- InducoInduxInductum – to lead in, persuade and introduce. The origin of the affiliate model saw the earliest marketers telling folks at the bazaar where the best products were to be found, why they were the best and then receive their kick-back for the referral. - Internet doesn’t work without commerce, the affiliate model allows scale and is how Google works. - Build something to attract attention, then work out who would be interested in buying that attention from you
- Herodotus, the Greek historian, detailed how a slave’s head might be shaved, a message tattooed and then once hair was grown back over the concealed message that slave would travel to the message’s intended recipient whereupon he would be shaved again so the message could be read and then, presumably, killed to prevent him falling into enemy hands. This was concealment but not encryption as the message was in plain text.Obviously this wasn’t particularly useful in terms of time. Messages might take months from being “written” to being “received”.
- To solve the problem of intercepted messages being read, encryption was required. Without encryption the entire Internet, and most of the global financial system comes crashing down.Al-Kindi, the Arabian philosopher and student of the Koran was examining the usage of individual letters in that book and started to do frequency analysis on those letters and their usage in words and phrases to better understand God’s intent and message. From this he made the mental leap that, if God’s words were unclear or hidden, couldn’t man also hide or obfuscate their messages to prevent an interceptor of a transmission (by camel) from reading them and therefore solve the problem Herodotus had with his Barber’s Salon. This was the birth of modern cryptography and was the most significant leap forward in secure communications until WWII.RSA: Public Key Encryption
The concept of “nothing” expressed as a number was created in C9th AD in India by Pingala and was called “sunya” meaning “nothing” which evolved into the word Zero.Romans had “N” to represent nothing, and others had a symbol to cover the absence of something, but Pingala was the first to work out that nothing was something.Without the concept of 0 as an entity, there was little hope of developing the further math that we came to.
The nextingredient was the concept of the flow of electrons being used to deliver power to a remote destination, and use that electricity to power applications and drive motion. There were earlier experiments using Frogs and other dissections to induce muscle movement via the application of electricity but it wasn’t until the late 19th century that what electricity actually is made sense
Morse Code, invented by Samuel Morse in 1876 was the first reliable electronic communication, and used a system of dots and dashes to transcribe alphabetic letters into electronic bursts, transmitted across wires spanning great distances. Although complicated to learn, once the skill had been acquired it was possible to send instantanious messages with very little error to people thousands of miles away, providing wires weren’t cut. It has been cited as one of the contributory factors in the US Civil War as it was certianly the first major modern conflict in which the Commander in Chief could be situated in the White House and make strategic decisions minute to minute – an advantage that just wasn’t available to Jefferson Davis.
Although the use of Zeros and Ones to represent other numbers, and the idea of a Base 2 counting system, had been around for hundreds of years it was British mathematician George Boole who tied the idea of logic to this existing idea of Base 2. This was named after him, becoming Boolean Logic and his work went on to inform the earliest microchip designs which would drive the explosion in electronics in the late C20th.
First transmission from the UK to the USA via a transatlantic cable, laid by Brunel’s immense SS Great Eastern ship. The message was from Queen Victoria and read “Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace and good will toward men.” This simple message took 17 hours to transmit, due to the experimental nature of the cable and the not fully-understood nature of conductivity and electrical resistance at the time.
Library sciences is a branch of data organization which was the first attempt to create an algorithmic model for data storage, tagging and retrieval. The challenge was to take a vast array of un-structured and un-classified data, whose content was unknown, and allow a user to call up any of those data on demand in a very rapid fashion. This system of assigning numbers to data with “names” in plain text was to form pivotal in the thinking behind the DNS and the addressing system of the Internet.
In a response to the need for collecting, analysing and storing data for later retrieval for the USA’s Social Security Department, and the Third Reich’s similar need, IBM invented their Tabulating Machine which was the first attempt at what has become “Big Data” and the first steps toward the kind of technology and methodology which would later power Google.
The risk of annihilation from nuclear bombs led to the USA’s DARPA commissioning a communications network than could not be disrupted by an atomic strike. This meant there must be no central point that could be destroyed which would cease the rest of the nodes on the network communicating.
The World’s First Web Server (almost) and Tim Berners Lee’s overview of what it is and what it should be used for. The cry to “publish all your documents” was an un-orthodox one, but it worked!
Like VHS before it removing the need to visit cinemas, and photography before that removing the need for another human being present for you to witness sex, Pornography drove the uptake of this new technology, killing off the need for that pesky trip to the video store in your best flashing mac to buy videos. Today, about 10-15% of searches on Google and about 4-6% of web sites are sexual content. The .xxx domain name is planned to remove the congestion from these rest of the web as, although the percentage of web sites that are porn is surprisingly low, the amount of time the average web user spends viewing those sites compared to other online activities is assumed to be high, although funnily enough people aren’t always entirely honest when responding to these types of surveys when they’re conducted.
August 11th 1994.The first recorded sale using the Internet was Sting’s album “Ten Summoner’s Tales” which sold for $12.48 on the now defunct site NetMarket.com
After the WWW had been up and running for a year, primarily at Universities and research institutions, the first web search engine was built to collect all the information on those websites and organise it in an archive or index of data which could be searched using any text string you specified. Directories like LII and DMOZ built on the Dewey Decimal idea of categorising information and data behind an addressable numeric system.
So, as we’ve seen the categorisation of words into topics is difficult and subjective. Google is only a machine, and struggles to tell the difference between Apple the fruit and Apple the technology company. They will continue to build clever mathematical models to deal with the ambiguity but they are also offering some small ranking advantage to web publishers who build their sites in such a way to indicate the meaning of content instead of just publishing that content. Here is a SERP for Chocolate Muffins that allows refinement by ingredient.
AR is becoming more popular but has yet to really take off. Several vendors are developing “worlds” wherein the usual “real world” monetization models for real estate can be applied to virtual real estate.
But that’s no good if you have to walk around holding your phone in front of your face all the time. Google released a prototype of their Glass project a few months ago, these may or may not take off!If they do, it really calls for more than just the long/lat of where you are and the GPS direction you’re facing, it requires what you’re looking AT to talk back to the computer in the glasses. This requires sensors, a common language to communicate with and most of all…
- What if your fridge has less food in it than you have told the fridge it should have? It will order some more, synching with your Outlook diary to see when you’re likely to be home for the delivery.- What if you walk past your friend in the street and you don’t notice? Your Google Glasses will flash up an icon, and remind you to congratulate them on their new job, which it discovered from their LinkedIn feed and the purchase of their new house, which it discovered from their Facebook feed.- What if a traffic light breaks? It will ping the local authority to alert them it needs fixing, and possibly deliver a list of preferred vendors who could fix it.- What if there’s heavy traffic 10 miles up the road? The sensors in the road will detect the extra weight isn’t moving as fast as usual and update your satnav.- What if your car is stolen? It can tell you where it was left, the sensors in its body tell you that its left rear wing is dented, it can file a claim with the insurance company, book itself in for a repair with an approved local garage and put a reminder in your diary to come and pick it up because the repair company’s computer gave it a date and time that the work would be finished.Most of the pieces for this are already in place…the data and booking systems, the Internet for a common machine language, the mobile networks for the transport of that communication, the RFID sensors to detect the damage to the car…Sound unrealistic? Bill Gates once said that people overestimate what’s possible in two years but vastly underestimate what’s possible in ten. If someone had told you in 1995 that in 5 year’s time the entirety of human knowledge would be available to you in seconds, from a device the size of a pack of cigarettes whilst in the middle of Snowdonia national park you’d have laughed at them right? Right?
Transcript of "The past, present and future of the internet"