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Book Review: Tubes: Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Bloom

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Tubes: Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Bloom is a fascinating book which describes fully the evolution of the internet, as well as the inner workings comprised of major data centers, data warehouses, fiber optics cables, terminals, routers and switches. Tubes literally goes into the internet inner workings and flips on the lights.

Bloom gets into the details of the architecture. For instance, there is a ten thousand mile undersea cable about two thumbs wide connecting Africa to Europe. The transpacific cables link Singapore Telecom, Swisscom, Qatar Telecom and New Zealand Telecom to mention just a few of the linkages. These internet exchanges transport packets of information to delivery destinations as cheaply as possible. The scope of the internet branches out from university environments to computer companies, law firms, manufacturers and small businesses. The author explains that the data centers are kept cold because of the tremendous heat generated by the computer equipment. For this reason, environmental controls are so important in engineering facility operations.

Now, the internet connections are on multiple levels according to Bloom. Connectivity is global; however, the infrastructure is connected locally. This architecture has created a phenomenon called peering. Peering is the arrangement of traffic exchange between internet service providers (ISPs). Peering is more cost effective because networks have common relationships amongst themselves due to the tremendous growth in traffic. Speeds have increased tremendously. For instance, a bit crosses a three foot cube router in just five nanoseconds.

Tubes explains how the internet got started and where the technology is headed. The presentation is understandable for a general readership. A strength of the work is that readers develop a more in depth understanding of the technological capabilities of the internet and the infrastructure necessary to process large volumes of traffic expeditiously.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.