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The Internet

Internet Use Becomes More Purposeful 191

tacocat writes "An article in the The Christian Science Monitor talks about the changing use of the Internet. They cite a report from The Pew Internet and American Life Project that talks about people Getting Serious Online. The study is continuation of people they have been following already and found that people are using the Internet more often for serious matters and issue of utility, rather then just for fun."
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Internet Use Becomes More Purposeful

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  • Yes (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zen Mastuh ( 456254 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:33PM (#3181222)
    Some people are using the Internet for very serious things--like marriage proposals. Good luck, Mr. & Mrs. Taco!!!

  • At first I thought this article was a JonKatz article about how the Internet was useful, and I was surprised to find it wasn't. His article would go:
    Since 1912, the Internet has been very useful. What started as a way of putting together fishing nets in an "inter" way became a key method of transferring "data." Data is 1's and 0's. I'm not 1's and 0's. Internet useful because it lets you get your Slash for your dot. I'm the dot in dot com. No that's Intel. In concluision, what the "Intra-net" is no one knows, but one day scientists hope to figure it out. If that is, it doesn't violate the DMCA, because the DMCA says you can't use crack, and scientists want to "crack" the problem.
    And to end with a Homer J. Simpson quote: "(Wow), they have the Internet on computers now?"
  • Purposful? (Score:3, Funny)

    by blues5150 ( 161900 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:35PM (#3181236) Homepage
    Internet Use Becomes More Purposeful. That's more like it
    • You might as well give up my friend... people have been pointing out the grammar errors on /. for as long as I can remember and it has never changed anything. People still don't know the difference between there (place), their (belonging to them) and they're (short for they are), your (belonging to you) and you're (short for you are) or even then (time) and than (used in a comparison, see the last line of this story.)
      • You want to know what's scariest? I've never before in life had trouble with any of the prevalent grammar/spelling errors that abound on Slashdot. But thanks to reading the articles here and the comments below, I've begun to pick them up. Whereas previously my most serious problem was whether or not to put an apostrophe in "its", now I find myself frequently confusing their/there, etc. This intellectual failing may be contagious!
      • Spelling/Grammar mistakes in the body of the article is one thing, but damnit that one was in the headline!
        It's ironic that some of the casualties of the so-called "Information Age" have been grammar and spelling...the very tools we use to convey our information in a clear, concise way.
    • Jesus - since when has pointing out spelling mistakes been 'funny'? I can't believe Seinfeld spent all those years writing his 'funny' show when he could have entertained several million geeks by pointing out spelling mistakes in everyday publications...
    • All we need to do is buy 1,747 ad-free pages, and then Taco can start taking action [amazon.com] about his miserable spelling.
    • No no no, PORPOISEful. Heck, the dolphins [theonion.com] are already well on their way...
  • Good indicator. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pokeyburro ( 472024 )
    So the novelty has worn off to an extent. Now people are looking at what one can actually do with the Net. Art is becoming science, and science is becoming practice. Sounds like a good indicator to me. Of course, we all knew this was going to happen.
    • Not only has the novelty worn off (about 4 years ago), but obnoxious advertising is making some sites so unpleasant to visit, I visit only when necessary. So far Slashdot is ok, in my bookmarks.
    • The net was only fun, when i was new to it. Actually, It was fun until about 1999. It was the net going commercial that ruined the net.

      There was an actual culture or cultures to the net, you had chat culture, you had the hacking scene, you had the cracking scene, the gaming scene, and these wernet ordinary people, these were people who were obessessed with this stuff.

      Now however, everythings about making money, sure you still have gamers but now its grandma playing quake, or your annoying boss from work, its just not the same anymore.

      You still have hacking, but all of the sites are gone, or on places like freenet due to the DMCA.

      You still have places like slashdot, but slashdot is one of the last places you can go, to find an intelligent conversation, without slashdot, i wouldnt talk on the net much at all.
  • It's about time Mr. and Ms. Anybody find out that the Net is more than just mp3s and pr0n. Students can use it as research, scientists and other technical jobs can use it as reference... it's a whole well of information out there, so why shouldn't anybody use it?
    • Alot of people, didnt get involved with thhe net over 5 years ago like us, alot of people are new to it.

      People new to the internet, they are just exploring it, alot of them arent as intelligent as we were, the net is easier to use now.

      When we first were introduced to the net, the net was diffrent, sites were made by people like us, usually smart people who werent tryinng to sell us stuff, every other link did not link to a porn site.
      There were porn sites and always will be but back then there werent alot of advertisements.

