Thursday Threads: RDA Revolt, Google Book Search Algorithm, Google Helps Improve Web Servers, Google’s Internet Traffic Hugeness

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This week is a mostly Google edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads. Below is a high-level overview of Google’s Book Search algorithm, how Google is helping web servers improve the speed at which content loads, and how Google’s internet traffic is growing as a percentage of all internet traffic. But first, there is an uprising on the RDA test records in the WorldCat database.

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Memorandum Against RDA Test

We have found ourselves in an unenviable position of opposing the work that supposedly has been authorized by agencies representing our interests. I might compare it to a military coup d’état. I mean here the RDA “test” and its implications on the cataloging world at large. After extensive discussions on the PCC, OCLC cataloging e-mail lists with opinions from the British Library, Australia and North America, we can safely conclude that there is a broad consensus against principles of RDA and the way RDA “test” has been imposed on the cataloging world.

The original post on the OCLC-CAT list by Wojciech Siemaszkiewicz of the New York Public Library is behind a must-subscribe-and-authenticate form, but it has been copied out copied to an open website by Becky Yoose (thanks, Becky!). The subsequent discussion resulted in a Petition against the RDA Test by Jacqueline Byrd at Indiana University. The link to the position has been posted to the open AUTOCAT list, and there has been subsequent discussion there. (Hat tip to Kirsten Davis.)

Inside the Google Books Algorithm

Rich Results is the latest in a series of smaller front-end tweaks that have been matched by backend improvements. Now, the book search algorithm takes into account more than 100 “signals,” individual data categories that Google statistically integrates to rank your results. When you search for a book, Google Books doesn’t just look at word frequency or how closely your query matches the title of a book. They now take into account web search frequency, recent book sales, the number of libraries that hold the title, and how often an older book has been reprinted.

Alexis Madrigal article in draws a comparison between the techniques and algorithms used for web search with those used for book materials. The need for relevant search results is the same, but books don’t have the same inter-page linking hints that drive the PageRank algorithm for web search. The use of anonymized circulation data in creating clustered bibliographic descriptions was mentioned at the ALA Midwinter ALCTS Forum on Mashups of Bibliographic Data, and apparently it is also used in the relevance ranking of Google Books search results. (Hat tip to Ron Murray.)

Google Releases mod_pagespeed

mod_pagespeed is an open-source Apache module that automatically optimizes web pages and resources on them. It does this by rewriting the resources using filters that implement web performance best practices. Webmasters and web developers can use mod_pagespeed to improve the performance of their web pages when serving content with the Apache HTTP Server. mod_pagespeed includes several filter that optimize JavaScript, HTML and CSS stylesheets. It also includes filters for optimizing JPEG and PNG images. The filters are based on a set of best practices known to enhance web page performance. Webmasters who set up mod_pagespeed in addition to configuring proper caching and compression on their Apache distribution should expect to see an improvement in the loading time of the pages on their websites.

Google has promoted best practices for improving the rate at which web pages load for a number of years. This week they introduced mod_pagespeed: an Apache web server module that brings these practices to bear by rewriting HTML, JavaScript, and Cascading Style Sheets on-the-fly. Since Google now includes the speed at which pages are rendered in a browser as a factor in ranking search results, this would seem to be a good module to explore for anyone running an Apache web server with public content. (Hat tip to Ed Summers.)

A graph showing a rising percentage from roughly one percent in June 2007 to six percent in October 2010

Google as a percentage of all internet traffic

Google Sets Internet Traffic Record

Google now represents an average 6.4% of all Internet traffic around the world. This number grows even larger (to as much as 8-12%) if I include estimates of traffic offloaded by the increasingly common Google Global Cache (GGC) deployments and error in our data due to the extremely high degree of Google edge peering with consumer networks. Keep in mind that these numbers represent increased market share — Google is growing considerably faster than overall Internet volumes which are already increasing 40-45% each year.

Craig Labovitz of Arbor Networks notes that if Google were an internet service provider, it would now be “the second largest carrier on the planet.” Wow! That is a lot of data sloshing around on its own internal network!

