The Impact of Digital Technology

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How Big is the Internet?

As of 2014 Google has indexed 200 Terabytes (TB) of data. To put that into perspective 1 TB is equivalent to 1024 Gigabytes (GB). However, Google's 200 TB is just an estimated 0.004 percent of the total Internet. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that 16 years of video is uploaded to YouTube every day. The data on the Internet doubles approximately every two years. The Indexed Web contains at least 4.75 billion pages as of Sunday, 27 November, 2016.

According to Goggle, about 130 million books have ever been published in all of modern history, that's based on their advanced algorithms. The Internet Archive is a nonprofit that's scanning books, collecting audio and video. It sees itself as a digital Alexandrian Library and is trying to collect everything that's ever been "written" and/or produced and digitizing it. Another statistic: It's estimated that if the entire Wikipedia Encyclopedia were available as a physical printed book, it would span 7500 volumes.

How much content is online? One way to estimate the capacity of the Internet is to measure the traffic moving through it. According to Cisco's Visual Networking Index initiative, the Internet is now in the "zettabyte era." A zettabyte equals 1 sextillion bytes, or 1,000 exabytes. A zettabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. The prefix zetta indicates multiplication by the seventh power of 1000 or 1021 in the International System of Units (SI). By the end of 2016, global Internet traffic will reach 1.1 zettabytes per year, according to Cisco, and by 2019, global traffic is expected to hit 2 zettabytes per year.

One zettabyte is the equivalent of 36,000 years of high-definition video, which, in turn, is the equivalent of streaming Netflix's entire catalog 3,177 times; in just three minutes, the amount of data traveling over the Internet in just three minutes is the digital equivalent of every motion picture ever made in the last 120 years.

Physicist Michio Kaku on the Internet & Consciousness



Our Digital FutureDigitalNation.jpg

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Some thoughts: Author Sherry Turkle has been chronicling the impact of the digital revolution for some 20 years. In her book, Alone Together she focuses on two developments, social robots and Internet communications (texting, Second Life, e-mail, Facebook). Her method is ethnographic—she interviews people, especially children and adolescents, at length about how they feel about those technologies. Turkle is a sensitive interviewer and an elegant writer, and her book captures the anxiety and ambivalence that children and adolescents (and adults, too) feel about the new developments. Her general conclusion is that those anxieties are justified. Both robots and the Web will have a profound, and bad, effect on human psychology. Technology will lead to devalued and alienated lives rather than enriched ones. Our Digital Future was produced in 2010—it's outdated, though still filled with interesting insights. Here's a bit of an update: New Findings: (2013) NBC News

Privacy & The Internet



Light: New Wireless Technology





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