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One Billion January 3, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.

compboy  Did you know that to count to one million once every second it would take you 11 days? To count to one billion at the same rate would take you over 31 years. One billion is the estimated number of Internet users who are online worldwide. Of those users, a little less than one quarter of those users will be North American. Ten years ago, North Americans accounted for almost two thirds of users. 

A Morgan Stanley report showed that US influence and dominance in global Internet related issues from financial transactions to engineering is falling. What is even more overwhelming in the report is that the way we will be thinking about tools and technology in the future will certainly change dramatically. One of the biggest changes will be in the fusion of telephones and digital cameras. A 4 Megapixel camera will take some exquisite photographs. Professional photographers are using cameras with far more Megapixels. Right now, telephone cameras, as noted earlier, are not particularly good and do not compare with digital cameras. That will soon change. Samsung has a 7 Megapixel camera phone available that could make digital cameras redundant. 

That is worth considering. We have gone from the Kodak Brownie, to the Polaroid, then the digital camera but now it is conceivable that for the average user, there may be no need for a camera at all. You will be able to use the phone to scan bar code images to place orders or investigate a product. You will be able to check maps and locations using the phone. 

As I was scrolling through the Morgan Stanley report, a PowerPoint in PDF form, what is striking is just how different the world is going to become and just how available information will become. One example is the growth of Skype Internet based telephony. In two years, over 60 million people have started to use the Internet based telephone service. Where cost or distance has previously limited communications, those issues are becoming irrelevant. 

Of even greater significance to teachers is the growth of User Generated Content (UGC). Everything from reviews of movies to reviews of professors and feedback on products to feedback on politicians are showing up in web pages. The gap in time between searching for a product, finding it online and then purchasing it has already significantly shortened. In addition, users transferring money online, online monetization, is growing quickly.



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