— The first transistor —
In a fascinating detail from a long series of articles published two years ago in the Washington Post, recently expanded as a stand-alone book called Top Secret America, we learn about one way to hide classified government infrastructure in plain sight.
“[J]ust outside Washington,” authors Dana Priest and William Arkin explain, in the exurbs of depopulated office parks and “huge buildings with row after row of opaque, blast-resistant windows,” there can be found what the authors describe as “the capital of an alternative geography of the United States, one defined by the concentration of top-secret government organizations and the companies that do work for them.”
One such complex, called Fort Meade, “is the largest of a dozen such clusters across the United States.”
And it is cleverly camouflaged:The existence of these clusters is so little known that most people don’t realize when they’re nearing the epicenter of Fort Meade’s, even when the GPS on their car dashboard suddenly begins giving incorrect directions, trapping the driver in a series of U-turns, because the government is jamming all nearby signals.
It’s an experiential trap street—an infinite loop—a deliberate cartographic error introduced into the mapping of the world so as to sow detour and digression. A kind of digital baffling, or recursive geography as state defensive tactic.
I’m also curious when we might see this privatized and domesticated—gated communities, for instance, blocking the GPS navigation of their streets in the misguided belief that this will help protect them from future burglary, effectively delisting themselves from public cartographic records. Perhaps the future of neighborhood security lies in the privatized repurposing of advanced signal-jamming technology, the misleading lamination of other, false maps onto the streets as they really exist.
This is very interesting. Read it!
- 500 million page views go through Tumblr every single day
- 40k requests added each second at Tumblr’s peak usage hours; and it’s growing, too
- 50GB of posts added each day; follower list updates are roughly another 2.7 terabytes daily
- 1M number of writes made through the dashboard each second, and 50,000 reads per second source
» It’s tough to scale, too: According to Blake Matheny, Tumblr’s Distributed Systems Engineer, the service’s broad distribution makes it different from many other social networks, adding complexity that can stress the servers greatly. “It’s not just one or two users that have millions of followers. The graph for Tumblr users has hundreds of followers,” he writes. “This is different than any other social network and is what makes Tumblr so challenging to scale.” Matheny says that people will go back hundreds of pages on the dashboard to read content. And the network will only grow in complexity over time — the site is growing by 30 percent each month, and requires hundreds of servers to do what it has to do. If you’re technically-inclined, read High Scalability’s entire article — it’s super-fascinating.
According to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, a clock that’s traveling fast will appear to run slowly from the perspective of someone standing still. Satellites move at about 9,000 mph—enough to make their onboard clocks slow down by 8 microseconds per day from the perspective of a GPS gadget and totally screw up the location data. To counter this effect, the GPS system adjusts the time it gets from the satellites by using the equation here.
Might this be why my Tom-Tom insists on drawing routes across the bottom of Lake Arlington?
Thank you for sharing your insight and experience my friend.
Nicholas J. Bryan sticks his iPhone to a turntable and then uses the gyroscope and accelerometer to scratch digital audio.
Robo-rainbow. The most creative, and macgyver-like way to make a rainbow.
Shot by Adam Nilsson