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  1. 1. Brief lectures in Media History Chapter 11 Networks (14 of 15)
  2. 2. This lecture is about  Networks and the WWW  How the vision preceded the tech  Who missed the ‘curve in the road’  Early attempts at wysiwyg networks ◦ Particularly noteworthy: Minitel  Cyberspace independence & network neutrality  Browser wars  How networks are valued
  3. 3. Early networks
  4. 4. H.G.Welles, sci-fi author “Both the assembling and the distribution of knowledge in the world at present are extremely ineffective... [We] are beginning to realize that the most hopeful line for the development of our racial intelligence lies rather in the direction of creating a new world organ for the collection, indexing, summarizing and release of knowledge, than in any further tinkering with the highly conservative and resistant university system.” -- 1937
  5. 5. Vannevar Bush, 1949 “Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library...A “memex” is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications [which] may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility....Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them...There [will be] a new profession of trail blazers... who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record.”
  6. 6. J.C.L. Licklider, 1960 “It seems reasonable to envision, for a time ten or fifteen years hence, a thinking center that will incorporate the functions of present day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and retrieval. … An ‘intergalactic network’ in which … everybody could use computers anywhere and get at data anywhere in the world.
  7. 7. Martin Greenberger, 1964 “Barring unforeseen obstacles, an on-line interactive computer service, provided commercially by an information utility, may be as commonplace by 2000 AD as telephone service is today. By 2000 AD man should have a much better comprehension of himself and his system, not because he will be innately any smarter than he is today, but because he will have learned to use imaginatively the most powerful amplifier of intelligence yet devised.” The Computers ofTomorrow,”Atlantic Monthly, May 1964.
  8. 8. Ted Nelson, 1981 “Forty years from now -- if the human species survives -- there will be hundreds of thousands of files servers.And there will be hundreds of millions of simultaneous users.All this is manifest destiny.There is no point in arguing it. Either you see it or you don't.” (Literary Machines, 1981).
  9. 9. Timeline  1930s – 50s --Visionaries ◦ Welles, Bush, Licklider, Greenberger  1958 – US reacts to Russia’s Sputnik ◦ Russian satellite program  1968 – First network protocol  1973 – TCP/IP, Ethernet ◦ AT&T turns down network mgmt  1980s – Bitnet, NSFNet, Minitel (Fr.),Teletext (UK), CompuServ, Prodigy,America On Line  1989 – Tim Berners Lee WWW  1993 – NCSA ‘Mosaic’ Web browser
  10. 10. Information utility, 1984
  11. 11. UK 1980s, inside TV signal
  12. 12. Prodigy, US late 1980s
  13. 13. Minitel, 1980s-90s, France
  14. 14. AOL used pre-loaded graphics
  15. 15. Tim Berners-Lee & the WWW  No ‘eureka’ moment -- The idea grew over the years as he worked at CERN  “Suppose all the information stored on computers everywhere was linked.”  WWW first proposed in 1989, introduced over next four years.
  16. 16. Berners-Lee first web page 1989
  17. 17. Mosaic: First free browser, 1993 "By the power vested in me by nobody in particular, alpha/beta version 0.5 of NCSA's Motif- based networked information systems andWorldWideWeb browser, X Mosaic, is hereby released...” Saturday, 23.01.1993, 07:21 CST USA From University of Illinois supercomputing center.Marc Andreessen, leader of Mosaic development team
  18. 18. Mosaic (later Mozilla, Firefox)
  19. 19. First news web page, 1994 Note that graphics, although primitive, do not have to be pre- loaded any more.
  20. 20. Cyberspace Independence, 1996 John Perry Barlow “Declaration of Cyberspace Independence,” 1996 Governments of the IndustrialWorld, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone… I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us.You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear...
  21. 21. Web freedom: Reno v ACLU, 1997  US Congress passed Telecom Act 1996 -- Strict rules against web indecency  Case went to court as Reno v ACLU  Court sided with free expression, said the web would be fully protected like print, not regulated like broadcasting.  “The interest in encouraging freedom of expression in a democratic society outweighs any theoretical but unproven benefit of censorship.”
  22. 22. The ‘dot com’ bubble of 2000
  23. 23. founded 1994 • “Long-tail” book marketing served many small niche customers. • Believed that the volume of all the low popularity items can be greater than a few highly popular items. • Near $75 billion, 2013 • Purchased Washington Post newspaper in 2013 Amazon founder, Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos
  24. 24. Long tail marketing Zipf's Law ◦ If we order some large collection by size or popularity, the second element in the collection will be about half the measure of the first one, the third one will be about one-third the measure of the first one, and so on. ◦ In general, the k th-ranked item will measure about 1/ k of the first one. (Power law probability distribution) ◦ Ex -- out of one million books, the most popular 100 contribute a third of the total value, the next 10,000 another third, and the remaining 989,900 the final third.
  25. 25. Google founder Sergei Brin • Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, started research on the link structure of the WorldWide Web. In the process, they created a search engine that would become Google by 1998. • Improved browser search based not just on incidence of search terms, but rather, incidence of links to that page. • Revenue $60 billion in 2013 “There are sound reasons for traditional media to fear Google.” Ken Auletta, 2009 book on Google. Sergei Brin, Google founder
  26. 26. Browser wars
  27. 27. Browser wars
  28. 28. Laws of network value 1  Sarnoff’s law (David Sarnoff, RCA president, NBC chairman)  Conventional broadcasting ◦ Value for the number of people in audience. ◦ A network of 10 is only twice as valuable as a network of 5. ◦ Linear growth model ◦ Under-values network users because it is a one-way transmission model.
  29. 29. Laws of network value 2  Metcalfe’s law — Quadratic model (Robert Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet / built on Moore’s Law ) ◦ A network is valuable to the square of the number of users. ◦ A network of 10 is four times more valuable than a network of 5 (e.g., 5x5=25; 10x10=100). ◦ Theoretically, costs, in contrast, grow linearly. ◦ Although network value grows on a more than linear basis, its not quadratic growth.
  30. 30. Laws of network value 3  Reed’s law — Digital model (David P. Reed software engineer) ◦ A networks’ value doubles every time a user is added ◦ A network of 5 users would have a value of 32, while 6 would be 64, and 10 = 1,024 ◦ Not very intuitive – Network of 50,010 people isn’t worth a thousand times more than a network of 50,000. ◦ Over-values network users.
  31. 31. Laws of NetworkValue 3  Beckstrom’s law applied business model ◦ A network is valuable for the way it saves on the costs of transactions. ◦ The money a person saves in a network transaction is the value of that network to the user. ◦ EG - If a book costs $25, but it can be purchased for $15 on a network, then the network is worth $10 to that person based on that one transaction. ◦ The overall value of the network is how it saves money in all transactions.
  32. 32. Network neutrality  Different rates & access was a major issue with telegraph & telephones  Laws in EU prohibit discrimination but allow various costs under “Five directives”  US – ISPs can now slow services ◦ FCC Directive 2005, customers entitled to ”Any lawful content, any lawful application, any lawful device, and any provider.” Overridden by: ◦ Verizon v FCC, 2014, court ruled FCC has no authority to enforce net neutrality rules
  33. 33. Networks  Most users can’t take advantage of entire network. ◦ User value tends to plateau ◦ Then users divide up into sub-networks  Networks must facilitate innovation ◦ Or they will face circumvention  Closed networks fail ◦ (, for example)