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Arts & Culture

Listen: How the Internet Works

Tristan Schmurr
Creative Commons
Lit-up servers serving.

Have you ever wondered how your favorite cat video reaches your computer? Some questions stump even the most techno-savvy adults. 

To answer our deceptively simple query about how the Internet works, we turned to expert Allan Friedman of George Washington University. He summed up the basics for WNPR’s Patrick Skahill. Listen below, and see if it answers your questions. You may want to listen twice:

Friedman recently co-authored an article for The Brookings Institution, “How Does the Internet Actually Work?” which led us to hope that we could break down a mindbogglingly complex topic in 90 seconds. How do you think we did?

Researching what getting online is all about led us to some interesting finds elsewhere on this amazing interconnected web we weave. The Atlantic has a cool article that breaks down the mechanics of the old dial-up modem sound, and Gizmodo has an amazing, educational visualization of those same sounds. Along those lines, be sure to check out The Museum of Endangered Sounds.

Arts & Culture sciencetechnology
Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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