What is the Internet
            Kathy Dix

Have you ever walked between two trees or bushes, and found yourself walking through a spider's web that you couldn't see? Have you ever been sitting outdoors on a still evening and felt a small breeze brush by that no one else felt? Have you ever felt a drop of rain and no one else around felt a thing?

You have experienced the Internet. When you look up at the sky and see those wispy clouds... that's the Internet. When you watch a campfire and the smoke trails lazily up, up, up and disappears... that's the Internet.

The Internet is a none-defined space in the world. It's kinda like when you have a thought, an idea, pop up in your brain. You can't really say where it came from. That's your own personal Internet.

The Internet, also known as the World Wide Web, has no location that can be mapped; no area that has defined edges; no land, water, mountains or sand that can be felt, seen or smelled.

That is why the Internet can hold all the information and junk we want to put in it. It has no limits. No weight requirements.  No height limitations. The information is just there.

We send an e-mail to a friend, include a picture, and a long letter. The only way our friend isn't going to get it is if her mailbox is too small or too full to accept such a large piece of information. Meanwhile, the e-mail is floating around in "no where", waiting to be delivered.

Bad people - hackers and tech-no-philes - know how to use computers and the Internet for personal and evil gain. They can figure out how to access our e-mail while it is in the "no where" place. Worse, they can figure out how to get our computers to talk to them when they are physically located far, far away.

And even meaner than that, they can send viruses through the Internet that tells infected computers to behave a specific way... generally a way that is NOT nice.

The Internet was created by folks far smarter than I am or ever will be. However, I have figured out a way to protect the Internet from the bad guys, the viruses, and even the spam. (Spam is to the Internet as junk mail is to your mailbox. The only difference is that your mailman delivers junk mail that fills up your mailbox; spam is delivered and fills up your computer.)

Even if you have never used the Internet you have to remember one of the first computer games... Pac-Man?  He was a round  circle with one eye and half of his mouth visible. He slid along a maze, mouth open, waiting to gobble up dots and evade "ghosts". The longer you could evade the "ghosts", the higher your score. He might have looked like a sweet Smiley Face but he was relentless.  With your help, he could evade the "ghosts" forever. He protected the maze with unerring accuracy and brought a lot of folks to their knees.

I am going to resurrect PacMan and turn him into spam killer, a hacker fighter and a tech-no-phile eliminator. His only job will be to monitor the "no where" of the Internet and keep it safe from mean people and garbage.

He will be equipped with a brand-new phaser gun set on Level 10 -Kill. His chomping jaws will be retro-fitted with steel tips. And if one breaks, it will automatically be replaced... like the teeth in a shark's mouth.

The way I see it I have only one problem to overcome. I just have to figure out how to find the "no where" space so I can cram Pac-Man in there...

This article is the sole property of the author. It is produced here with the author's permission.  The unauthorized use or reprinting of an article is illegal, and will be prosecuted at the discretion of the author.


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This article is reprinted, with the permission of the author.  It originally appeared in the Aynor Journal Newspaper.