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This nOde last updated February 20th, 2005 and is permanently morphing...
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A matrix of networks that connects computers around the world.
internet (in'ter-net) noun
Short for internetwork. A set of computer networks that may be dissimilar and are joined together by means of gateways that handle data transfer and conversion of messages from the sending networks' protocols to those of the receiving network.
Internet (in'ter-net) noun
The worldwide collection of networks and gateways that use the TCP/IP suite of protocols to communicate with each other. At the heart of the Internet is a backbone of high-speed data communication lines between major nodes or host computers, consisting of thousands of commercial, government, educational, and other computer systems, that route data and messages. One or more Internet nodes can go offline without endangering the Internet as a whole or causing communications on the Internet to stop, because no single computer or network controls it. The genesis of the Internet was a decentralized network called ARPAnet created by the Department of Defense in 1969 to facilitate communications in the event of a nuclear attack. Eventually other networks, including BITNET, Usenet, UUCP, and NSFnet, were connected to ARPAnet. Currently, the Internet offers a range of services to users, such as FTP, e-mail, the World Wide Web, USENET News, Gopher, IRC, telnet, and others. Also called the Net.
Internet, any interconnection of computer networks, especially a global interconnection of government, education, and business computer networks, available to the public. In early 1996, the Internet interconnected more than 25 million computers in over 180 countries.
How Internets Work
Internets are formed by connecting networks through computers known as gateways via telephone lines, optical fibers, and radio links. Information to be delivered is tagged with the electronic address of its destination computer, leaves its home network through a gateway, and passes from gateway to gateway until reaching its goal. Internets have no single computer directing the flow of information.
Internet services include operating a computer from a remote location, transferring files between computers, and reading and interpreting files on remote computers. The newest and most important internet service is hypertext transfer protocol (http), which can read and interpret files containing pictures, sounds, and video. Http is the basis for the World Wide Web.
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a collection of files, called Web sites or Web pages, identified by uniform resource locators (URLs). Computer programs called browsers retrieve these files. Until recently, browsers had to be specially programmed to handle each new type of file, but new programming languages enable browsers to download helper programs for new types of information.
The Internet was initially developed in 1973 and linked computer networks at universities and laboratories in the United States. The World Wide Web was developed in 1989. The explosive growth of the Internet has raised significant censorship issues. The Communications Decency Act of 1996 makes it a crime for service providers to transmit indecent material over the Internet. This law was blocked in June 1996 by United States federal judges. This decision will probably be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States.
A term from the tecno-sociological theories of R. Buckminster Fuller, desovereignization signifies the gradual decentralization of power that Fuller believed would inevitably follow the Internet revolution. In this model, the Great Pirates who seized control of Terra around the dawn of the Bronze Age are now finally losing control to the Internet itself and to the people who use the Internet--a group that Fuller believed would be the majority of humans soon and all of us eventually. This "desovereignization," Fuller believed, would lead to more feedback (system self-correction) in the world's political economy and thus more satisfaction for all and more rationality in decision making.
In other words, representative democracy having failed (in Fuller's view), direct electronic democracy must replace it, now that we have the technology to "advantage all without disadvantaging any."
In other words, the Great
Pirates, the Illuminati,
the Insiders, or whoever the various conspiriologists think rule the world,
don't really rule it anymore. Power is migrating faster and faster into
the decentralized human/electronic "brain" called the Internet.
"Indra's net extends throughout the cosmos, through the countless planets and immense eons that Buddhists and Hindus recognized millennia before Westerners realized that the earth was not the center of the universe. But our world's humble digital net is the first technological expression of this magical metaphor, far more profound than Fa-tsang's funhouse mirrors. The Internet not only reflects the other jewels, but it reflects the structure of the linkages between jewels. That structure is a both a unity and a multiplicity. Chunks of information are different, but they are not separate, because they thoroughly penetrate one another in a space that is no-space, void. And each node or page reflects, at least virtually, everything else on the Web."
