4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

1990 to 2000 Timeline


The First "Search Engine" but Not a "Web Search Engine" 1990

In 1990 Alan Emtage, Bill Heelan, and Peter J. Deutsch—students at McGill University, Montreal, Canada—wrote ARCHIE, a program designed to index FTP archives.  ARCHIE was the first search engine,” as distinct from a “web search engine.”

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The American Memory Project 1990

In 1990 the Library of Congress began making its collections available in digital form through the American Memory project. Initially the files for American Memory were distributed to 44 schools and libraries on CD-ROMS.

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Filed under: Libraries , Publishing

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is Founded 1990

In 1990 Mitchell Kapor, John Gilmore, and John Perry Barlow founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, to defend individual rights in the digital world. The three had met on The Well.

Motivation for creation of the organization was the

“massive search and seizure on Steve Jackson Games by the United States Secret Service early in 1990.” The first successful achievement of the new foundation was to lay “the groundwork for the successful representation of Steven Jackson Games (SJG) in a Federal court case to prosecute the United States Secret Service for unlawfully raiding their offices and seizing computers.”

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Foundation of the Coalition for Networked Information 1990

In 1990 he Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) was founded in Washington, D.C. By the end of its first year its membership consisted of 18 institutions.

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ARPANET Folds into the Internet 1990

In 1990 the ARPANET discontinued operations and merged into the Internet

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TED: Technology, Entertainment and Design 1990

After a one-off event in 1984, annual TED conferences begain in 1990 in Monterey, California.  In 2012 the events were held in Long Beach and Palm Springs in the U.S. and in Europe and Asia, offering live streaming video of the talks on the Internet. The TED organization is based in New York City and Vancouver.

TED speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their material in the most exciting and engaging way that they can, often through storytelling.

"Since June 2006 the talks have been offered for free viewing online, under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license, through TED.com. As of November 2011, over 1,050 talks are available free online. By January 2009 they had been viewed 50 million times. In June 2011, the viewing figure stood at more than 500 million, and on Tuesday November 13, 2012, TED Talks had been watched one billion times worldwide, reflecting a still growing global audience."

"TED was conceived by architect and graphic designer Richard Saul Wurman, who observed a convergence of the fields of technology, entertainment and design. The first conference, organized by Wurman and Harry Marks in 1984, featured demos of the Sony compact disc, and one of the first demonstrations of the Apple Macintosh computer. Presentations were given by famous mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot and influential members of the digerati community, like Nicholas Negroponte and Stewart Brand. The event was financially unsuccessful, however, and it took 6 years before the second conference was organized. From 1990 onward, a growing community of "TEDsters" has been gathering annually at the invitation-only event in Monterey, California, until 2009, when it was relocated to Long Beach, California due to a substantial increase of attendees" (Wikipedia article on Ted (conference), accessed 12-26-2012).

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DynaText, an Electronic Publishing Tool 1990

In 1990 Louis ReynoldsSteven DeRoseJeffrey Vogel, and Andries van Dam founded Electronic Book Technologies, Inc. (EBT) in Providence, Rhode Island to promote and sell DynaText, an electronic publishing tool. DynaText was the first system to handle arbitrarily large SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) documents, and to render them according to multiple style-sheets that could be switched at will.

"DynaText heavily influenced stylesheet technologies such as DSSSL and CSS, and XML chairman Jon Bosak cites EBT chief architect Steven DeRose as the origin of the notion of well-formedness formalized in XML, as well as DynaText for influencing the design of Web browsers in general" (Wikipedia article on DynaText, accessed 11-08-2013).

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Sirius Satellite Radio is Founded July 1990 – July 2002

In July 1990 lawyer Martine Rothblatt founded Satellite CD Radio, Inc., and petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to create a Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service in an underutilized portion of the 2300 MHz frequency band.

"Her vision was to adapt GPS patch antennas to a national, digital, radio service, for which she claimed in her Petition for Rulemaking that there was a large, unmet public need. Rothblatt first demonstrated the service via terrestrial emulators of a satellite to FCC officials in 1992 outside the offices of WPFW in Washington, DC. In that year her daughter was diagnosed with life-threatening pulmonary arterial hypertension, and she resigned as Chairman & CEO to focus on finding a cure for the medical condition. She selected David Margolese to succeed her, and he subsequently venture capitalized US$20 million over the next five years lobbying the Federal Communications Commission to allow satellite radio to be deployed" (Wikipedia article on Sirius Satellite Radio, accessed 03-23-2012).

On February 14, 2002 David Margolese launched Sirius Satellite Radio on a pay for service subscription basis in four states, extending the service nationwide in July of that year.

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An Encoded Sculpture, Still Not Decoded November 3, 1990

On November 3, 1990 American sculptor James Sanborn completed the cryptographic sculpture, Kryptos, on the grounds of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia.

"The name Kryptos comes from the Greek word for 'hidden', and the theme of the sculpture is 'intelligence gathering.' The most prominent feature is a large vertical S-shaped copper screen resembling a scroll, or piece of paper emerging from a computer printer, covered with characters comprising encrypted text. The characters consist of the 26 letters of the standard Roman alphabet and question marks cut out of the copper. This 'inscription' contains four separate enigmatic messages, each apparently encrypted with a different cipher."

"The ciphertext on one half of the main sculpture contains 869 characters in total, however Sanborn released information in April 2006 stating that an intended letter on the main half of Kryptos was missing. This would bring the total number of characters to 870 on the main portion. The other half of the sculpture comprises a Vigenère encryption tableau, comprising 869 characters, if spaces are counted. Sanborn worked with a retiring CIA employee named Ed Scheidt, Chairman of the CIA Cryptographic Center, to come up with the cryptographic systems used on the sculpture. Sanborn has since revealed that the sculpture contains a riddle within a riddle which will be solvable only after the four encrypted passages have been decrypted. He said that he gave the complete solution at the time of the sculpture's dedication to CIA director William H. Webster. However, in an interview for wired.com in January 2005, Sanborn said that he had not given Webster the entire solution. He did, however, confirm that where in part 2 it says "Who knows the exact location? Only WW," that "WW" was intended to refer to William Webster. He also confirmed that should he die before it becomes deciphered that there will be someone able to confirm the solution" (Wikipedia article on Kryptos, accessed 05-09-2009).

Steven Levy, "Mission Impossible: The Code that Even the CIA Can't Crack," Wired 17.05 (May 2009).

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Berners-Lee Plans the World Wide Web November 12, 1990

On November 12, 1990 Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, issued World Wide Web: Proposal for a Hypertext Project.

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The First Web Page November 13, 1990

At CERN on November 13, 1990 Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first web page on a NeXT workstation.

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The First Web Browser and Web Server December 25, 1990

During the Christmas holiday, 1990 Tim Berners-Lee wrote the software tools necessary for a working World Wide Web:

1. The first web browser called WorldWideWeb.

2. A WYSIWYG HTML editor

3. The first Web serverCERN httpd. It was operational on Christmas Day 1990.

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"Clearing the Way for Electronic Commerce" 1991

In 1990 the National Science Foundation (NSF), Arlington, Virginia, lifted restrictions on the commercial use of the NSFNET Backbone Network, clearing the way for electronic commerce.

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Introduction of the PDF 1991

In 1991 Adobe Systems, San Jose, California, introduced the Portable Document Format (PDF) to aid in the transfer of documents across platforms. PDF is a file format used to represent a document in a manner independent of the application software, hardware, and operating system used to create it.

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TrueType Fonts 1991

In 1991 Apple introduced TrueType in competition with Adobe's PostScript. The first TrueType fonts available were the old standbys Times Roman, Helvetica and Courier.

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Expressed Sequence Tags 1991

In 1991 J. Craig Venter and colleagues at the National Institute of Health described a fast new approach to gene discovery using Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs). Although controversial when first introduced, ESTs were soon widely employed both in public and private sector research. They proved economical and versatile, used not only for rapid identification of new genes, but also for analyzing gene expression, gene families, and possible disease-causing mutations.

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The First Webcam 1991

In 1991 the first webcam, called the CoffeeCam, pointed at the Trojan room coffee pot in the computer science department of Cambridge University.

"The camera was installed on a local network in 1991 using a video capture card on an Acorn Archimedes computer. Employing the X Window System protocol, Quentin Stafford-Fraser wrote the client software and Paul Jardetzky wrote the server. When web browsers gained the ability to display images in March 1993, it was clear this would be an easier way to make the picture available. The camera was connected to the Internet in November 1993 by Daniel Gordon and Martyn Johnson. It therefore became visible to any Internet user and grew into a popular landmark of the early web." (quoted from the Trojan Room Coffee Machine article in Wikipedia, accessed 11-23-2008).

The camera was finally switched off on August 22, 2001. The final image captured by the camera could be viewed at its homepage in November 2008.

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The WAIS System for Searching Text is Introduced 1991

In 1991 American computer engineers Brewster Kahle and Harry Morris, both of Thinking Machines, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in collaboration with Apple Computer, Dow Jones, and KPMG Peat Marwick, developed the Wide Area Information Server or WAIS system. WAIS was a client-server text searching system that used the ANSI Standard Z39.50 Information Retrieval Service Definition and Protocol Specifications for Library Applications to search index databases on remote computers.

"Public WAIS was often used as a full text search engine for individual Internet Gopher servers, supplementing the popular Veronica system which only searched the menu titles of Gopher sites. WAIS and Gopher share the World Wide Web's client–server architecture and a certain amount of its functionality. The WAIS protocol is influenced largely by the z39.50 protocol designed for networking library catalogs. It allows a text-based search, and retrieval following a search. Gopher provides a free text search mechanism, but principally uses menus. A menu is a list of titles, from which the user may pick one. While gopher space is a web containing many loops, the menu system gives the user the impression of a tree.

"The W3 data model is similar to the gopher model, except that menus are generalized to hypertext documents. In both cases, simple file servers generate the menus or hypertext directly from the file structure of a server. The W3 hypertext model gives the program more power to communicate the options available to the reader, as it can include headings and various forms of list structure" (Wikipedia article on Wide Area Information Server, accessed 01-06-2012).

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Junk Faxes are Outlawed 1991

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President George H. W. Bush as Public Law 102-243, amending the Communications Act of 1934.

"The TCPA is the primary law in the US governing the conduct of telephone solicitations, ie. telemarketing. The TCPA restricts the use of automatic dialing systems, artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages received by cell phones, and the use of fax machines to send unsolicited advertisements. It also specifies several technical requirements for fax machines, autodialers, and voice messaging systems -- principally with provisions requiring identification and contact information of the entity using the device to be contained in the message" (Wikipedia article on Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, accessed 10-31-2009).

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The First Book on Typography on Personal Computers 1991

In 1991 typographer Sumner Stone, the first director of typography at Adobe Systems, published On Stone. The Art and Use of Typography on the Personal Computer in San Francisco, California. This book, set in Stone's "Stone" family of type faces developed for Adobe and announced in March 1988, was probably the first book on typographic design for the personal computer set in a digital typeface that originated in a page description language; in this case, PostScript.

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The First Partially Computer-Generated Main Character 1991

The T-1000 cyborg as played by Robert Parker.

The T-1000 in its default (metalic) form.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a 1991 science fiction action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher, Jr., included included the first use of natural human motion for a computer-generated character, and the first partially computer-generated main character.

"Terminator 2 was the first mainstream blockbuster movie with multiple morphing effects and simulated natural human motion and realistic movements for a major CG character. It was the first film to use 'personal' computers to create its special effects. 

"The lethal, liquid-metal, chrome T-1000 cyborg terminator (Robert Patrick) was the first [partially] computer graphic-generated main character to be used in a film. This was the first major instance of a CG character in a film since Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). He was capable of 'morphing' into any person or object. The liquifying-solidifying robot's humanoid texture was layered onto a CG model to create the effect. Over 300 special effects shots made up 16 minutes of the film's running time.  

"The seemingly-indestructible Terminator android composed of morphing liquid metal was a killing, shape-shifting terminator with no emotional intelligence, usually exemplified as a policeman. The sleek, modern android was composed of poly-mimetic metal, meaning it could take on the shape, color, and texture of anything it touched (such as a porcelain-tiled floor or metal bars), and could also mimic human behavior, such as imitating the voices of its victims. It could transform its hands into jaw-like blades for impalement, and completely absorb shotgun blasts to its midsection or head. After a fiery big-rig crash in the LA flood channel, the T-1000 walked unscathed out of the flames - revealing his metallic frame before reverting back to humanoid form. In another remarkable scene, the T-1000 was shattered into pieces, but then the pieces reassembled themselves" (http://www.filmsite.org/visualeffects14.html, accessed 05-01-2013).

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Peter Arnett at CNN Broadcasts the First Live Television Coverage of War January 17, 1991

On January 17, 1991 at 2:30 AM Baghdad time CNN newscaster Peter Arnett broadcast live television coverage of the bombing of Baghdad from room 906 of the Al-Rasheed Hotel. This was the first live television coverage of war. During this period Baghdad was subjected to the most severe bombing in military history.

CNN was the only news outlet with the ability to communicate from inside Iraq during the initial hours of the Coalition bombing campaign, with live reports by Bernard Shaw, John Holliman, and Charles Jaco, as well as Arnett. This story was a watershed event for CNN that catapulted the channel past the "Big Three" American networks for the first time in its history, largely due to this unprecedented, historical scoop.

"Because it was unable to immediately broadcast live pictures from Baghdad, CNN's coverage of the initial hours of the Gulf War had the dramatic feel of a radio broadcast – and was compared to legendary CBS news anchor Edward R. Murrow's gripping live radio reports of the German bombing of London during World War II. Despite the lack of live pictures, CNN's coverage was carried by television stations and networks around the world, resulting in CNN being watched by over a billion viewers worldwide – a feat that led to the subsequent creation of CNN International" (Wikipedia article on CNN, accessed 10-21-2014).

"We had a bird's-eye view of the whole event from the ninth floor of the Al-Rashid Hotel in the middle of Baghdad, which was where the media was staying. The bombing began at 2:30 a.m. Baghdad time on an absolute clear starry night. So we could see all the bombs exploding across the city. And it was incredibly dramatic. We had a big advantage in that our communications link to the CNN headquarters in Atlanta held up throughout this early phase of the bombing. So the three of us, Bernard Shaw, John Holliman and I, soon to be known as the Boys of Baghdad, were able to continuously report on what we were seeing. Another factor in these opening hours of the war was that we were not subject to any censorship since the Iraqi government had clearly not prepared for the bombing as far as the media was concerned. So we openly reported on buildings destroyed, the morale of the capital, the whole atmosphere of a city under severe bombing attack without interference, and we did that for the first 17 hours of the air attacks. They were the most significant attacks of the whole war. The most frightening moment was during the first hour of the bombing when the very high-powered American explosives destroyed office towers just a few blocks away from our hotel. The impact of the explosion and the heat swept through the open windows of our hotel room. Incidents like this prompted Bernard Shaw to comment on the air: "It feels like the center of hell." It was nerve-wracking to remain in the room but what motivated us to continue was the opportunity to talk to a worldwide audience about what we could see.... The bombing of Baghdad and the ground war that followed were the first time in media history, not only when both sides of a war were covered fully, but a time when much of the coverage was live. The incredible spectacle of the Gulf War persuaded CNN and other television organizations to cover successive events in the same way. So we had the O.J. Simpson trial. We had Princess Diana's death. We had wall-to-wall coverage of the recent presidential recount in Florida. What we see is what some prominent observers say is a cultural phenomenon of a "mediathon" approach to news and information. This is what the Gulf War brought to the U.S. and to the world" (Peter Arnett, A Look Back). 

