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Analog In, Digital Out: Brendan Dawes on Interaction Design by Brendan Dawes

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27. From Thin Air

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As I write this, there are bits of data flowing around my network. In the background, my email is being checked every 20 minutes, and any Web browser I have open might be pulling in dynamic data to update a feed or pull in a new advertisement.

This all goes on unseen by us. But by employing what we call packet sniffers—software that can monitor traffic on a network—we can use that normally invisible source to create visual representations of digital traffic.

By taking a special ready-made code library called Carnivore and knocking something together in Processing, I was able to see the raw ASCII text of what was flying around ...

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