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Computers and the Internet

While film, radio, and television all had dramatic effects on communications in the
twentieth century, all three were still one-way media that lacked any sort of
interactive capabilities. While early computers had been large and slow, by the
1970s and 1980s, engineers centered in Californias so-called Silicon Valley created
increasingly smaller computers with greater memory capacity. After these
hardware developments, improvements in software followed that allowed computer
users to word process, play games, and run businesses. These technological
improvements in computer hardware and software would soon have a profound
effect on communications and commerce with the development of the Internet.
The creation of the Internet was the result of attempts to connect research
networks in the U.S. and Europe. In the 1960s, the U.S. Department of Defence
created an open network to help academic, contract, and government employees
communicate unclassified information related to defence work. After crucial
technological advances in the 1970s, in 1980 the Department of Defence adopted
the transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) standard, which allowed
networks to route and assemble data packets and also send data to its ultimate
destination through a global addressing mechanism.
During the 1980s, the defence functions were removed from the network, and the
National Science Foundation operated the remainder, adding many new features to
the network and expanding its use around the world. While government agencies
were the principal early users of the Internet, by the 1980s its use had spread to
the scientific and academic community. By the 1990s, the Internet had become
increasingly commercialized and privatized. The rise in the use of personal
computers and the development of local area networks to connect these
computers contributed to the expansion of the Internet. Starting in 1988,
commercial electronic mail (e-mail) services were connected to the Internet,
leading to a boom in traffic. E-mail is rapidly replacing long-distance telephone
calls, and chat rooms have created social groups dedicated to specific subjects, but
with members living around the world. The Internet has not only changed how
people communicate but also how they work, purchase, and play. Many people now
work at home, using the Internet to stay in touch with the office. People have also
begun to use the Internet for banking and shopping services rather than so-called
brick and mortar locations. While people have access to more information than
ever before, that information, often unfiltered and invalidated, has created several
generations of children who are seemingly immune to extreme violence. Health
concerns are also an issue, as people spend less time in outdoor activities and

more time sitting in front of the television or computer. The online nature of the
Internet will also make privacy one of the major issues of the near future.

How to Improve your Memory

Memory experts suggest that people can, with practice, improve their ability to remember.
One of the most important means of improving memory is the use of mental aids called
mnemonic devices. Other techniques can also be used to help people improve their
memory. Mnemonic devices include rhymes, clues, mental pictures, and other methods.
One of the simplest ways is to put the information into a rhyme. Many people remember
the number of days in each month by using a verse that begins, Thirty days hath
September. . . . Another method provides clues by means of an acronym, a word formed
from the first letters or syllables of other words. For example, the acronym homes could
help a person remember the names of the Great LakesHuron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie,
Superior. First, you think of a key word in English that sounds like the foreign wordfor
example, gobble. Next, you connect the two words through a mental image, such as that
of a person gobbling food with a fork. From then on, to recall the meaning of Gabel, you
would remember gobble and the stored image linking it to fork. Mental pictures can also
be used to remember names. When you meet a person for the first time, pick out a
physical feature of the individual and relate it to his or her name. For example, if you
meet a very tall man named Mr. Shackley, imagine his bumping his head on the roof of a
shack. In the future, this image will help you remember his name when you see or think of
him. Mnemonic techniques work best for remembering lists of specific items, such as
words or objects. They do not work well for learning complex materials, such as stories
and poems. For this reason, many psychologists favor more general strategies for
improving memory.Another memory aid involves making the surroundings in which you
remember material similar to those in which you learned the material. For this reason,
football coaches often require players to practice under conditions similar to those of an
actual game.
Exceptionally good memory. You sometimes hear of someone who has a photographic
memory, which supposedly works like a camera taking a picture. A person with such a
memory would be able to take a quick mental picture of a textbook page or a scene.
Later, the person could describe the page or scene perfectly by causing the image to
reappear in his or her mind. No one actually has a photographic memory. However, some
people have a similar ability called eidetic imagery. An eidetic image is a picture that
remains in a persons mind for a few seconds after a scene has disappeared. People who
have eidetic imagery can look at a scene briefly and then give a thorough description of
the scene based on a mental image. But the image fades quickly and may be inaccurate.
Eidetic imagery is rare. Only 5 to 10 percent of all children have this ability, and most of
them lose it as they grow up. Deja vu is the feeling of having already experienced a
situation that is actually happening for the first time. For example, a person who goes to a

restaurant in a foreign city for the first time may have the overwhelming sensation of
having been there before. Episodes of deja vu occur most often in people who have
epilepsy. Deja vu is a French term meaning already seen.