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News 11 October 2001

A summary of technological developments in the past week

3 min read

Face-recognition technology to point out criminals at U.S. airports

In a development that can be directly linked to the call for more stringent airline security in the wake of the 11 September hijackings of four commercial flights from U.S. airports, Viisage Technology Inc., Littleton, Mass., announced on 4 October that it has been contracted to install the first face-recognition system at a U.S. airport. The system checks images from surveillance camera footage against criminal mugshots. Though the company would not reveal the name of the airport where it will be deployed, a spokesman said it will be operational within the next month.

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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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