10 Most Beautiful Mosques (Masjids) in the World

Posted on 26/06/2015 by Syed Arman Hassan Gillani

Mosque (Masjid) is a Holy place for Muslims. It is a place for worship for all the followers of Islam. Mosque is the place where all the Muslims of the community come together and have their prayers. Mosques or Masjids are fine examples of excellent architecture of Islam and Muslims. Beautiful mosques are found all around the globe, with the spread of the Islamic empire throughout the World. Islam has taken its fine culture and arts to those places. Because Islam had reached parts of Europe and Africa, it has left great influences in their cultures, which is clear from the offset.

There are so many beautiful mosques founded in many countries. All these look stunning from the outside and if you are lucky enough to be a Muslim and have visited some of the interior, well then you would know that it is breath-taking!
What better time than to appreciate the beauty of these Islamic architectures than the month of Ramadan? Here’s 10 awe-inspiring, beautiful mosques from various countries around the world that’ll leave you breathless.

These are top ten of the Most Beautiful Mosques.

1. Al Haram Mosque – Macca, Saudi Arabia


Masjid al Haram

The Qur’an said that this was the first house built for humanity to worship Allah. The most famous monument in the world, Al Haram Mosque or “Grand Mosque” is located in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the largest mosque in the world and surrounds one of Islam’s holiest places, the Kaaba. The mosque is also known as the greatest Mosque. Current structure covers an area of 400,800 square meters (99.0 acres), including outdoor and indoor praying spaces and can accommodate up to 4 million people during the period of the Hajj, one of the largest annual worship of the Muslim in the world.

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Al Haram Mosque – Macca, Saudi Arabia-01

2. Al-Masjid an-Nabawi – Medina, Saudi Arabia


Al-Masjid an-Nabawi 1

Al Nabawi Mosque, often called the Prophet’s Mosque, is a mosque built by the Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) situated in the city of Medina. It is the second holiest site in Islam (the first being the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca). It was the second mosque built in history and is now one of the largest mosques in the world after the al-Haram mosque in Mecca. One of the most important place of this mosque is Green Dome (the center of the mosque), where the tomb of the Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is located. In 1279 AD, a wooden cupola was built over the tomb which was later rebuilt and renovated multiple times in late 15th century and once in 1817. The dome was first painted green in 1837, and later became known as the Green Dome.

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi 2

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi – Medina, Saudi Arabia

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi – Medina, Saudi Arabia-01

3. Al Aqsa Mosque – Jerusalem, Palestine


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1280px-Israel-2013(2)-Aerial-Jerusalem-Temple_Mount-Temple_Mount_(south_exposure)

Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as Al-Aqsa and Bayt al-Muqaddas, is the third holiest site in Islam and an Islamic shrine located in the Old City of Jerusalem. In the mosque itself is part of Al-Haram ash-Sharif or “Sacred Noble Sanctuary” (together with the Dome of the Rock), a site which is also known as Temple Mount as the holiest site in Judaism, because it is believed to be The Temple of Jerusalem once stood. Muslims believe that the Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Night Journey. Islamic tradition states that Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) led prayers toward this mosque until the seventeenth month after the emigration, when Allah ordered him to turn to the Kaaba.

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Al Aqsa Mosque – Jerusalem, Palestine-01

4. Hassan II Mosque – Morocco


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The Grande Mosquée Hassan II, located in Casablanca, Morocco. It is the largest mosque in the country and the 7th largest in the world. Its minaret is the world’s tallest at 210 metres (689 ft). It was completed in 1993. The minaret is 60 stories high topped by a laser, the light from which is directed towards Mecca. The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, the sea bed being visible through the glass floor of the building’s hall. The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable. A maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside grounds.

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Hassan II Mosque – Morocco-01

5. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque – Brunei


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Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is a royal Islamic mosque located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the Sultanate of Brunei. The mosque considered one of the most beautiful mosques in the Asia Pacific and a major landmark and tourist attraction of Brunei. The building was completed in 1958 and is an example of modern Islamic architecture. The mosque is built in an artificial lagoon on the banks of the Brunei River at Kampong Ayer, the “village in the water”. It has marble minarets and golden domes with courtyards and lush gardens full of fountains. The mosque is surrounded by a large number of trees and floral gardens which in Islam symbolizes heaven. The mosque unites Mughal architecture and Italian styles.

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Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque – Brunei-01

6. Zahir Mosque – Kedah, Malaysia


Zahir Mosque 2

The Zahir Mosque is Kedah’s state mosque. It is located in the heart of Alor Star, the state capital of Kedah, Malaysia. It is one of the grandest and oldest mosques in Malaysia. The mosque was built in 1912, funded by Tunku Mahmud, son of the Sultan Tajuddin Mukarram Shah. The architecture from the mosque inspired by AZIZI Mosque in the city of Langkat in north Sumatra, Indonesia.The mosque was founded with five large domes symbolizing the five main principles of Islam. The state’s Quran reading competition is held annually within the premises of the mosque. This mosque has been voted the top 10 most beautiful mosques in the world.

Zahir Mosque 1

Zahir Mosque – Kedah, Malaysia-01

7. Faisal Mosque Islamabad – Pakistan


Faisal Mosque Islamabad 2

Faisal Mosque in Islamabad is the biggest mosque in south east and southern Asia and the fourth largest mosque in the world. It was the largest mosque in the world of 1986-1993 before defeated measure by the completion of the Mosque of Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco and after the expansion of Masjid Al-Haram (Grand Mosque) of Mecca and the Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi (Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Mosque) in Medina, Saudi Arabia in the 1990s.

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Faisal Mosque Islamabad 6

Faisal Mosque Islamabad – Pakistan-01

8. Taj ul Mosque – Bhopal, India


Taj ul Mosque 1

Taj-ul-Masajid literally means “The Crown of Mosques” situated in Bhopal, India. The mosque is also used as a Islamic school during the day time. It is one of the largest mosque in asia. The mosque has a pink facade topped by two 18-storey high octagonal minarets with marble domes. The mosque also has three huge bulbous domes, an impressive main hallway with attractive pillars and marble flooring resembling Mughal architecture the likes of Jama Masjid in Delhi and the huge Badshahi Mosque of Lahore. It has a courtyard with a large tank in the centre. It has a double-storeyed gateway with four recessed archways and nine cusped multifold openings in the main prayer hall.

