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LeoGlossary: Internet

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A global system of billions of connected computers and other electronic devices. This can include smartphones, tablets, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. They are located in over 190 countries throughout the world.

The Internet itself is a decentralized medium since each node (computer) is independent. This differs at the services level which are mostly centralized.

The Internet allows for accessing of any information that is posted. It is also a communication medium that enables uses to interact with this each other.

World Wide Web

The Word Wide Web, also called the web, is a collection of websites that can be accessed through the Internet. A website is made up of related text, images, and other resources.

This is appealing to people beyond just IT specialists and people with technical skills. Websites allow for interaction by using common protocols.

Documents and downloadable media are made available to the network through web servers and can be accessed by programs such as browsers. Servers and resources on the World Wide Web are identified and located through character strings called uniform resource locators (URLs).

The Web was invented by English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee while working at CERN. He was driven by the problem as storing, updating, and finding documents and data files

While the terms are used interchangeably, there are differences.

When referring to the Internet, it is a connection of computer networks through telecommunication and optical networking. The World Wide Web is a global collection of documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URIs.

The World Wide Web has been central to the development of the Information Age and is the primary tool most use to interact on the Internet.

Stages

There are two recognized stages of the Internet with a 3rd starting to form. They are realized after the fact, depicting the evolution of the Internet.

Web 1.0

Early users are content consumers with most of the medium being text. Web pages were static for the most part. Web pages were built by trained personnel. Sites were basically "read-only" providing one-way communication.

This was in line with the original vision of the Internet as an information system. Both defense and academia, the earliest users and developers of the Internet, considered it a information and research medium.

Early attempts a e-commerce was rudimentary. People could browse online stores but purchase was usually tied to email. Payment systems were not commonplace.

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 - interaction became two way with web pages becoming dynamic. With the introduction of social media, consumers and content creators. In addition to text, video, audio, and photos were added. Mobile is also considered a key piece to Web 2.0.

Blogs and Vlogs became popular. Platforms such as Wordpress allowed for people to easily set up pages to share their content. Comments could be turned on enabling readers to engage with the author.

Advanced commerce started to become a core component of the Internet during this stage. Companies such as Amazon, Priceline, and eBay emerged. To facilitate payments, PayPal was started in the early 2000s to handle the financial end of things.

This was not native to the original protocols. The applications that were built ended up creating a siloed system. Each required different log in credentials since they were separate companies.

Additional forms of media were added. In addition to text and images, audio along with video files became popular.

This was the read/write stage.

Web 3.0

Web 3.0 is the vision that many believe the Internet will evolve into.

The first advancement is the storage of data. Web 2.0 is a server based system with the networks controlled by individual corporations. Usually the front end and back end infrastructure are controlled by the same entity.

Blockchain is at the core of this transition. The technology allows for the storage of data in a decentralized manner. Web 2.0 has a server system under the umbrella of one entity. With blockchain, the servers (nodes) are run by individuals or entities that are unrelated.

All data is replicated on each node. The network has mechanisms built in to arrive at consensus. Transactions that are not in agreement with the rest of the node will be disregarded.

Another major difference is account ownership. One of the major flaws with social media is the fact that Twitter, YouTube or Facebook can de-platform a user at anytime.

When this happens, all data is inaccessible to the user. Interaction with the network or anyone on it is denied.

Cryptocurrency is another change. It brings commerce native to the networks. This removes the need for an intermediary such as PayPal. Most of these networks have a digital wallet at the base layer.

This could open up the prospect of monetization of any website or community. Tokenization could change social media as much as it does finance.

Web 3.0 is believed to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is going to be personalized with the algorithms processing the choices of individuals.

Access will not only include present devices but also will enter mixed reality (MR) with virtual and augmented reality being part of the next evolution.

Advancing communication networks is going to be crucial for the full transition to Web 3.0. There is also a chance that quantum computing is incorporated as that technology advances.

History

The origins can be traced back to the time sharing of computer resources and packet switching in the 1960s.

We saw the communication protocols emerge in the 1970s by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the United States Department of Defense in collaboration with universities and researchers across the United States and in the United Kingdom and France.

The original idea was resource sharing on a backbone called ARPANET. It was embraced by the military and academic institutions.

In the 1980s, private funding for other commercial extensions came about. It was encouraged by worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies and the merger of many networks using DARPA's Internet protocol suite.

With the introduction of the World Wide Web, we 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. It also laid the foundation for commercialization of the medium.

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