Public lectures and events

Tubes and Exchanges: Discovering the Real Places of the Internet

Thu, 02 May 2013 7:00 PM

When a squirrel chewed through a cable and knocked him offline, Andrew Blum, a journalist, started wondering what the Internet was really made of. So he set out to go see it—the underwater cables, secret switches, and other physical bits that make up the net. Blum’s talk will take you on a journey through this network of networks. He will explore its evolution over time and discuss how centralized hubs called Internet Exchanges (there are 350 in the world) are making the Internet faster and more affordable for everyone in the cities where they operate. He will highlight Vancouver’s Internet Exchange, operated by BCNET and located at Harbour Centre, as well as what it means for the city’s businesses, public post-secondary institutions, and future economic development.

Date(s): Thursday, May 2, 2013, 7 pm

Location: SFU Vancouver, 515 W Hastings Street, Vancouver (Room 1400–1430)

Admission: Free, but seating is limited, so we require reservations. Register


Andrew Blum is the author of Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, the first book-length look at the physical heart of the Internet. 

Tubes was reviewed in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Salon, The Guardian, The Economist, The Independent, Kirkus Reviews, BookforumScientific American, New Scientist, Brain Pickings, Ars Technica, Science News, and others. It was also featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, CBS News, Fox News, APM’s Marketplace, BBC’s Book of the Week, The Leonard Lopate Show, KCRW’s DnA, Motley Fool, Larry Mantle, and CBC’s Spark, among others, and presented on the stages of TED Global, the London School of Economics, Microsoft, Town Hall (Seattle), The Architectural League of New York, The Mechanics Institute (San Francisco), Studio-X New York, The Skyscraper Museum, The Boston Athenaeum, and The Free Library (Philadelphia), among others.

When not immersed in the Internet’s depths, Blum writes about architecture, design, technology, urbanism, art, and travel. Since 1999, his articles and essays have appeared in Wired, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Bloomberg Business Week, Metropolis, Popular Science, Gizmodo, The Atlantic Online, Architectural Record, Slate, and many more publications. He has degrees in literature from Amherst College and in human geography from the University of Toronto. He lives in his native New York City.




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