The Internet (portmanteau of interconnected network) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.
The origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the federal government of the United States in the 1960s to build robust, fault-tolerant communication with computer networks. The primary precursor network, the ARPANET, initially served as a backbone for interconnection of regional academic and military networks in the 1980s. The funding of the National Science Foundation Network as a new backbone in the 1980s, as well as private funding for other commercial extensions, led to worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies, and the merger of many networks. The linking of commercial networks and enterprises by the early 1990s marked the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet, and generated a sustained exponential growth as generations of institutional, personal, and mobile computers were connected to the network. Although the Internet was widely used by academia in the 1980s, commercialization incorporated its services and technologies into virtually every aspect of modern life.
Most traditional communication media, including telephony, radio, television, paper mail and newspapers are reshaped, redefined, or even bypassed by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as email, Internet telephony, Internet television, online music, digital newspapers, and video streaming websites. Newspaper, book, and other print publishing are adapting to website technology, or are reshaped into blogging, web feeds and online news aggregators. The Internet has enabled and accelerated new forms of personal interactions through instant messaging, Internet forums, and social networking. Online shopping has grown exponentially both for major retailers and small businesses and entrepreneurs, as it enables firms to extend their "brick and mortar" presence to serve a larger market or even sell goods and services entirely online. Business-to-business and financial services on the Internet affect supply chains across entire industries.
The Internet has no single centralized governance in either technological implementation or policies for access and usage; each constituent network sets its own policies. The overreaching definitions of the two principal name spaces in the Internet, the Internet Protocol address (IP address) space and the Domain Name System (DNS), are directed by a maintainer organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The technical underpinning and standardization of the core protocols is an activity of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a non-profit organization of loosely affiliated international participants that anyone may associate with by contributing technical expertise. In November 2006, the Internet was included on USA Today's list of New Seven Wonders.
was a parody web site
lampooning Tom Cruise's
involvement with Scientology
, initially hosted at the domain name scientomogy.info
. The site was created in 2005 after increased media publicity surrounding Cruise's appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show
and The Today Show
. ScienTOMogy gained press attention after it was contacted by the Church of Scientology
with a cease and desist
letter, alleging copyright infringement
over use of the word "Scientomogy", claiming that it was too close to the word "Scientology". The proprietor of the site initially agreed to relent to the Church's demands, but after consulting attorneys, instead decided to keep the site. Internet traffic to the site later increased dramatically as a result of the media and press attention surrounding the Church of Scientology's alleged copyright infringement claims.
William Henry Gates III
(born 28 October 1955) is an American entrepreneur
, software executive
, the software company he founded with Paul Allen
. During his career at Microsoft he has held the positions of CEO
and chief software architect
, and he remains the largest individual shareholder with more than 9% of the common stock
. Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer
revolution. Although he is widely admired, his business tactics have been criticized as anti-competitive and in some instances ruled as such in court. Since amassing his fortune, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic
endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
, established in 2000. The annual Forbes
magazine's list of The World's Billionaires
has ranked Gates as the richest person in the world from 1995 to 2007, with recent estimates putting his net worth over $56 billion USD
. When family wealth is considered, his family ranks second behind the Walton family
, heirs of Wal-Mart
founder Sam Walton
. In July 2007, Fortune
magazine reported that the increase in value of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim
's holdings of stock caused him to surpass Bill Gates as the world's richest man.
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