The text was modified to update a link from to on August 22nd, 2012.

The text was modified to update a link from to on September 26th, 2013.

Thursday Threads: Print-on-Demand, Video Changing the World, Puzzling Out Public Domain, and more

I’m starting something new on DLTJ: Thursday Threads — summaries and pointers of stories, services, and other stuff that I found interesting in the previous seven days. This is culled from entries that I post to my FriendFeed lifestream through various channels (Google Reader shared items, citations shared in Zotero, Twitter posts, etc.), but since I know not everyone is using those services, it might be useful to post the best-of-the-selected here once a week. Why Thursday? Somewhere long ago I read that Thursday at 11am is the best time to put a post on a blog because Thursday lunch through Friday are the most active time for readers. I have no idea whether that is true or not, but lacking any evidence to the contrary, Thursday morning will do fine. (Obviously I’m a little late on this first one, but I’ll try to do better next time. Or not — maybe this will be a one-off weekly thing.)

MagCloud — On-demand printing of magazines

MagCloud, the revolutionary new self-publishing web service from HP, is changing the way ideas, stories, and images find their way into peoples’ hands in a printed magazine format. Whether you are a novice or experienced publisher, MagCloud offers you a way to create commercial quality magazines, printed on demand with no upfront costs or minimum print runs. MagCloud is creating new ways to bring consumers and publishers together in a web-based marketplace where choice, flexibility and print on demand are the cornerstones of the community.

Could be useful for short-run, professional printing. I learned about this via a conference call with the editorial board of the NISO International Standards Quarterly.

Chris Anderson: How web video powers global innovation (TED Talk)

TED’s Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation — a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organizations will need to embrace radical openness. And for TED, it means the dawn of a whole new chapter …

TED curator Chris Anderson takes the stage to talk about what he has seen as the impact of putting TED talks on the net specifically as well as the general case for the impact of services like YouTube on worldwide culture. This is definitely gets one thinking about the power of the visual medium. Closer to home, it also should get one thinking about assisting library patrons in creating and curating this content, no?

Plain English

Every field has its own jargon that’s meaningless to everyone else. Sometimes you want to translate a given -ese into lay terms while preserving the original text. Plain English is designed to facilitate this. The premise is straightforward: The original text is highlighted in yellow. When you click on a phrase, it toggles to the re-written simpler version, in gray. Buttons at the top allow you to toggle the whole thing at once. The words are stored in a simple JSON file.

From the laboratory of Slate Magazine comes this technique for toggling between one set of words and its translated form. I first found this on the NPR Planet Money blog in a post titled The Fed, Translated Into English. They used it to “translate” Fed-speak (e.g. the very dense statements released by the U.S. Federal Reserve) into more common language.

Google New

The one place to find everything new from Google.

Found via Jason Griffey’s post on his American Libraries Perpetual Beta blog. I noted there my frustration that Google New didn’t have an RSS feed to make this list of new things more machine-actionable. I still think that this missing feed functionality is strange, and if I get a chance at some point I’ll try to feed the page through Yahoo! Pipes to make one.

Rising Into the Public Domain: The Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) at the University of Michigan

Interview with John Wilkin, Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technology and Executive Director, HathiTrust and Principal Investigator for CRMS

Interesting insight into how the University of Michigan is tackling the 1923-1963 orphan works problem. (Found via James Grimmelmann)

$1000 bounty offered for JPEG2000 support in Firefox

We’ve waited long enough. Apparently Firefox needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the early 2000’s. I have a financial interest in seeing this implemented, so I’m going to step up.

I’m going to offer a $1000 bounty for native JPEG2000 support in Firefox, on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Comment #155 on this feature request has someone putting up real money to have a developer integrate JPEG2000 into the Firefox browser. The ensuing discussion gives a glimpse into how hard and how easy it could be.

White House Issues IPv6 Directive

Network World reports: Federal CIO Vivek Kundra has issued a directive requiring all U.S. government agencies to upgrade their public-facing Web sites and services by Sept. 30, 2012 to support IPv6, the long-anticipated upgrade to the Internet’s main communications protocol. Kundra’s memo mandates that agencies use native IPv6 instead of transition mechanisms that translate between IPv6 and the current standard, which is known as IPv4.

