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Download Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Andrew Blum
2.94 out of 52.94 out of 52.94 out of 52.94 out of 52.94 out of 5 2.94 (16 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Andrew Blum Narrator: Andrew Blum Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN:
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When your Internet cable leaves your living room, where does it go? Almost everything about our day-to-day lives - and the broader scheme of human culture - can be found on the Internet. But what is it physically? And where is it really? Our mental map of the network is as blank as the map of the ocean that Columbus carried on his first Atlantic voyage. The Internet, its material nuts and bolts, is an unexplored territory. Until now.

In Tubes, journalist Andrew Blum goes inside the Internet's physical infrastructure and flips on the lights, revealing an utterly fresh look at the online world we think we know. It is a shockingly tactile realm of unmarked compounds, populated by a special caste of engineer who pieces together our networks by hand; where glass fibers pulse with light and creaky telegraph buildings, tortuously rewired, become communication hubs once again. From the room in Los Angeles where the Internet first flickered to life to the caverns beneath Manhattan where new fiber-optic cable is buried; from the coast of Portugal, where a 10,000 mile undersea cable just two thumbs wide connects Europe and Africa to the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, where Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have built monumental data centers, Blum chronicles the dramatic story of the Internet's development, explains how it all works, and takes the first-ever in-depth look inside its hidden monuments.

This is a book about real places on the map: their sounds and smells, their storied pasts, their physical details, and the people who live there. For all the talk of the placelessness of our digital age, the Internet is as fixed in real, physical spaces as the railroad or telephone. You can map it and touch it, and you can visit it. Is the Internet in fact a series of tubes as Ted Stevens, the late senator from Alaska, once famously described it? How can we know the Internet's possibilities if we don't know its parts?

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Urban Sedlar | 2/17/2014

    " An ambitious attempt to find out where the internet lives. As a network engineer I found it a tad boring at first, but pretty soon it shifted from naive curiosity to a tour of the largest internet exchanges, datacenters, NANOG meetings and more, all of it described in layman's terms and spiced with some great analogies. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gerard Brown | 2/12/2014

    " A really promising book in its notion of situating the virtual in the physical world...ultimately fails to deliver on this promise by overloading its narrative with geek histrivia. Better to leave all the should-be-famous network engineers out of the story and concentrate on the map that's getting drawn... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 julia | 2/10/2014

    " I had more difficulty getting through this book than expected. There were parts that were fascinating and made me want to get to Amsterdam and Cornwall as soon as possible, and then there were parts that I slogged through. Kind of like the internet, really. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tad Deshler | 2/3/2014

    " Like many people, I don't think too much about the physical infrastructure of the Internet, so this book was enlightening in that aspect. I am glad it was relatively short - just long enough to get the needed details. If you aren't into technical details, you might be bored in places, but you can let some of those details wash over you and focus on the personalities and philosophizing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin | 2/1/2014

    " Fun read. Enough hardware/infrastructure details for a geek to appreciate without being too dry. As other reviewers have noted it does come across as a bit too philosophizing - but in my opinion, it did not detract from the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andy Kramer | 1/15/2014

    " Very well-written and lucid. Blum was careful to document his journey in great detail, which in retrospect was his objective. I was disappointed that the book was not more informative - I feel like I received only a very cursory glance at the subject matter. Easily readable, but I wish it had been a bit more difficult. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan Kavumbura | 1/10/2014

    " Great insight into the inner workings of the internet. Being a technical person myself I really found this book intersting "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Superfluous Man | 1/8/2014

    " A premise that sounds so promising, yet somewhat undermined by the essential dullness of Internet infrastructure. The Trans-Continental Railroad it is not. My full review is available here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rogergsells | 12/20/2013

    " The journey took to many detours "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tom | 11/13/2013

    " Interesting information is mixed in with meandering prose. Is the book supposed to inform, or is it an entry in a literary competition? I found myself finishing it just because I started it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arianna | 10/25/2013

    " I'm really glad I know a bit more about where my data goes when it leaves my computer (or phone, or tablet, etc.). I don't think I will ever look at sending an email or visiting a website the same way again! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christa Hartsock | 5/12/2013

    " Could've been a great longform article, but was a book instead. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 5/3/2013

    " An interesting, well-written. well-edited (a rarity these days) book, with much interesting information, though perhaps a little light on the facts and more oriented to the author's impressions and vignettes of the physical aspects of the internet. Recommended for a fun, quick read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 David | 2/11/2013

    " The factual information was interesting, but the non stop poetic waxing about the physical geography of the internet got really old really quickly. I pretty much vowed I would not read any more articles this guy ever wrote. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 11/9/2012

    " Fun easy read. Learned some things but it felt padded, like a great magazine article gone wrong. Did make me fondly remember Neal Stephenson's wired article about Flag so that's a plus. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brett | 5/30/2012

    " Loved it. I had a good idea of what the internet looks like, but never really thought about where it is. Tubes is a good story about both. "

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