Modern Design Dictionary: Internet
1 - Business Encyclopedia: Internet
- Lloyd W Bartholome
The Internet is a technology and electronic communication system
such as the world has never seen before. In fact, some people
have said that the Internet is the most important innovation
since the development of the printing press.
History of the Internet
The Internet was created as a result of the Cold War. In the mid
1960s it became apparent that there was a need for a bomb-proof
electronic communication system. A concept was devised to link
computers by cable or wire throughout the country in a
distributed system so that if some parts of the country were cut
off from other parts, messages could still get through. In the
beginning, only the federal government and a few universities
were linked because the Internet was basically an emergency
military communication system, operated by the Department of
Defense's Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA). The whole
operation was referred to as ARPANET.
ARPA was linked to computers at a group of top research
universities receiving ARPA funding. The first four universities
connected to ARPANET were the University of California-Los
Angeles, Stanford University, the University of California-Santa
Barbara, and the University of Utah. Thus, the Internet was born.
Because of a concept developed by Larry Roberts of ARPA and Glen
Kleinrock at UCLA, called packet switching, the Internet was
able to become a decentralized system, which would prevent large-scale
destruction of any centralized system. The system allowed
different types of computers from different manufacturers to
send messages to one another. Computers merely transmitted
information to one another in a standardized protocol packet.
The addressing information in these packets told each computer
in the chain where the packet was supposed to go.
As the Internet grew, more capability was added. A program
called Telnet allowed remote users to run programs and computers
at other sites. The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) allowed users
to transfer data files and programs. Gopher programs, developed
at the University of Minnesota and named after the university's
mascot, allowed menu-driven access to data resources on the
Internet. Search engines such as Archie and Wide Area Index
Search (WAIS) gave users the ability to search the Internet's
numerous libraries and indices. By the 1980s people at
universities, research laboratories, private companies, and
libraries were aided by a networking revolution. There were more
than thirty thousand host computers and modems on the Internet.
The fore-runner of the Internet was the Bitnet, which was a
network of virtually every major university in the world. E-mail
became routine and inexpensive, since the Internet is a parasite
using the existing multibillion-dollar telephone networks of the
world as its carriers.
In 1972 Ray Tomlinson invented network e-mail, which became
possible with the FTP. With e-mail and FTP, the rate at which
collaborative work could be conducted between researchers at
participating computer science departments was greatly increased.
Although it was not realized at the time, the Internet had begun.
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) breaks large amounts of data
down into packets of a fixed size, sequentially numbers them to
allow reassembly at the recipient's end, and transmits the
packets over the Internet using the Internet protocol.
After the invention of e-mail, it wasn't long before mailing
lists were invented. This was a technique by which an identical
message could be sent automatically to large numbers of people.
The Internet continues to grow. In fact, it is estimated that
almost 65 million adults go online on the Internet in the United
States every month. Presently, no one operates the Internet.
Although there are entities that oversee the system, "no one is
in charge." This allows for a free transfer and flow of
information throughout the world.
In 1984 the National Science Foundation (NSF) developed NSFNET.
Later NASA, the National Institutes of Health, and others became
involved, and nodes on the Internet were divided into basic
varieties that are still used today. The varieties are grouped
by the six basic Internet domains of GOV, MIL, EDU, COM, ORG,
and NET. The ARPANET itself formally expired in 1989, a victim
of its own success, and the use of TCP/IP (Transfer Control
Protocol/Internet Protocol) standards for computer networks is
If Internet invention had stopped at this point, we would
probably still be using the Internet primarily just for e-mail.
However, in 1989 a second miracle occurred. Tim Berners-Lee, a
software engineer at the CERN physics lab in Switzerland,
developed a set of accepted protocols for the exchange of
Internet information, and a consortium with users was formed—thus
creating the World Wide Web, the standard language for encoding
information. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) was adopted.
