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Network Connection

By Dr. Philip Baczewski, Associate Director of Academic Computing

The year in review

We've survived Y2K -- all of it! Welcome to the new millennium. In looking back at MM, there were quite a few interesting developments in Internet and Information technology. A number of these developments were reflected in the last year's set of Network Connections columns and can provide us with a review of the year's events. So in the best tradition of new year's journalism, its the Network Connections Year in Review.

January - The Experts Speak

If it's in print it must be true? The year started with a number of predictions including the one documented here about the future of personal software. A year later just further strengthens the view that some "experts" aren't as expert as others.

February - Are we Smart Enough for the Internet?

Fresh from the euphoria of non-disaster, the news media found itself with a number of Internet stories to trip over. The new year seemed to bring a new level of Internet hype. We survived the odometer rollover, but can we survive the news media?

March - Mailing Lists: Alive and Well

One of the oldest Internet activities is still one of the most vital. Mailing lists are continuing to flourish on the Internet and are as useful as ever.

April - Pounding the Virtual Pavement

Ah Spring -- when college student's thoughts turn to jobs -- what else? This column revisits the world of Internet job hunting and shows that jobs remain a hot topic well after this column's original 1996 publication date.

May - Who do you trust?

2000 was the year in which "I LOVE YOU" became words to fear. When the most famous virus since Melissa made its appearance, the world temporarily revolved around a few bored programming students from the Philippines. Did we learn anything from the "ILOVEYOU" virus? Time will only tell, but perhaps it at least made us think.

June - Bullies of the Internet

Y2K. The year a company named napster.com rocketed to Internet fame, only to be shot down in a burst of legal fire by the RIAA. This column recounts just one of the ongoing struggles which will define the ultimate shape of the Internet. It seems that anyone can own content, but who will profit from the medium?

July - E-mail Considered

Spring and Summer of Y2K seemed to yield a series of laments for the lost art of writing. This column was the result of hearing one too many laments. Most of us are writing more than ever and E-mail is the medium. No lament here.

August - The Unbearable Persistence of Information

There's an incredible collection of information on the Internet, and some of it just won't go away! The Internet can provide timely and useful information, but it can also provide information that's quite obsolete. Knowing the difference can be important.

September - News from the Internet Front

One of the big fights in MM was that between Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Justice in which it was proven that just because your company is a huge monopoly, doesn't mean that you can't win the battle by prolonging the case until new "bidness-friendly" management comes into power. While they were busy winning the battle, however, Microsoft may have lost the war.

October - Do You Cue?

Just when we thought it was safe to go back onto the Internet, along comes the :CueCat, the latest in Internet convenience/invasion of privacy devices. It's too early to tell whether the :CueCat is the big Internet earthquake or just a little tremor.

November - But is it Spam?

Oh, those pesky UCEs (unsolicited commercial E-mails). More people are using and abusing E-mail than ever. What's a person to do? How about ignore it?

December - But is it a Hack...

The past year has seen a dramatic change in how we connect to the Internet. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and Cable modem technology have brought bandwidth previously available only at work or school directly to your home computer. Along with this change in the way we connect to the Internet comes additional concerns for the security of our personal computers. Its time to rethink computer security and learn about some new tools to help keep our information secure.

The review in review

It was a very interesting year.