IMPACT AND FUTURE PROSPECTS OF INTERNET
Lecturer,Department of CSE-PG,
The impact of the Internet, that is, the computer and its email and World Wide Web functions, have changed teaching, research, and collegiality. The Internet expands our horizons, our imaginations, and our capacities to find, store, organize, use, teach, and publish information. E-mail provides fast, almost instantaneous, communication with libraries, archives, and colleagues all across the globe, and with administrators at one’s own university or elsewhere.
The use of the computer and, by extension, the Internet is as important to History as it is to Biology or Physics. What lay behind this argument was the continuous drift of technology and the funds away from the humanities and toward other departments. The World Wide Web is the other crucially important computer aid for faculty. The Web enables us to search and find most kinds of information within a few seconds. Color graphics, moving pictures, and sounds as well as texts are available through the Web. The information available is nearly unlimited in breadth. There are dozens of search engines that help us discover on the Internet material for students, research, and for everyday living.
With advances in graphic content, streamlined interfaces, and new technology like VRML, Java and Shockwave, the Internet’s ability to provide meaningful content is changing. “Almost everyone agrees that the potential of the Internet to improve personal computing is inspiring.” What is hotly disputed is exactly how using a PC or browsing the Internet will change. This paper discusses some of the issues related with the impact and future of internet.
The impact of the Internet, that is, the computer and its email and World Wide Web functions, have changed teaching, research, and collegiality. The Internet expands our horizons, our imaginations, and our capacities to find, store, organize, use, teach, and publish information.
Email provides fast, almost instantaneous, communication with libraries, archives, and colleagues all across the globe, and with administrators at one’s own university or elsewhere. We can contact colleagues, librarians, administrators on all kinds of issues. The use of the computer and, by extension, the Internet is as important to History as it is to Biology or Physics. What lay behind this argument was the continuous drift of technology and the funds away from the humanities and toward other departments.
Besides one-on-one email communication, there are public email networks or lists. Recently, 8,786 such lists were counted. Thousands of members of these groups with common interests communicate among themselves electronically. By joining some of these groups, we can correspond simultaneously with hundreds of fellow professors. These lists not only allow us to share our interests but also to gain a a wealth of information. We can get questions answered.These Email networks can also help us in the early stages of a research project by supplying specific or theoretical information; suggesting bibliographies for material we are seeking in libraries or at Internet sites. And of course once our ideas are full-blown and our research done, we can use these email lists to gather informed criticism from our colleagues.
The World Wide Web is the other crucially important computer aid for faculty. The Web enables us to search and find most kinds of information within a few seconds. Color graphics, moving pictures, and sounds as well as texts are available through the Web. The information available is nearly unlimited in breadth. Indeed, it is “breadth-taking” how many topics are covered on the Web. One sticking point, however, is the lack of depth in the available material. If the present trends continue, more and more material increasing vertical as well has horizontal knowledge will be stored on the Web. Several Websites have been adding texts to their pages.
The Internet Public Library is a virtual library containing the full text of 3,400 books online–not many, but it’s a start. Each entry is accompanied by bibliographic information, including title, author, date, and hypertext URL(s). The downsides are the limited number of books, the huge memory demands on your browser, and the antiquity of the translations and editions.
There are dozens of search engines that help us discover on the Internet material for our students, for our research, and for everyday living. It takes some time to develop the skills necessary to use search engines efficiently, but our efforts are well worth the work.
A lot has been made about the Internet’s ever quickening advances. With advances in graphic content, streamlined interfaces, and new technology like VRML, Java and Shockwave, the Internet’s ability to provide meaningful content is changing. Now, Online Impact! Design introduces three new technologies that may shape the way that you — and your customers — may be accessing the Internet and the World Wide Web.
Meet Webster — a pioneer in the world of “Internet Boxes”.
Manufactured by ViewCall America (and available now) Webster attaches to a standard television set and offers WWW access from your living room couch.
The Technology Behind Viewcall’s WEBster
ViewCall America consist of two distinct pieces ; the WEBster set-top box (STB) and the ViewCall service. WEBster connects, with two simple plug-in leads, to the consumer’s television set and standard telephone jack. The ViewCall service, accessed through WEBster, is a central communications center connecting the consumer to the Internet, personal on-demand services and ViewCall content.