- selections from the notebooks of Lance Daybreak, curated by Erik Davis in _Shards Of The Diamond Matrix_
VALIS - Vast Active Living Intelligence System - coined by Philip K. Dick
A Foreboding of the Internet
Crucial to the process of human evolution, i.e. to progress is, in Teilhard's view, scientific research. In the past such investigations were isolated, sometimes no more than the hobbies of individuals. "Today we find the reverse: research students are numbered in the hundreds of thousands-soon to be millions-and they are no longer distributed superficially and at random over the globe, but are functionally linked together in a vast organic system that will remain in the future indispensable to the life of the community." One can't but think of today's "Internet," yet this was written decades ago. Indeed, Teilhard was acquainted with the early forms of the key element in that "organic system." He writes, "And here I am thinking of those astonishing electronic machines (the starting-point and hope of the young science of cybernetics), by which our mental capacity to calculate and combine is reinforced and multiplied by the process and to a degree that herald as astonishing advances in this direction as those that optical science has already produced for our power of vision." Obviously Teilhard had only a faint hint as what was actually to occur.
Engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., successfully contacted UoSAT-12 spacecraft through a ground station in Surrey, England, using Internet ping packets. The project, called Operating Missions as Nodes on the Internet (OMNI), was the first time that a spacecraft ever had its own Internet address and was a fully RFC-compliant active node on the Internet.
"A Zen monk held up a cup and asked what was most important about it. One pupil said the handle, another the bowl, but the monk shook his head. "The most important thing about the cup," he said, "is the space it creates."
The Internet is "space" brimful of possibility and potential, but by virtue of its structure it organizes the form of our thinking and dreaming. Engineers who build the infrastructure of the world create the space in which we live and move and have our being, and we don't even notice. It's as transparent as Thoreau's pencil. We don't even know who's dreaming any more - the individual or the collective mind - and what is science fiction or science fact. We do know that engineers dream up our space and, like creation, are everywhere present in our lives but nowhere visible."
FROM: _Dreams Engineers Have_ By Richard Thieme
18) The Law Of Television Obsolescence
Television, high powered and low choice, will die. It is rapidly giving way to the Internet's low-powered bandwidth with myriad choices. A corollary of this law concerns advertising: TV advertisments are not adds; they are minuses. Most Internet banners are not adds either. They will give way to informational and transactional ads that people want. The Internet empowers the customer; in the future companies will not be able to tease or trick their customers into reading their ads.
20) The Law Of Conduits and Content
This law comes in the form of a commandment to divorce content from conduit. The less content a network owns the more content flows through it. If you are a content company, you want your content to travel on all networks, not just your own. If you are a conduit company, you want to carry everyone's content, not restrict yourself to your own. Companies that violate this rule (ATT, AOL Time Warner) tear themselves apart. The dumber the network the more inteilligence it can carry.
- George Gilder - _Telecosm - "The Twenty Laws Of The Telecosm"
Q. How has the Internet changed your life?
RAW. It has felt like a neurological quantum jump. Not only does the word-processing software make my compulsive rewriting a lot easier than if I still had to cut my words on rocks or use a typewriter or retreat to similar barbarism, but the e-mail function provides most of my social life since I became "disabled." I do most of my research on the World Wide Web, get my answer in minutes and don't have to hunt laboriously through my library for hours. It has improved my life a thousand ways. I also have a notion that Internet will eventually replace government.
- Robert Anton Wilson interviewed by Paul Krassner
In the general sense, an internet (with a lowercase "i", a shortened form of the original inter-network) is a computer network that connects several networks. As a proper noun, the Internet is the publicly available internationally interconnected system of computers (plus the information and services they provide to their users) that uses the TCP/IP suite of packet switching communications protocols. Thus, the largest internet is called simply "the" Internet. The art of connecting networks in this way is called internetworking.
The creation of the Internet
The core networks forming the Internet started out in 1969 as the ARPANET devised by the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).
Some early research which contributed to ARPANET included work on decentralised networks (including damage survivability) , queueing theory and packet switching.
On January 1, 1983, the ARPANET changed its core networking protocols from NCP to the then-new TCP/IP, marking the start of the Internet as we know it today.
