Saturday, June 4, 2016


Short film about the exploration on breathhold of the biggest wreck in Mediterranean sea, by 3 world champions Guillaume Néry, Morgan Bourc'His and Rémy Dubern.
All the images were shot between 40 meters and 50 meters.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Microplastics killing fish before they reach reproductive age, study finds

A pike (Esox lucius) feeds on perch that have ingested microplastic particles.
Photograph: Oona Lönnstedt/Science

From The Guardian by Fiona Harvey

Tiny particles of plastic litter in oceans causing deaths, stunted growth and altering behaviour of some fish that feed on them, research shows

Fish are being killed, and prevented from reaching maturity, by the litter of plastic particles finding their way into the world’s oceans, new research has proved.
Some young fish have been found to prefer tiny particles of plastic to their natural food sources, effectively starving them before they can reproduce.

The growing problem of microplastics – tiny particles of polymer-type materials from modern industry – has been thought for several years to be a peril for fish, but the study published on Thursday is the first to prove the damage in trials.
Microplastics are near-indestructible in natural environments.
They enter the oceans through litter, when waste such as plastic bags, packaging and other convenience materials are discarded.
Vast amounts of these end up in the sea, through inadequate waste disposal systems and sewage outfall.

Another growing source is microbeads, tiny particles of hard plastics that are used in cosmetics, for instance as an abrasive in modern skin cleaners.
These easily enter waterways as they are washed off as they are used, flushed down drains and forgotten, but can last for decades in our oceans.

The impact of these materials has been hard to measure, despite being a growing source of concern.
Small particles of plastics have been found in seabirds, fish and whales, which swallow the materials but cannot digest them, leading to a build-up in their digestive tracts.

 A perch with ingested microplastic polystyrene particles.
Photograph: Oona Lönnstedt/Science

For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that fish exposed to such materials during their development show stunted growth and increased mortality rates, as well as changed behaviour that could endanger their survival.

Samples of perch, still in their larval state, were shown not only to take in the plastics, but to prefer them to their real food.
Larval perch with access to microplastic particles ate only the plastics, ignoring their natural food source of plankton.

The study, published in Science on Thursday, found that the fish born into an environment rich in microplastics – defined as tiny pieces of less than 5mm in size – had reduced rates of hatching and development to maturity.

The perch studied also ignored the chemical signals that would normally warn them of the presence of predators, the researchers found.
These particles are now found in abundance across the world’s oceans, and are often common in shallow coastal areas, where they wash in from waste dumps and sewerage systems
“This is the first time an animal has been found to preferentially feed on plastic particles, and is cause for concern,” said Peter Eklöv, co-author of the study.
“Larvae exposed to microplastic particles during development also displayed changed behaviours and were much less active than fish that had been reared in water that contained no microplastic particles.”

Environmental campaigners have been calling for a reduction in the waste allowed to drift from rivers into seas and oceans, and for an end to the use of artificial microplastics in cosmetics.
Greenpeace launched a campaign against microbeads early this year, and several companies have committed to phasing them out.

However, the study suggests that damage has already been done, and preventing the leakage of more microplastics into the oceans should be a matter of urgency, as once they are in our seas they are almost impossible to get rid of.

Perch exposed to microplastics in the study were eaten by pike four times more quickly than their naturally-reared relatives, when the predators were introduced into their environment.
All of the plastic-exposed fish in the study were dead within 48 hours.

Microplastics visible in a pike.
Photograph: Oona Lönnstedt/Science
This suggests that the impacts of microplastics are likely to be far-reaching and long-lasting, beyond the immediate effects on the fish’s digestive systems, which was previously the main cause of concern.
Plastics may be causing differing behaviour in the fish, and inhibiting their evolved responses to danger, through mechanisms not yet fully understood.

The study adds to research that has found coastal fish species suffering marked declines in recent years, while the amount of plastic litter in the oceans has increased.
“If early life-history stages of other species are similarly affected by microplastics, and this translates to increased mortality rates, the effects on aquatic ecosystems could be profound,” warned Oona Lönnstedt, another of the report’s authors.

Links :

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Is the new Suez Canal encouraging the spread of invasive species?

