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GoatLord

Future of the Internet

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Some 40 years ago or more, the Internet began as a crude way to exchange information in military installations, and eventually made its way to colleges and libraries. Just 10 years ago, it was that vaguely defined gimmick that was finally getting massive mainstream attention. Fast forward to the present day, and it's an immensely powerful and highly accessible telecommunications tool, though it still operates on the basis of information exchange. So what's the next step? Is the Internet always going to be, on a fundamental level, a convenient and highly interactive way to exchange information? Or is there something deeper that remains undiscovered, something we can't foresee?

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GoatLord said:

Fast forward to the present day, and it's an immensely powerful and highly accessible telecommunications tool, though it still operates on the basis of information exchange.

What else is "telecommunications" if not an exchange of information? What alternative do you see? I'm not really sure what you're trying to get at here.

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Well, with so many exciting emerging technologies destined to result in a new paradigm shift, it seems that the Internet could go beyond information exchange and possibly offer a revolutionary new form of communication. What that is remains to be seen and it's difficult to even speculate what purpose the Internet would have beyond telecommunications.

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Why, didn't you hear that Facebook and Twitter killed the internet? [/obvious trolling]

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Technician said:

The internet can only get better as the US government continues to further regulates it.


I'm surprised nobody here has made a thread about the stupid Protect IP Act yet. I would, but I'm just lazy.

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I'myourtarget said:

I'm surprised nobody here has made a thread about the stupid Protect IP Act yet. I would, but I'm just lazy.

Do it. The insanity of that bill is mind blowing.

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I think in 20 years there will still be at least 5 people who browse the web with Compuserv. I met one once. After I fixed her issue with it my co-worker pointed out they had been trying to fix the same bug since 1995 and it would return for her in six months.

All communication is an exchange of information. Shortening that to one word doesn't allow anything "deeper."

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GoatLord said:

Or is there something deeper that remains undiscovered, something we can't foresee?


If you want a ridiculous sci-fi answer then here it is. The structure of the internet as a whole closely resembles that of an organic brain; electronic signals shoot between nodes of a densely interconnected grid of servers and home computers. The internet may have already developed consciousness, but we will never find out unless we make the mistake of giving it limbs and a mouth, when it will undoubtedly take over the world and murder us all.

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Creaphis said:

The internet may have already developed consciousness, but we will never find out unless we make the mistake of giving it limbs and a mouth, when it will undoubtedly take over the world and murder us all.

I'm going to say not a chance. Not even close. Not yet. I think the brain is far more complex even than that......

Anyhow, I had a dream that we've discovered a way to teleport ourselves anywhere in the world, by using a tool similar to Google Street View, by the same principle: double click a spot on the map, and you're there.

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If Steve Jobs was still alive I'd say the the future of the Internet would be iNet.

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Technician said:

The internet can only get better as the US government continues to further regulates it.


Might want to look up bill C-11. Mind you Canada is still better for copyright law than most of the Anglosphere.

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The day when all computers have motion detection as standard and web browsers can be operated by hand movements will be pretty cool. The day when cable internet is standard and everyone, everywhere can receive high speed internets will also be pretty cool.

Technological progress is all about taking small but steady steps, isn't it?

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The "future of the internet" is a 13yo kid making a youtube video with WMM, set to some trash metal and consisting of title cards or annoying annotations saying "ZOMG VOTE 5" or "PLZ SUBSCRIBE" and "CLIK LIKE ON FACEBOOK FAG0T OLOLOL". Don't forget the misleading title and preview frame whoring.

Well, make that OVER 9000 such kids. Millions.

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Gopher and Usenet are going to make a comeback. And archie, finger, talk, kermit, etc.

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hex11 said:

Gopher and Usenet are going to make a comeback. And archie, finger, talk, kermit, etc.


If corporate interests and/or DRM get enforced to paranoia levels and it becomes near-impossible to buy any sort of mass-produced hardware that's not DRMed and dumbed down in some way, it might not be entirely out of the question, as people will have to resort to lower-powered or alternative hardware, e.g. tap into microcontrollers and ancient computer and the such in order to have an unfucked-with computer platform.

