Why learn about the internet 7


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Why learn about the internet 7

  1. 1. Why Learn About the Internet? To say that the Internet has had a big effect on organizations of all types and sizes would be a huge understatement. Since the early 1990s, when the Internet was first used for commercial purposes, it has affected all aspects of business. Businesses use the Internet to sell and advertise their products and services, reaching out to new and existing customers. If you are undecided about a career, you can use the Internet to investigate career opportunities and salaries using sites such as www.monster.com and HotJobs at www.yahoo.com. Most companies have Internet sites that list job opportunities, descriptions, qualifications, salaries, and benefits. If you have a job, you probably use the Internet daily to communicate with coworkers and your boss. People working in every field and at every level use the Internet in their jobs. Purchasing agents use the Internet to save millions of dollars in supplies every year. Travel and events-management agents use the Internet to find the best deals on travel and accommodations. Automotive engineers use the Internet to work with other engineers around the world developing designs and specifications for new automobiles and trucks. Property managers use the Internet to find the best prices and opportunities for commercial and residential real estate. Whatever your career, you will probably use the Internet daily. This chapter starts by exploring how the Internet works and then investigates the many exciting opportunities for using the Internet to help you achieve your goals. Internet A collection of interconnected networks, all freely exchanging information. USE AND FUNCTIONING OF THE INTERNET ARPANET A project started by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in 1969 as both an experiment in reliable networking and a means to link DoD and military research contractors, including many universities doing military-funded research. Internet Protocol (IP) A communication standard that enables traffic to be routed from one network to another as needed. A Brief History of the Internet ARPANET is created TCP/IP becomes the protocol for ARPANET 1969 1982 Domain Name System (DNS) is created Tim Berners-Lee creates the World Wide Web 1984 1991 Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX) Association is established to allow businesses to connect to the Internet 1991
  2. 2. How the Internet Works Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) The widely used Transport-layer protocol that most Internet applications use with IP. backbone One of the Internet’s high-speed, long-distance communications links. Uniform Resource Locator (URL) An assigned address on the Internet for each computer. U.S. Top-Level Domain Affiliations com edu Business sites Educational sites gov net Government sites Networking sites org Nonprofit organization sites Accessing the Internet Several Ways to Access the Internet Users can access the Internet in several ways, including using a LAN server, dialing into a server using the telephone lines, using a high-speed service, or accessing the Internet over a wireless network. Connect via LAN Server This approach is used by businesses and organizations that manage a local area network (LAN). By connecting a server on the LAN to the Internet using a router, all users on the LAN are provided access to the Internet. Business LAN servers are typically connected to the Internet at very fast data rates, sometimes in the hundreds of Mbps. In addition, you can share the higher cost of this service among several dozen LAN users to allow a reasonable cost per user. Connect via Dial-up Connecting to the Internet through a dial-up connection requires a modem that allows the computer to use standard phone lines. The modem then contacts a server managed by the Internet service provider (ISP). Dial-up connections use TCP/IP protocol software plus Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) or Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) software. SLIP and PPP are two communications protocols that transmit packets over telephone lines, allowing dial-up access to the Internet. After the connection is made, you are on the Internet and can access any of its resources. Dial-up is considered the slowest of connections because it is restricted
  3. 3. by the 56 Kbps limitation of traditional phone line service. A dial-up connection also ties up the phone line so that it is unavailable for voice calls. Connect via High-Speed Service Several “high-speed” Internet services are available for home and business. They include cable modem connections from cable television companies, DSL connections from phone companies, and satellite connections from satellite television companies. These technologies were discussed in Chapter 6. High-speed services provide data transfer rates between 1 and 7 Mbps. Unlike dial-up, high-speed services provide “always connected” service that does not tie up the phone line. Connect Wirelessly In addition to connecting to the Internet through wired systems such as phone lines and television cables, wireless Internet access is very popular. Thousands of public Wi-Fi services are available in coffee shops, airports, hotels, and elsewhere, where Internet access is provided free, for an hourly rate, or for a monthly subscription fee. Wi-Fi is even making its way into aircraft, allowing business travelers to be productive during air travel by accessing e-mail and corporate networks.6 Cell phone carriers also provide Internet access for handsets or notebooks equipped with connect cards. New 3G mobile phone services rival wired high-speed connections enjoyed at home and work. Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and other popular carriers are working to bring 4G service to subscribers soon. 4G cell phone service will compete strongly against today’s wired services. Wireless devices also require specific protocols and approaches to connect. Internet Service Providers Internet service provider (ISP) Any company that provides Internet access to people or organizations THE WORLD WIDE WEB World Wide Web A collection of tens of millions of server computers that work together as one in an Internet service using hyperlink technology to provide information to billions of users. hyperlink Highlighted text or graphics in a Web document that, when clicked, opens a new Web page or section of the same page containing related content. Web browser Web client software such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari used to view Web pages. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) The standard page description language for Web pages. HTML tags Codes that let the Web browser know how to format text—as a heading, as a list, or as body text—and whether images, sound, and other elements should be inserted.