The new Suez Canal channel, running parallel to the original canal from 1869 NASA Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen

From Geographical by Chris Fitch

The iconic Suez Canal now has a twin channel, likely leading to a vast increase in shipping between Port Said and Suez.
However, there are dire warnings about the impact this project has had on marine wildlife in the Mediterranean.
The construction of the Suez Canal in the 19th century was an affair marred by accusations of slave labour and geopolitical jostling between Britain and France, resulting in a decade of controversy and financial horse-trading.
Nevertheless, when the 193km canal eventually opened in 1869 it had an immediate and dramatic impact on global trade, allowing ships a vastly quicker route between Europe and Asia, even if the first journeys took upwards of 40 hours to travel the length of the canal.

New images have now emerged revealing the most recent canal expansion, which was completed in August 2015, and officially opened by the the Suez Canal Authority in February 2016.
The expansion itself has seen the widening and deepening of the existing canal, as well as the construction of a new 35km channel running parallel to the original.
Understandably, the revolution of trade infrastructure over the past century-and-a-half – principally through the take-off in aviation travel – has diminished the importance of the Suez Canal.

Nevertheless, this expansion will likely have a significant impact on daily traffic through the canal, anticipated to grow from 49 ships at present, to 97 by 2023.
Additionally, waiting times are expected to drop to three hours instead of between eight and 11 hours at present, and transit times through the canal would become 11 hours instead of 18 hours. Interestingly, unlike many canals across the world, neither the original nor the new Suez Canals contain any locks, since the water levels in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea are are similar enough that ships can sail straight through.

 NASA satellite images from April 2014 (L) and April 2016 (R) show the scale of the new Suez construction
(Image: NASA Earth Observatory / Jesse Allen)

However, prior to the opening of the new canal, there were concerns expressed by many in the scientific community about the lack of a rigorous study into the environmental impacts which the canal expansion might have, particularly in terms of the spread of invasive species.
‘It’s not a possibility, it happens,’ says Dr Elizabeth Cook, Head of the Scottish Association for Marine Science and a senior lecturer in Marine Biology.
‘It’s unbelievable how the eastern side of the Mediterranean is changing. Some of the species are now migrating, particularly the fish species, and some of them are noxious and cause fatalities. Compared to Northern Europe, there’s no comparison in the changes that are going on for invasives.’

Cook is one of several international scientists who have penned articles in recent years, warning of the dramatic impacts which the Suez expansion will have on the ecology of the marine environments of the Mediterranean.
Writing in the journal Biological Invasions last year, they reveal that, ‘of nearly 700 multicellular non-indigenous species currently recognised from the Mediterranean Sea, fully half were introduced through the Suez Canal since 1869.’
The worry is that the new channel will significantly increase this trend. In a separate article last year for the journal The Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin, they implored the Egyptian government to publish an ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’ for the Suez expansion, which they stated was, ‘one opportunity to prevent, or minimise, a potential great ecological setback to the biodiversity and the ecosystem of the Mediterranean Sea that should not be missed.’

 The number of non-indigenous species in some Mediterranean countries.
In red, the fraction of species likely introduced through the Suez Canal
(Image: Galil et al.) 
‘It’s a well-known fact for a number years that invasive species have been able to get through into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, and they are completely changing the ecology of the eastern part,’ emphasises Cook.
She highlights one species, the highly poisonous jellyfish Rhopilema nomadica, swarms of which have caused numerous problems across the Mediterranean since first passing through the canal in the 1980s.
‘Certain species are even starting to get to the western side,’ she warns.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Deep, old water explains why Antarctic Ocean hasn't warmed

Observed warming over the past 50 years (in degrees Celsius per decade) shows rapid warming in the Arctic, while the Southern Ocean around Antarctica has warmed little, if at all.
Credit: K. Armour / UW

From Phys by Hannah Hickey

The waters surrounding Antarctica may be one of the last places to experience human-driven climate change.
New research from the University of Washington and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds that ocean currents explain why the seawater has stayed at roughly the same temperature while most of the rest of the planet has warmed.

The study resolves a scientific conundrum, and an inconsistent pattern of warming often seized on by climate deniers. Observations and climate models show that the unique currents around Antarctica continually pull deep, centuries-old water up to the surface - seawater that last touched Earth's atmosphere before the machine age, and has never experienced fossil fuel-related climate change. The paper is published May 30 in Nature Geoscience.

"With rising carbon dioxide you would expect more warming at both poles, but we only see it at one of the poles, so something else must be going on," said lead author Kyle Armour, a UW assistant professor of oceanography and of atmospheric sciences.
"We show that it's for really simple reasons, and ocean currents are the hero here."

courtesy of NASA/GSFC

Gale-force westerly winds that constantly whip around Antarctica act to push surface water north, continually drawing up water from below.
The Southern Ocean's water comes from such great depths, and from sources that are so distant, that it will take centuries before the water reaching the surface has experienced modern global warming.