Berners-Lee proposed making the idea global to link all
documents on the Internet using hypertext. This lets users jump
from one document to another through highlighted words. Other
web standards, such as URL (Universal Resource Language)
addresses on the Web page and HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol),
are also Berners-Lee's inventions. Berners-Lee could have been
exceedingly rich based on his invention, but he left the fortune-building
to others because he "wanted to do the revolution right."
As a result of Berners-Lee's invention, in 1993 a group at the
University of Illinois, headed by Mark Andreesen, wrote a
graphical application called Mosaic to make use of the Web
easier. The next year a few students from that group, including
Andreesen, co-founded Netscape after they graduated in May and
released the browser for the World Wide Web in November 1994.
The World Wide Web is making the Internet easier to use and has
brought two giant advantages. Until the Web, the Internet
communicated text only, but the Web permits exchange of uncoded
graphics, color-coded graphics, color photographs and designs,
even video and sound; and it formats typed copy into flexible
typographic pages. The Web also permits use of hyperlinks,
whereby users can click on certain words or phrases and be shown
links to other information or pictures that explain the key
words or phrases. As a result of the World Wide Web and Web
browsers, it became easy to find information on the Internet and
the Web. Various search engines have been developed to index and
retrieve this information.
Using the Internet
How does one use the Internet? First, one must have a computer
with a connection to the outside world either by a modem
connection, a fiber connection such as used in local cable
television, or a wireless connection, which is becoming more
important. The user is then connected to a system of linked
computer networks that encircle the globe, facilitating a wide
assortment of data communication services including e-mail, data
and program file transfers, newsgroups and chatgroups, as well
as graphic images, sound, and video of all kinds. One must
choose the right tool to accomplish each task. Thus, one needs
to understand the tools to travel this information superhighway.
The Internet is in cyberspace; think of it as a number of
planets, each with a unique kind of data program or other type
of information service. The only hitch is that each planet's
communicating language is different, and one needs several
communicating applications and tools. A person is responsible
for selecting the proper software program or utility to access
what he or she wants. Each program performs a specific task,
ranging from providing basic connections, to accessing resources,
to preparing e-mail. Common Internet tools include the following:
1. Connection and log-on software. This software provides access
to logon to cyber-space. The software sets up the connections to
the Internet. This software is usually provided by an Internet
2. Web browser. Web browsers are usually free. The most common
Web browsers are Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's
Navigator. These software programs can usually be downloaded
free of charge; they also come with office suites such as
3. E-mail manager and editor. To communicate by e-mail users
must have an e-mail manager and editor. This editor creates,
sends, receives, stores, and organizes your e-mail. Again, many
of these e-mail editors can be downloaded free from the Web. One
of the most common editors is Eudora. However, office suites
usually come with an e-mail manager as well.
A custom connect program starts the procedure for logging on to
the Internet using TCP/IP. This is a set of standards and
protocols for sharing data between computers and the Internet.
Once the protocols have connected, a user must establish his or
her identity and authorization to use the Internet services. The
Internet service provider used has its own identity on the
Internet, and this identity is known as a domain. Domain names,
as mentioned previously, are all names listed to the right of
the @ sign in the address with an extension such as .com or .edu.
The computer then sends and receives data from a host computer
over the Internet. A program such as Telnet breaks up the data
into packets. The protocols specify how packets should be
layered, or packaged. Different layers of packets address a
variety of software and hardware needs to send information over
different networks and communication links. After a user has
properly logged on, he or she can begin using the Internet
After a user has completed an on-line work session, he or she
must logoff the Internet and, depending on the circumstances,
disconnect from the Internet service provider. If a user is
using an educational service provider such as a college or other
educational institution, he or she probably logs off but does
not disconnect, since the service is a virtual service provided
to many others at the terminal or computer. If one is using a
private commercial service provider, one must be sure that a
complete disconnection has been made between the computer and
provider or one may still be paying fees.