You may not have heard this, but we’re running out of IP addresses. An IP address is the thing computers use to find each other on the net (and not to be confused with domain name system (DNS) addresses — the human friendly things that we put on our business cards and advertisements). In the current version of the Internet Protocol (IPv4), we only have about 4 billion addresses and we’ve used up 95% of them. There has been a big press this year to move to the next generation Internet Protocol (IPv6) that will give us 340 billion billion billion billion addresses (or roughly 50 billion billion billion addresses for each person alive in 2012 when the 4 billion addresses of the existing Internet Protocol run out). The entry of the federal government into the push for IPv6 is expected to accelerate adoption of the new standard.

The Internet Comes of Age

ICANN Logo Just as it turns 40, the internet comes of age. One day before of the anniversary of the first two computers connected together by a prototype network in 19691 — a move that foreshadowed the worldwide network of computers we know today — the U.S. Government announced that it was forever releasing direct control over a key governance organization that makes the internet run. Called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), that governance organization is what runs the top level domain name servers (DNS). And that is important because it is the DNS that translates human-friendly names such as “” and “” into network-friendly addresses.

Oh, you didn’t know that the U.S. Government was still involved in the running of the internet? ’tis true. In 1998, ICANN, a California non-profit corporation, was created to provide management of the names and numbers of the internet. (Technically, the functions provided by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority and the InternNIC, if you want to go back further in the history of the internet.) In turn, the U.S. Department of Commerce contracted with ICANN to manage those names and numbers. That the U.S. Government had this power to begin with is an artifact of how the internet came about: first as a U.S. military research network (ARPANET), then as a North America science computing research network under the auspices of the National Science Foundation (NSFNet), then to the Internet with commercial and world-wide entities playing a role. (Okay, yeah, that is a broad brushstroke of a really complicated history, but it mostly holds together.)

Since 1998, ICANN operated under memorandum of understanding process that was renewed each year. That changes now; the final authority for ICANN is derived from review processes made up of volunteer members from the “Internet community.” The U.S. Department of Commerce retains a permanent role on those review processes, but it is just one voice among many.

Animated graphic of beer from a bottle being poured into a glass

Congratulations, Internet! Perhaps in a few years, you’ll be grown up enough to go out for a beer. You’ll pardon me, though, if I don’t buy the internet its first beer; my party budget is not that big.


  1. From the BBN Timeline for ARPANET:
    On October 1, 1969, the second [Interface Message Processor] arrived at SRI and the first characters were transmitted over the new network. The ARPANET was born. When IMPs number three and four were installed at UC Santa Barbara and the University of Utah, IMP installations were beginning to seem routine and there was little fanfare. The network quietly expanded to thirteen sites by January 1971 and twenty-three by April 1972.


The Jester Joins Twitter

It was only a few months ago that I was teasing Dan Chudnov for joining Twitter. Now I’ve gone and done it myself. I don’t expect to be using it much, but after observing the “Falls Church, VA” incident yesterday, I thought it would be an useful tool to have at-the-ready. Here’s the story of what inspired it.

Someone on the Code4Lib IRC channel (was it ‘lbjay’?) asked if anyone knew about an explosion in the Falls Church, VA, area after reading a report about it on Twitter. I ran a search in TweetScan for “Falls Church, VA” and was able to watch the event unfold as the “DC emergency tweet network” fired up. Eventually it was determined that it was indeed an earthquake event, but the discussion of the event via Twitter was enough to catch the attention of at least one media blogger.

It reminded me a great deal of the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California. Many of the landlines were down or jammed with too many people calling, but the internet stayed up and an IRC channel was set up so that reports of the earthquake effects to be broadcast from the region. If the same thing to happen today, Twitter — through the internet or through mobile devices — would likely be the tool used to track the event.

