The plains state is on its way to becoming the capital of the unmanned aerial vehicle industry, and with that comes inevitable difficulties.
Last June, six cattle wandered from a neighbor’s farm onto land owned by Lakota, North Dakota, resident Rodney Brossart. Brossart refused to return the cattle without compensation for feed the cattle had consumed on his land, and a 16-hour standoff with law-enforcement agencies ensued, involving, notably, the deployment of not just the usual run-of the-mill police tactics, but a Predator drone. Brossart was arrested — he is believed to be the first U.S. citizen arrested domestically with the aid of a Predator drone — and his case is now in court.
In the course of reporting this story, the Star Tribune notes a particular detail that hints at the larger context in which this story unfolded: The state’s university is a leader in the field of drone education. Mark Brunswick reports:
GeoTel Communications via Fortune and Mashable
Here is what the Internet looks like: not a series of GIFs or a video of surfing goats, but a spindly collection of fiberoptic cables. The Internet, as a physical thing, actually looks a lot like a series of tubes.
We know this, of course, but it’s nice to be reminded of the physical filaments that afford our digital connections. In an article in Fortune (which is, ironically, not online), the writer Andrew Blum and the graphic designer Nicolas Rapp joined forces with telecom data company GeoTel Communications to create a series of visualizations of the Internet. Not its content, but its infrastructure. “Most people have no clue what the world’s communication infrastructure looks like,” GeoTel CEO Dave Drazen told Mashable of the project. With the company’s renderings — based on data collected largely from carriers themselves — “you’re actually mapping the Internet right here.”
The image above, as seen from the North Pole, offers the global view of the Internet’s major cables. It depicts fiberoptic lines as they run between major cities, most of those cities also financial and trading hubs. The image below is a detail of the fiberoptic infrastructure of New York City, highlighting cable lines’ revealing concentration in lower Manhattan. Inset is a picture of 60 Hudson, one of the city’s carrier hotels.