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Internet is a global computer network that uses TCP/IP and provides information, video, photos, chat, emails, and other services to government agencies, businesses, educational institutions, and individual users.

History - The origins of the World Wide Web can be traced to the 1950s when a message was sent from a laboratory in Los Angels over the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). Other protocols and networks have been developed since then, including Telenet, Tymnet, Merit Network, etc. Internet was born in 1982 with the introduction of a network of interconnected TCP/IP networks.

Internet Technologies - Today, there are different technologies that allow users to browse, access, and share information. Webmasters and visitors use blog platforms, presentation tools, social media platforms, RSS feeds, virtual tools, and many others. The category of presentation tools includes timeline tools and slide players such as OneTrueMedia, Vuvox, and Slideshare. There are also simple tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint. The blogosphere is a place that connects millions of people. Webmasters use popular platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, Terapad, Live Journal, and others. Brainstorming tools are also popular, from online whiteboards to tools such as mindmap. More and more people use IM aggressor websites that allow them to combine messaging sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo, Aim, and others. Social media is also popular, with websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter having millions of daily visitors. Then there are virtual worlds such as Second Life which allows residents (users) to participate in events and activities, socialize, meet others, and trade services and virtual properties. Users interact and move through avatars.

Internet and Benefits - The wealth of information available is an obvious benefit for users. From news articles to scholarly journals, books, and reports, there are different ways to access information. Businesses offer their products and services while employees use job search platforms. Internet offers access to convenient tools such as trading platforms, online calculators, translation tools, quizzes, and free software. Companies and individual users can access their bank accounts, pay bills, and conduct other transactions. Users can book a vacation, airfare, or car rental and buy train, concert, and movie tickets. Students can access electronic libraries, request an interlibrary loan, and check book availability.

There are localized, directed, and global search engines, including topical and geographical, catalogues, directories, and others.

Internet Statistics - While today 39 percent of the population worldwide uses Internet, this figure was 16 percent during 2005. Countries with pervasive censorship include Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Cuba, China, and Vietnam. These countries are known for censoring information and news published online. Some states are also involved in surveillance and acts that are in violation of human rights standards. Algeria, Brazil, Belgium, and Afghanistan are countries with little or no censorship.

When it comes to mobile phones and Internet use, the countries with the largest number of users are China, India, the U.S., and Brazil. Internet penetration rates are the highest for North America, Australia, and Europe and the lowest for Africa and Asia. While internet use is growing with a fast pace, the rate is not the same everywhere. The development of broadband technologies may reverse this trend.



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