The History Of The Internet And Its Possible Future

The origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the US federal government in the 1960s with the aim to create secure communications using computer networks. The first network in this project, the ARPANET, which can be considered as a backbone for communication connections of different State’s academic and military networks and was created in the 1980s. 

Early computers had a central processing unit and remote terminals. As the technology evolved, new systems were devised to allow communication over longer distances for terminals, or with higher speed for interconnection of local devices that were used for the mainframe computer model. However, the point-to-point communication model did not allow direct communication between any two arbitrary systems and a physical link was necessary. The technology was also considered unsafe for strategic and military use because there were no alternative paths for the communication in case of an enemy attack.

The linking of commercial networks and enterprises by the early 1990s marked the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet. As new generations of institutional, personal, and mobile computers were connected to the network the whole process took off and massively increased in size and connections. 

The Internet has been widely used by universities since the 1980s and business incorporated its services and information technologies into many aspects of society and commerce. Today the concept of cyber is used to describe the systems and services directly or indirectly connected to the Internet, telecommunications, electronic, and computer networks. 
Cyberspace can be visualised as an electronic nervous system running through many national and international sectors and systems. 

Cyber is in fact the term used to describe any digital/electronic connections you have with and on your computer. The process has changed many areas of social life, commerce and government and this is going to significantly increase over the next decade. 

Cyber and Digital technology has already significantly rocked some industries like the publishing industry. Publishing has been completely changed by digital technology and has allowed readers a far faster electronic engagement with issues, news and analysis. It has threatened the commerciality of newspapers, books and magazines and considerably reduced the amount of overall print. The new process has given far more individuals a growing blogging space in which to add real and false news, comment and views globally. 

For television broadcasters the time-shifting function of watching a recorded programme means it is easy to skip advertisements. Advertisers are trying to develop alternative methods of delivering their message, some overt and some covert, using product placement and ambush advertising. However, as in all revolutions Cyber has a criminal down side and this also needs all of our engaging attention.

Cyber Attacks and Fraud

Currently Londoners are losing an average of £26 million a month in cyber-attacks on businesses and individuals, Scotland Yard has warned. Thousands of cyber fraud are recorded in the capital each month, with phishing emails, ransomware and malware the most common scams. Senior Met officers warned fraudsters often target individual employees to bypass company security systems.

The cost of cyber-crime to the UK is currently £27bn per annum. A significant proportion of this cost comes from the theft of IP from UK businesses, which is estimated to be £9.2bn per annum. Analysts suggest that about 73 per cent of frauds are carried out online, with many criminals based overseas, making it difficult for police in the UK to pursue a case.  Information is Power, is certainly true when it comes to cybercrime. Access to your personal information is what gives hackers the power to tap into your accounts and steal your money or your identity. 

But the right information can also empower you to protect yourself from being caught up in the thriving industry that is cybercrime. 

Cyber represents the biggest or one of the largest developments of the world’s economy since the First and Second Industrial Revolutions. The Cyber section within Wikipedia is described as the Third Industrial Revolution.  Perhaps more precisely Cyber can be defined as the Digital Revolution representing the new Information Age signifying a radical change from mechanical, analog and into the digital technology cyberspace.

From a government, intelligence agency and a broader police perspective the strategy required to deal with cyber has some historic similarities to the way in which piracy was used and then internationally contained and gradually significantly reduced. 
The global oceans and seas and the international shipping routes, trade and naval activities, which can be seen in a way as similar to an old version of the Internet, has gone through so much damage, theft, destruction and life loss via piracy and privateering. 

The reduction of piracy took centuries to achieve, finally significant aspects of it were outlawed by the Peace of Westphalia and put into international treaties by the Declaration of Paris in 1856. Cyber security needs a similar, but far faster, globally inter-related process to be agreed and established.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The concept of cyber is used to describe the systems and services directly or indirectly connected to the Internet, telecommunications, electronics and computer networks. Cyberspace can be visualised as an electronic nervous system running through many national and international sectors and systems.  Cyber or the Internet enables everything from electricity, power supplies, water systems, transportation, the Web and digital infrastructures to communicate, operate and function. 

As an aside people often mix the Web with the Internet believing them to be the same thing, but this is not correct as the Web is about data search and transmission and is just one part of the large multi-technology system called the Internet. This understandably typifies the current confusion in this post-modern globalised society, which is increasingly dependent on an array of sometimes organised and often randomly interrelated electronic infrastructures. Consequently, at present the interconnectivity of cyberspace, its reach, structure and sophistication have significantly changed some of the concepts of national security, geo-politics, global trade and many individual’s understanding of available data, security and social networks.