? Consumers reap all the benefits of the Internet and online services without the high expense and specialized learning skills required for PCs.
? The easy-to-use interface makes online access simple and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of age.
? WEBster’s low price, plus a small monthly subscription fee, makes the Internet affordably accessible to nearly all consumers.
? WEBster’s expandable architecture allows add-on components such as infrared keyboard, CD ROM drive, disk drive, and printer. Furthermore, the architecture is designed for emerging technologies such as ISDN and cable modem, as they become available to the home.
GO WIRELESS WITH MAGIC LINK COMMUNICATOR
Sony has a solution for the business traveler, too.
With its MagicLink personal communicator and software from Active Paper, Sony makes it possible to surf the Web in a new way — wireless. Sure, you could use your laptop, but laptops are expensive — some say too expensive for many consumers. Besides, the MagicLink is proof that portable digital assistants (PDAs) can be easy to use — and powerful.
Wireless Modem Link Software Allows Users to Maximize Productivity Anytime, Anywhere
Sony Electronics today announced the availability of its new Wireless Modem Link* software, an easy-to-use package that lets users connect a Magic Link communicator to a cellular phone, enabling wireless communication.
With Wireless Modem Link software, a cellular-ready PC modem card and a cable, users can now send faxes, send or receive e-mail, and access the Internet via their cellular phone.
the communicator also comes bundled with a wide variety of software packages for on-line services, including America Online, one of the country’s fastest growing online services; AT&T PersonaLink, an advanced e-mail service that connects customers through smart electronic mailboxes; and OAG FlightLine, an airline information service for frequent travelers.
Apple Computer announces the Pippin.
Apple Computer has long been noted for advancing new technologies and the Pippin is proof that Apple still knows how to serve the consumer marketplace. The Pippin is more than just an Internet Box, but it’s not quite a full computer system. Pippin’s abilities include playing multimedia CD-ROMs, Internet access, and more.
Pippin is a computing platform designed to make new media content much easier to access, much more compelling, much more affordable to far more people than today’s personal computers allow. It is derived from Apple’s Power Macintosh hardware and software, so it automatically does many things very well.
However, Pippin has been optimized for the simple, low-cost delivery of all kinds of interactive content, both CD and on-line, through the standard consumer electronic devices already present in people’s homes. As a result, Pippin enables an entirely new category of productsnew media appliances products which give ordinary people full access to the information superhighway.
Pippin will become a common standard for consumer titles. Consumers will be able to rely on the fact that a Pippin CD-ROM from any developer or publisher will work on any Pippin product from any hardware manufacturer.
Pippin is a Power Macintosh, and is fully compatible with all the tools, resources, and extensions normally used in the Macintosh environment. The full Macintosh Toolbox is available with Pippin, including native versions of QuickTime and QuickDraw. A Pippin CD-ROM contains all the content found on a regular CD-ROM, but also, it includes a runtime version of the Pippin System Software. Therefore, any Pippin CD-ROM can also run on Macintosh-compatible computers, and, if designed appropriately, can run on WinTel computers as well.
Simply Interactive Personal Computer SIPC
“Almost everyone agrees that the potential of the Internet to
improve personal computing is inspiring.” – Bill Gates.
What is hotly disputed is exactly how using a PC or browsing the Internet will change. Microsoft’s aim is to make Internet technology central to the PC experience, but other companies riding the Internet tidal wave have their own strategies and visions.
The Internet is changing the way people get information and interact. The Internet gives anybody with a computer and a modem the opportunity to reach a global audience.
There are promising hints already. You can click your mouse to update or configure software, including the web browser itself. You can browse or search for answers to technical questions. Soon you’ll even be able to use the Internet to show your screen to remote support personnel, so that they’ll be able to see your problem for themselves. These innovations are just the beginning.
Inexpensive PCs are coming. Its axiomatic that you’re always able to buy more personal computer for your money than you could a year earlier. But prices have not fallen as fast as they might have, because surprising growth in PC sales volumes has kept components in relatively short supply.