      Back then Email was actually useful, before instant messaging, I remember NEEDING email.

      Also everyone on the net seemed closer, it was as if there was a community, similar to the Open Source Community

      Now look at the net, everythingn is tryingn to sell you something, ads everywhere, theres no more web based chatrooms so theres no real way to meet people, all the sites are about making money so theres no community.

      The net was fun for a while, now its just a tool.
      I hope freenet is successful, maybe we will have our own internet again
  • Spell checker becomes more purposful.
  • The Christian Science Monitor is a quite excellent paper.

    It has one religious article, that you are free to ignore. THe rest of the reporting is superb - they have their own reporters, so it is refreshingly free from Reuters / AP Newswire rehashes. Often as not, I read the news months before the mainstream press finds it newsworthy. It is great for International issues.

    Cheers, Andy!

    • I just wanted to point out that a lot of info about the Christian Science Monitor is explained here:
      http://www.csmonitor.com/aboutus/about_the_monitor .html [csmonitor.com]

      This basically explains that the paper is secular, with the goal of unbiased reporting. It was started by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, in 1908. This was done more or less as a response to the "yellow journalism" of the day (much more about that in the above link). So far it has won six Pulitzer prizes for journalism.

      - Topher Cawlfield

      • These guys keep cropping up with alarming regularity [theatlantic.com]. Take nothing at face, not even the 6 Pullitzers.
    • an article about something i've known about from first, second and third hand experience for about 8 years now. that's stretching refreshing!

      ;)
    • I'm sorry but after hearing of christian scientist parents allowing their children to die without needed healthcare I could care less about their supposed objective worldview. They are whackjobs the whole lot of them.
  • by thelenm ( 213782 ) <mthelenNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:37PM (#3181253) Homepage Journal
    Lots of free sites that used to be fun are now making themselves "useful" by charging for subscriptions. :-)
  • by Mr. Neutron ( 3115 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:39PM (#3181263) Homepage Journal
    The overall utility of the Internet doesn't really sink in until I meet people who don't have it. I have a friend who has no computer, and lives 90 minutes from me. The everyday methods of contact that I take for granted just aren't available.

    I want to drop her a quick message... but no e-mail to reach her.

    Let her know how to get a quick bit of info on something... but no Web.

    I have to rack up long distance charges to talk to her: no IM.

    Email, the Web, and IM ALONE justify the purchase of a new computer (or even better, a $50 old one) and $20/mo dialup service. I can honestly say that life would be a real pain in the ass without the Net.

    • I can honestly say that life would be a real pain in the ass without the Net.

      I couldn't agree more. The first time I really realized that the Internet had really become a big part of my life, was when my ISP disconnected me fore a few hours. I couldn't do anything! I just sat around wondering how to continue.
      You don't notice you're hooked/need it until you don't have it. It's pain, I can tell you!
      • The first time I really realized that the Internet had really become a big part of my life, was when my ISP disconnected me fore a few hours. I couldn't do anything! I just sat around wondering how to continue.

        Its quite simple. Go outside. Its amazing how a little reality will quickly break your addiction.
        • A balance is best. I spend about 4 hours on weekends outside. The rest of my time I spend mostly indoors. Even then I try to involve myself in other activities other than just being on the Internet.

          Still the Internet is a very useful tool that I would be hard pressed to do without. Is the usefulness of the Internet mean it is an addiction? I survive without a car, a job, and a lot of other things, but I find having them useful. They aren't what I consider an addiction.
    • Yup, I know what you mean. I GAVE a laptop loaded with linux to a friend in a similar situation (he could afford a computer but wouldn't buy one till it proved it's usefulness). He's hooked. He's since graduated from that old laptop to a nearly new workstation with Win2K (long story...he did like linux though). He's online, uses AIM, uses email, the web, etc. He hates me and our other friends that helped. :)

      Chris
    • As a girl I know said:

      "What do you mean he doesn't have e-mail? E-mail is what separates us from the barbarians, isn't it?"
    • Email, the Web, and IM ALONE justify the purchase of a new computer (or even better, a $50 old one) and $20/mo dialup service.

      Plus electricity costs. You can get a lot of long distance phone calls for that price.

      Phones are universal, the internet isn't, yet. It'll still be a long time before messaging systems overtake the phone system.

      • Plus electricity costs. You can get a lot of long distance phone calls for that price.

