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The Internet (contraction of interconnected network) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use 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. Some publications no longer capitalize "internet".

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 since 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.

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moot, founder of 4chan
4chan is an English-language imageboard website based on the Japanese-language Futaba Channel. Launched on October 1, 2003 by "moot" ("Christopher Poole"), its boards are based primarily around the posting of pictures and discussion of Japanese comics and television shows. Users generally post anonymously, and the site has been linked to "Anonymous" culture and Project Chanology. 4chan's "/b/" board, dedicated to random postings, is the most active and is notorious on the Internet. The site has generated significant media attention, and its members have been responsible for the formation and popularization of several Internet memes such as lolcats, rickrolling, and the popularity of the Tay Zonday song "Chocolate Rain". It has also received media attention for its attacks against other websites and Internet users, and for the threats of real world violence that have been posted on it.

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iPhone at MacWorld
Credit: blakeburris

The iPhone is a multimedia, Internet-enabled mobile phone designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It has a multi-touch screen with virtual keyboard and buttons. The iPhone was introduced, first in the United States on June 29, 2007 with much media frenzy and then in the United Kingdom, Germany and France in November 2007. It was named Time magazine's Invention of the Year in 2007.

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Main project: WikiProject Internet

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Related WikiProjects: Blogging • Websites • Early Web History • Internet culture

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Danah Boyd at the Web 2.0 Conference, 2005
Danah Michele Boyd (or danah boyd, born Danah Michele Mattas in 1977), is an American academic, researcher, and blogger best known for media appearances where she speaks about social networking sites such as Friendster and MySpace. Since 2003, she and her research have been quoted on the subject of social networking in dozens of different articles in media sources such as NPR, Wired, MSNBC, USA Today, Newsweek and The O'Reilly Factor. She was also the subject of a major profile in The New York Times in 2003 and the Financial Times in 2006. She initially studied computer science at Brown University where she worked with Andy van Dam, and then pursued her Master's Degree in sociable media with Judith Donath at the MIT Media Lab. She advanced to Ph.D. candidacy in the UC Berkeley School of Information in 2006, and will be a non-resident fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society for the 2007-2008 academic year.

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Nicholas Negroponte
Computing is not about computers. It is about life. We are discussing a fundamental cultural change: Being digital is not just being a geek or Internet surfer or mathematically savvy child. It is actually a way of living and is going to impact everything.

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