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The DotCom Bubble and Bust

by Erick Convery

My tech topic is regarding the rise and fall of the Dot Com era of the Internet.  This era took place throughout the mid 1990s until the year 2001.  During this time the investments in Internet-based companies rose dramatically causing a similar rise in equity markets.  This was mostly due to fad-based investing where all investors poured their money in to Internet startups so they would not miss out on the tremendous opportunities that were projected for these companies.

Building of the Bubble

The Internet and World Wide Web were created in the late 1980s with very few functions or ways to manipulate the material.  After many years of improvement and the introduction of Mosaic, a web browser, the Internet began to prove more useful and profitable than expected.  In 1995, the number of people using the Internet spiked tremendously.  Investors saw all these Internet-users as potential consumers, and this lead to the birth of many Internet startups.  These Internet startups were also known as “dot-coms”.  Seeing the numerous investment opportunities in these “dot-coms” investors flocked to not only invest in the Internet, but all technology in general.

Components of the Bubble

While many companies played major factors in the DotCom bubble, the 4 main players during the time were considered “the Four Horsemen of NASDAQ” and they were Cisco Systems, Dell, Intel and Microsoft.

All these companies were vying for market domination during the times of the DotCom bubble.  As you can see all these companies still exist today, and managed to survive the bursting of the DotCom bubble, but many other companies did not.

Bursting of the Bubble

Due to this unexpected and overwhelming rise in technological investment, the market rose far too quickly and the NASDAQ could not handle it.  This eventually led to the burst of the DotCom bubble.  Many, if not all, the investors lost substantial amounts of money that they had invested in many of the small Internet startups.  On the other hand, most of these Internet startups ended up failing as a result of the burst.  Even many of the larger Internet companies suffered tremendous hits and barely survived the burst themselves.  This includes “the four Horsemen of the NASDAQ”.  All of this had a tremendous effect on the economy as well, as the country suffered a minor recession throughout the year 2000 and some of 2001.

Recovery

There were a lot of lessons learned from the bursting of the DotCom bubble.  Although it only lasted less than a decade it played a tremendous part in the economy as well as shaping the Internet.  The event scared most investors away from technology and the Internet until recently, when web 2.0 was released.  Only since then has the entire market truly began to recover.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in web 1 blog

 

Cyberterrorism

by Melanie Alban

Overview: When one hears the term “cyberterrorism”, they may immediately think of actual, physical terrorism.  In today’s world, cyberterrorism is just one of the many ways in which people can target and harm others in specific ways.  While actual terrorism attacks physical, tangible targets, cyberterrorism targets things such as people’s information, computers and networks. 

With the ever expanding web and Internet capabilities, cyberterrorism continues to grow.  However, even as it continues to grow, we can continue to learn more about it to come up with more ways to prevent and even stop future attacks that occur over the Internet.

What it actually is: Even though cyberterrorism is something that is bad and harmful, it is not physically harmful like actual terrorism that is constantly present in our world today that is destroying people and property.  A better example of cyberterrorism would be something like viruses or the hacking other networks, computers, and servers. 

While cyberterrorism does not physically harm anyone, it can still cause quite a bit of damage.  The main goal of cyberterrorism is to specifically target and attack certain people or groups of people.  Most cyberterrorism attacks are not at random; people are chosen for attacks based on, but not limited to, the following characteristics:

  • religious groups
  • political parties and groups
  • governments

The main reason why cyberterrorism is so widely used in today’s world is because it is used by terrorists and other leaders to try and hack into other country’s governmental systems to try and gain useful information that would benefit them in some way to help hurt or harm their target country or group.

The Background and History:  Cyberterrorism first came into the picture in the 1980’s and it just continued to grow into what it has become today.  The first big panic over cyberterrorism was during the early 2000’s.  September 11th seem to really set off the cyberterror age.  While it was present before then, it was at that time when it became popular to target people on the web. 

Military and Governmental Action:  In response to growing cyberterror attacks, the United States began closely monitoring what takes place on the web.  The US Department of Defense put the United States Strategic Command in charge of fighting and protecting people from cyberterrorism.  It was not until 2006 that the Air Force created the Air Force Cyber Command to protect American interest from the rapidly growing threat of cyberterrorism.  In 2009, Barack Obama created a Cyber Command to prevent American networks from being attacked.

Conclusion: This is just a brief overview on the huge topic of cyberterrorism.  There are many more details about this interesting topic.  While the issue continues to grow throughout the world, we are becoming better at fighting and blocking current and future attacks on the web.  While it may never be eliminated completely from the world, we will continue to learn more about it to avoid it.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in web 1 blog

 

AJAX

By Chris Cipriano

What AJAX isn’t

Before we talk about what AJAX is, let’s see what it isn’t.

