The Internet (portmanteau of interconnected network) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.
The origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the federal government of the United States in the 1960s to build robust, fault-tolerant communication with computer networks. The primary precursor network, the ARPANET, initially served as a backbone for interconnection of regional academic and military networks in the 1980s. The funding of the National Science Foundation Network as a new backbone in the 1980s, as well as private funding for other commercial extensions, led to worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies, and the merger of many networks. The linking of commercial networks and enterprises by the early 1990s marked the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet, and generated a sustained exponential growth as generations of institutional, personal, and mobile computers were connected to the network. Although the Internet was widely used by academia since the 1980s, commercialization incorporated its services and technologies into virtually every aspect of modern life.
Most traditional communication media, including telephony, radio, television, paper mail and newspapers are reshaped, redefined, or even bypassed by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as email, Internet telephony, Internet television, online music, digital newspapers, and video streaming websites. Newspaper, book, and other print publishing are adapting to website technology, or are reshaped into blogging, web feeds and online news aggregators. The Internet has enabled and accelerated new forms of personal interactions through instant messaging, Internet forums, and social networking. Online shopping has grown exponentially both for major retailers and small businesses and entrepreneurs, as it enables firms to extend their "brick and mortar" presence to serve a larger market or even sell goods and services entirely online. Business-to-business and financial services on the Internet affect supply chains across entire industries.
The Internet has no single centralized governance in either technological implementation or policies for access and usage; each constituent network sets its own policies. The overreaching definitions of the two principal name spaces in the Internet, the Internet Protocol address (IP address) space and the Domain Name System (DNS), are directed by a maintainer organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The technical underpinning and standardization of the core protocols is an activity of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a non-profit organization of loosely affiliated international participants that anyone may associate with by contributing technical expertise. In November 2006, the Internet was included on USA Today's list of New Seven Wonders.
was a parody web site
lampooning Tom Cruise's
involvement with Scientology
, initially hosted at the domain name scientomogy.info
. The site was created in 2005 after increased media publicity surrounding Cruise's appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show
and The Today Show
. ScienTOMogy gained press attention after it was contacted by the Church of Scientology
with a cease and desist
letter, alleging copyright infringement
over use of the word "Scientomogy", claiming that it was too close to the word "Scientology". The proprietor of the site initially agreed to relent to the Church's demands, but after consulting attorneys, instead decided to keep the site. Internet traffic to the site later increased dramatically as a result of the media and press attention surrounding the Church of Scientology's alleged copyright infringement claims.
A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic.
William Ford Gibson
, born March 17, 1948 , in Conway, South Carolina
is an American
writer who has been called the "noir prophet" of the cyberpunk
subgenre of science fiction
. Gibson coined the term cyberspace
in 1982, and popularized the concept in his debut novel
(1984). In depicting a visualised worldwide communications network before the ubiquity of the Internet
, Gibson is credited with anticipating important aspects, and establishing the conceptual foundations, of the Internet and the Web
in particular. Although much of Gibson's reputation has remained rooted in Neuromancer
, his work has continued to evolve conceptually and stylistically. After expanding on Neuromancer
with two more novels to complete the dystopic Sprawl trilogy
, Gibson became central to an entirely new science fiction subgenre—steampunk
—with the publication in 1990 of the alternate history novel The Difference Engine
, written in collaboration with Bruce Sterling
. In the 1990s he composed the Bridge trilogy
of novels, which focused on sociological observations of near future urban environments and late stage capitalism
. His most recent novels—Pattern Recognition
(2003), and Spook Country
(2007)—are both set in a contemporary universe and have put Gibson's work onto mainstream bestseller lists for the first time.
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