Internet

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The Internet

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Internet could use some help. Please research the article's assertions. Whatever is credible should be sourced, and what is not should be removed.

Every single one of the 247 billion facts on the internet is wrong.
—Jeremy Clarkson[1]

The internet, Internet, interwebs, or internets is a global network of millions of smaller computer networks and was invented by Al Gore. It is not to be confused with the "World Wide Web" that gives us the www subdomain, any series of tubes you might come upon, or real life.

[edit] "Internet" vs. "World Wide Web"

Use it at your own risk.

What most people call the "Internet" is actually the World Wide Web, as the general public will use the terms interchangeably.

The Internet began as several computer linkages within the state of California. While most people think the Internet was created in the late 80s or early 90s, the Internet actually began in 1969, and has roots which are much older than that. The de facto creation occurred in October 1969, with what was called the ARPANET, when "e-mail" messages were first exchanged by two university computers: one at Stanford University, and the other at U.C.L.A. Through a series of various developments and incarnations in the 70's, this later gave way to TCP/IP by 1982, whose final form (well, mostly excluding IPv6) is today's Internet.

By contrast, the World Wide Web, which was developed in 1989-1990 and publicly launched in 1991, is a series of tubes collection of hypertext documents and domains that use the internet via web servers. It took until about 1997 for this to become anything like today's internet, and computer speeds have increased exponentially since then. Few imagine that the internet existed before the '90s, but it was very much around. It was used mainly by the government, the military, and university personnel, as only they were able to afford the computing resources required. Even the "mini" computers[wp] then in use were the size of file cabinets, and needed more or less constant expert attention.

[edit] Content

The Internet is Sturgeon's Law taken to the extreme. It is even worse as much of the information is old...and potentially out of date.

The important thing to realize is that anybody can set up a web site which means that its reliability is questionable. Even websites set up by governments are limited in how much they can provide and "professional" sites can be flat out wrong.

For example, one web site claims South Carolina did expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act...that is in fact wrong. The reality is South Carolina did not expand Medicaid.

Another example is a government page states it was last updated in 2009...which mean acting on what information it does give is dangerous as the information doesn't reflect changes in Federal or state laws since the page was last updated.

Sometime the clues to a website being out of date are in the site's content. For example, one site uses $5.15 per hour as the Federal minimum wage in its examples. Referencing the US Department of Labor website shows that the minimum wage was raised to $5.85 per hour Jul 24, 2007 so you know that the information was created before that date and therefore is very old.

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Qi[wp] (E04S02)
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