Now, back to Twitter, here are the parts that I can’t figure out. Almost immediately after I registered for the service and signed in for the first time, I was automatically following betseymerkel, someone who appears to be working with open source software in a Cleveland-area library. I don’t remember doing anything to cause me to start following her, although I suppose it is possible I made a stray click somewhere. And through the first 24 hours with the account, four people are following me. I didn’t tell anyone else about my activities — the only two tweets I’ve posted dealt with setting up the account. I don’t think I know any of these people (betseymerkel is one of them), so I don’t get why they would spontaneously start following me. Thoughts?

Oh, and you can start following me, if you want. I’ll probably follow colleagues during library conferences, but then use something like TwitterSnooze to turn off the chatter in-between events.

Next Day Follow-up

Another related story — the Chronicle of Higher Education Wired Campus Blog reports on the use of Twitter during a lockdown at the University of Richmond on Tuesday. Jim Groom, an instructor at the University of Mary Washington, posted a blog entry about how he and others found information and comfort in the Twitter posts passing between rooms of the building and with the outside world. A commenter to the Chronicle’s Wired Campus Blog entry notes, “ASU has an emergency text service, but it’s not as fast as Twitter (when Twitter isn’t down).” Which brings to mind dangers of relying on a free-to-use service as a primary — or even simply expected — mode of communication during times of emergencies.

The text was modified to update a link from to!/DataG/followers on January 28th, 2011.

Vint Cerf on the Origins of 32-bit IP Addressing

Via a weekly wrap-up post by Dion Almaer on the Google Code Blog comes mention of a Google Tech Talk video from their IPv6 Conference 2008. It is a panel discussion called “What will the IPv6 Internet look like?” and it offers insight into the difficulties of transitioning to the next generation IP transport protocol. Although it has been years since I’ve seen the business end of managing an actual IP network, I found the discussion a fascinating look at the issues that are ahead of network engineers and device manufacturers around the world.

The part that caught my ears, though, was an exchange between Vint Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google, and Bob Hinden, chief internet technologist at Nokia Networks. It starts at 13 minutes and one second into the video with Vint as moderator of the panel addressing a question from the audience about whether the panelists are proud of the work done on IPv6.

Vint Cerf
Well, just speaking for myself — like I said earlier this morning — I believe that v6 is the only thing that we can do right now to make sure that address space is available and that we preserve as much as possible the end to end structure of the network.
Bob Hinden
Can I get one other comment in here? You reminded me of something. So back when Vint and everyone was starting the v4 — the current internet — was not a sure thing. Back, you know, 15, 20 years ago. And there were lots of —
Vint Cerf
I’m sorry, it’s 30 years ago because the decision — [laughter]. No, I’m serious, the decision to put a 32-bit address space on there was the result of a year’s battle among a bunch of engineers who couldn’t make up their minds about 32, 128 or variable length. And after a year of fighting I said — I’m now at ARPA, I’m running the program, I’m paying for this stuff and using American tax dollars — and I wanted some progress because we didn’t know if this is going to work. So I said 32 bits, it is enough for an experiment, it is 4.3 billion terminations — even the defense department doesn’t need 4.3 billion of anything and it couldn’t afford to buy 4.3 billion edge devices to do a test anyway. So at the time I thought we were doing a experiment to prove the technology and that if it worked we’d have an opportunity to do a production version of it. Well — [laughter] — it just escaped! — it got out and people started to use it and then it became a commercial thing. So, this [IPv6] is the production attempt at making the network scalable. Only 30 years later.

Pointless E-mail Disclaimers

I’ve been collecting disclaimers that appear on the bottom of e-mail messages in a draft post on DLTJ for about a year now — every time I’d get a new one with a different twist, I’d save it anticipating the day would come that there would be enough humor here to share with the rest of you. That day has come. There wasn’t one that disclaimer that finally pushed the publication of this post over the edge; just the accumulation of examples. Identifying information has been removed, but the humor was left intact. If you recognize your institution/company in these examples, please laugh along with me. If you are the lawyer or pseudo-lawyer that drafted these, please do us all a favor and find something else to work on. Like drafting disclaimers for toothpicks and such.

An Institution By Any Other Name is Just a Number

This educational institution felt the need not only to identify itself by name several times, but also include four specific numeric identifiers for itself.