        The difference is that the electricity cost is the same if I am IM'ing somebody in Korea or somebody two blocks away. I also can hold several IM conversations at one time which is not very easy with the telephone. Finally, IM conversations can be held throughout the day - starting and stopping as needed.
        • The difference is that the electricity cost is the same if I am IM'ing somebody in Korea or somebody two blocks away.

          This isn't a lot of good to you if your friend doesn't need the extra functionality, so you end up having to phone her. Perhaps she doesn't have any friends in Korea, or Kansas for that matter, so the economics work out differently in her case, and this has a knock-on effect for everybody who needs to contact her. That's the bottom line of an emerging communications technology--it has an uphill struggle to reach the point where its ubiquity makes it near-essential.

    • by zangdesign ( 462534 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @01:23PM (#3181514) Journal
      The usefulness depends on who you are. If you're friend doesn't feel the need to be instantly notified of the latest advances in Viagra, pron, or need up-to-the-second news, then it would be of little use to her to have.

      I remember back when I didn't have a cellphone on 24 hours a day, and didn't even own a computer. I miss those days every now and then.

      Solitude is good for you once in a while.
    • I have a friend who has no computer,

      What, she's amish?

      Email, the Web, and IM ALONE justify the purchase of a new computer (or even better, a $50 old one) and $20/mo dialup service. I can honestly say that life would be a real pain in the ass without the Net.

      If she's really a friend, what's stopping you from setting her up with one? ;-)

    • "I can honestly say that life would be a real pain in the ass without the Net."

      So, was your life a pain in the ass before you stumbled onto the net? It surprises me when folks make sweeping declarations like this.

      We all somehow got by before email, AIM, etc. Why shouldn't we now? What's wrong with picking up the phone to call someone, long distance charges or not?

      I can agree that the net makes so many things so much easier, but you need to step back a bit if you feel your life will suffer without its existence.
      • "I can honestly say that life would be a real pain in the ass without the Net."

        So, was your life a pain in the ass before you stumbled onto the net?

        Is that relevant?

        Here's something that might come as a shock to you: once people become accustomed to something that makes their life MUCH easier, they often dread giving it up.

    • I would agree. Your example shows that the 'Net has made a social impact. I still see the best the 'Net has to offer as yet to come. You could get just about anything you want delivered to your hard drive (or in the case of tangible goods, to your front door). Some people are even finding romance online. As for myself, I like to do business online and turn my computer into a source of income for me while I work a regular job.
    • Really. I was helping a guy from work fix something in his house. We needed a specialty appliance/plumbing part (something Lowe's or Home Despot wouldn't have). Ordinarily, I would go to my Yahoo, run a yellow pages search from Home or work saved location (in this case, I'd have to type his address in) for the nearest plumbing supply house in his neck of the woods, call 'em, print a map and roll, but he had no computer. 45 minutes later of flipping to the yellow pages, maps, etc, the task was done. I marvel at the amount of time saved on such Mundane tasks.

      one the fun side: I recall during the Olypics my son and I flipped past Curling one night. My son thought it was cool, but we missed the beginning, so the rules were unclear. No problem. A quick trip to the computer during commercial break and the olympics site gave complete rules with nice video/flash multimedia animation to boot.
  • by ASyndicate ( 159990 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:40PM (#3181267) Homepage
    Ever since the Dot-Bomb, people are beginning to realize that the internet is not for 'play time'. Sure, you can find more Porn and weblogs here than anywhere else. But increasingly there has been a need for remote access into your companies machines. EMail, E-Signatures, and other electronic anomolies have become legally binding.

    But that is not all....
    What else could you expect, the internet has grown-down to a commodity internet from an educational network, then grown-sideways to a monopolistic, control-your-lives, all-your-minds-are-belong-to-media internet.
    So you see, its all about Theft, Porn, and Work. Welcome to the USA.
  • Now I guess I've got to decide whether Slashdot is "useful" or "fun"...
    • Now I guess I've got to decide whether Slashdot is "useful" or "fun"...

      Maybe ultimately useful, but I look at slashdot for recreation. It tends to swallow up time, and I end up thinking to myself later, "wish I'd done more with my free time today than read slashdot." So I'd lean toward "fun." YMMV, of course.

      Maybe if there were /. features every now and then that were genuinely educational, it'd be more "useful."