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Taj ul Mosque – Bhopal, India-01

9. Badshahi Mosque of Lahore – Pakistan


Badshahi Mosque of Lahore 1

The Badshahi Mosque or the ‘Royal Mosque’ in Lahore, commissioned by the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671 and completed in 1673, is the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest mosque in the world. Epitomising the beauty, passion and grandeur of the Mughal era, it is Lahore’s most famous landmark and a major tourist attraction. Capable of accommodating 55,000 worshippers in its main prayer hall and a further 95,000 in its courtyard and porticoes, it remained the largest mosque in the world from 1673 to 1986 (a period of 313 years).

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Badshahi Mosque of Lahore – Pakistan-01

10. Sultan Mosque, Singapore


Sultan Mosque 3

Sultan Mosque, located at Muscat Street and North Bridge Road in Kampong Glam Rochor District in Singapore is still considered one of the most important mosque in Singapore. Sultan mosque has stayed essentially unchanged since it was built, only with improvements made to the main hall in 1960 and annex added in 1993. It set as a national monument on March 14th 1975.

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Sultan Mosque 1

Sultan Mosque, Singapore-01

Pengertian Inflasi

Apa itu Inflasi?


Inflasi adalah suatu peristiwa atau proses meningkatnya harga-harga secara umum dan terus-menerus (kontinu). Dalam pengertian yang lain, inflasi adalah proses menurunnya nilai mata uang secara berkelanjutan. Inflasi dapat digolongkan menjadi beberapa jenis, yaitu inflasi ringan, sedang, berat, dan hiperinflasi. Inflasi ringan terjadi apabila kenaikan harga berada di bawah angka 10% setahun; inflasi sedang berada di antara 10%-30% setahun; inflasi berat antara 30%-100% setahun; dan hiperinflasi atau inflasi tak terkendali terjadi apabila kenaikan harga berada di atas 100% setahun.

Apa itu Inflasi? Apa pengaruhnya bwt kita?


Jawaban Terbaik: inflasi itu pengaruh langsungnya ke kita adalah terhadap nilai uang. inflasi 6% artinya nilai uang kita berkurang 6% terhadap nilai sebelumnya. Biasanya untuk mengatasi ini, bank akan menerapkan suku bunga tabungan dibawah inflasi dan suku bunga kredit diatas inflasi. Kalo nilai uang berkurang otomatis harga suatu barang akan naik untuk memenuhi nilai yang sama terhadap barang tersebut.

Dalam ilmu ekonomi, inflasi adalah suatu proses meningkatnya harga-harga secara umum dan terus-menerus (kontinu). Dengan kata lain, inflasi juga merupakan proses menurunnya nilai mata uang secara kontinu. Inflasi adalah proses dari suatu peristiwa, bukan tinggi-rendahnya tingkat harga. Artinya, tingkat harga yang dianggap tinggi belum tentu menunjukan inflasi. Inflasi dianggap terjadi jika proses kenaikan harga berlangsung secara terus-menerus dan saling pengaruh-mempengaruhi. Istilah inflasi juga digunakan untuk mengartikan peningkatan persediaan uang yang kadangkala dilihat sebagai penyebab meningkatnya harga. Ada banyak cara untuk mengukur tingkat inflasi, dua yang paling sering digunakan adalah CPI dan GDP Deflator.

Inflasi dapat digolongkan menjadi tiga golongan, yaitu inflasi ringan, sedang, berat, dan hiperinflasi. Inflasi ringan terjadi apabila kenaikan harga berada di bawah angka 10% setahun; inflasi sedang antara 10%—30% setahun; berat antara 30%—100% setahun; dan hiperinflasi atau inflasi tak terkendali terjadi apabila kenaikan harga berada di atas 100% setahun.

Inflasi dapat disebabkan oleh dua hal, yaitu tarikan permintaan atau desakan biaya produksi.

Inflasi tarikan permintaan (Ingg: demand pull inflation) terjadi akibat adanya permintaan total yang berlebihan sehingga terjadi perubahan pada tingkat harga. Bertambahnya permintaan terhadap barang dan jasa mengakibatkan bertambahnya permintaan terhadap faktor-faktor produksi. Meningkatnya permintaan terhadap faktor produksi itu kemudian menyebabkan harga faktor produksi meningkat. Jadi, inflasi ini terjadi karena suatu kenaikan dalam permintaan total sewaktu perekonomian yang bersangkutan dalam situasi full employment.

Inflasi desakan biaya (Ingg: cost push inflation) terjadi akibat meningkatnya biaya produksi (input) sehingga mengakibatkan harga produk-produk (output) yang dihasilkan ikut naik.

Inflasi memiliki dampak positif dan dampak negatif- tergantung parah atau tidaknya inflasi. Apabila inflasi itu ringan, justru mempunyai pengaruh yang positif dalam arti dapat mendorong perekonomian lebih baik, yaitu meningkatkan pendapatan nasional dan membuat orang bergairah untuk bekerja, menabung dan mengadakan investasi. Sebaliknya, dalam masa inflasi yang parah, yaitu pada saat terjadi inflasi tak terkendali (hiperinflasi), keadaan perekonomian menjadi kacau dan perekonomian dirasakan lesu. Orang menjadi tidak bersemangat kerja, menabung, atau mengadakan investasi dan produksi karena harga meningkat dengan cepat. Para penerima pendapatan tetap seperti pegawai negeri atau karyawan swasta serta kaum buruh juga akan kewalahan menanggung dan mengimbangi harga sehingga hidup mereka menjadi semakin merosot dan terpuruk dari waktu ke waktu.

