We all know that Al Gore invented the Internet.
Newspapers and blogs are quite rightly back-slapping Brit inventor Tim Berners-Lee today – the man who brought the world wide web to the, er, world 25 years ago today. It's a pity, then, that mainstream publications continue to stumble over the concept by lazily and wrongly saying that Berners-Lee birthed the internet. Sub- …
"It's a series of tubes.
There's an adapter mid-Atlantic (and Pacific) to change from imperial to metric size tubes."
Exactly, as Steve Knox said.
The tubes on one side of the adapters use Imperial Protocol (IP) - that's ours - and the tubes on the other side use, er, Their Crappy Protocol.
(Okay, okay, I couldn't think of a synonym for metric that begins with C!)
It won't actually be Al Gore, but his publicist who will contact you and correct your misconception.
The funny thing is that Al Gore claimed to have sponsored the bill that gave money to DARPA to fund the R&D for the internet. If memory serves... I don't believe he was the bill's sponsor but a co-sponsor...
(A bit of a big difference.)
Sort of.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Performance_Computing_and_Communication_Act_of_1991
ARPANET was the real birth of IP communication, which preceded the internet. When I was in the military back around 1986, we had a node in our computer room. Periodically someone from BBN http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBN_Technologies would call me to input some commands into the teletype. Later, when I was going to get out, the guy that I talked to wanted me to submit a resume and apply for a job. I didn't, and in retrospect, I wish I had.
ARPANET was the real birth of IP communication, which preceded the internet.
ARPANET originally used NCP, which was first specified in 1969.
IP was first specified in 1974.
ARPANET switched from NCP to TCP/IP in 1983 (the Big Switch). If you consider ARPANET "the Internet" (as opposed to just "an internet") prior to '83, as many do, then the Internet was NCP before it was TCP/IP.
You may have some other definition of "the Internet" and its point of origin, but internets definitely existed before IP was defined, much less before ARPANET switched to it.
While this is genuinely amusing, especially for the likes of us Regtards. I work with people everyday for whom 'the web' and 'the internet' are exactly the same thing, and in many cases, both terms mean almost nothing.
Actual conversation i had while trying to help someone access an online database.
me - open your browser
them - what's that?
me - (realising my mistake) the thing you use to get on the internet
them - oh, you mean google.
(the worst thing here, is the didn't even have google as their home page)
i really, really wish this is the only time this has happened to me, but it's not, and i suspect it's because generally speaking, the general public don't care what this fancy tech stuff is called, as long as they can get what they want from it.
Which i realise is missing the point a little, and yes, those who report the news, really should know better.
In circa 1983 I knew of a secretary in our office, near to retirement, who'd had her manual typewriter removed and replaced by "one of those word processor thingies" with a screen, printer and everything. Bless her, she struggled with the delete key. Well, actually I assume she couldn't find it if the amount of correction fluid on the screen was anything to go by...
Slightly off-topic. But I used to have meetings in a school with a SEN teacher who didn't know you could save documents (only a few years back). So each time she got called away from her office in the middle of a confidential report she'd turn the machine off and then have to start again later..
Text Message from the Mother:
"Darling, can you stop changing the internet every other day"
"What do you mean?"
"the google, you keep changing the google on my computer. I like yesterdays one better. Just keep it as that"
"No mum, I don't change the google logo, google changes that."
"You don't run the google?"
"No, if I did I wouldn't be driving a fiesta"
No, usually, at least from the techy-support stuff I've done it's "MY Internet's down"; what, you have your own personal Internet now…?! This article validates my pedantry; the number of times I've corrected folk and got "Same thing, innit…?!" I've tried to analogise by saying that calling the WWW 'the Internet' is like calling Windows 'your computer', but they NEVER seem to get it… You'd have thought that, with most of 'em being able to recall a time prior to the WWW's existence, they'd be a little more savvy. My father's been working in tech on-and-off for much of his working life (though never in a 'techy' capacity (he's an accountant by training, and did a lot of work for Sinclair and Prism (the software arm of Sinclair Ltd, for those who don't know, and it's why our loft is an homage to early-mid '80s tech) and I know at least one of the companies he worked for used a BBS (this was back in the days before BBS came to stand for 'Boobs, Beavers and Sex'. Remember all those '0898' premium-rate BBSs that used to be advertised in the classified sections of some computer mags…? I SWEAR I've some old Amiga Actions somewhere with ads for 'PornHub' boards…
"All Your Internet Are Belong To Us"
My mum phoned me recently to say her google wasn't working (meaning the internet, and not specifically google). I can't complain though. It was only a few months ago that I finally got her to use a computer.
I remember back in the days of dial-up, (when I was back living with the folks for a while) my dad would assume all his non-networked programs would run really slowly if I was downloading something on my computer at the same time!
Yeah, we can laugh, but computers and the internet have long been a consumer product - but it still doesn't excuse the newspapers from making the mistake. That's just sloppy journalism.