      Just a thought.
  • The internet, orignally used by scientists to exchange information, was a wholly serious use. Then the home connection was made popular in the mid-to-late 90's, and a whole generation of AOL-using, chatroom-haunting, warez and MP3 downloading Internet user was born. Now the internet is popular at work, at my company, we distribute electronic compnents and most of the hard-to-find items we find at various electronic component search engines on the Internet.

    There will always be the frivolous uses (like slacking @ work), but the novelty has worn off and now people ask: How can we really use this thing?
    • The Internet was used for warez and pr0n years before that-- look at the amount of bandwidth the alt.binaries news groups consumed in the late 80's and early 90's. Many locations dropped alt.binaries from their news feed because it used too much bandwidth (and storage, given the capacity of disks in those days) and there were legal risks associated with copyright violations.

      Granted the users were for the most part college students or corporate R&D, since the notion of a "public" dial-up ISP was quite new. Or perhaps the direction was set because the users were college students. I recall once sitting through a psychology lecture with the thesis that any communication medium that appeared to support anonymous distribution of stolen or sexually-oriented material would be used extensively for those purposes.

  • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:42PM (#3181279) Homepage
    It was us who turned it into a plaything for a while.

    The people originally putting it together in the pre-web days certainly thought it was all about function and not recreation.

    Cheers,
    Ian

  • by Thomas M Hughes ( 463951 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:47PM (#3181320)
    For some reason I was drawn to this. The report has a section on "What people find annoying." Without much suprise, many are stating that Spam is becoming highly problematic. The most annoying of the spam being considered sales solititation. They also have this to say about 'adult' spamming:

    We also probed into a particular type of spam that is often cited as an annoyance to Internet users-messages with adult content or from adult Web sites. More than half-56%-of U.S. email users have at one time or another received an email from an adult Web site or that contained adult content. Twenty percent report that this occurs often, with Internet veterans twice as likely as novices to receive such messages (24% for veterans versus 12% for novices). The greater incidence for veterans is likely to be nothing more than a reflection of the number of years they have been online. Their more extensive surfing habits increases the chances that traces of information identifying their email addresses have been picked up by these sites.

    One has to wonder if the veteran Internet users are just more likely to look for porn. After all, everyone I met during High School who went on the Internet always followed it up by "You can get free pictures of naked women there!" Well, not everyone, but all of the non-computer geeks at least. Food for thought.

    The Section [pewinternet.org].
    • Well, I wouldn't say veteran users are any more likely to look at porn than novices, novices are just as much out for porn as anyone else. I think the articles conclusion was reasonable, that it was related to email address exposure more than anything else. For example, even though I never distributed my email address to any adult site for any reason, I get adult spam. Same with several other people I know. Even for those who visit porn sites, they refuse to identify themselves in any way (including email) and go through some length to ensure the address is not known to that site.
  • Serious? (Score:2, Informative)

    by alexjohns ( 53323 )
    I met my wife online a little over 4 years ago. How much more serious than that can you get? What, you're going to die online? Perhaps finding out you got cancer, or that your home town got nuked, or something. I guess that's serious. I dont know about you, but I've been doing serious stuff online for years.
    • Re:Serious? (Score:5, Funny)

      by sinserve ( 455889 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @01:41PM (#3181634)
      I met my wife to be on a porno site, now I just need to
      get her name and number to finish the deal.

    • Not to gloat, but I have you beat: my future wife and I accentuated our dating through the Internet eleven years ago.

      We were grad students in a university CS department, and relied quite a bit on good ol' Unix talk. One such exchange went something like this:


      Her: Hey, how's it going?

      Me: Not bad; I'm tru^Hying to get tj^Hhis packet sniffer worl^Hking on this DOF^HS box.

      But the bav^Hckspacr^He key on this tern^Hmim^Hnal is messed up..


      Her: asdf[four correct backspaces]asdf[four correct backspaces, pattern repeats for a bit...]

      Me: WELL, FIM^HNE! RUB IT IM^HN WHY DON"^H'T YOU!

      Neither of us has used Internet messaging; I guess we're secretly pining for good ol' talk.

  • First, why do we need studies for this kind of crap? I mean, who can't realize that. Many ppl have already begun paying bills online. Even ppl that don't pay bills online can do their taxes online or even access bank account online.

    And, this now means that the old analogy of the internet and television don't hold quite as true anymore. More like the automobile. You might enjoy your television, but it does not provide utility.

    The last question is, does this then mean that we will now see ISPs regulated as utilities (like water and electric) ... I doubt it.
    • Re:Umh .... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by CheapScott ( 83584 )
      First, why do we need studies for this kind of crap? I mean, who can't realize that.

