1. Explain the origins of the Internet and choose three service examples (Web applications) it offers, over the last decade, to discuss how they have revolutionized the way we communicate within our society. [30%]
The Internet, known to many as the net, is a worldwide, interconnected network with special gateways. The net connects millions of individual computers together. The Internet consists of communication infrastructure that makes computers to locate one other, talk, and send or receive information (Jacques and Jacques, 2003).
The history of Internet came about in the early 1960s were there arouse the need to allow computers to share information on research and development in military and scientific field (Bidgoli, 2004). In the late 1962, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency was the birthplace of Internet. During this era they used dial-up phone lines to form the basis of Internet connections. In 1965 the first wide-area connection was made when a computer at California was connected to a computer in MIT in Massachusetts. This proved that there was a possibility of wide area networking, but in addition it evidently proved that telephone line’s circuit switching was not appropriate to be used and thus the theory of using packet switching was born. The product was the establishment of a U.S. department of Defense’s ARPANET in 1966.
In 1969, ARPANET, which was a network designed to enhance communication between cities in the United States incase of an occurrence of a major disaster. The idea was to create a network that would continue to work even when there is a nuclear attack or a part of it is destroyed and based on the concept of openness. Initially the network was designed only for defense and not commerce. Since the Local area network (LAN) already existed, this project interconnected existing LANs rather than designing from scratch a new end-to-end network. It resulted in the Internet protocols, which have been extended and refined. Eventually this protocol was called the Transfer Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP). Up- to- date, TCP/IP is one of the most extensively used protocol on the Internet as well as other private networks and intranets. The years after 1969, many computers linked up to Arpanet adding its information database. In 1985, using the ARPANET protocols, the national science foundation built NSFNET. Eventually NSFNET became the backbone network provided at no cost to research centers and universities; the only requirement was that these organizations were to build a connection to NSFNET. Finally NSF pulled out as the manager of the network because private and public institutions and commercial telecommunications companies were building their own links into the network. This resulted in the use of the Internet for commercial purposes
Many more educational, commercial and private networks joined in as the Cold War subsided. The period of intense innovation on the Internet was evident between 1971 and 1993 where almost all of the tools of the Internet were invented. Among them they include the E-mail, FTP (for file downloads), USENET, Internet Reply Chat (IRC) and last but not least the World Wide Web (WWW). All these inventions served to add functionality to the Internet and were directly responsible for its growing acceptance among users (Mike, 2010).
A web application is any programme that runs entirely from within a browser (Levene, 2010). Over the past decade Internet services or web application have been developed and examples include search engines, shopping applications, and web mail (sending email from a browser).
Since these applications were created communication within our society has been revolutionized in many ways. The concept of communication has evolved over the past years. Through the development of the Internet, more than anything else, people have come to realize that it was less effective to communicate just by snail mail not mentioning that it is much slower, then free email on the Web. When the web was starting the possibilities of worldwide communication to many people was mind-boggling. Contrary, today all we think of is emailing people and getting instant feedback, or shopping for items online and the items delivered to our door steps, or watching the latest streaming video news, or being informed with what is happening across the globe in just a touch of a button.
The Internet and the Web to a very large extent has revolutionized the way we communicate; not only with family and friends but also with the rest of the world. Imagine how life would without using the web – no shopping online, no e-mail, no breaking news, no music and movie downloads? Probably you can not. The dependency of these technologies has grown and has vastly transformed the way we conduct our lives.
The web and its application have changed the mode of communication within the society. For example the search engine has provided us ways to search information worldwide and helps us to be informed with day-to-day events that take place in every corner of the world. The shopping application has provided ways of online shopping and gets items purchase delivered right at our doorsteps. In addition to that, banking transactions can be performed. This evidently shows that communication nowadays takes place most frequently through the electronic media and not direct contact.
2. Research Question: Explain, with the use of references, “Who governs and decides the legal aspects of the web and its applications i.e., (How is the Internet restricted, or policed)?” [30%]
The Internet is a complex self-organizing system. Mainly it is influenced by various factors such as the government agencies, associations, market mechanisms, businesses, and various setting organizations (allocation and standard). A number of these bodies and mechanisms date back to ARPANET the Internet’s predecessor, but today the Internet’s globalization and commercialization are forcing how governance decisions are made to change in and also who makes the decisions (Dennis, 2006). The legal aspect of the web and its application is governed by the private sector and civil society and the Governments, in their relevant roles, of shared principles, programmes, policy, standard, and decision-making procedures that shape the development and use of the Internet (Ellen, 2008).
