Tubes: Behind the Scenes at the Internet

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9780670918980: Tubes: Behind the Scenes at the Internet
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Tubes by Andrew Blum is the first and only book to expose what's really going on behind the scenes at the Internet, and will appeal to fans of The Social Network and Michael Lewis's The Big Short.


You write an email. You hit send. It appears ten thousand miles away. How did that happen?

In April 2011, a seventy-five year old woman deprived Armenia of its internet access when she sliced through a buried cable with her garden spade. That January, Egyptian authorities simply switched off 70% of the country's internet connections in an attempt to quell a revolution. In 2009, a squirrel chewed through a wire in Andrew Blum's backyard, slowing his broadband to a trickle and catapulting him on a quest to find out what this so-called 'internet' actually is.

This is the Internet as you've never seen it before. It's not a concept. It's not a culture. It's most certainly not a cloud. It's a bunch of tubes.

But what tubes... Hundreds of thousands of miles of fibre-optic cable, criss-crossing the globe, pulsing with trillions of photons of light, linking us via anonymous exchanges in secretive locations with vast data-warehouses where our online selves are stored in banks of spinning hard-drives. In Tubes, Andrew Blum takes us behind the scenes of this hidden world and introduces us to the remarkable clan of insiders and eccentrics who design and run it everyday. He explains where it is, how it got there, what it looks like, how it works - and what happens when it breaks.

'Every web site, every email, every instant message travels through real junctions in a real network of real cables. It's all too awesome to behold. Andrew Blum's fascinating book demystifies the earthly geography of this most ethereal terra incognita' Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein

'Compelling and profound. You will never open an e-mail in quite the same way again' Tom Vanderbilt, author of the New York Times bestseller Traffic


Andrew Blum is a correspondent at Wired magazine whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New Yorker, The New York Times, Business Week and Slate. Blum was a lead media commentator during the internet blackout of the Egyptian revolution, and his latest article on gizmodo.com got 100,000 hits in its first day.

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Review:

The year's most original and stimulating 'travel' book ... utterly engrossing ... really does make the world more legible ... even the most geek-wary of readers will enjoy (Independent, Book of the Week)

Excels at rooting the internet in real-world locations ... Full of memorable images that make the internet's complex architecture easier to comprehend ... entertaining and illuminating (Guardian)

All too awesome to behold. Andrew Blum's fascinating book demystifies the earthly geography of this most ethereal terra incognita (Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein)

Compelling and profound. You will never open an e-mail in quite the same way again (Tom Vanderbilt, author of the New York Times bestseller Traffic)

An engaging reminder that, cyber-Utopianism aside, the internet is as much a thing of flesh and steel as any industrial-age lumber mill or factory ... It is also an excellent introduction to the nuts and bolts of how exactly it all works (Economist)

Makes hard-to-grasp concepts easy to understand, even obvious. The history, in particular, is one of the best and most memorable I have ever read (New Scientist)

A Quixotic and winning book ... with a knack for bundling packets of data into memorable observations ... This valuable book leaves you with its share of unsettling visions, but there are comic ones too (The New York Times)

A great, playful, wondrous read (ArsTechnica)

One of our best writers ... a compelling story of an altogether new realm where the virtual world meets the physical (Paul Goldberger, Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker critic)

In this thrilling adventure book, Blum takes us inside the infrastructure (Jonah Lehrer)

From the Back Cover:

Design Observer Best Book of the Year

Tubes looks behind the scenes of our digital lives at the physical heart of the Internet itself. 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. Sharing tales of his on-the-ground reporting, along with lucid explanations about how the Internet works, Blum's eye-opening travelogue offers a unique perspective on the role of technology in our lives.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780061994951: Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet

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ISBN 10:  0061994952 ISBN 13:  9780061994951
Publisher: Ecco Press, 2013
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9780141049090: Tubes: Behind the Scenes at the Internet

Penguin, 2013
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9780061994937: Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet

Ecco P..., 2012
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9781554689804: Tubes

Harper..., 2013
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9781554689798: Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet

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