The Internet has spawned an entirely whole new industry called
electronic commerce or sometimes electronic business. Businesses
sell to other businesses and to consumers on the Internet using
secure Web sites. The current market value of U.S. companies
with substantial Internet revenue via e-commerce exceeds $3
trillion and is growing annually. It is estimated that by 2003
over 88 percent of all businesses will derive some of their
revenue from e-commerce. It has also been said that the growth
of the Internet and e-commerce has been one of the main causes
of the robust economy in the United States.
Thus, the Internet has been one of the most productive
technologies in recent history. The Internet can transport
information from nearly any place on the globe to nearly any
other place in seconds. The Internet has changed people's notion
of how fast things happen. People say now they "did it in
Internet time," meaning something was done in a fraction of the
traditional or expected amount of time. The Internet is becoming
a major cause of time compression.
Future of the Internet
What does the future hold for the Internet? Predictions are that
in the future nearly every Internet-connected device will
communicate wirelessly. Low-power radio cells rather than fiber
or copper wire, will connect and relay information. Before 2010,
more than half of American homes will have at least one low
power radio cell connected to Internet bandwidth. The future
appears to hold a wireless Internet because of bandwidth
problems with cable or wire.
The personal computer will continue to evolve, but there will be
a lot of other Internet-smart appliances. Predictions are that
there will be Internet wristwatches to match the person with the
message. Televisions will, when prompted, record our favorite
shows. Various kitchen appliances will start by Internet
commands. The personal automobile will also be a mobile personal
information store. Automobiles will have internal connectivity
and easily carry a very large cache of favorite music, talk,
interactive games, and pictures, while passengers will have the
option of looking out the window at the real world or looking in
the window of their in-car display. Like the explorers who
discovered new continents, people are just beginning to discover
the full impact of the Internet on information, space, and time.
Anderson, John. "Internet History and Perspective." www2.advisorworks.com.
February 28, 2000.
Baylogic. "Net History and Statistics." www.baylogic.com.
February 28, 2000.
Berners-Lee, Tim. (1996) "Passing up Fortune-Building 'To Do the
Revolution Right'." Investor's Business Daily 13(43)(June
Reidelbach, Dorothy. (1996). "The Amazing New World Wide Web."
Planning for Higher Education 24 (Spring):1-6.
Ricart, Glenn. (2000). "Unofficial Technology Marvel of the
Millennium." Educause Review January/February: 38-59.
Rochester, Jack B. (1996). Using Computers and Information.
Indianapolis, IN: Macmillan.
2 - Modern
Design Dictionary: Internet
By the late 20th century the internet had become the principal
global means of information exchange for individuals as well as
multinational corporations. Its origins lay in the internal
linking of computers in the US Defense Department in the 1960s
and research relating to the control of missiles and bombers.
These so-called intranets evolved into the internet (a
contraction of ‘internetwork’), a term first used in the 1970s
but increasingly widely used from the later 1980s and early
1990s. The networking of computers was first publicly seen at
the 1972 International Computer Communication Conference (ICCC),
the same year in which early applications of electronic mail
were being explored. Other developments followed as efforts
intensified to build communications between different groups of
researchers or military constituencies. The introduction of the
internet as it is recognized today was facilitated by
cooperation between US federal agencies and other international
organizations. The World Wide Web, a term that came into current
usage in the 1990s, was a means of accessing information—text,
graphics, sound, visual, moving image, and virtual reality. It
became a vehicle for a whole range of electronic (or ‘e-’)
services such as shopping, banking, travel, and insurance as
well as an increasingly prominent means of personal and business
communication, e-mail. Its popularity was closely interlinked
with the widespread use of Personal Computers (PCs) and the
international proliferation of internet cafés, providing
individuals with almost limitless possibilities for
communication. The design of websites—increasingly important to
corporations, public institutions, and organizations as a means
of giving them a competitive edge—has become a highly profitable
aspect for graphic, communication, and multimedia design
consultancies, although it has become increasingly common for
individuals and families to design their own.
