The Digital Society
THE DIGITAL SOCIETY
Today we live in a world of technology and information. Many technological tools that may be considered as subjects of science fiction 40 years ago, became an integrated part of our lives. Computers and Internet can be considered among the most important ones of these tools. Internet means much more than a basic communication tool today; it is a tool for communication, information, economy and many more. Computers also changed the way we do the things completely. Some innovative tools make evolutionary changes in social life and societies. However the change that computers and Internet did on the modern society can be considered revolutionary rather than evolutionary. This revolutionary change triggered the action that caused the transformation of society into a digital society.
History of Computer Technology
It might be a good idea to examine computers and its effects at first to completely understand how transformation into the digital society has begun. Computers can be defined as programmable machines that are designed for making logical or mathematical operations. The modern computers are around since 1940s and Zuse Z3 can be considered among the first examples. However they were much different from the personal computers we use everywhere today and lack of very basic functionality that personal computers have. The first personal computers started to emerge in the market at the beginning of 1970s.
Though it took some time for them to reach big masses. They were sold in separate kits and have to built by the user; also they lacked any trace of a graphical user interface. Those were the main reasons which prevented them to reach the big masses. Some companies like Xerox and Apple were aware of this fact and they designed an easy to use Graphical User Interface for computers, so they can be used by masses. This approach got very positive feedback, computer sales increased dramatically. In 1977 about 48.000 computers have been sold though the whole world, contrary in 2011 364 million computers have been expected to sold. These numbers might help us to understand how computers became a part of our daily lives.
This huge increase in computer usage lead to massive widespread Internet usage and enabled Internet to become an integrated part of our daily lives. At first Internet was designed as a small scaled private network which would enable communication between different institutions. However today it evolved into being a huge network which more than %22 of world population has access. While Internet is gaining such a big importance it transformed the they way we live.
It is impossible to avoid to mention the concept of cloud computing while examining Internet. Cloud computing can be explained as delivery of computing as a service instead of a product over Internet. In other words, cloud computing relies on the principle of storing and processing all of your data on a remote server on Internet. The market share of cloud computing has over classical computing has increased remarkably in last few year. The biggest information technologies corporations like Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon are already investing heavily on cloud computing and each of them offer various range of services over cloud.
Google has even took a step forward and offered a cloud only operating system which is named as "Chrome OS". This operating system includes only a copy Google Chrome browser and it does not contain any of the standard programs that many popular operating systems like Windows or Mac OS X includes : media player, file browser, office programs, etc... You have to be connected to internet and access to servers which has online versions of such programs. Maybe the most interesting side is, it has very limited ability of local storage. You have to save and store your data on remote server somewhere on Internet.
Privacy And Technology An Internet Giant: Google