Bridge the Gap

Part 1 -History of the Internet and Browsers

History of the Internet
“The Internet…is a child of the industrial age.” (Ryan, 2010)  Children today cannot imagine a life without the Internet.  History.com says, “Unlike technologies such as the light bulb or the telephone, the Internet has no single “inventor.” Instead, it has evolved over time.”  The Internet that we know today came from many sources being connected together.  People have wanted to connect computer since they first came out.  We used to connect them with serial cables for head-to-head game play.  Then we moved to modems connecting via telephone line.  Services like AOL, Quantum Link, and Prodigy came along that allowed many to connect at one time.  From there the Internet has exploded to a global connection network.

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Web Browsers
With AOL, Quantum Link, and Prodigy type services we had software the provided the interface.  The problem was that each only worked with its own service’s content.  Browsers were designed by the Operating Systems.  Microsoft has Internet Explorer, Apple has Safari.  Firefox, Chrome and Opera are usable across platforms.

 

Part 2 – Methods of Communication

Social Networks
Since the invention of the photographs, we as humans like to show off our children, our hobbies, our toys, and our life.  After a vacation there was the obligatory slide show of all those photos from the road.   “The advent of social news and bookmarking sites in the mid-2000’s brought about a whole new way of see what’s going on in the world and discovering interesting content.”

Email
9026700946_900a0e0d05Ray Tomlinson, who recently passed away is credited with the at sign we see in email.  It was he that worked out how to send emails to a specific address.  Emails have cut into the sending of letters and postcards.  It is so easy to send a message any where on the globe.

Read more about Ray Tomlinson in The Verge.

 

Wikis and Blogs
A wiki is a web page that can be edited by many people – in other words wikis can be co-created web pages.” (Owen, 2013).  Because of this wikis are edited by pretty much anyone they are not always reliable.  Blogs are journals written by individuals and are not considered as reliable as a news story where they have sources and a reputation to protect.  Wikis and blogs can be a great starting point when searching for information on a topic but it needs to be sourced with information that you know to be reliable.

Podcasts and Webcasts
The iPod brought us podcasts.  Audio and video recordings about any and all subjects.  Some of these are one time editions others are series that continue on a regular basis.  Some of these are from reliable sources and others are opinions.   There are entertainment podcasts and informative podcasts.

Streaming Media
Streaming is far older than one might expect.  “One of the earliest streaming platforms was Muzak. This along with similar audio systems played continuous music. The original patent for this technology was sought in the 1920s, before the computer was invented.”  Today, there are streams for music and video.  Instead of buying recordings or videos, it is now possible to stream this content.

Part 3 – E-commerce and m-commerce

Siwicki says, “During the next five years, mobile commerce will become even more influentialthan it is today.”  (Siwicki, 2014)  Just tonight I had dinner at Olive Garden.  I was able to place orders for my drinks, my appetizers, and even pay my bill using a mobile device that was on the table.  This device also could play games and answer survey questions about my meal, and the service.  It printed me a receipt as well as emailed one for my expense account.

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Technology will continue to improve the way we communicate, research, purchase, and enjoy content in our lives.

 

 

References

Ryan, J. (2010). A history of the Internet and the digital future. London, England: Reaktion Books.

Image Link:  https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2015/05/19/07/44/browser-773215_960_720.png
Image Link:  https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8551/9026700946_900a0e0d05.jpg
Owen, H. (2013, October 21). What is the difference between blogs, wikis, and discussion forums? Retrieved March 22, 2016, from http://ethosconsultancynz.ning.com/profiles/blogs/what-is-the-difference-between
Image Credit:  Thom Bell

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