Chapter 1

CYBERSPACE

 

The term Cyberspace was first introduced in science fiction.[1] Today, Cyberspace far transcends the science fiction novel and refers to the vast mass communication networks created by television, radio, and especially the multimedia technology of the Internet.[2]

By the late 1960s, the mainframe computer[3] had made great inroads in changing business areas ranging from airline reservations to railroad freight schedules, in government agencies from the Social Security Administration to the Federal Housing Administration, and in educational programs to assist students in learning. The mainframe computer began to revolutionize business by providing an ability to handle, store, retrieve, and analyze large amounts of data.[4] Companies with large customer bases used these computers and integrated them into day-to-day business activities.[5] Of course, because of the size and expense of such computers, access was limited during the 1970s.

In the early 1980s, the personal computer[6] became available and changed the accessibility problem. The small size of this computer, as well as the reduced individual cost, made computerization of business, government, and education feasible on a wide scale. The personal computer, or PC, was becoming readily available to smaller businesses and homes.[7] It was then that the computer explosion took place in the United States and worldwide.[8] Many individuals began to do more and more routine tasks on computers. Data could be downloaded onto disks at work and brought home for further processing. School and educational work could be done on computers. Home records could be computerized. As more computers were manufactured, they became affordable in price for many.[9] As computer technology advanced, computers became smaller and portable.[10]

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the study of cognitive processes using the conceptual frameworks and the tools of computer science.[11] It is based on the techniques used by the human mind. These techniques are referred to as semantic information processes.[12] AI began as a sub-field of computer science in the mid-fifties. Rule-based expert systems were the first type of AI systems to become widely available and used beyond the AI academic community.[13] In the rule-based expert system, a rule is encoded in a simple, stylized if-then format. If certain conditions are known to hold, then the AI system will take the stated action or draw the stated conclusion. Rule-based systems work by chaining these various encoded rules together. In chaining, there are two different ways of reasoning, for humans as well as for expert systems.[14] A problem is presented. In forward chaining, information is gathered on the problem, and the expert system draws a conclusion. In backward chaining, the expert system starts with a goal, and then seeks evidence that supports or contradicts this goal.

The advances in technology are incredible. Many areas of computer technology are improving so fast that hardware and software becomes obsolete in 18 months or less.[15] This has kept the cost of many technological products low as closeout sales take place. This has further resulted in computers becoming almost universally used in business, and increasingly used in many homes across the nation.

The Internet was established between government and academic computers many years ago to allow the transfer of information and to provide communications in the event of a national emergency.[16] With the advent of browser software during the 1990s, that had the capability of graphics as well as text transmission, the World Wide Web of the Internet rapidly became a medium for mass communication and commerce with the general public.[17] Because of mass distribution of browsers by Netscape and Microsoft, the World Wide Web of the Internet is now an international network.[18] It is used extensively for the marketing[19] of products and services. Substantial retail sales now take place each year on the Internet.[20] Many individual investors have Internet brokerage accounts.[21] The Internet is also the repository of vast amounts of factual information and statistics so it can be used as an educational tool. Students can gather research data and then use such research in school projects.

Young students are often very favorable toward the use of computers in the classroom. Many of the children of today were exposed to computer games at an early age. These children were also exposed to computer-assisted imagery in movies[22] and on television. Examples of this are the special effects in Star Wars, and the animation in Toy Story.

Apple Computer Corporation became involved in a study and collaboration with public schools in 1985, when a lot of publicity concerning the future of the personal computer and education, as well as business, was prevalent. It must be noted that this was also a time of intense competition between Apple and the other operating system for the PC being used by IBM Corporation and Microsoft.[23] It was important to these companies for young children to start using computers at an early age in order to become familiar with having them around and to ensure growth of the industry in general. Not only was that important, but the exposure to one or the other companies' operating systems and brand names in school can serve to establish brand loyalty[24] when these children become adults and go into the business world.

U.S. v. MICROSOFT, U.S.D.C. (D.D.C. November 5, 1999)

RENO v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997)

 

REPORT TO THE CONGRESS: THE IMPACT OF RECENT TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES ON THE SECURITIES MARKETS, Securities and Exchange Commission (1997)

2000 Harry Stansbury

 

RETURN TO HOME PAGE

 

 



[1] See Note, Keeping Secrets in Cyberspace: Establishing Fourth Amendment Protection for Internet Communication, 110 Harv. L. Rev.1591, 1591-1595 & n.4 (1997).

[2] See DAVID A. KAPLAN, THE SILICON BOYS 318-319 (1999).

[3] See Peter T. White, Behold the Computer Revolution, National Geographic, Nov. 1970, at 593.

[4] See MICHAEL HILTZIK, DEALERS OF LIGHTNING 14-20 (1999).

[5] See MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, BLOOMBERG BY BLOOMBERG 131-134 (1997)

[6] See Allen A. Boraiko, The Chip, National Geographic, Oct. 1982, at 421.

[7] See generally STEVEN LEVY, HACKERS Ch. 15 (1984).

[8] See generally JERRY KAPLAN, STARTUP Ch. 1 (1994).

[9] See generally JIM CARLTON, APPLE Ch. 2 (1997).

[10] See generally MICHAEL WOLFF, BURN RATE Ch. 1 (1998).

[11] See generally CARL TOWNSEND & DENNIS FUECHT, DESIGNING AND PROGRAMMING PERSONAL EXPERT SYSTEMS 3-29 (1986)

[12] See L. Thorne McCarty, Reflections on TAXMAN: An Experiment in Artificial Intelligence and Legal Reasoning, 90 Harv. L. Rev. 837,841-842 (1977).

[13] See Edwina L. Rissland, Artificial Intelligence and Law: Stepping Stones to a Model of Legal Reasoning, 99 Yale L.J. 1957, 1958-1961 (1990).

[14] See generally MICHAEL CHADWICK & JOHN HANNAH, EXPERT SYSTEMS FOR MICROCOMPUTERS 16-19 (1987).

[15] See Nikhil Hutheesing, Faster, Cheaper, Better Forever, Forbes, July 7, 1997, at 172; see also Kelly Barron, Johnny's Computer Doesn't Boot, Forbes, May 17, 1999, at 120.

[16] See CHARLES H. FERGUSON, HIGH STAKES, NO PRISONERS 42-43 (1999).

 

[17] See MICHAEL LEWIS, THE NEW, NEW THING 81-82 (1999); Melanie Warner, Fallen Idols, Fortune, Oct. 30, 2000, at 108; David Yaffe, The Kinsley Report, Village Voice, July 11, 2000, at 32; see also PAUL ANDREWS, HOW THE WEB WAS WON Ch. 2 (1999).

[18] See VLADIMIR ZWASS, FOUNDATIONS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 266-274 (1998).

[19] See PHILIP KOTLER, MARKETING MANAGEMENT 731-739 (9th ed. 1997).

[20] See Leslie Kaufman, Playing Catch-Up at the On-Line Mall, New York Times, Feb. 21, 1999, at 3-1.

 

[21] See Gretchen Morgenson, Sailing Into Murky Waters, New York Times, Feb. 28, 1999, at 3-1.

[22] See PETER BISKIND, EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS 326 (1998).

[23] See ROBERT X. CRINGELY, ACCIDENTAL EMPIRES 120-138 (1992).

[24] See J. PAUL PETER & JAMES H. DONNELLY, JR., A PREFACE TO MARKETING MANAGEMENT 108-113 (7th ed. 1997).