YOU MUST READ THIS NOTICE [And you must do so while suppressing any giggling about it.]
This email has been sent by institution (institution's random numeric identifier). This email (and any attachment) is confidential and is intended for the use of the addressee(s) only. If you are not the intended recipient of this email you must not copy, distribute, take any action in reliance on it or disclose it to anyone. Any confidentiality is not waived or lost by reason of mistaken delivery to you. The views expressed in this email are not necessarily those of institution. It is very important that before opening any attachments to this email you check them for viruses and defects. institution does not accept liability for any corruption or viruses or any consequence which arise as a result of this email transmission. Email communications with institution may be subject to automated email filtering, which could result in the delay or deletion of a legitimate email before it is read by its intended recipient at institution. Please tell us if you have concerns about this automatic filtering. The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) Provider Number is another numeric identifier (institution branch), yet another random numeric identifier (institution branch), and a final numeric identifier (institution branch) for institution.

I don’t have concerns about the automatic filtering, just the automatic insertion of needless disclaimers. Which brings us to…

Disclaimers as a Form of Spam?


Information in this transmission is intended only for the person(s) to whom it is addressed and may contain privileged and/or confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying or dissemination of the information is unauthorised and you should delete/destroy all copies and notify the sender. No liability is accepted for any unauthorised use of the information contained in this transmission.

This disclaimer has been automatically added.

So the disclaimer was automatically added. Thank goodness for that, because I can’t imagine having to copy and paste needless disclaimers into every e-mail that I sent. But does the fact that it was automatically sent to me make it a form of spam? Hmmm — maybe there is a market for software that automatically removes disclaimers from e-mail messages.

Speaking of Spam

The information in this email is confidential, and intended solely for the Addressee. If you have erroneously received this message, please delete it immediately and notify the sender. Any copying or further distribution beyond the original addressee is not intended, and may be unlawful.

This one arrived in a spam message sent to me. I decided to risk breaking the law by posting this portion of the message in a public forum.

Have Your Agents Talk To My Agents

DISCLAIMER: This e-mail is confidential and should not be used by anyone who is not the original intended recipient. If you have received this e-mail in error please inform the sender and delete it from your mailbox or any other storage mechanism. Neither company nor any of its agents accept liability for any statements made which are clearly the sender's own and not expressly made on behalf of company or one of its agents. Please note that neither company nor any of its agents accept any responsibility for viruses that may be contained in this e-mail or its attachments and it is your responsibility to scan the e-mail and attachments (if any). No contracts may be concluded on behalf of company or its agents by means of e-mail communication. Company in England and Wales with registered number company's random number Registered Office company's address.

I wish I had agents who would act on my behalf that would read through this gobblety-gook so I wouldn’t have to read through the message and decide if I may or may not be entering into some sort of contract by reading the message.

You are hereby informally notified that I could care less about your disclaimer

This communication is for use by the intended recipient and contains information that may be Privileged, confidential or copyrighted under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby formally notified that any use, copying or distribution of this e-mail, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender by return e-mail and delete this e-mail from your system. Unless explicitly and conspicuously designated as "E-Contract Intended", this e-mail does not constitute a contract offer, a contract amendment, or an acceptance of a contract offer. This e-mail does not constitute a consent to the use of sender's contact information for direct marketing purposes or for transfers of data to third parties.

Can I imply the inverse of the sentence that begins, “If you are not the intended recipient…”? That is to say, if I am the intended recipient, that I can use, copy and distribute the e-mail in any way that I see fit?

Caveats: Humorless

In messages from,

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Damn — and I was hoping to find out the secret plans for invading Canada. By the way, is it conceivable that there could ever be a and along side

From the My-Disclaimer-Is-Three-Times-Longer-Than-My-Message Category…


This e-mail and any attached files are confidential, proprietary, and may also be legally privileged information, and are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, please send it back to the person who sent it to you and delete the e-mail and any attached files and destroy any copies of it; you may call us immediately at company's phone number or email us at company e-mail address.

Company and/or any of its sister companies owns no responsibility for the views presented in the e-mail and any attached files unless the sender mentions so, with due authority of company.