Another important step in the development was the National Science Foundation's (NSF) building of a university backbone, the NSFNet, in 1986. Important disparate networks that have successfully been accommodated within the Internet include Usenet, Fidonet, and Bitnet.
During the 1990s, the Internet successfully accommodated the majority of previously existing computer networks. This growth is often attributed to the lack of central administration, which allows organic growth of the network, as well as the non-proprietary nature of the internet protocols, which encourages vendor interoperability and prevents one company from exerting control over the network.
The Internet is held together by bi- or multilateral commercial contracts (for example peering agreements) and by technical specifications or protocols that describe how to exchange data over the network. These protocols are formed by discussion within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and its working groups, which are open to public participation and review. These committees produce documents that are known as Requests For Comments (RFCs). Some RFCs are raised to the status of Internet Standard by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). Some of the most used protocols in the Internet protocol suite are IP, TCP, UDP, DNS, PPP, SLIP, ICMP, POP3, IMAP, SMTP, HTTP, HTTPS, SSH, Telnet, FTP, LDAP, and SSL.
Some of the popular services on the Internet that make use of these protocols are e-mail, Usenet newsgroups, file sharing, the World Wide Web, Gopher, session access, WAIS, finger, IRC, MUDs, and MUSHs. Of these, e-mail and the World Wide Web are clearly the most used, and many other services are built upon them, such as mailing lists and web logs. The internet makes it possible to provide real-time services such as web radio and webcasts that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Some other popular services of the Internet were not created this way, but were originally based on proprietary systems. These include IRC, ICQ, AIM, CDDB, and Gnutella.
There have been many analyses of the Internet and its structure. For example, it has been determined that the Internet IP routing structure and hypertext links of the World Wide Web are examples of scale-free networks.
The Internet has a large and growing number of users that have created a distinct culture, Internet dynamics. some examples include Netiquette, Internet friendship, Trolls and trolling, Flaming, Cybersex, Hacktivism or Hacker culture, Internet humor, Internet slang, and Internet art.
The Internet is also having a profound impact on knowledge and worldviews. Through keyword-driven Internet research, using search engines, like Google, millions worldwide have easy, instant access to a vast amount and diversity of online information. Compared to books and traditional libraries, the Internet represents a sudden and extreme decentralization of information and data.
The most used language for communications on the Internet is English, due to the Internet's origins, to its use commonly in software programming, to the poor capability of early computers to handle characters other than western alphabets.
The net has grown enough in recent years, though, that sufficient native-language content for a worthwhile experience is available in most developed countries. However, some glitches such as mojibake still remain troublesome for Internet users.
The proliferation of the Internet caused vast impacts in the society. Instances include copyright issues, issues concerned with free speech such as pornography and hatred. In response to that situation, lately cyber laws have been created and enforced. Many discussions have raged over the question of how states should interact with telecommunication tools including the Internet.
Countries with the best internet access include South Korea (50% of the population has broadband access) and Sweden, according to "Web-savviest nation".
* Dial-up access
* Broadband access
Public places to use Internet include libraries and Internet cafes, where computers with internet connection are available. There are also internet access points in public places like airport halls, sometimes just for brief use while standing. Various terms are used, such as "public Internet kiosk", "public access terminal", "web payphone".
Alternatively there are Wifi-cafes ("hotspots"), where one needs to bring one's own wifi-enabled notebook or PDA, for which the cafe provides wireless access to the Internet.
The services may be free (possibly in connection with paid services such as buying coffee) or for a fee (metered access or with a pass for e.g. a day or month).
A hotspot may also be larger, e.g. including the piece of street in front of the library, a whole street, a campus including outdoor areas, a town part or, as is under construction in some places, a whole town;.
Advantages of using one's own computer include more upload and download possibilities, using one's favorite browser and browser settings (the preferences menu may be disabled in a public computer), and integrating activities on internet and on one's own computer, using one's own programs and data. (Using public computers one can use one's email box as storage area for data. For programs one may do the same, but the size of the mailbox and restrictions on the public computer limit the possibilities of running one's own programs.)