| Information Is Power (Or Is It?) |
The nice thing about the Internet is that there's so much information on it. The bad thing about the Internet is that there's so much information on it.
This might seem a little cliched, but it's true - the Web is rich in information, but poor in the tools needed to index and search it. Google's (http://www.google.com/) doing a great job of fixing this problem, but it's still limited largely to collating and indexing published content. If, for example, you're looking for the email address of Sam Jones, who you *know* works somewhere in Long Beach with Rough Rubber Shoes, or the telephone number of your great-grand-uncle Josh, who moved to New York a few years back and was never heard from again, you're outta luck - Google can't help you, and neither can any of the other search engines out there.
What would be ideal in this situation is an Internet version of your local telephone directory, a public database of users and their affiliations, locations and contact information that you could query at the click of a button. Something that made it possible to easily search for resources (users, computers, businesses) by different attributes, that was universally accessible, and that was versatile enough to be used for different applications.
Something like LDAP.
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