Most of you know that the earthquake off the coast of Taiwan has severely disrupted telecommunications, including phone and internet, all over the Asia-Pacific region. The 7.2 earthquake messed up some of the submarine optical cables that connect Asia with much of the rest of the world. In response, there’s been an attempt to reroute and use backup systems to get traffic flowing again, albeit slowly. The New York Times ran a report about this, reminding us of how dependent we are on this sometimes fragile form of technology in our businesses and daily lives:
In Beijing, Wang Yifei, an independent television producer, sent instant telephone messages when her Internet connection was down.
“I had a horrible day,” she said. “I’ve been complaining about this all day. This high-tech world of ours. It didn’t happen in the old days. In the end I can’t do anything.”
The article is basically a collection of such stories. It also reminds us that this happened two years after the Asian tsunami that killed 230,000 people.
Our problems are small, relative to banks and businesses that rely on the internet, and even less significant compared to those of the families of the people who died or were injured in Taiwan. However, be reminded that while Shanghaiist is a website about Shanghai, our servers are actually located in the US, including the servers that the contributors use to do their writing. This is why many of you might have noticed that the Shanghaiist page loads slowly or incompletely, and why there have been less posts than usual.
In the meantime, there is a stripped down version of Shanghaiist at www.shanghaiist.com/mob that might be able to load faster. And remember, you can always read Shanghaiist posts using your RSS readers.
Photo from English.chosun.com