The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
 
-Alan Kay, Vice President for R&D, Walt Disney Imagineering

Because the Internet is the communications infrastructure for the twenty-first century, its future is vitally important. This part of the book introduces you to the many ways in which the Internet will affect your future. You'll probably learn about some issues you haven't thought about. Many of these issues are controversial, and some could shock or even offend you.

The Internet is a publicly accessible resource used by hundreds of millions of people. Like any public resource, what's found on the Internet reflects the people who use it. Unfortunately, not everyone using the Internet is well-meaning. Chapter 25 will make you aware of what's bad about the Internet, prepare you to guard against evil, and provide you with a way to voice your opinions about how the Internet should be regulated.

In spite of the bad things done by some hateful users, the Internet is a strategic resource to which everyone needs access. Citizens who cannot access the Information Superhighway will be disenfranchised in the twenty-first century. This part of the book will make you aware of the equity issues and suggest things you can do to help everyone gain access.

The Internet is growing and changing rapidly. New technologies are emerging that promise to help solve not only the technical issues regarding the Internet, but many of the societal issues as well. For example, declining costs caused by advances in microelectronics will make it possible for more people to become connected, thereby helping to solve the equity problem. Chapter 26 defines and discusses the emerging technologies that are creating new directions for the Internet.

Finally, since the Internet is constantly evolving, Chapter 27 will conclude the book by suggesting ways you can keep up with the new technology. People often ask how the author keeps up with all the changes in technology. In Chapter 27, you'll find out how to use the technology to help you keep up with the changes in technology.


Chapter 25 Societal Issues
Chapter 26 Emerging Technology
Chapter 27 How to Keep Up


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Contents

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