Read e-book online A Brief History of the Future: From Radio Days to Internet PDF

By John Naughton

An intimate, gloriously written examine the communications revolution and the way it has spread out the world.The net is the main extraordinary factor humans have equipped because the pyramids. A millennium from now, historians will glance again at it and wonder humans built with such clumsy instruments succeeded in developing one of these leviathan.Yet whilst the web pervades our lives, we commence to take it with no consideration. now we have misplaced our ability for ask yourself. so much people do not know the place the net got here from, the way it works, or who created it and why. or even fewer have any proposal of what it ability for society and the future.John Naughton has written a hot and passionate publication that seeks to rescue the net from the condescension of posterity, to have fun the engineers and scientists who applied their desires in and software program, and to give an explanation for the values and ideas that drove them. even if its topic turns out technical, the e-book in truth is own. John Naughton writes in regards to the internet like Nick Hornby writes approximately football. a short historical past of the long run is an intimate social gathering of imaginative and prescient and altruism, ingenuity and backbone, and peculiarly the facility of principles to alter the world.". . . a desirable and hugely available historical past of the web choked with interesting anecdotes and stimulating insights." --David Puttnam"At final the net will get the background publication it deserves." --The Bookseller

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Over 20,000 Websites - some of them heavily trafficked sites - turned their pages black in protest. Senators and Congressmen were deluged with critical or angry A terrible beauty? 43 e-mail. Heavy legal artillery was trained on the Act - paid for by outfits like the Electronic Frontier Foundation as well as the American Civil Liberties Union. In the end the Act was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in June 1997 and American legislators are still wondering what hit them. The coherence of the Net is sometimes its most surprising quality.

These were huge machines which converted mechanical energy into electricity for transmission and distribution. As Adams became accustomed to the great gallery of machines, he began to think of the forty-foot leviathans as: a moral force, much as the early Christians felt the cross. The planet itself seemed less impressive, in its old-fashioned, deliberate, annual or daily revolution, than this huge wheel, revolving within arm'slength at some vertiginous speed, and barely murmuring - scarcely humming an audible warning to stand a hair's-breadth further for respect of power - while it would not wake the baby lying close against its frame.

But it might just as easily have gone round the back way, via Singapore and the Pacific. It all depends on which channels were available when the various switching stations on its route were deciding where to pass it next. To the Net, one channel is almost as good as another. And since everything travels at the speed of light, distance doesn't really come into the calculation. My request was a simple short message - the characters which make up the text-string 'Salk Institute' plus the address (IP number) of my machine and some other stuff added by Netscape - so it probably was transmitted as a single electronic packet.

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