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Myrtonos

How American are computers and the internet?

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Myrtonos
On 3/27/2019 at 9:47 PM, Wulf said:

I'm not sure about personal computers but the internet isn't particularly American as far as I can tell. As has been pointed out, the English-speaking internet is dominated (at least culturally) by the US, but that is hardly surprising. The US has a massive influence on English speaking culture in general, for a variety of reasons.

 

The programmable personal computer as we know it today was first introduced in 1977, Apple, Commodore and Tandy, all American, introduced their personal computers. And the U.S dominance of websites in English is greater than the dominance of American culture was before the internet.

On 3/27/2019 at 9:47 PM, Wulf said:

In terms of the infrastructure however, this claim of US dominance doesn't really hold much water. There were several different "early" forms of the internet (the NPL network in the UK, ARPANET in the US and CYCLADES in France) which all did a lot of the initial researching into networking and different architectures and topologies (CYCLADES in particular was a BIG influence in the later development of ARPANET and I believe the designer (Louis Pouzin) contributed to the design of TCP/IP). The US however did much of the work in connecting these disparate and localised (intra-nationally at least) networks.

3

I have only heard of ARPANET before, not the British or French networks. And it seems that CYCLADES was created a little after ARPANET. Regarding localised networks, imagine that the British Isles had its own bi-national intranet, restricting access to a lot of outside media, such as a lot of American media viewed no more highly than, well, American-style fast food chains.

No comment on the introduction of T.C.R/I.P.

On 3/27/2019 at 9:47 PM, Wulf said:

If we look at the top ranked websites , ranked by page visits and unique visitors (not by value of the companies,  a frankly bizarre metric to judge the impact of a site) we see that while US sites dominate the top 5, moving to the top 10 or top 20 we see a much more even spread, with China almost equalling the US. This comes back to the idea of the English speaking internet - this is not the whole internet. In terms of users, China has more, as does India.

But if you consider websites hosted in the west (which excludes China, India and Japan), the top-ranked ones seem to be (nearly) all American, and that doesn't count national Googles. Of course, the English speaking internet is not the whole internet, but it is the largest western part. And I wonder how recently China came close to equalling the U.S, remember internet censorship in China. China used to block many websites, including Wikipedia.

On 3/27/2019 at 9:47 PM, Wulf said:

Finally, regarding the ownership of ICANN..... having read that link...it appears that the US government handed over "control" (as much as it really is control) to a global community 2.5 years ago. So...it had control but doesn't any more? So what?

And 2.5 years ago is only a fraction of the history of the internet and quite recently even in the history of the web, and only recently did the U.S government hand over such control. Remember, nearly all the most popular websites were founded well before then, and many the vast majority of sites online today.

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Wulf
6 hours ago, Myrtonos said:

The programmable personal computer as we know it today was first introduced in 1977, Apple, Commodore and Tandy, all American, introduced their personal computers. And the U.S dominance of websites in English is greater than the dominance of American culture was before the internet.

Yes? And? The internet allows dissemination of information far faster than was previously possible. There were several factors which drove the dominance of US culture, the internet only facilitated that spread. No one is arguing that the US doesn't dominate the English-internet, as a cultural and actual super-power why would it not?

6 hours ago, Myrtonos said:

Regarding localised networks, imagine that the British Isles had its own bi-national intranet, restricting access to a lot of outside media, such as a lot of American media viewed no more highly than, well, American-style fast food chains.

 This is borderline incomprehensible. 1st (and least importantly), how can a single nation have a bi-national anything? 2nd, what does” such as a lot of American media viewed no more highly than, well, American-style fast food chains." mean? Are you saying that American media would be viewed as the fast food of media if access beyond the borders of the UK was restricted (in internet terms?) Do you mean that the US conglomerates are like fast food chains all producing vast quantities of low-quality crap and the UK would be better off with restricted access beyond its own borders to save it from the bad consumption habits of this sort of media?

