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Q&A

Q1:What is the difference between digital communication and other communication, anyway? Does digital mean it uses HTML?
A1: When information is transferred as distinct bits of information, which are essentially numbers, it's called digital. It's much easier to store, retrieve, and process information without losing or changing it when it is transferred digitally. Any information from a computer (including HTML) is, by its nature, digital. In the not-too-distant future, telephone, television, radio, and even motion picture production will be digital.
Q2:How soon can I start designing Internet Web pages that aren't limited by what I can transfer over a 28.8Kbps modem?
A2: That depends on whom you want to read your pages. There will be millions of 28.8Kbps modems (and the marginally faster 33.6Kbps and 56Kbps modems) in use for many years to come. A growing number of people will have 128Kbps ISDN lines, 400Kbps satellite dishes, and 1Mbps (1,000Kbps) or faster cable, copper-optic, and wireless connections, too. The number of 1.4Mbps users now surpasses the number of 14.4Kbps users. That difference of 100× in speed will lead more and more Web page publishers to offer separate high-speed and low-speed sites. Of course, the speed of data transfer will continue to increase at a rapid rate with 28.8Kbps the next one to fall.
Q3:Man, I'm ashamed of you for not mentioning VRML in an hour about the future of the Internet! What gives?
A3: Hey everyone, did I mention that interactive, immersive three-dimensional worlds will be the future of the Internet? Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) 2 is the current standard for making it happen, and it's compatible with your Web browser today. Unfortunately, VRML isn't quite ready for mass consumption and it's well beyond the scope of this book. If you don't think it's going to change the world, think again. Go to http://www.vrml.org to read all about it.


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