Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Internet Innovation and Material Infrastructure

One of the interesting aspects of yesterday's of yesterday's class was the discussion on the growth of the internet and its capabilities. Originally only the share of small data files and some primitive discussion boards were available due to a lack of processing power and the small size of the network. The Internet Boom Era of the mid 90's to the early 2000's was contingent on not only the expansion of landline or cable based networks, but the proliferation of affordable modems.

Even this technology had it's limits and these limits can be expressed in the 'Dot Com Crash' itself. The rapid expansion of web content quickly revealed that a nation mostly equipped with 56k modems can only be so much content, even loading a website with a large amount of .tiff or .jpeg pictures took a long time. The resurgence of the Internet several years later, with the popularity of Social Media and many other new web services, would have been impossible without the proliferation of broadband-speed Internet connections.

So how does this process of web development following infrastructural development look to progress in the future? Well, in class we discussed Googles long term plan of evolving Chrome from just a browser to an Operating System in and of itself, so that booting one's computing and going on the Internet will be inseparable. The only way this project could see the success Google hopes for is for massive telecommunications infrastructure improvement, namely in the area of wireless access.

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