Sep
11

Born Into a Hyper Existence

The Internet is easy. It is simply the most effective way to date to obtain any information about anything. With so many different kinds of people from varying education levels and socio-economic backgrounds putting forth their insights in an ever-evolving hub, it is almost impossible not find information on something. Denying this privilege to people in this day and age is simply wrong. We as humans are evolving technologically faster than ever, with new generations of Internet users almost born into a so-called hyper existence. Censoring a means to learn and understand the world hinders a natural evolution, even if it is not a biological one. Some say that computing will become ubiquitous, and who knows, one day surfing could be a biological function, but that’s for another discussion.

A free and open Internet allows thoughts to flow furiously, allowing those who seek information to see different sides of certain issues. When someone can see both sides of a statement, or an argument, their own opinion can grow stronger. I believe that there is a direct correlation between certain countries’ governments that are unwilling to cooperate in a global society and the issue of censored and monitored mass communication. We see this with the present-day Iran. We also see certain individuals and groups of peoples in countries with censored mass communications attempting to break out and expose the Internet for what it is. They are doing so with tools and information actually gained through interactive communication on the web itself.

Although based on the assumption that the Internet will always evolve and contrast the humor and entertainment elements that it is flooded with, with educational information, I think that in the future we will heavily depend on the Web to form ideas and make critical decisions. If these means are not available freely to all, then we are just perpetuating an elitist world based on technology and further stretching the gap between a so called “Us” and “Them.” With the help of developers and futures-thinking governments we can make sure that this gap can close and we can all be on the same page. Or Web page.

Submitted by Alex Traboulsi, a student in Elon University’s Interactive Media Master’s Program.

Sep
10

People Want Information to be ‘Free’

Where can you go to find out who sings that catchy new song on the radio? Or what time your favorite team is playing tonight? Or to get directions for your upcoming trip? On the Web, of course.

The World Wide Web has grown into an awesome tool for gaining access to information about everything. It is harder to try and come up with something that you can’t do on the Internet than it is to hop on and search for the capital of Uganda. It’s Kampala by the way.

The Internet contains a wealth of knowledge and interactivity. You can watch a hilarious video on YouTube, post photos from the weekend on Facebook or just plain read the news.

Speaking of reading the news, that is one of many controversial issues on the Web these days. Right now it’s free to read the news, but should it be? News organizations across the world are struggling to make money in this unstable economy and since they haven’t found a workable online business model yet, they are actually thinking about charging for content. Some are even trying it out as we speak!

Stupid, stupid, stupid! The Internet is so large and so developed that it would be impossible for any news organization to successfully charge for its content. Maybe 10 years ago if they got everyone to do it, but not now. Sure, some people would buy a subscription, but not enough to put a dent in the debt. You would lose all the people who check in on your Web site occasionally and the ones that will just get their news from another source.

That’s the beauty of the Internet, if you can’t get what you need on one site, then you click off and find another one. So, why waste time trying to sell our content to the people that we care about the most, the users?

Solution: Hurry up and find a successful advertising platform. Easier said than done.

Submitted by Alex Kreitman, a student in Elon University’s Interactive Media Master’s Program.


Sep
5

Internet celebrates 40th birthday: but what date should we be marking?

Internet's Birth Day

Internet's Birth Day

The internet celebrates its birthday today, September 2, with 40 years having passed since the first successful transfer of data between two computers.

The midwives for the modern era of communication were scientists at the University of Los Angeles in California (UCLA), who connected the neighbouring machines with a 15ft grey cable.

The data these early computers exchanged was tiny and meaningless – merely a test message – but it prepared the ground for the inter-university network ARPANET that eventually grew into the internet that is now so indispensable.

But with many vital breakthroughs along the way and several candidates for the title of “inventor of the internet”, there is dispute and uncertainty over whether September 2 is indeed the most appropriate anniversary.

Read more about Internet’s Birthday in the article by Mathew Moore at the Telegraph

Aug
19

My mother’s generation

In this story, Journalist Julie Holley writes about her mother and her favorite college professor Jean Grossholtz, and their relationship to the Internet. To round it off we hear (via video) from Prof. Grossholz herself

Jean Grossholtz belongs to my mother’s generation. My mother turned 81 on February 14; Jean will be 80 on April 17. Statistically: elderly. But neither woman embodies the category.

