Discussion on The Internet
This is a network of networks; the global linking of tens of thousands of businesses, universities and research organisations which millions of individuals use. The Internet originated in 1969, thanks to the US military, as a doomsday communication system impervious to nuclear war. By the late 198Os, it became an important civilian computer network for a variety of academic researchers from professors to physicists and reached outside academic institutions to the borders of the United States. Today the Internet has users in more than 200 countries. II is a continuous process that's expanding rapidly, with thousands of systems adopting Internet standards every month. In 1993, when commercial providers were permitted to give Internet connections to individuals, usage of the network exploded. Millions of first-time users came within months, and a new era of computer communication began.
The Net, as it is popularly called, is a global electronic community with over 50,000 interconnected computer networks, which means that more than 50 million people are linked together, computing what has been aptly termed the Information Superhighway. The remarkable thing about Internet is that there is no administrator, no coordinating authority, yet starting from a small network set up by the US Defence Department the Internet has grown into a truly global supermarket. The Internet has added new dimensions to information. It gives each of us the opportunity to be the publisher of our information and views. And as the number of people on the Internet multiplies, the opportunities keep growing.
One cannot survive in the wonderful world of computers if one is not onto a website or one's business card does not have an e-mail ID. A computer network is similar to that of the Railway network. It connects numerous computers with one another to disseminate information. The worldwide web or WWW is a modem marvel that helps find and retrieve information, text, graphic images etc. on sports, films, music, business, religion, politics and every other topic under the sun. At the simple click of a mouse and with the help of software called Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (http) one can surf or browse through countless web sites gathering information that would otherwise have taken months, years or decades to compile.
The Internet also offers a wealth of business opportunities to businessmen, doctors, engineers, contractors, publishers et al. More and more businesses are advertising their products or services on the Net. It is a source of up-to-date information related to business, stock markets, education, medical advances, vacancies, marriages and what not. Many organisations have also set up an Intranet. This is the network used on the Net, to communicate and share information across an organisation. The Internet is by no means the only way computer users can communicate with others. Several commercial online services provide connections to members who pay a monthly connection time fee.
However, the Net has its fair share of problems from the potential danger of electronic crimes and electronic pornography to viruses, from illegal reproduction of software to the mishandling of electronic systems and illicit intrusion into them, from copyright infringement to electronic plagiarism. The Internet also suffers from lack of discipline, uniformity and a code of conduct. Internet enthusiasts run the risk of turning into addicts, browsing for hours on end through cyberspace. These problems could be checked through proper regulations that prevent the wrong use of this wonderful gift of science.