6 hours ago, Myrtonos said:

But if you consider websites hosted in the west (which excludes China, India and Japan), the top-ranked ones seem to be (nearly) all American, and that doesn't count national Googles. Of course, the English speaking internet is not the whole internet, but it is the largest western part. And I wonder how recently China came close to equalling the U.S, remember internet censorship in China. China used to block many websites, including Wikipedia.

So … if we exclude all the equivalent sized cultural counterweights, then the US is culturally dominant on the internet? No shit. Russia and Canada get a couple of hits if we go all the way down to 25 but yes, the US is massively over-represented, for reasons we have already covered. However, you keep referencing the internet and while the HQs of most of these companies are in the US, the actual internet we as users’ interface with is not. If I go to Gmail, or YouTube or Facebook in the UK, my traffic won't be going to the US. The backbone and the local data centre for the [company of choice] will both be in the UK, unless you are talking to someone in the US. The point I am making is that, in terms of traffic routing, your traffic probably doesn't go via the US unless you are visiting a US site.

China's internet usage has been climbing steadily over the last few decades along with its economy, China has the largest number of internet users (as an absolute number), it's not a matter of equalling the US. Looking at the raw numbers it looks like 2008 was the year of crossover with China hitting 298 million users and the US slumping to 225m from 2007s 226m. Of course, China blocks large swathes of the external internet to it's populace, but that is neither here nor there, they are still users.

7 hours ago, Myrtonos said:

And 2.5 years ago is only a fraction of the history of the internet and quite recently even in the history of the web, and only recently did the U.S government hand over such control. Remember, nearly all the most popular websites were founded well before then, and many the vast majority of sites online today.

 

Agreed, this is a recent development, but I am struggling to see what you think the downside of this historic control was? It's better to be handled by a global consortium than a single country, but I don't see that the US has mismanaged the domain system. Hell, it even opened up TLDs way back in 2013.

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Myrtonos
8 hours ago, Wulf said:

The internet allows dissemination of information far faster than was previously possible. There were several factors which drove the dominance of US culture, the internet only facilitated that spread. No one is arguing that the US doesn't dominate the English-internet, as a cultural and actual super-power why would it not?

 

And it does feel as if that facilitating the spread you mentioned was at least one of the inspirations for the internet, and Americans, as a country, wanted to do that more than the rest of the world ever did. I never suggested anyone is arguing that the U.S doesn't dominate the western portion of the internet.

8 hours ago, Wulf said:

1st (and least importantly), how can a single nation have a bi-national anything? 2nd, what does” such as a lot of American media viewed no more highly than, well, American-style fast food chains." mean? Are you saying that American media would be viewed as the fast food of media if access beyond the borders of the UK was restricted (in internet terms?) Do you mean that the US conglomerates are like fast food chains all producing vast quantities of low-quality crap and the UK would be better off with restricted access beyond its own borders to save it from the bad consumption habits of this sort of media?

  • I thought you knew that the British Isles is not a single nation, even if not, I'm sure plenty of others here know what the British Isles includes, and it is not just Great Britain.
  • If you grew up in an English speaking country outside North America, you may have heard criticisms of those U.S founded establishments like fast food chains. And you have heard other criticisms of American (or "America") and American culture, we have an example right here, also think of violence in so many Hollywood movies. Also, look at car culture in the 'States and how far that's gone, and high car usage rates and all the freeways in many U.S cities (including Los Angeles, where ARPANET began), and less non-car transport, etc has been widely criticised by a broad spectrum of people such as urban planners. It has been said that Americans, as a nation, love their cars more than the people of other countries, including other developed countries, and look at the criticisms of cars, such as cars causing pollution, too many cars leading to congestion, etc.
8 hours ago, Wulf said:

Russia and Canada get a couple of hits if we go all the way down to 25 but yes, the US is massively over-represented, for reasons we have already covered. However, you keep referencing the internet and while the HQs of most of these companies are in the US, the actual internet we as users’ interface with is not. If I go to Gmail, or YouTube or Facebook in the UK, my traffic won't be going to the US. The backbone and the local data centre for the [company of choice] will both be in the UK, unless you are talking to someone in the US. The point I am making is that, in terms of traffic routing, your traffic probably doesn't go via the US unless you are visiting a US site.

