· Atlas of Cyberspaces
· All About the Internet (Internet Society)
· Computer Museum History Center
· Consumer Protection and Anti-Fraud Information
· Electronic Frontier Foundation
· Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
· Hobbes' Internet Timeline
· Internet Fraud (Department of Justice)
· Internet History
· Internet Society
· ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)
· Jones Encyclopedia - Media & Information Technology
· National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace
· National Telecommunications & Information Administration
· Pew Internet and American Life Project
· World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
· A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age (2004) CD
· The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace (White House, 2003) CD
· "Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs" (CRS Report 2006) CD
· Detailed Domain Counts and Internet Statistic (Whois Source)
· Internet Traffic Report
· Measuring the Electronic Economy (Census)
· NUA Internet Surveys
· Statistical Abstract 2008: Information and Communications
Exhibits - Digital Images
· Information Age: People, Information & Technology (Smithsonian)
· Intel Museum Exhibits
· Internet History (Computer Museum History Center)
For High School Students
· Ask the Experts - Computer Science (Scientific American)
· How the Internet Infrastructure Works (HowStuffWorks.com)
· IPL Teenspace - Cyberculture
· ThinkQuest: Computers & Internet
· Webmonkey for Kids
· All about Computers - Lesson Plan (DiscoverySchool.com)
· Cyberspace - Lesson Plan (DiscoverySchool.com)
· Invention: Computer Technology - Lesson Plan (DiscoverySchool.com)
· The Glossarist: Computer Glossaries
· Internet Public library - Computers & Internet
· Librarians' Index to the Internet: Computer Topics
· Netz-Glossar (Glossary of Internet Terms) Deutsch
· Voice of the Shuttle: Cyberculture Page
· Webopedia (Dictionary of Computer & Internet Terms)
Computers figure so heavily in our daily lives that it is difficult to understand why early computer experts did not foresee much demand for these specialized machines. For example, in the 1940s, the chairman of IBM thought a total of five machines could be sold worldwide. Since then, a succession of breakthroughs has created a new economic sector: Information Technologies (IT) - the ever growing variety of ways in which we are able to gather, store, analyze, share, and display information.
Drawing on Max Planck's quantum theory and Albert Einstein's explanation of photoelectric phenomena, Bell Laboratories invented the transistor in 1948. This solid-state replacement for the vacuum tube, revolutionized electronics. With the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958, the pace of electronic and computer technology was greatly increased. Today, millions of integrated circuits can be placed on silicon chips no bigger than postage stamps. Book-sized computers of the 1990s can outperform room-sized computers of the 1960s.
Miniaturization causes prices to spiral downward, making the technology affordable for larger numbers of small businesses, local governments, schools, libraries, families, and individuals.
Much of the innovation that spawned today's information technologies resulted directly from Federal investment in science and technology. Starting in 1969, the Department of Defense opened its experimental nationwide computer network through the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). The National Science Foundation (NSF) extended ARPA's network to civilian academic users in 1987. The Internet emerged from the joint effort by Federal agencies and universities to advance networking technology.
More than half of the nation is now online. In 2000, 98% of U.S. schools had Internet access. The number of households with Internet access has increased to 50.5% in 2001. Use of broadband services such as cable, satellite, and DSL is rapidly expanding. Wireless Internet access for notebooks via WLANs in airports, hotels and cafes is also becoming increasingly popular.
For the United States, the Information Technology Revolution quietly changed the way business and government operate. The nation shifted the control of essential processes in manufacturing, utilities, banking, and communications to networked computers. As a result, the cost of doing business dropped and productivity skyrocketed.
Since 2002, the U.S. economy and national security are fully dependent upon information technology and the information infrastructure. A network of networks directly supports the operation of all sectors of U.S. economy - energy (electric power, oil and gas), transportation (rail, air, merchant marine), finance and banking, information and telecommunications, public health, emergency services, water, chemical, defense industrial base, food, agriculture, and postal and shipping. At the core of the information infrastructure upon which we depend is the Internet.
While the Internet has grown enormously and globally, it has also grown increasingly insecure. Cyber attacks on U.S. information networks occur regularly and can have serious consequences such as disrupting critical operations, causing loss of revenue and intellectual property, or loss of life. To be able to counter such attacks, President Bush is directing the development of a National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace.
About the USA > Economy > E-Commerce
Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials. What kind of information materials are available?
CD: These documents are available in fulltext format on the About the USA CD-ROM. Teachers: Request a copy for classroom use.
L: Selected documents are available in German as well as other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Persian and Turkish.
Any reference obtained from this server to a specific commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the United States Government of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government.
U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany /Public Affairs/ Information Resource Centers
Updated: May 2008