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Digital Universe: The Global Telecommunication Revolution by Peter B. Seel

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The Digital Universe: A “Quick-Start” Introduction

Consumer electronic products have become so complex and feature-rich that it is now commonplace to find a brief “quick-start” guide or poster that accompanies the 100+-page manual for a new digital television set, personal computer, or mobile phone. Manufacturers understand that impatient consumers (and that includes most of us) generally skip reading the manual first – that is, until a non-intuitive feature stumps the user. Then we are likely to call the helpline instead of referring to the manual, much to the exasperation of call center agents around the world. On a positive note, quick-start guides provide enough basic information so that we can successfully install the software or power up the device and quickly begin using it.

This brief introduction serves as the “quick-start” guide for this book, which is not a manual or a how-to text for functioning in our digital world. Rather, this book provides a tour of the digital universe, tracing the evolution of the age of information from its inception to the crucial period in which we live today.1 Digital universe is a term that describes a global human environment saturated with intelligent devices (increasingly, wireless ones) that enhance our ability to collect, process, and distribute information. A key purpose of the book is to stimulate readers to think critically about ...

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