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Falling Down

An interview with W. Gene Corley, leader of an American Society of Civil Engineers investigation of the destruction of the World Trade Center

8 min read

For experience with assessing how structures perform in the wake of a terrorist attack. W. Gene Corley is hard to beat. He is senior vice president of Construction Technology Laboratories, Skokie, Ill., and was principal investigator and leader for a study sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) of the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City.

Now he has been called upon again by the ASCE, this time to lead its investigations into the 11 September collapse of buildings at the World Trade Center (WTC), in New York City, and the destruction of part of the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C., on the same day. As might have been expected, he has reassembled a good part of his Oklahoma team.

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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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