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The Fourth Stage of Internet

The Fourth Stage of Internet

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Published by Jean-Marc Valentin

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Published by: Jean-Marc Valentin on Jan 31, 2009
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10/16/2011

 
 The European interuniversity Associationon Society, Science and Technology
Dissertation in ESST
 
Presented by
Jean-Marc ValentinESST - EPFL
 Supervisor
Pierre RosselESST - EPFL
September 1996 
 
 
1
 
1.
INTRODUCTION 2
1.1
 
I
NFORMATION SOCIETY
3
2.
THE FIRST STAGE: THE PIONEERS 5
2.1
 
T
HE TOOLS OF THE FIRST STAGE
8
2.1.1
 
E-
MAIL
82.1.2
 
F
ILE TRANSFER
:
 
FTP 92.1.3
 
T
ELNET
103.
THE SECOND STAGE: ACADEMIA TOOL 10
3.1
 
T
HE TOOLS OF THE SECOND STAGE
12
3.1.1
 
L
ISTSERV
123.1.2
 
U
SENET
133.1.3
 
IRC 153.1.4
 
G
OPHER
164.
THE THIRD STAGE: THE EXPLOSION 17
4.1
 
T
HE TOOLS OF THE THIRD STAGE
19
4.1.1
 
W
ORLD
W
IDE
W
EB
195.
THE FOURTH STAGE: THE INTERNET CULTURE VS. EMERGING FUNCTIONALITIES 20
5.1
 
W
ILL
I
NTERNET BE THE
I
NFORMATION
S
UPERHIGHWAY
? 20
5.2
 
W
ILL
I
NTERNET BE A COMMERCIAL TOOL
? 24
5.3
 
W
ILL
I
NTERNET BE GOOD FOR DEMOCRACY
? 26
5.4
 
W
ILL
I
NTERNET BRING A NEW CULTURE
? 29
5.4.1
 
E
MPOWERING OR SUPPORTIVE ELEMENTS OF THE CULTURE
305.4.2
 
D
ISCOURAGING OR NEGATIVE ELEMENTS OF THE CULTURE
346.
CONCLUSION 39
7.
APPENDIX 41
7.1
 
G
ENERAL STRATEGIES FOR USING
U
SENET
41
7.2
 
G
LOSSARY
45
8.
BIBLIOGRAPHY 57
 
2
1.
INTRODUCTION
The Internet is a hot topic. It has been seen on the front page of all sorts of newspapersand on the covers of magazines. But what is the Internet, really? Does it have value as abusiness tool? Should you use it? Will Internet be the Information Superhighway of tomorrow? What will be the impacts on our society?The Internet is a loose collection of millions of computers at thousands of sites around theworld whose users can pass along information and share files no matter which of thosecomputers they are using. Imagine an office network on a grand scale with thousands of computers and terabytes
1
of data instead of merely megabytes. But unlike an office network,there is no central authority on the Internet. The administrators have simply agreed to havetheir computers speak the same transmission language: Transmission ControlProtocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). That agreement has spawned a worldwide web of computers that are all connected.The Internet was not designed to become the Information Superhighway of today but wasintended to serve the research communities, this was what we call in this dissertation. “Thefirst stage of Internet." Lately, though, academic communities as well as government workers,educators, and just casual computer enthusiasts have been traversing this web, this was “thesecond stage of Internet." And now we are in “the third stage of Internet” where everybodycan use it everywhere. In this stage Internet links government, university, college, research,commercial sites and ordinary people, and is known around the world simply as the Internet.Users of the three stages have at least one thing in common : they search among the millionsof pages of electronic data for the few bits that they want or need. But what will be the nextstage and the impacts on society?The aim of this thesis is to analyse these impacts. For this we will talk of the differentstages of Internet and see the evolution of the users and the impacts on society. Our hypothesisis:
 
“ Internet has been largely influenced and modified by its users in the first and second  stage, less in the third stage and in the fourth stage Internet will influence his users. ” 
Of course the dominance of an overarching belief in scientific rationality has influencedInternet in the beginning but we will see in this thesis how the users have deeply modifiedInternet.We can describe the plan of this dissertation as follows:
1
a terabyte equals million megabytes

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