In industry a number of technologies are converging: software, innovative materials, more sophisticated robots and pioneering processes one of which is three-dimensional printing. 

3D Printing: This is a manufacturing process that creates three-dimensional objects using an industrial robot and a whole range of web-based services. The factory of the past was based on cranking out millions of identical products: Henry Ford said that car-buyers could have any colour they liked, as long as it was Black. The factory of the future will focus on mass customisation and may look more like the original weavers' cottages than a Ford assembly line, however the issues around security and theft of ideas, products and copyright will increase and will need to be continuously addressed. 

It won’t just be dreary chores that are consigned to the history books – production of certain items will no longer be needed. Instead 3D printers will enable us to design and create what we need, from household items like dishes and clothes to the building bricks for a future home.

In the creative arena we now have driverless planes (drones), cars and trains, which it is claimed are reducing fuel consumption and accidents… as well as reducing the transport jobs market... the potential effects of driverless trucks and lorries and robot load and unloading machines will be revolutionary for distribution and again job losses would be massive – there are currently over 20 million truck drivers operating globally.

But perhaps an even potentially larger and more revolutionary area of change for the whole economy is in the new electronic  arena of Virtual Currency. This new currency potentially alters the way in which commerce and individuals buy and sell, exchange, deal and save. This may only be the beginnings and outset to another massive cultural shift offering the potential for new cyber nation states and or countries.

Like all revolutions, this one is and will continue to be disruptive. To take an example from the commercial area Digital technology has already significantly rocked the media industry. 

Publishing has been completely changed by digital technology and has allowed readers a far faster electronic engagement with issues, news and analysis. It has threatened the commerciality of newspapers, books and magazines and considerably reduced the amount of overall print. 

The new process has given far more individuals a growing blogging space in which to add news, comment and views globally. 

It has also even pre-Sony radically altered the economics of film, television and music recording and distribution and the whole of the financials as copying/downloading for free has altered the economics.Digital communication has had a growing situational impact with the increasing use of social networks. This information exchange and discussion had an enormous impact on such events as the Arab Spring, where views, news, opinion and action could be spread and connected across the Middle East and into Europe and America, often countering government propaganda, intelligence and the established old news media organisations.

About 30 years ago the personal computer began to make its way into regular use, and it went on to transform society and the way we live our lives. Let’s look further into the future and imagining how information technology might develop and change our lives in the new digital realities of 2045, 30 years from now.

Robots Everywhere

Before long it’s likely that the world’s population will include billions of people and billions of robots, with the latter doing almost all of the heavy, repetitive labour. People will work on improving the software for the robots and the IT industry will be home to companies developing programs for robots just like they now develop apps for users to download and install.
Robots could take over 20 million manufacturing jobs around the world by 2030, economists recently claimed. According to a new study from Oxford Economics, within the next 11 years there could be 14 million robots put to work in China alone.

Mechanical People: To a certain extent the boundaries between robots and humans will become blurred. Transplants will start using electronically controlled artificial organs and prosthesis will be a routine surgical procedure. 
Nanorobots will travel deep into the body to deliver drugs to diseased cells or perform microsurgery. Specially installed sensors will monitor people’s health and transmit their findings into a cloud-based storage that can be accessed by the local doctor. All of this should lead to a considerable increase in life expectancies.

Smart Homes: People will live in smart homes where most creature comforts will be fully automated. The software that runs the house will take care of energy, water, food and supplies consumption and replenishment. The residents’ only concern will be to ensure there is enough money in their bank accounts to pay the bills.
Hyper Intelligence: Our digital alter egos will finally be fully formed within a single global infrastructure capable of self-regulation and involved in managing life on the planet. The system will operate a bit like today’s TOR; the most active and effective users will earn moderator rights. The system will be geared towards distributing resources between people, preventing armed conflict and other humanitarian actions.

No More Computers: The PC might have started the whole IT boom, but by 2045 we’ll probably only see it in museums. To be more precise we will no longer need a single tool for working with data, which is basically all a computer does. 
There will be an even greater range of smart devices and these different gadgets will steadily take over the functions of today’s PCs. For example, financial analysis will be done by a server controlled by the organisation concerned using electronic documents, not by an accountant on a personal computer.

Technophobia: Not everyone will be excited by a brave new robotic world, however. New Luddites similar to the 19-century workers who opposed the Industrial Revolution and tried to destroy machines, will likely emerge to oppose the development of smart homes, automated lifestyles 

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