2

Looking at that list, only one of the top-ranking websites is hosted in Canada and three in Russia. Also, consider what state Russia has been in since the fall of communism, indeed if you look at the developed Western world, the U.S does rank the highest. Is it possible that your traffic might go via the 'States even if you visit a Canadian, Mexican, Central or South American or even an Australasian website?

8 hours ago, Wulf said:

China's internet usage has been climbing steadily over the last few decades along with its economy, China has the largest number of internet users (as an absolute number), it's not a matter of equalling the US. Looking at the raw numbers it looks like 2008 was the year of crossover with China hitting 298 million users and the US slumping to 225m from 2007s 226m. Of course, China blocks large swathes of the external internet to it's populace, but that is neither here nor there, they are still users.

Once again, this increase in internet usage is more recent than the foundation of most of the (popular) websites online today. I was introduced to the internet back in the 1990s, and I'm not sure what China's internet usage rates (compared to the west) were back then, I doubt that China had the highest absolute number of internet users, let alone web surfers back then.

8 hours ago, Wulf said:

Agreed, this is a recent development, but I am struggling to see what you think the downside of this historic control was? It's better to be handled by a global consortium than a single country, but I don't see that the US has mismanaged the domain system. Hell, it even opened up TLDs way back in 2013.

I never mentioned any downsides to that, but that is how it has been even for most of the history of the web, and indeed my lifetime. Sure, it is better handled by a global consortium than one country. But ICANN is still headquartered, in Los Angeles, thus in the U.S.A.

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Wulf
19 hours ago, Myrtonos said:

And it does feel as if that facilitating the spread you mentioned was at least one of the inspirations for the internet, and Americans, as a country, wanted to do that more than the rest of the world ever did. I never suggested anyone is arguing that the U.S doesn't dominate the western portion of the internet.

Assumes facts not in evidence. What makes you think Russia wouldn't have done it if they could? Cultural spread (a form of "soft" power) is incredibly valuable to large, aggressive nation states. The US is not alone in this behaviour.

19 hours ago, Myrtonos said:

 

  • I thought you knew that the British Isles is not a single nation, even if not, I'm sure plenty of others here know what the British Isles includes, and it is not just Great Britain.
  • If you grew up in an English speaking country outside North America, you may have heard criticisms of those U.S founded establishments like fast food chains. And you have heard other criticisms of American (or "America") and American culture, we have an example right here, also think of violence in so many Hollywood movies. Also, look at car culture in the 'States and how far that's gone, and high car usage rates and all the freeways in many U.S cities (including Los Angeles, where ARPANET began), and less non-car transport, etc has been widely criticised by a broad spectrum of people such as urban planners. It has been said that Americans, as a nation, love their cars more than the people of other countries, including other developed countries, and look at the criticisms of cars, such as cars causing pollution, too many cars leading to congestion, etc.

I do know that the UK is not a single nation. I also know it's 4 nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) but only 1 state, so bi-national still doesn't make any sense. Perhaps you meant an Intra-national network?

Your second point however is even more incoherent now that I understand what you mean. Apart from the fact that you are lumping a huge number of different problems with vast and intricate influences for example, car use in the US is a mixture of attempts to justify the nonsense agricultural corn subsidy, the vast distances, the often adversarial relationship between federal and state planning laws, the rugged individualism that pervades the American Psyche, societal issues with disenfranchisement of the poor etc etc etc. There is a huge amount of interesting detail to dig into with regard to transport policy in the US...but it doesn't belong here, it's entirely orthogonal to the actual question!

19 hours ago, Myrtonos said:

Is it possible that your traffic might go via the 'States even if you visit a Canadian, Mexican, Central or South American or even an Australasian website?