"The Gulf War was the first to be live from both sides -- a unique moment in communications history. We not only had the American coalition side from press briefings and on-the-scene reports in the Gulf itself, that were themselves dramatic from all the CNN correspondents located there, but we also had it from the enemy side -- the enemy capital in Baghdad. For the two-month duration of the war we were able to make regular reports to an international audience, and it made it all very exciting for everyone"--Peter Arnett. (http://www.cnn.com/COMMUNITY/transcripts/2001/01/16/arnett/, accessed 07-31-2014).

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First Release of the First Web Browser March 1991

In March 1991 Tim Berners-Lee released the first web browser, WorldWideWeb, to a number of people at CERN. This release introduced the web to the high energy physics community, and began the spread of the World Wide Web.

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Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility March 26 – March 28, 1991

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) held the First Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy from March 26 to 28, 1991 in Burlingame, California.

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The First GSM Cellular Phone Call March 27, 1991

The world's first GSM (Global System for Mobil communications) phone call was made in Finland on March 27, 1991 over the Radiolinja network. 

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The Beginning of the Linux Open-Source Operating System April – August 26, 1991

From April through August, 1991 Linus Torvalds, a 21-year-old student at the University of Helsinki in Finland, wrote the Linux kernel.  This was the origin of a software development project that brought the open-source movement into the mainstream. Torvalds started with a task switcher in Intel 80386 assembly language and a terminal driver. Then, on August 26, 1991, he posted the following to comp.os.minix, a newsgroup on Usenet:

"Hello everybody out there using minix-

"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since April, and is starting to get ready. I'd like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things).

"I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work. This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months, and I'd like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions are welcome, but I won't promise I'll implement them :-)

Linus (torva...@kruuna.helsinki.fi)

"PS. Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(."

After that, many people contributed code to the project. By September 1991, Linux version 0.01 was released. It had 10,239 lines of code.

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2G Cellular Telecom July 1, 1991

On July 1, 1991 second generation 2G cellular telecom networks were commercially launched on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard in Finland on Radiolinja's network.

"Three primary benefits of 2G networks over their predecessors were that phone conversations were digitally encrypted, 2G systems were significantly more efficient on the spectrum allowing for far greater mobile phone penetration levels; and 2G introduced data services for mobile, starting with SMS text messages.

"After 2G was launched, the previous mobile telephone systems were retrospectively dubbed 1G. While radio signals on 1G networks are analog, and on 2G networks are digital, both systems use digital signaling to connect the radio towers (which listen to the handsets) to the rest of the telephone system" (Wikipedia article on GSM, accessed 04-11-2009).

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The First Magnetic Resonance Image of Human Brain Function August – November 1, 1991

In August 1991 John (Jack) Belliveau, a scientist at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, presented the first unambiguous images of human brain activity changes observed with magnetic resonance (MR) at the 10th annual meeting of the Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine in San Francisco. "Using dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) MRI with a gadolinium-based Gd-DPTA contrast agent, Belliveau mapped the changes in cerebral blood volume (CBV) following neural activation in a subject responding to a simple visual stimulus."

On November 1, 1991, the paper "Functional mapping of the human visual cortex by magnetic resonance imaging," by Dr. Belliveau and colleagues appeared in Science, 254, No. 5032, 716-9. On the cover of the issue was an artist's rendering of an image showing a human head, seen from behind, with a disc of the skull removed, the exposed visual cortex registering a squiggle of activity.

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Berners-Lee Makes Web Server and Web Browser Software Available at No Cost August 6, 1991

WorldWideWeb - Executive Summary by Tim Berners-Lee of CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, posted on the alt.hypertext newsgroup on August 6, 1991, gave a short summary of the World Wide Web project, explained where to download a web server and line mode browser, and made it available all over the world at no cost.

"The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system."

"The project started with the philosophy that much academic information should be freely available to anyone. It aims to allow information sharing within internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by support groups."

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The Gopher Protocol September 1991

In September 1991 Mark P. McCahill and team at the University of Minnesota developed the Gopher protocol, "a simple way to navigate distributed information resources on the Internet," but without hyperlinks. This was a significant disadvantage to the World Wide Web.

They announced the Internet Gopher on USENET. Its central goals were:

"* A file-like hierarchical arrangement that would be familiar to users

"* A simple syntax

"* A system that can be created quickly and inexpensively

"* Extending the file system metaphor to include things like searches

" The source of the name "Gopher" is claimed to be threefold:

"1. Users instruct it to 'go for' information

"2. It does so through a web of menu items analogous to gopher holes

"3. The sports teams of the University of Minnesota are the Golden Gophers (Wikipedia article on Gopher (protocol), accessed 06-04-2009).

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The Unicode Standard 1.0 is Published October 1991

The first volume of the Unicode standard 1.0 was published by the Unicode Consortium, Mountain View, California in October 1991.

"Unicode is a computing industry standard allowing computers to consistently represent and manipulate text expressed in most of the world's writing systems. Developed in tandem with the Universal Character Set standard and published in book form as The Unicode Standard, the latest version [5.2, 2009] of Unicode consists of a repertoire of more than 107,000 characters covering 90 scripts [including Egyptian hieroglyphs] a set of code charts for visual reference, an encoding methodology and set of standard character encodings, an enumeration of character properties such as upper and lower case, a set of reference data computer files, and a number of related items, such as character properties, rules for normalization, decomposition, collation, rendering, and bidirectional display order (for the correct display of text containing both right-to-left scripts, such as Arabic or Hebrew, and left-to-right scripts) " (Wikipedia article on Unicode, accessed 01-29-2010).

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One of the First U.S. Cases in Cyberspace Law October 29, 1991

On October 29, 1991 one of the first U.S. cases related to Cyberspace law was decided: Cubby v. CompuServe, 776 F. Supp. 135 (1991). It "suggested that online companies would not be liable for the acts of their customers. CompuServe exerted no control whatsoever over the presumably false and defamatory statements which were the subject of the suit; their forum sysops were independent entrepreneurs. Prior to this decision, the liability risk was largely undecided."

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The First Web Server in North America December 12, 1991

Through the efforts of  physicist and software developer Paul Kunz and Terry Hung, the first web server in North America went live at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) on December 12, 1991.

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The First Image Posted to the Web 1992

The first image posted to the web was a photograph of a CERN singing group called Les Horribles Cernettes posted in 1992.

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There are 50 Web Servers on the Internet 1992

In 1992 there were 50 Web Servers on the Internet.

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The Internet Society 1992

The Internet Society (ISOC) was chartered in 1992.  Its headquarters are in Reston, Virginia. In 2012 the society had 80 national chapters and 50,000 individual members.

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Pioneering Collaboration of Electronic Librarianship, Journalism and Telecommunications 1992

In 1992 the School of Information and Library Science and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill  founded an archive and information sharing environment designed to be "contributor-driven and content-managed." Originally one of the SunSITES, sponsored by Sun Microsystems, it was a pioneering collaboration of electronic librarianship, journalism and telecommunication.

"After living under the name MetaLab for a period of time, the environment is now known as ibiblio. It has grown to host one of the Internet's most active and respected software archives, coexisting with music archives, large text database projects, and special exhibits. The diverse management and content models of ibiblio complement and inform each other to give users the most useful and relevant information about a variety of topics. Examples include: single content manager archives ranging from folk music to travelogues, academic and librarian-managed archives, historical enthusiast-managed archives such as the Pearl Harbor archives, author-managed archives involving over 100 active authors with special interests such as the Linux Documentation Project.

"Through these different types of archive models, the resources available on ibiblio range from free applications and operating systems software to graphics and art, from fiction, poetry, literature, and music to religion, politics and cultural studies. ibiblio also offers streaming audio and video. ibiblio currently averages about 1.5 million information requests a day." (ibiblio, accessed 03-19-2009).

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The Memory of the World Program 1992

In 1992 UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Program, an international initiative to guard against collective amnesia, by promoting preservation and dissemination of valuable archive holdings and library collections worldwide.

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The Data Discman Electronic Book Device 1992

In 1992 Sony Corporation introduced the Data Discman, an electronic book device marketed in the United States to college students and international travelers. The Data Discman had little success outside of Japan.

The Data Discman's purpose was quick access to electronic reference information on a pre-recorded disc. Searches for information on disc were entered using a QWERTY-style keyboard, and utilized the "Yes" and "No" keys. A typical Data Discman model had a low resolution small grayscale LCD, a CD drive unit, and a low-power computer. Early versions of the device were incapable of playing audio CDs. Software was prerecorded, and featured encyclopedias, foreign language dictionaries, novels, etc.  All Data Discmans had audio and video output capabilities.

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The First e-Book Reader 1992

in 1992 Franco Crugnola Varese and his wife Isabella Rigamonti designed and created the first e-book reader, called Incipit, as a thesis project in the school of architecture at the Politecnico di Milano. Numerous images and documentation of the device were available from la Repubblica Milano.it in October 2013. Others were available at europaconcoursi.com.  The project was never developed commercially.

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Precursor to Amazon.com's Online Bookstore 1992

In 1992 Charles M. Stack founded Book Stacks Unlimited, an online bookstore selling new physical books. Stack's store began as a dial-up bulletin board located in Cleveland, Ohio. It moved to the Internet as Books.com, eventually attracting a half million visitors each month. This was two years before Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com.

"Stack devised the concept in 1991 based on his personal fascination with reading and books, as he recalled in 1998:

"I've always read a lot, so that was the germ of the idea. I'll pick a subject and read every book ever published on it. That's hard to do if you shop at a walk-in bookstore. Even the superstores don't have more than a couple of titles per topic. My dream was to have a bookstore that had every book ever published to feed my own habit.

"Offering 500,000 titles, Book Stacks had 35 staffers who gave their book recommendations to visitors. Other features included a daily literary journal, summaries of new books, RealAudio interviews with authors and forums in which customers could ask questions and discuss books. Books could be searched by title, author, subject, keyword or ISBN number.

"In 1996, Book Stacks became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cendant Corporation, a consumer services company based in Stamford, Connecticut and previously known as CUC International. In 1997, Book Stacks became part of Cendant's virtual mall, netMarket, a one-stop Internet shopping site which included an online music store and an online video store, both operating from the Book Stacks offices in downtown Cleveland.

"Subsequently, it was purchased by Barnes & Noble; www.books.com now redirects to www.barnesandnoble.com" (Wikipedia article on Book Stacks Unlimited, accessed 11-08-2013).

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The First Fully Immersive Augmented Reality System 1992

In 1992 American inventor Louis Rosenberg developed Virtual Fixtures at at the USAF Armstrong Labs at Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. This was  the first fully immersive Augmented Reality system. 

"Because 3D graphics were too slow in the early 1990s to present a photorealistic and spatially-registered augmented reality, Virtual Fixtures used two real physical robots, controlled by a full upper-body exoskeleton worn by the user. To create the immersive experience for the user, a unique optics configuration was employed that involved a pair of binocular magnifiers aligned so that the user’s view of the robot arms were brought forward so as to appear registered in the exact location of the user’s real physical arms. The result was a spatially-registered immersive experience in which the user moved his or her arms, while seeing robot arms in the place where his or her arms should be. The system also employed computer-generated virtual overlays in the form of simulated physical barriers, fields, and guides, designed to assist in the user while performing real physical tasks. Fitts Law performance testing was conducted on batteries of human test subjects, demonstrating for the first time, that a significant enhancement in human performance of real-world dexterous tasks could be achieved by providing immersive Augmented Reality overlays to users" (Wikipedia article on Virtual Fixtures, accessed 10-21-2014).

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Visions of a Metaverse June 1992

In 1992 American writer Neal Stephenson published the science fiction novel, Snow Crash. In it he coined the term Metaverse to describe "how a virtual reality-based Internet might evolve in the future."

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Destruction of the National Library of Bosnia & Herzegovina August 25, 1992 – May 9, 2014

On August 25, 1992, Serbian shelling during the Siege of Sarajevo completely destroyed the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina (NUBBiH) (BosnianCroatian, and SerbianNacionalna i univerzitetska biblioteka Bosne i Hercegovine) in Sarajevo, the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before the attack the library held 1.5 million volumes and over 155,000 rare books and manuscripts. Among the losses were were about 700 manuscripts and incunabula, and a unique collection of Bosnian serial publications. Many of the rare volumes reflected the multicultural life of the region under the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. In May 2014 an image of the destroyed building, showing the ashes of over 1 million books, was available at this link.

The building, known in Sarajevo as "Vijecnica" (city hall), opened in 1896. Facing the Miljacka river and hills from which the Serb artillery set it ablaze, it stood out in the city's old Turkish quarter with its dark orange and yellow horizontal stripes and Islamic-style arches. After the years of restoration, the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina was re-opened on May 9, 2014 to mark the centenary of the start of World War I, triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria just after he left a reception there in June 1914. 

Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne in Vienna, attended a reception at Vijecnica on June 28, 1914 after surviving a failed assassination attempt. Just after leaving, he and his wife were shot dead in their open car by Serb assassin Gavrilo Princip. The assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand lit the fuse for World War I, during which more than 10 million soldiers died, and the map of Europe was redrawn, ending Vienna's empire and creating the new state of Yugoslavia. That multinational state began to fall apart in 1991. War among the Serb, Croat and Muslim populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina began in 1992 and lasted until late 1995.

The restored Vijecnica will house the national and university libraries, the city council and a museum documenting its own history. 

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Neil Papworth Sends the First SMS Text Message December 3, 1992

On December 3, 1992, using a personal computer, Neil Papworth of Sema Group in Newbury, Berkshire, England sent the first commercial SMS  text message to Richard Jarvis of Vodafone who received it on his on his Orbitel 901 mobile phone. The text of the message was "Merry Christmas." Jarvis did not reply because there was no way to send a text from a phone at the time. That had to wait for Nokia's first mobile phone in 1993.

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341,634 Percent Growth Rate on the Internet 1993

In 1993 traffic on the Internet expanded at a 341,634 percent growth rate.

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The Electronic Dewey 1993

In 1993 OCLC, Dublin, Ohio, published Electronic Dewey, the first library classification system published in electronic form.

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Preserving Access to Digital Information 1993

At the Towards Federation 2001 (TF2001) meeting in 1993 a group from the Australian library and archives sectors was organized to develop appropriate guidelines for the preservation of information in electronic form. This evolved into the National Library of Australia's Preserving Access to Digital Information Initiative (PADI).

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First Library of Digital Images on the Internet 1993

In 1993 Fred Mintzer and colleagues at IBM photographed and developed a database of about 20,000 digital images for the Vatican Library. This was the first library of digital images on the Internet.

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"The First Successful Online Bookseller Service" 1993 – 1997

In 1993 Richard Weatherford established Interloc, "the first successful online bookseller service." Arguing that "our mission is to help booksellers find books for their own customers," Weatherford opened the database to booksellers only. Interloc evolved into Alibris in 1997.

