Before Facebook, free porn, and adorable cats talking in IM-speak took over the Internet, the Web was an untamed frontier full of mystery and wonder. As the nation embarked into the digital unknown in the late '80s and '90s, we were greeted with a bevy of companies who were going to help us experience everything this new "HTTP" landscape had to offer. So what did that look like? A lot of wild promises, for one. Some companies presented the Web as a portal where information would literally burst from of your computer screen and fly around your living room. Others just translated old ideas to a new medium, with quirky results. Let's take a little stroll back through the wild west-like years of the early Internet, and ask "Where are they now?" with some of Web 1.0's biggest players.
Look out, animated glitter gifs fans: MySpace's days are numbered. Yesterday, the beleaguered social networking site laid off about half of its staff, and the future doesn't look great.
As you surf the internet, advertisers are tracking you, building a profile, and working on aiming specific ads right at you. Creepy? Somewhat! Luckily, Uncle Sam is working on allowing you to opt out of this tracking business.
Netflix's streaming service is flat-out awesome. It lets you stream movies and TV shows to your TV, computer, phone or iPad, all for a pretty cheap monthly fee. The problem? It may be too awesome. We knew that they sucked up 20% of internet traffic, but did you kow that it's a mere 2% of Netflix customers accounting for all that bandwidth?
Ah, GeoCities. Before Yahoo shut it down last year, it was a way for millions of people to create free websites. Launched in 1994, it was one of the first places to offer such a service, and had a big hand in the development of the web. And soon you'll be able to download GeoCities. All 900GB of it.
When was the last time you signed in to MySpace? Not in a long, long time, I'm guessing. The once-dominant social networking site has been in a state of steady decline for the last few years as Facebook as cemented itself as the de facto place where people go to stalk their exes online.
Verizon's speedy FiOS service makes most Internet connections look pretty lethargic, but now they are testing a new XG-PON2 system that's about 200 times faster than the speediest current FiOS G-PON service.
When sharing something online, I often face the ambivalent choice of whether to post it on Twitter of Facebook. With Twitter you can reach more people but it only supports linking, whereas a Facebook update can have pretty embedded photos and videos. Yesterday Twitter rolled out some new features, however, that make the two services more alike.
Free WiFi is a good thing, and these days you can find it at all over the place from McDonald's to Starbucks, but what if you're out in the park to catch some fresh air? Now there's a plan to cover 32 of New York City's parks with free WiFi, provided by Cablevision and Time Warner in exchange a ten year extension of their city cable contracts.
It looks like Chattanooga, Tennessee's fourth largest city with 170,000 residents, is going to be one of the first cities in the U.S. to offer one-gigabit-per-second internet upload and download speeds to the general public. Yep. Chattanooga.