Depends where you are to be honest. If you are in the EU and you want to visit a Mexican site, chances are your traffic is routed through one of the big transatlantic cables. AFAIK there are no bridges between the EU and US that go direct to South America, though there are several ocean cables between different nations within SA. 

Australasian site? Only if you were in South America would you be routed through the US. China, Japan/Asia in general have massive infrastructure, Australasia is probably on a spur from one of the big interchanges in Malaysia (don't quote me on that though).

 

20 hours ago, Myrtonos said:

 

Once again, this increase in internet usage is more recent than the foundation of most of the (popular) websites online today. I was introduced to the internet back in the 1990s, and I'm not sure what China's internet usage rates (compared to the west) were back then, I doubt that China had the highest absolute number of internet users, let alone web surfers back then.

 

In the 1990s? Of course not! 90% of their population was probably still in grinding poverty in the 90s. However if you cast your mind back, your claim was:

On 11/15/2018 at 1:52 PM, Myrtonos said:

But if you look at the most popular websites and web applications, they seem to be nearly all American; Wikipedia, amazon.com, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Not "Did China have more internet users than the US in the 90s", not "who had more users when these sites were founded" but which sites are most popular today. Using that metric, 4 of the top 10 most visited websites are based in China.

On 11/15/2018 at 1:52 PM, Myrtonos said:

I never mentioned any downsides to that, but that is how it has been even for most of the history of the web, and indeed my lifetime. Sure, it is better handled by a global consortium than one country. But ICANN is still headquartered, in Los Angeles, thus in the U.S.A.

If there are no downsides why did you bring up the fact that the "freedom conscious USA" worked with ICANN until 2016? I mean...what do you think ICANN do? If its actual control, why not mention IANA (the actual global distributor of IP addresses)?

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Miss Chief

I wasn't going to come back to this conversation (I am not a big fan of getting bogged down into the weeds) but @Wulf has made some good points, I want to be clear that I agree with almost all of them so please don't think I'm having a go at you I just thought this might be something some people hadn't considered...

On 3/31/2019 at 6:08 PM, Wulf said:

However, you keep referencing the internet and while the HQs of most of these companies are in the US

Technically almost no companies have their HQ's in the US, in fact the tech sector is mostly headed up in Ireland and this has been the case for quite some time (before Ireland it was somewhere else with low corporate taxes definitely not the US) and so an argument could be made that these multinational corporations are genuinely international organisations irrelevant of where they were started or by whom.

Although I don't really know why it matters so much, we're all humans sharing the planet and the net so what difference if there is slightly more dominance from a particular region, as long as it's not a monopoly and there is no abuse of power I don't see why it is even worth noting, it's not like you are prohibited from expressing yourself in your way.

However, since it seems to, I generally find maps, charts and graphs can help clarify data so here goes:

Here is a map of the fibre optic cables that run under the sea allowing countries/continents to connect to each other:

MAP_Internet_Fibre_Optic_Cables_(Under_Sea).thumb.jpg.6f7c4811d113f280747c1e855c7bc485.jpg

I think there is a clear increased cluster around Asia but here is a link to the interactive version that you can zoom in and out of and relocate if you want to have a closer look:

Here is a map of America's Broadband availability:

USA_Broadband.thumb.jpg.84dedfe4309b065376d102609c6f5eec.jpg

All the yellow areas have 0% broadband availability! Where as the UK had 90% coverage for superfast broadband in 2016 and has had fibre available in towns and cities since 2000. I did have to scroll out a lot to fit all of the US in so again here is an interactive map:

Next up we have a graph that tracks internet users by region since the first website back in 1990 (which was at CERN in Switzerland by the way), unfortunately North America is getting a bit squashed at the the bottom of the list:

Internet-users-by-world-region.thumb.png.64c498450f0c88ae6b132a4b444096e5.png

That shows that North America had 279 million internet users in 2016, they also had a combined population off 579 million, that means that only 48% of the population are online, this was 3 years ago! I don't know anyone who doesn't have internet access!

