know where to get www.gayauthors.org

.first it checks to see if it has the IP address froma prior visit, and doesn't have it.

..then it asks my ISP if they have it.

...then it asks the ISP to go find it.

....the ISP goes and asks it's provider for it. This is called a 'root server'.

.....root server tells the ISP to go look for the IP address where GA's domain name lives - not the site, just the name.

......GA's name server host tells my PC the IP address for the site.

.......my PC asks GA's server to present the page

 

THEN the packets start flowing to serve the page.

 

Oh, and every time a packet is sent from one router to another, and there could be hundreds of them between here and the GA server, each packet is acknowledged by the sending and receiving routers to make sure it's still clean and okay to go to the next stop. If not, it's thrown away and a new one is re-sent from the host again. And then there's the chatter between routers that simply keep the routes open and/or build new routes when others fail, so that the packets don't get dropped because of a bad route.

 

A week or so ago, there was an outage and the GA site was "down". It wasn't, but no one could get to it. The router protocol that does all the routing filled up with too many routes on several hundred thousand routers all at once because of a programming change. All those routers had to be rebooted.

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During some time I spent somewhere there was a project to try and map the internet interconnections, it just didn't work, the main reason being that the internet is massively dynamic, and although the video is a bit simplistic it does give a very good overview to the non technical person.

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