  • AJAX isn’t a new technology
  • AJAX isn’t a programming language or scripting software
  • AJAX isn’t one thing at all

What is AJAX?

AJAX stands for Asynchronous Javascript And XML.

AJAX is a technique for creating fast and dynamic web pages. AJAX allows web pages to be updated asynchronously by exchanging small amounts of data with the server behind the scenes. This means that it is possible to update parts of a web page, without reloading the whole page.

Classic web pages, (which do not use AJAX) must reload the entire page if the content should change.

  • standards-based presentation using XHTML and CSS
  • dynamic display and interaction using the Document Object Model
  • data interchange and manipulation using XML and XSLT
  • asynchronous data retrieval using XMLHttpRequest
  • and JavaScript binding everything together

The traditional model for web applications (left) compared to the Ajax model (right).

History

AJAX (though it was refereed to as XMLHttpRequest at the time) started up when Microsoft shipped Internet Explorer 5 in 1999. In that version the browser could go talk to a server get some data and come back and update the page without reloading the page. Other browsers took note and shipped their own implementations shortly after. It got its first big break when Google noticed all browsers had support for this technology and started to use it with Google Maps and Gmail. Then in 2005, Jesse James Garrnett coined the phrase AJAX in an article.

How AJAX Works

  1. Some action triggers the event, like the user clicking a button.
  2. The AJAX call fires, and sends a request to a server-side script, using XML
  3. The server-side script (PHP, ASP, or whatever) takes the input from JavaScript, can access the database if it needs to, and processes the data.
  4. Using XML again, the script sends the data back to the original client-side page that made the request
  5. A second JavaScript function, called a callback function,catches the data, and updates the web page

Visual Representation

Try it out for yourself!

Uses for AJAX

Click HERE to see even more uses.

Helpful Links

AJAX is an enormous subject. What is written here is only an overview of the topic. So, here are a few resources that will you give you a more in-depth look at AJAX and how to use it.

  • Getting Started with AJAX– how to write a basic AJAX application
  • Mastering AJAX– a tutorial which gives you the basics and talks about cross browser compatibility
  • XAJAX– a tutorial to learn xajax in 10 minutes (an open source PHP Library for building ajax based applications)
 
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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in web 1 blog

 

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Net Neutrality

Because many of us grew up using the Internet, we sometimes take it for granted. Due to advances in technology, we are always able to log on and access whatever sites we want, whenever we want. We are constantly uploading pictures, watching videos, listening to podcasts, e-mailing and instant messaging, often  attaching devices like wireless routers to better our online experience. Network Neutrality would make all this possible.


What is it?

Network Neutrality is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet. Net Neutrality is the principle that supports no restrictions by Internet Service Providers or governments on consumers’ access to networks that participate in the Internet. Net Neutrality would prevent restrictions on content, sites, platforms, types of equipment that may be attached, and modes of communication. It is the notation that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. It guarantees a level playing field for all Websites and Internet technologies. But all this could change.

The biggest cable and telephone companies want to charge money for fast access to Web sites. They believe they should be able to charge Website operators, application providers and device manufacturers for the right to use the network and for all those who don’t pay; their sites won’t load as quickly, and their applications and devices won’t work as well.

Supporter vs. Non Supporters:

Since the early 2000s, supports of net neutrality have raised concerns about the ability of broadband providers to use their last mile infrastructure to block Internet applications and content and even block out competitors.

The possibility of regulations on the Internet has been major subject of debate, especially in the United States. Neutrality promoters want to remove competition, create artificial scarcity, and oblige subscribers to buy their otherwise uncompetitive services.

Vinton Cerf, considered a “father of the Internet” and co-inventor of the Internet Protocol, Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web have spoken out in favor of network neutrality. While, non-supporters of net neutrality claim that broadband service providers have no plans to block any content or slow down network performance. Despite this claim, Comcast, an Internet service provider, did intentionally slow down peer-to-peer communications.

Critics of net neutrality also dispute that data discrimination, is highly desirable. Opponents of net neutrality regulation also argue that the best solution to discrimination by broadband providers is to encourage greater competition among such providers.


Problems:

Discrimination: The Internet was designed as a free and open medium. The main idea since the beginning of the Internet was that every site, would be treated with discrimination. That’s how bloggers can compete with with big name news stations for readers. Discrimination endangers our basic Internet freedoms.

More charges: We are paying networks for access to the Internet, but now we have to pay for things we do while using the Internet. They may not charge you directly via pay-per-view Web sites. But they will charge all the service providers you use.

The End of the Internet?