Bagi masyarakat yang memiliki pendapatan tetap, inflasi sangat merugikan. Kita ambil contoh seorang pensiunan pegawai negeri tahun 1990. Pada tahun 1990, uang pensiunnya cukup untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidupnya, namun di tahun 2003 -atau tiga belas tahun kemudian, daya beli uangnya mungkin hanya tinggal setengah. Artinya, uang pensiunnya tidak lagi cukup untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidupnya. Sebaliknya, orang yang mengandalkan pendapatan berdasarkan keuntungan, seperti misalnya pengusaha, tidak dirugikan dengan adanya inflasi. Begitu juga halnya dengan pegawai yang bekerja di perusahaan dengan gaji mengikuti tingkat inflasi.

Inflasi juga menyebabkan orang enggan untuk menabung karena nilai mata uang semakin menurun. Memang, tabungan menghasilkan bunga, namun jika tingkat inflasi di atas bunga, nilai uang tetap saja menurun. Bila orang enggan menabung, dunia usaha dan investasi akan sulit berkembang. Karena, untuk berkembang dunia usaha membutuhkan dana dari bank yang diperoleh dari tabungan masyarakat.

Bagi orang yang meminjam uang kepada bank (debitur), inflasi menguntungkan, karena pada saat pembayaran utang kepada kreditur, nilai uang lebih rendah dibandingkan pada saat meminjam. Sebaliknya, kreditur atau pihak yang meminjamkan uang akan mengalami kerugian karena nilai uang pengembalian lebih rendah jika dibandingkan pada saat peminjaman.

Bagi produsen, inflasi dapat menguntungkan bila pendapatan yang diperoleh lebih tinggi daripada kenaikan biaya produksi. Bila hal ini terjadi, produsen akan terdorong untuk melipatgandakan produksinya (biasanya terjadi pada pengusaha besar). Namun, bila inflasi menyebabkan naiknya biaya produksi hingga pada akhirnya merugikan produsen, maka produsen enggan untuk meneruskan produksinya. Produsen bisa menghentikan produksinya untuk sementara waktu. Bahkan, bila tidak sanggup mengikuti laju inflasi, usaha produsen tersebut mungkin akan bangkrut (biasanya terjadi pada pengusaha kecil).

Secara umum, inflasi dapat mengakibatkan berkurangnya investasi di suatu negara, mendorong tingkat bunga, mendorong penanaman modal yang bersifat spekulatif, kegagalan pelaksanaan pembangunan, ketidakstabilan ekonomi, defisit neraca pembayaran, dan merosotnya tingkat kehidupan dan kesejahteraan masyarakat.

Pengertian INFLASI


Inflasi adalah suatu gejala-gejala kenaikan harga barang-barang yang sifatnya itu umum dan terus-menerus. Dapat disebut inflasi jika ada tiga faktor yaitu :

  1. Kenaikan harga
  2. Bersifat umum
  3. Berlansung terus-menerus

• Kenaikan harga

Harga barang dapat di katakana naik jika harganya menjadi tinggi dari harga sebelumnya. Contohnya harga BBM yaitu Rp35,00/ltr pada mingu lalu, sedangkan pada minggu ini harga BBM menjadi Rp45,00/ltr lebih mahal dari minggu kemarin.

• Sifatnya umum

Kenaik harga suatu barang tidak dapat di katakana inflasi jika naiknya barang tersebut tidak menyebabkan harga-harga secara umum . Contohnya : jika harga BBM naik maka ongkos angkutan umum,bahan-bahan pokok menjadi naik ini baru bias disebut inflasi.

• Berlanasung terus-menerus

Naiknya harga suatu barang tidak dapat di katakana inflasi jika naiknya barang tersebut terjadinya hanya sesaat, inflasi itu dilakukan dalam rentang minimal bulanan.

Ada beberapa faktor maslah sosial yang muncul dari inflasi yaitu: 

  • Menurunya tingkat kesejahtraan rakyat 
  • Memburuknya distribusi pendapatan 
  • Terganggunya stabilitas ekonomi.

Jenis Jenis INFLASI


Inflasi dapat digolongkan menjadi empat golongan, yaitu inflasi ringan, sedang, berat, dan hiperinflasi. Inflasi ringan terjadi apabila kenaikan harga berada di bawah angka 10% setahun; inflasi sedang antara 10%—30% setahun; berat antara 30%—100% setahun; dan hiperinflasi atau inflasi tak terkendali terjadi apabila kenaikan harga berada di atas 100%

Menurut tingkat keparahan atau laju inflasi, meliputi:

  1. Inflasi Ringan (Creeping Inflation). Inflasi yang tingkatannya masih di bawah 10% setahun
  2. Inflasi SedangInflasi yang tingkatannya berada diantara 10% – 30% setahun
  3. Inflasi BeratInflasi yang tingkatannya berada diantara 30% – 100% setahun
  4. Hiper Inflasi

Inflasi yang tingkat keparahannya berada di atas 100% setahun. Hal ini pernah dialami Indonesia pada masa orde lama.

Ada pun Jenis-jenis inflasi, berdasarkan kepada sumber atau penyebab kenaikan harga-harga yang berlaku, inflasi biasanya dibedakan kepada tiga bentuk berikut :

  1. Inflasi tarikan Permintaan, inflasi ini biasanya terjadi pada masa perekonomian berkembang dengan pesat. Kesempatan kerja yang tinggi menciptakan tingkat pendapatan yang tinggi dan selanjutnya menimbulkan pengeluaran yang melebihi kemampuan ekonomi mengeluarkan barang dan jasa.
  2. Inflasi Desakan Biaya, inflasi ini berlaku dalam masa perekonomian berkembang dengan pesat ketika tingkat pengangguran sangat rendah. Apabila perusahaan menghadapi permintaan yang bertambah, mereka akan berusaha menaikan produksi dengan cara memberikan gaji dan upah yang lebih tinggi kepada pekerjanya dan mencari pekerja baru dengan tawaran yang lebih tinggi ini. Langkah ini mengakibatkan biaya produksi yang meningkat, yang akhirnya akan menyebabkan kenaikan harga-harga berbagai barang (inflasi).
  3. Inflasi Diimpor, inflasi dapat juga bersumber dari kenaikan harga barang-barang yang diimpor. Inflasi ini akan wujud apabila barang-barang impor mengalami kenaikan harga yang mempunyai peranan penting dalam kegiatan pengeluran perusahaan-peruasahaan.