Unauthorized reading, reproduction, publication, use, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this e-mail and its attachments is prohibited.

We have checked this message for any known viruses; however we decline any liability, in case of any damage caused by a non-detected virus.

For more details about our company, visit company website.

This one came in a message posted to a mailing list that contained exactly five lines of real content — line 1: greeting, line 2: blank, line 3: a quick question, line 4: blank, line 5: author’s name. Talk about a bad signal to noise ratio!

No Bogosity1 Here!

READ CAREFULLY. By reading this email, you agree, on behalf of your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies ("BOGUS AGREEMENTS") that I have entered into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns, in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges. You further represent that you have the authority to release me from any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of your employer.

It is good to know that there are companies out there that are trying to stamp out needless b*llsh*t2. But let me see if I got this straight — by reading your message, I agree to release you from Bogus Agreements because I am able to do so. But what if I don’t have that authority? Should I not read your message? Perhaps you should have told me that before I read it…

There are No Guarantees on the Internet

Disclaimer: This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The integrity and security of this message cannot be guaranteed on the Internet.

There are, of course, ways to guarantee the integrity and security of messages on the internet. PGP-signed e-mail is one such way.

Let the Lawyers Have the Last Say

And finally, there is this “****** disclaimer ******” (complete with unnecessary asterisks) that honestly had nothing to do with any kind of legal proposition, but a legal professional felt the need to insert the fact that no “legal professional privilege” should be implied by receipt and reading of the message.

******************* Disclaimer *******************

This e-mail, together with any attachments, is intended for the named recipient(s) only. This e-mail may contain information which is confidential, of a private nature or which is subject to legal professional privilege or copyright. Accordingly, any form of disclosure, modification, distribution and/or publication of this email message is prohibited unless expressly authorised by the sender acting with the authority of or on behalf of the institution.

If you have received this email by mistake, please inform the sender as soon as possible and delete the message and any copies of this message from your computer system network.

The confidentiality, privacy or legal professional privilege attached to this email is not waived or destroyed by that mistake.

The institution uses virus scanning software. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that this email does not contain and is not infected by a computer virus.

Unless expressly attributed, the views expressed in this email do not necessarily represent the views of the institution.

******************** Disclaimer *******************

So just to be sure, should I run the entire message past my legal counsel just to be sure they do not want to assert some sort of legal professional privilege on the correspondence?

Your Turn

Do you have a favorite legal disclaimer? Let me know in the comments…

The text was modified to update a link from to on January 19th, 2011.


  1. Definition: []
  2. See if you need it spelled out for you. []

Where Do I Fit? Pew Thinks I’m a “Connector”

So here is my role on the internet — a Connector: “Connectors combine a sense that information technology is good for social purposes with a clear recognition that online resources are a great way to learn new things.” That definition comes from the Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. How close did the definition come to my view of myself? Here is the “connector” definition picked apart sentence by sentence.

The Connectors’ collection of information technology is used for a mix of one-to-one and one-to-many communication.
So far, so good. I use telephone and e-mail for a mix of one-to-one and one-to-many, and this blog qualifies as a one-to-many device.
They very much like how ICTs [Information and Communication Technologies] keep them in touch with family and friends and they like how ICTs let them work in community groups to which they belong.
Also true. In our highly mobile society, I have immediate family members and in-laws in four states, extended family in the space north and east of Kansas in the U.S., and colleagues all over the world.
They are participants in cyberspace – many blog or have their own web pages – but not at the rate of Omnivores.
One blog, one personal website and one professional interest website, to say nothing of the activities at my place of work. I’m surprised the survey didn’t ask about social networking websites, but I’m a member of modest amount of those. It would be fair to say that I’m not deeply embedded in the fabric of the social internet, so not calling me an Omnivore is probably correct.
They are not as sure-footed in their dealings with ICTs as Omnivores. Connectors suspect their gadgets could do more for them, and some need help in getting new technology to function properly.
Whoops, no. I don’t have problems figuring out (well-designed) ICTs. I always expect (well-designed) gadgets can do more for me, and I get personal satisfaction out of finding new ways to exploit them.
Their cell phones have a lot of features, and they also try new things with technology; more than half have watched TV programming on a device like a laptop computer or cell phone.
Who hasn’t watched TV-originated programming on a non-TV device?
Connectors, which make up 7% of the population, have a median age of 38, with a majority (54%) in the 30-49 age range. Ethnically, it is mostly white (72%); 16% are Black and 12% are English-speaking Hispanics.
Bingo — right on the money.
The typical Connector has been online for 9 years, which suggests they were a second-wave of late 1990s adopters.
Nope. My social networking days go back to the extremely cheap subscription that CompuServ gave my high school back in the late ’80s and dialing up a dozen local BBSs to exchanged mail. The pace picked up in college with exploration of BITnet (remember the “Because It’s Time NETwork”?) and I even wrote an early gateway between the Usenet world and the BBS Fidonet world. So I guess I’ve been ‘on the net’ for about 20 years now. Wow.
Most are women (55%) and they rate above average in educational attainment and income.
Not female, I do have one masters degree and had part of another, and a quite comfortable income.

