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Midterm

MIT 1700 MidTerm Review

14 Pages
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Department
Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G
Professor
Ajit Pyati

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MIT 1700 Midterm Notes Week 1: Origins Is the Internet a radically new technology? Or is it built on older technologies? Built on old technologies o Write letter write email o Talk on the phone skype o Read newspaper read online Convergence = all these different technologies changing into newer form (Internet- based) Voice over, phone processes are put onto the internet recently and video screening Paving the way for the internet: telegraph and railroad, telephone communications, radio, electricity, television Direct dialing (video) What is the Internet? A network of networks o Large, different networks in different areas of the world Socio-technological infrastructure (combination of people, society, and technology) o Networks, computers, people, content, applications, ect. In what ways is the Internet different from other information and communication technologies (ie: radio, telephone, television)? o Idea of convergence, all these applications coming onto the Internet platform o Many to many communication happening with the Internet (small group mediation occurring on a wide scale) o Television or radio are a one to many form of communication (broadcast, sense of power) o Telephone is in general a one to one form of communication History of the Internet Development of Internet took place post WW2 (during cold war) o Sputnick in Soviet advised us to invest in military research and technology 1969 APRPANET US Department of Defense o Part of military program so government funded it 1978 TCP/IP Protocol developed o Allows different networks to communicate to creade a wide network o The information can now be transferred between computers o Standardization = creates a common language to communicate o If we didnt have standardization we would have a bunch of small networks instead of a large network 1990 Tim Berners-Lee and WWW application o Can now create browsers that have a common content in sharing language o Allowed content to be shared 1995 until today Private operation of the Internet 1 o Phone companies and Internet service providers control the internet instead of the government Principles of the Internet Decentralized network structure o If there is a nuclear bomb the network could be shut down o Done for a certain purpose (military origins though they didnt directly influence the development, they certainly had an effect for the decentralized network- if there was an attack on the network, the different nodes would survive). Distributed computing power through the nodes of the network o If attack on one still survives Redundancy of functions Multi-layered networks o More people that use the network, more benefit for society in general Open communication protocols o Anybody can use them free of charge Redundancy of functions and decentralization important for national defense purposes. Standardization Why is standardization of the network important? Data/file protocols Open and standardized communication protocols important both at data transfer level (TCP/IP) and content level (WWW application) Network effect - the more people that use the network, the more important the network becomes to each user. Infrastructure What is infrastructure? o Social and technical constructions What are some other infrastructures that we rely upon for daily life functioning? Embedded in other structures, social arrangements, and technologies Transparent (invisibly support tasks) Learned as part of membership of a group Linked with conventions of practice in daily living Relies on standardization Builds upon an installed base Becomes visible upon breakdown Why is it so important? o Without Internet, we wouldnt have the openness to be connected data/file protocols - IP Internet as Cultural Creation Product of different cultural foundations 2 o Big Science tied to university systems o Military Research department of defense, think tanks o Culture of Freedom countercultural trends that came out of the environment and said computers lead to e batter society; this idealism helped shape the development of the Internet Big Science - primarily large research universities in the U.S. Military Research Funded through U.S. Department of Defense Culture of Freedom Utopian ideals about information and technology; doing good computer science; open standards; open source software; opposition to corporate and business ethics Grassroots Computing (culture of freedom??) Open software system o Software with a code that is open = able to modify and distribute o Open data and communications standards o Utopian belief in information and technology for positive social change o Hacker culture Information wants to be free!! Lessons from Internet Development Cooperation and freedom of information important o More valuable than competition and privatization High levels of government and research funding Creativity and innovation valued The information super highway From 1995 onwards, Internet was being taken up as a major technology o Social, political, economical, cultural, End of Internet as a Frontier? Computer as an appliance vs. computer as a tool o Not open to modification (bad thing or good thing?) o Ie: iPhone o Tools can create things with it Need for greater control and security on the Internet? Why or why not? o Viruses, spam, ect. o Downside of openness o Maybe going too far in one direction to have a completely controlled network Zittrain selections - Generative Internet vs. Appliancized network Some Trend to Follow Encroachment of business interests Increasing network-based control of user activities Infrastructure development A democratic Internet? Openness and creativity threatened? 3
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