  4. 4. Extensible Markup Language (XML) The markup language for Web documents containing structured information, including words, pictures, and other elements. Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) A file or portion of an HTML file that defines the visual appearance of content in a Web page. Web 2.0 and the Social Web Web 2.0 The Web as a computing platform that supports software applications and the sharing of information between users. rich Internet application Software that has the functionality and complexity of traditional application software, but does not require local installation and runs in a Web browser. Web Programming Languages Java An object-oriented programming language from Sun Microsystems based on C++ that allows small programs (applets) to be embedded within an HTML document. Developing Web Content The art of Web design involves working within the technical limitations of the Web and using a set of tools to make appealing designs. Popular tools for creating Web pages and managing Web sites include Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expression Web, and Nvu. (See Figure 7.8.) Today’s Web development applications allow the user to create Web sites using software that resembles a word processor. The software includes features that allow the developer to work directly with the HTML code or use autogenerated code. Web development software also helps the designer keep track of all files in a Web site and the hyperlinks that connect them. Web Services Web services Standards and tools that streamline and simplify communication among Web sites for business and personal purposes. Internet and web application search engine A valuable tool that enables you to find information on the Web by specifying words that are key to a topic of
  5. 5. interest, known as keywords. Business Uses of the Web In 1991, the Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX) Association was established to allow businesses to connect to the Internet. Since then, firms have been using the Internet for a number of applications, as discussed in this section. E-mail, Instant Messaging, and Video Chat . E-mail is no longer limited to simple text messages. Depending on your hardware and software and the hardware and software of your recipient, you can embed images, sound, and video in a message and attach any kind of file. The authors of this book, for example, attached instant messaging A method that allows two or more people to communicate online using the Internet Career Information and Job Searching The Internet is an excellent source of job-related information. People looking for their first job or seeking information about new job opportunities can find a wealth of information. Search engines can be a good starting point for searching for specific companies or industries. You can use a directory on Yahoo’s home page, for example, to explore industries and careers. Most medium and large companies have Internet sites that list open positions, salaries, benefits, and people to contact for further information. The IBM Web site, www.ibm.com, has a link to “Jobs at IBM.” When you click this link, you can find information on jobs with IBM around the world. Some Internet sites specialize in certain careers or industries. The site www.directmarketingcareers.com lists direct marketing jobs and careers. Some sites can help you develop a résumé and find a good job. They can also help you develop an effective cover letter for a résumé, prepare for a job interview, negotiate an employment contract, and more. In addition, several Internet sites specialize in helping you find job information and even apply for jobs online, including www.monster.com, www.hotjobs.com, and Telnet, SSH, and FTP File Transfer Protocol (FTP) A protocol that describes a file transfer process between a host and a remote computer and allows users to copy files from one computer to another.
  6. 6. Web Log (Blog), Video Log (Vlog), and Podcasting Web log (blog) A Web site that people can create and use to write about their observations, experiences, and feelings on a wide range of topics. Usenet and Newsgroups Usenet is an older technology that uses e-mail to provide a centralized news service. Topic areas in Usenet are called newsgroups. A newsgroup is essentially an online discussion group that focuses on a particular topic. Newsgroups are organized into various hierarchies by general topic, and each topic can contain many subtopics. Table 7.7 provides some examples. Usenet is actually a protocol that describes how groups of messages can be stored on and sent between computers. Following the Usenet protocol, e-mail messages are sent to a host computer that acts as a Usenet server. This server gathers information about a single topic into a central place for messages. A user sends e-mail to the server, which stores the messages. The user can then log on to the server to read these messages or have software on the computer log on and automatically download the latest messages to be read at leisure. Thus, Usenet forms a virtual forum for the electronic community, and this forum is divided into newsgroups. Blogging, RSS, and social networking sites have drawn many users away from Usenet forums. Chat Rooms chat room A facility that enables two or more people to engage in interactive “conversations” over the Internet. Internet Phone and Videoconferencing Services Internet phone service enables you to communicate with others around the world. This service is relatively inexpensive and can make sense for international calls. With some services, you can use the Internet to call someone who is using a standard phone. You can also keep your phone number when you move to another location. According to one Internet phone user who moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Californ Social Networks Social networking Web sites provide Web-based tools for users to share information about themselves with people on the Web and to find, meet, and converse with other members. The most popular social networking sites are MySpace and Facebook. Both sites provide members with a personal Web page and allow them to post photos and information about themselves (see Figure 7.15). Social networking sites allow members to send messages to each Media Sharing Media-sharing Web sites such as YouTube for video sharing and Flickr for photo sharing provide methods for members to store and share digital media files on the Web. YouTube allows members to post homemade video content in categories such as comedy, entertainment, film and animation, how-to, news, people, pets, sports, and travel. As mentioned earlier, Flickr allows members to upload photos to their own personal online photo album and choose photos to share with the community. Social Bookmarking Social bookmarking sites are another example of Web 2.0. These sites provide a way for Web
