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It's Time to Take Mesh Networks Seriously (And Not Just for the Reasons You Think) | Wired Opinion | Wired.com

It's Time to Take Mesh Networks Seriously (And Not Just for the Reasons You Think) | Wired Opinion | Wired.com | Global Culture | Scoop.it

The internet is weak, yet we keep ignoring this fact. So we see the same thing over and over again, whether it’s because of natural disasters like hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, wars like Syria and Bosnia, deliberate attempts by the government to shut down the internet (most recently in Egypt and Iran), or NSA surveillance.

 

After Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines last month, several towns were cut off from humanitarian relief because delivering that aid depends on having a reliable communication network. In a country where over 90 percent of the population has access to mobile phones, the implementation of an emergency “mesh” network could have saved lives.

 

Compared to the “normal” internet — which is based on a few centralized access points or internet service providers (ISPs) — mesh networks have many benefits, from architectural to political. Yet they haven’t really taken off, even though they have been around for some time. I believe it’s time to reconsider their potential, and make mesh networking a reality. Not just because of its obvious benefits, but also because it provides an internet-native model for building community and governance.

 

But first, the basics: An ad hoc network infrastructure that can be set up by anyone, mesh networks wirelessly connect computers and devices directly to each other without passing through any central authority or centralized organization (like a phone company or an ISP). They can automatically reconfigure themselves according to the availability and proximity of bandwidth, storage, and so on; this is what makes them resistant to disaster and other interference. Dynamic connections between nodes enable packets to use multiple routes to travel through the network, which makes these networks more robust.

 

Compared to more centralized network architectures, the only way to shut down a mesh network is to shut down every single node in the network.

 

That’s the vital feature, and what makes it stronger in some ways than the regular internet.

 

But mesh networks aren’t just for political upheavals or natural disasters. Many have been installed as part of humanitarian programs, aimed at helping poor neighborhoods and underserved areas. For people who can’t afford to pay for an internet connection, or don’t have access to a proper communications infrastructure, mesh networks provide the basic infrastructure for connectivity.

 

Not only do mesh networks represent a cheap and efficient means for people to connect and communicate to a broader community, but they provide us with a choice for what kind of internet we want to have.

 

For these concerned about the erosion of online privacy and anonymity, mesh networking represents a way to preserve the confidentiality of online communications. Given the lack of a central regulating authority, it’s extremely difficult for anyone to assess the real identity of users connected to these networks. And because mesh networks are generally invisible to the internet, the only way to monitor mesh traffic is to be locally and directly connected to them.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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A Goldmine To Find People You'll Want To Follow

A Goldmine To Find People You'll Want To Follow | Global Culture | Scoop.it
Here's one bountiful way into the chaos that will help you find people and accounts sharing content you're going to want to see in your timelines all across the web: Twitter chats.

Via Anastasia M. Ashman
SilvanaMondo's insight:

thanks for the reminer, had gotten out of the habit. Agree w your points wholeheartedly

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Anastasia M. Ashman's curator insight, December 7, 2013 9:40 PM

If you like what you see and want to be sure not to miss what these intriguing accounts are sharing, look up these same people and accounts and follow them on LinkedIn and Facebook and Pinterest and Slideshare and wherever else you’re active online.

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Go Public With Your Process To Attract Likeminded People - Curatti

Go Public With Your Process To Attract Likeminded People - Curatti | Global Culture | Scoop.it
When you share not-quite-there-yet ideas and invite us to co-create with you, you attract likeminded people and involve them in your journey.

Via Anastasia M. Ashman
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Anastasia M. Ashman's curator insight, January 9, 2014 1:56 AM

What might happen if you consider all that material as fodder for what you’re doing now, and what you want to do next? What if it’s all part of your process?

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Be your own relevance engine: a GlobalNiche perspective

Anastasia Ashman of GlobalNiche.net talks about the enduring qualities of your digital footprint and why you'll want to make it intentional. People are going...

Via Anastasia M. Ashman
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Anastasia M. Ashman's curator insight, April 20, 2013 8:05 PM

People are going to Google you before getting to know you in person. You'll want them to find what you care about and how you want to be known.