Restricted Internet Options is basically the privilege of controlling access of certain Internet pages. Generally it is about allowing or preventing access to various websites by the system administrator. The administrator has the power to or the right to limit the availability of sites. When this restriction is in place nobody can access the sites apart from the administrator. This is done to prevent access to certain sites. Frequently, Restricted Internet Options problems are faced when downloading something from a site that has been restricted (Mike, 2010).
There are several modes of regulation of the Internet they include:
1. Law: This is the most self-evident mode of regulation. Evidently many activities on the Internet are already a subject to legislation with regard to both images posted and the transactions conducted on the net. This is because of the several statutes and law cases that continue to stream in the judiciary system. Areas such as pornography, fraud, and gambling are regulated in the same ways whether online or whether off-line. Clearly, substantial portion of activities on the net are subjected to traditional regulation and unlawful conducts are subjected to similar laws and regulations. Internet regulation is done to protect people from sites that are absolute.
2. Architecture: these mechanisms are concerned with how information can be restricted on the Internet so as it cannot reach the user of the Internet. Everything from Internet is filtered using software that looks for special URLs or keywords and prevent from appearing on the monitor of the computer that has requested the information (Dennis, 2006). It is debatable that the other regulation modes either depends on, or are considerably maintained by, regulation via Architecture.
3. Norms: Some certain activities or conducts online may be allowed to be vied by the code architecture of the internet, but they can be imperceptibly prohibited by the intrinsic principles of the community (Ellen, 2008). This regulates the Internet users as they come from a community that restricts certain activities-thus the user will be restricted from using certain sites.
4. Markets: Markets also regulate the Internet in certain patterns of conduct. The Internet makes a practical marketplace for information and such information is very effective from the traditional valuation of stocks to the comparative valuation of services. Additionally, increasing popularity of the net as a means of transaction implies that the law of supply and demand has been brought in the cyberspace as it opens a forum of advertisement (Ellen, 2008).
3.1 Explain the motivation behind the wiki content alteration or blog topic you have chosen. [10%]
When it came to choosing a topic to blog about, my options were limitless but I choose to share information about myself, my life as well as voicing my personal opinion and thoughts by discussing topics that are of interest to me. Choosing the right topic required a bit of creativity. The topic was based on what I am interested in, and for this case, simple things I do in my day-to-day life. The most important thing about this topic is that it can be expanded or built upon. This means that it is possible to create ongoing entries that are entertaining, informative, new, innovative, and provocative for my audience (Will, 2001).
Although there are no rules about what someone can or cannot blog about, a good amount of time was spent fleshing out my ideas and developing a way to convey my content so as to entertain/inform my audience. More so the focus was also on what type of image or reputation I was looking to create over the long-term, in addition to how I will be able to use my blog and its contents to achieve my overall goal.
I also found it infinitely important and easier to select a topic to blog about that caters to a small niche of audience. By doing this, it become easier to understand my potential audiences and address their interests, desires, needs, wants, and concerns as well as specifically catering for all my blog’s content to this defined audience.
My niche audience was defined by a single defining factor, this is common special interest. This made it easier to ascertain their wants and needs, and then with this in mind, I was able to my blogs content to this people’s needs.
3.2 How credible is the information you have posted on the web? Is this an issue for the Internet Application you have chosen in 3.1? Justify the reasoning behind your answer. [10%]
All the information posted on my blog is crafted to meet the expectations of my audience. The content is new timely and unique and fresh, such that there is always something relevant and interesting in each new entry to keep my audience coming back for more. Generally, the blog is in form of a journal with entries about my normal life. The information on this blog is credible since it is about my day-to-day activities and what I think about, what I want to make different, my goals in life, and my hobbies. I found it a supreme way to record my own lives journey. It was a way to discover what matters to me and even what and how I think. It is a glorious self-directed source of inner development and a supreme way that makes my world more vivid and more real. As in my blog, I am starting out with a brief narration of a day’s event. Writing this information was meant to train and hone my eyes for beauty as well as intensify and renew my pleasure in the situations and events that have gone on well.
However, although this information is true, it may not be very useful beyond the target audience (Randy, 2007). The level of the credibility of the blog can therefore vary from one user to another. Every user will seek to know the purpose of the blog and ask him or herself why the blog is there. For this particular blog where the information seems to come from an individual, the user will examine the person’s credentials and make sure the person has the background to present information authoritatively which is the case here since the information posted on the blog is written by the blogger (Will, 2001).