April 4, 2018
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A recent PC World article titled "As Facebook Service Goes, So Goes the Internet" scratched the surface of some inherent dangers of our increasingly interconnected Internet. By its very nature, the current generation of the internet is interconnected: "Web 2.0 is a loosely defined intersection of web application features that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web." The PC World article traced some problems that mere inclusion of a simple sharing interface can cause. When Facebook suffered a bad day, the top twenty news sites experienced load times of 12.5 seconds (compared to the usual 5-7 seconds). Top retail sites load times slowed to 5.7 seconds from the typical 2.2. seconds. All of this dragging because of a poorly performing "Like" button at a Facebook data center? This could have much larger implications for companies that are inherently reliant on data from external sources (e.g. websites pulling third-party data via APIs).
The Automated Clearing House (ACH) system has offered larger businesses a dependable and flexible way to initiate bank transfers and requests between nearly anyone in the United States and for a fraction of the cost of card networks. This article looks at three ways to leverage that flexibility.