      Many people don't realize that the Internet is useful. Many people who are learned are older and subscribe to the print issue of the Christian Science Monitor, and probably don't realize that there is an online version.

      My parents are older and have subscribed to the paper for decades--they also happen to be Christian Scientists. They are just starting to get online...they'll most likely read this article but won't say "wow, a study said so," but it'll continue to nudge them into thinking that the Net's useful. I'm sure that many others (including a lot of non Christian Scientists) will be nudged toward believing this, too. The more non-online sources of news saying "it's not just for fun anymore", the more it'll sink in to those not yet online.

      Hopefully it'll keep lessening the tech gap, and hopefully it'll bring people like my parents into a better appreciation and understanding of what the heck it is that we all do "out there".
      • Maybe, but is that really necessary? If you think about it, throughout history, the older members of society have resisted technological change. But, with all dure respect, it doesn't really matter what they do, as long as the youth are accepting the technology.

        Don't get me wrong, they would probably find it useful, and they still matter to society, but they do not matter as far as long-term technological acceptance is concerned.

        Look at the Amish...they prove that you can still live without modern technology, it's just not as "easy"...
    • You might enjoy your television, but it does not provide utility

      I'll have to disagree. The TV can provide weather reports, breaking news, traffic conditions, stock reports, documentaries, and those very informative infomercials. The TV isn't as interactive as the web, but it certainly provides utility.
      • I agree to a point, but there are other ways of getting weather, news, traffic, etc (Radio, Newspaper, Public Alert Systems) ...and while those documentaries might be nice to watch, I don't know where I could use some of the knowledge gained from them (Mummies, Salvaging Shipwrecks, etc)

        But in the case of your TV, there is no way to pay your bills over the TV. All the knowledge gained from your TV has to be used in some other way...

        However, I will agree that utility is really an opinion...Who am I to say that your television doesn't provide utility...

        As for me most of those uses you mentioned, I find online...
  • by Soft ( 266615 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:53PM (#3181355)
    Normally I don't just post jokes all day long, but this one's too good, it exactly matches #2 of Why Usenet is Like a Penis [netfunny.com]:
    In the long-distant past, its only purpose was to transmit information considered vital to the survival of the species. Some people still think that's the only thing it should be used for, but most folks today use it for fun most of the time.

    ... and the survey is from the Christian Science monitor, even better!

  • I know! (Score:2, Funny)

    Internet Use Becomes More Purposful

    That's right. For instance, now they have spellcheckers online. Unfortunately, some people are still in the dark ages.

  • This was based on a survey of 1500 users... and according to the article:
    More than half - 56% - of U.S. email users have at one time or another received an email from an adult Web site or that contained adult content.
    56% - is that all? Presumably the remaining 44% don't actually open their email.
  • That is exactly my perception, people like my teenage sister are bored of the internet or have grown up and matured enough and are realizing that the internet is either too boring or really useful when doing papers and such. I am glad to see this change of use for it. The internet is a great tool for all and eventually will be more of a necessity than a toy.
  • Encylopedia? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by don_carnage ( 145494 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @01:04PM (#3181413) Homepage

    How many people out there still have those musty smelling bound dead-tree editions of the encyclopedia sitting on their shelves? Ok...how many would buy a new set?

    For most, the internet is their encyclopedia. When I want to know about something, I turn to the internet first (granted not all of the information is good...or decent for that matter).

    The point is, the internet will always be both serious and fun. It's a place where we get information about the world , our hobbies, our health and our games.

    • For most, the internet is their encyclopedia. When I want to know about something, I turn to the internet first (granted not all of the information is good...or decent for that matter).

      The thing that gets me is that I find myself doing things on the Internet, that I can't imagine what I would have done before it. And not new and weird things, but disgustingly ordinary things

      Case in point: A few months ago I overloaded a wheelbarrow and popped the tire off the rim. Now, I have an air compressor, so I had the means to inflate it. I knew, vaguely, that on tires with no inner tube, you basically just blow it up so that the tire itself seals against the rim. I had no idea how.

      I spent 20 minutes trying different methods of inflating, holding the tire, spinning the tire, etc. etc... to no avail. I went to Google, spent &lt2 minutes searching, and found the solution: wrap a rope or strap around the middle of the tire, squeezing it outward on both sides, THEN pump air. Worked on the first try.

