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HIS205 History and Impact of the Internet Case 1-4 and SLP 1-4

CASE 1

Pre-Internet Development and Web 1.0

Assignment Overview

As we said earlier, the development of the Internet involved a considerable period of more-or-less parallel evolution of a number of technologies and organizations. But like any process of social evolution, some events were more important than others in terms of influencing where we are today. Your task in this project is to identify some of those key turning points.

There are a lot of tools to help you. One of the most useful is “Hobbes’ Internet Timeline” found at http://www.zakon.org/robert/internet/timeline/, a compilation of key events in Internet evolution dating back to the 1950s. You should also be prepared to consult some of the readings and other resources suggested in the Background page as useful sources of information. Your aim is to get a picture clear in your mind about how the different threads of the Internet got woven together.

Case Assignment

For this assignment, write a 3- to 4-page paper that addresses the following question:

Identify what you consider to be the five most important and/or significant events contributing to the evolution of the modern Internet that occurred in the period 1800–1991.

Provide a few paragraphs explaining why you consider each event to be one of the most important Internet-related milestones. Be sure to cite any resources that you used. The fifth and last event in your catalog should be the following, from Hobbes’ 1991 listing:

World-Wide Web (WWW) released by CERN; Tim Berners-Lee developer (:pb1:). First Web server is nxoc01.cern.ch, launched in Nov 1990 and later renamed info.cern.ch.

Many of the events you choose will be listed in the Hobbes timeline, but it is not the only source you will want to draw on. Be sure to include examples of 1) technological developments and 2) social/organizational events in your listing.

Assignment Expectations

Your paper should be 3–4 pages in length and reflect your personal experiences with the timeline. The important part of the project assignments is to carefully assess your own experiences with the topic, and then reflect critically on what you might have learned about yourself and about situations through this assessment process.

The more you can use the exercise to develop personal implications for your growth as a potential businessperson as well as an Internet-savvy individual, the more value you will get out of the exercise.

SLP 1

Pre-Internet Development and Web 1.0

Your SLP assignment is to consider the great dot-com boom and bust and to understand its influence on the Internet of today. The dot-com bubble was the major watershed in the brief history of the Internet.

There is certainly no shortage of material describing this significant set of events. Probably the best place to begin for an overview is the following video:

CWnEconomy. (2012, February 24). Dot-com bubble documentary. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2FybpdrlYM

Here are two other good sources tracing these events:

Norwood, J. (2011). History of the Internet timeline. High Speed Internet. Retrieved from http://www.high-speed-internet-access-guide.com/articles/internet-timeline.html

WiseGeek. (2012). What was the dot-com bubble? Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-was-the-dot-com-bubble.htm

The Background page lists a number of other possible sources; in addition, the general resources listed in the syllabus and under Module 1 are worth consulting in many cases. Finally, you are encouraged to do your own independent research on the Internet itself; Google can deliver to you in seconds vast quantities of information. Try not to drown in it, however.

Optional Reading

Kehoe, B. (1992). Zen and the Art of the Internet: A Beginner’s Guide to the Internet. First Edition. Retrieved from http://www.cs.indiana.edu/docproject/zen/zen-1.0_toc.html

Spirecast Team. (2009). History of e-commerce. Retrieved from Spirecast: http://www.spirecast.com/history-of-e-commerce/

SLP 1 Assignment

After you have reviewed some of the sources about the bubble and have a good feel for it, you will be in a position to write a short (3- to 4-page) paper on the topic: The Major Effects of the “Dot-Com Bubble Burst” on the Internet of Today. You are expected to address the following questions in your paper:

  • What are the positive and negative effects of the dot-com bubble burst on the Internet of today?
  • What lessons were learned from the dot-com bubble burst? What is your conclusion about the major effects of the dot-com bubble burst  on the current Internet?

SLP 1 Assignment Expectations

Your paper should be 3–4 pages long. Take a definite stand on the issues, and develop your supporting argument carefully. Using material from the background information and any other sources you can find to support specific points in your argument is highly recommended; try to avoid making assertions for which you can find no support other than your own opinion.

Provide proper citations for any material you reference from other sources. Follow the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper for help in structuring and developing your paper.

You will be particularly assessed on:

  • Your ability to see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly.
  • Your informed commentary and analysis—simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate paper.
  • Your ability to draw on a range of sources and to establish your understanding of the historical context of the question.

