Touching hands

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The Internet is by nature a rather Ďanarchisticí network, as it is not centrally managed nor can it be claimed by one person or organisation as to be his or theirs possession. There are voices saying that if the Internet - and the online market place in general - are to become a useful, powerful and open environment enabling a wide range of (commercial) activities, that central supervision, rules and laws are needed. In this chapter a number of mechanisms and concepts were provided which should make clear that this statement is too black-or-white, that you can have the former without having the latter.
For example, mechanisms such as superdistribution and digital containers make it possible to have a free and tamper-proof flow of content without the need for some organisation directly supervising the whole process. Another example is the concept of agency, which is to provide means that enable everybody to step onto the online market place and be a full participant in all that is happening on it. Agency, software agents, and the like, are to make sure that not just the technically skilled people can participate, but that also non-technical persons - many of which may not be online yet - can make use of it without the need to consult (or hire) others (at least not for basic activities).

In chapter four, we will have a look at three concepts that are expected to help make the latter possible: Ubiquitous Computing, Calm Technology and Augmented Reality.
Another possibility is to delegate (parts of) entire tasks (needed when using the online market place) to software agents. Delegating tasks to agents or agent-like applications will become a necessity for both technical skilled as well as non-technical persons, as the flood of information and services available will become too vast. We will have a closer look at software agents in chapter five, together with the three concepts that were introduced in chapter four.

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Chapter 3 - From Internet to Online Market Place "Desperately Seeking: Helping Hands and Human Touch" -
by Björn Hermans