Jenis-jenis inflasi berdasarkan persentasi atau nominal digit inflasinya, dapat dibedakan kedalam :

  • Moderate Low Inflation (inflasi 1 digit) misalnya 1% s.d 9%, biasanya orang masih percaya dan memiliki daya beli dan juga nilai mata uang masih berharga.
  • Galloping Inflation (inflasi dua digit) misalnya 10% s.d 99%, dimana orang mulai ragu, daya beli menurun, nilai mata uang menjadi semakin menurun.
  • Hyper Inflation (inflasi tinggi diatas 100%) adalah proses kenaikan harga-harga yang sangat cepat, yang menyebabkan tingkat harga menjadi dua atau beberapa kali lipat dalam jangka waktu yang singkat, keadaan seperti ini orang-orang sudah tidak percaya pada mata uang. Dimana nilai nominal uang jadi tidak berharga jika situasi ini terjadi maka pemerintah melakukan Senering yaitu pemotongan nilai uang.

History of the Internet

Posted on 06/10/2014 by Dr. Shahid Mughal

In the late 1950’s the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was founded in the United States with the primary focus of developing information technologies that could survive a nuclear attack. (Networking the Nerds) In 1967 ARPA university and private sector contractors met with representatives of the Department of Defense to discuss possible protocols for sharing information via computers.

In 1969, two years before the calculator was introduced to consumers (History of the Internet and WWW) and the year after National Public Radio was established, the precursor of the Internet, ARPANET, was born. It connected four sites at the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Stanford Research Institute, and the University of Utah.

Throughout the 1970’s researchers concentrated on developing protocols for controlling networks, moving messages across a system of networks, and allowing for remote access to the networks.

There were computers connected at about two dozen sites when the first email was sent in 1972, but the number of sites and messages soon mushroomed. By 1975 there were 63 sites. In 1980, 200 host computers were connecting 20,000 people at university, military, and government locations. Twelve years later the number of hosts had grown to more than a million internationally (PBS Timeline), and in January of 1999 there were more than 43 million. (Hobbes’ Internet Timeline v4.1)

Internet

If the 1970’s were a time of research, the 1980’s were a time of development. The TCP/IP protocol was introduced in 1983, and at the University of Wisconsin the name server was developed.

The next year domain name server (DNS) was established. In 1986, the National Science Foundation developed a system to connect the growing number of hosts.

Regional networks were connected to a backbone network, which became known as the NSFNET. As the “Internet” continued to grow and prosper, ARPANET came to an end in 1989 (PBS Timeline) just before HTML protocol was introduced in 1990. HTML allowed graphics to be sent along with text to create hypertext pages customized to the sender’s preference. ( Networking the Nerds ) Everything was now in place for explosive growth.

Commercial Development

In 1963 during the early days of computers and six years before ARPANET, students at MIT developed the first computer game called Space War. It would be twenty years before the TCP/IP protocol stimulated the growth of various networks and nearly thirty years (1991) before the United States government opened the Internet to private enterprise (PBS Timeline), but this game foreshadowed the commercialization of the Internet. In the 1970’s and 80’s people who were online put out information about furniture and cars they wanted to sell. Debates raged about whether this was an appropriate use of the new research tool, the Internet, but when the Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX) was formed in 1991 the genie would not go back in the bottle.

Commercial contractors have been involved in the development of ARPANET from its inception. As Tang and Teflon began as curiosities of the space program and later became common consumer products, so too have email, web research, and home shopping on the Web.

It has only been ten years since the first relay between a commercial entity (MCI Mail) and the Internet was made. Since that time technologies have emerged that have fueled the growth of private enterprise on the Web.

In 1992 Paul Linder and Mark McCahill at the University of Minnesota released Gopher, a tool that allowed researchers to retrieve specific data from myriad locations. The next year Mosaic, a web browser, was developed at the University of Illinois by Netscape founder Marc Andreesen, the World Wide Web became a public domain, and the Pentium processor was introduced by Intel to speed up the whole process. (From ARAPNET to World Wide Web)

As the technology advanced, the Internet became easier to use and the World Wide Web sites became more intricate and inviting. In 1994 shopping malls arrived on the Net. You could order pizza from Pizza Hut online or bank at First Virtual Bank, the first cyberbank. Of course, the advancements came with a downside.

Vladimir Levin of Russia became the first publicly known Internet bank robber when he used the Internet to illegally transfer funds to his account. ( Hobbes’ Internet Timeline v4.1 )

network cables connected to switch

1995 saw the introduction of several emerging technologies such as JAVA and JAVAscript, Virtual Environments, and RealAudio which further enhanced the kind of product information which could be made available to consumers.

Commercial users now outnumbered research and academic users by a two to one margin, and Bill Gates decided to redefine Microsoft as an Internet company. (History of the Internet)

Today one can shop online for books, food and wine, travel, and real estate. Other business activities include buying stocks and bonds, banking, and retirement planning. Online shopping accounted for over $9 billion in 1997 and is expected to be $30 billion by the year 2000.

In light of this growth, the U.S. Commerce Department will begin studying the impact of online shopping on total retail activity. (Commerce Department to Measure Online Sales)

Consumer spending via the Internet draws much interest, but business to business activity is also booming. The consulting group Piper Jaffray estimates that by the year 2001 Internet based business to business transactions will total US $201.6 billion.