CASE 2

Web 2.0: 2001–Present

Assignment Overview

It is a truism in the study of human technology that any tool that gets the public’s attention will eventually be used for purposes entirely unforeseen by its inventor(s) and probably contrary to the general public interest. This has certainly been the case with information technologies and the Internet. E-mail is great, but spam is not. Online video of the grandkids is wonderful; online pornography accessible to little Johnny, not so much. Despite much breast beating, it is difficult to have the good without the bad—and even differentiating the good from the bad is often a matter of opinion. As Miles’ Law says, “Where you stand depends upon where you sit.”

Recently, we have become so saturated with and dependent upon social media such as Facebook and Twitter that we have not always noticed the potential “dark side”—most specifically, the ability to use these tools not only to connect individuals in cyberspace but also to mobilize groups for action in the real world. One example is the “flash mob”—defined most generally as a group of people voluntarily assembled at a particular place and time for a particular purpose, coordinated through shared access to social media. This is not altogether a new invention—the telephone and, before that, the telegraph or even a good strong voice have been tools for assembling flash mobs in the past. But what has been recently discovered is how easy it is using modern social media, and how effective such mobs can be.

As we said, whether or not you consider this to be a good development or a bad development depends a lot on how you evaluate the purpose of the mob. Public assemblies to install democracy in an authoritarian state sound pretty good; assembling gang members to break windows and burn cars would not strike most of us as all that great. Here is a sampling of different points of view on this general subject:

Tavoulareas, E. (2011, August 22). Social media: The Jekyll & Hyde of media? Changemakers. Retrieved from http://www.changemakers.com/blog/social-media-jekyll-hyde-media

Goodman, J. (2011, August 17). Debate over social media incitement as flash mobs strike. The Lede: Blogging the News. New York Times. Retrieved from http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/debate-over-social-media-incitement-as-flash-mobs-strike/

Brennan, E. (2011, August 19). Flash Mobs – The dark side of social media revealed. Retrieved from http://www.i-policy.org/2011/08/flash-mobs-the-dark-side-of-social-media-revealed.html

Lum, R. (2011) Spreading the happiness one flash mob at a time. CreativeGuerillaMarketing. Retrieved from http://www.creativeguerrillamarketing.com/guerrilla-marketing/spreading-happiness-flash-mob-time/

Optional Reading

Kelly, L. (2011, March 22). Advertising with flash mobs. JSNCafe. Retrieved from http://www.jsncafe.com/advertising-with-flash-mobs/

Heaney, F. (n.d.) The short life of flash mobs. Stay Free!. Retrieved from http://www.alternet.org/story/26807/the_short_life_of_flash_mobs

The Economist. (2006, August 29). Shop affronts: Chinese consumers are ganging up on their retailers. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/7121669/print?story_id=7121669

The Brennan article is notable for a comment reaching new levels of cluelessness, to wit:

“This is not what social media was designed to accomplish,” states Ken Wisnefski, who was recently interviewed on FOX News discussing cyber security. “At WebiMax, we build social media campaigns for our clients to increase their brand awareness and develop additional revenue streams. The organizing of ‘flash mobs’ in Philadelphia demonstrates the capabilities of the misuse of one of the most powerful mass-communications tools in the 21st century.”

In other words, “It’s perfectly all right for us to use this tool to sell you stuff, but how dare you think of using it for any other purpose?” Mr. Wisnefski has obviously missed the entire point of Web 2.0—that is, user participation, user generation of content, and interactivity. There is no stuffing that particular genie back in the bottle.

Case Assignment

Once you have read the suggested short articles on flash mobs, you will probably want to do some additional Internet research of your own looking into other aspects of this phenomenon and other areas where they have occurred. When you feel you have a good handle on the information, write a 3- to 4-page paper on the topic:

What ought to be done about flash mobs? By whom? Why?

Assignment Expectations

Your paper should be 3–4 pages long. Take a definite stand on the issues, and develop your supporting argument carefully. Using material from the background information and any other sources you can find to support specific points in your argument is highly recommended; try to avoid making assertions for which you can find no support other than your own opinion.

Provide proper citations for any material you reference from other sources. Follow the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper for help in structuring and developing your paper.

You will be particularly assessed on:

  • Your ability to see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly.
  • Your informed commentary and analysis; simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate paper.
  • Your ability to draw on a range of sources and to establish your understanding of the historical context of the question.

SLP 2

Web 2.0: 2001–Present

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If this is so, then the average SLP essay of 2–3 pages, which averages out to just about 1,000 words, should be worth a picture. So that is what we are going to do in this SLP assignment: Draw a picture.

Last year, P2PU, the online “school of webcraft,” offered a course entitled “Web 200: Anatomy of a Request.” Basically, it dealt with some of the more technical aspects of Internet processes, although many of the students were not particularly technically inclined. Early in this course, an assignment was given—and the same assignment is now being given to you, as follows:

Hey, everyone,

Your assignment is to draw a picture of how the Internet works. You don’t need to do any research for this assignment, I just want you to use your current knowledge and represent it graphically.