We can make of fun of people who act this way and bemoan their ignorance, but there is a sense in which they have a valid point. Without the www the internet wouldn't be what it is today. It might be better, it might be worse, but it wouldn't be what it is.
That's not to belittle all the work done by all of the folks who transformed ARPA into the internet, just to recognize that without the www, most people would care even less about them.
"Beat me to it. And I bet not many people off the top of their head know what a petard was and why it was bad to be "hoisted" by it (quotes intentional)."
Hate to burst your little superiority bubble, but most people who've been here for - three years or so?are well aware. We've had the supercilious lectures before when the petard quote has been used/mis quoted. You *were* right about being beaten to it, though you don't seem to realise by how much, so not a complete failure.
As the OED says about petards and hoisting:
Have one’s plans to cause trouble for others backfire on one
Ms Fiveash's article was intended to "cause trouble" for the non-tech media because they got a word wrong only to get a word wrong herself.
It may be the middle of the night here and I may be dyslexic but I don't see a problem with my comment about her use of "worldwide" instead of 'world wide".
It's the way you rephrased it that people are pointing out.
As you say, "hoist with his own petard" is a reference to a plan backfiring, but note that in the saying the word is hoist, rather than hoisted. Hoisted is a past tense of hoist, but so is hoist itself, and since that's the word used in the saying, I've long since concluded that people expect it to be the word used in reference to it (and some people just frown on the word "hoisted" anyway).
Also, your rephrasing you didn't in any way suggest Kelly was hoist with the petard - so your variation isn't a reference to something backfiring anyway.
At least, one or both of those is what I think people are getting at, anyway.
I strongly agree with Randy Hudson. Surely the correct forms are "the Internet" and "the [World Wide] Web". These are proper names, and therefore should be capitalized. I can't imagine why you (and others) lower-case them, unless it's simply a matter of trying to look trendy by avoiding as many capital letters as possible.
When working as an editor, I always advise writers that, if in any doubt about spelling a name, they should comply with the spelling used by its owner. I think you will find that the IETF refers to "the Internet" and W3C to "the World Wide Web".
...now none of us has to remember anything 'cos someone has already written it ( probably incorrectly! ) on a webpage somewhere!
A fact I was only made aware of the other day, Google only indexes about 3-4% of all public webpages in it's searches, that's a lot of pages left lurking out there!
"...now none of us has to remember anything 'cos someone has already written it ( probably incorrectly! ) on a webpage somewhere! "
As opposed to the Good Old Times where you had to rely on often-outdated sources in local libraries, or pay $$$$ for subscriptions to publications that *may* contain what you're looking for, or..... And getting your hands on information that was available ( and could be traced) could take weeks, if not months.
Call me hopelessly modern, but I really do not want to go back to the "Good Old Days"..
Granted but there's something to be said for exercising your brain by remembering and using key facts like your times-tables for example.
As we have info at our finger-tips you may join me and witness the death of the pub quiz evening, although in the current climate actually finding a pub that hasn't already been shut down would be the first challenge!
"...now none of us has to remember anything 'cos someone has already written it ( probably incorrectly! ) on a webpage somewhere!"
A comment that reminds me of something my step dad said to me, many many (MANY!) years ago - when the intertube of webbiness was much smaller than it is today.
I forget what it was specifically about, but he wanted to know if there was a web page about something or other. I didn't have a computer to hand, so couldn't do a search in order to find out, so I said "I don't know."
He got a bit annoyed, and said "You know all about the internet, so you must know!"
Since then, of course, I have read the entire internet three times. It does seem to change every time, though, which keeps it interesting.
the only acronym (may be wrong, I often am), that has more syllables and takes longer to say than the words it derives from.
Well as "w" is "double u" then "www" would be "sextuple u" ... again that's a bit long so shorten it to "sex you" and basically sums it up fo rmost users!
Although technically incorrect "the internet" being WWW is an feature of popular misnomers describing 'complicated' technologies that are taken over by the ease of access to non-techies.
'my ipad' actually being an android tablet
'my pc' being a desktop mac
etc etc etc
'the internet' is one we all use daily and could be forgiven for (surely?) eg:
"have you seen that 'thing' on 'the internet'"
but granted, maybe shouldn't the larger news sources actually be correctly headlining for the masses :
"Technology underpinning the way Web Pages are created and displayed turns 25"
cant see it happening, more likely they'll choose a more colloquial
"internet turns 25"
As we are talking colloquially: What Evs.
I think this is an example of a typical newbie error - the conflation of 'PC' with 'Windows'.
Commodore 64s, Apple IIs and the like were (correctly) called PCs when they first came out. Then 'IBM PC Compatible' was contracted to 'PC' and noobs who wanted to seem au-fait with this new fangled technology stuff got all confused. Bless 'em. PCW magazine didn't help, in the nineties, when it pretty much dropped coverage of anything that didn't run Windows.
