Articles about how the Internet works.
Cybergeography - How does the Global Internet Work
learn about the Hubs and Spokes Internet Infrastructure, International bandwidth, international traffic.
STUDY Graph structure in the
Internet Has Created a 'New Reality'
Gullibility Virus Spreading over the Internet!
Services that allow you to surf the web more anonymously.
FCC Releases Study of Internet
Study Concludes that Competitive Internet Backbone Market Should Remain Free of Telecommunications Regulation. The Office of Plans and Policy (OPP) released the 32nd Working Paper entitled "The Digital Handshake: Connecting Internet Backbones." The paper, examines the interconnection arrangements between Internet backbone providers that lead to the universal connectivity that characterizes the Internet. September 26, 2000
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
A pioneer in framing and analyzing Internet policy issues, CSTB is unique in its scope and effective, interdisciplinary appraisal of technical, economic, social, and policy issues.
School research projects are training grounds for real-life information explorations and the development of these essential competencies. Unfortunately, in many schools information literacy is not approached systematically.
"We are constantly referring to lifelong learning, learning to learn, the problems of transitioning through five careers," says Julie Walker, president of the American Association of School Librarians. "But the skills are scattered through curricular areas. No one has really defined them in concrete terms. . . . That's what the new information literacy standards do." They bring together one model of problem-solving skills through all the content areas, she says.
Title: Who, What, Where: Putting The Internet in Perspective
Source: Wall Street Journal <http://wsj.com/> (B12) 4/16/98
Author: Thomas Weber Issue: Internet
Description: An important question for business: So, how big is the Internet, really? According to IntelliQuest Information Group -- 62 million people in the US use the Net. That's about 30% of residents 16 or older. 25% of the total were new to the Net in 1997. Another research firm, Odyssey, estimates online usage reaches 23% of US homes -- up from 17% from last year. To put that in perspective, TV is in 98% of US homes and cable reaches 67%. America Online brags that its 11 million subscribers are more than the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and USA Today combined. But during AOL's peak times, some 675,000 people are online. When the last Seinfeld airs next month 76-79 million people will be tuned in [with Pez in hand]. What's the latest on Web demographics? 58% male, but half of the new users in '97 were female; 43% have a college degree or higher, just 31% of all US adults do; average salary is $55,000, more than twice the US average of $25,000; the average age on the Web is 37, compared to 36.2 for US at large. There are now 320 million WWW pages -- and we have to read 50% of them to bring you Headlines: the Web has about as much info as the New York City Library. Among the Top 25 sites on the Web, 9 are search engines. If the Web was a cable-television network, the top ranked shows would be "guides to finding shows on other channels or obtaining upgrades to your cable box and service."
Here are just a few of the fascinating and far-reaching implications of the New Reality when thinking about the Internet:
1. The Internet is beyond control. Unlike print and electronic media, the Internet can't be controlled, although access mechanisms will be used for a small portion of it. In a literal sense, the Internet is out of control in that it's beyond any type of limitation.
As this dawns on more people, look for the concerns to increase. Because we believe that action is the answer, we assume there are solutions for every problem. The frustration comes in realizing that the Internet is fundamentally different. It's not just bigger and more complex. It's closer to the universe than it is to our solar system. It may be that it's more like a "black hole" in space than anything else. The Internet is beyond control.
Its limitlessness may be the Internet's genius. The task is not to spend time trying to dominate it, but to use it effectively.
2. Knowledge is now universal. The sheer, incredible excitement the Internet engenders is that it makes information universal. What Gutenberg began, the Internet completes.
Rather than being seen as ominous, the Berlin Wall presents a strikingly ludicrous image today. Walls of this type are history. There can be no barriers because there are no more secrets.
This dramatic change came suddenly, symbolized by the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. It was just at this time when information was generally perceived to be the most valued asset of individuals and businesses. In the following few years, we were hearing about something called "the Internet."
With the advent of the Internet, at least commercially, a fundamental change of epic proportions began to take place in American business. Its impact remains under-appreciated by most of us. It can be expressed in one sentence: What you know is more important than who you know.
In spite of what the cynics say, information is a tool of business success. For the first time in history, knowledge can no longer be contained. It's not limited to libraries, universities or research centers. Thanks to the Internet, intellectual capital is universal.
3. And so is ignorance. The Internet also dramatizes the prevalence of ignorance because anyone can say anything at any time, and they can do it anonymously.
In the past, the ability to think critically has always been helpful; today it's a requirement.
We can no longer rely on gatekeepers to evaluate, select and analyze for us. The dream of the Socratic method as the basis of learning is now a necessity. Without the ability to critique ideas, there is no way to separate fact from opinion and to identify misinformation and disinformation.
"I saw it on a web site" may not be equal to "I saw it on The Wall Street Journal's or the New York Times' web site." Yet, it will take enormous skill for most people to analyze information.
The Internet makes clear how far behind we are in this regard and the potentially harmful consequences if we fail in this task.
