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[ih] 'Internet' vs 'internet'


On 9/29/2018 8:12 AM, Noel Chiappa wrote:
> Dear Science News editors:
> I was extremely saddened to see, in the latest issue of 'Science News', that
> you all have apparently succumbed to the fashion of using 'internet' to refer
> to the Internet. While I expect to see this sort of error in general
> publications, it's most unfortunate to see a magazine focused on technical
> matters make the same mistake.
> Let me explain.
> An 'internet' is a generally, and widely, accepted technical term for a
> collection of disparate physical networks (fiber optic links, wireless
> network, Ethernets, etc) connected together with a particular type of packet
> switch, called 'routers'. (There are other kinds of packet switch, but they
> have mostly fallen into desuetude now.)
> The 'Internet' is the massive internet to which most people of the world now
> have access. (See how that sentence doesn't make sense without distinguishing
> one with the capital?)
> There are, however, still many other internets, which are not connected to the
> Internet. (Google "air gap" if you aren't aware of this - and again, the
> different spelling is crucial to the sentenced being comprehensible.)
> The people who invented internets, and the Internet, carefully chose to use
> the capital precisely to distinguish between the two. (I recall the
> discussion.) The Internet Engineering Task Force, the body responsible for the
> technical specifications for internets and the Internet, continues to use that
> distinction.
> Just as there are many 'white houses', but only one 'White House', there is an
> important distinction between 'internet(s)' and the 'Internet'.
> So I hope you will update your editorial guidlines to note that the term for
> _the_ Internet is spelled with a capital.
>        Noel
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