  7. 7. users to store, classify, share, and search Web bookmarks—also referred to as favorites. The typical purpose of social bookmarking sites is to provide a view of the most popular Web sites, videos, blog articles, or other Web content at any given moment. Often social bookmarking sites include Web browser add-ons (extensions) that provide a button on the toolbar for recommending Web content. For example, del.icio.us is a social bookmarking Web site that provides a “what’s hot right now” button. When you sign up for del.icio.us, you can Content Streaming content streaming A method for transferring multimedia files over the Internet so that the data stream of voice and pictures plays more or less continuously without a break, or very few of them; enables users to browse large files in real tim e. Shopping on the Web bot A software tool that searches the Web for information such as products and prices. Web Auctions Web auction An Internet site that matches buyers and sellers. Music, Radio, Video, and TV on the Internet Music, radio, and video are hot growth areas on the Internet. Audio and video programs can be played on the Internet, or files can be downloaded for later use. Using music players and music formats such as MP3, discussed in Chapter 3, you can download music from the E-Books and Audio Books Digital books, both in text and audio form, are growing in popularity thanks to appealing devices and services. Amazon’s e-book reader called the Kindle jump-started the e-book market with its small form factor and high capacity.33 The Kindle wirelessly connects to Amazon’s e-book service using free wireless service from Sprint to download books, blogs, newspapers, and periodicals. It can store about 200 books. Office on the Web Having an Internet office with access to files and information can be critical for people who travel frequently or work at home. An Internet office is a Web site that contains files, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, an appointment calendar, and more. Using a standard Web browser, you can access important business information. An Internet office allows your desktop computer, phone books, appointment schedulers, and other important information to be with you wherever you are. Internet Sites in Three Dimensions Some Web sites offer three-dimensional views of places and products. For example, a 3-D Internet auto showroom allows people to select different views of a car, simulating the experience of walking around in a real auto showroom. (See Figure 7.18.) When looking at a
  8. 8. 3-D real estate site on the Web, people can tour the property, go into different rooms, look at the kitchen appliances, and even take a virtual walk in the garden. Map Web sites and Internet-powered software like Windows Live Search and Google Earth provide views of cities and locations in a 3-D environment.34 Second Life provides an Other Internet Services and Applications Other Internet services are constantly emerging. A vast amount of information is available over the Internet from libraries. Many articles that served as the basis of the sidebars, cases, and examples used throughout this book were obtained from university libraries online. Movies can be ordered and even delivered over the Internet. The Internet can provide critical information during times of disaster or terrorism. During a medical emergency, critical intranet An internal corporate network built using Internet and World Wide Web standards and technologies; used by employees to gain access to corporate information. extranet A network based on Web technologies that links selected resources of a company’s intranet with its customers, suppliers, or other business partners. virtual private network (VPN) A secure connection between two points on the Internet. tunneling The process by which VPNs transfer information by encapsulating traffic in IP packets over the Internet. NET ISSUES Management issues. Although the Internet is a huge, global network, it is managed at the local level; no centralized governing body controls the Internet. Preventing attacks is always an important management issue. Increasingly, states are proposing legislation to help collect sales tax from Internet sales. • Service and speed issues. The growth in Internet traffic continues to be significant. Traffic volume on company intranets is growing even faster than the Internet. Companies setting up an Internet or intranet Web site often underestimate the amount of computing power and communications capacity they need to serve all the “hits” (requests for pages) they get from Web cruisers. • Privacy, fraud, security, and unauthorized Internet sites. As use of the Internet grows, privacy, fraud, and security issues become even more important. People and companies are reluctant to embrace the Internet unless these issues are successfully addressed. Unauthorized and unwanted Internet sites are also problems some companies face. A competitor or an unhappy employee can create an Internet site with an address similar to a company’s. When someone searches for information about the company, he or she might find an unauthorized site instead. While the business use of the Web has soared, online scams have put the brakes on some