Forrester Research estimates that by 2002 online business to business transactions will total US $327 billion, (Internet Statistics), while other projections indicate that by 2003, consumers will spend $108 billion, while businesses will spend $1.3 trillion. (Spotlight: Corporate E-commerce Kicks Into Gear)

World Wide Web

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A global map of the web index for countries in 2014

The World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or the Web) is an information space where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), interlinked by hypertext links, and can be accessed via the Internet. English scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989. He wrote the first web browser computer program in 1990 while employed at CERN in Switzerland. The Web browser was released outside CERN in 1991, first to other research institutions starting in January 1991 and to the general public on the Internet in August 1991.

The World Wide Web has been central to the development of the Information Age and is the primary tool billions of people use to interact on the Internet. Web pages are primarily text documents formatted and annotated with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). In addition to formatted text, web pages may contain images, video, audio, and software components that are rendered in the user’s web browser as coherent pages of multimedia content.

Embedded hyperlinks permit users to navigate between web pages. Multiple web pages with a common theme, a common domain name, or both, make up a website. Website content can largely be provided by the publisher, or interactively where users contribute content or the content depends upon the users or their actions. Websites may be mostly informative, primarily for entertainment, or largely for commercial, governmental, or non-governmental organisational purposes.

Contents
1 History
2 Function
2.1 Linking
2.2 Dynamic updates of web pages
2.3 WWW prefix
2.4 Scheme specifiers
3 Web security
4 Privacy
5 Standards
6 Accessibility
7 Internationalisation
8 Statistics
9 Web caching

History


NeXTcube_first_webserver

The NeXT Computer used by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN.

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The corridor where WWW was born. CERN, ground floor of building No.1

Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of a global hyperlinked information system became a possibility by the second half of the 1980s. By 1985, the global Internet began to proliferate in Europe and the Domain Name System (upon which the Uniform Resource Locator is built) came into being. In 1988 the first direct IP connection between Europe and North America was made and Berners-Lee began to openly discuss the possibility of a web-like system at CERN. In March 1989 Berners-Lee issued a proposal to the management at CERN for a system called “Mesh” that referenced ENQUIRE, a database and software project he had built in 1980, which used the term “web” and described a more elaborate information management system based on links embedded in readable text: “Imagine, then, the references in this document all being associated with the network address of the thing to which they referred, so that while reading this document you could skip to them with a click of the mouse.” Such a system, he explained, could be referred to using one of the existing meanings of the word hypertext, a term that he says was coined in the 1950s. There is no reason, the proposal continues, why such hypertext links could not encompass multimedia documents including graphics, speech and video, so that Berners-Lee goes on to use the term hypermedia.

With help from his colleague and fellow hypertext enthusiast Robert Cailliau he published a more formal proposal on 12 November 1990 to build a “Hypertext project” called “WorldWideWeb” (one word) as a “web” of “hypertext documents” to be viewed by “browsers” using a client–server architecture. At this point HTML and HTTP had already been in development for about two months and the first Web server was about a month from completing its first successful test. This proposal estimated that a read-only web would be developed within three months and that it would take six months to achieve “the creation of new links and new material by readers, [so that] authorship becomes universal” as well as “the automatic notification of a reader when new material of interest to him/her has become available.” While the read-only goal was met, accessible authorship of web content took longer to mature, with the wiki concept, WebDAV, blogs, Web 2.0 and RSS/Atom.

1024px-Cern_datacenter

The CERN data centre in 2010 housing some WWW servers

The proposal was modelled after the SGML reader Dynatext by Electronic Book Technology, a spin-off from the Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship at Brown University. The Dynatext system, licensed by CERN, was a key player in the extension of SGML ISO 8879:1986 to Hypermedia within HyTime, but it was considered too expensive and had an inappropriate licensing policy for use in the general high energy physics community, namely a fee for each document and each document alteration. A NeXT Computer was used by Berners-Lee as the world’s first web server and also to write the first web browser, WorldWideWeb, in 1990. By Christmas 1990, Berners-Lee had built all the tools necessary for a working Web: the first web browser (which was a web editor as well) and the first web server. The first web site, which described the project itself, was published on 20 December 1990.

The first web page may be lost, but Paul Jones of UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina announced in May 2013 that Berners-Lee gave him what he says is the oldest known web page during a 1991 visit to UNC. Jones stored it on a magneto-optical drive and on his NeXT computer. On 6 August 1991, Berners-Lee published a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the newsgroup alt.hypertext. This date is sometimes confused with the public availability of the first web servers, which had occurred months earlier. As another example of such confusion, several news media reported that the first photo on the Web was published by Berners-Lee in 1992, an image of the CERN house band Les Horribles Cernettes taken by Silvano de Gennaro; Gennaro has disclaimed this story, writing that media were “totally distorting our words for the sake of cheap sensationalism.”

The first server outside Europe was installed at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in Palo Alto, California, to host the SPIRES-HEP database. Accounts differ substantially as to the date of this event. The World Wide Web Consortium’s timeline says December 1992, whereas SLAC itself claims December 1991, as does a W3C document titled A Little History of the World Wide Web. The underlying concept of hypertext originated in previous projects from the 1960s, such as the Hypertext Editing System (HES) at Brown University, Ted Nelson’s Project Xanadu, and Douglas Engelbart’s oN-Line System (NLS). Both Nelson and Engelbart were in turn inspired by Vannevar Bush’s microfilm-based memex, which was described in the 1945 essay “As We May Think”.

Berners-Lee’s breakthrough was to marry hypertext to the Internet. In his book Weaving The Web, he explains that he had repeatedly suggested that a marriage between the two technologies was possible to members of both technical communities, but when no one took up his invitation, he finally assumed the project himself. In the process, he developed three essential technologies:

  • a system of globally unique identifiers for resources on the Web and elsewhere, the universal document identifier (UDI), later known as uniform resource locator (URL) and uniform resource identifier (URI);
  • the publishing language HyperText Markup Language (HTML);
  • the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

The World Wide Web had a number of differences from other hypertext systems available at the time. The Web required only unidirectional links rather than bidirectional ones, making it possible for someone to link to another resource without action by the owner of that resource. It also significantly reduced the difficulty of implementing web servers and browsers (in comparison to earlier systems), but in turn presented the chronic problem of link rot. Unlike predecessors such as HyperCard, the World Wide Web was non-proprietary, making it possible to develop servers and clients independently and to add extensions without licensing restrictions. On 30 April 1993, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to anyone, with no fees due. Coming two months after the announcement that the server implementation of the Gopher protocol was no longer free to use, this produced a rapid shift away from Gopher and towards the Web. An early popular web browser was ViolaWWW for Unix and the X Windowing System.