      What would I have done 20 years ago? Asked around among my neighbors, probably. Not succeeded. Maybe called some buddies. Probably would have had to drive out to the nearest service station and pay $5 for someone to laugh at me.

      So, it isn't neccessarily the Encyclopedic knowledge that amazes me... it is the trivial-yet-useful knowledge that you can find.

      • Excellent point -- and with sites like How Stuff Works [howstuffworks.com] we'll never run out of trivial (albeit interesting) things to learn about.

        btw: Thanks for the wheelbarrow tip, I have the same problem and now I know how to solve it!

      • the old and the hard way is better than the cold techno-alternative:

        your tire's popped. walk to your neighbor to borrow their manual pump. spend 2xx calories on pumping. when you return the pump, the neighbor offers to give you a hand with the finishing of the task. you finish your work while chatting with your buddy and when it's over, you invite his family over for diner.

        1 point for getting the job done
        5 points for screwing the male in you and ask for help
        10 points for spending calories on manual pumping
        and 25 points for the social aspect of the whole thing

        technology is good, but having good friends is better (tm)
      • ...er, regarding the wheelbarrow tire. Here's another one:

        Imagine that the tire that is "off-the-rim" is the large rear tire of a backhoe - how do you inflate that?

        Backyard psycho-mechanic trick:

        1. Get some grease and smear it around the bead (will ensure the seal for the next part - it is possible to do it without the grease, but not always successful).

        2. Have "attendant" (next door neighbor?) in hand with quick attach tire inflator (attached to large tank shop-style air-compressor) stand by, about 15-20 feet away (or, you could trade spots and have him do the next part). Show him where the tire valve stem is, he will have to be quick...

        3. Now, get a can of ether, and spray it into the cavity between the tire and rim (a lil' dab'll do ya!), stand 6 feet away, throw the can off to the side, light a match, and toss it in...

        4. If you have done everything right, the ether will combust violently, and "air up" the tire right on the rim instantly - "attendant" holding the inflator then needs to immediately come in and start the inflation with the compressor until the tire is fully inflated.

        Is this dangerous? HELL YES. Problems include:

        1. Too much ether - tire explodes, sending burning rubber shrapnel everywhere.

        2. You miss with the match, and you don't know whether to add more ether (see #1 above) to offset the evaporation, or try again with another match, or both, or wait, or...

        3. You get it with the match, tire is aired up - but is it still burning inside the tire when you start inflating (thereby adding more oxygen)... BOOM?

        Oh, and for that extra special treat, do the trick at night for a "cool" light show!

        BTW - DO NOT TRY THIS TRICK ON AUTOMOBILE TIRES AND RIMS. You WILL probably add too much ether, or the rim won't be able to take the pressure, etc - hell, I am not even sure I should be mentioning any of this, even for tractor tires/rims...

        DISCLAIMER: The above is for educational purposes only - use information at your own risk!!!

        ;)
  • by yobbo ( 324595 )
    Well you see, at first looking at a bit of porn was fun now and then.

    But now... I can't live without it.
  • The internet is getting more serious, I hope people realize how serious the trolls here are. How serious I am about this.

    Now really, I don't know how someone could get this idea. It came from a military background then it flourished as a free media for academics, then business get on-line.

    I wonder if they were analizing the Internet or the people. Yes, the people. Maybe /. title was misleading.

    But people are not being more serious on the web, no way. It's just that the web has itself (on the most part) a level of compromise that it doesn't require you to be, or say, 100% of the times, what you really think.

    I don't believ that such serious issue could be treated like it was a playground. Folks are getting on-line, they hear friends say "Hey it's cool!" and they buy a computer and hear screaming noises from the case. Then they get on-line and pay AOL to get mocked by other people.

    It's all insanity this research. If they had asked me what I think about I would have lied. Because there's no way of me telling you anything more precisely then the way I am currently doing.

    If you don't believe me you are taking life too seriuosly. Perhaps it's time to turn off the computer to have some fun.
  • We find that .com's are going out of business while Game companies are Thriving like never before. Perhaps people are starting a trend toward "getting serious", but it doesn't seem like it's showing in the business sector yet.
  • Usefulness ? (Score:2, Informative)

    by mirko ( 198274 )
    Where were you *before" 1996 ?
    Internet is a library, an useful one, it helped me to build an Acorn user community by providing news and progs to the others.
    It also helped me as a teacher to prepair my computing classes.
    Then in 1995 came win95 which brought the internet to the masses, turning it into a supermarket.
    Then came everybody else...
    And now, you think it "becomes" useful ?
    Actually, for who knows what to expect from such a tool it has always been and will always be useful as it is.

