Thursday, December 5, 2019

Submarine Cables

  • Is it true that sharks biting the cables is a problem?
    • No, this is not a problem.
  • Cables can break just by wearing out - but what are some other things that cause them to break?
    • Damage can be done by human activity, such as fishing and and anchoring.
  • Who uses submarine cables?
    • Everyone does when they use the internet to communicate with 
  • How thick is a cable?
    • They are the size of a garden hose
  • How does fiber-optic technology work with the cables?
    • Light waves encode bits and transmit data at the speed of light by continuously bouncing off the glass-like boundaries.
  • What did you find most interesting about the cables?
    • I found the fact that they transfer nearly 200 tbps of data across continents to be astonishing. It's hard to imagine how much data this is. This data literally runs everything on the internet.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

IP Blog Post

  1. What is a protocol?
    1. A system of rules and standards used to achieve a universal goal.
  2. What is an Internet Protocol (IP) address?
    1. An address made up of bits associated with each device connected to a network (the internet in this case). It is used to determine where to send and receive data.
  3. How is it organized hierarchically?
    1. Different parts of the address are associated with different levels of specification. Ex: first 8 bits specify country, next 8 specify region, next 8 specify subnetwork, etc.
  4. How many bits are in an IPv4 address?
    1. 32 bits
  5. How many IPv4 addresses does that mean there are?  
    1. 2^32 addresses.
  6. What is the difference between IPv6 and IPv4.  
    1. IPv6 uses 128 bits as opposed to 32 bits, as used in IPv4.
  7. Why do we need IPv6.
    1. We need IPv6 because 2^32 addresses is not enough to assign a unique address to all devices connected to the internet.
  8. What is an IP packet?
    1. When data is transferred over the internet, it is not sent in one big chunk but instead in smaller segments of data. These are called IP packets.
  9. What is the difference between an IP address and an IP Packet?
    1. An IP address tells where an IP packet should go while the IP Packet itself represents the segment of data to be transferred.
  10. What is the purpose of the Domain Name System (DNS)?
    1. The purpose of DNS is to associate URL's with specific IP addresses of servers which host the website requested by a client. They need this address so packets know where to go.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Koan Blog Post

  1. Koan 4 - Processing is Power
    1. From computers’ inception to about 2001, their computing power has exponentially increased. After 2001, their computing power got better less by better processors but instead by multiprocessors. This development is what has allowed computers to achieve more impressive feats, such as higher resolution video, faster calculations, and more multitasking. This truth resonates with me because the advance of technology is something which happens all the time permanently all around us, is happening ever faster. Though history often focuses on politics and economics, the advance of technology is arguably the most important; it will completely transform our lives over our lifetimes.
  2. Koan 3 - There Is Want in the Midst of Plenty
    1. The increasing dependence on technology and its increasing power has pushed more and more data off of more traditional sources to computer bits. Now-A-Days, almost any data about anything is stored online. Search engines organize this data and allow users to access it. As a result of this transformation, Google has gained a monopoly on people’s ability to gain info; if it’s not on Google, it might as well not exist. This truth resonates with me because, personally, I am very anti-Google. There is evidence that they manipulate search results in a biased manner. As a result, people don’t get much exposure to other points of view. Furthermore, because of people’s dependence on Google, many don’t realize the benefits of traditional sources of information, like books and magazines. 

Thursday, November 7, 2019


This is moore's law. I chose it because it best shows the advance of technology over the past couple decades. This is significant in wireless communication because, as devices become more powerful, wireless communication is expected to send more data faster.

This is a representation of a transistor. I chose this because it is the basic building block of CPU's in computers. This is significant in wireless communication because it allowed for much more powerful computer, which needed more data to be sent.

This is a typewriter used to punch information on tape to send data over wires. I chose this because the museum instructor allowed me to use it, and I thought it was really interesting how people used to do this in the past. This is significant in wireless communication because it represented the step after wireless communication happened.

This is a picture of the advance of portable phones over the last couple of decades. I chose this picture because phones have modernized very significantly especially over the last decade, so advances made in phones are better understood by us. This is significant in wireless communication because phones require wireless communication to function.

This is a picture of the normal work station of someone communicating with ships. It shows both the receiver and transmitter. I chose this because it accurately shows the main hub of communication in ship-to-ship communication. This is significant to wireless communication because it shows what a normal person back in the day would deal with if they had a job in wireless communication.

This is a picture of the actual machine which would broadcast data by radio waves. I chose this because it shows how much technology has advanced since this point: now we have the equivalent of such a machine in our pockets. This is significant in wireless communication because it represents the actual machinery behind how wireless communication works.

I learned:
  1. How transistors work (picture 2)
  2. How transistors combine to create logic gates
  3. How WW2 cryptography (Navajo codetalkers) worked

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Coding in the Wild

Why did you choose this one? 
I chose this one because I have a natural passion in math and because statistics is an element of math, so a mix of statistics and computer science is interesting to me.
What does the writer explain about how computer science is used in their job? 
Computer Science is used in their job by being able to sift through large databases to find statistical patterns. This could not be done by hand.
What kinds of things do they need to know and how did they learn them?

They need to learn a variety of programming languages like SAS, SQL, Matlab, Python, and LaTeX. They also need to learn how to deal with data from a variety of sources.

The internet is for everyone

Challenge 2: Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if Governments restrict access to it, so we must dedicate ourselves to keeping the network unrestricted, unfettered and unregulated. We must have the freedom to speak and the freedom to hear. 

Freedom of speech is very important and should never be regulated, regardless of how controversial the viewpoint is. At some point, saying the Earth was a sphere was controversial and could get you killed, so stifling speech is only stifling you ability to learn. The article reflects this viewpoint: “It invites and facilitates multiple points of view and dialog in ways unimplementable by the traditional, one-way, mass media.”

Challenge 6: Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if legislation around the world creates a thicket of incompatible laws that hinder the growth of electronic commerce, stymie the protection of intellectual property, and stifle freedom of expression and the development of market economies. Let us dedicate ourselves to the creation of a global legal framework in which laws work across national boundaries to reinforce the upward spiral of value that the Internet is capable of creating. 

Recently, there was a lot of controversy over article 11 and 13 in the European Union. These articles passed and created legislation which more strictly limited fair use and e-commerce. Fair use is vital for people to be able to share their viewpoints without fear of being strike with false copyright claims and being sued. Free e-commerce is also vital since, as more and more companies base themselves on the internet, the same freedom normal companies have should be allotted to these companies. They shouldn’t have unnecessary regulations put on them. The importance of commerce on the internet was expressed in the article: “It is estimated that commerce on the network will reach somewhere between $1.8T and $3.2T by 2003.”

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Life in an Internet Shutdown

  • What problems would this create here and for you personally?
    • It would almost certainly completely destroy the economy if the internet was shutdown here. The United States economy, and much of the world economy, is very heavily dependent on internet to function. Many vital pieces of technology we use everyday all the time use the internet. Personally, I would probably not be too bad off. I can live without internet. However, it will definitely be a lot harder, especially since our school heavily depends on the internet for assignments. 
  • Is there ever a time a government should be able to shut down the internet?
    • No, there is never a time a government should shut down the internet. Given the decentralized nature of the internet, it is a major source of freedom for all people all around the world. It allows people to communicate, share their opinions, and participate in the economy from their own homes, with, in most cases, limited oversight. Giving the government power to control this will naturally lead to tyranny and attacks of free speech.