Saturday, March 19, 2005

This web really is world-wide

If you've never thought about it before, let me suggest to you that the internet is, on the whole, a cool thing. Below, I will lay out a few reasons why this is true.

1) As I type, I am listening to the NCAA tournament, specifically Gonzaga vs. Texas Tech. The internet is still such a difficult thing to patrol that I'm almost 100% sure that that the station I am listening to does not have permission to broadcast the tourney over the net. Its one of those "listen live" channels. Now, there are several places where one must pay to listen to the tournament on the internet, but good old WBAL in Baltimore does it pro bono. It was in 2001 that I discovered that there is almost always a station airing for free what others wanted money for. Just last week, I listened to Alabama play on a station in Huntsville's, sight (The Ump), while Alabama's official site wanted me to pay, as did espn.com.

2) Google. Google is the reason that I knew about good old WBAL, and The Ump, and just about every interesting thing I've read on the internet over the past three years.

3) The fact that we are over here right now would almost certainly have been impossible without the internet. First, google helped me find the University of Birmingham and the fact that it offers the External Programme. The internet allowed me to research, apply, and register. In addition, I was able to get approval for my research, communicate at length with my supervisor before committing, and even buy the tickets to get here. Before we arrived, I had a general idea of what rent would be, where we'd need to live, and what the average weather was like. Sure, all of these things could have been done without the net, but the sheer work involved in half of them without the internet would have certainly been enough to quash the thing.

4) Communication. Yahoo IM has allowed our families to keep up with the drastic changes Helen has undergone over the past three months, and allowed her to hear and see her grandparents... all for free. That beats the $1 a minute one would have had to have paid to call here just ten years ago. Come to think of it, the internet has allowed people to price search in such a powerful way that plane tickets are the best example of its power. Tickets to Europe from the U.S. were well over $1000, even over $1500, until the past 10 years or so. I got a roundtrip ticket in January to London for $282 total. Now that is a deal, and yes, I found it on the internet.

5) Back to google. The image search function allows one to find a picture of absolutely anything he could imagine. Just for a test, I'll search for "fat gorilla" and see what happens... 39 results... this is my favorite. Now, I'll try "scott mcelroy". Ouch!! Maybe I accidentally did "fat gorilla" again.

6) Email.

I could think or more, but why don't you read this article on The Advantages of the Internet, written in 1996. Only 9 years old, but already seems quaint. Once again, just found it with google.

I will blog about our truly enjoyable day in the city centre today and all the fun we had last night with our guests later. And Texas Tech just took the lead.

26 Comments:

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Mommy of Boys said...

Is Mc-Daddy wearing Tennessee orange? He is a monkey!

:) Capes

 
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My husband, Bryan, would love to know how you found the Alabama game online. He searched and searched and was so frustrated when he couldn't find it. Any tips on what you searched for would be much appreciated.

Love the pictures of Helen! I hope you all have a wonderful and safe trip home to Tennessee.

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