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A computer command used to diagnose network problems also lets you see how data hops across the internet.

There is a simple way to see traffic jump from one computer to another on the internet: traceroute. It’s a command you type into a command line interface (CLI) software tool to see how your data travels from your computer to a locations you define.

For example, you can see how data travels from your computer to,,, or any computer connected to the internet.

Data sent is a packet, a small message that requests information from other computers. Based on responses, your data navigates its way from your computer to your destination. Kind of like climbing up a rock wall one handhold at a time.

At each stop, your data asks some number of computers if they’re connected to your destination. If the answer is yes, traceroute sends your data that way. Responses from each computer upstream is reported back to you in your command line software.


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Also In The April 2014 Issue

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There are a ton of ways to make a Twitter bot. Here are a number of resources, ideas, and clues to follow up.

What is an Algorithm?

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How to Build Example Bot

I have updated the installation instructions for this Github project to make it even easier to install and play with.

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File Extensions

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A computer command used to diagnose network problems also lets you see how data hops across the internet.

How to Build a Slightly Complicated Website

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What is an API?

APIs can be a fun, easy to use, and easy to learn way to retrieve and mash up data online.

April 2014 News Wire

Interesting stories about computer science, software programming, and technology for the month of March 2014.


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April 2014 Learn More Links

Links from the bottom of all the April 2014 articles, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.

At bottom, robotics is about us. It is the discipline of emulating our lives, of wondering how we work.