The Internet and its Impact on Society
As Taught by Prof. Tim Richardson
Outline136 A ©
Don't forget to regularly check the  GNED 136 Assignments Descriptions . Sometimes there are changes to dates due, and other "stuff you need to know".

last updated 2004 Feb 10
explanation of assignments

explanation of grading structure

hand out of detailed course information, including copies of the web pages for the first few classes

. There is a purpose in giving you information and links to learn about the origins of the Internet and WWW.

At the time of  this course (Jan-April 2003) many significant changes continue to take place in the further development of the internet. 

So, the purpose in giving you information and links to learn about the origins of the Internet and WWW is to equip you with an understanding which will help you personally judge the immediate future events and activities so that you may be better able, as a student and later as a business person, to evaluate particular situations and judge whether to use, or not use, learn or not learn, spend money or save money, as these develop.

In the video we show in the second class, we discuss

Steve Case - founder of AOL - America Online
silicon valley in India - Bangalore
James Gosling - inventor of Java (done at Sun Microsystems)
Eric Schmidt - Novell
Scott McNealy - Cofounder and CEO of Sun Microsystems
Larry Ellison - Cofounder and Chairman of Oracle Systems.

A list of all the people mentioned in the video is at

In the week of Sept 11-14th, 2001 some significant events took place. These events were very tragic and the magnitude of the disaster will perhaps define a generation. 

It also allowed us a perfect example to look at the "Impact of the Internet on Society"

. One of the most significant impacts of the Internet on Society is the ability of people to independently direct themselves to info sources to find out about newsbreaking events.

As the World Trade Center disaster story broke, it was significant that many people turned to the major news sites such as and to watch the events unfold - in fact, so many people were accessing these sites that the bandwidth could not handle it and many sites crashed.

In the second class the video talked about Motley Fool, we discussed what the company did and why young investors might find its web site attractive.


What is HTML and how do you make web pages
- Professor Richardson will explain, in class, the basics steps involved in making a web page and what HTML is
- this is not a web page design course, the purpose of this section is to meet the requests of previous GNED 136 students who wanted some time in class regarding the fundamentals of making a web page
. This is a good page to go to and read several of the links, even if you think you are experienced.
check "what is an URL"
URL stands for "Uniform Resource Locator". 
It is a draft standard for specifying an object on the Internet, such as a file or newsgroup. 

URLs look like this: (file: and ftp: URLs are synonymous.) 


 The first part of the URL, before the colon, specifies the access method. The part of the URL after the colon is interpreted specific to the access method. In general, two slashes after the colon indicate a machine name

Can I catch a virus by looking at a web page?
Probably not, if you keep your software up to date. 

Your computer can, of course, catch a virus if you download an executable program from an untrustworthy site and then, of your own free will, double-click on it in your file manager (or Mac desktop, or...). This is the same risk you run when downloading programs from bulletin board systems  or via anonymous FTP. 

. This screen capture takes you to a special page built just to explain and describe all the things you need to know about search engines for students studying e-commerce, internet marketing and the internet in general
In the second class, the professor explained a bit about using search engines, and tasked the class with completing, and handing in, the following worksheet.


Class Debate
- the class will be divided into two parts to discuss "The Internet is Good", or "The Internet is Bad"
- read the preview

. A unit for GNED 136 about Internet Statistics

The following are some numbers which may be of some assistance in understanding the scope of the present "penetration" of e-business into business. The problem with listing any numbers in here is that this is a rapidly changing environment and every 4 weeks there are new trends developing and further data available


Media in the Family in Canada
"Still, socializing is one of the last things to go when folks get hooked on the Net. A quarter cut their television viewing, one in six read less, and one in 10 cut their leisure activities, sleep and household chores. "Time is finite if you're spending time on this, you had to give up on something," said the report's author, StatsCan analyst 
   Cara Williams. "For a lot of people, we seem to be trading one screen for another."   We also may be trading our boring neighbours for people with whom we have a lot more in common, says University of Toronto historian Bert Hall. "What we're doing is redefining our communities to include people who may be present only on screen," he said. "Let's face it, you may have more in common with someone of similar interest in a different town than you might with your next-door neighbour  But that doesn't say much about family life, he admits. A second study found young people 15 to 24 are the most rampant Internet surfers with 97 per cent of those with a home computer connected for an average 12 hours a week. Boys use it more than girls, but the main attraction for both is E-mail."
This article appeared in the Toronto Star in December 2001