3 - Photography
Encyclopedia: Internet - Nick
The Internet has become an important medium for photographers
because it enables images to be transmitted, displayed, and
downloaded to computers extremely rapidly worldwide. Photography
on the Internet is possible because scanners (and later digital
cameras) have been developed to capture images electronically.
The first drum scanner was built for the SEAC computer at the US
National Bureau of Standards in 1957 by a team led by Russell A.
Kirsch (whose other major contribution was to codify the square
‘pixel’ as the basic unit of a digital picture).
The Internet itself grew out of the ARPANET, a network developed
under the direction of Dr J. C. R. Licklider of the Advanced
Research Projects Agency to link major research centres in the
USA. The key to the network's flexibility was its decentralized
design, involving routers sending packets of information via all
possible connections. The ARPANET was commissioned by the US
Department of Defense in 1969 and continued to grow throughout
the 1970s. By the 1980s independent service providers and
bulletin boards were continuing to multiply, and the Internet
Activities Board was founded in 1983. The ARPANET ceased to
exist in 1990, by which time it had been superseded by its
The Internet developed as a visual medium when the first
graphical browsers became available. In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee at
the Centre Européenne de Recherche Nucléaire (CERN) proposed a
web browser that would display webpages consistently across all
computers. With the addition of standardized display formats,
the World Wide Web (WWW) came into its own from the mid-1990s.
Photographs displayed on the Internet are generally shown as
JPEG files (invented by the Joint Photographic Experts Group in
1990), GIF files (Graphics Interchange Format, developed by Bob
Berry of Compuserve in 1987), and the non-proprietary PNG format
(portable network graphics, a free alternative to GIF, developed
by Thomas Boutell from 1995). The JPEG is generally used for
photographs whilst the GIF is more suitable for geometric shapes
and line art. All these formats involve compression, which means
that the image's file size is reduced by simplifying its range
of colours. Heavy compression results in obvious image
degradation, so there is a trade-off between file size and image
The Internet may be used by photographers in several ways. The
most obvious is the online gallery, which can showcase one
photographer's work or act as a larger repository (e.g. for
agencies or picture archives). It presents photographs in a
similar way to its physical counterpart, but with the added
flexibility of dynamic links and search options to assist
viewers. Its layout and style influence its attractiveness to
new visitors. The gallery may also be used to sell photographs
directly, acting as an online shop. This is useful to freelance
photographers wanting to distribute their work, which may be
downloaded as secure files or physically mailed to the buyer as
prints. Here, the photograph on the website is only a
representation of the print, not a substitute for it. The
popularity of web-based diaries and writings (weblogs or blogs)
has led to collections of images posted as photo journals.
Although these are generally by amateurs, the Internet has
become a major outlet for online photojournalism. The net speeds
delivery of news and photographs, allowing freelancers and small
groups to compete with large news agencies. This has broadened
the spread of news photography, although some traditional
photojournalists fear their skills are being displaced by low-resolution
The web's interactive forums also allow the widespread
discussion of photographic issues, and interactive reviews of
new equipment. This benefits both traditional and digital
photographers who want to raise questions or develop their
skills. These forums also bring new techniques and concerns to
light in a worldwide community of photographers. Other sites
teach online photographic courses. The Internet also enables
large and rarely seen photographic archives—and document
collections like the Talbot Correspondence—to be placed online,
often as part of major academic projects. For instance, the 17
million photographs of the Bettmann archive, spanning the 20th
century, are to be relocated to a mine north-east of Pittsburgh
for preservation underground. Their digitized contents will be
made available online with other Corbis holdings. However, the
physical inaccessibility of the archive concerns some historians,
even though the storage conditions will preserve its actual
substance. Another problem relating to this and other large
collections is the time it takes to digitize material.