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Perhaps the First Law Review Symposium Dedicated to Cyberspace 1993

The 1993 Villanova Law Review Symposium: The Congress, The Courts, and Computer-Based Communications Networks: Answering Questions About Access and Content Control was "perhaps the first law review symposium dedicated to cyberspace."

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Only About 2000 People in China Use the Internet 1993

In 1993 it was estimated that in China, a country with about 1,000,000,000 people, only about 2000 people used the Internet.

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W3C 1993

In 1993 the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded  at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science [MIT/LCS] in collaboration with CERN.

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Foundation of Teleport: the First Successful Telepresence Company 1993

In 1993 David Allen and Harold Williams founded Teleport, the first commercially successful telepresence company. Its name was later changed to TeleSuite.

"The original intent was to develop a system that could allow families to interact across great distances without the hassle or costliness of flying. The first systems (which they called TeleSuites) looked more like something out of an upper class home rather than a conference room in an office suite. . . . " 

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The Electronic Beowulf 1993

In 1993 the British Library and Kevin S. Kiernan at the University of Kentucky embarked on the Electronic Beowulf project, an effort to photograph and publish high resolution electronic copies of the manuscript. The Electronic Beowulf was a pioneering effort in the digital preservation, restoration, and dissemination of manuscript material.

"The equipment we are using to capture the images is the Roche/Kontron ProgRes 3012 digital camera, which can scan any text, from a letter or a word to an entire page, at 2000 x 3000 pixels in 24-bit color. The resulting images at this maximum resolution are enormous, about 21-25 MB, and tax the capabilities of the biggest machines. Three or four images - three or four letters or words if that is what we are scanning - will fill up an 88 MB hard disk, and we have found that no single image of this size can be processed in real time without at least 64 MB of RAM. In our first experiments in June with the camera and its dedicated hardware, we transmitted a half-dozen images by phone line from the Conservation Studio of the British Library to the Wenner Gren Imaging Laboratory at the University of Kentucky, where identical hardware was set up to receive the data. Most of these images are now available on the Internet through anonymous ftp or Mosaic."

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Jurassic Park, the First Film to Integrate CGI and Animatronic figures into Live Action Scenes 1993

In 1993 Steven Spielberg directed the science fiction techno-thriller film Jurassic Park, based on the novel by Michael Crichton, and adapted by Crichton for the screen. It was produced by Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, Universal City, California. With gross sales of $914,000,000 when released, Jurassic Park was also among the highest-grossing and most profitable films ever made.

The plot of Jurassic Park centered around the possibility of re-creating dinosaurs by

"cloning genetic material found in mosquitoes that fed on dinosaur blood, preserved in Dominican amber. The DNA from these samples was spliced with DNA from frogs to fill in sequence gaps. Only female dinosaurs are created in order to prevent uncontrolled breeding within the park" (Wikipedia article on Jurassic Park [film], accessed 05-25-2009)

This was the first film to integrate computer generated images and animatronic dinosaurs seemlessly into live action scenes.

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The Web's First and Longest Continuously Running Blog 1993

"In 1993, Dr. Glen Barry invented blogging, defined as web based commentary, linking to other articles. The "Forest Protection Blog" (originally entitled "Gaia's Forest Conservation Archives") at http://forests.org/blog/ was also the first political blog, as Dr. Barry campaigned there for forest protection and documented these efforts as his Ph.D. project. The first blog initially used the gopher protocol, and has been on the web continuously since Jan. 1995, making it the web's first and longest continuously running blog. Prior to this, Dr. Barry provided forest conservation materials via email and bulletin board since 1989. The work has since evolved into the world's largest environmental portals at http://www.ecoearth.info/" (Wikipedia article on History of blogging timeline, accessed 04-21-2009).

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Development of Neural Networks 1993

In 1993 Psychologist, neuroscientist and cognitive scientist James A. Anderson of Brown University, Providence, RI, published "The BSB Model: A simple non-linear autoassociative network," M. Hassoun (Ed), Associative Neural Memories: Theory and Implementation (1993).  Anderson's neural networks were applied to models of human concept formation, decision making, speech perception, and models of vision.

Anderson, J. A., Spoehr, K. T. and Bennett, D.J.  "A study in numerical perversity: Teaching arithmetic to a neural network,"  D.S. Levine and M. Aparicio (Eds.) Neural Networks for Knowledge Representation and Inference, (1994).

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Estimate of Total Internet Traffic in 1993 1993

"In 1993 total Internet traffic was around 100 terabytes for the year" (http://www.disco-tech.org/2007/10/an_exabyte_here_an_exabyte_the.html, accessed 06-04-2009).

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There are 250 Web Servers on the Internet 1993

In 1993 there were 250 web servers on the Internet.

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Statistical Machine Translation 1993

In 1994 Peter F. Brown and colleagues at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, published "The Mathematics of Statistical Machine Translation: Parameter Estimation," Computational Linguistics, 19 (2) (1993) 263-311:

"We describe a series of five statistical models of the translation process and give algorithms for estimating the parameters of these models given a set of pairs of sentences that are translations of one another. We define a concept of word-by-word alignment between such pairs of sentences. For any given pair of such sentences each of our models assigns a probability to each of the possible word-by-word alignments. We give an algorithm for seeking the most probable of these alignments. Although the algorithm is suboptimal, the alignment thus obtained accounts well for the word-by-word relationships in the pair of sentences. We have a great deal of data in French and English from the proceedings of the Canadian Parliament. Accordingly, we have restricted our work to these two languages; but we,feel that because our algorithms have minimal linguistic content they would work well on other pairs of languages. We also feel, again because of the minimal linguistic content of our algorithms, that it is reasonable to argue that word-by-word alignments are inherent in any sufficiently large bilingual corpus."

"The first ideas of statistical machine translation were introduced by Warren Weaver in 1949, including the ideas of applying Claude Shannon's information theory. Statistical machine translation was re-introduced in 1991 by researchers at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center and has contributed to the significant resurgence in interest in machine translation in recent years. Nowadays it is by far the most widely-studied machine translation method" (Wikipedia article on Statistical machine translation, accessed 05-14-2010).

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"Doom" is Introduced 1993

In 1993 John D. Carmack of id Software in Richardson, Texas introduced Doom, a science-fiction horror video game which popularized the genre of first-person shooter video games. 

"It is widely known as one of the most important video games of all time for having popularized the first-person shooter genre, pioneering immersive 3D graphics, networked multiplayer gaming, and support for customized additions and modifications via packaged files in a data archive known as "WADs". As a sign of its effect on the industry, first-person shooter games from the genre's boom in the 90s, helped in no less part by the game's release, became known simply as "Doom clones". Its graphic and interactive violence however, as well as its satanic imagery, also made it the subject of considerable controversy" (Wikipedia article on Doom (Video Game), accessed 10-13-2013).

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Nina Katchadourian's Sorted Books Project 1993 – 2013

In 1993 Brooklyn, New York artist Nina Katchadourian began the Sorted Books project.

"The Sorted Books project began in 1993 years ago and is ongoing. The project has taken place in many different places over the years, ranging form private homes to specialized public book collections. The process is the same in every case: culling through a collection of books, pulling particular titles, and eventually grouping the books into clusters so that the titles can be read in sequence, from top to bottom. The final results are shown either as photographs of the book clusters or as the actual stacks themselves, shown on the shelves of the library they were drawn from. Taken as a whole, the clusters from each sorting aim to examine that particular library's focus, idiosyncrasies, and inconsistencies — a cross-section of that library's holdings. At present, the Sorted Booksproject comprises more than 130 book clusters" (http://www.ninakatchadourian.com/languagetranslation/sortedbooks.php, accessed 10-27-2013).

In 2013 Chronicle Books issued Katchadourian's book entitled Sorted Books with many color reproductions of her arrangements.

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The Spread of Data-Driven Research From 1993 to 2013 1993 – 2013

On p. 16 of the printed edition of California Magazine 124, Winter 2013, there was an unsigned sidebar headlined "Data U." It contained a chart showing the spread of computing, or data-driven research, during the twenty years from 1993 to 2013, from a limited number of academic disciplines in 1993 to nearly every facet of university research.

According to the sidebar, in 1993 data-driven research was part of the following fields:

Artificial Intelligence: machine learning, natural language processing, vision, mathematical models of cognition and learning

Chemistry: chemical or biomolecular engineering

Computational Science: computational fluid mechanics, computational materials sciences

Earth and Planetary Science: climate modeling, seismology, geographic information systems

Marketing: online advertising, comsumer behavior

Physical Sciences: astronomy, particle physics, geophysics, space sciences

Signal Processing: compressed sensing, inverse imagining


By the end of 2013 data-driven research was pervasive not only in the fields listed above, but also in the following fields:

Biology: genomics, proteomics, econinformatics, computational cell biology

Economics: macroeconomic policy, taxation, labor economics, microeconomics, finance, real estate

Engineering: sensor networks (traffic control, energy-efficient buildings, brain-machine interface)

Environomental Sciences: deforestation, climate change, impacts of pollution

Humanities: digital humanities, archaeology, land use, cultural geography, cultural heritage

Law: privacy, security, forensics, drug/human/CBRNe trafficking, criminal justice, incarceration, judicial decision making, corporate law

Linguistics: historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, psycholinguistics, language and cognition

Media: social media, mobile apps, human behavior

Medicine and Public Health: imaging, medical records, epidemiology, environmental conditions, health

Neuroscience: fMRI, multi-electrode recordings, theoretical neuroscience

Politcal Science & Public Policy: voter turn-out, elections, political behavior social welfare, poverty, youth policy, educational outcomes

Psychology: social psychology

Sociology & Demography: social change, stratification, social networks, population health, aging immigration, family

Urban Planning: transportation studies, urban environments

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The Singularity January 1993

Mathematician, computer scientist and science fiction writer Vernor Vinge called the creation of the first ultraintelligent machine the Singularity in the January 1993 Omni magazine. Vinge's follow-up paper entitled "What is the Singularity?" presented at the VISION-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center( now NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field) and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, March 30-31, 1993, and  slightly changed in the Winter 1993 issue of Whole Earth Review, contained the oft-quoted statement,

"Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly thereafter, the human era will be ended."

"Vinge refines his estimate of the time scales involved, adding, 'I'll be surprised if this event occurs before 2005 or after 2030.

"Vinge continues by predicting that superhuman intelligences, however created, will be able to enhance their own minds faster than the humans that created them. 'When greater-than-human intelligence drives progress," Vinge writes, "that progress will be much more rapid.' This feedback loop of self-improving intelligence, he predicts, will cause large amounts of technological progress within a short period of time" (Wikipedia article on Technological singularity, accessed 05-24-2009).

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"Babylon 5," the First Television Series to Use Computer Generated Images February 22, 1993 – January 26, 1994

The science fiction television series Babylon 5, viewed from February 22 1993 to January 26, 1994, became the first television series to use computer generated images (CGI) as the primary method for its visual effects (rather than using hand-built models). It also marked the first TV use of virtual sets.

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Wired 1.01 March 1993

The first issue of a magazine of cyberculture, Wired 1.01, was published in San Francisco under the editorship of Kevin Kelly in March 1993.

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The Mosaic Web Browser March 4, 1993

On March 4, 1993 Marc Andreesen of the Software Development Group, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced on Usenet the creation of the NCSA Mosaic browser 0.10, and the introduction of the image tag.

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The First Tablet Computer with Wireless Connectivity April 1993 – July 1994

In April 1993 AT&T introduced the AT&T EO Personal Communicator, the first tablet computer with wireless connectivity via a cellular phone. The device, which provided wireless voice, email, and fax communications, was developed by GO/Eo, a subsidiary of GO Corporation, both of which were acquired by AT&T in 1993. As advanced as it was, the AT&T Personal Communicator was probably far ahead of the market. EO Inc., 52% owned by AT&T, failed to meet its revenue targets and shut down on July, 1994.

"Two models, the Communicator 440 and 880 were produced and measured about the size of a small clipboard. Both were powered by the AT&T Hobbit chip, created by AT&T specifically for running code from the C programming language. They also contained a host of I/O ports - modem, parallel, serial, VGA out and SCSI. The device came with a wireless cellular network modem, a built-in microphone with speaker and a free subscription to AT&T EasyLink Mail for both fax and e-mail messages.

"Perhaps the most interesting part was the operating system, PenPoint OS, created by GO Corporation. Widely praised for its simplicity and ease of use, the OS never gained widespread use. Also equally compelling was the tightly integrated applications suite, Perspective, licensed to EO by Pensoft" (Wikipedia article on EO Personal Communicator, accessed 02-03-2010).

Ken Maki, The AT&T EO Travel Guide. (1993).

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The First Graphics-Based Web Browser April 22, 1993

On April 22, 1993 the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign introduced Mosaic, the first graphics-based Web browse. It was designed and programmed for Unix's X Window System by Marc Andreesen and Eric Bina.

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CERN Releases Rights to World Wide Web Software April 30, 1993

On April 30, 1993 CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, published documents that released the World Wide Web software into the public domain.

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The First Commercial Website with the First Online Advertising May 1993

In May 1993 Tim O’Reilly, Sebastapol, California, launched the Global Network Navigator. This was the first web portal and the first true commercial website. According to a statement by Tim O'Reilly, it also contained the first online advertising. The Global Network Navigator was sold to America Online in 1995.

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The First Web Search Engine? June 1993

In June 1993 Matthew Gray at MIT developed the web crawler, World Wide Web Wanderer, to measure the size of the web. Later in the year the World Wide Web Wanderer was used to generate an index called the "Wandex", providing what was probably the first web search engine.

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The Beginning of Video Webcasting over the Internet June 1993

In June 1993 Alan Saperstein of Visual Data Corporation (later Onstream Media) introduced streaming video with HotelView, a travel library of 2 minute videos featuring thousands of hotel properties worldwide. This was the beginning of video webcasting over the Internet.

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The "TOP500" Ranking of Supercomputers June 1993

In June 1993 Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim,Germany, Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of NERSC / Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory began the compilation of the TOP500 project, ranking the 500 most powerful (non-distributedcomputer systems. The project  published an updated list of the supercomputers twice a year. The first of these updates always coincided with the International Supercomputing Conference in June, and the second one was presented in November at the ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference.

The project aimed to provide a reliable basis for tracking and detecting trends in high-performance computing and bases rankings on HPL, a portable implementation of the high-performance LINPACK benchmark, written in Fortran for distributed-memory computers.

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The First Digital Offset Press July 1993

In July 1993 Benny Landa of Indigo in Rehovot, Israel introduced the Indigo E-Print 1000 digital offset press, incorporating ElectroInk technology, also called ink-based electrophotography. The E-Print 1000 was the first digital offset press.

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The Size and Growth Rate of the Internet in 1993 November 3, 1993

"Everywhere on the global Internet, which is now roamed by an estimated 15 million computer users, the growth rates are staggering.

"At the National Center for Supercomputer Applications in Champaign, Ill., a new service that answers requests to an electronic library called the World Wide Web, has seen the number of daily queries explode from almost 100,000 requests in June to almost 400,000 in October. Officials at the center say the only solution may be to take a $15 million supercomputer away from its normal scientific number-crunching duties and employ it full time as an electronic librarian.