Edited by Miss Chief
Fixing Image Links

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Miss Chief

Next up we have a map of number of internet users by country in 2017:

number-of-internet-users-by-country.thumb.png.d5a8d049917886c0f59b6d29d86a1798.png

Now to be fair they haven't done this as a percentile or per capita so obviously some countries have more people than others, however, they kind of make up for that by saying anyone who has been online at least once in the last three months (even if it was at work or a public place) using any device including a phone or TV is counted as an internet user, I think we can safely assume they counted a lot of people that I certainly would count as internet users!

Anyway as I said I wasn't happy with them just using flat number of users so I dug into the data for Australia, China, India, (the two highest on the map), UK & US and got this graph:

9Ud6XaB.jpg

Using the 2016 data from there, I got the population stats for each country in 2016 and that gave me the following:

nahfe4g.png

So while there are huge numbers of people using the internet in China & India (way more than in The West), it is still a lower percentage of the population than here, the US is still trailing being the UK and Australia though!

Again if you want to go and see this data for yourself here's a link:

Overall I think the US is seriously behind the rest of the English speaking world when it comes to most home users.

As for censorship, people obviously use VPN's to avoid that (just like they used IVF to avoid the single child policy since IVF often results in twins or more, especially if you are fertile and don't actually need IVF to conceive), I use a VPN myself for accessing content that is region locked, amongst other things. Also frankly the dark web only exists because of censorship and regulation, and as long as the latter exists there will be some kind of the former, which suits me fine 🙂

For the record, I have owned a .net domain for nearly two decades, they weren't inherently American, they were inherently internetian! The .com stood for commercial, the .net for network, the .org for organisation (usually a non-profit/charity), .edu was for schools and other learning centres, .gov was reserved for government sites and .mil was likewise reserved for military pages (there was .int too but it's a restricted one so it's not used as much).

Of course people bought whatever they wanted rather than following these conventions (with the exception of the reserved extensions of course), plenty of people bought a .com for noncommercial use etc. It's also worth noting that in the beginning the UK was allocated .gb not .uk but as the .uk became more popular it was decided to switch to that one. You will also not this site is a .com and not based in America or indeed run by an American. The country code domain extensions are set in standard: ISO-3166. The .com, .org & .net TLD extensions are open to anyone for any purpose from anywhere.

Here is some nice stats on the most popular TLD extensions:

EnlWBxL.png

Of course .com is top of the list... the reason .com is so popular is precisely because everyone uses it no matter where they come from, it's easy for people to remember and it's considered professional etc.

Again if you want to read the article here it is:

Since we're being pedantic... 

On 4/1/2019 at 2:59 AM, Myrtonos said:
  • I thought you knew that the British Isles is not a single nation, even if not, I'm sure plenty of others here know what the British Isles includes, and it is not just Great Britain.

While you could argue that there is more than one nation in the UK, you could also argue there is more than one nation in England, I think what you meant to says is that the United Kingdom is not a single country, however, 

On 4/1/2019 at 2:59 AM, Myrtonos said:

Looking at that list, only one of the top-ranking websites is hosted in Canada and three in Russia. Also, consider what state Russia has been in since the fall of communism, indeed if you look at the developed Western world, the U.S does rank the highest. Is it possible that your traffic might go via the 'States even if you visit a Canadian, Mexican, Central or South American or even an Australasian website?

Most tech companies actually host their own data in data centres and large companies (like  would usually have data centres all over the world so that local traffic can be routed to a local data centre but also as a contingency plan in case of a disaster, they will often build data centres in places that have a cold outdoor temperature too so they can pump in external air to cool the racks, servers and arrays without using air conditioning saving money and the environment. So places like Canada do tend to have a lot of data centres since they have lots of unoccupied space to build what is essentially a giant warehouse and a cooler climate.

What is more 10 of the top 25 sites are Chinese sites, add in the Canadian one and the 3 Russian ones and that is over half of the top 25 are not American and that is without me checking the provenance of the remaining ones.