Other places in the oceans, like the west coast of the Americas and the equator, draw seawater up from a few hundred meters depth, but that doesn't have the same effect.
"The Southern Ocean is unique because it's bringing water up from several thousand meters [as much as 2 miles]," Armour said.
"It's really deep, old water that's coming up to the surface, all around the continent. You have a lot of water coming to the surface, and that water hasn't seen the atmosphere for hundreds of years."

The water surfacing off Antarctica last saw Earth's atmosphere centuries ago in the North Atlantic, then sank and followed circuitous paths through the world's oceans before resurfacing off Antarctica, hundreds or even a thousand years later.

Delayed warming of the Antarctic Ocean is commonly seen in global climate models.
But the culprit had been wrongly identified as churning, frigid seas mixing extra heat downward.
The study used data from Argo observational floats and other instruments to trace the path of the missing heat.
"The old idea was that heat taken up at the surface would just mix downward, and that's the reason for the slow warming," Armour said.
"But the observations show that heat is actually being carried away from Antarctica, northward along the surface."

In the Atlantic, the northward flow of the ocean's surface continues all the way to the Arctic.
The study used dyes in model simulations to show that seawater that has experienced the most climate change tends to clump up around the North Pole.
This is another reason why the Arctic's ocean and sea ice are bearing the brunt of global warming, while Antarctica is largely oblivious.
"The oceans are acting to enhance warming in the Arctic while damping warming around Antarctica," Armour said.
"You can't directly compare warming at the poles, because it's occurring on top of very different ocean circulations."

Knowing where the extra heat trapped by greenhouse gases goes, and identifying why the poles are warming at different rates, will help to better predict temperatures in the future.
"When we hear the term 'global warming,' we think of warming everywhere at the same rate," Armour said.
"We are moving away from this idea of global warming and more toward the idea of regional patterns of warming, which are strongly shaped by ocean currents."

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The future of personal satellite technology is here – are we ready for it?

SunCube standard,
a new class of affordable miniature satellites for education, research and exploration.

From The Conversation by Elizabeth Garbee & Andrew Maynard

Satellites used to be the exclusive playthings of rich governments and wealthy corporations.
But increasingly, as space becomes more democratized, these sophisticated technologies are coming within reach of ordinary people.
Just like drones before them, miniature satellites are beginning to fundamentally transform our conceptions of who gets to do what up above our heads.
As a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences highlights, these satellites hold tremendous potential for making satellite-based science more accessible than ever before.
However, as the cost of getting your own satellite in orbit plummets, the risks of irresponsible use grow.
The question here is no longer “Can we?” but “Should we?”
What are the potential downsides of having a slice of space densely populated by equipment built by people not traditionally labeled as “professionals”?
And what would the responsible and beneficial development and use of this technology actually look like?
Some of the answers may come from a nonprofit organization that has been building and launching amateur satellites for nearly 50 years.

Just a few inches across and ready for orbit.

The technology we’re talking about

Having your own personal satellite launched into orbit might sound like an idea straight out of science fiction.
But over the past few decades a unique class of satellites has been created that fits the bill: CubeSats.

The “Cube” here simply refers to the satellite’s shape.
The most common CubeSat (the so-called “1U” satellite) is a 10 cm (roughly 4 inches) cube, so small that a single CubeSat could easily be mistaken for a paperweight on your desk.
These mini, modular satellites can fit in a launch vehicle’s formerly “wasted space.”
Multiples can be deployed in combination for more complex missions than could be achieved by one CubeSat alone.
Within their compact bodies these minute satellites are able to house sensors and communications receivers/transmitters that enable operators to study the Earth from space, as well as space around the Earth.
They’re primarily designed for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) – an easily accessible region of space from around 200 to 800 miles above the Earth, where human-tended missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station (ISS) hang out.
But they can attain more distant orbits; NASA plans for most of its future Earth-escaping payloads (to the moon and Mars especially) to carry CubeSats.

 Tiny satellites the size of a small cube, jam-packed with the most advanced nanotechnologies: is this the future of Space missions?