"This year, information retrieved using a popular searching program called Gopher increased more than 400 percent, to almost 200 billion bytes a month -- about seven million newspaper pages" (John Markoff, "Business Technology; Jams Already on Data Highway", nytimes.com, 11-03-1993).

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The First Web Search Engine? November 30, 1993

On November 30, 1993 Martijn Koster introduced ALIWEB, (Archie Like Indexing for the Web). Along with the World Wide Web Wanderer, this was a candidate for the first web search engine. It was demonstrated at the First International World-Wide Web Conference in May 1994.

"Aliweb allowed users to submit their webpages and add the page description with which they wanted them to be indexed. This empowered webmasters, who could define the terms that would lead users to their pages and also avoided setting bots (as the Wanderer) which used up bandwidth. Aliweb was not very successful as not many people submitted their sites."

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The First Sourcebook on Digital Libraries? December 6, 1993

In December 1993 Edward A. Fox of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) issued Sourcebook on Digital Libraries. Version 1.0. The earliest reference in the bibliography is the April 1991 issue of Byte magazine. Most other references are to works published in 1992.

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Situational Aspects of Electronic Libraries in 1993 December 21, 1993

At Xerox PARC On December 21, 1993 Vicky Reich and Mark Weiser described proposed electronic features of the "national information infrastructure" in a paper entitled Libraries are More than Information: Situational Aspects of Electronic Libraries. All references cited in this paper were to printed publications.

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Filed under: Libraries

There are 2500 Web Servers and 10,000 Websites 1994

In 1994 the number of websites reached 10,000. There were 2500 web servers on the Internet.

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World Wide Web Worm 1994

In 1994 an early web search engine, the World Wide Web Worm, developed in September 1993 by Oliver McBryan at the University of Colorado at Boulder, had an index of 110,000 pages and web-accessible documents. It received an average of 1500 queries per day.

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Internet Traffic Passes 10 Trilliam Bytes per Month 1994

In 1994 the NSFNET backbone was upgraded to 155 Mbps as traffic passed 10 trillion bytes per month.

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HTTP Packets Surpass FTP Traffic 1994

In 1994 HTTP (Web) packets surpassed FTP traffic as the largest-volume Internet protocol.

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NSFNET Reverts to a Research Network 1994

In 1994 NSFNET reverted back to a research network, and the main U. S. backbone traffic went through interconnected network providers.

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The First Demonstration of Wireless Internet Access 1994

In 1994 the first demonstration of wireless Internet access occurred at Bell Labs.

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Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) 1994

In 1994 David Banisar, Marc Rotenberg, and David Sobel founded The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington, D.C. to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values in the information age. EPIC was a joint project of the Fund for Constitutional Government and Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.

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Google Begins with a Search Engine Called "BackRub" 1994 – 1996

At Stanford University in 1994 Héctor Garcia-Molina and Terry Winograd directed one of the first six National Science Foundation digital library projects. Two of the graduate students supported by this project through a NSF graduate fellowship—Larry Page and Sergey Brin—began to explore using the linkages between web pages as a ranking method. In 1996 they began collaboration at on a search engine called BackRub, named for its unique ability to analyze the "back links" pointing to a given website.

"Larry, who had always enjoyed tinkering with machinery and had gained some notoriety for building a working printer out of Lego™, took on the task of creating a new kind of server environment that used low-end PCs instead of big expensive machines. Afflicted by the perennial shortage of cash common to graduate students everywhere, the pair took to haunting the department's loading docks in hopes of tracking down newly arrived computers that they could borrow for their network."

"Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed BackRub, the predecessor to the Google search engine, while working on an early library digitization project at Stanford that was funded in part by the National Science Foundation’s Digital Libraries Initiative. And PageRank, Google’s core search algorithm, which orders sites in search results based on the number of other sites that link to them, is simply a computer scientist’s version of citation analysis, long used to rate the influence of articles in scholarly print journals" Roush, "The Infinite Library Does Google's plan to digitize millions of print books spell the death of libraries; or their rebirth?" (Technology Review.com, May 2005, http://www.technologyreview.com/web/14408/, accessed 03-19-2009).

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Match.com is Founded 1994

In 1994 Gary Kremen and Peng T. Ong started the online dating site Match.com.

"The initial business scope developed by this team included a possible subscription model, now common among personals services, and inclusion of diverse communities with high first trial and market leaders status, including women, technology professionals and the GLBT community. Fran Maier joined in late 1994 to lead the Match.com business unit where she significantly bolstered the strategy to make Match.com friendly and accessible to women (the men would then follow)" (Wikipedia article on Match.com).

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FishCam: The Oldest Nearly Continuously Operational Webcam 1994

While working on the Netscape web browser in 1994, Louis J. "Lou" Montulli II built the Fishcam, one of the earliest live-image websites. Netscape hosted the Fishcam until long after they were no longer Netscape. After a short hiatus, in 2009 it found a new host.  When this note was written in May 2009 the Fishcam was operational and remained  one of the longest nearly continuously running live websites.

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The First Defeat of a Human Champion by a Computer in a Game Compeition 1994

At the Second Man-Machine World Championship in 1994, Chinook, a computer checkers program developed around 1989 at the University of Alberta by a team led by Jonathan Schaeffer, won due to human frailty. This was the first time that a computer program defeated a human champion in a game competition.

 "In 1996 the Guinness Book of World Records recognized Chinook as the first program to win a human world championship" (http://webdocs.cs.ualberta.ca/~chinook/project/, accessed 01-24-2010).

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Daily Audited Circulation Greater Than Ten Million Printed Copies 1994

In 1994 the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper in Japan achieved a daily audited circulation greater than 10 million printed copies. 

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"Death by Government" Statistics 1900-1987 1994

In Death By Government (1994), revised 2005) political scientist Rudolph J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii estimated that "deaths at the hands of one's own government in the period 1900-87 amounted to 212 million persons, while deaths from warfare numbered 34 million. In other words, victims of their own government (what he calls democide) were in fact over six times greater than those killed in the century's wars. The largest number of fatalities was 78 million killed by the Chinese Communists, then 62 million by the Soviet Communists, 21 million by the Nazis, 10 million by the Chinese nationalists, and 6 million by the Japanese militarists. Even this listing is incomplete; as Rummel puts it, 'post-1987 democides by Iraq, Iran, Burundi, Serbia and Bosnian Serbs, Bosnia, Croatia, Sudan, Somalia, the Khmer Rouge guerrillas, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and others have not been included' (http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2012/01/anarchy-the-new-threat, accessed 01-31-2012).

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Nintendo's "Virtual Boy": the first Mass-Produced Virtual Reality Game System 1994 – 1996

In 1995 Nintendo introduced The Virtual Boy (バーチャルボーイ), a table-top video game console that was supposed to be capable of displaying "true 3D graphics" out of the box, in a form of virtual reality. It was the first virtual reality device produced for the mass market.In its press release dated November 14, 1994 Nintendo stated that

"The RISC-based, 32-bit system utilizes two high-resolution, mirror-scanning LED (light emitting diode) displays to produce a 3-D experience not possible on conventional television or LCD screens.

"Virtual Boy's unique design eliminates all external stimuli, totally immersing players into their own private universe with high-resolution red images against a deep black background. The 3-D experience is enhanced through stereophonic sound and a new specially designed, double-grip controller which accommodates multidirectional spatial movement.

"It will transport game players into a 'virtual utopia' with sights and sounds unlike anything they've every experienced -- all at the price of a current home video game system" (http://www.planetvb.com/modules/advertising/?r, accessed 10-13-2013).

Though 770,000 systems were sold, the Virtual Boy system was considered a failure and Nintendo quietly withdrew it from the market in 1996.

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Formulation of Shor's Algorithm for Quantum Computers 1994

In 1994 American applied mathematician Peter Shor, working at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, formulated Shor's algorithm, a quantum algorithm for integer factorization. Because Shor's algorithm shows that a quantum computer, or quantum supercomputer algorithm, with a sufficient number of qubits, operating without succumbing to noise or other quantum interference phenomena, could theoretically be used to break public-key cryptography schemes such as the widely used RSA scheme, its formulation in 1994 was a powerful motivator for the design and construction of quantum computers, and for the study of new quantum computer algorithms. It also stimulated research on new cryptosystems secure from quantum computers, collectively called post-quantum cryptography

"In 2001, Shor's algorithm was demonstrated by a group at IBM, who factored 15 into 3 × 5, using an NMR implementation of a quantum computer with 7 qubits. However, some doubts have been raised as to whether IBM's experiment was a true demonstration of quantum computation, since no entanglement was observed. Since IBM's implementation, several other groups have implemented Shor's algorithm using photonic qubits, emphasizing that entanglement was observed. In 2012, the factorization of 15 was repeated. Also in 2012, the factorization of 21 was achieved, setting the record for the largest number factored with a quantum computer" (Wikipedia article on Shor's algorithm, accessed 12-24-2013).

Shor, "Polynomial-Time Algorithms for Prime Factorization and Discrete Logarithms on a Quantum Computer", SIAM J. Comput. 26 (1996) 1484–1509, arXiv:quant-ph/9508027v2.

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The First Use of Virtual Reality in a Museum or Archaeological Context 1994

The first use of virtual reality in a museum or archaeological application occurred in 1994 when a museum visitor interpretation provided an interactive virtual "walk-through" of a 3D reconstruction of Dudley Castle in England as it was in 1550. The presentation consisted of a computer controlled laserdisc-based system designed by British based engineer Colin Johnson. The system was featured in a conference held by the British Museum in November 1994, and in the 1996 book entitled Imaging the Past - Electronic Imaging and Computer Graphics in Museums and Archaeology. One of the first users of the Virtual Heritage production was Queen Elizabeth II, when she officially opened the visitor center in June 1994. Because the Queen's officials had requested titles, descriptions and instructions of all activities, the system was named 'Virtual Tour', being a cross between Virtual Reality and Royal Tour.

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The Kansas Event Data System (KEDS): A System for the Machine Coding of International Event Data Based on Pattern Recognition 1994

In 1994 political scientist Philip A. Schrodt, then at the University of Kansas, created the Kansas Event Data System (KEDS). This was, according to Schrodt, writing in 1998:

". . . a system for the machine coding of international event data based on pattern recognition. It is designed to work with short news summaries such as those found in the lead sentences of wire service reports or in chronologies. To date KEDS has primarily been used to code WEIS events (McClelland 1976) from the Reuters news service but in principle it can be used for other event coding schemes.

"Historically, event data have usually been hand-coded by legions of bored undergraduates flipping through copies of the New York Times. Machine coding provides two advantages over these traditional methods:

"♦ Coding can be done more quickly by machine than by hand; in particular the coding of a large machine-readable data set by a single researcher is feasible;

"♦ Machine coding rules are applied with complete consistency and are not subject to inter-coder disparities caused by fatigue, differing interpretations of the coding rules or biases concerning the texts being coded.

"The disadvantage of machine coidng is that it cannot deal with sentences having a complex syntax and it deals with sentences in isolation rather than in context. . . ."

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One of the Earliest Blogs January 1994

In January 1994 Justin Hall, a student at Swarthmore College, started his web-based diary, Justin's Links from the Underground, Links.net, offering one of the earliest guided tours of the web. This is considered one of the earliest blogs.

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First Consumer-Priced Digital Camera February 17, 1994

On February 17, 1994 Apple introduced the first consumer-priced digital camera that worked with a personal computer—the QuickTake 100.

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"Selling Wine without Bottles" March 1994

John Perry Barlow, lyricist for The Grateful Dead, published in March 1994 issue of Wired magazine an article entitled The Economy of Ideas. A framework for patents and copyrights in the Digital Ages. (Everything you know about intellectual property is wrong.)

This, or a very similar text, was also issued under the title of: Selling Wine Without Bottles: The Economy of Mind on the Global Net.

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Digital Library: Gross Structure and Requirements March 1, 1994

On March 1, 1994 "A one-day, constrained-size workshop addendum to the annual CAIA conference" was held in San Antonio, Texas, on the emerging topic of digital libraries. It issued the report: Digital Library: Gross Structure and Requirements.

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The First Internet Cafe March 12 – March 13, 1994

Commissioned to develop an Internet event for "Towards the Aesthetics of the Future," an arts weekend at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, Ivan Pope wrote a proposal outlining the concept of a café with Internet access from the tables. Pope's Cybercafe, the first Internet cafe, operated during the weekend event, March 12-13, 1994.

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Yahoo! is Founded April 1994 – January 18, 1995

In April 1994 Jerry Yang and David Filo, Electrical Engineering graduate students at Stanford,  changed the name of "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" to "Yahoo!", for which the official expansion was "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle".

Filo and Yang selected the name because they liked the word's general definition, which comes from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift: "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth." Its URL was akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo. They created the Yahoo! domain on January 18, 1995.

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The First Company to Exploit the Economic Potential of the Web April 4, 1994

On April 4, 1994 Marc Andreesen, one of the programmers of Mosaic, and James H. Clark of Silicon Graphics, founded Mosaic Communications Corporation in Mountain View, California. Mosaic Communications was the first company to exploit the potential of the Mosaic web browser, and the first company to exploit the economic potential of the World Wide Web.

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Commercial Spaming Starts with the "Green Card Spam" April 12, 1994

Commercial spamming started when a pair of immigation lawyers from Phoenix, Arizona—Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel—used bulk Usenet postings to advertise immigration law services on April 12, 1994. This was called the "Green Card spam", after the subject line of the postings: "Green Card Lottery-Final One?"

"Canter and Siegel sent their advertisement, with the subject 'Green Card Lottery - Final One?', to at least 5,500 Usenet discussion groups, a huge number at the time. Rather than cross-posting a single copy of the message to multiple groups, so a reader would only see it once (considered a common courtesy when posting the same message to more than one group), they posted it as separate postings in each newsgroup, so a reader would see it in each group they read. Their internet service provider, Internet Direct, received so many complaints that its mail servers crashed repeatedly for the next two days; it promptly terminated their service. Despite the ire directed at the two lawyers, they posted another advertisement to 1,000 newsgroups in June 1994. This time, Arnt Gulbrandsen put together the first software "cancelbot" to trawl Usenet and kill their messages within minutes. The couple claimed in a December 1994 interview to have gained 1,000 new clients and 'made $100,000 off an ad that cost them only pennies' " (Wikipedia article on Lawrence Cantor and Martha Siegel, accessed 03-17-2012).

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The First Full Text Web Search Engine April 20, 1994

The first "full text" crawler-based web search engine, Web Crawler, created by Brian Pinkerton at the University of Washington, became operational on April 20, 1994.

"Unlike its predecessors, it let users search for any word in any web page, which became the standard for all major search engines since. It was also the first one to be widely known by the public."

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The Digital Library Federation is Founded May 1, 1994

On May 1, 1994 directors of 15 major academic libraries in the United States, and the President of the Commission on Preservation and Access, and the Council on Library and Information Resources, founded The Digital Library Federation for:

"The implementation of a distributed, open digital library conforming to the overall theme and accessible across the global Internet. This library shall consist of collections--expanding over time in number and scope -- to be created from the conversion to digital form of documents contained in our and other libraries and archives, and from the incorporation of holdings already in electronic form."

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First Internet Radio Broadcast Occurs May 3 – May 5, 1994

The first Internet radio cyberstation broadcast over the Internet at NetWorld + Interop in Las Vegas from May 3-5, 1994.