Cailliau_Abramatic_Berners-Lee_10_years_WWW_consortium

Robert Cailliau, Jean-François Abramatic, and Tim Berners-Lee at the 10th anniversary of the World Wide Web Consortium.

Scholars generally agree that a turning point for the World Wide Web began with the introduction of the Mosaic web browser in 1993, a graphical browser developed by a team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (NCSA-UIUC), led by Marc Andreessen. Funding for Mosaic came from the U.S. High-Performance Computing and Communications Initiative and the High-Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991, one of several computing developments initiated by U.S. Senator Al Gore. Prior to the release of Mosaic, graphics were not commonly mixed with text in web pages and the web’s popularity was less than older protocols in use over the Internet, such as Gopher and Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS). Mosaic’s graphical user interface allowed the Web to become, by far, the most popular Internet protocol. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded by Tim Berners-Lee after he left the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in October 1994. It was founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT/LCS) with support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which had pioneered the Internet; a year later, a second site was founded at INRIA (a French national computer research lab) with support from the European Commission DG InfSo; and in 1996, a third continental site was created in Japan at Keio University. By the end of 1994, the total number of websites was still relatively small, but many notable websites were already active that foreshadowed or inspired today’s most popular services.

Connected by the Internet, other websites were created around the world. This motivated international standards development for protocols and formatting. Berners-Lee continued to stay involved in guiding the development of web standards, such as the markup languages to compose web pages and he advocated his vision of a Semantic Web. The World Wide Web enabled the spread of information over the Internet through an easy-to-use and flexible format. It thus played an important role in popularising use of the Internet. Although the two terms are sometimes conflated in popular use, World Wide Web is not synonymous with Internet. The Web is an information space containing hyperlinked documents and other resources, identified by their URIs. It is implemented as both client and server software using Internet protocols such as TCP/IP and HTTP. Berners-Lee was knighted in 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II for “services to the global development of the Internet”.

Function


Internet_Key_Layers

The World Wide Web functions as an application layer protocol that is run “on top of” (figuratively) the Internet, helping to make it more functional. The advent of the Mosaic web browser helped to make the web much more usable, to include the display of images and moving images (gifs).

The terms Internet and World Wide Web are often used without much distinction. However, the two are not the same. The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. In contrast, the World Wide Web is a global collection of documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URIs. Web resources are usually accessed using HTTP, which is one of many Internet communication protocols.

Viewing a web page on the World Wide Web normally begins either by typing the URL of the page into a web browser, or by following a hyperlink to that page or resource. The web browser then initiates a series of background communication messages to fetch and display the requested page. In the 1990s, using a browser to view web pages—and to move from one web page to another through hyperlinks—came to be known as ‘browsing,’ ‘web surfing’ (after channel surfing), or ‘navigating the Web’. Early studies of this new behaviour investigated user patterns in using web browsers. One study, for example, found five user patterns: exploratory surfing, window surfing, evolved surfing, bounded navigation and targeted navigation.

The following example demonstrates the functioning of a web browser when accessing a page at the URL http://www dot example dot org/home dot html. The browser resolves the server name of the URL (www dot example dot org) into an Internet Protocol address using the globally distributed Domain Name System (DNS). This lookup returns an IP address such as 203.0.113.4 or 2001:db8:2e::7334. The browser then requests the resource by sending an HTTP request across the Internet to the computer at that address. It requests service from a specific TCP port number that is well known for the HTTP service, so that the receiving host can distinguish an HTTP request from other network protocols it may be servicing. The HTTP protocol normally uses port number 80. The content of the HTTP request can be as simple as two lines of text:

GET /home.html HTTP/1.1
Host: www dot example dot org

The computer receiving the HTTP request delivers it to web server software listening for requests on port 80. If the web server can fulfil the request it sends an HTTP response back to the browser indicating success:

HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

followed by the content of the requested page. HyperText Markup Language (HTML) for a basic web page might look like this:

<html>
<head>
<title>Example.org – The World Wide Web</title>
</head>
<body>
<p>The World Wide Web, abbreviated as WWW and commonly known …</p>
</body>
</html>

The web browser parses the HTML and interprets the markup (<title>, <p> for paragraph, and such) that surrounds the words to format the text on the screen. Many web pages use HTML to reference the URLs of other resources such as images, other embedded media, scripts that affect page behavior, and Cascading Style Sheets that affect page layout. The browser makes additional HTTP requests to the web server for these other Internet media types. As it receives their content from the web server, the browser progressively renders the page onto the screen as specified by its HTML and these additional resources.

Linking

Most web pages contain hyperlinks to other related pages and perhaps to downloadable files, source documents, definitions and other web resources. In the underlying HTML, a hyperlink looks like this: <a href=”http://www.example.org/home.html”>Example dot org Homepage</a>

WorldWideWebAroundWikipedia

Graphic representation of a minute fraction of the WWW, demonstrating hyperlinks

Such a collection of useful, related resources, interconnected via hypertext links is dubbed a web of information. Publication on the Internet created what Tim Berners-Lee first called the WorldWideWeb (in its original CamelCase, which was subsequently discarded) in November 1990.

The hyperlink structure of the WWW is described by the webgraph: the nodes of the web graph correspond to the web pages (or URLs) the directed edges between them to the hyperlinks. Over time, many web resources pointed to by hyperlinks disappear, relocate, or are replaced with different content. This makes hyperlinks obsolete, a phenomenon referred to in some circles as link rot, and the hyperlinks affected by it are often called dead links. The ephemeral nature of the Web has prompted many efforts to archive web sites. The Internet Archive, active since 1996, is the best known of such efforts.

