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By: MarkJ - 13 September, 2010 (12:40 AM)
hyperbolic internet mapRUN FOR YOUR LIVES shocked! A team of scientists working at the Universities of California, Barcelona and Cyprus has warned that "parts of the Internet have started sinking into black holes"; loosely defined by Einstines General Relativity theory as a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape! Never fear though, Hyperbolic Mapping could save us.

Yes readers, if Monday's, trying to get the right consistency of milk in your coffee and fears over IPv4 shortages weren't already bad enough, we also have the latest internet scare story to worry about. Luckily fears that a black hole might be consuming the internet are somewhat overblown and merely refer to the fact that its getting a little stressed in its old age.

The aforementioned team claims (Scientific Paper) that the rapidly growing overheads associated with the primary function of the Internet [ED: Porn?] — routing information packets between any two computers in the world — causes concerns among Internet experts that the existing routing architecture may not sustain even another decade.

Marián Boguñá, Fragkiskos Papadopoulos and Dmitri Krioukov said:

"The constantly increasing size and dynamics of the Internet thus leads to immense and quickly growing routing overheads, causing concerns among Internet experts that the existing Internet routing architecture may not sustain even another decade; parts of the Internet have started sinking into black holes already."

In fairness the paper itself is quite interesting, assuming you can understand more than a few words of it, although we do tend to hear scare stories like this at least once every year and to date the internet has yet to explode, implode, crash, be hacked by the bad guys from Die Hard 4, taken over by Skynet (Terminator) or end up sucked into a mythical black hole at its core.

Anyway, according to Wikipedia, which is never ever wrong cheese, in mathematics a hyperbola is a curve, specifically a smooth curve that lies in a plane, which can be defined either by its geometric properties or by the kinds of equations for which it is the solution set. Ok then.

To cut a long story short. The team created a map of the real Internet in a hyperbolic space, which found that internet routing was pretty bad and could be significantly improved, thus reducing the chance of black hole consumption. Good, nice work.
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