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The First International Conference on the World Wide Web May 25 – May 27, 1994

The First International Conference on the World Wide Web took place at CERN in Geneva, May 25-27, 1994.

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The HTTP Cookie is Invented June 1994 – February 1996

In June 1994 Louis J. "Lou" Montulli II at Netscape Communications Corporation invented the HTTP cookie.

"Together with John Giannandrea, Montulli wrote the initial Netscape cookie specification the same year. Version 0.9beta of Mosaic Netscape, released on October 13, 1994, supported cookies. The first actual use of cookies (out of the labs) was made for checking whether visitors to the Netscape Web site had already visited the site. Montulli applied for a patent for the cookie technology in 1995, and US patent 5774670 was granted in 1998. Support for cookies was integrated in Internet Explorer in version 2, released in October 1995.

"The introduction of cookies was not widely known to the public, at the time. In particular, cookies were accepted by default, and users were not notified of the presence of cookies. Some people were aware of the existence of cookies as early as the first quarter of 1995, but the general public learned about them after the Financial Times published an article about them on February 12, 1996. In the same year, cookies received lot of media attention, especially because of potential privacy implications. Cookies were discussed in two U.S. Federal Trade Commission hearings in 1996 and 1997" (Wikipedia article on HTTP cookie, accessed 05-09-2009).

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The First Web Analytics Vendor June 1994

In June 1994 San Francisco entrepreneur Ariel Poler founded Internet Profiles Corporation (I/PRO), the first commercial web analytics vendor, producer of the first log analyzer.

"The company emerged as the early market leader in the developing field of web usage measurement, partly because of its partnership with the venerable Neilsen Media Research . . . and Neilsen Media Services in . . . 1995." (Peters, Computerized Monitoring and Online Privacy [1999] 343).

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The First Conference on the Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries June 19 – June 21, 1994

The first annual conference on the Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries met at College Station, Texas from June 19-21, 1994.

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Amazon.com is Founded July 1994 – July 1995

In July 1994 Jeff Bezos of Seattle, Washington, incorporated Amazon.com. The company originally promoted itself as "Earth's biggest book store." 

Amazon.com was very nearly called "Cadabra," as in "abracadabra." Bezos rapidly re-conceptualized the name when his lawyer misheard the word as "cadaver." Bezos instead named the business after the river for two reasons: to suggest scale, as the earth's biggest book store, and because website listings were often alphabetical at that time.

In July 1995 Amazon sold its first bookDouglas Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought.

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The IBM Simon Personal Communicator: The First Smartphone August 16, 1994 – February 1995

Distributed in the United States only by BellSouth Cellular Corp between August 1994 and February 1995, the IBM Simon Personal Communicator, a handheld, touchscreen cellular phone and Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), was the first "smartphone," though the term was not coined until 1997. The phone operated within a 15 state network; about 50,000 Simons were sold.

"In addition to its ability to make and receive cellular phone calls, Simon was also able to send and receive faxese-mails and cellular pages. Simon featured many applications including an address book, calendar, appointment scheduler, calculator, world time clock, electronic note pad, handwritten annotations and standard and predictive stylus input screen keyboards" (Wikipedia article on IBM Simon, accessed 08-16-2014).

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The NSF Digital Libraries Initiative: The Origins of Google September 1, 1994

In 1994 the National Science Foundation Digital Libraries Initiative made its first six awards. 

"DLI and DLI-2: 1994-2003. From 1994 to 1998, NSF, DARPA and NASA funded six digital library projects in the $30 million Phase 1 of the Digital Libraries Initiative. In 1999, NSF, DARPA, the National Library of Medicine, the Library of Congress, NASA and the National Endowment for the Humanities, with participation from the National Archives and the Smithsonian Institution, provided $55 million for Phase 2 (DLI-2). DLI-2 funded 36 projects to extend and develop innovative digital library technologies and applications" (http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/cyber/digitallibraries.jsp, accessed 11-15-2013).

One of the six initial awards, funded on September 1, 1994, was for The Stanford Integrated Digital Library Project, in which Larry Page and Sergey Brin participated.

"This project . . . is to develop the enabling technologies for a single, integrated and universal' library, proving uniform access to the large number of emerging networked information sources and collections. These include both on-line versions of pre-existing works and new works and media of all kinds that will be available on the globally interlinked computer networks of the future. The Integrated Digital Library is broadly defined to include everything from personal information collections, to the collections that one finds today in conventional libraries, to the large data collections shared by scientists. The technology developed in this project will provide the "glue" that will make this worldwide collection usable as a unified entity, in a scalable and economically viable fashion."

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The First "Marketing on the Internet" Seminar Series September 27, 1994

On September 27, 1994 Jim Sterne launched the first "Marketing on the Internet" seminar series. This eight-city tour introduced the United States to the possibilities of using the Internet for advertising, marketing, sales, and customer service.

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Whitehouse.gov Becomes Operational October 1994

In October 1994 the first public rendition of whitehouse.gov, "Welcome to the White House," went online.

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The National Digital Library Program is Announced October 13, 1994

On October 13, 1994 the Library of Congress announced The National Digital Library Program.

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The First Commercially Available Web Browser October 13, 1994

On October 13, 1994 Marc Andreesen of Mosaic Communications Corporation released Mosaic Netscape 0.9, beta on USENET: 

"Mosaic Communications Corporation is a making a public version of Mosaic Netscape 0.9 Beta available for anonymous FTP. Mosaic Netscape is a built-from-scratch Internet navigator featuring performance optimized for 14.4 modems, native JPEG support, and more.

"You can FTP Mosaic Netscape 0.9 Beta from the following locations:

"ftp.mcom.com in /netscape

"gatekeeper.dec.com in /pub/net/infosys/Mosaic-Comm

"lark.cc.ukans.edu in /Netscape

"ftp.meer.net in /Netscape doc.ic.ac.uk in /packages/Netscape

"archie.au in /pub/misc/netscape

"ftp.cica.indiana.edu in /pub/pc/win3/winsock/nscape09.zip (PC only) mac.archive.umich.edu in /mac (Mac only)

"Please make sure to read the README and LICENSE files.  

An up-to-date listing of mirror sites can be obtained at any time by sending email to rele...@mcom.com.  

"Subject to the timing and results of this beta cycle, Mosaic Communications will release Mosaic Netscape 1.0, also available free for personal use via the Internet. It will be subject to license terms; please review them when and if you obtain Mosaic Netscape 1.0.  

"A commercial version of Mosaic Netscape 1.0, including technical support from Mosaic Communications, will be available upon completion of the beta cycle. Contact us at i...@mcom.com for more information.

"Have fun!

"Marc and the gang

i...@mcom.com, http://mosaic.mcom.com/"

One month later, in November 1994 the company renamed itself Netscape Communications Corporation.

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Steve Jackson Games v. U.S. Secret Service October 31, 1994

On October 31, 1994 the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, decided Steve Jackson Games v. U.S. Secret Service, 36 F.3d 457 (5th Cir. 1994).

"The narrow issue before us is whether the seizure of a computer, used to operate an electronic bulletin board system, and containing private electronic mail which had been sent to (stored on) the bulletin board, but not read (retrieved) by the intended recipients, constitutes an unlawful intercept under the Federal Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. s 2510, et seq., as amended by Title I of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, Pub.L. No. 99-508, Title I, 100 Stat. 1848 (1986). We hold that it is not, and therefore AFFIRM."

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The Rolling Stones Present the First "Cyberspace Multicast Concert" November 1994

A Rolling Stones concert with 50,000 fans at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, in November 1994 became the "first cyberspace multicast concert" over Internet radio. Mick Jagger opened the concert by saying, "I wanna say a special welcome to everyone that's, uh, climbed into the Internet tonight and, uh, has got into the Mbone. And I hope it doesn't all collapse" (quoted from the Wikipedia article on Internet radio, accessed 03-18-2012).

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The First Traditional Radio Station to Initiate Internet Broadcasts November 7, 1994

On November 7, 1994 WXYC (89.3 FM Chapel Hill, NC) became the first traditional radio station to initiate broadcasting on the Internet. WXYC used an FM radio connected to a system at SunSite, later known as Ibiblio, running Cornell's CU-SeeMe software. WXYC had begun test broadcasts and bandwidth testing as early as August, 1994.

WREK (91.1 FM, Atlanta, GA) started streaming on the same day using their own custom software called CyberRadio1. However, unlike WXYC, this was WREK's beta launch, and the stream was not advertised until a later date.

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The First Internet Only Broadcast of a Live Band November 10, 1994

A broadcast by Seattle based space rock group Sky Cries Mary was the first live Internet only broadcast of a live band on November 10th, 1994.  The broadcast was done by Paul Allen's Seattle based digital media start-up Starwave.

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The Task Force on Digital Archiving is Created December 1994

In December 1994 the Commission on Preservation and Access and the Research Libraries Group (RLG), Mountain View, California, created the Task Force on Digital Archiving. The purpose of the Task Force was to investigate the means of ensuring “continued access indefinitely into the future of records stored in digital electronic form.” On May 1, 1996 the group issued its report: Preserving Digital Information.

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"From Webspace to Cyberspace": A Pioneering Cultural and Historical Work December 1994

In December 1994 Kevin Hughes, then of Menlo Park, California, published privately version 1.0 of a pioneering cultural and historical work entitled From Webspace to Cyberspace.

"August 6, 1995 Announcing the release of "From Webspace to Cyberspace", a primer for the Age of the Internet. Originally released as an internal white paper at EIT in December 1994, it is now freely available. It is the sequel to "Entering the World-Wide Web: A Guide to Cyberspace".

It covers:

A brief history and overview of the World-Wide Web

An overview of today's online collaborative systems and descriptions of future work

An introduction to true cyberspace: what it means, media analyses, common myths, and applications of virtual environment technology

Future VRML issues, new tools, VRML browsers, world elements, and cyberspacial design guidelines

Descriptions of next generation VRML browsers and an analysis of navigation methods

Current and future trends in human-computer interface design, new environments, basic layouts, vision-related issues, and         input/output devices

Three-dimensional world design guidelines, with examples and never before seen 3D prototypes of collaborative spaces and universes developed at EIT

The future of the Internet: current problems with the World-Wide Web, new business models, new media, culture acceleration, and what cyberspace needs

It also includes the "History of Cyberspace", five
parallel timelines with almost 1,000 events that track:

Influential popular media and events of the last 500

The history of the Internet

The history of VR and VRML

The history of hypertext, hypermedia, and the World-Wide Web

The history of computers" (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-talk/msg01457.html, accessed 12-04-2013).

In December 2013 version 1.1 of Hughes's paper, produced in July 1995, was available at this link.

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PlayStation is Launched December 3, 1994

On December 3, 1994 Sony launched its first PlayStation game console in Japan.

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Probably the First For-Profit Social Networking Site 1995

In 1995 Randy Conrads founded Classmates.com. This was probably the first for-profit social networking website.

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The First Web Page Tagging System 1995

In 1995 WebtraffIQ.com developed the first commercial web page tagging system.

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There are Approximately 73,500 Servers; WWW is Generally Equated with the Internet 1995

During 1995 up to 700 new web servers were registered each day, and there were approximately 73,500 servers.

During this year WWW was generally equated with the Internet.

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An Online Searchable Archive of Over 1000 Academic Journals 1995

JSTOR (short for Journal Storage), an online system for archiving academic journals, was founded in 1995.  In 2012 it provided online searchable texts of more than 1000 academic journals to member educational institutions. 

"JSTOR was originally conceived as a solution to one of the problems faced by libraries, especially research and university libraries, due to the increasing number of academic journals in existence. The founder, William G. Bowen, was the president of Princeton University from 1972 to 1988. Most libraries found it prohibitively expensive in terms of cost and space to maintain a comprehensive collection of journals. By digitizing many journal titles, JSTOR allowed libraries to outsource the storage of these journals with the confidence that they would remain available for the long term. Online access and full-text search ability improved access dramatically. JSTOR originally encompassed ten economics and history journals and was initiated in 1995 at seven different library sites. As of November 2010, there were 6,425 participating libraries. JSTOR access was improved based on feedback from these sites and it became a fully searchable index accessible from any ordinary Web browser. Special software was put in place to make pictures and graphs clear and readable.

"With the success of this limited project, Bowen and Kevin Guthrie, then-president of JSTOR, were interested in expanding the number of participating journals. They met with representatives of the Royal Society of London, and an agreement was made to digitize the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society back to its beginning in 1665. The work of adding these volumes to JSTOR was completed by December 2000. As of November 2, 2010, the database contained 1,289 journal titles in 20 collections representing 53 disciplines, and 303,294 individual journal issues, totaling over 38 million pages of text (Wikipedia article on JSTOR, accessed 01-12-2012).

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"Butterfly, an Information Visualizer" 1995

At the CHI '95 Proceedings Jock D. Mackinlay, Ramano Rao and Stuart K. Card of Xerox PARC published "An Organic User Interface for Searching Citation Links." This described Butterfly, an Information Visualizer application for accessing DIALOG's three Science Citation databases across the Internet.

"Network information often involves slow access that conflicts with the use of highly-interactive information visualization. Butterfly addresses this problem, integrating search, browsing, and access management via four techniques: 1) visualization supports the assimilation of retrieved information and integrates search and browsing activity, 2) automatically-created ``link-generating'' queries assemble bibliographic records that contain reference information into citation graphs, 3) asynchronous query processes explore the resulting graphs for the user, and 4) process controllers allow the user to manage these processes. We use our positive experience with the Butterfly implementation to propose a general information access approach, called Organic User Interfaces for Information Access, in which a virtual landscape grows under user control as information is accessed automatically." (Abstract).

In December 2013 an outstanding large image showing the graphic interface of Butterfly was available at this link.

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Probably the First Use of the Term "Digital Humanities" 1995

An online discussion in the Humanist Discussion Group on March 19, 2015 elicited this response from Desmond Schmidt:

"Subject: Re:  28.827 "digital humanities": first occurrence.

"Collating all the responses this appears to be the earliest unambiguous reference that can be retrieved online, in the Stanford Bulletin 1995, p.432:


"Digital Humanities practicum--for humanities majors concentrating in digital humanities." But the other references show that it was not until 2000/2001 that the term 'digital humanities' started to take off."

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Filed under: Digital Humanities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Begins Publishing on its Website January 1995

In 1995 the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, which began publication of statistics in print in 1886, began publishing statistics on its website.

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Craigslist Initiates Free Online Classified Advertisements March 1995

Feeling isolated after having recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, and having observed people helping one another online at The Well and Usenet, in March 1995 Craig Naymark founded craigslist, as a bulletin board for social eventsIt evolved into a "central network of online communities, featuring free online classified advertisements – with jobs, internships, housing, personals, erotic services, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs, resume, and pets categories – and forums on various topics." Craigslist eventually made a profit by charging under-market fees for job ads in ten cities and for brokered apartment listings in New York City. By providing most classified advertising for free it undermined the traditional income stream of printed newspapers.

