Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Issue #6 - Net Growth

What is the estimated total amount of memory use for the entire Internet? And by how much is it growing each year?
Asked by: David Gardener

First off we must define what the Internet is, as it has become commonplace for the word ‘Internet’ to be used as a general term that encompasses both the Internet and the web. They are not the same thing. The Internet can easily be explained as a ‘network of networks’ (Investintech.com), with a hardware and software infrastructure, where data is sent in the form of packets using ‘the TCP/IP set of network protocols to reach billions of users’ (Investintech.com). ‘The Web, on the other hand, is a massive hypermedia database, a myriad collection of documents and other resources interconnected by hyperlinks’ (Investintech.com). It is a platform to explore the Internet (travelling through the networks to find the data you want on a computer or server) via a web browser. The web uses HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocols) to link files together, using HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to shape the experience, creating the websites that we have all become accustomed to. The definition between the Internet and the web is explained very well on the BBC series ‘Virtual Revolution’ in episode 1, Chapter 6 which can be viewed on their 3D documentary explorer or alternatively you could listen to US Senator Ted Stevens speech on Net Neutrality Bill, or its remix.

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