You can use any application you’d like.

If you find this assignment a little intimidating or confusing you might want to see some samples of what the students in the P2PU course came up with; you can page through the different student pictures here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/johndbritton/sets/72157624932677905/detail/

(Note that you can click on any picture to see it full size—one of these was actually done by your instructor, although I’m not going to tell you which one.)

As you see, none of these are highly technical, and some of them are downright whimsical. But interestingly, they all reflect many of the same general kinds of concepts about what the Internet is and how it is shaped. Obviously, there is no one “correct” picture to be drawn. The aim here is simply for you to reflect your own understanding about what the critical elements of the Internet are and how they are linked to each other.

Most of you probably have some degree of experience with online drawing tools and some accessibility to such tools; even if you don’t have experience, the basics of the available tools are easy enough to learn quickly. At the low end, every Windows computer comes with an application called MSPaint, which is certainly adequate for the purposes of this exercise. Moving up the line, you might use MS PowerPoint or possibly Photoshop, or one of any number of free online drawing tools that you can find linked here—Queeky is particularly nice if you like to draw boxes and arrows and such (note that none of these tools require you to download or install anything). There is also SketchUp from Google, another free but powerful drawing tool. Or at the other end of the techno-spectrum, you could always draw your picture in pencil on the back of an old envelope and find someone to scan it into digital form for you.

If you encounter any particular difficulty with finding a way to carry out this assignment, please let your instructor know as soon as possible so that you can work out some way of completing it.

SLP Assignment Expectations

Your assignment need only include your graphic, although you are welcome to add whatever commentary you feel is necessary by way of explanation. It should reflect your personal ideas about the shape and elements of the Internet.

You will be assessed on the degree to which you include relevant elements and appropriate relationships including all the network components and program applications that you know or are aware of; you will not be assessed on the quality of your artwork or your degree of mastery of whatever drawing tool you choose to use.

The important part of all these project assignments is to carefully assess your own experiences with the topic, and then reflect critically on what you might have learned about yourself and about situations through this assessment process.

The more that you can use the exercise to develop personal implications for your growth as a potential business person as well as an Internet-savvy individual, the more value you will get out of the exercise.

 

CASE 3

Web 3.0: The Semantic Web and Beyond

Assignment Overview

The idea of a Semantic Web has been around since at least 2001, although many critics have been skeptical about its feasibility. For example, one school of thought believes that Web 3.0 is already here with the current advances in Web technology. The other school of thought supports that Web 3.0 is evolving as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is added to combine information indexing and classification to simulate patterns of human reasoning and logic. Although computers can store large amounts of data and present it in patterns, they cannot associate undefined patterns. Web 3.0 in the context of AI would be able to close that gap by detecting information patterns and integrating them in a dynamic process. Search engines capable of adapting to semantic technology would allow users to find, share, and collect information using natural language.

So, is the Semantic Web really here? We have certainly come a long way. Web 1.0 consisted of static webpages. We could read, but not much else. Web 2.0 has opened up the dialogue among people, and it has created a new industry of social networking through blogging and Facebook. We are putting our ideas out there. Technologies to facilitate tagging, blogs, wikis, and podcast/videos are among the popular advances in Web 2.0. The productivity of online systems has been significant. Internet applications have grown among a wide range of industries as a result of interactive online systems.

The reaction of people to these products and services has been phenomenal, and it has contributed to a new social digital economy that did not exist with Web 1.0. Some of the advances that we see more recently are natural language queries like “Where do I buy product X in California?” Someone querying with this statement appreciates a search engine returning several company links or even blogs where people are discussing the same product or asking the same question. The concept of tagging will carry through Web 3.0.

The following materials introduce Web 3.0 from a historical perspective. Dr. Yuen’s site provides three short videos: Evolution Web 1.0, Web 2.0 to Web 3.0; The Future Internet: Service Web 3.0; and Web 3.0: Semantic Web. All materials are meant to familiarize the student with Web 3.0 features. The Web 3.0 implications to businesses and consumers are covered in the last article.

Wheeler, S. (2011, January 5). A brief introduction to Web 3.0. Cognitive Interfund Transfer. Retrieved from http://cognitiveinterfundtransfer.blogspot.com/2011/01/brief-introduction-to-web-30.html

Gaines, K. (n.d.). A brief introduction to Web 3.0. Web Designer. Retrieved from http://1stwebdesigner.com/what-is-web-3-0/

Yuen, S. (2010, September 19). Web 3.0. Learning Technologies. Retrieved from http://scyuen.wordpress.com/2010/09/17/web-3-0/

Verizon. (2010). Web 3.0: Its promise and implications to consumers and business.

Optional Reading

Strickland, J. (2011). How Web 3.0 will work. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved from http://computer.howstuffworks.com/web-30.htm

[email protected] (2011, July 6). Web 3.0: The ‘Social Wave’ and how it disrupts the Internet. Managing Technology. Retrieved from http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2808

Rollyson, C. (2011, July 6). What kind of Web 3.0 world should we make? SocialMedia.biz. Retrieved, from http://www.socialmedia.biz/2011/07/06/what-kind-of-web-3-0-world-should-we-make/

Abhishek, N. (2012). Web 4.0 basics. The Customize Windows. Retrieved from http://thecustomizewindows.com/2011/09/web-4-0-basics/

Case Assignment

After reading the course materials, write a 3- to 4-page paper on the following question:

How will the Web 3.0 transformations be used in business? What are the benefits of W3.0 to consumers?

Assignment Expectations

Your paper should be 3–4 pages long. Take a definite stand on the issues, and develop your supporting argument carefully. Using material from the background information and any other sources you can find to support specific points in your argument is highly recommended; try to avoid making assertions for which you can find no support other than your own opinion.

Provide proper citations for any material you reference from other sources. Follow the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper for help in structuring and developing your paper.

You will be particularly assessed on:

  • Your ability to see what the module is all about and to structure your paper accordingly.
  • Your informed commentary and analysis—simply repeating what your sources say does not constitute an adequate paper.
  • Your ability to draw on a range of sources, and to establish your understanding of the historical context of the question.

SLP 3

Web 3.0: The Semantic Web and Beyond

The major breakthrough contributing to the development of Web 3.0 is semantic content for Web pages and ontologies for querying. Semantic content will use semantic languages such as Resource Description Framework (RDF), Extensible Markup Language (XML), Web Ontology Language (WOL), and Extensible HTML (XHTML) to provide description for Web documents. Ontologies are statements defined in semantic languages for computers to process knowledge like humans—by deductive reasoning and inference. Therefore, Web 3.0 would provide more meaningful searches and personalized results for the user. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C Semantic Web) heads a collaborative circle of developers, experts, and interest groups addressing Web solutions and the Semantic Web in general.

The Semantic Web will factor more than the human element into searches. It will make searches more personalized and more comprehensive. For example, in the field of law, Web 3.0 will change the way attorneys will research, produce, and present documents. Data on the Internet is essentially tagged, and it will be combined with information from various other sources to associate similarities to a case or research topic. In the medical field, Web 3.0 will improve collaboration for diagnostics and the adoption of best-of-breed practices for health care professionals all over the world. Medical content will be accessible through Internet repositories for adaptive data mining. In essence, research will be easier, all-inclusive, and better-rounded for the researcher.

Two of the goals of Web 3.0 are adaptability and the use of natural language to express complex queries. A new approach called “Responsive Web Design” (RWD) is becoming popular among website developers to enrich the navigation experience and to allow adaptive screen views for all types of mobile devices. Users will continue to build the next layer of intelligence through our individual contributions to the Web. The following sites explain the Semantic Web application to medical endeavors and e-learning.

Jessen, W. (2012). Web 3.0 and predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine. Highlight Health. Retrieved from http://www.highlighthealth.com/healthcare/web-30-and-predictive-preventive-and-personalized-medicine/

Giannakos, M., & Lapatas, G. (2010). Towards Web 3.0: Concept for collaborative e-learning. Retrieved from http://ntnu-no.academia.edu/MichailGiannakos/Papers/396841/Towards_Web_3.0_Concept_for_Collaborative_E-Learning

SLP 3 Assignment

After reviewing the course materials, submit a 2- to 3-page paper that answers the following question:

  • What have been the contributions of Web 3.0 to e-learning so far?
  • How can we use the latest technologies to work for educational systems?

Be creative in your answer.

SLP Assignment Expectations

Your paper should be 2–3 pages in length, and reflect your personal experiences with the timeline. The important part of all these project assignments is to carefully assess your own experiences with the topic, and then reflect critically on what you might have learned about yourself and about situations through this assessment process.

The more that you can use the exercise to develop personal implications for your growth as a potential business person as well as an Internet-savvy individual, the more value you will get out of the exercise.

 

CASE 4

The Mobile Internet

Assignment Overview

To study the evolution of mobile Internet in this module, please review the following readings:

Required Reading

Optional Reading

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