Archive for August, 2005

Google Dark Fiber

August 31, 2005

Trawling through Google’s open job postings to catch a glimpse of where the company may be heading based on the skills they are seeking seems to have become a popular pastime.

Recently, there has been speculation about why Google might be interested in buying up dark fiber. What in the world would a search company want with its own fiber optic network?

I don’t think you have to look further than Akamai to see what they might have in mind.

Google’s business model is based on creating a content-addressable memory view of the web and having content providers pay to ensure their content is included in any relevant query responses returned by Google. I suppose that pays the bills, but with advertisers able to track exactly how lucrative the click-through business from Google is, I have to imagine life isn’t as good for Google as it is, for example, in TV Land where advertisers annually throw piles of money at the TV networks with little ability to judge the actual effectiveness of their campaigns.

If I were Google, I’d be looking for additional value that I could offer to content providers. Google is already about mediating access to content– bringing users closer to content. Akamai has shown that bringing content closer to users can add value as well–for both the consumer and supplier of the content–by delivering content more quickly and effectively, especially under significant load.

Akamai claims to currently handle about 15% of all Internet traffic with their EdgePlatform product–more than a billion hits per day. In their own words:

Akamai has gone from improving basic page download performance to creating the world’s largest distributed computing platform in existence — fundamentally changing the way the Internet works. Akamai routinely handles up to 15% of total Internet traffic — more than one billion hits every day. [from]

In more detail:

Akamai’s EdgePlatform is the world’s largest distributed computing network, consisting of more than 14,000 servers worldwide, which act as an optimized ‘overlay’ to the public Internet. By overlaying the existing Internet with a network of secure, performance-optimized server hardware–supported by one of the world’s preeminent software design and optimization processes–Akamai is able to provide its customers with a predictable, scalable, and secure platform on which to run and deliver a wide variety of information and applications. [from the Akamai website]

Now read that again, replacing “Akamai” with “Google.”


National Data Buoy Center

August 30, 2005

The NDBC runs a fantastic website that gives access to real-time data from buoys in coastal waters around the US. I was planning to post some interesting graphs based on data from buoys off the coast of New Orleans to show the ocean effects of Katrina as it came ashore, but the NDBC website has been down since Monday morning. I found out why when I contacted NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) earlier today.

The National Data Buoy Center is physically located in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi which was directly in the path of Katrina as it came ashore. The storm surge in Bay St. Louis reached 22 feet and the town has been severely damaged.

I hope the NDBC staff and their families are safe and wish them the best in the trying times ahead as the area recovers from the devastation created by Katrina’s passing.

Life Imitates Art at Tim Hortons

August 10, 2005

As a vegetarian, I’ll often order cheese sandwich at restaurants even if it isn’t on the menu since they often have all the ingredients on-hand anyway.

Apparently this is not so simple at Tim Hortons, which I visited for the first time this week while vacationing in Nova Scotia.

With the spirit of Bobby Dupea looking over my shoulder, I got my sandwich by ordering a BLT with cheese — hold the bacon, hold the special sauce, and don’t toast the bread.