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to be available.
With Internet game playing, the player plays a commercial or
shareware game on their computer and their opponents,
rather then the application itself on their computer, are real
live people doing the same on their own machines where ever
they live.
Event Broadcastingis one of those remarkable things about the
internet. Limiting the number of visitors to what is
essentially a live web site which permits the visitor to see and
hear a conference or special event. The Canadian Juno music
awards are online this year as have been many conferences
and some concerts. The technology for this is largely web
related as they use web browsers but supplement its
capability with RealAudiotechnology for sound and
QuickTimevideo streaming for video. (some use of MPEG
is also used for both audio and video transport)
Push technology is a commercial service that uses the Internet's
connectivity to direct to your computer information,
entertainment and news. The cost of these services is borne
by the advertising that is part of the project. PointCast is one
of the best known such services but there are more then a
dozen services of this type and they either continuously
download data into your machine in the background while
you are on line or they are set to dial up and download at
intervals. Services of this type may begin soon to shape the
sort of thing the Internet will become as streaming video
becomes more workable, it is conceivable that much of what
use we make of television may be served by Internet push
From this discussion you can see that it is unlikely that limits will appear to curtail the growth and development of the Internet and the variety of things it now provides. Without a doubt, the Internet is the most technological cultural significant shift since the advent of the printing press, the coming of radio in the twenties and television in the fifties. What we know, how we know it and what we value will all be tested by this technology. Like the other media developments its significance will not be seen immediately but will only become apparent as our dependence on it becomes accepted and unconscious. Newspapers and books were responsible for revolutions, radio shaped the response of a world to the Axis nations and television both produced and ended the Vietnam conflict. The Internet will continue to be as influential and important as these and perhaps even more so because the lack of definition and its pervasiveness. The challenge is as it has always been, to acknowledge reality and use it to best further our personal and collective needs.
- Printing press
- Radio
- Television
- Internet
Saturday, June 13, 1998