So except for underestimating the length of my cyberspace citizenship (I don’t know how it messed that one up) and guessing that I have a problem exploiting technology (probably because my answers reflected a conscientious choice about which technologies to use), it did pretty well. Even without reading the definition, I did identify with the connotation behind the ‘connector’ term.

Have you taken the Pew quiz? Walt Crawford did, as did Jennifer Macaulay. Any others?

The text was modified to update a link from to on January 20th, 2011.

The text was modified to update a link from to on January 20th, 2011.

The text was modified to update a link from to{30AD36E6-E19F-4D89-9B7E-9A99146707BB} on January 20th, 2011.

IAB to Address Concerns About Internet Routing Scalability

An e-mail from Leslie Daigle, chair of the Internet Architecture Board, crossed my inbox tonight through the IETF-announce list (excerpted below) that brought back memories of the mid-90s and the Internet growth explosion that spurred the deployment of NAT (Network Address Translation) devices, the shift in large scale Internet routing from a “Classful” system to a “Classless” system (called Classless Inter-Domain Routing, or CIDR), and fueled the (relatively) quick development of IPv6. The conditions are somewhat different from decades ago, but some of the solutions are the same. If you are interested in how the guts of the internet work, read on. I’ve expanded organizational acronyms and linked to documents and other helpful bits; this stuff is fascinating (in the same way that one can walk into the machine room and gaze in amazement at all of the lights blinking in just the right way to tells you it is all working together just fine).

To: IETF Announcement list <>
From: Leslie Daigle <>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 20:58:05 -0500
Subject: Routing & Addressing — activities

The recent IAB [Internet Architectural Board] workshop (see draft-iab-raws-report-00) established that a significant fraction of the Internet operations community and their equipment vendors believe that we face a scaling problem for routing in the core of the Internet, on a worrying timescale. They further believe that timely action is needed.

Enough evidence was available to the workshop to convince the IAB and IESG [Internet Engineering Steering Group] members present that the problem is real, even if the timescale and details are debatable, and that the solution will lie in certain specific areas mentioned below. It is also evident that the Internet community has everything to gain if efforts in the IETF [Internet Engineering Task Force] and IRTF [Internet Research Task Force] are closely coordinated with those in the operations and vendor communities, and much to lose otherwise. While these problems are pressing, we believe there is time for a coordinated approach.

Therefore, the IAB & IESG have worked together to identify key paths for progress in discussing and resolving this problem, and have agreed to establish an advisory group for coordinating information flow and awareness of activities….

We note that although this topic is of primary concern to backbone network operators and their equipment makers, many other parts of the community have an interest. These include other ISPs [Internet Service Providers], enterprise network operators, mobile operators, server and host software makers, and standards development organizations other than the IETF.

The memo goes on to outline how these groups will solve the problem, so reading it give a pretty good indication as to how the major technical pieces of internet engineering consensus actually happen. No answers are offered yet, so presumably this is a pretty big problem with no easy answers. It may not affect our lives directly, but it might be something to look out for so you recognize it if it passes by you.