Flying YouTube Packets Prove Visualization Can Make Anything Pretty

Next time you're watching an inane YouTube video, close your eyes and imagine these graceful dots instead—each representing a packet sent between your computer and YouTube's servers. The video represents only 4 seconds of a RickRoll, slowed 12x.

A lot goes on behind the scenes while you're waiting for that forwarded clip of a cat adorably playing with a chicken or whatever—handshakes, client/server negotiation, and then a flood of data. The video, by Carlos Bueno, was created using Packet Flight, an open source visualization application. [Carlos Bueno via Kottke]