    • The internet however was fun back in 1996, each year after 96 it became more and more commercial.

      Now its junk.

      I mean all these ads, and everythings about money, even slashdot.
  • Does that mean NOT pissing away hours each day on Slashdot???
    Aww, shucks!
  • You bet your arse! I found my wife on it roundabouts '91 whilst visiting the occasional Muck. I was using Archie to find progies for my Atari 520ST. Using Gopher to do general information searching and just plain goof off. Mud/Muck/Moo/Mush, where I learned to program based on a stack. (later helped me w/my HP48 calculator)

    The internet WAS useful and is getting more-so all the time.
  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Monday March 18, 2002 @01:25PM (#3181525)
    I have been online since before there was an online. (do gopher and ftp count?) The Net has always been useful AND fun. Why does there have to be a distinction? I think some of what we used to call fun has for some reason become legitimate
    - It used to be cool to be able to see weather radar images, now it is useful
    - It used to be cool to go to IMDB and look up your favorite movies - now it is useful
    - It used to be fun to chat with people, now it can be essential.
    I don't think much has changed, it has just grown. There are more useful things, and there are more fun things. There are more boring things. There is just more.
  • what the Christian Science Monitor says. The Internet is just a another way to get quality porn.
  • one of those paradox things that contradicts itself by simply existing?
  • Email used to be my favorite feature of the internet..... sure FTP was great for procurring software and files; UseNet was wonderful for tossing out an idea and watching it be torched by an inferno of ascii; and the new-fangled world wide web let me publish myself with an ill-fated website called "Hot Cup of Joe."

    The early '90s were, IMHO, the best years of the internet. Everything was still new and uncharted... Domains could still be sold back to corporations who lacked vision... hackers were feared and thought to be bent on destroying the free world (except by those of us who knew them as explorers)... and Mosaic set the standard for web browsing.

    Today the commercialism of the internet has destroyed it's lure for me. My purpose for the "net" has definately changed: I was once interested in what it was, how it worked, and what was next. Now I want only to check my email, delete 95% of the contents of my inbox (the remainder of the crap that did not get caught by the junk mail filter), and occasionally use google (my start up page) to search for an interesting tidbit of information or file.

    The internet, today, sucks.

    I don't even use instant messaging anymore due to the amount of pornography that I was receiving in the way of spam. Even emails that I get from friends are junk. What happened to the personal letters that we used to write to each other! Pop-up ads dominate anysite of interest (except Slashdot... at least they stick to the good old banner). My firewall has a huge "restricted sites list" that includes akamai and double click... my "host." file for Windows is LONG! The porn was cool when it was new and few, but now I find it iritating (maybe I'm just getting old... my first modem was 300 baud) when it enters my inbox or search results uninvited.

    The song say's "video killed the radio star," but ".com" is killing the net! The internet began as a free society that policed itself, now we have legislators peering and poking into the "content" being provided and into the "fairness" of enterprise being able to control a domain name. If Joe Geek was insightful enough to recognize that Madonna.Com [duanemorris.com] might have value to a certain bleached blond, then said blond should have to pay his price or be willing to let Joe Geek do what he will with the domain.

    In the near future, all of the internet sites that were created out of love and desire to make a decent living doing something you enjoy will merge into supersites/portals that will charge "nominal fees" for the things we are used to getting for free. The small independent business people / site administrators wont be able to compete or make enough profit to maintain their sites. Buyouts will allow them to show a return for their efforts (which they deserve) and some may be able to stay on and do what they do best by maintaining what they've created (ie SlashDot). But the rest of the world will end up paying big for high-speed access and the freedom to access the information we all enjoy now through google.

    Perhaps this will give rise to a new "net." Maybe an UnderNet that operates outside of the Internet (which will have become a brand name like Xerox), piggy backing where it can, stealing resources when able, but only allowing those who are willing to agree to NOT make any money from it's existance through ads and spam or fees for information.

    Then! THEN! We can get back to what's REALLY important! Flaming the lamers.... guess we'll have to let some of them in to make this work.

    Cheers
    cfeagans

    • You say people should agree not to make money from the existence of an 'UnderNet' through ads and spam or fees for information, but then you previously glorify cybersquatting as an enterprise which should be legal.

      Most people would be cybersquatters in the same group as spammers and others. I'm curious how all the people who agree to not make money through ads or fees are going to survive? You don't see any free print newspapers around without at least 5 pages of ads and personal ads do you?

