Tim Berners-Lee

Original Webmaster. Tim Berners-Lee and his associates at a Swiss research facility created new Internet coding in 1989, dubbing it the World Wide Web. Today the coding is the heart of global computer communication.

Single-handedly, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web (www), and then devoted his life to refining the web as a medium of communication open to everyone for free. Berners-Lee, an Oxford engineer, came up with the web concept in 1989, because he couldn’t keep track of all his notes on various computers in various places. Working at CERN, a physics lab in Switzerland, he proposed a system to facilitate scientific research by letting scientists’ computers tap into each other.

In a way, the software worked like the brain. In fact, Berners-Lee said that the idea was that the web would remember various pieces of information and associations that a human brain is supposed to recall, but Berners-Lee’s didn’t. Berners-Lee partnered with three software engineers and had a demonstration of the web up and running within three months. As Berners-Lee traveled the globe to introduce the web at scientific conferences, the potential of what he had devised became clear. The web was a system that could connect all information with all other information.

The language of the web was HTML, short for “hypertext markup language,” and although HTML has evolved over the years, it remains the core of the web. Berners- Lee also developed the addressing system that allows computers to find each other.

Every web-connected computer has a unique address, a universal resource locator (URL), which is then connected to other web-connected computers through a protocol called HTTP, short for “hypertext transfer protocol.”

It’s hard to overstate Berners-Lee’s accomplishment. The Internet is the information infrastructure that likely will, given time, eclipse other media. Some compare Berners-Lee to Johannes Gutenberg, who 400 years earlier had launched the Age of Mass Communication with the movable type that made mass production of the written word possible.

2.5.5 Media Convergence 1. Objective: Describe the ways in which the Digital Revolution changed mass

communication

The Internet’s capacity grew in the 1990s, emerging as the delivery vehicle of choice for any and all media products. The technological basis is digital, which sets it apart from older media technologies. Messages, whether text, audio, image, or a combination, are broken into millions of bits of data and then transmitted one at a time over the Internet, which has great capacity and speed. The data are then reassembled for reception at the other end. The process is almost instantaneous for text, whose digital bits of data are small and easily accommodated. Audio and visual messages can take longer because far more data bits are required to reconstruct a message at the reception point.

The merging of virtually all forms of mass communication—print, television, radio, the Internet, as well as interactive technologies—via various digital media platforms is referred to as media convergence. The shift toward digital technology in mass communication (from mechanical, electronic and analog forms) is also referred to as the Digital Revolution, or the Third Industrial Revolution. Many believe that the digitalization of all data also marked the beginning of the Age of Information.

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