Copyright is a major issue with Internet photography. As with
music files, images can be downloaded from websites and used
without their owners' permission. The nature of digital data
makes copying extremely easy, and although various technologies,
including encryption and digital watermarking, are designed to
prevent illegal use of images, most can be circumvented.
Additionally, older photographs can be scanned and placed in the
digital domain. The resulting problems extend from
straightforward breach of copyright to more complex issues such
as illegal alteration of images. By 2000 this had become both
easy and widespread. In 2004 a widely published composite
picture ‘showed’ the US presidential candidate John Kerry with
Jane Fonda at an anti-Vietnam War protest. It was not only used
without the original photographers' permission, but modified for
political purposes and posted on websites under the false
imprint of Associated Press: a veritable catalogue of
infringements. Another notorious 21st-century problem is the
creation of pornography at offshore locations and its
distribution via the Internet. However, notwithstanding these
and other concerns, it seems certain that the Internet will
continue to expand rapidly, and probable that, overall, its
utility to photographers will continue to outweigh its dangers.
* Mitchell, W. J., The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth in the
Post-Photographic Era (1992).
* Hoffman, B. (ed.), Exploiting Images and Image Collections in
the New Media: Goldmine or Legal Minefield? (1999).
* Andrews, P., The Photographer's Website Manual: The
Indispensable Guide to Building and Running a Website (2003)
4 - US History
Arguably the most important communications tool ever created,
the Internet connects millions of people to online resources
each day. Grown from seeds planted during the Cold War, the
roots of the Internet were formed to develop a reliable,
national system for communications. Although early pioneers
disagree over whether the computer-based communications network
was built to withstand nuclear attack, the uneasy tension
between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold
War certainly increased the resolve of the United States to fund
and develop relevant scientific and defense-related projects
aimed at national security.
Home to many of the preeminent scientists of the time, the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) served as the
birthplace of the Internet. It was there, in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, that President Harry Truman's administration
formed MIT's Lincoln Laboratories to begin work on the Semi-Automatic
Ground Environment. SAGE's primary goal was to develop an air
defense system that involved a network of interconnected
computers across the United States. The push for advanced
technology received an even larger boost in August 1957, when
the Soviet Union test fired its first intercontinental ballistic
missile and subsequently launched its Sputnik orbiter in October
of that same year. Shortly thereafter, President Dwight D.
Eisenhower convened a meeting of his Presidential Science
Advisory Committee. From that meeting and subsequent
congressional testimony on the progress of U.S. defense and
missile programs, it became clear that the "science gap" between
the two superpowers had widened. Eisenhower sought funding for
the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) late in 1957 and
obtained it the following year.
In the early 1960s, the Lincoln Laboratory researchers Lawrence
Roberts and Leonard Kleinrock worked on developing a method of
digitizing and transmitting information between two computers
using a communications method called packet switching. Similar
work on systems that used store-and-forward switching was also
underway in the late 1950s under the direction of Paul Baran and
Donald Davies at the National Physical Laboratory in England. At
the heart of both research projects was the development of a
communications system in which information would be distributed
among all nodes on a network, so that if one or more nodes
failed, the entire network would not be disabled. This type of
network, in which messages were passed from node to node, with
no single node responsible for the end-to-end traffic, was
called hot-potato routing.
ARPA's first director, J. C. R. Licklider, moved from Lincoln
Laboratory to a small Cambridge, Massachusetts–based consulting
firm, Bolt, Beranek, and Newman (BBN), where researchers
continued to explore the use of computers as tools of
communication. While there, Licklider and his colleagues
developed the necessary hardware to connect computers to
telephone lines and also researched the collection of data from
a wide array of other sources including antennae, submarines,
and other real-time sensors. Most of BBN's projects were ARPA
supported and sought to achieve ARPA's ultimate goal of helping
close the science gap by creating a nationwide network of
In the summer of 1968, ARPA issued a request for proposals to
more than 130 different research centers with the goal of
creating a digital network of computers conforming to ARPA's
technical specifications. Roberts developed the criteria and
served as the chief architect of the network's overall design,
which included the deployment of "packet switching technology,
using half-second response time, with measurement capability,
and continuous operation"—that is, an Internet. Frank Heart and
the team of scientists at BBN were awarded the contract in
December 1968.Outfitted with specialized minicomputers and
interface hardware, BBN set out to connect their "packet
switches" or Interface Message Processors
(IMPs), at each ARPA-determined remote location (node), which
would then communicate with the host computer at that location.