On 4/1/2019 at 2:59 AM, Myrtonos said:

Once again, this increase in internet usage is more recent than the foundation of most of the (popular) websites online today. I was introduced to the internet back in the 1990s, and I'm not sure what China's internet usage rates (compared to the west) were back then, I doubt that China had the highest absolute number of internet users, let alone web surfers back then.

See the graph I posted above for Internet Users by World Region, China have been above everyone since at least '93.

 

Finally... 

                  ...@Wulf welcome to the forum 🙂 

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Myrtonos
2 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

I wasn't going to come back to this conversation (I am not a big fan of getting bogged down into the weeds) but @Wulf has made some good points, I want to be clear that I agree with almost all of them so please don't think I'm having a go at you I just thought this might be someone some people hadn't considered...

If you are going to pull out of such discussions (you often misinterpret things at the time of pulling out of them) do so quietly.

2 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

Technically almost no companies have their HQ's in the US, in fact the tech sector is mostly headed up in Ireland and this has been the case for quite some time (before Ireland it was somewhere else with low corporate taxes definitely not the US) and so an argument could be made that these multinational corporations are genuinely international organisations irrelevant of where they were started or by whom.

But how many are U.S owned? By the way, does "Ireland" in this case really mean that whole island (which by the way is part of the British Isles but is not Great Britain), or the Republic of Ireland specifically? I'm asking because the latter is often referred to simply as "Ireland".

2 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

Now to be fair they haven't done this as a percentile or per capita so obviously some countries have more people than others, however, they kind of make up for that by saying anyone who has been online at least once in the last three months (even if it was at work or a public place) using any device including a phone or TV is counted as an internet user, I think we can safely assume they counted a lot of people that I certainly would count as internet users!

And some countries are larger (I mean by area of land) than others.

2 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

So while there are huge numbers of people using the internet in China & India (way more than in The West), it is still a lower percentage of the population than here, the US is still trailing being the UK and Australia though!

...

Overall I think the US is seriously behind the rest of the English speaking world when it comes to most home users.

 

So what about internet usage California, the radical state (remember, this includes Silicon Valley)? This is where most of the top 25 websites that are American are hosted and were founded. Or these U.S states:

  • Washinton (which includes Seattle) - Where Amazon.com is hosted and also where Microsoft is based.
  • Florida - Where Wikipedia's servers are hosted.
  • New York (state) - Where StackOverflow appears to be hosted and where Bitley is hosted.
2 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

As for censorship, people obviously use VPN's to avoid that (just like they used IVF to avoid the single child policy since IVF often results in twins or more, especially if you are fertile and don't actually need IVF to conceive), I use a VPN myself for accessing content that is region locked, amongst other things. Also frankly the dark web only exists because of censorship and regulation, and as long as the latter exists there will be some kind of the former, which suits me fine 🙂

I didn't know about that abuse of virtual private network or that use of artificial fertilisation method, but I have heard of the dark internet. You have said before you are a libertarian, and this does seem like the sort of thing a libertarian would do.

2 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

For the record, I have owned a .net domain for nearly two decades, they weren't inherently American, they were inherently internetian! The .com stood for commercial, the .net for network, the .org for organisation (usually a non-profit/charity), .edu was for schools and other learning centres, .gov was reserved for government sites and .mil was likewise reserved for military pages (there was .int too but it's a restricted one so it's not used as much).

I didn't say these domains were inherently American, but American websites are more likely to end in these domains that other websites. There is a country-code T.L.D for the 'States, .us but it is rarely used, while things like .co.uk, .net.au, .org.nz, .gov.au, .edu.au and .ca are much more commonly used in other English-speaking countries. Country-code T.L.Ds of non-English speaking countries are also in more common use outside the English-speaking world.

2 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

Of course .com is top of the list... the reason .com is so popular is precisely because everyone uses it no matter where they come from, it's easy for people to remember and it's considered professional etc.

Does that include .com.au and even .co.uk and .co.nz? I'm just trying to clarify here. I believe that just .com without a country code is more common in the 'States than the rest of the world.

