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The Grid Trumps the Internet
April 07, 2008

The Grid Beats the Internet

The folks who brought us the Internet have been hard at work designing, constructing and linking together a new data transmittal and processing network they have aptly named The Grid.

The Grid will be faster, more powerful and operate on dedicated modern hardware. But it was built for a scientific purpose, not for our amusement. So even though it could load a feature film down to your desktop in a matter of seconds, in the beginning the Grid will be busy contemplating the origins of the Universe.

A few simple parallels jump to mind. My first thought is that it sounds like the Matrix, of film fame, or the Skynet system from Terminator 2. Fellow blogger Dave Kranz mentioned that he read that there were concerns that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the partical accelerator which will be generating the data that may reveal to us the origins of our Universe, may also create a black hole into which we will all disappear.

But I try not to be so afraid of gaining knowledge. Look how well we've done with fire and the wheel.

Anyway, the parallel which which seems most frightening to me rests more in a comparison to our families purchases of desktop computers over the years. Each time we buy a new computer, we add on more and more memory and hard drive capacity. We do this, thinking that it will speed up processing, but then we discover that the newest software is five times larger and so, within a year our new computer runs just as slow as the old one.

So I'm wondering...once the superfast Grid lights up, will the heavy processing, massive data generating LHC slow it right back down to the same old Internet speed we all love to hate?

We'll find out this summer on "red button" day when both the Grid and the LHC are juiced into action.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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