    • Lets start with these two ...

      "The early '90s were, IMHO, the best years of the internet. Everything was still new and uncharted... Domains could still be sold back to corporations who lacked vision... hackers were feared and thought to be bent on destroying the free world (except by those of us who knew them as explorers)... and Mosaic set the standard for web browsing."

      and

      "The song say's "video killed the radio star," but ".com" is killing the net! The internet began as a free society that policed itself, now we have legislators peering and poking into the "content" being provided and into the "fairness" of enterprise being able to control a domain name. If Joe Geek was insightful enough to recognize that Madonna.Com [duanemorris.com] might have value to a certain bleached blond, then said blond should have to pay his price or be willing to let Joe Geek do what he will with the domain."

      What makes you think you are entitled to those domain names? Just because you got there first? Is it really as simple as first come first serve to you? There's something called "trademark". People can trademark their names. Companies can do it and so can individuals. Just because a new medium comes along such as the internet, that is no reason to believe that all of a sudden the old rules and laws are now null and void and you can just run over people's trademarks and squat on them as you see fit. This entire mentality is so 1999 and dot.com like. The internet didn't change anything. It didn't change any rules or laws, it just made business and communication more efficient thats all. But you will always have a small tiny segment of the population who wants something for free. They simply cannot understand that the internet is NOT being ruined just because they aren't able to extort millions of dollars from trademark owners just so they can get their domains back.

      Unless your name is Madonna you don't deserve that domain name. And since it isn't, the real Madonna should not have to hand over blackmail money to get usage of her trademark handed back over to her. Its ridiculous. Its like registering ford.com and then blaiming the company for not having the "vision" to register themself before you did. No. They don't need vision. They already own the trademark to the name Ford. You don't have a right to squat on their trademark. Legislating and regulating this does not lessen the value of the internet. It does not ruin its spirit. It simply makes it simple to conduct business online without having to deal with nickle and dimeing hoodlums who would hold you up at every point just so they can be "free".
  • Yup. This Internet thingy even has spell checkers to help make it more purposeful. :)

    jaosn
  • Y?[
    ? internet is amazingly useful as a research tool, source for patches, drivers, updates... endless amounts of data.

    The fact that a site with content fueled by synopsises of and links to the sites that actually contains this points it out is amusing. The fact that the "report" is from the Christian Science Monitor (Christian Science being an oxymoron on a parallel with Military Intelligence)... is fucking hilarious.

    Yes, the internet is useful. So are pants. Way to live in the now, scooter.
  • People use the internet for more than finding porn. Film at 11.
  • ..can get hold of course works and results from the degree web site. Timetables, locations, last minute changes for lectures are all available on line. Each area of the degree has a forum for students and lecturers to discuss issues, ask questions etc. All of this means she can hit the ground running, i.e. no need to wander around trying to find where something is being held. It's even more important to her because she has a social anxiety disorder.

    I remember the frustration of trying to locate where and when events were being held, or turning up to something cancelled. It's early days but it's hard to believe that the internet(web, IM, email,??) will become increasingly interwoven with the fabric or everyday life, in way that makes it indispensable. IMHO it's fundamental importance will be closer to that of electricity than broadcast TV.
  • I, for one, am thrilled to hear that more of these over looked, under appreciated mammals are finally breaking the Technological Divide. Imagine all that these creatures have to offer the net....

    Oh, wait, that was "purposeful". I thought it said "porpoiseful". Oh well, nevermind.
  • It's so damned useful I have trouble finding uses for it. It used to be a vast realm of quality information and entertainment, now it's just a vast realm of banner ads and spam. I don't care whether the Fortune 500 members consider it 'useful', they weren't the target audience to begin with.
  • Ive been on the net since 96, it stopped being fun in about 99.

    Basically, when the big internet expansion happened, and it went from being a community of computer genius types, into a commercial business.

    The whole fun of the internet was ruined, the same people i used the net to escape from, were now on the net with me.

    Now the net is just a tool, like a calculator or telephone.

  • You know I tried to get one of those Christian Science Monitors to go to 1024x768...
  • ...we all once used the 'net for useful things.

    Then a bunch of jesus freaks found out that you could trade pr0n and not make it community business.

    Boom, bang... millions of lusers... RealPlayer... mp3... dotCOM explosion...

    ... the gov't made the Internet purposeful.

    The headline should read "Users Become Adults"

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)

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