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Don: World much smaller because of the Net

on 31 Ogos 2010.

By YU JI
Alamat e-mel ini dilindungi daripada spambots. Anda perlukan JavaScript diaktifkan untuk memaparkannya. Photos by ANDRE OLIVEIRO

 

THE digital divide in Malaysia is categorised according to financial status, regions, age and gender, says Universiti Malaysia Sarawak deputy vice-chancellor Prof Peter Songan.

Without extending the benefits of information technology (IT) nationwide, the training of competent knowledge workers would be impossible, he said.

Prof Peter: Through web technology, companies can become more powerful and richer than states or nations

Speaking at a university forum on the Internet’s future in Kuching yesterday, Peter said that IT illiteracy impeded knowledge interchange.

“More than this, it affects the implementation of various government electronic services. This divide can be seen not only between people of different economic status but also in homes,” he said in his opening speech.

Added Peter: “Through web technology, companies can become more powerful and richer than states or nations.

“For example, the Facebook social network has so many users that it can be considered as the world’s third biggest country. The question we have to ask is: Where are we heading?” he said.

This explosive development of the world wide web, he added, would have great impact on the world.

“The world is a much smaller place.”

Keynote speaker Prof Bebo White of Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre in the United States said that efforts to improve IT must be based on what users wanted.

“Certainly, it is impossible to predict how the Internet will be in the future,” he said.

“However, the development of the web depends on the people using it. How people use the technology is the most important variable.”

Prof White: Certainly, it is impossible to predict how the Internet will be in the future.

Bebo said the future of human society was now linked to the future of web development.

Device type, including mobile phones with broadband access, usage conditions, accessibility and application types would play a large part in determining social progress, he added.

“The web is for everybody. In the future, there is no reason not to have broadband connectivity everywhere.”

Historically, he said, improvements in the quality of life had always been directly related to the increase in information accessibility.

On the best way to spur online activity, Prof Bebo said that e-commerce had arguably brought more people to the Internet than other usages.

“The ability to shop online and do business online has been a great leverage.”

Besides the university, the other forum organisers included Kuching Division Journalists Association and Sarawak ICT Development and Media Network.

 

Extracted from The Star Online.

Arkib Berita

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