The problem, contrary to some observers, is not computer literacy for the masses. That's a technical issue and one that's easy to solve with more and more user-friendly technology. The problem is basic literacy and the ability to analyze ideas.
4. The Internet is not the superhighway, it's the only highway.
While it's unquestionably true that the Internet is the only highway, this doesn't mean that every business or organization should jump on the Net with a home page featuring glitzy graphics punctuated with audio and video segments.
Tens of thousands of Internet-related companies are profiting from the anxiety of the business community. Every business does not need a web site today, but they will at some point. Thinking it through is more important than having a useless home page.
Along with the Internet highway will be many side streets, including the media we know so well.
The Internet is already creating massive change. "Junk mail" persists, but broadcast fax ads and e-mail "spamming" expands the market.
Amid all this, the quality of direct mail is actually improving, becoming more creative, targeted and useful. The same will be true of the print and electronic media. This means new opportunities for thoughtful, effective communication.
If marketing communications were to be mapped, the Internet would be the only highway, but there would be tens of thousands of streets and side roads.
5. The Internet has leveled every playing field.
Because of the Internet, every individual has the potential for becoming a publisher, operating a business or communicating worldwide. This staggering concept is only beginning to penetrate our understanding.
The "global village" analogy that was popular two decades ago never really captured the imagination of more than a group of intellectuals, perhaps because it portrayed an innocence and simplicity that avoided the aspirations and realities of the late 20th century. Few could connect with what appeared to be a "turn-back-the-clock" way of life.
The "global village" was an interesting idea, but inaccurate.
The Internet connects us to the New Reality by creating what can be called a "deplaced" world, one in which where you are is no longer meaningful.
Today, anyone can interact or do business with anyone, anywhere. The Internet gives both individuals and companies unlimited opportunities to do business universally.
The impact of a "deplaced" world has enormous implications. At the top of the list is the inevitable crumbling of all barriers including state licensing, quotas, borders, currency, individual national standards and so forth.
While it can never be a "global village," a "deplaced" world will refuse to tolerate unacceptable behavior on the part of nations. Because a wired world is "superdemocratized," there will be little tolerance for miscreants.
There's an irony in the Internet. On the one hand, the technology is beyond control (even though some will say it's out of control). At the same time, it's also the safeguard because its existence demands openness. In effect, the Internet is what it does.
Today, we are faced with the unavoidable realization that technology is destiny. The Internet is not about Web sites or home pages. It's not about AOL or even e-mail. It's about discontinuity and concepts that are not just new but totally different. The old analogies and the old logic don't apply. It's a New Reality that's upon us."
John Graham is president of Graham Communications, a marketing services and consulting firm based in Quincy, Mass. This commentary appeared originally in the Houston Business Journal, an affiliated publication.
WHERE TO ASSESS THE FACTS FROM THE FREUD.
WARNING, CAUTION, DANGER, AND BEWARE! Gullibility Virus Spreading over the Internet!
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Institute for the Investigation of Irregular Internet Phenomena announced today that
many Internet users are becoming infected by a new virus that causes them to believe without question every
groundless story, legend, and dire warning that shows up in their inbox or on their browser. The Gullibility
Virus, as it is called, apparently makes people believe and forward copies of silly hoaxes relating to
recipes, email viruses, taxes on modems, and get-rich-quick schemes.
"These are not just readers of tabloids or people who buy lottery tickets based on fortune cookie numbers," a spokesman said. "Most are otherwise normal people, who would laugh at the same stories if told to them by a stranger on a street corner." However, once these same people become infected with the Gullibility Virus, they believe anything they read on the Internet.
"My immunity to tall tales and bizarre claims is all gone," reported one weeping victim. "I believe every warning message and sick child story my>friends forward to me, even though most of the messages are anonymous."
Another victim, now in remission, added, "When I first heard about Good Times, I just accepted it without question. After all, there were dozens>of other recipients on the mail header, so I thought the virus must be true." It was a long time, the victim said, before she could stand up at a Hoaxees Anonymous meeting and state, "My name is Jane, and I've been hoaxed." Now, however, she is spreading the word. "Challenge and check whatever you read," she says.
Internet users are urged to examine themselves for symptoms of the virus, which include the following:
The willingness to believe improbable stories without thinking.
The urge to forward multiple copies of such stories to others.
A lack of desire to take three minutes to check to see if a story is true.
"You don't have to tell us -- we already know all about you," and the site offers to prove it at a click. "Whenever you visit a website unprotected, you not only expose yourself to risk of invasion, you provide information about yourself that can include your viewing habits, you search terms, your geographical location, your address, phone number, employment details, your credit card numbers and more." The site also offers services that allow you to surf the web more anonymously, including a special search engine. "The Internet is now more like an unlocked diary, with millions of consumers divulging marketable details of their personal lives, from where they live to what they eat for dinner..." says US News and World Report. Paranoid?