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The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks, consisting of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, and other technologies. The Internet appears to its users as a single worldwide network accessible to the general public. The protocol that makes it possible to use the millions of networks composing the Internet as if they were one network is a special type of packet switching known as IP or The Internet Protocol.

A computer that connects to the Internet can access information from a vast number of servers and other computers. An Internet connection also allows the computer to send information through the network; that information may be saved and ultimately accessed by a variety of servers and other computers. Much of the information widely accessible through use of the Internet consists of the interlinked hypertext documents and other resources of the World Wide Web (WWW). Web users typically send and receive information using a web browser. Other software for interacting with computer networks includes specialized programs for electronic mail, online chat, file transfer and file sharing.

Information is moved around the Internet by packet switching using the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) which defines how packets are moving in any platform especially the transport layer. The Internet Protocol Suite consists of several layers of protocols. The lowest layer (the link layer) deals with protocols that transmit data over specific technologies, such as Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The highest layer (the application layer) supports specific applications, such as e-mail and file transfer. In between are the Internet layer, which provides for transmitting packets over any conceivable technology, and the transport layer, which provides for various services such as reliable delivery of packets or real-time streaming of packets.

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Wikimania, annual conference for users of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects
Wikipedia is a multilingual, open content, free encyclopedia project operated by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a type of collaborative website) and encyclopedia. Launched in 2001, it is the largest, fastest growing and most popular general reference work currently available on the Internet. As of December 2007, Wikipedia had approximately 9 ¼ million articles in 253 languages, comprising a combined total of over 1.41 billion words for all Wikipedias. The English Wikipedia edition passed the 2,000,000 article mark on September 9, 2007. Wikipedia's articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world and the vast majority of them can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet. Critics have questioned Wikipedia's reliability and accuracy, citing its open nature. The criticism is centered on its susceptibility to vandalism, such as the insertion of profanities or random letters into articles, and the addition of spurious or unverified information; uneven quality, systemic bias and inconsistencies; and for favoring consensus over credentials in its editorial process. Scholarly work suggests that vandalism is generally short-lived. When Time Magazine recognized "You" as their Person of the Year 2006, Wikipedia was the first particular "Web 2.0" service mentioned, followed by YouTube and MySpace.

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Picture of personalized PA license plate "1337".
Credit: SColombo

Leet (written 31337, 1337, and l33t), or Leetspeak, is a written argot used primarily on the Internet, which uses various combinations of alphanumerics to replace Latinate letters. The term is derived from the word "elite", and the usage it describes is a specialized form of shorthand.

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Main project: WikiProject Internet

WikiProjects

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

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Douglas C. Engelbart
Douglas C. Engelbart (born January 30, 1925 in Oregon) is an American inventor of Swedish and Norwegian descent. As a World War II naval radio technician based in the Philippines, Engelbart was inspired by Vannevar Bush's article "As We May Think". Engelbart received a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Oregon State University in 1948, a B.Eng. from UC Berkeley in 1952, and a Ph.D. in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1955. At Stanford Research Institute , Engelbart was the primary force behind the design and development of the On-Line System, or NLS. He and his team at the Augmentation Research Center developed computer-interface elements such as bit-mapped screens, groupware, hypertext and precursors to the graphical user interface. In 1967, Engelbart applied for and later received a patent for the wooden shell with two metal wheels (computer mouse). Engelbart later revealed that it was nicknamed the "mouse" because the tail came out the end. He would also work on the ARPANET, the precursor of the Internet. In later years he moved to the private firm Tymshare after SRI was transferred to the company. McDonnell Douglas took over the copany in 1982, and in 1986 he left the company. As of 2007, he is the director of his own company, the Bootstrap Institute, which founded in 1988 and located in Fremont, California.

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Pete Ashdown

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Hillary Rodham Clinton
On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress, but the United States does. We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it. Now, this challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic.

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Internet topics
Articles
Application layer
ARPANET
Blog
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CERN
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E-mail
English on the Internet
FidoNet
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History of the Internet
HTML
HyperCard
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Internet Protocol
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Mosaic (web browser)
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Unicode
Uniform resource locator
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Virtual private network
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World Summit on the Information Society
World Wide Web
Lists
List of basic Internet topics
List of Internet topics
Academic databases and search engines
List of blogging terms
List of HTTP headers
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List of journals available free online
List of IPv6 tunnel brokers
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List of organizations with .INT domain names
List of social networking websites
List of newsgroups
Comp.* hierarchy
Sci.* hierarchy
List of RFCs
List of search engines
List of virtual communities
List of web directories
List of webcomics
List of websites founded before 1995

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