The Future = Now x Acceleration

Weight of the Internet w/ distribution: Mashup

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All the data on the Internet apparently weights the same as one strawberry.

That’s right. One strawberry. 50 grams – two ounces.

Map Of InternetRecently, a science blogger came up with that result by calculating the infinitesimally small mass of electrons coupled with the number required to represent that data stored across the entire Internet’s servers and associated equipment. Follow the YouTube link to see for yourself. It’s a pretty compelling argument. Your iPod? Dude, you need more songs on it – it’s feeling a little light.

Clearly, the weight of the Internet’s data, (technically its mass,) isn’t going to offset the rotation of the Earth any time soon – even accounting for it’s uneven distribution. Or, more precisely, the distribution of friend networks across Facebook. Also, recently, a researcher at Facebook did a mashup of two maps to show the distribution of friend networks across the globe.

He took the satellite picture of the Earth from space at night and combined it with the Facebook network map and you get what you see here. In this mashup, the dark areas show concentrations of friend distributions and the light areas are areas where there is little to know friending activity.

Facebook Use / Earth At NightWhat it says is arguable. My guess is that it says less about the distribution of the Internet (which it does) and more about the cultural propensity for people who are connected via the Internet to use tools such as Facebook. All the usual suspects are there, U.S., Europe, Japan, Korea and Indonesia as well as the more affluent and advanced countries in South America and Africa.

More areas might be represented given breakthroughs in language and cultural barriers (real or perceived) in other areas of the world.

All that data is helping us determine what is happening to our stockpile of nuclear weapons without having to occasionally take one out and test it in the open air.

Raspberries - Or The Milky Way Galaxy.

And while I’m on the subject of intangible  objects compared to fruit, astronomers searching for amino acids in deep space have determined that if you could eat it, the core of the Milky Way galaxy (where we live) tastes slightly like raspberries and smells vaguely of rum. That raises the question of how many flambé desserts constitutes YouTube?


Written by digitalanalogues

November 2, 2011 at 5:06 PM

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