Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

1.17. What's wrong with the Internet?

The Internet isn't perfect. Far from it. Here are four important things that are wrong with the Internet today:

1. The Internet is hard to learn to use. (If it weren't, you wouldn't need to read this book.) There are too many programs and tools for doing different things--FTP for file transfers, Telnet for remote login, Gopher, Archie, and so on. If that weren't bad enough, many functions can be done with a variety of "competing" programs that do more-or-less the same thing.

2. The Internet is almost completely disorganized. It's filled with stuff, some of which you'll find useful and some of which is worthless. The Internet is like a junk yard. If you look in the right places (and given a little luck) it is possible to unearth the electronic equivalent a pristine 1955 Porche Spyder. If you are without direction, however, you can search for days for something and come away discouraged and dirty. (The Internet is slowly becoming more organized with the help of indexing tools such Veronica and Archie, but it has a long way to go.)

3. There is too much information on the Internet. This is really a throwback to #2, because with better cataloging and retrieval systems, the amount of information on the Internet would be manageable. (With reliable cataloging and retrieval systems, no one complains about "too much information." Have you ever complained about this in your public library? Probably not.) Combine today's software with the fact that everyone on the Internet is a potential publisher of information, and you have a problem of too much content.

4. The Internet is growing too fast for its own good. As new networks and hosts are added to the Internet (at a rate of about one every ten minutes!) the InterNIC, the group with assigns Internet addresses, is running out of them. (We'll talk more about addresses in Chapter 3, "How Does the Internet Work?")

Table of Contents | Previous Section | Next Section