December 08, 2020

#08-020: The Internet

Map of Internet users in 2015 as a percentage of a country's population

Note: No invention in recent decades has affected our lives like the easy access to information--or the ability to communicate with others via text, image, and even video--enabled by the internet. But how did it all begin?

Get Ready: Where are you reading this right now? On a computer in your home, or at school or the library? On your phone (or someone else's)? How do you usually access the internet?

In its earliest days, what became the internet was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense as a means of time-sharing on the very few available computers. The "nodes" were found in just two locations, both of them universities in California. But by 1971, there were 15 such sites.

The system became international on a limited basis starting in 1973, primarily for use by academics. Various protocols were developed to create "a network of networks." TCP/IP, still in use today, was implemented in 1974 and standardized in 1982.

Commercial ISPs (Internet Service Providers) emerged in the United States and Australia in 1989, bringing internet to users outside of academia and government. Around that year there were some half-million users. The first "web browser" was written by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, along with HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and HTML (HyperText Markup Language). The World Wide Web (WWW) debuted in 1991.

InterNIC (now called the Network Information Center), which is responsible for the allocation of domain names, was established in 1993, the same year that AOL (America Online) added USENET access, and the Mosaic web browser was released.

By the mid-1990s, things were starting to take the shape we're familiar with today. The Yahoo! web directory premiered in 1994; Amazon and eBay started in 1995; Hotmail came out in 1996, and Google Search in 1997. Blogging began to become popular about this time. PayPal went live in 1998 and the Chinese search engine Baidu in 2000. Social media became active in the middle of the first decade of the new millennium. Facebook, for example, was founded in 2004.

Studies of two-way telecommunication show that in 1993, only about 1% of the world's telecommunicated information was being carried through the internet; by 2000, the figure was 15%, and by 2007 it was more than 97%!


Read more:

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. academia
  2. blogging
  3. debuted
  4. HTML
  5. millennium
  6. nodes
  7. providers
  8. standardized
  9. telecommunication
  10. time-sharing

  1. network connection points
  2. creation of online journals, etc.
  3. use of one computer by users at different terminals
  4. premiered; came out for the first time
  5. a "language" used for creating online documents
  6. using fixed rules
  7. universities, colleges, etc.
  8. people or companies who make something available
  9. period of 1,000 years
  10. sending of information by radio waves or landlines

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for December 8, 2020

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. g; 2. b; 3. d; 4. e; 5. i; 6. a; 7. h; 8. f; 9. j; 10. c