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We could always swap datassettes. Try placing DRM on those (though back in the day, there was some creepypasta/urban legend that certain software couldn't be duplicated even by dubbing a tape in a two-deck cassette recorder, which was a popular method of copying software. In retrospect, that claim sounds ike bullshit or the result of poor copying).

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The future of the internet is data-jacks implanted into our skulls, and the internet becomes the Matrix. Can't wait to fight computer viruses in the form of hellspawn.

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Mr. Freeze said:

The future of the internet is data-jacks implanted into our skulls, and the internet becomes the Matrix. Can't wait to fight computer viruses in the form of hellspawn.


So the future is that '96 Ripper game?

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Here's some food for thought. Wetware is an actual thing that exists now. Chips can be implanted in the brain to allow control over electronic equipment, or to receive data. We are on the cusp of this technology working (in some areas it already does), and in another 5-10 years it will become widely viable. Add to that the network of communication and information that is the internet, which is already in place and we have something really interesting going on.

We could have fully realized transhumanism in our time.

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The internet does have a consciousness: WE, US, YOU AND ME, HER AND HE

But the ideas here are being taken seriously by data miners. And I was just assuming that a legitimate, virtual reality would be created, the God programmer and the virtual universe kind of thing. A universe that someone could plug into to do testing, without having real-life consequences. There would still be consequences, and someone would still experience emotions, pain, and so forth, but being brought back to reality they would feel normal, but enlightened if they learned something. It would be cool if this virtual universe were here, then people could go be bad in it, but good over here in the real world.

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Danarchy said:

Wetware is an actual thing that exists now

Speaking of wetware, I just read The Feeling of Power yesterday, an awesome short story by Isaac Asimov which is quite spot-on on all those "Where is X going?" questions.

I don't know if there's a simple word or sentence for the moral of that story though, so you'll have to dedicate some grey matter to it. The closest I could come up with is "revolution of the self-evident" or a very subtle version of Rock Beats Laser.

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I'm not going to try to go to far into the future, becuase when you do that, you will most likely be wrong. Here's my predictions that will not be valid past 10 years in the future:

* Facebook will go the way of Myspace and Xanga eventually, although I doubt its successor will be Google+.
* We will all, for the most part, have a much faster internet connection than we do now, and with slightly less ping time. This means streaming of high-quality audio and video will become much more common and feasible.
* All that "Web 2.0" crap that we worried would plague the internet will not follow us to the future. Hell, it's barely here now. When's the last time you've seen a "Tag cloud" or an "RSS feed", or whatever the hell was hip back in 2007?
* The layouts of a lot of webpages will change, specifically because of Tablet computers, which require use of Big Meaty Fingers to click links. Expect links and buttons to be larger or further apart.
* Flash will have a much smaller presence, thanks to the popularity of many devices that refuse to support it.
* Viruses and malware will be slightly harder to get, as now Android is becoming a "decoy" for viruses that may sheild Windows from some of the heat. Thanks to a generation who has grown up using computers, methods of delivering malware will have to become more clever than "Punch out Obama and get a free iPad".

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Wagi said:

Hell, it's barely here now. When's the last time you've seen a "Tag cloud" or an "RSS feed", or whatever the hell was hip back in 2007?

Today? There are RSS feeds everywhere.

Penny Arcade frontpage? Big orange "Subscribe .))" button.
Slashdot frontpage? Banner with "Follow us [.))] [f] [t]"
Google News? Scroll down, you'll see "[.))] RSS" just above the copyright line.

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Wagi said:

* All that "Web 2.0" crap that we worried would plague the internet ...


...is alive and well. Whenever you see an autocomplete search, a database-powered search, GUIs inside a browser etc. it's all AJAX and Web 2.0. There really isn't any going back, unless you prefer Flash and Java Applets.

And don't say "HTML5": it simply means even more AJAX and even less use of third-party plugins.

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