2 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

While you could argue that there is more than one nation in the UK, you could also argue there is more than one nation in England, I think what you meant to says is that the United Kingdom is not a single country...

 

Well, this site does have a mainly U.K base, so I thought most here would know that the 'British Isles includes Ireland (the republic as well as Northern Ireland), but it seems they are confused by the term. There is also one thing that I bet confuses a lot of people about Northern Ireland is that it is part of the U.K but not Great Britain.

2 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

Most tech companies actually host their own data in data centres and large companies (like  would usually have data centres all over the world so that local traffic can be routed to a local data centre but also as a contingency plan in case of a disaster, they will often build data centres in places that have a cold outdoor temperature too so they can pump in external air to cool the racks, servers and arrays without using air conditioning saving money and the environment. So places like Canada do tend to have a lot of data centres since they have lots of unoccupied space to build what is essentially a giant warehouse and a cooler climate.

But I said that only one of the top 25 websites is hosted in Canada, I said nothing about data centres.

2 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

What is more 10 of the top 25 sites are Chinese sites, add in the Canadian one and the 3 Russian ones and that is over half of the top 25 are not American and that is without me checking the provenance of the remaining ones.

 

But nevertheless, more than half the ones hosted in the west are American. And some of them were founded before Wikipedia or at a time when Wikipedia still could not be accessed in China.

And how about the most popular websites of the 1990s, back when you and I were introduced to the internet and along with that, the web?

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Myrtonos
 
 
 
2
On 4/3/2019 at 7:09 PM, Miss Chief said:

Of course people bought whatever they wanted rather than following these conventions (with the exception of the reserved extensions of course), plenty of people bought a .com for noncommercial use etc. It's also worth noting that in the beginning the UK was allocated .gb not .uk but as the .uk became more popular it was decided to switch to that one. You will also not this site is a .com and not based in America or indeed run by an American.

I never said that all sites ending in .com without a country code are American, but other country codes are more common on websites based elsewhere. Also, another part of this site, a blog, does have a domain ending in .co.uk. Also, wasn't it Great Britain (which does not include Northern Ireland) that was allocated .gb? Note that certain country codes come after .com, .org or .net (like .com.au or .net.au) or after .co, .org or .net as in .co.uk, so your comment about these domains confuses me.

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Miss Chief
On 4/10/2019 at 10:35 AM, Myrtonos said:

Also, wasn't it Great Britain (which does not include Northern Ireland) that was allocated .gb? 

No...

Great Britain as a country or state has not existed since 1800. There is only The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Wales and England unified in 1536, Scotland joined the union in 1707 forming the Kingdom of Great Britain. That state ceased to exist when Ireland joined the Union in 1801 making us the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, however, most of Ireland left in 1922 while Northern Ireland elected to remain resulting in us becoming... The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Often shortened to just UK. 

There is no Britain (great or otherwise) without Northern Ireland as far a legal or sovereign rule is concerned. There never will be unless Northern Ireland chose to reunify with the Republic of Ireland (often just called Ireland).

You could use the term Great Britain to informally describe the largest island in the group that makes up the British Isles but it is not a 'country' or 'state', it has no laws, no government, no head of state, no recognition internationally. The country is: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK).

Edited by Miss Chief

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Myrtonos

I didn't say Great Britain is a sovereign state, my question was if .gb was specific to England, Scotland and Wales and not any of Ireland. That domain would not make much sense in Northern Ireland, but .uk surely does.

 
 
 
51 minutes ago, Miss Chief said:

You could use the term Great Britain to informally describe the largest island in the group that makes up the British Isles but it is not a 'country' or 'state', it has no laws, no government, no head of state, no recognition internationally. The country is: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)

The term Great Britain is indeed not a term for all of a sovereign state. Yes, the currently Sovereign state is called the United Kingdom, but that would be because it includes Northern Ireland. And the term 'British Isles' includes all of Ireland as well as Great Britain. 

Although the Kingdom of Great Britain was renamed where Ireland joined, the term 'Great Britain' still has the same geographical meaning.

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