Simple PCs are coming, too. Microsoft recently announced an initiative, supported by many leading hardware manufacturers, to create what we call the Simply Interactive Personal Computer SIPC. It is a framework of technologies that will make the PC platform the center of entertainment, communications and productivity in both home and office.
A SIPC system will be quite easy to use. It will turn on instantly, like most other consumer appliances. It will interconnect with VCRs, stereos, and TVs. And every SIPC will run thousands of Windows applications, including web browsers and software for faxing, voice messaging, conferencing, and exchanging e-mail.
New-generation set-top boxes will allow television sets to retrieve content from the web, but there will be ample compromise. Usually there won’t be keyboards, although remote controls can function as mice. And televisions screens don’t display text well. Furthermore, nobody publishes information on the Internet for display on TV screens yet, although that will change.
Overall, however, the tradeoffs for the set-top box look pretty good, especially considering that TVs hooked to the Internet could allow people from every economic sphere to enjoy the Internet’s benefits. Keep in mind, though, that communications charges will mount up in the long run.
Game machines and consumer-electronics devices, such as some of the forthcoming Digital Video Disk (DVD) Players, will connect to the Internet, using a slender cousin of Windows as the operating system. We’ll see an explosion of interest in multi-player games, where the contestants meet only in cyberspace.
Hardware companies will begin selling handheld personal digital assistants (PDAs) that rely on another cousin of Windows. These miniature information appliances will have LCD screens and connect wirelessly to desktop machines and networks, including two-way pager networks. Because these networks will, in turn, tie into the Internet, you’ll be able to use the PDAs to browse the web or exchange e-mail.
Over time, PDAs will evolve into what I like to call I-Wallet PC-in-one pocket-sized devices that will serve as personal communicators, maps, guide books, repositories of digital money and credit information, identification, tickets, and so forth.
It’s clear that a number of information appliances are going to become common in homes as well as in our pockets, and that these devices can’t all be expensive. Keeping costs down is a priority, but people won’t settle for underpowered tools.
The Internet era is a challenge and an opportunity for every person and for most companies. It certainly is for Microsoft. We’ve had a lot of challenges in the past 20 years, but this one happens to be great fun.
Recently, 35 leading American research universities and the Federal government have contributed $300 million to establish a new Internet for research, one that is much faster than the present networks and will be able to transmit large amounts of data. According to the project director,the new system “will focus energy and resources on the development of a new family of advanced applications to meet emerging academic requirements in research, teaching, and learning.”
Abuses, misinformation, plagiarism, skulduggery, junk, pornography, and scams abound on the Internet. We need to teach our students to verify the information gained from the Internet just as we teach them to verify the information obtained from documents and print sources. We have to find ways to prevent unwanted material from entering our computers. We have to insure that our academic freedom to teach, to do research, and to communicate freely with our colleagues all across the globe is not impeded. We have to make sure that the international collegiality made possible by the internet does not destroy the sometimes fragile but necessary collegial relationships with members of our own departments and university.
The Internet may be rather disturbing to many of us used to the traditional methods of communication and research. Everything seems too fast and, in a sense, too facile. We have to come to grips with this new technology and, as scholars alive and well in the twentieth, soon to be twenty-first, century, turn it to our advantage. Although many academics refuse to use the Internet for their work, and this of course is their prerogative We simply have to realize that the Internet is here to stay, and we can use this new medium to our own advantage. So long as the focus remains for us as well as for our administrations and for our students teaching face to face. The new technologies can be used to enhance our teaching, make it more creative, impressive, and easy, and can be used to make our research more efficient and complete, but, it can never replace the face-to-face contact between professor and students, that is, the traditional university teaching environment.
A place where many people, hopefully, believe in learning for learning’s sake. Where teachers help lead both themselves and their students toward wisdom. As the new technologies become more important, we can still teach our students to be critical and humanistic. But we will fail them and ourselves unless we take pro-active measures to harness the Internet. We have to demonstrate to our students that we can help them order the chaos of facts now available on the Internet into understandable constructions. We can either continue to be leaders in using these new technological tools, or we will very likely end up being buried by them.
1. “Internet Complete Reference” – Harley Hahn