Bits and Bytes: Life Online
Posted by Pamela S. on Friday, June 22nd, 2012
Can you imagine a world without the Internet? I can, because I have lived it, as have many other people my age. Would I ever want to go back in time? No. I can imagine life without the Internet, but it is difficult to remember it. The World Wide Web has become so much a part of my life, yours, and approximately 2.3 billion people around the globe.
The website Online Education has a great infographic titled World Without Internet that details how the Internet has changed our lives. According to the graphic there are now 550 million websites on the Internet. Thousands of us of us make a living or earn income because of the net.
Online Education is a database and resource for finding online education programs and schools that offer distance learning. Like most things on the Internet, such as online dating, it takes a while for people to recognize the value, and trust in the system. Many leading universities and colleges offer distance education over the Internet. Online Education lists the top three online schools as Liberty University Online, Kaplan University and Post University. All three offer criminal justice degree programs as well as a number of other programs. Online education is a convenient way to study for a degree, or take some courses, if you are a busy working professional. The Online Education blog has some excellent posts and information.
The power of the Internet can be used for good or bad. I’m sure you have seen the video of the New York state bus monitor who was bullied by middle school children. Karen Huff Klein is a 68 year old woman who was called horrible names and tormented by children riding the school bus. The ten minute video was posted on YouTube, and went viral. This was no bus sing-along, these kids were as nasty as they come.
The reaction to this video was incredible and proved that there are more people who care than those who do wrong. Karen has been interviewed in the media, and her story touched the hearts of thousands of people. One of those caring individuals was a Toronto man, Max Sidorov. He saw the video and wanted to do something, because he had been bullied as a child.
Max set up a fundraising campaign on the website indiegogo. This site is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise funds for various causes or projects. People around the world post their campaigns and anyone can donate. Although Max’s goal was to raise $5 thousand so that Karen could take a vacation, as of this morning, the site had raised $467,249. This couldn’t have happened before the Internet.
Another thing you couldn’t do before the Internet was download music. All you music pirates beware. Life online can lead you down the wrong path. While the states hasn’t cracked down to this extent, Japan’s legislature recently approved a bill revising Japan’s copyright law. Downloading copyrighted material such as music or videos and peer to peer file sharing of copyrighted material could leave violators subject to a penalty of up to two years in prison, or a fine of up to two million yen (about $25,000).
Under The Digital Millennium Copyright Act Of 1998, it is illegal to download or share copyrighted materials in the United States, although all of those teenagers downloading music onto their iPods aren’t feeling it. If you move further north, say to Canada, you can download all you want. As long as you don’t sell copyrighted material or upload what you have downloaded, it isn’t illegal.
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