In fact, each is extraordinary – in their youthfulness.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aug
5

e-superstitions

Email, undoubtedly, has become an indispensable medium of communication. We come across some emails which are forwarded without any second thought. These mails won’t have a logical backing, nor any material evidence or accountability. Someone says something; other people believe it and forward it. Though superstition may seem a little strong word for this scenario, I still wish to call it Email superstitions.

freeThis is a type of chain messages that many feel compelled to forward. For example a mail that says AOL will pay to help someone pay for his or her cancer treatment in proportion to the number of recipients of the email; Other examples range from messages that say Nokia is giving away free phones, offer of a free laptop or make a wish and forward this mail to 10 people. Or ORKUT would delete your friend’s profile if you don’t write a certain scrap in your friend’s profile.

The one who receives this email does not stop to verify if it could be true but simply key in some of their contacts and hit the ‘forward’ button.

It is irresistible for some people when they receive such messages. It’s surprising that even the most educated ones fall pray to these mails and blindly forward them. They don’t bother to spare a minute to check and authenticate the content and source. They simply forward due to following reasons:

  1. They’ve free time (probably inexpensive Internet and no work)
  2. They think they’ve nothing to lose (If I get it great, else I lose nothing)
  3. The mail came from their friend they assume the contents are genuine and blindly forward.
  4. They fall pray to catchy words/temptations in the mail.
  5. They think they’ll help someone/themselves by forwarding

By forwarding these mails, the main risk is that we expose email Ids of our friends and relatives to third party. Over a period of time this increases junk mails in our inbox.

For those who are busy at work, this kind of mail eat their time, productivity and often irritate people.

Story by Srinidhi Hande of ISOC India Chennai

The founding fathers of the Internet laid down several architectural principles around which Internet standards were developed and adopted. One of these principles are among others reflected in RFC 760. This document, among other specifications, lays down the robustness principle – – the robustness of the implementation of the Transmission Control / Internet Protocol (TCP / IP) It recommends “conservative sending behavior and liberal receiving behavior”.  A network should format the ‘datagrams’ very carefully before sending the datagram. At the same time, it should accept ANY datagram that it should interpret (e.g., not object to technical errors where the meaning is still clear).

John Postel signed this RFC with the epigram “Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send

Aug
2

After 70 years, brothers find each other online

While by no means my own, here’s a charming story that I thought I’d share. Two brothers, separated as babies, got re-acquainted via email, facebook, and skype.

Read the story.

Dec
24

Allowing me to Be In Touch with the World is what matters most

If I had to pick one thing above all to describe how the Internet has changed my life on One Web Day 2008 (September 22), I would say that above all it allows me to Be in Touch with the World.

Beyond all the trivial and silly, it means a world of ideas, a big pot with many hands stirring the soup.
Most of the threads I follow on Serge the Concierge from Monday Work Etiquette and Green Day to Tokyo Thursdays and Consumed to Thrifty were inspired by voices I discovered on the web in places near and far away.

Happy One Web Day 2008!

Originally written on Serge the Concierge

Serge

‘The French Guy from New Jersey’

Related: One Wish for One Web Day 2008 (September 22nd)

Dec
17

My experiences – Internet and India

Working on a 2 mbps connection at home, I was thinking about MY OneWebDay, the day I dreamt of having a good bandwidth. Surprisingly that day has passed and I did not seem to notice… Confused ? Read the chronology of my experiences on the Internet and you will know

1. 1995 – My first internet experience at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. I was browsing at the speed of 10 to 20 bytes per second, network was ERNET. I was surprised to see the website of IISc was loading much faster, understood Intranet and Internet thouroughly :-)

I was using Netscape Navigator and I also learnt the menaing of a one word – STALLED, which I would never forget as you keep seeing that in the status bar of the browser always.

2. 1995 – Wanted to work on internet desparately. Found that VSNL is the only service provider in India. There were 2 types of accounts, TCP/IP account for INR 5000 per month [ a little over US $ 160 by the exchange rate that prevailed in 1995] for 500 hours and Student (Shell) account for Rs. 500 (100 hours). I was earning a salary of INR 6000 per month [ the equivallent of US $ 200 going by the exchange rate of those days] , however managed to save the amount and applied for a TCP/IP account (In fact I did not know the difference between TCP/IP and Shell account, however thought that more the money, better the experience. I was informed by VSNL that they have stopped issuing as they have exhausted the bandwidth available and I can get only a shell account, however I have to produce a student Id card for the same.

I got my friend’s sister’s Id card and got an account, the username of the account is divya@md2.vsnl.net.in, the username will only be in the name of the student :-(

I started using the shell account, found out that shell account is a text only account, meaning that one cannot use a GUI browser, can only use text browser like Lynx, chat programs like IRC etc. In fact I was happy to get a username like divya as I used to get a lot of chat requests from men in India :-))

The connection speed was in the range of approximately 300 to 400 bytes per second.