If it's a computer, and it's personal, then it's a PC - whether or not it runs Windows (and, of course, Macs are perfectly capable of running Windows these days). The Raspberry Pi is a PC. So, probably, is your phone. It's a bit of a meaningless term, really.
> correcting a colloquial term like internet to www
Now you're making me think that you don't understand... The Internet is a network of packet-switching networks; the World Wide Web is something that runs on top of the Internet, along with any number of other protocols, like ftp, f'rinstance, and who remembers gopher? Lots of us here were using the Internet before there was a World Wide Web on port 80.
Well then that made an agoraphobic Sygourney Weaver an early adopter in Copycat, sealing herself inside an expensive hi-tech apartment, conducting her entire life from behind a computer screen.
How did you do that?
That computer's wired into INTERNET.
Would be interesting.
What with the insurgence of web mail, I'd imagine you could make a pretty good case that the internet IS WWW now more or less by % traffic anyway.
usenet is pretty much just hanging on, when was the last time you had to use an FTP server (on the internet not intranet), gopher ?
I suppose torrent traffic is going to be in there alongside HTTP/S but I'd be surprised if anything else makes much of an impression theses days.
I watched a lecture about a decade ago, about an Internet researcher who was upset that she couldn't understand the content of the Internet traffic anymore. Meaning: less than 50% was documented protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, NNTP, FTP etc. and more than 50% was god knows what. (probably Bittorrent??). I don't know what it is now. There's some info at isc.sans.edu.
Webmail really only front-ends email, so the traffic is SMTP, POP/IMAP etc. - only http as far as the web server. Same with a lot of web forms that generate email messages.
Usenet I use regularly. Didn't it use UUCP originally? I first used it on a Unix system and that was pre-WWW.
I do run FTP servers and use FTP to upload files to web sites. Never used gopher though.
"So that small black box with the red light on it is 25 years old? Wow."
No the light is 25 years old, the box is 51 and is still sporting a buzz cut.
I will Gopher my hat and coat.
Whoami? I will get my self out of here before I am fingered and someone is made to kill me, feed me to the lynx or hang me from an elm.
Those were the days, a 1200 baud modem, Unix commands and a yellow or green terminal.
Yoof of today, try and tell them that and they would laugh at you Zebediah.
The Web is the toilet, the Internet is the sewer!
That may still be too complicated for some people. Many times I've heard people confusing "sewage" and "sewerage".
On another topic, I can remember the first time I got into using the web. We weren't allowed direct access to the net, so I had to use usenet to get the address of a web remailer. You'd send a mail message somewhere and you'd get a set of uuencoded emails back containing the content of the page you requested. It was the need to piece the mails back together in the right order and decode them that started me learning Perl (though I probably wrote the thing in Awk first). Then fire up Mosaic (ugh) to view the decoded HTML file locally. Come to think of it, there was probably no Internet involved in delivering web pages in this way (mail probably being delivered by uucp over dedicated x.25 links).
When I was trying to figure out how the whole thing worked, I assumed that the whole web worked like a store-and-forward network (like usenet or fidonet), with intervening nodes caching any requested pages. I was wrong about that, but not totally because caching proxies did come later and are a pretty essential thing in many places.
While many people confuse the Internet and the World Wide Web, it's mostly because it doesn't matter to them. Coming from England I refer to "putting petrol in my car", whereas somebody in the late 19th century might quibble that I am actually putting "refined petroleum in my horseless carriage's internal combustion engine" or similar. Petrol being Eugene Carless's trade name for his product.
It could be wourse; at least we're not celebrating the anniversary of TBL inventing Twitter.
Isn't this the same thing for most users?
I bet, if I went in to work, and posted a note on the noticeboard saying I'd give a crisp fiver to the first person that can tell me what IMAP, SFTP, and https are in a sentence each, the only way I'd get an answer is if somebody bothers to Google each one.
For oldies, the "internet" is the spinny 'e'. For the more astute, it's the phoenix-rodent thing. For everybody, it's Google and Facebook[*]...
* - we're talking about people that Google the name of the company to find the company website, even though the company domain IS the name of the company! (with a .com at the end, but Firefox can work that out for itself)
...that I used in 1985: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, the domain *was* the wrong way around. We had a bulletin circulated explaining why we were changing it around.
(I can't remember the email address I used in 1985, it was buried under layers of proxies and redirections.)
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
, though you beat me by a couple of years!
What was the uucp gateway to Janet? I seem to remember using something like ...genvax!tardis.cs.ed.ac.uk!eimaj
Oh, and the domain wasn't the wrong way around.. NOW it's the wrong way around! !
A second entry from the Mail.
"25 years after a Briton dreamed up the internet... Who knew a biting baby and a sneezing panda would be such World Wide Wonders!"
Great article, Kelly... and no doubt that you also spotted that the mighty BBC (British Bumbling Corporation) was proclaiming the same thing yesterday evening on terrestrial and satellite TV, captioning Sir Tim as the "Inventor of the Internet" on every appearance and describing him as such late last night on BBC Radio.
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