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Digital communication had three (so called) killer apps (applications that pushed it roll-out severely): These were email, hypertext based web browsers and index-site's/page's plus search engines. Email was the first application that takes advantage of digital communication. It was a protocol based on several RFC's (Request For Comment) as circulated in the Internet community by the successors of the ICANN like NIC, InterNic and IANA, which results in the definition of the SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol). The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a not by open democratic rules function the global internet 'government', and is California based private hold corporation, contracted by the US Department of Commerce, making the USA the internet government. This US governmental ownership situation will be certainly changed in the future, as internet grows more and more globally. An example: The slow approval of the .eu domain for Europe was an issue that could be political influenced. An other example: The US now can theoretically cut of nations by removing their toplevel domain record out of the DNS (Domain Name System) root servers by just deleting zone file content or even simple just by marking the .ir root record line with the ; character. Despite there where more email standards and network standards, email could be rolled out and delivered everywhere by the use of gateways between the different (SMTP and X400) protocols, because the email protocol of X400 of ITU was still in deployment (companies like IBM supported it very long). Email was cheap, easy to use, very high speed. Everybody with a (dial up) connection and an email program could communicate with everybody with a (dial up) connection and an email program. It's not a miracle that email became a success. The @ address format is born in 1971. The World Wide Web as hypertext linked web pages was born in 1989 and developed rapidly after popular the web browsing programs like Gopher, Mosaic, Netscape, MS Internet Explorer and recently FireFox came available. After publishing and accessing information worldwide became very easy, index pages/sites (like the Open Directory project) and search engines (like AltaVista later on followed by the current players like Yahoo, Google and Baidu -the search engine giant of China-) came into place. From than on the sky was the limit: it became an it selves enforcing development: content gave content consumers and the more consumers there came, the more content was generated. Access to internet based information has boost (and still will) global developments severely. Everything someone wants to know just available at the tips of your fingers. The economic boosting impact of this tool in both human, societal and economic developments have been much underrated. The contribution of the Internet as we know (based in these 3 main killer apps) is an elevator (quick moving to a higher level) phase in human history. Search engines improves mankind's time efficiency enormously and contribute thereby huge to prosperity, something we certainly need in times of PeakOil and attached energy migration, which both have repressing influences on prosperity.

Author: Gijs Graafland

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