The Future Of The Internet

The Future Of The Internet

Ethan Feerst and Dylan Stewart (Technology Therapist, Mac Guru) gives expert video advice on: How has the Internet already changed the world since its inception?; How will the Internet affect politics and elections?; Is the Internet a target for global terrorism in the future? and more...

How has the Internet already changed the world since its inception?

How many times do you go to your post office these days? The Internet has changed the world in a lot of ways. Email has become the preliminary form of communication. I think that that's the most prime thing. Brick and mortar shops are less popular, while Internet destinations are more popular. The Internet has changed music completely, completely changed the way it's sold, the way it's promoted, the way it's delivered to you. The Internet has completely changed the way we think of the world. The world is a much smaller place with the Internet. I communicated with Japan this morning. I had a remote administration session in Bali last week. It's like next door. It's not like it's the other side of the world anymore. Geography means nothing in terms of the Internet.

How will the Internet affect the future of small business?

The internet has started to affect small businesses already, as you now have the ability to identify your business online, advertise online and find a place for your customers to find you online. As that's already started to change small businesses, it will continue to. Small businesses will thrive with very little startup funds because they can connect with the entire world on one simple web site that might cost them $35 a month.

How will the Internet affect the future of international big business?

Because the internet has changed the globolization of our planet, the geography of our planet--these big businesses can reach more and more people quicker, faster. They're spreading out across the globe and they're able to communicate with every country. It's making companies that use to consider themselves American companies, or German companies, or French companies something completely different. Suddenly you're a global company if you've got an Internet presence.

How will the availability of the Internet change in the coming years?

Well, the internet is going to change a lot in its availability as high speed internet gets faster and faster and cheaper and cheaper. There are also talks about certain cities, San Francisco is the first one to do it, Huntington Beach and Los Angeles are probably next in line, that plan on having city supported wireless internet hot spots for free, across the city. As the internet becomes more and more available, and faster, more people will have it. More communication will happen on it. More business will be done on it, and it will continue to be a cycle of faster internet, more business, wider dispersion, more globalization, less of an impact based on geography.

How will the Internet affect politics and elections?

We've already seen how the internet is going to affect politics and elections. We saw it happen most notably with Bill Clinton's election. We've also seen politicians completely destroyed by a single dumb slip of the tongue. One clip from one new channel instead of just being visible on NBC or making the rounds of basic TV channels is suddenly on Youtube and John McCaine making a dumb joke is heard the whole world round fourty times a day. The internet is continuing to change politics with such different things as how your particular candidate has or how their web presence is, do they have a website, can you get their politics and their views on their website, can you get, is their a forum where other people who believe in that candidate can speak about him, can talk about him, how he's advertised, how he gets around and and I've even seen such interesting things as online virtual reality candidates. Certain candidates, such as John Edwards has a complete presence on the internet's video game Second Life, a virtual world, where you can go and talk to a virtual version of John Edwards face to face and ask him questions and he will respond. Least we hope it's him responding. We really have no way of knowing, but the concept is these candidates can have a virtual presence for next to no political expenditure on the internet and get to everyone that wants to who they are and what they believe in.

Is the Internet a target for global terrorism in the future?

It's really really hard to take the Internet down. The Internet doesn't exist as one place or one thing. It's possible and you will see it in Hollywood blockbusters, that are even on their way into theaters as we record; you will see that concept being talked about . But from where I sit there is no way for terrorism to really take down the internet or utilize it as a tool against us. You can take down specific websites or you can use hacking tools to tap into information stored in websites. So the kind of terrorism that I am afraid of on the internet is some huge global company tapping into a database that I happen to belong to and getting my personal information when I never expected that information to get out. That is the kind of terrorism that I am afraid about. I'm not worried about them planting a bomb next to a Google server and taking out the entire internet. It's just not going to happen that way.

How will the Internet change multimedia and entertainment?

The internet is poised to make some huge change with multimedia and entertainment. It's happening as we speak. We've watched the music revolution, the digital music revolution, and the change in the way music is sold. Now, CDs are disappearing. They're unnecessary. It's going to continue. Television shows will be seen on the internet. You may even find more viewers on the internet than you will on the actual television channels. You'll see movies distributed on the internet. You'll see movies distributed to theatres and the internet simultaneously. You'll be downloading your movies directly to your computer. Then, it will change even more. As the home entertainment environment grows wings and starts to fly, you'll have things like the iPod that can show you TV shows, video, and music and they'll be able to surf the internet; it'll change from there. You'll have your photos, which are digital, able to be viewed on computer screens placed around your house, where your computer tells which computer screen to show the particular slide show from one of your Hawaii vacations or of family pictures, and you can do it at the flick of a finger; at the touch of a button. You're going to see devices like the iPod become multimedia storage hubs with remote control sensors that'll allow you to point your iPod or other MP3 device at a television screen, click a button, and wirelessly display content from the internet or from the iPod onto the TV screen. You'll also be able to point it at a wall and set it up as a projector or onto one of the picture TV screens. Your photos will stop being something that's a static thing, and start being something that's dynamic and alive, and so will the movies, the music, and the TV shows. All of it will become handheld and will travel with you, and you'll be able to watch that show you want to see, that movie you want to see, look at the pictures you want to see or browse the internet from anywhere you go in the world, all off of a device that can be held in the palm of your hand, smaller than a deck of cards.