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The First Wiki March 25, 1995

On March 25, 1995 Ward Cunningham of Portland, Oregon, established the first wiki—the WikiWikiWeb on the c2.com domain for Cunningham & Cunningham, Inc. Wiki "was named by Cunningham, who remembered a Honolulu International Airport counter employee telling him to take the 'Wiki Wiki' shuttle bus that runs between the airport's terminals. According to Cunningham, 'I chose wiki-wiki as an alliterative substitute for 'quick' and thereby avoided naming this stuff quick-web.' Cunningham was in part inspired by Apple's HyperCard. Apple had designed a system allowing users to create virtual 'card stacks' supporting links among the various cards. Cunningham developed Vannevar Bush's ideas by allowing users to 'comment on and change one another's text' (Wikipedia article on Wiki, accessed 12-29-2009).

♦ In December 2013 a video of a 2006 interview of Ward Cunningham with John Gage at the Computer History Museum was available at this link.

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The Apache HTTP Server is Released April 1995

Robert McCool, author of the original NCSA HTTPd web server, and a group of collaborative software developers initially known as the Apache Group, made the first official public release (0.6.2) of the Apache HTTP Server software in April 1995. McCool wrote the first version of NCSA HTTPd as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, while working on the original NCSA Mosaic team.

"Since April 1996 Apache has been the most popular HTTP server software in use. As of September 2009 Apache served over 54.48% of all websites and over 66% of the million busiest."

"There have been two explanations of the project's name. According to the Apache Foundation, the name was chosen out of respect for the Native American tribe of Apache (Indé), well-known for their endurance and their skills in warfare. However, the original FAQ on the Apache Server project's website, from 1996 to 2001, claimed that The result after combining [the NCSA httpd patches] was a patchy server. The first explanation was supported at an Apache Conference and in an interview in 2000 by Brian Behlendorf, who said that the name connoted 'Take no prisoners. Be kind of aggressive and kick some ass'. Behlendorf then contradicted this in a 2007 interview, stating that 'The Apache server isn't named in honor of Geronimo's tribe' but that so many revisions were sent in that 'the group called it 'a patchy Web server' '. Both explanations are probably appropriate" (Wikipedia article on Apache HTTP server, accessed 02-02-2010).

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"The Book and Beyond" Exhibition Takes Place April 7 – October 1, 1995

In its Design Now Room, 20th Century Gallery, The Victoria and Albert Museum in London held the exhibition The Book and Beyond. Electronic publishing and the art of the book. To accompany the exhibition from April 7 to October 1, 1995 the museum published a pamphlet. In 2001 they incorporated material in the pamphlet into a website.

The exhibition was divided into five sections:

1. Introduction

2. Artists' books and books as art

3. Artists' books and books as art

4. Electronic publications

"Various forms of "electronic publishing" - including videodiscs, "floppy books", CD-ROMs, and the Internet - have become increasingly evident in the 1980s and 1990s. Some electronic publications are based upon information which was previously available in a linear form, and they represent a natural progression from computer typesetting or video. Others have been conceived specifically to exploit the potential offered by the new media. The method of presentation is crucial to the success (or otherwise) of these publications, and designers and publishers are still learning to use the new technology."

5. Artists, computers and publishing

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HighWire Press: Internet-Based Scholarly Publishing June 1995

In June 1995 University Librarian and Director of Information Resources Michael A. Keller and Stanford University Libraries founded HighWire Press. Its initial publication was the online production of the weekly Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), "the most highly cited (and second largest) peer-reviewed journal."

A portion of its mission statement (June 1995) included the following:

"Network-Based Scholarly Publishing:

A Prospectus

The Problems:

The problems of scholarly publishing - particularly for science, technology and medical information (STM) - are well documented:

It takes too long for authors to get work into the literature because of the author, reviewer, publisher, library, reader handoffs.

It is difficult and time consuming for readers to sort through all that is published.

It is increasingly expensive for libraries to acquire STM materials, which are advancing in price to research libraries at four to six times the c.p.i.

It is becoming impractical for publishers to deliver a timely and complete product that meets the needs of research scientists. As single events, these problems are each frustrating to scholars and those who serve them. In combination, these impediments are a significant barrier, and challenge the productivity and quality of science.

The Projects:

The Network Publishing project, dubbed "The HighWire Press," provides models of solutions for these problems by taking advantage of the special circumstances of scholarly communication - as distinct from entertainment or trade publishing - in the context of a University community: the writers and readers of scholarly materials are in the same profession, writing for each other, they are located in similar environments; and they do not seek profit from their publishing activities, which are a means to an end for them. Because of network-based communication technologies, the apparatus of a large publishing operation is becoming unnecessary for communication of scholarly results; this is true for the same reason that desktop publishing technologies a decade ago allowed a shift from large design and composition shops to desktop authorship backed up by small, responsive print shops. Essentially, our projects attempt to "re-engineer" traditional scholarly publishing to focus on formal, structured communication among the community of scholars."

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Filed under: Publishing

"Johnny Mnemonic": The First Film to Portray a Graphic Vision of Cyberspace June 1995

The science fiction cyberpunk action film Johnny Mnemonic, released in June 1995, was the first major motion picture to portray a graphic vision of cyberspace or the Internet. Loosely based on the short story "Johnny Mnemonic" by William Gibson, it was directed by Robert Longo, and starred Keanu ReevesDolph LundgrenTakeshiIce-T and Dina Meyer. Its graphic sequences were the first full-frame 35mm effects to be completed using IBM-compatible hardware.

Regardless of the questionable acting and primitive computer graphics, Johnny Mnemonic introduced a compelling idea: the use of hand gestures or object manipulation to gain access to information. This we did not see again until the 2002 film Minority ReportThe main character must properly manipulate a segmented pyramidal shape in order to gain access to a certain file. He twists the segments in a certain order as one manipulates a Pyraminx (a triangular version of the Rubik's Cube) until the proper sequence is performed.

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D-Lib Magazine Begins July 1995

In July 1995 the Corporation for National Research Initiiatives, sponsored by DARPA, began web publication only of D-lib Magazine, the Magazine of the Digital Library Forum.

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The Beginning of the "Dot-Com Bubble" August 9, 1995

On August 9, 1995 Netscape Communications, Mountain View, California, had a very successful IPO. The stock, initially intended to be offered at $14 per share, was offered at double that for the IPO, and reached $75 on the first day of trading.

This was later considered the beginning of the "dot-com bubble."

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eBay is Founded September 3, 1995

On September 3, 1995 French-born Iranian-American computer programmer Pierre M. Omidyar founded eBay in San Jose, California, as a sole proprietorship. Initially he conducted auctions under the name AuctionWeb, and advertised items for auction on USENET.

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ABC's "World News Now" Becomes the First Television Show Broadcast over the Internet November 23, 1995

On Thanksgiving morning, November 23, 1995, ABC's World News Now became the first television show broadcast over the Internet, using the CU-SeeMe videoconferencing software. This was the beginning of Internet Protocol Television IPTV. The show was simulcast on the Internet daily for a six month trial period.

Between 1999 and 2001 World News Now was one of the first shows to webcast; the program was streamed live for free on the ABC News website. 

Also, on September 22, 2009, World News Now became the first network overnight newscast to begin broadcasting in high definition.

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Altavista is Launched December 15, 1995 – July 8, 2013

On December 15, 1995 web search engine Altavista was launched from Palo Alto, California. It received 300,000 hits on its first day, and became one of the most popular search engines until it was eclipsed by Google. In 2003 it was purchased by Yahoo!, which retained the brand but based all AltaVista searches on its own search engine. On July 8, 2013 shut down Altavista,and the domain redirects to Yahoo!'s own search site.

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968,735 New Different Printed Books Are Produced This Year 1996

According to UNESCO in 1996 968,735 new different printed book titles were produced in the world.

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Filed under: Book History, Publishing

Abebooks.com is Launched 1996

In 1996 the used and antiquarian bookselling website Abebooks.com was launched in Victoria, BC, Canada. On August 1, 2008, AbeBooks announced that it had been acquired by Amazon.com.

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The Kulturarw3 Project 1996

In 1996 the National Library of Sweden (Kungl. Biblioteket) initiated the Kulturarw3 Project - The Royal Swedish Web Archiw3e.

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Brewster Kahle Founds the Internet Archive 1996

In 1996 computer engineer, Internet entrepreneur, activist, and digital librarian Brewster Kahle founded the Internet Archive in San Francisco.  After the modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina opened in 2002 the Internet Archive established a mirror site at that historic location.

This video embedded below was produced in 2012:

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The IBM DB2 Universal Database 1996

In 1996 IBM announced the DB2 Universal Database, the first fully scalable, Web-ready database management system. It was called “universal” because it could sort and query alphanumeric data as well as text documents, images, audio, video and other complex objects.

In 1996 IBM databases managed about 70 percent of the world’s business information.

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1996: The First Year in Which More Email is Sent than Paper Mail 1996

1996 was the first year in which more email was sent than paper mail in the United States.

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There are 100,000 Websites 1996

In 1996 there were 14,352,000 Internet hosts and 100,000 websites.

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Speech Recognition Technology from 6,700 Characters 1996

In 1996 IBM introduced continuous speech recognition technology for Mandarin Chinese. In developing the product, researchers identified and classified thousand of vocal tones and homonyms, created an algorithm that deconstructed syllables into parts, and developed a new language model to transform spoken words into the right combination drawn from 6,700 Chinese characters.

IBM also announced software that gave people a hands-free way to dictate text and navigate the desktop with the power of natural speech.

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LexisNexis Exceeds One Billion Documents 1996

In 1996 the database of LexisNexis online services of Miamisburg, Ohio, exceeded one billion documents.

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A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace 1996

In response to the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, John Perry Barlow wrote A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.

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The World's Smallest Book, in 1996 1996

In 1996 Russian microminiature artist, Anatoly Konenko of Omsk, southwestern Siberia, issued what was then the world's smallest book printed on paper — an edition of Chekhov's very short story, Chameleon. It measures just .9 by .9 millimeters, not much larger than a grain of salt, and has 30 pages and three color illustrations. The print cannot be read by the naked eye. The edition was limited to 50 copies in English, and 50 copies in Russian.

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The First Access to the Mobile Web 1996

"The first access to the mobile web was commercially offered in Finland in 1996 on the Nokia Communicator 9000 phone on the Sonera and Radiolinja networks. This was access to the real internet" (Wikipedia article on Mobile web, accessed 04-25-2009).

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An Online Textbook of Cyberpsychology is Published January 1996

In January 1996 Psychologist John Suler of Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, published The Psychology of Cyberspace as an online hypertext book. This early hypertext book has been cited as a founding work in the developing fields of cyberspychology and cybertherapy, in which avatars assist with treatment.

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First Recorded Use of the Term, Phishing January 2, 1996

The first recorded use of the term "phishing" (baits used to "catch financial information and passwords) occurred on January 2, 1996 on the "alt.online-service. America-online" Usenet newsgroup after AOL introduced measures to prevent using fake, algorithmically generated credit card numbers to open accounts. To obtain legitimate credit card information AOL crackers resorted to phishing.

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NYTimes.com Initiates Online Publication January 19, 1996

The New York Times interactive web edition, nytimes.com, began on January 19, 1996.

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The First ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries March 20 – March 23, 1996

The first ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries occurred in Bethesda, Maryland from March 20-23, 1996.

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Searchenginewatch.com Begins April 1996

In April 1996 seachenginewatch.com went online as "A Webmaster's Guide to Search Engines."

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The First Full-Time Online Webcam Girl April 1996 – 2003

In April 1996, during her junior year at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Internet personality and lifecaster Jennifer Ringley began the popular website, JenniCam. She was the first real full time online webcam girl.

"Previously, live webcams transmitted static shots from cameras aimed through windows or at coffee pots. Ringley's innovation was simply to allow others to view her daily activities.

"In June 2008, CNET hailed JenniCam as one of the greatest defunct websites in history.

"Regarded by some as a conceptual artist, Ringley viewed her site as a straight-forward document of her life. She did not wish to filter the events that were shown on her camera, so sometimes she was shown nude or engaging in sexual behavior, including sexual intercourse and masturbation. This was a new use of Internet technology in 1996 and viewers were stimulated both for its sociological implications and for sexual arousal. Surveillance became conceptual art, as noted by Mark Tribe in 'New Media Art':

In Web sites like JenniCAM, in which a young woman installed Web cameras in her home to expose her everyday actions to online viewers. . . surveillance became a source of voyeuristic and exhibitionistic excitement. . . Institutional surveillance and the invasion of privacy have been widely explored by New Media artists.'

"Ringley's genuine desires to maintain the purity of the cam-eye view of her life eventually created the need to establish that she was within her rights as an adult to broadcast such information, in the legal sense, and that it was not harmful to other adults. Unlike later for-profit webcam services, Ringley did not spend her day displaying her private parts, and she spent much more time discussing her romantic life than she did her sex life. Ringley maintained her webcam site for seven years" (Wikipedia article on Jennifer Ringley, accessed 05-08-2009).

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"The Site", the First TV Show to Feature a Character Animated in Real Time July 1996

While Executive Producer at NBC and MSNBC David Bohrman created The Site for MSNBC, an hour-long television program devoted to the Internet revolution. The show debuted in July 1996 with the launch of MSNBC, and aired Monday through Saturday. The Site won many awards and was named the best broadcast on Internet and high technology by its industry peers. It was also the first television show to have an award-winning website.

One of the most innovative features of The Site was the nightly segment in which the young anchor Soledad O’Brien engaged in spontaneous unscripted tech talk with a flirtatious virtual reality cartoon character named Dev Null, who was animated in real time by a Silicon Graphics ONYX computer. This was probably the first television show to feature a character animated in real time. The animated character was journalist Leo Laporte who did the voice and actions while wearing a motion capture suit. Bohrman dreamed up the idea for Dev Null the previous year while experimenting with virtual set technology at NBC.

"Laporte generated both the voice and actions while wearing a VR motion capture suit. When O'Brien sat at the espresso bar to read email from viewers, Dev flirted with her while answering her computer questions. She recalled, 'One of the reasons that segment of the show worked is that I could not see him as I was talking to him, and the segment was unscripted. He was funny, and his jokes were not gags.'

"While O'Brien looked at a piece of tape on the wall indicating Dev's virtual position, the VR suit captured Laporte's actions, and a computer program translated his body movements to create the character, while other human operators controlled facial expressions and accentuated movements of his hair. The control room juxtaposed O'Brien and Dev on the same set using a switcher.

"Laporte recalled arriving at NBC with a 90-page treatment:

"I'll never forget pitching it to NBC at 30 Rock just before Christmas 1995. Then NBC News Director Andrew Lack came in in a three-piece suit and cowboy boots. He propped his booted feet up on the table and said, 'Okay, let's hear it.' It was like something out of Seinfeld... I had hoped to be the lead reporter on the show, but the NBC executives told me I had no chance of getting on camera, so they stuck me in a VR suit and the character Dev Null was born. I won an Emmy for it, but the only other competition was a sock puppet character on the local Spanish language station, so it wasn't exactly a competitive category... The Site was a major network's idea of what a technology TV show should look like: big on production values, light on content, but it was an important moment in the mainstreaming of the Internet. I still run into people now and then who remember me as "the guy in the suit" (Wikipedia article on Dev Null, accessed 11-08-2014).

