Eightball and Thundercloud's RANT

Our Little Rant by Eightball & Thundercloud
From InfoAve Premium Issue #90 - July 8, 2005
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The following is an excerpt from our brand new e-book entitled "Lions and Tigers and Bears - A Common Sense Guide to The Internet and Computers".

The Future of The Internet - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good

The past ten years have brought about miraculous changes on the World Wide Web. Come to think of it, not many of us refer to it as the World Wide Web (WWW) anymore, Most call it "the Internet".

The Internet is a vast network of interconnected computers to which you and I connect. More than half the households in the United States have access to the Internet. Compare that to just six years ago, when less than 10% of all homes had Internet access. There will come a time in most of our lifetimes when 80% of the world's population will have access to the Internet; dial-up connections will be a thing of the past; super-fast (even faster than broadband) connections will enable nearly instant access to huge files, lightening-fast browsing, and nearly instantaneous access to information.

Most government leaders now recognize that high-speed Internet is essential and needs to be made available to the majority of all citizens. Now, in fact, many countries, including the USA, are forging plans to expand high-speed and super high-speed Internet services to remote, rural areas. Within the next five years, most of you who now connect to the Internet using dial-up connections will have access to high-speed connections for about the same cost as you're paying today. Adjusted for inflation, you'll actually be paying less for the new high-speed access than you do for the turtle-slow dial-up connection you have today. The term "dial-up" will become as dated as the term "ice box".

Wireless networks and so-called wireless "Hot Spots" will become accessible from almost everywhere. Right now, as this is being written, the entire city of Philadelphia is setting up wireless transmitters all over the city to bring wireless access to the Internet to the entire downtown area. You'll be able to access the Internet from a park bench in any city park and browse the Web, send email, or buy a new camera on line, while enjoying any city park. In the coming years, most cities will offer free wireless access to citizens in their downtown areas.

Cell phones will be replaced by new more reliable technology like wireless Internet phones using VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). You'll not only be able to talk on your phone, but shop, browse, email, chat, and search the Internet. And it will cost much less than cellular phones do today. You won't have to put off your call until Saturday because you're running out of minutes. Wireless Internet Phones will give you unlimited access and usage time limited only by your phone's battery. Imagine, no more limited minutes, no more "night and weekends", no counting minutes. Just pick up your wireless Internet phone and make the call, browse the Web, send an email, chat with friends, or do some online shopping, all for one monthly fee. Competition will be plentiful and prices will be much more affordable than today's cell phones.

Online shopping will expand and Internet security will be improve and become nearly inscrutable.  Passwords and user names will no longer be used for financial transactions and services on the Web. Instead your own thumbprint will be your key to access your private data. Thumbprint readers and thumbprint technology is already here and it's only a matter of time before it comes to the Internet. Soon, when you use your credit card at your local retailer, you'll verify your identity with your thumbprint. That way, only you can use your credit card. Identity theft will be far less common.

The Internet will become as common in most homes as television. In fact, in the near future, when super high-speed access becomes widely available and inexpensive, television and computers will merge into family entertainment/information/communications centers, where one can watch and record movies, TV shows, browse the Internet, make telephone calls, video-calls, chat with friends, send email, instantly view and share photographs and home movies, and do things we cannot even imagine today. Technologies will merge and grow; the Internet will be the force driving this brave new world. Certainly a new and marvelous age is dawning and it will be an exciting time for us all.

Despite all its flaws and seamy sides, the Internet is still and will always be a wonderful and exciting place.

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This article is from our newest e-book "Lions and Tigers and Bears" We hope you will consider purchasing our brand new e-book. Not only will you love it, but you'll be helping support our site! See your Information Avenue or InfoAve Premium newsletter to learn how to obtain your own copy of "Lions and Tigers and Bears - A Common Sense Guide to the Internet and Computers".

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Opinions expressed herein are the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Cloudeight Internet LLC, its hosts, or sponsors. These Rants are editorials and are,  therefore, opinions. All content is copyright 2005 by Cloudeight Internet LLC (all rights reserved)