groundwork for revolutionizing

Little did they realize that they had laid the groundwork for revolutionizing not just telephonic communication but mass communication as well.

In 1965, Bell Labs took digital on-off binary signals to a new level. By breaking messages into pieces and transmitting them in spurts, Bell could send multiple messages simultaneously. People marveled that 51 calls could be carried at the same time on a single line. The capacity of telephone systems was dramatically increased without a single new mile of wire being laid.

The potential of the evolving technology was no less than revolutionary. Not only could the human voice be reduced to binary digits for transmission, but so could text and even images. Futurologists asked: “Who needs paper?” Might digitization even replace the still-novel technology of television that had flowed from Philo Farnsworth’s pioneering work?

Digitization, alas, did not replace television or even the older Gutenberg-based print media. The core media industries are still grouped easily into their traditional categories—books, newspapers, magazines, movies, sound recordings, radio, and television. The technology did, however, spawn new media industries built around the new technologies. America Online was in the first generation of these new media industries. Now Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter are leaders.

2.5.4 Internet Originals 1. Objective: Compare the World Wide Web to older forms of communication


Another building block of digitized communication is the Internet, which originated with the U.S. military for its potential in digitized communication for a noncentralized network. Without a central hub, the military figured that a noncentralized system could sustain itself in a nuclear attack. The system, called ARPAnet, short for Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, was up and running in 1969. At first, the network linked military contractors and universities so that researchers could exchange information. In 1983, the National Science Foundation, which has a mandate to promote science, took over and involved more universities, which tied their own internal computer-based communication systems into the larger network. As a backbone system that interconnected networks, the term “Internet” fit.

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