Because they’re so small and light, it costs much less to get a CubeSat into Earth orbit than a traditional communication or GPS satellite.
For instance, a research group here at Arizona State University recently claimed their developmental “femtosats” (especially small CubeSats) could cost as little as US$3,000 to put in orbit.
This decrease in cost is allowing researchers, hobbyists and even elementary school groups to put simple instruments into LEO, by piggybacking onto rocket launches, or even having them deployed from the ISS.
The first CubeSat was created in the early 2000s, as a way of enabling CalPoly and Stanford graduate students to design, build, test and operate a spacecraft with similar capabilities to the USSR’s Sputnik.
Since then, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and even Boeing have all launched and operated CubeSats. There are more than 130 currently operational in orbit.
The NASA Educational Launch of Nano Satellite (ELaNa) program, which offers free launches for educational groups and science missions, is now open to U.S. nonprofit corporations as well.
Clearly, satellites are not just for rocket scientists anymore.

Pre-K through 8th grade students at St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, Virginia designed, built and tested a CubeSat that was deployed in space. NASA, CC BY

Thinking inside the box

The National Academy of Sciences report emphasizes CubeSats' importance in scientific discovery and the training of future space scientists and engineers.Yet it also acknowledges that widespread deployment of LEO CubeSats isn’t risk-free.

The greatest concern the authors raise is space debris – pieces of “junk” that orbit the earth, with the potential to cause serious damage if they collide with operational units, including the ISS.
Currently, there aren’t many CubeSats and they’re tracked closely.
Yet as LEO opens up to more amateur satellites, they may pose an increasing threat. As the report authors point out, even near-misses might lead to the “creation of an onerous regulatory framework and affect the future disposition of science CubeSats.”

 Honey, I shrunk the satellites! Mini-satellites are following in the footsteps of cell phones and computers.
CubeSats are small but highly capable of performing a variety of space missions.

More broadly, the report authors focus on factors that might impede greater use of CubeSat technologies.
These include regulations around earth-space radio communications, possible impacts of International Traffic in Arms Regulations (which govern import and export of defense-related articles and services in the U.S.), and potential issues around extra-terrestrial contamination.
But what about the rest of us?
How can we be sure that hobbyists and others aren’t launching their own “spy” satellites, or (intentionally or not) placing polluting technologies into LEO, or even deploying low-cost CubeSat networks that could be hijacked and used nefariously?
As CubeSat researchers are quick to point out, these are far-fetched scenarios.
But they suggest that now’s the time to ponder unexpected and unintended possible consequences of more people than ever having access to their own small slice of space.
In an era when you can simply buy a CubeSat kit off the shelf, how can we trust the satellites over our heads were developed with good intentions by people who knew what they were doing?
Some “expert amateurs” in the satellite game could provide some inspiration for how to proceed responsibly.

Modular CubeSats deployed from ISS. NASA Johnson, CC BY-NC

Guidance from some experienced amateurs
In 1969, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) was created in order to foster ham radio enthusiasts' participation in space research and communication.
It continued the efforts, begun in 1961, by Project OSCAR – a U.S.-based group that built and launched the very first nongovernmental satellite just four years after Sputnik.

As an organization of volunteers, AMSAT was putting “amateur” satellites in orbit decades before the current CubeSat craze.
And over time, its members have learned a thing or two about responsibility.
Here, open-source development has been a central principle.
Within the organization, AMSAT has a philosophy of open sourcing everything – making technical data on all aspects of their satellites fully available to everyone in the organization, and when possible, the public.
According to a member of the team responsible for FOX 1-A, AMSAT’s first CubeSat:
This means that it would be incredibly difficult to sneak something by us … there’s no way to smuggle explosives or an energy emitter into an amateur satellite when everyone has access to the designs and implementation.
However, they’re more cautious about sharing info with nonmembers, as the organization guards against others developing the ability to hijack and take control of their satellites.
This form of “self-governance” is possible within long-standing amateur organizations that, over time, are able to build a sense of responsibility to community members, as well as society more generally.

AMSAT has a long history as a collaborative community. Jeff Davis, CC BY
How does responsible development evolve?

But what happens when new players emerge, who don’t have deep roots within the existing culture?
 Hobbyist and student “new kids on the block” are gaining access to technologies without being part of a longstanding amateur establishment.
They are still constrained by funders, launch providers and a tapestry of regulations – all of which rein in what CubeSat developers can and cannot do.
But there is a danger they’re ill-equipped to think through potential unintended consequences.

