News from the Internet

Volume 10 (6) November/December 1996

The next bottleneck is the hardware
Exciting new technologies are emerging which will transform the Internet into a powerful information and communications resource. The adoption and widespread use of these technologies is still inhibited by the problem of slow connections as a result of limited bandwidth, more noticeable when connecting via a modem. However, experienced users of the Internet will have noticed significant improvements in connectivity in recent months. As the bandwidth of the Internet improves, the next performance bottleneck will be the hardware that is used to connect to the Internet. The reality of java, real-time videoconferencing, Internet telephony, and other such processor and bandwidth hungry resources is that we will need powerful computers with significant amounts of RAM. Additionally, even the new 33.6kps modems that are emerging will not satisfy the data transfer rates required by these resources. The impact and importance of the Internet will not be fully realised until inexpensive and permanent high bandwidth connections are readily available.

The range of useful information available to pharmacists is increasing all the time. If you are in any doubt, have a look at some of the following sites:

International Pharmaceutical Federation
Recent additions to the FIP site include an on-line version of the WHO Pharmaceutical Newsletter, a range of FIP documentation, and FIP Press Releases.

St. James's University Hospital, UK
The drug information service is developing a series of on-line databases which users can access via the web.

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations
The IFPMA is constructing an impressive site with new information becoming available on a weekly basis. IFPMA maintain information on the International Conference on Harmonisation and include on-line documentation.

Finally, two new discussion groups are available on PharmWeb. Firstly, the DrugMed discussion group has been developed as a moderated forum for professionals to discuss issues relating to drugs and medicine. The second new group, PharmWeb Biotech, has been established to discuss matters relating to biotechnology.

As usual, if you have found any interesting sites on the Internet that we have not listed on PharmWeb and that may be of interest to the pharmacy community, please let us know.

Dr. A. D'Emanuele


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