After the death of Princess Diana The Site was cancelled by MSNBC. Most of the staff of The Site was rehired by Ziff-Davis to launch ZDTV, a new channel, later known as TechTV

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WRAL is the First Station to Broadcast in HDTV in the United States July 23, 1996

On July 23, 1996 the Raleigh, North Carolina television station WRAL-HD began broadcasting from the existing tower of WRAL-TV south-east of Raleigh, winning a race to be first television station to broadcast high-definition televison (HDTV) in the United States.

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DVDs are Introduced September 1996 – March 1997

In September 1996 DVD specification 1.0 (Digital Video Disc) was finalized. The capacity of the original single-sided, single layer DVD-1 was 1.46 gigabytes. The first DVD players and discs were available in November 1996 in Japan, and in March 1997 in the United States.

The first movie commercially released on DVD was Twister.

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U.S. Call to Arms for the Cyber Wars November 1996

In November 1996 the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition & Technology published the unclassified REPORT OF THE DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD TASK FORCE ON INFORMATION WARFARE - DEFENSE (IW-D.

This 212-page report was a "call to arms" for cyber warfare or information warfare in the United States.

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The WIPO Copyright Treaty is Adopted December 20, 1996

At a Diplomatic Conference on Certain Copyright and Neighboring Rights Questions, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Geneva, Switzerland, adopted the WIPO Copyright Treaty on December 20, 1996.

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126,000,000 Metric Tons of Paper Are Consumed 1997

126,000,000 metric tons of paper were consumed in the world in 1997.

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The Internet2 Consortium 1997

In 1997 the Internet2 consortium was established, with offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Washington, D.C.

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The IEEE Technical Committee on Digital Libraries is Established 1997

In 1997 the IEEE Computer Society established the Technical Committee on Digital Libraries. "It is to promote research in the theory and practice of all aspects of Collective Memory, i.e. the fields of Digital Libraries, Digital Museums and Digital Archives of all kinds."

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The California Digital Library is Founded 1997

At a news conference in San Francisco in 1997 the California Digital Library was founded "by University of California President Emeritus Richard Atkinson to build the University's digital library, assist campus libraries with sharing their resources and holdings more effectively, and provide leadership in applying technology to the development of library collections and services."

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How Much Information is There? 1997

In 1997 Michael Lesk of Rutgers University attempted to calculate "How Much Information is There in the World?" He included information on how much information a human brain may be able to retain.

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Rome is Reborn on Google Earth 1997

In 1997 the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) of the University of Virginia, the UCLA Cultural Virtual Reality Laboratory (CVRLab), the UCLA Experimential Technologies Center (ETC), the Reverse Engineering (INDACO) Lab at the Politecnico di Milano, the Ausonius Institute of the CNRS at the University of Bordeaux-3, and the University of Caen, lower Normandy, began collaboration on a project to create a digital model of ancient Rome as it appeared in late antiquity. The notional date of the model is June 21, 320 A.D.

"The primary purpose of this phase of the project was to spatialize and present information and theories about how the city looked at this moment in time, which was more or less the height of its development as the capital of the Roman Empire. A secondary, but important, goal was to create the cyberinfrastructure whereby the model could be updated, corrected, and augmented. Spatialization and presentation involve two related forms of communication: (1) the knowledge we have about the city has been used to reconstruct digitally how its topography, urban infrastructure (streets, bridges, aqueducts, walls, etc.), and individual buildings and monuments might have looked; and (2) whenever possible, the sources of archaeological information or speculative reasoning behind the digital reconstructions, as well as valuable online resources for understanding the sites of ancient Rome, have been made available to users. The model is thus a representation of the state of our knowledge (and, implicitly, of our ignorance) about the urban topography of ancient Rome at various periods of time. Beyond this primary use, the model can function in other ways. It can be used to teach students or the general public about how the city looked; it can be used to gather data not otherwise available, such as the alignment of built features in the city with respect to each other or to natural features and phenomena; and, it can be used to run urban or architectural experiments not otherwise possible, such as how well the city or the buildings within it functioned in terms of heating and ventilation, illumination, circulation of people, etc. Finally, a digital model can be easily updated to reflect corrections to the model or new archaeological discoveries."

"Starting on June 11, 2007, when the model of ancient Rome was first shown publicly at a ceremony in Rome, a number of video fly-throughs and static images of the model were posted for free public viewing online. In August, 2008, the alpha version of Rome Reborn 2.0 was demonstrated at SIGGRAPH held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. In November, 2008, the latest version of Rome Reborn 1.0 was published to the Internet as in Google Earth." (quotations from the Rome Reborn website of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia, accessed 01-21-2009)

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The First Web Analyzer with Drill-Down and Ad-Hoc Analysis 1997

In 1997 Nettracker.com produced the first web log analyzer with "drill-down and ad-hoc analysis."

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BnF Gallica is Launched 1997

Incorporating scans begun in 1992, in 1997 the Bibliothèque nationale de France launched the digital library Gallica—" la bibliothèque virtuelle de l'honnête homme."

On August 1, 2009 Gallica contained:

"Documents moissonnés

bibliothèques partenaires : 5,834

partenaires commerciaux : 12,133

Total : 17,967

Documents de la BnF


114,397 monographies, dont 59,651 consultables en mode texte

3,471 titres de périodiques, représentant 526,223 fascicules dont 213,122 en mode texte

Documents iconographiques : 38,493 lots, représentant approximativement 111,643 images"

Cartes et plans : 5,008 documents

Documents sonores : 1,056 documents

Documents manuscrits : 4,164 documents

Musique notées : 2,127 documents (http://gallica.bnf.fr/content?lang=en#stats).

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Filed under: Libraries

Electronic Paper is Developed 1997

In 1997 physicist and inventor Joseph Jacobson of the MIT Media Lab founded E Ink Corporation to develop electrophoretic display technology, or electronic paper, (e-paper, epaper), which he invented.

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The FBI Implements Carnivore 1997 – 2002

In 1997 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) implemented Carnivore, a customizable packet sniffer, or packet analyzer, that could monitor all of a user's network traffic.

"The Carnivore system was a Microsoft Windows-based workstation with packet-sniffing software and a removable disk drive. This computer must be physically installed at an Internet service provider (ISP) or other location where it can "sniff" traffic on a LAN segment to look for email messages in transit. The technology itself was not highly advanced — it used a standard packet sniffer and straightforward filtering. The critical components of the operation were the filtering criteria. To accurately match the appropriate subject, an elaborate content model was developed" (Wikipedia article on Carnivore, accessed 01-14-2012).

"On July 11, 2000, the existence of an FBI Internet monitoring system called "Carnivore" was widely reported. Although the public details were sketchy, reports indicated that the Carnivore system is installed at the facilities of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and can monitor all traffic moving through that ISP. The FBI claims that Carnivore "filters" data traffic and delivers to investigators only those "packets" that they are lawfully authorized to obtain. Because the details remain secret, the public is left to trust the FBI's characterization of the system and -- more significantly -- the FBI's compliance with legal requirements.

"One day after the initial disclosures, EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking the public release of all FBI records concerning Carnivore, including the source code, other technical details, and legal analyses addressing the potential privacy implications of the technology. On July 18, 2000, after Carnivore had become a major issue of public concern, EPIC asked the Justice Department to expedite the processing of its request. When DOJ failed to respond within the statutory deadline, EPIC filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking the immediate release of all information concerning Carnivore.

"At an emergency hearing held on August 2, 2000, U.S. District Judge James Robertson ordered the FBI to report back to the court by August 16 and to identify the amount of material at issue and the Bureau's schedule for releasing it. The FBI subsequently reported that 3000 pages of responsive material were located, but it refused to commit to a date for the completion of processing.  

"In late January 2001, the FBI completed its processing of EPIC's FOIA request. The Bureau revised its earlier estimate and reported that there were 1756 pages of responsive material; 1502 were released in part and 254 were withheld in their entirety (see link below for sample scanned documents).  

"On August 1, 2001, the FBI moved for summary judgment, asserting that it fully met its obligations under FOIA. On August 9, 2001, EPIC filed a motion to stay further proceedings pending discovery, on the grounds that the FBI has failed to conduct an adequate search for responsive documents.  

"On March 25, 2002, the court issued an order directing the FBI to initiate a new search for responsive documents. The new search was to be conducted in the offices of General Counsel and Congressional & Public Affairs, and be completed no later than May 24, 2002. The documents listed above were located and released as a result of that court-ordered search" (http://epic.org/privacy/carnivore/, accessed 01-14-2012).

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The First Museums and the Web Conference Occurs March 1997

In March 1997 the first Museums and the Web Conference took place in Los Angeles. 

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Filed under: Museums

There are 1,000,000 Websites April 1997

IN 1997 there were one million websites on the Internet.

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The Newseum, an Interactive Museum of News and Journalism, is Founded April 1997

In 1997 the Newseum, an interactive museum of news and journalism, was founded in Rosslyn, Virginia. The museum moved to a much expanded seven-level 250,000 sq. ft. location on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. in 2008. Funded by the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to "free press, free speech and free spirit for all people," the Newseum became one of Washington's most popular destinations. Besides the museum, the Newseum hosts a functioning high-definition television news production studio, currently hosting news broadcasts by Al Jazeera America, and that channel's Washington D.C. bureau.

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Kasparov Loses to Deep Blue: The First Time a Human Chess Player Loses to a Computer Under Tournament Conditions May 11, 1997

On May 11, 1997 Gary Kasparov, sometimes regarded as the greatest chess player of all time, resigned 19 moves into Game 6 against Deep Blue, an IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer capable of calculating 200 million chess positions per second. This was the first time that a human world chess champion lost to a computer under tournament conditions.

The event, which took place at the Equitable Center in New York, was broadcast live from IBM's website via a Java viewer, and became the world's record "Net event" at the time.

"Since the emergence of artificial intelligence and the first computers in the late 1940s, computer scientists compared the performance of these 'giant brains' with human minds, and gravitated to chess as a way of testing the calculating abilities of computers. The game is a collection of challenging problems for minds and machines, but has simple rules, and so is perfect for such experiments.

"Over the years, many computers took on many chess masters, and the computers lost.

"IBM computer scientists had been interested in chess computing since the early 1950s. In 1985, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, Feng-hsiung Hsu, began working on his dissertation project: a chess playing machine he called ChipTest. A classmate of his, Murray Campbell, worked on the project, too, and in 1989, both were hired to work at IBM Research. There, they continued their work with the help of other computer scientists, including Joe Hoane, Jerry Brody and C. J. Tan. The team named the project Deep Blue. The human chess champion won in 1996 against an earlier version of Deep Blue; the 1997 match was billed as a 'rematch.'

"The champion and computer met at the Equitable Center in New York, with cameras running, press in attendance and millions watching the outcome. The odds of Deep Blue winning were not certain, but the science was solid. The IBMers knew their machine could explore up to 200 million possible chess positions per second. The chess grandmaster won the first game, Deep Blue took the next one, and the two players drew the three following games. Game 6 ended the match with a crushing defeat of the champion by Deep Blue." 

"The AI crowd, too, was pleased with the result and the attention, but dismayed by the fact that Deep Blue was hardly what their predecessors had imagined decades earlier when they dreamed of creating a machine to defeat the world chess champion. Instead of a computer that thought and played chess like a human, with human creativity and intuition, they got one that played like a machine, systematically evaluating 200 million possible moves on the chess board per second and winning with brute number-crunching force. As Igor Aleksander, a British AI and neural networks pioneer, explained in his 2000 book, How to Build a Mind:  

" 'By the mid-1990s the number of people with some experience of using computers was many orders of magnitude greater than in the 1960s. In the Kasparov defeat they recognized that here was a great triumph for programmers, but not one that may compete with the human intelligence that helps us to lead our lives.'

"It was an impressive achievement, of course, and a human achievement by the members of the IBM team, but Deep Blue was only intelligent the way your programmable alarm clock is intelligent. Not that losing to a $10 million alarm clock made me feel any better" (Gary Kasparov, "The Chess Master and the Computer," The New York Review of Books, 57, February 11, 2010).

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WAP is Established June 1997

In June 1997 the Wireless Application Protocol or WAP was established as a secure specification that allowed users to access information via handheld wireless devices.

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The Internet is Entitled to the Full Protection Given to Printed Material June 26, 1997

In Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union decided on June 26, 1997, all 9 Justices of the United States Supreme Court voted to strike down anti-obscenity provisions of the Communications Decency Act (the "CDA"), finding they violated the freedom of speech provisions of the First Amendment. Two Justices concurred in part and dissented in part to the decision. This was the first major Supreme Court ruling regarding the regulation of materials distributed via the Internet.

The Court rules that "223(a)(1)(B), §223(a)(2), §223(d) of the CDA are unconstitutional and unenforceable, except for cases of obscenity or child pornography, because they abridge the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment and are substantially overbroad. The Internet is entitled to the full protection given to media like the print press; the special factors justifying government regulation of broadcast media do not apply.

"The CDA was an attempt to protect minors from explicit material on the Internet by criminalizing the 'knowing' transmission of "obscene or indecent" messages to any recipient under 18; and also the knowing sending to a person under 18 of anything 'that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs' " (Wikipedia article on Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union).

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Digital Scriptorium is Founded November 1997

Logo of digital scriptorium page on Bancroft Library website.

Detail of partial screen shot of digital scriptorium website (as of October 2013).  Please click on image to view entire image.

In November 1997 Digital Scriptorium, an image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts, hosted by Columbia University Libraries, was founded. It united scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research.

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"Virtual Medical Worlds" Begins Publication November 1997

Virtual Medical Worlds, "a monthly Virtual Magazine on Telemedicine and High Performance Computing and Networking for readers interested in computer applications in medical environments," initiated publication on the Internet in November 1997. It ceased publication in July 2010.

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Perhaps the First Commercially Available Virtual Globe November 20, 1997

On November 20, 1997, Microsoft released the Encarta Virtual Globe 98 on CD-ROM. This was probably the first commercially-available virtual globe.

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W3C Releases XML 1998

In 1998 the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) specification, allowing web pages to be tagged with descriptive labels.

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Voice Over Internet Protocol is Implemented 1998

In 1998 Voice over Internet equipment, using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), became available.

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The Average Person Receives 733 Pieces of Paper Mail Each Year, Half of Which is Junk 1998

In 1998 the average person received 733 pieces of mail on paper per year, half of which was junk mail.

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MP3 is Introduced 1998

In 1998 MP3 (MPEG Audio Layer 3) was introduced. It was an audio compression technology and a part of the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 specifications. MP3 compresses CD quality sound by a factor of 8­12, while maintaining almost the same high-fidelity sound quality.

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Printing about the Handpress Using Photo-Offset 1998

Richard-Gabriel Rummonds's Printing on the Iron Handpress was published in 1998. This elegantly produced definitive book on the operation of historic handpress printing technology, illustrated by photographs and line drawings, was printed by high-speed photo-offset rather than manual letterpress printing. It included an annotated bibliography of prior printing manuals published in English. The introduction by Harry Duncan concluded:

". . . anyone who does stay the course and follow to the end the directives given here can count on acquiring a consummate, tried, and true method for handling an instrument that has never been surpassed, that still calls for a printer's full participation, physical as well as mental, in order to achieve the best work of which he is capable."

