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The Internet

            The Internet is a vast collection of computers that are interconnected through Internet Service Providers (ISP's) and are catalogued by DNS servers. But what IS the Internet, in practical terms? The Internet is an extensive wealth of information at one's fingertips, and the network infrastructure that allows that data to be shared. All content is stored on other computers and requested as needed, so "surfing" the "net does not take a lot of storage space. Private companies or individuals create all of the web pages that there are; there is not a sole organization that creates or owns "the internet". While there are several organizations that monitor activity and content on the 'net, it is impossible to read every one of the 2,469,940,685* plus websites in existence today. Since private individuals create over 80% of those sites, there is no way to know if what your reading is true or if someone made it up. Most websites offer genuine facts and are useful. But there are also inaccurate web pages, Internet scams, email fraud, website hacking, and other malicious Internet behavior. Nevertheless, the positive side of the Internet exceeds negative.
             On the Internet, there are many tools that can make our lives better and our work more efficient. A search engine is one type of these tools. Search engines find and display websites that match input criteria. Google is one of the biggest search engines on the web, and is the most widely used. Google includes a multitude of useful tools, such as content filters for stopping inappropriate search results. On September 11, 2001, there were over 6000 searches for "CNN" on Google per minute. This is just one example of how many people rely on the Internet as a source of news. There are many other search engines on the "net besides Google, but "caveat emptor", there are some such as Ask Jeeves that produce search results based on how much websites pay them; the more money the more there site appears.

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