October 28, 2007
The World Wide Web is the single largest, most ubiquitous source of information in the world, and it sprang up spontaneously. People use interactive Web pages to obtain stock quotes, receive tax information from the Internal Revenue Service, make appointments with a hairdresser, consult a pregnancy planner to determine ovulation dates, conduct election polls, register for a conference, search for old friends, and the list goes on. It is only natural that the Web's functionality, popularity, and ubiquity have made it the seemingly ideal platform for conducting electronic commerce. People can now go online to buy CDs, clothing, concert tickets, and stocks. Several companies, such Digicash, Cybercash, and First Virtual, have sprung up to provide mechanisms for conducting business on the Web. The savings in cost and the convenience of shopping via the Web are incalculable. Whereas most successful computer systems result from careful, methodical planning, followed by hard work, the Web took on a life of its own from the very beginning. The introduction of a common protocol and a friendly graphical user interface was all that was needed to ignite the Internet explosion. The Web's virtues are extolled without end, but its rapid growth and universal adoption have not been without cost. In particular, security was added as an afterthought.
Posted by kamokazi at October 28, 2007 03:01 PM