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36 Segments




The New Networked Frontier.

Writer Howard Rheingold. In his newest book, "The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier" (Addison- Wesley) he argues that although computer mediated communication has made it possible for people to have access to almost anything, it is dangerous as well. Rheingold says individuals must keep using the internet as a way to express their views or they will loose the ability to do so, as the government and large corporations become more aware of the technology's capabilities.


E-Mail and Flames.

Terry talks with New Yorker writer John Seabrook about the downside of electronic mail. Then she gets a response from Stewart Brand, the inventor of The Well, a computer conference system. . . Last January Seabrook wrote an article in the New Yorker magazine about Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates. Seabrook was flooded with electronic mail as a result, and to his surprise he was "flamed" for the first time. In Internet jargon, to be "flamed" is to receive an obscene or derogatory E-mail message. Seabrook said he'd never received anything like it before.


The Year of the Internet.

Jerry Yang is co-founder of Yahoo, a directory to the World Wide Web. Yahoo has an on-line site, as well as a companion book. Yahoo is one of the most popular sites on the Web. Users can access Yahoo, once in the Web at Their new book is Yahoo! Unplugged (IDG books).


The Creator of the World Wide Web.

The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. He created the web in 1989, as a way to organize his own projects. The Web has grown rapidly since then. In 1992 there were 100 sites on it, as of last May there were 22,000. Berners-Lee is dedicated to keeping the Web open as a public good. He now works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he heads the World Wide Web Consortium, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing standards, protocols and new software for the Web.


The Communications Decency Act: Critics Overstate the Law's Impact on Adults.

Bruce Taylor, President and Chief Counsel of the National Law Center for Children and Families. His organization is a resource and education center which assists law enforcement and prosecutors in the enforcement of obscenity and child exploitation laws. He helped draft the legislation in the Communications Decency Act. (The National Law Center Children and Families is located in Fairfax, VA, (703) 691-4626.)


The Communications Decency Act: Opponents are Looking Into Challenging the New Law.

Jerry Berman is Executive Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology. Its mission is to develop public policies that advance democratic values and constitutional civil liberties in new computer and communications technologies. His group has joined a coalition of on line services, telecommunications companies, librarians, and others in filing a federal suit seeking less restrictive means to protect minors on the internet. (The Center for Democracy and Technology is located in Washington, D.C. (202) 637-9800.)


The Communications Decency Act: Steven Levy Offers an Overview.

Two weeks ago Congress passed a sweeping new telecommunications bill, the biggest overhaul of telecommunications law in 62 years. The bill contains a provision (the Communications Decency Act) which makes obscenity on the internet illegal, punishable by fines of up to $100,000 and prison sentences to "knowingly" transmit to minors material deemed "indecent" on on-line services.


The Independence of Cyberspace.

John Perry Barlow is the co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends civil liberties in cyberspace. Barlow is also a former cattle rancher in Wyoming, and a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is located at 1667 K St. NW, Suite 801, Washington, D.C. 20006-1605.


A Panel Discussion on Life on the Internet

An excerpt from a recent panel discussion in Philadelphia on the future on the Internet. It was moderated by Terry Gross and took place November 1, 1996 at the University of Pennsylvania. The guests include James Gleick, who writes about technology for the New York Times Sunday Magazine; Paul Ginsparg, a theoretical physicist in Los Alamos; Sherry Turkle, author of "Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet"; and Paul Evan Peters, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information. Peters died a few days after participating in this panel.


The Future of the World Wide Web

The Head of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science, Michael Dertouzos. Fifteen years ago he predicted an "Information Marketplace" like that of the Internet. In his new book, he continues to look ahead to the future of the information age, and how it will affect our lives: "What Will be: How the New World Information Will Change Our Lives."


Linguist Geoff Nunberg

Linguist Geoff Nunberg reflects on the evolution of World Wide Web naming conventions, such as attaching "e" or "cyber" in front of everything Internet.


'Who Controls the Internet?'

Recent controversies such as Google's business in China and the U.S. government's role in policing eBay transactions have put a spotlight on the intersection between governments and the Internet. Legal scholars Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu address the issue in their new book, Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World.

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