What these unintended consequences might be is admittedly far from clear.
Certainly, CubeSat developers would argue it’s hard to imagine these tiny satellites causing substantial physical harm.
Yet we know innovators can be remarkably creative with taking technologies in unexpected directions.
Think of something as seemingly benign as the cellphone – we have microfinance and text-based social networking at one end of the spectrum, improvised explosive devices at the other.
This is where a culture of social responsibility around CubeSats becomes important – not simply for ensuring that physical risks are minimized (and good practices are adhered to), but also to engage with a much larger community in anticipating and managing less obvious consequences of the technology.

This is not an easy task.
Yet the evidence from AMSAT and other areas of technology development suggest that responsible amateur communities can and do emerge around novel technologies.
For instance, see the diy-bio community, where hobbyists work in advanced community biotech labs. Their growing community commitment to safety and responsibility is highlighting how amateurs can embrace responsibility in research and innovation.
A similar commitment is seen within open-source software and hardware communities, such as the members of the Linux Foundation.
The challenge here, of course, is ensuring that what an amateur community considers to be responsible, actually is.
Here’s where there needs to be a much wider public conversation that extends beyond government agencies and scientific communities to include students, hobbyists, and anyone who may potentially stand to be affected by the use of CubeSat technology.

Links :

Monday, May 30, 2016

Facebook and Microsoft are laying a giant cable across the Atlantic

MAREA Overview Schematic Microsoft/Facebook
Going It Alone(ish)

From Wired by Cade Metz

Facebook and Microsoft are laying a massive cable across the middle of the Atlantic.

Dubbed MAREA—Spanish for “tide”—this giant underwater cable will stretch from Virginia to Bilbao, Spain, shuttling digital data across 6,600 kilometers of ocean.
Providing up to 160 terabits per second of bandwidth—about 16 million times the bandwidth of your home Internet connection—it will allow the two tech titans to more efficiently move enormous amounts of information between the many computer data centers and network hubs that underpin their popular online services.

“If you look at the cable systems across the Atlantic, a majority land in the Northeast somewhere,” says Najam Ahmad, Facebook’s vice president of network engineering.
“This gives us so many more options.”

The project expands the increasingly enormous computer networks now being built by the giants of the Internet as they assume a role traditionally played by telecom companies.
Google has invested in two undersea cables that stretch from the West Coast of the United States to Japan, another that connects the US and Brazil, and a network of cables that connect various parts of Asia.
Rather than just leasing bandwidth on undersea cables and terrestrial connections operated by telecoms, the likes of Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are building their own networking infrastructure both on land and across the seas.

The fact that these Internet giants are laying their own cables—at their own expense—shows just how much data these giants must move.
Consider the services they run: Google offers its eponymous search engine, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Maps, and so many more.
Microsoft offers Bing, Office365, and its Azure cloud services.
Facebook has its social network along with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
The data moved by just a few online giants now dwarfs that of most others, so much so that, according to telecommunications research firm Telegeography, more than two thirds of the digital data moving across the Atlantic is traveling on private networks—namely networks operated by the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Facebook.
That’s up from 10 percent just a few years ago.
“It’s a tremendous change,” says Telegeography analyst Tim Stronge.

 Facebook, Microsoft and Telefónica have joined forces to lay fiber-optic cable across the Atlantic Ocean, the tech companies’ latest big-budget infrastructure project.
Above, rope is coiled in the foreground as a work crew in France installs a separate submarine cable in March.
Photo: AFP/Getty Images

With so much data flowing across their systems, these companies are scrambling to build new infrastructure.
In addition to building its own undersea cable, Facebook is buying up what’s called “dark fiber”—unused terrestrial cables—so that it can control how its data moves from place to place and move it more efficiently.
According to Ahmad, Facebook is now using dark fiber “pretty much everywhere” as the company expands its network into new regions.
And the same likely goes for Google and Microsoft.

“We’re starting to see more of the large Internet content providers looking to build more of their own networks—whether they are leasing dark fiber or laying down new cables to build new routes,” says Michael Murphy, president and CEO of telecom consultancy NEF.
“It makes sense.”

In the past, Facebook has joined consortia that operate other undersea cables—groups typically made up of telecom companies—but this project is different.
Rather than letting a group build and control the cable—that is, rather than sharing lines with others—the company is laying its own dedicated lines and it has the power to use them however it sees fit.
In the end, this allows Facebook to expand its online empire much quicker than in the past.
“The consortium model is much slower than what we would like,” Ahmad says.

