The Dependability Of The Web Essay Research

The Dependability Of The Web Essay, Research Paper

The Dependability of the Web

by Nathan Redman

A new age is upon us – the computer age. More specifically, the

internet. There’s no doubt that the internet has changed how fast and the way

we communicate and get information. The popularity of the net is rising at a

considerable rate. Traffic, the number of people on the web, is four times

what it was a year ago and every thirty seconds someone new logs on to the net

to experience for themselves what everyone is talking about. Even Bill Gates,

founder of Microsoft, a company that really looks into the future in order to

stay ahead of the competition, said the internet is one part of the computer

business that he really underestimated. As one of the richest men in the world

I doubt if he makes too many mistakes. Nobody could have predicted that the

internet would expand at this rate and that’s probably the reason why troubles

are arising about the dependability of the web.

As usage soars (some estimate there will be over eighty million users by

the end of 1997) could the internet overload? Even though no one predicted the

popularity of the net some are quick to foresee the downfall or doomsday of

this fade. If you call it a fade. The demand continues to rise and is now so

great that technological improvements are continually needed to handle the

burden that’s been created from all of the people using the net.

Their are many things that can lighten the load that’s been slowing down

the internet. First, it needs to have a lot better organization because with

over seventy-five million web pages, and rising steadily fast, being able to

pin-point the information you are trying to find is very difficult. It’s like

finding a needle in a haystack. When you use a search engine to find

information on a certain topic the search can come back with thousands upon

thousands of pages or sites. Sometimes with over fifty-thousand. Now you have

the never ending task of looking through each site to find what you want. Plus,

with links on most pages people can end up getting lost real fast and not being

able to find their way back. Search engines should develop what I call the

filter down affect. In the filter down affect a broad topic is chosen and then

sub-topics are chosen continuously until the list of sites has narrowed the

search to respectable sites and the information needed. Having better

organization would remove some of the worthless sites around cyperspace from

ending up first in the search engines results.

A second way to lighten the load of the internet is by improving the

time it takes to load a page. The speed of loading a page depends greatly on

the type of equipment, software, how much memory you have, your connection speed,

plus a lot of other factors, but web page designers should make more text and

less graphics, animation, and video because text takes a lot less time to load.

According to an October 1996 survey by AT&T, sixty-seven percent of sites were ?

off the net? for at least on hour per day because of overload. The web wasn’t

designed to handle graphics, animation, audio, and video. It was first

developed for E-mail (electronic mail) and transferring text files, but web

page designers want their pages to look the best so that people or for in the

case of business, potential customers, visit their site and are impressed by it

so they come back in the future and tell others about the site. After all, the

best way to have people visit your web site is by word of mouth because it is

very hard for people to find the site unless they happen to know the exact

address. Sometimes though, popularity can kill a site. For instance, when the

weather got bad in Minnesota one weekend the National Weather Service web site

got overloaded with people wanting to read and see the current weather forecasts.

The result was the server going down from the overload leaving nobody the

ability to visit that site. With more businesses seeing the dollar signs that

the web could produce they compete for advertising on the web because it is much

cheaper then advertising on television or the newspaper and it can reach people

all the way around the world. Designers for these pages can’t forget that

surfers aren’t willing to wait very long for pages to load so simplifying pages

can make the web a lot faster.

Another way to make things faster is to make sure that servers can

handle the load applied to them. Internet providers want to make money just like

all other businesses so they try fitting as many customers on to one server as

they can. Putting less people on each server would create faster service. Also

popular businesses or sites should have big enough capacities to handle the

amount of people that visit. Slow servers will lose a lot of business. Internet

providers and businesses should look at future capacities and not just to

current loads.

As in the case of doomsday more and more fears of logging into

cyberspace are beginning to receive attention. As mentioned above, speed is a

major concern. Besides what is recommended, technological improvements need to

be developed. For example, bigger pipelines (lines carrying computer data) like

fiber optics and satellite transmission are receiving high ratings from people,

but like all good things in life putting bigger pipelines in the ground takes a

lot of time and money. If the government or private industries are willing to

lay the foundation for putting in faster lines it will change the world just

like the railroad tracks in the 1800’s.

Another major fear of people on the superhighway of information is

security. Hackers (people that get into data on computers they aren’t suppose

to) can hack into a lot of private information on the information superhighway.

In reality it isn’t any different then credit cards and valuables being stolen

in the real world. Their is currently cybercops surfing the web looking for

illegal happenings on the information superhighway. Patrolling the web is only

one way to help put a stop to hackers. Encrypting and making better security

software needs to be developed along with other computer technology to help

control hackers or cybercriminals.

Theirs no denying the fact that the internet is very powerful in today’s

world. It combines text, audio, animation, video and graphics all in one and at

the click of a button you can receive entertainment and news, communicate with

people around the world, do your banking, reserve tickets, buy, sell and trade

merchandise or collectibles, or even order dinner for the night. These are just

a few things that can be accomplished on the net. People aren’t only attracted

to what the internet has to offer now but to what will be available in the near

future. Some day computers will replace our television, radio, answering

machine, and telephone. Technology is developing so rapidly that things not

even imaginable will be developed to make our lives easier but more confusing.

After all, no one predicted where the net is today and how fast it would it

would develop.


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