Robert Kahn and Vincent Cerf, with Jon Postel and Charles Kline,
developed the software to connect host computers to the IMPs, a
host-to-host protocol on how packets would be routed. While
America was absorbed in NASA's race to land on the moon in the
summer of 1969, BBN air shipped its first IMP computer across
the country—no small feat for the time. It arrived safely and
was working at the first node, the University of California at
Los Angeles, in August 1969.
This phase of the ARPA-BBN project was completed in nine months.
Meanwhile, work continued on equipping the second node, the
Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Palo Alto—some four hundred
miles away—to the interface message processor. On 1 October 1969
the Stanford node came online and the first message, "LO," was
passed that day. BBN continued to progress, installing nodes
three and four at the University of California at Santa Barbara
(1 November 1969) and the University of Utah (1 December 1969).Only
in March of the following year did BBN connect its Cambridge
offices to the newly created ARPAnet.
The ARPAnet continued to evolve through the early 1970s with the
addition of more diverse data networks such as the University of
Hawaii's ALOHAnet packet radio network and the European-based
packet satellite network. During this period, the first terminal
interface processor (TIP) was introduced to the network, thereby
allowing computer terminals to call directly into the ARPAnet
using standard telephone lines. In 1972, the first electronic
messaging program (e-mail) that supported incoming and outgoing
messages was developed. In that same year, a file transfer
protocol specification (FTP) to allow for the transmission of
data files across the network was designed and tested. With
these additions, ARPAnet truly began to fulfill its mission as
an open-architecture network, accommodating a variety of
different environments and allowing the free sharing of
As the uses of the network grew, more efficient methods for
carrying data were needed, forcing an evolution of transmission
protocols—the underlying control layer in which the messages
flowed—and addressing schemes. After many refinements, TCP/IP (transmission
control protocol/Internet protocol) became the de facto standard
for communicating on the network. A naming scheme also became
necessary and the Domain Name System (DNS) was developed by Paul
Mockapetris of the University of Southern California. DNS
allowed for the assignment of names to networks and nodes,
supplanting the use of numeric addresses. In 1973, Ethernet
technology was developed, allowing for the rapid addition of
nodes and workstations to the network. With the birth of the
personal computer and local area networks (LANs) in the early
1980s, the network grew at a staggering pace.
The federal government funded the network and its infrastructure
through 1995.The work of the National Science Foundation (NSF)
was instrumental for under-standing the future evolution of the
Internet as a true "information superhighway." However, federal
funding of the Internet was terminated as a result of the NSF's
privatization initiative to encourage commercial network traffic.
Control of the large backbones of the network—the set of paths
with which local or regional networks connected for long-haul
connectivity—was redistributed to private regional network
The Internet serves as a vital network of communication in the
form of e-mail, news groups, and chat. It also provides
unparalleled resource sharing and resource discovery through the
World Wide Web. At the end of 2001, the Internet continued its
phenomenal annual rate of growth of 100 percent. At its start in
1981, the Internet connected just over two hundred researchers
and scientists. By the end of 2002, it is estimated that the
Internet had the capacity to reach more than six billion people
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Hauben, Michael, and Ronda Hauben. Netizens: On the History and
Impact of Usenet and the Internet. Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE
Computer Society Press, 1997.
Quarterman, John S., and Smoot Carl-Mitchell. The Internet
Connection: System Connectivity and Configuration. Reading, Mass.:
Segaller, Stephen. Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet.
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