Because of the inextricable link between Computers, Communications, and Computers, the timeline for this section is folded into the sections on 20th and 21st Century technology.
So this page has only a few brief points to make:
• The internet has changed / is changing the world completely.
• And this is only just beginning. We are 20 years after the invention of this new -- metaphorical, plough. We can only predict a small amount of the change that the internet has yet to bring.
Here are some ideas:
• News will be delivered on plastic, not paper. See the following video for an idea of that this can look like.
• Our education systems can change to bring the best teachers to the poorest classrooms.
• Similarly, we can apply our best physicians to the most poor rural area. Operations can be performed by robots or instructed young doctors under the direction of experts.
• Books will no longer be printed on paper -- it is a waste of precious resources.
• Economies of families will change as people in rural areas and poor countries will be able to sell their wares through the net.
• Shipping and transport companies will have to grow to meet this surging demand.
• Young people will have to decide that it is more fun to program than to play, otherwise they will be left behind.
• Globalization will rapidly increase in its fluidity, with contracts and jobs moving rapidly to Best Price, Best Product, Best Factory, Best treatment of people.
• Wealthier people and economies will -- must -- change from only a consumer base to a service base. We must use our knowledge and skills to train the next generation -- everywhere.
• This training will extend into areas that will require "Training the Trainers", in subjects like ecology, nutrition, health, craft, public health and public governance.
• Communications will grow to include full video-conferencing on any kind of device, from a phone to a refrigerator.
• Resulting bandwidth -- network speeds -- will continually have to upgrade to meet the new demand.
• There will be political upheaval in parts of the world that resist these changes, as much as similar upheaval in countries that do not plan for, nor provide for water, electric, internet, food and shelter.
This site is being developed with new web technology. I hesitate to say “web 2.0” because not many people know what that really is. I’m not sure I do.
What we do know is this: The so-called browser wars between Microsoft and Netscape some ten years ago, were not just about free internet access software - they were about the present and future of web standards. Surfice it to say that Microsoft only won one round. More egalitarian and technically savvy people organized global standards bodies to ward off reliance on proprietary browser technology that left people and sites open to attack, viruses and limited the amount of innovation that could be accomplished through the web.
Today the World Wide Web standards body (W3C.org) (you don’t need to go there unless you are a real geek) - is made up of a wide board of scientists, technologists and companies including MS - and have agreed on a path to a set of reasonable standards. These will become manifested as new versions of browsers emerge. Firefox was a big break for open standards, and Apple’s Safari scores 100% on the so-called Acid Test 3.
This is important to everyone. It means that websites that conform to the new standards will be able to be viewed on everyone’s (modern) computer.
I’m happy to say that this site (at least I think) is fully compliant with the next generation of standards, called XHTML and CSS2.x. You should be able to view it in Safari 2+, Firefox 2+ and Internet Explorer 7+. Did you know that there are about 30-40 web browsers? See how your site stacks up here.