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The Next 10 Internet Years

Yesterday America Online announced that in the next month they will be offering VoIP, or voice over internet protocol. Such internet phone services have been much cheaper than your typical land line.

Could this mean a re-emergence of VoIP? This could be the swift kick in the butt that gets the telephony movement going. And there is already talk of television over IP. Maybe a progression will commence that can eventually lead to everyone having video-phones that run over IP.

It’s striking to consider how much the internet has changed our society; and the world wide web has only been popular for ten years or so. How will things look in ten years? Or twenty? Various science fiction writers and futurists did not foresee the communications revolution that has resulted. Sure Arthur C. Clarke imagined the satellite, but no one else I can think of got close. Even William Gibson, who coined the term Cyberspace, went to the extreme and didn’t consider the little, every-day changes that have occurred.

You can pay bills over the internet. You can get all your music off the internet. You can buy obscure collectibles on the internet. You can do vast amounts of research, even with obscure sources not obtainable in a library, with the internet. You can read about people’s personal lives, as told by themselves, all day long.

You can do so much. But, what can’t you do? Where can this all go? I welcome suggestions, predicts, observations. Where will the next decade of internet connectivity take us?

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