As much as we talk here about the inner workings of the Internet's infrastructure, there are times when you have to just sit back and look at how incredibly cool some of the things are that are enabled by the Internet. For example, last week I was delighted to stumble across (via Google+) this excellent music video collaboration between the International Space Station's Canadian commander Chris Hadfield, the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies along with a Canadian student choir — all coordinated by the Canadian Space Agency, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The Coalition for Music Education.
While I was sitting there very much enjoying the music, I was also thinking about the technology that enabled a space station to participate as they did — and the role the Internet infrastructure played in enabling the creation — and subsequent sharing of this music video. Naturally several of us were immediately wondering about latency and how much post-production was done… but regardless, it was great to see and enjoy! Listen yourself:
Not to be outdone by the Canadians, of course, NASA had their own Google+ Hangout with the I.S.S. last week, too, and if you watch the replay the connection with the station occurs about 30 minutes into the hangout. (Prior to that questions are being handled by astronauts on the ground.) The I.S.S. crew take questions from the moderator and from videos submitted through YouTube. One of the questions was about social media and the crew spoke about how the technology enabled them to collaborate with people all around the world.
On one level this is all mundane, "normal" collaboration that perhaps doesn't warrant being called out… I mean, it's just an IP network, right? But it's an IP network that includes a space station and, at least to me, that's very cool and something to celebrate!
P.S. And as an added bonus, the music video and Google+ Hangout are both available to me over IPv6, as it should be.
By Dan York, Author and Speaker on Internet technologies - and on staff of Internet Society. Dan is employed as a Senior Content Strategist with the Internet Society but opinions posted on CircleID are entirely his own. Visit the blog maintained by Dan York here.
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