Much the same applies to Microsoft.
That said, the two Internet giants aren’t abandoning the telecom industry altogether.
The pair have brought in another partner: Telxius, a subsidiary of Spanish telecom Telefónica.
Telxius will operate the cable, and Facebook and Microsoft services will command most of its bandwidth.
But Telxius will sell some capacity to other companies in need of trans-Atlantic connections.

The location of the cable also suits the specific needs of Facebook and Microsoft.
Myriad undersea cables connect North America with Europe, but they don’t typically originate in Virginia.
Even though Northern Virginia has long served as a major hub for Internet data centers, including facilities used by Facebook as well as dedicated data centers built by Microsoft and Amazon, the data itself typically flows through cables anchored in the New York area.
With MAREA, Facebook will be able to more efficiently move information not only from facilities in Virginia but from its Facebook-owned and -operated data center in Rutherford County, North Carolina.

“To have a direct connection from Virginia lowers latency,” says Murphy—that is, the time it takes for data to flow from data centers to its ultimate destination.
“And that probably provides better quality service.” Other companies are planning cables anchored in this same area, but MAREA will likely be the first.
Construction is set to begin in August and completion is expected in October 2017.

Connecting Its Own Way

In connecting to Bilbao in Spain, Ahmad says, the cable will provide a more efficient path not only to Europe but to Africa, the Middle East, and even Asia.
All three geographies are increasingly important to Facebook and other Internet giants as they seek new audiences and new sources of revenue.
Spanning more than 1.5 billion people, the Facebook social network has saturated the US and European markets, so now the company must focus on new frontiers.
And in many respects, that involves building new infrastructure.
The project expands the increasingly enormous computer networks being built by the giants of the Internet.

Facebook is also working to fashion all sorts of new hardware that more rapidly pushes the Internet into those parts of the world that don’t already have it, from solar-powered high-altitude drones to a new breed of wireless antenna.
Rather than relying solely on the world’s telecoms and telecom hardware makers, the company is fashioning its own hardware.
And in the hopes of pushing this gear into the market, it intends to open source the designs, freely sharing them with the rest of the world.

A similar dynamic is at play with the new undersea cable.
Rather than just use what the telecoms provide, the company is building on its own.
And a key aspect of the project is that it’s free to use whatever equipment it pleases to plug into the cable.
This isn’t necessarily the case with the consortium model.
“You’re stuck with whatever system was built initially.
And if there has to be an upgrade, all the partners in the consortium have to agree to that upgrade,” Ahmad says.
“[The MAREA Project] gives us more control of our own destiny.”
The Real Telecoms

In some ways, this eats into a market once controlled by the big telecoms.
“It’s going to get interesting.
Who is the real telecommunications provider?” Murphy says.
“It’s going to take some of their business away.”

Murphy compares this shift to how Amazon has gained greater and greater control of the infrastructure needed to ship physical packages from place to place, building its own distribution centers, launching its own fleet of trucks, and even exploring the possibility of delivering packages via drone.
“The move is similar in the data space, where companies get to an economy of scale where it makes sense for them to handle their own traffic.”

But it should also be said that the Facebooks and the Googles and the Microsofts aren’t taking existing business from the telecoms.
They’re just taking potential business.
“This does mean that telecoms are carrying somewhat less of the content provider traffic than they would in the past,” says Telegeography’s Stronge.
“But a lot of this capacity wasn’t even around a few years ago.”

When you consider that these Internet giants are also using their own dark fiber on land, the upshot is that they are, more and more, taking control of their own destiny.
As Murphy points out, if they aren’t beholden to the telecoms, they aren’t beholden either to the whims and the prices of the telecoms or to any disputes over net neutrality (the notion that no company should receive preferential treatment on shared Internet lines.)

With its Fiber division, Google has even gone so far as to become an Internet service provider itself, laying down faster lines all the way to American homes.
That means it can potentially control the length and breadth of the network, from you to its many data centers in many parts of the world, and back again.
Google doesn’t quite control the entire path from its own data centers to everyone’s front doors.
But that’s the direction it’s headed.
And, well, so are Facebook and Microsoft.

Links :

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The battle of Jutland explained

10,000 men. 250 ships. 12 hours.
Two sides. The Battle of Jutland – 100 years ago.

 courtesy of Naval History
These are the remains of one of the ‘forgotten ships’ of Jutland – animated in three dimensions thanks to 21st Century Royal Navy technology.

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