3. 1996 – Got my first TCP/IP connection, thanks to the company I was working for. Got the connection from the Managing Director, convincing him that I would create a website for the company. Got my first web based mail id, tcmohan@hotmail.com registered by my late friend CSK from the USA. I remember registering will all the mail service providers, tcmohan@yahoo.com. tcmohan@usa.net, etc.

Designed my first personal website, used paintshop pro and animation to create images. I was one of the very few among our peers, group to have a website and I used to flaunt it like one hell of a thing.

Connection speed was in the range of 1 to 2 KB per second.

4. 1997 – Started Bharatmail.com, a service for the Non-Resident Indians to send and receive letters to and from India. Relatives of the users will send the letter to our office in Chennai and we upload them to their user area. The letters, post cards were scanned, optimized for a smaller image size (approximately 50 KB) for a page and we have to upload approximately 200,300 images a day.

OH WHAT A TASK.. First connecting to the internet using a dial-up connection. Again our service provider stopped issuing accounts, so we have to get one in the bacl market for double the rate. The sound at which it gets connected, I will be able to say the speed. And it disconnects often, doesnt work for days. My dreams on those days will have the sound of my PC getting connected to Internet. I used to sit the whole night to upload all the images

Connection speed – 24 to 56 kbps, file uploads at the speed of 2 to 4 KB ps

4. 1999 – Got our Venture capital fund. First thing to do was to get a decent internet connection. The only choice was a radio tower. Our Country’s first private ISP, Sify was our choice. We were one of their first customers. Tower was laid at the cost of Rs. 200,000 with a monthly cost of s. 40,000. Even then there were some problems, however we were able to work at the speed of approximately 10 KB per second.

5. 2001 – Internet Revolution in India, Lots of private ISPs came into the market. We were able to use 256 and 512 kbps

6. 2006 – BSNL launched 2 mbps connection for common people.

7. 2007 – I started using GPRS at the speed of 50 kbps and people are talking about 3G services which will have a speed of 2mbps on mobile.

Hmmmmm just think of browsing at 1 byte per second on Netscape navigator, haven’t I crossed my dream day of browsing at decent speed ????

I am blessed, I can say our age group has been blessed with the exposure of the worst and the best times of the Internet and the Web

Happy One Web Day

Chandramohan

http://www.chandramohan.com

(Chandramohan is an entrepreneur based at Chennai, India and is Director – Communications with ISOC India Chennai)

Nov
15

a brief (news) story about the one who founded the One Web Day…

Susan Crawford

Susan Crawford

Susan Crawford and Kevin Werbach have been named today as Obama-Biden FCC Transition Team Leads.

Susan Crawford, is now a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and has recently ended her term as a member of the Board of Directors of ICANN and is the founder of OneWebDay. Kevin Werbach, is an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is also the founder of the Supernova Group and the organizer of Supernova, a leading executive technology conference.

Susan Crawford founded the One Web Day and here is her story of One Web Day. The content above is reproduced from CircleID.

Congratulations, Susan Crawford. And Congratulations, Kevin Werbach.

Oct
23

Love Connections Inspire on One Web Day

I have found “the one.” The only things separating us from a life of bliss are nine hours, 529 miles, five states and two full tanks of gas all on a college student’s budget. Without an online connection to the Internet, our connection to each other for the next two years that I’m away at school would be on the line.

Of course we send each other emails, pictures and videos to share our experiences, but the Internet provides so much more for nurturing our unconventional relationship.

As an actor working in New York, he can send me the link to see his role in a new music video; we can vote for the video on a music countdown site and then buy the single off iTunes. Meanwhile I, in North Carolina, can send him links to the videos I create for my journalism classes, keep him updated on my working blog and buy my plane ticket home to see him, all conveniently online.

Also, the Internet helps cut the cost of a long distance relationship. Though we don’t spend money on dates, my phone bills for the first few months I was away made my mom and dad cry. The Internet has helped us connect during the day through email, and then we can use the phone at night when we both have free minutes.

People tend to view the Internet as an organizational tool; as something that can speed up our already busy lives, but I see it quite differently. For me, it is more personal, and instead I can slow down, relax and connect with the one I love through an email with, “Baaaaaaabbeee! I miss you!” written on the subject line.

Meredith Larkin of the Elon School of Communications