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The Future of the Internet


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Overview of the history, evolution and future of the Internet, presented to Central Texas World Future Society (in an earlier version) and IEEE Central Texas Consultants' Network (this version).

Published in: Technology

The Future of the Internet

  1. The Future of the Internet<br />Concept by Mac Funamizu,<br />
  2. source:<br />
  3. From Mindwest Strategies (<br />
  4. History<br />
  5. Evolution<br />Arpanet (as of 1983)and NSFNet (1985): TCP/IP networks for research and development<br />NSFNet opened to other networks, esp. mail (1988)<br />World Wide Web via HTML and HTTP (1989-1991)<br />
  6. Evolution of Applications<br />Email, Newsgroups, IRC chat, instant messaging for communication<br />FTP for moving data<br />Archie, Veronica, WAIS for finding data<br />World Wide Web for presentation/display<br />Altavista, then Google, for finding data on the web<br />Content Management Systems for publishing<br />Blogs and Wikis for sharing information<br />Social Networks for finding others, connecting, sustaining connection, sharing media and data<br />
  7. What’s been changing<br />Broadband: higher speeds<br />Adoption: more people online<br />Everything is miscellaneous: information explodes, “wants to be free” and findable<br />Skype (et al) vs distance: cheap, immediate communication<br />Post-Broadcast: Hulu/BitTorrent/Netflix vs television<br />Politics: Grassroots Adhocracies, Tea Party, Egypt and the Middle East<br />Mobility: the world in your pocket, augmented reality<br />
  8. ~ Pew Internet<br /><br />
  9. Effects<br />Network effect: everybody gets your email; the Internet becomes exponentially more useful and productive<br />Down side: Unmanageable deluge of useful information<br />Even more unmanageable deluge of useLESS information - spam and noise (~90% of email is spam)<br />The Internet grows more valuable, and “money changes everything”<br />
  10. Future<br />
  11. Scenarios: Network<br />Internet: Free and open network of networks, end to end principle, “dumb network.” Facilitated by Freedom Box?<br />Cable television: limited selections delivered with a high quality of service. Relatively high barrier to entry on the content side<br />Balkanized hybrid: walled gardens and pay walls plus low-bandwidth, lower-value everything else; providers and users pay for higher QoS<br />
  12. Network Neutrality<br />“Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a buzzword used to describe a principle proposed for users' access to networks participating in the Internet. The principle advocates no restrictions by Internet service providers and governments on content, sites, platforms, the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and the modes of communication.”<br /><br />
  13. For less than $1,000, he could get his idea onto the Internet. He needed no permission from the network provider. He needed no clearance from Harvard to offer it to Harvard students. Neither with Yale, or Princeton, or Stanford. Nor with every other community he invited in. Because the platform of the Internet is open and free, or in the language of the day, because it is a “neutral network,” a billion Mark Zuckerbergs have the opportunity to invent for the platform. And though there are crucial partners who are essential to bring the product to market, the cost of proving viability on this platform has dropped dramatically. You don’t even have to possess Zuckerberg’s technical genius to develop your own idea for the Internet today. Websites across the developing world deliver high quality coding to complement the very best ideas from anywhere. This is a platform that has made democratic innovation possible—and it was on the Facebook platform resting on that Internet platform that another Facebook co-founder, Chris Hughes, organized the most important digital movement for Obama, and that the film’s petty villain, Sean Parker, organized Causes, one of the most important tools to support nonprofit social missions.<br />~ Larry Lessig<br />
  14. How should we experience the Internet? Should our Interface with the world and its data be owned and controlled by corporations? Or public? Or distributed?<br />What does it mean for a Facebook or Google to “own” a network effect, personal data for whole populations, core interface and infrastructure?<br />
  15. Freedom Box: a “privacy appliance” proposed by attorney and free software proponent EbenMoglen. A personal server running a free software operating system, with free applications designed to create and preserve personal privacy.<br />
  16. Questions<br />Identity: who has a right to your data? How do you manage the manifestation and use of your identity online?<br />Power: who has authority for a relationship? Example: vendor/customer – who has a right to manage the relationship?<br />Abundance: how do you manage information and sustain an accurate world perspective with literally millions of potential information channels?<br />
  17. Scenarios: Applications<br />Many distributed sites, platforms, and applications, open architectures, data portability<br />Mobile and targeted applications<br />Recasting the stockpile of information in usable form (Doug Imbruce in Newsweek, “The Wild, Wild Web”) – Qwiki / Curated information experience: machines filter and present content<br />Facebook/Twitter and Google rule: people filter, find, and present content (with help from search tools)<br />
  18. Scenarios: TechnoUtopian?<br />DIY home, media environment, life<br />Empowered patient<br />Empowered citizen<br />Sustainable communities<br />Networked transportation<br />Noosphere (global consciousness)<br />Singularity/Superintelligence<br />
  19. Jon Lebkowsky<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />