I came across this old screen shot of Yahoo! and an article written in 1995, The Internet? Bah! By Clifford Stoll, about the future of the Internet. He doesn’t seem very impressed by it and suggests that it will never really be popular.
I recall around that time I had just got my first email address from my university and I remember being excited because I got to keep it for life. It seemed so magical at the time, being able to send a letter to another person without paper. And they received it instantly, or within the few minutes it took them to dial up, log on, and download without their roommate picking up the phone.
So what do you think? What did Mr. Stoll get wrong about the world we live in today? What is he right about?
Vocabulary in Context:
Bah |bɑ| – an expression of disagreement or contempt.
perplexed |pərˈplɛks| – (passive v.) – to be confused or puzzled by something.
to have a gas – (phr.) – to have fun and exciting time. A bit old fashioned. Beware it’s very different than “to have gas” without “a,” which is a common digestive problem.
hacker |ˈhækər| (n.) – a person who uses computers to gain unauthorized or illegal access or data.
baloney |bəˈloʊni| (n.) – foolish talk. non-sense. From bologna, which is sliced sausage often used in sandwiches.
pundit |ˈpəndət| (n.) – an expert in a particular subject that is asked to give their opinion to the public.
word gets out (phr.) – a message, fact, or other information spreads either intentionally or unintentionally.
leapfrog (v.) – to pass or overtake another to gain a dominant or leading position.
cacophony (n.) – a harsh mix of sounds creating noise, like this.
myopic |maɪˈɑːpɪk| – nearsighted. It can only be seen very close up and is difficult to see.
clunky |ˈkləŋki| (adj.) – awkward, heavy and and outdated looking, esp. for technology.
tote |toʊt| (v.) – to carry
huckster (n.) – cheap salesman
pretense |priˈtɛns| (n.) – to falsely appear, to act or fake. Common: Put on a pretense
unravel |ˌənˈrævəl| (v.) – undo, untwist, untie, disentangle.
clamor |ˈklæmər| (v.) – shout or cry out
omen |ˈoʊmən| (n.) – something that is believed to symbolize some thing good or bad. A good or bad sign for the future.
limp (adj.) – weak. As a verb it means to walk with pain. As a noun, it’s the walk itself, e.g. he walked with a limp, or he limped | lipmt |.
beckon |ˈbɛkən| (v.) – to attract attention or someone or summon.
lure |lʊ(ə)r| – to tempt, or bring in. Fisherman lure fish with worms and fishing lures (n.).
surrender |səˈrɛndər| (v.) – to stop resisting or submit to authority. Image.
relentlessly (adv. form of relentless) |rəˈlɛntləs| – constant and never-ending
What does say about the following and what are his reasons?
Which of these could the modern world / you not live without?
What do you think the future of each of this will be?
- telecommuting workers – workers just working through technology from home.
- interactive libraries
- multimedia classrooms
- electronic town meetings
- virtual communities
- cyberbusiness – Now we say e-business or e-commerce.
- instant catalog shopping
- airline tickets
- make restaurant reservations
- negotiate sales contracts
- send money over the Internet
- newspapers and magazines
Interesting facts about the Internet:
- the foundation of the internet started in the 1960′s at MIT.
- the first message transmitted over the Net was “LOG” because it crashed before he could finish typing “LOGIN”
- the first ever web server was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html, now http://info.cern.ch/
- The first emoticon is commonly credited to Kevin Mackenzie in 1979, but was a rather simple -) and didn’t really look like a face.
- Google estimates over 5 million terabytes on the internet.
- 1/3 of internet searches are for pornography.
- 81% of the 247 billion emails sent everyday are spam.
- Spam, meaning unsolicited emails, is reported to have begun when a bored user in an online community started typing spam, spam, spam on the message board imitating this Monty Python video.