The free-flowing Internet that we grew up using, may very well become history.

This means that the internet could now be a pay-per-view Internet where Web sites have fees. We would have to pay a network tax to run voice-over-the-Internet phones, use an advanced search engine, or chat via Instant Messenger. The next generation of inventions will be shut out of the top-tier service level, while the network owners will rake in even greater profits.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in web 1 blog

 

ISP and Bandwidth

By: Megan Stanton

ISP:

Brief Overview

ISP stands for Internet Service provider.  An ISP is a company that enables access to the Internet to their customers.  There are three types of Internet connections used by Internet Service Providers; direct connection through copper wires, wireless connections, or fiber optic connections.

History

Originally, the Internet was a closed network used only by the government in research laboratories and universities.  Overtime, it became more popular and colleges and universities began to allow their students and faculty to have access to it.  Ever since, the popularity of the Internet has grown leading to the establishment of commercial Internet service providers that offer access to the Internet to anyone willing to pay.  The first commercial Internet Service Provider was a Massachusetts based company called The World that was founded in 1990.

Comcast XFINITY and Verizon FIOS are two well-known Internet service providers.  They provide Internet to homes and businesses nationwide.

There are five categories of ISP, including Access ISPs, Hosting ISPs, Transit ISPs, Virtual ISPs, and Free ISPs

The typical options for home user connectivity are as follows:

  • Broadband wireless access – technology that provides high-speed wireless Internet access or computer networking access over a wide area.
  • Cable Internet – is a form of broadband Internet access that uses the cable television infrastructure.
  • Dial-up – is a form of Internet access that uses the facilities of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to establish a dialed connection to an Internet service provider (ISP) via telephone lines.
  • DSL ­- Digital subscriber line (DSL) is a family of technologies that provides digital data transmission over the wires of a local telephone network.
  • FTTH – Fiber to the x (FTTx) is a generic term for any broadband network architecture using optical fiber to replace all or part of the usual metal local loop used for last mile telecommunications.
  • Wi-Fi – is a mechanism for wirelessly connecting electronic devices.

The typical options business type connectivity are as follows:

  • DSL – see above definition.
  • Metro Ethernet technology – A Metro Ethernet is a computer network that covers a metropolitan area and that is based on the Ethernet standard.
  • Leased line – A leased line is a service contract between a provider and a customer, whereby the provider agrees to deliver a symmetric telecommunications line connecting two or more locations in exchange for a monthly rent (hence the term lease).
  • SHDSL – Single-pair high-speed digital subscriber line (SHDSL) is a form of digital subscriber line (DSL), a data communications technology that enables faster data transmission over copper telephone lines than a conventional voice band modem can provide.


Click here to view a brief instructional video on ISP.

Bandwidth:

Overview:

Bandwidth is a measure of available or consumed data communication resources.  The measurement is expressed in bits/second, kilobits/second, megabits/second, etc.  In other words, bandwidth tests the maximum capacity of a computer network.  A test of the bandwidth would reveal he average rate of successful data transfer through a communication path.

Bandwidth is useful in web hosting.  It reveals the maximum amount of data transferred to or from a website or server.  The following is a list of maximum bandwidths of common Internet technologies.

56 kbit/s Modem / Dialup
1.5 Mbit/s ADSL Lite
1.544 Mbit/s T1/DS1
10 Mbit/s Ethernet
11 Mbit/s Wireless 802.11b
44.736 Mbit/s T3/DS3
54 Mbit/s Wireless 802.11g
100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet
155 Mbit/s OC3
600 Mbit/s Wireless 802.11n
622 Mbit/s OC12
1 Gbit/s Gigabit Ethernet
2.5 Gbit/s OC48
9.6 Gbit/s OC192
10 Gbit/s 10 Gigabit Ethernet
100 Gbit/s 100 Gigabit Ethernet
 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in web 1 blog

 

The Cloud

By: David Gerz 

What is cloud computing?

Simply put, cloud computing is a paid-for service that allows you to store information and data and then recall this information whenever and where ever you need to retrieve the information. TechTarget breaks cloud computing down to two main different kinds of clouds, a public cloud versus a private cloud.

Public Cloud

A public cloud is exactly what it sounds like. In a public cloud anyone that pays for the service and has an Internet connection can log into the cloud and take information.

Private Cloud

Whereas a private cloud is a cloud that only you can access information and data. Network World has an article that further discusses the future of private clouds.

Classification of Clouds:

According to TechTarget there are three other classifications for kinds of clouds.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): this is a model where a company outsources to other companies that use equipment to support the running and maintaining of the cloud.