Dynamic updates of web pages

JavaScript is a scripting language that was initially developed in 1995 by Brendan Eich, then of Netscape, for use within web pages. The standardised version is ECMAScript. To make web pages more interactive, some web applications also use JavaScript techniques such as Ajax (asynchronous JavaScript and XML). Client-side script is delivered with the page that can make additional HTTP requests to the server, either in response to user actions such as mouse movements or clicks, or based on elapsed time. The server’s responses are used to modify the current page rather than creating a new page with each response, so the server needs only to provide limited, incremental information. Multiple Ajax requests can be handled at the same time, and users can interact with the page while data is retrieved. Web pages may also regularly poll the server to check whether new information is available.

WWW prefix

Many hostnames used for the World Wide Web begin with www because of the long-standing practice of naming Internet hosts according to the services they provide. The hostname of a web server is often www, in the same way that it may be ftp for an FTP server, and news or nntp for a USENET news server. These host names appear as Domain Name System (DNS) or subdomain names, as in www dot example dot com. The use of www is not required by any technical or policy standard and many web sites do not use it; indeed, the first ever web server was called nxoc01 dot cern dot ch. According to Paolo Palazzi, who worked at CERN along with Tim Berners-Lee, the popular use of www as subdomain was accidental; the World Wide Web project page was intended to be published at www dot cern dot ch while info dot cern dot ch was intended to be the CERN home page, however the DNS records were never switched, and the practice of prepending www to an institution’s website domain name was subsequently copied. Many established websites still use the prefix, or they employ other subdomain names such as www2, secure or en for special purposes. Many such web servers are set up so that both the main domain name (e.g., example dot com) and the www subdomain (e.g., www dot example dot com) refer to the same site; others require one form or the other, or they may map to different web sites. The use of a subdomain name is useful for load balancing incoming web traffic by creating a CNAME record that points to a cluster of web servers. Since, currently, only a subdomain can be used in a CNAME, the same result cannot be achieved by using the bare domain root.

When a user submits an incomplete domain name to a web browser in its address bar input field, some web browsers automatically try adding the prefix “www” to the beginning of it and possibly “.com”, “.org” and “.net” at the end, depending on what might be missing. For example, entering ‘microsoft’ may be transformed to http : // www dot microsoft dot com/ and ‘openoffice’ to http : // www dot openoffice dot org. This feature started appearing in early versions of Firefox, when it still had the working title ‘Firebird’ in early 2003, from an earlier practice in browsers such as Lynx. It is reported that Microsoft was granted a US patent for the same idea in 2008, but only for mobile devices.

In English, www is usually read as double-u double-u double-u. Some users pronounce it dub-dub-dub, particularly in New Zealand. Stephen Fry, in his “Podgrams” series of podcasts, pronounces it wuh wuh wuh. The English writer Douglas Adams once quipped in The Independent on Sunday (1999): “The World Wide Web is the only thing I know of whose shortened form takes three times longer to say than what it’s short for”. In Mandarin Chinese, World Wide Web is commonly translated via a phono-semantic matching to wàn wéi wǎng (万维网), which satisfies www and literally means “myriad dimensional net”, a translation that reflects the design concept and proliferation of the World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee’s web-space states that World Wide Web is officially spelled as three separate words, each capitalised, with no intervening hyphens. Use of the www prefix has been declining, especially when Web 2.0 web applications sought to brand their domain names and make them easily pronounceable. As the mobile Web grew in popularity, services like Gmail dot com, Outlook dot com, Myspace dot com, Facebook dot com and Twitter dot com are most often mentioned without adding “www.” (or, indeed, “.com”) to the domain.

Scheme specifiers

The scheme specifiers http:// and https:// at the start of a web URI refer to Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTP Secure, respectively. They specify the communication protocol to use for the request and response. The HTTP protocol is fundamental to the operation of the World Wide Web, and the added encryption layer in HTTPS is essential when browsers send or retrieve confidential data, such as passwords or banking information. Web browsers usually automatically prepend http:// to user-entered URIs, if omitted.

Web Security


For criminals, the Web has become a venue to spread malware and engage in a range of cybercrimes, including identity theft, fraud, espionage and intelligence gathering. Web-based vulnerabilities now outnumber traditional computer security concerns, and as measured by Google, about one in ten web pages may contain malicious code. Most web-based attacks take place on legitimate websites, and most, as measured by Sophos, are hosted in the United States, China and Russia. The most common of all malware threats is SQL injection attacks against websites. Through HTML and URIs, the Web was vulnerable to attacks like cross-site scripting (XSS) that came with the introduction of JavaScript and were exacerbated to some degree by Web 2.0 and Ajax web design that favours the use of scripts. Today by one estimate, 70% of all websites are open to XSS attacks on their users. Phishing is another common threat to the Web. “SA, the Security Division of EMC, today announced the findings of its January 2013 Fraud Report, estimating the global losses from phishing at $1.5 Billion in 2012”. Two of the well-known phishing methods are Covert Redirect and Open Redirect.

Proposed solutions vary. Large security companies like McAfee already design governance and compliance suites to meet post-9/11 regulations, and some, like Finjan have recommended active real-time inspection of programming code and all content regardless of its source. Some have argued that for enterprises to see Web security as a business opportunity rather than a cost centre, while others call for “ubiquitous, always-on digital rights management” enforced in the infrastructure to replace the hundreds of companies that secure data and networks. Jonathan Zittrain has said users sharing responsibility for computing safety is far preferable to locking down the Internet.

