Netiquette Banner Netiquette, by Virginia Shea, page 27

The development of new applications constantly fuels the growth of the Internet. Many of these applications have "graphical user interfaces" that make Internet access easy. Free programs like Mosaic, Lynx, and Cello allow you to browse the World Wide Web (WWW), a vast collection of electronic libraries. Hundreds of organizations "publish" and link their works on the WWW. By clicking a mouse button or hitting an arrow key, you can "net surf" from server to server and topic to topic.

Q. How can I get on the Internet?

Most people access the Internet through work or school. The only tools required -- at school, work, or home -- are a computer, a modem, basic communications software, and a phone line. There are hundreds of companies that sell and resell Internet access, many of them running out of lofts and basements and serving local neighborhoods. Many of these businesses will hold your hand while you're getting started on the Internet. For a list of Internet service providers, see the forthcoming Internet Now! from Albion Books.

Acceptable use

The Internet is composed of many networks, each with its own specific rules and usage policies. One of the most important documents in determining Internet rules is the NSFNET Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), which basically restricts use of the NSFNET Internet "backbone" to research, academic, and government uses. It expressly forbids commercial activity unrelated to research.

The AUP doesn't apply, however, to the fastest-growing segments of the Internet run by commercial Internet service providers like PSI, UUNET, and Netcom. In 1990, these providers formed a non-profit organization, the Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX), that is dedicated to carrying commercial Internet traffic.

Q. What's USENET?

USENET is sort of a cross between a campus coffeehouse and a cooperative news service. Although it's closely associated with the Internet, USENET runs on non-Internet systems as well. It's composed of thousands


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