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Day of the Living Dead

The iZombie apocalypse is upon us

3 min read
Photo-Illustration by Gluekit
Photo-Illustration: Gluekit
We can't stop the march of technology, but we need to halt the iPod pedestrian, cycle, and driver zombies.

I first realized a zombie apocalypse was upon us when I read about Email ’n Walk, an iPhone app that turns on the phone’s camera while you compose e-mail. To take a picture to use as an attachment, right? Oh no, that would be so 2009. The idea, as the app’s name implies, is to let you read or compose messages and walk at the same time, all the while remaining “safe” because the camera lets you see what’s happening on the other side of your phone.

That someone would even conceive of such an app means that we now live in a world where people regularly—you might even say compulsively—read and compose e-mail while walking down the street. But that’s not all people do while power walking to their next appointments. They also text, read Facebook and Twitter status updates, scan RSS feeds, and more than anything else, they bliss out to their favorite tunes at unhealthily loud volume levels.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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