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Sample essay topic, essay writing: The Internet - 1784 words
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The InternetThe Internet has an enormous impact on the American Experience. First, Itencourages the growth of businesses by providing new ways of advertisingproducts to a large audience, and thus helps companies to publicize theirproducts. Secondly, It allows more Americans to find out what goes on in othercountries by learning about other cultures and by exchanging their opinions andideas with other people worldwide. This may well promote a better globalunderstanding. Finally, by allowing people to access vast amounts ofinformation easily, it will change how they make decisions and ultimately alsotheir lifestyle.The Internet is a high-speed worldwide computer network which evolved from theArpanet. The Arpanet was created by the Pentagon in the late 1969 as a networkfor academic and defense researchers. In 1983, the National Science Foundationtook over the management of the Internet.
Now the Internet is growing fasterthan any other telecommunications system ever built. It is estimated that inthree years, the system will be used by over 100 million people (Cooke 61).Since the World Wide Web (WWW or W3) became popular through point-and-clickprograms that made it easier for non-technical people to use the Internet, over21,000 businesses and corporations have become accessible through the Internet(Baig 81). These companies range from corporate giants like IBM, AT&T, Ford andJ.C. Penny, to small law firms. 'With the Internet, the whole globe is onemarketplace and the Internet's information-rich WWW pages can help companiesreach new customers,' says Bill Washburn, former executive director ofCommercial Internet Exchange (Baig 81).Through the Internet, new opportunities to save money are created for companies.One of the bigger savings is the cost of transmission. It is estimated that theadministrative cost of trade between companies in the U.S
amounts to $250billion a year (Liosa 160). Sending an ordinary one-page e-mail message fromNew York to California via the Internet costs about a penny and a half, vs. 32cents for a letter and $2 for a fax (Liosa 158).Hale & Dorr for example, a Boston based law firm, uses the Internet to itsadvantage. If a client company requests a contract for a foreign distributor,it can send electronic mail over the Internet to a Hale & Dorr computer, where adraft document will be constructed from the text. A lawyer will then review thedocuments and ship them back over the Internet to the client, including a listof lawyers in the other country (Verity 81).The ability to process orders quickly has always been an important factor in thebusiness world, especially for mail-order companies. Traditional methodshowever tended to be fairly expensive. On the average it has cost mail-ordercompanies from $10 to $15 to process a telephone or mail order, says RodneyJoffe, president of American Computer Group Inc. Over the Internet, this costfalls to $4, and it is much faster this way, too (Verity 84).Advertising on the Internet is another way to endorse products. Hyatt HotelsCorporation for instance advertises its hotels and resorts, and it even offers adiscount for people who say they 'saw it on the net (Verity 81).'Hundreds of computer software companies now have their own Internet sites on theWorld Wide Web, where customers can get immediate support directly from theexperts or buy and register new software online.
Even magazine publishers arejoining the Internet to regularly publish special Internet versions of theirmagazines which are read by millions of people worldwide.The Internet attracts so many companies because they can use it as a tool forcommunication, marketing, advertising, sales, and customer support. It is notonly faster and more efficient than using traditional methods, but it is alsocheaper.The Internet doesn't just promote growth of businesses, it also creates new waysfor Americans to get in touch with the rest of the world. It lets people expandtheir horizons and learn about different countries and cultures by gettinginsight into others people's lives across the globe. One of the many ways inwhich this can be done is to use Internet Relay Chat (IRC). IRC is a multi-user chat system, where people worldwide can convene on 'channels' (a virtualplace, usually with a topic of conversation) to talk in groups, or privately.When people talk on IRC, everything they type will instantly be transmittedaround the world to other users who are connected at the time.
They can thentype something and respond to each other's messages.Since starting in Finland, IRC has been used in over seventy-five countriesspanning the globe. IRC is networked over much of North America, Europe, andAsia (Eddings 57). Topics of discussion on IRC are varied. Technical andpolitical discussions are popular, especially when world events are in progress.Not all conversations need to have a topic however. Some people simply talkabout their daily lives and experiences which they can share with thousands ofother people.
Most conversations are in English, but there are always channelsin German, Japanese, and Finnish, and occasionally other languages. On theaverage, there are between five and six thousand people from many countries andcultures online at once.In times when information from abroad is hard to acquire, it becomes clear howessential the Internet can be to global understanding. IRC gained internationalfame during the late Persian Gulf War, where updates from around the world cameacross the wire, and most people on IRC gathered on a single channel to hearthese reports. Even during the coup attempt in Russia, people were providinglive reports on the Internet about what was really going on (Eddings 48). Thesereports were widely circulated throughout the world over the Internet.One startling instance that shows the importance of international communicationthrough the Internet, is taking place in Croatia.