Privacy


Every time a client requests a web page, the server can identify the request’s IP address and usually logs it. Also, unless set not to do so, most web browsers record requested web pages in a viewable history feature, and usually cache much of the content locally. Unless the server-browser communication uses HTTPS encryption, web requests and responses travel in plain text across the Internet and can be viewed, recorded, and cached by intermediate systems. When a web page asks for, and the user supplies, personally identifiable information—such as their real name, address, e-mail address, etc.—web-based entities can associate current web traffic with that individual. If the website uses HTTP cookies, username and password authentication, or other tracking techniques, it can relate other web visits, before and after, to the identifiable information provided. In this way it is possible for a web-based organization to develop and build a profile of the individual people who use its site or sites. It may be able to build a record for an individual that includes information about their leisure activities, their shopping interests, their profession, and other aspects of their demographic profile. These profiles are obviously of potential interest to marketeers, advertisers and others. Depending on the website’s terms and conditions and the local laws that apply information from these profiles may be sold, shared, or passed to other organizations without the user being informed. For many ordinary people, this means little more than some unexpected e-mails in their in-box or some uncannily relevant advertising on a future web page. For others, it can mean that time spent indulging an unusual interest can result in a deluge of further targeted marketing that may be unwelcome. Law enforcement, counter terrorism, and espionage agencies can also identify, target and track individuals based on their interests or proclivities on the Web.

Social networking sites try to get users to use their real names, interests, and locations, rather than pseudonyms. These website’s leaders believe this makes the social networking experience more engaging for users. On the other hand, uploaded photographs or unguarded statements can be identified to an individual, who may regret this exposure. Employers, schools, parents, and other relatives may be influenced by aspects of social networking profiles, such as text posts or digital photos, that the posting individual did not intend for these audiences. On-line bullies may make use of personal information to harass or stalk users. Modern social networking websites allow fine grained control of the privacy settings for each individual posting, but these can be complex and not easy to find or use, especially for beginners. Photographs and videos posted onto websites have caused particular problems, as they can add a person’s face to an on-line profile. With modern and potential facial recognition technology, it may then be possible to relate that face with other, previously anonymous, images, events and scenarios that have been imaged elsewhere. Because of image caching, mirroring and copying, it is difficult to remove an image from the World Wide Web.

Standards


Many formal standards and other technical specifications and software define the operation of different aspects of the World Wide Web, the Internet, and computer information exchange. Many of the documents are the work of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), headed by Berners-Lee, but some are produced by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and other organisations.

Usually, when web standards are discussed, the following publications are seen as foundational:

  • Recommendations for markup languages, especially HTML and XHTML, from the W3C. These define the structure and interpretation of hypertext documents.
  • Recommendations for stylesheets, especially CSS, from the W3C.
  • Standards for ECMAScript (usually in the form of JavaScript), from Ecma International.
  • Recommendations for the Document Object Model, from W3C.

Additional publications provide definitions of other essential technologies for the World Wide Web, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), which is a universal system for referencing resources on the Internet, such as hypertext documents and images. URIs, often called URLs, are defined by the IETF’s RFC 3986 / STD 66: Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax, as well as its predecessors and numerous URI scheme-defining RFCs;
  • HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), especially as defined by RFC 2616: HTTP/1.1 and RFC 2617: HTTP Authentication, which specify how the browser and server authenticate each other.

Accessibility


There are methods for accessing the Web in alternative mediums and formats to facilitate use by individuals with disabilities. These disabilities may be visual, auditory, physical, speech-related, cognitive, neurological, or some combination. Accessibility features also help people with temporary disabilities, like a broken arm, or ageing users as their abilities change. The Web receives information as well as providing information and interacting with society. The World Wide Web Consortium claims that it is essential that the Web be accessible, so it can provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. Tim Berners-Lee once noted, “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” Many countries regulate web accessibility as a requirement for websites. International cooperation in the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative led to simple guidelines that web content authors as well as software developers can use to make the Web accessible to persons who may or may not be using assistive technology.

Internationalisation


The W3C Internationalisation Activity assures that web technology works in all languages, scripts, and cultures. Beginning in 2004 or 2005, Unicode gained ground and eventually in December 2007 surpassed both ASCII and Western European as the Web’s most frequently used character encoding. Originally RFC 3986 allowed resources to be identified by URI in a subset of US-ASCII. RFC 3987 allows more characters—any character in the Universal Character Set—and now a resource can be identified by IRI in any language.

Statistics


Between 2005 and 2010, the number of web users doubled, and was expected to surpass two billion in 2010. Early studies in 1998 and 1999 estimating the size of the Web using capture/recapture methods showed that much of the web was not indexed by search engines and the Web was much larger than expected. According to a 2001 study, there was a massive number, over 550 billion, of documents on the Web, mostly in the invisible Web, or Deep Web. A 2002 survey of 2,024 million web pages determined that by far the most web content was in the English language: 56.4%; next were pages in German (7.7%), French (5.6%), and Japanese (4.9%). A more recent study, which used web searches in 75 different languages to sample the Web, determined that there were over 11.5 billion web pages in the publicly indexable web as of the end of January 2005. As of March 2009, the indexable web contains at least 25.21 billion pages. On 25 July 2008, Google software engineers Jesse Alpert and Nissan Hajaj announced that Google Search had discovered one trillion unique URLs. As of May 2009, over 109.5 million domains operated. Of these, 74% were commercial or other domains operating in the generic top-level domain com. Statistics measuring a website’s popularity, such as the Alexa Internet rankings, are usually based either on the number of page views or on associated server “hits” (file requests) that it receives.

Web Caching


A web cache is a server computer located either on the public Internet, or within an enterprise that stores recently accessed web pages to improve response time for users when the same content is requested within a certain time after the original request. Most web browsers also implement a browser cache for recently obtained data, usually on the local disk drive. HTTP requests by a browser may ask only for data that has changed since the last access. Web pages and resources may contain expiration information to control caching to secure sensitive data, such as in online banking, or to facilitate frequently updated sites, such as news media. Even sites with highly dynamic content may permit basic resources to be refreshed only occasionally. Web site designers find it worthwhile to collate resources such as CSS data and JavaScript into a few site-wide files so that they can be cached efficiently. Enterprise firewalls often cache Web resources requested by one user for the benefit of many users. Some search engines store cached content of frequently accessed websites.