What is more impressive than the pyramids, more beautiful than Michelangelo’s David and more important to mankind than the wondrous inventions of the Industrial Revolution? To the converted, there can be only one answer: the Internet - that undisciplined radical electronic communications network that is shaping our universe. Multimedia, the electronic publishing revolution, is entering every area of our lives – college, work and home. This new digital technology combines texts, video, sound and graphics to produce interactive language learning, football, music, movies, cookery and anything else you might be interested in.
The industrial age has matured into the information age; wherein the means to access, manipulate, and use information has become crucial to success and power. The electronic superhighway provides an entry to libraries, research institutions, databases, art galleries, census bureaus, etc. for those of us interested in intercultural communications. Cyberspace is a universal community, with instant access not only to information anywhere, but also to friends old and new around the globe.
The Internet is an amorphous global network of thousands of linked computers that pass information back and forth. While the Internet has no government, no owners, no time, no place, no country, it definitely has a culture, which frequently approaches anarchy; and it has a language, which is more or less English. People who interact in an Internet environment know how addresses are formed, how to use e-mail, ftp, Usenet News, Telnet, and other software tools.
Like all new worlds, Cyberspace has its own lingo, for example: e-bahn, i-way, online, freenet, web page, freeware, browser, gopher, archie, gateway. There are words to describe people who roam the net: netters, e-surfers, internet surfers, netizens, spiders, geeks … The Internet has its own prerogatives: for example, the dismissive term lurker for the person who hangs around the net, reading what is there but not contributing anything. The term flaming refers to the public humiliation of another netter as punishment for a real or imagined transgression against net culture.
Large-scale use of computer-to-computer transfer of information was implemented by the US military in the late 60s and early 70s – part of the superpower competition of the cold war and the arms race. The US military created an electronic network (Arpanet) to use computers for handling the transfer of large amounts of sensitive data over long distances at incredible speed. Computer-to-computer virtual connections, using satellites and fiber optics, have distinct advantages over telephone or radio communications in the event of a nuclear attack. Mathematicians and scientists (and their universities) have been linked and electronically exchanging information over the Internet since the mid-70s.
Now the Internet has become commercialized with private and public companies offering access to it. (CompuServe – is the best-known international electronic access provider). The Internet is being expanded and improved so that every home, every school, every institution can be linked to share data, information, music, video and other resources. If you have a computer or a computer terminal, some kind of connection (probably, modem and telephone line) to the Internet, and some kind of Internet service provider, you can participate in electronic communication and become a citizen of the global village.
Exercise 4. Answer the questions.
1. How do you understand the term “multimedia”?
2. What are the salient features of the information age?
3. What is your attitude to the lingo?
4. What can you add to the history of net creation?
5. What does it mean to be a citizen of the global village?
6. How long are you in the net? What do you like or dislike with it?
Exercise 5. Make up a plan to the part I of the text.
Exercise 6. Study the vocabulary to part II of the text “Surfing the Net”.
vehicle – знаряддя, засіб;
voluminous – великий, об’ємний;
necessarily – обовязково;
sound thinking – розсудливе (здорове) мислення;
invasion of privacy – вторгнення в приватні справи;