Software as a Service (SaaS): this is a model where a company hosts a cloud where consumers can go to purchase software and/or apps and download them directly to their computer, typically over the Internet.

Platform as a Service (PaaS): this is a model where consumers can rent servers, hardware, storage or even operation systems over the Internet

Benefits of Cloud Computing:

Despite the risks of cloud computing Web 2.0 Journal lays out six different advantages using the cloud.

  1. Reduced Cost – when using a cloud service you pay in increments so it is not as much as a blow to the wallet right away.
  2. Increased Storage – there is a lot more space available in a cloud server than there is on your personal computer.
  3. Highly Automated – updates and newer versions will remind you to update automatically, you no longer have to worry if your software is up-to-date or not
  4. Flexibility – clouds are more flexible than regular computers
  5. Mobility – you can access your information where ever you are
  6. IT can shift Focus – since server updates no longer have to be worried about, companies can worry about being more innovative rather than updates.

I think that cloud computing is very helpful and time saving and can be very useful. The biggest problem I foresee with cloud computing is security. If you have personal information stored in a cloud, what’s to stop a professional computer hacker from breaking into the cloud and stealing your information? I know that this is why there are public and private clouds, but what’s to stop a hacker from breaking into a private cloud.

Clouds like iCloud, Gmail, and Google Docs, I find to be very useful and I love that I can connect to my documents, information, and data anywhere. But there has always been a little voice in my head reminding me that if this information is being stored in a cloud, that means someone else can probably hack into it and steal important things from me. You have to be smart with what you place in a cloud service.

Here is a good video from salesforce.com that illustrates cloud computing:

Here is another video that discusses more of the dangers of cloud computing:

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in web 1 blog

 

Memes and Viral Videos

by Billy Thacker

Introduction

Memes are culturally transmitted information, usually of a humorous nature, spread over the internet. Internet memes are usually based on existing media and are simple or relatable enough to have mass appeal. For a meme to succeed, it must have the ability to easily be used and altered by the public so it can still remain fresh when  filtered through chat rooms, blogs, social networking sites, and image boards.

The term “meme” first appeared in 1976 within the biological text, The Selfish Game. In the book, Evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins presents the gene as a unit of biological information that undergoes natural selection. He concludes that all self-replicating information also undergoes the pressures of selection. Dawson labels this social unit of information “meme” from the Greek term for something imitated, “mimema”.

Advice Animals/ Image Macros

Image Macros are the simplest vehicle for memes as they are characterized by a simple, exploitable image that one can simply overlay with text. These images depict an archetypal stock character or scene that has certain traits that are highlighted through captioned text. A popular image macro is “advice dog” which depicts a cute dog against a rainbow pinwheel background but is paired with comically horrible advice. This meme has spawned several other ‘advice animals’

 













List of Popular Advice Animals:

  • Courage Wolf   – a wolf that gives advice to achieve      glory
  • Philosoraptor  – a Velociraptor that      brings to light perplexing contradictions in life.
  • Socially Awkward Penguin– A Penguin that expresses relatable awkward moments
  • Rich Raven – a raven with seemingly unlimited wealth

4chan

4chan is an English language image sharing site that generates many memes before they are exported to the rest of the internet. The website consists 56 image boards that are geared to a variety of interest such as video games, animation, comic books, and pop culture. 4chan.org was modeled off the Japanese site 2chan and launched in 2003. While the site has many image boards the /b/ (random) page is the most popular garnering 30% of total traffic to the website.  The page feature many different meme content but also includes pornographic and gore images. 4chan is also a well-known haven for members of Anonymous, an online collective of hackers who have made attacks on various government, corporate, and religious groups.

Viral Videos

Similar to image macro memes, viral videos are content gains popularity on the internet through word of mouth traffic on popular video sharing sites like YouTube, College Humor, Daily Motion.  These websites have elliminated the need for videos to be passed around solely from user to user.



The topic of viral videos brings up various legal implications. Many popular videos that are not made completely of user generated content violate copyright laws and are taken down by content providers such as Viacom and Sony. Sometimes, copyrighted material is allowed under fair use and fair dealing doctrines or licenses. In fear of major legal action, YouTube has made steps to appease content owners by placing ads on the sides of copy written videos and links to iTunes and amazon music for videos that use copy written music.


As viral videos have become more influential in popular culture, the entertainment industry has attempted to harness their marketing power. Several media companies such as CBS and Cartoon Network have uploaded official clips from their programing onto YouTube to gain attention and also traffic on their respective websites. Recently, marketers have sought to make their advertisements possess a viral quality by adopting the conventions of short, relatable humor and a user generated feeling. The idea is for the viewer be entertained without knowing they are being marketed to.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in web 1 blog