Halfway around the world, WamKat regularly types articles on the political situation and daily life in Zagreb,Croatia on his computer. Kat's articles are not published in Yugoslav papers ormagazines because the Croatian government owns all the media and alreadyprosecuted a group of journalists for treason. Kat's articles exist incyberspace only. He transfers them to a German Bulletin Board System via modem,from where they are spread to computers worldwide through the Internet.'Electronic mail is the only link between me and the outside world,' says Kat(Cooke 60).Kat is not the only one who participates in this community without boundaries.During recent coup attempts and catastrophes around the world, like theearthquake in Japan for example, the Internet provided and instant unfilteredlink to the rest of the world. The Internet is changing the way people relateto one-another. It is re-sorting society into 'virtual communities,' as oneauthor calls it (Cooke 61).
Now groups of people from a variety of cultures,religions and countries can meet on the Internet, exchange ideas and learn fromeach other, instead of being bound by geographical location.Although the Internet already has an enormous impact on Americans right now, itwill influence us even more in the near future. In 1994, the Clintonadministration requested a National Information Infrastructure, which would linkevery business, home, school and college (Cooke 64). That is why the Clintonadministration has made the building of an improved data highway the maincomponent of a determined plan to strengthen the U.S. economy in the 21stcentury (Silverstein 8). This improved national computer network will be calledThe Information Superhighway, which is nothing but an improved version of theInternet with a much greater capability for transmitting data.
'The world is onthe eve of a new era. The Information Superhighway will be crucial in creatinglong-term economic growth and maintaining U.S. leadership in basic science,mathematics and engineering,' says Vice President Al Gore, the Clintonadministration's leading high-tech advocate (Silverstein 9).The Information Superhighway will make it possible to merge today's broadcasting,500-channel cable TV, general video, telephone, and computer industries all intoone giant computer network, because it will have a much greater capacity thantoday's Internet. This is made possible by replacing ordinary telephone wireswith fiberoptic cable, which is made up of hair-thin strands of glass and cantransmit 250,000 times as much data as a conventional telephone wire(Silverstein 9).Through the Information Superhighway, our everyday living standards will begreatly improved. While the Internet primarily moves words, and is only able tobroadcast images and sound at a very slow rate, the Information Superhighwaywill easily allow us to transmit sound and images quickly, making real-timevideo conferencing and actual spoken conversations on the computer possible forpeople worldwide.
New technology like this will introduce even more practicaland convenient applications.'Virtual Medicine' for example could help save people's lives. If it is verydifficult for a patient to get to a medical specialist, surgery could beperformed over the Information Superhighway, through what is called Tele-presence Surgery. To be successful, It requires video, a fine motor control, atactile, and physical feedback. The information can be digitized andtransmitted over the Information Superhighway. The doctor will wear virtualreality goggles which contain small video screens that create a 3D-image of thepatient.
Sensors in the doctor's gloves, which will control robot-like hands onthe other end, will detect the position of the doctors fingers (Eddings 156).Since this method of surgery is intended to work between two distant sites, itmakes it possible for specialized doctors at major hospitals to operate at ruralclinics.The so-called Virtual Library, which will be established once the InformationSuperhighway is inaugurated, will greatly enhance the amount of information thatcan be accessed through computers. Already, people can search the Internet fordatabases of newspaper clippings, lists of government offices, supreme courtrulings, and even get limited access to the Library of Congress through a systemcalled MARVEL, which pulls together library catalogs from all over the worldinto one super catalog (Eddings 158). With the Information Superhighway, peoplewill be able to retrieve even more massive amounts of information. In thefuture, Instead of going to the library and checking out books, people willsimply turn on their home computer, log into another library mainframe computer,and be able to download large amounts of text, as they wish. Especially forinstitutions like schools and colleges, the Information Superhighway will have agreat potential for the improvement of general education and the accessibilityof important information.The Internet is having a major influence on America.
Its successor in the nearfuture, the Information Superhighway will continue to do so for a long time aswell. By creating new ways of publicizing products and helping businesses, theInternet has strengthened and reinforced the U.S. economy. It also promotes abetter global understanding by allowing millions of Americans to communicatewith other people on an international level because it provides a constant flowof instant, unbiased information for everyone at any time, anywhere. The abilityto obtain information quickly and easily will become very essential in thefuture, now that America is entering the information age.
The InformationSuperhighway, once built, promises a good start into the new era.BibliographyEddings, Joshua. How the Internet Works. California: Ziff-Davis Press, 1994.Cooke, Kevin. 'The whole world is talking.' Nation. July 12, 1993: 60-65.Verity, John.
'The Internet.' Business Week. November 14, 1994: 80-88.Silverstein, Ken. 'Paving the Infoway.' Scholastic Update. September 2, 1994:8-10. Liosa, Patty. 'Boom time on the new frontier.' Fortune.
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