"In the summer of 1988 soon after printing Seven Aspects of Solitude, a sixteen page keepsake and the last publication to bear the imprint of the Plain Wrapper Press, Rummonds sold his printing equipment and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting" (legacy.www.nypl.org/research/chss/spe/rbk/faids/rummonds.pdf, accessed 03-18-2012)

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Origins of Australia's Web Archive 1998

In 1998 the National Library of Australia, Canberra, initiated its Digital Services Project with the goal of establishing a web archive. This evolved into PANDORA, Australia's Web Archive.

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NARA Begins ERA for Preservation of Digital Archives 1998

In 1998 the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) began the Electronic Records Archives Program (ERA) for the eventual preservation of digital archives.

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The Cluetrain Manifesto 1998

In 1998 Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searles and David Weinberger published the Cluetrain Manifesto containing 95 theses, presumably, and possibly grandiosely, in the tradition of Martin Luther.

The manifesto was first published online, followed in December 1999 by a printed book issued by Perseus Books in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“A powerful global conversation has begun.” “Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter--and getting smarter faster than most companies.” “Markets are conversations.”

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The First Long Distance Transmission of One Terabit per Second 1998

In 1998 Bell Labs reported the first long-distance transmission of one terabit (trillion bits) of data per second over a single strand of optical fiber.

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The Last Printed Edition of Beilstein is Published 1998

The last printed edition of Friedrich Konrad Beilstein's Handbuch der organischen Chemie, was published in 1998. The first edition of this work, published in 2 volumes in Hamburg, Germany, in 1881, covered 1,500 compounds in 2,200 pages. By 1998 the research, incorporating information from 1779 to the present, grew to more than 7,000,000 compounds, and the annual subscription price to the printed edition reached about $40,000 per year.

After termination of the printed edition, publication of Beilstein continued online under a number of different names, including Crossfire Beilstein. Since 2009, the content has been maintained and distributed by Elsevier Information Systems in Frankfurt under the product name "Reaxys"

Norman, From Gutenberg to the Internet (2005) 11.

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"You've Got Mail", a Movie about Love, Email, and the Book Trade 1998

You've Got Mail, an American romantic comedy film set in New York City starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, was released by Warner Brothers in 1998. The film dramatized a romantic relationship that develops over email, featuring AOL's "You've got mail" slogan in product placement. Paralleling this film about computers and society was the film's subplot of the forced closure of a small independent bookshop by competition from a big-box chain bookstore — thus You've Got Mail was not only a film about computers and romance, but also a commentary about the changing face of the book trade.

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Using Neural Networks for Word Sense Disambiguation 1998

In 1998 cognitive scientist / entrepreneur Jeffrey Stibel, physicist, psychologist, neural scientist James A. Anderson, and others from the Department of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences at Brown University created a word sense disambiguator using George A. Miller's WordNet lexical database.

Stibel and others applied this technology in Simpli, "an early search engine that offered disambiguation to search terms. A user could enter in a search term that was ambiguous (e.g., Java) and the search engine would return a list of alternatives (coffee, programming language, island in the South Seas)."

"The technology was rooted in brain science and built by academics to model the way in which the mind stored and utilized language."

"Simpli was sold in 2000 to NetZero. Another company that leveraged the Simpli WordNet technology was purchased by Google and they continue to use the technology for search and advertising under the brand Google AdSense.

"In 2001, there was a buyout of the company and it was merged with another company called Search123. Most of the original members joined the new company. The company was later sold in 2004 to ValueClick, which continues to use the technology and search engine to this day" (Wikipedia article on Simpli, accessed 05-10-2009).

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On the Preservation of Knowledge in the Electronic Age 1998

In 1998 American filmaker Terry Sanders, the American Film Foundation, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the American Council of Learned Societies issued Into the Future: On the Preservation of Knowledge in the Electronic Age.

This film, narratived by Robert McNeil, was a sequel to Slow Fires (1987). It "explores the hidden crisis of the digital information age. Will digitally stored information and knowledge survive into the future? Will humans twenty, fifty, one hundred years from now have access to the electronically recorded history of our time?" (from the American Film Foundation blurb; it was available in 33 and 58 minute versions on July 28, 2009). The film included interviews with Peter Norton and Tim Berners-Lee.

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700,000 New Book Titles Are Published in 1998 1998

According to Bowker, as cited by Robert Darnton in Publisher's Weekly, 700,000 new book titles were published worldwide during 1998.

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Filed under: Book History, Publishing

The Digital Michelangelo Project 1998

Marc Levoy and team began The Digital Michelangelo Project at Stanford University in 1998 using laser scanners to digitize the statues of Michelangelo, as well as 1,163 fragments of the Forma Urbis Romae, a giant marble map of ancient Rome.

The quality of the scans was so high that the Italian government would not permit the release of the full data set on the Internet; however, the Stanford researchers built a system called ScanView that allowed viewing of details of specific parts of the statue, including parts that would be inaccessible to a normal museum visitor. In December 2013 Scanview could be downloaded at this link.

The laser scan data for Michelangelo's David was utilized in its cleaning and restoration that began in September 2002. This eventually resulted in a 2004 book entitled Exploring David: Diagnostic Tests and State of Conservation.

"In preparation for this restoration, the Galleria dell'Accademia undertook an ambitious 10-year program of scientific study of the statue and its condition. Led by Professor Mauro Matteini of CNR-ICVBC, a team of Italian scientists studied every inch of the statue using color photography, radiography (i.e. X-rays), ultraviolet fluorescence and thermographic imaging, and several other modalities. In addition, by scraping off microsamples and performing in-situ analyses, the mineralogy and chemistry of the statue and its contaminants were characterized. Finally, finite element structural analyses were performed to determine the origin of hairline cracks that are visible on his ankles and the tree stump, to decide if intervention was necessary. (They decided it wasn't; these cracks arose in 1871, when the statue briefly tilted forward 3 degrees due to settling of the ground in the Piazza Signoria. This tilt was one of the reasons they moved the statue to the Galleria dell'Accademia.)  

"The results of this diagnostic campaign are summarized in the book Exploring David . . . . The book, written in English, also contains a history of the statue and its past restorations, a visual analysis of the chisel marks of Michelangelo as evident from the statue surface, and an essay by museum director Franca Falletti on the difficulties of restoring famous artworks. . . .  

"Aside from its sweeping scientific vision, what is remarkable about this book is that many of the studies employed a three-dimensional computer model of the statue - the model created by us during the Digital Michelangelo Project. Although we worked hard to create this model, and we envisioned 3D models eventually being used to support art conservation, we did not expect such uses to become practical so soon. After all, our model of the David is huge; outside our laboratory and a few others in the computer graphics field, little software exists that can manipulate such large models. However, with help from Roberto Scopigno and his team at CNR-Pisa, museum director Franca Falletti prodded, encouraged, and cajoled the scientists working under her direction to use our model wherever possible. We contributed a chapter to this book, on the scanning of the statue, but we take no credit for its use in the rest of the book. In fact, to us at Stanford University, the timing of our scanning project relative to the statue's restoration and the creation of this book seems merely fortuitious. However, Falletti insists that she had this use of our model in mind all along! In any case, this is a landmark book - the most extensive use that has ever been made of a 3D computer model in an art conservation project" (http://graphics.stanford.edu/projects/mich/book/book.html, accessed 12-23-2009).

On July 21, 2009 the team announced that they had a "full-resolution (1/4mm) 3D model of Michelangelo's 5-meter statue of David", containing "about 1 billion polygons."

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The First Interactive Internet Streaming TV Network 1998 – August 2000

From 1998 to August 2000 Pseudo.com (Pseudo Programs, Inc.) was the first interactive Internet streaming television network, and the premier provider of Online Net-Television entertainment. Each week the Pseudo Online Network produced and netcast more than fifty different interactive Net-TV shows, representing over 200 hours of original live programming per month. Pseudo's shows covered a range of non-mainstream topics underserved by traditional broadcast and cable networks.

For the political conventions in 2000 then CEO of Pseudo David Bohrman produced the first live Internet streaming of political conventions, which were held that year in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Pseudo had multiple video streams live during the convention, and also a skybox in the arena, and five 360 degree cameras, live interviews with newsmakers and 24-hour chat rooms where site users could carry on their own political discussions. However, the company fell victim to the Internet crash and declared bankruptcy in September of 2000. 

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Completion of the Online Collaborative English Translation of the Suda January 1998 – August 8, 2014

In 1998 the Stoa Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities organized by Ross Scaife sponsored the online collaborative annotated first English translation of the massive Byzantine encyclopedia, The Suda —  Suda On Line: Byzantine Lexicography. This online collaboration predated the Wikipedia, which began in 2001.

Sixteen years later, on August 8, 2014 the Managing Editors of of the project announced from the website of The Stoa Consortium that all of the more than 31,000 entries in the Suda were translated into English and "vetted":

"The Managing Editors of the Suda On Line are pleased to announce that a translation of the last of the >31,000 entries in the Suda was recently submitted to the SOL database and vetted. This means that the first English translation of the entire Suda lexicon (a vitally important source for Classical and Byzantine studies), as well as the first continuous commentary on the Suda’s contents in any language, is now searchable and browsable through our on-line database (http://www.stoa.org/sol).

Conceived in 1998, the SOL was one of the first new projects that the late Ross Scaife brought under the aegis of the Stoa Consortium (www.stoa.org), and from the beginning we have benefited from the cooperation and support of the TLG and the Perseus Digital Library.  After sixteen years, SOL remains, as it was when it began, a unique paradigm of digital scholarly collaboration, demonstrating the potential of new technical and editorial methods of organizing, evaluating and disseminating scholarship.

To see a brief history of the project, go to http://www.stoa.org/sol/history.shtml, and for further background see Anne Mahoney’s article in Digital Humanities Quarterly (http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/003/1/000025/000025.html). The SOL has already proved to be a catalyst for new scholarship on the Suda, including the identification – as possible, probable, or certain – of many hundreds more of the Suda’s quotations than previously recognised. To see a list of these identifications, with links to the Suda entries in question, please visithttp://www.stoa.org/sol/TLG.shtml."

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AudioNet (Broadcast.com) Begins the First Continuous Live Webcasts January 1998

In January 1998 webcast company AudioNet (Broadcast.com) began the first continuous live webcasts with content from WFAA-TV serving Dallas-Ft. Worth, and KCTU-LP serving Wichita, Kansas.

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PageRank is Published on Paper January 29, 1998

On January 29, 1998 Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Rajeev Motwani, and Terry Winograd of the Stanford Database Group published on paper The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web.

"The worldwide web creates many new challenges for information retrieval. It is very large and heterogeneous. Current estimates are that there are over 150 million web pages with a doubling life of less than one year."

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The Bibliometrics of Science February 14, 1998

According to his February 14, 1998 paper, Mapping the World of Science, Eugene Garfield's Science Citation Index built on the principles of citation analysis, covered nearly 20,000,000 printed source articles and 300 million cited printed references over a 50-year period.

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Venter Founds Celera Genomics May 1998

In May 1998 Craig Venter founded Celera Genomics, with Applera Corporation (Applied Biosystems) in Rockville, Maryland, to sequence and assemble the human genome.

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The First "Advanced" or "Freestyle" or "Centaur" Chess Event June 1998

The first Advanced Chess event, in which each human player used a computer chess program to help him explore the possible results of candidate moves, was held in June 1998 in León, Spain. The match was played between Garry Kasparov, using the German chess program Fritz 5, and Veselin Topalov, using ChessBase 7.0. The analytical engines used, such as FritzHIARCS and Junior, were integrated into these two programs, and could have been called at a click of the mouse. It was a 6-game match, and it was arranged in advance that the players would consult the built-in million games databases only for the 3rd and 4th game, and would only use analytical engines without consulting the databases for the remaining games. The time available to each player during the games was 60 minutes. The match ended in a 3-3 tie.

Since the first event Advanced Chess matches were often called Freestyle chess, in which players can play without computer assistance, or can simply follow the directions of a computer program, or can play as a "centaur", listening to the moves advocated by the AI but occasionally overriding them. In 2014 the best Freestyle chess player was Intagrand, a team of humans and several different chess programs.

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MSN Search is Launched Circa September – December 1998

In September 1998 Microsoft launched MSN Search, a search engine, index and web crawler. It was eventually renamed Bing.

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Google is Founded September 7, 1998

On September 7, 1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in Mountain View, California. The first Google index included 26,000,000 web pages.

Page and Brin described the technology in a paper entitled  "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine", Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, 30 (1998) 107-117. This paper contains much of great interest historically, including the following statistics:

"Search engine technology has had to scale dramatically to keep up with the growth of the web. In 1994, one of the first web search engines, the World Wide Web Worm (WWWW) [McBryan 94] had an index of 110,000 web pages and web accessible documents. As of November, 1997, the top search engines claim to index from 2 million (WebCrawler) to 100 million web documents (from Search Engine Watch). It is foreseeable that by the year 2000, a comprehensive index of the Web will contain over a billion documents. At the same time, the number of queries search engines handle has grown incredibly too. In March and April 1994, the World Wide Web Worm received an average of about 1500 queries per day. In November 1997, Altavista claimed it handled roughly 20 million queries per day. With the increasing number of users on the web, and automated systems which query search engines, it is likely that top search engines will handle hundreds of millions of queries per day by the year 2000. The goal of our system is to address many of the problems, both in quality and scalability, introduced by scaling search engine technology to such extraordinary numbers."


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ICANN is Founded September 30, 1998

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was founded on September 30, 1998 to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks previously performed directly on behalf of the U.S. government by other organizations, notably the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

ICANN is responsible for managing the assignment of domain names and IP addresses. ICANN's tasks include responsibility for IP address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, top-level domain name system management, and root server system management functions. . .  ICANN's primary principles of operation have been described as helping preserve the operational stability of the Internet; to promote competition; to achieve broad representation of global Internet community; and to develop policies appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes" (Wikipedia article in ICANN, accessed 05-16-2010).

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The Digital Millenium Copyright Act October 12, 1998

On October 12, 1998 the U.S. Congress passed the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

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Supercomputer ASCI Blue-Pacific SST October 28, 1998

On October 28, 12998 supercomputer ASCI Blue-Pacific SST, jointly developed by the U.S. Energy Department’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and IBM, could perform 3.9 trillion calculations per second (15,000 times faster than the average desktop computer) and had over 2.6 trillion bytes of memory (80,000 times more than the average PC).

IBM commented that it would take a person using a calculator 63,000 years to perform as many calculations as this computer could perform in a single second.

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President Clinton Sends the First Ever Presidential Email November 6, 1998

On November 6, 1998 President Bill Clinton sent the first ever presidential email to senator and astronaut John Glenn aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Clinton sent the email from the home of a friend in Arkansas using a Toshiba Satellite laptop computer that belonged to White House physician Robert Darling.

"Glenn, a US senator who in 1962 became the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, was completing a nine-day mission on Discovery in November 1998 when he sent word that he wanted to email Clinton, who was at the time was visiting friends in his home state of Arkansas.

" 'This is certainly a first for me, writing to a president from space, and it may be a first for you in receiving an email direct from an orbiting spacecraft,' wrote Glenn, then 77.

"Clinton was keen to get the message, but when his staff couldn't readily find him a computer to do so, Darling stepped forward with his trusty Toshiba and his personal AOL email address.

" 'Hillary and I had a great time at the launch,' emailed Clinton, referring to Discovery's liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center a few days earlier.

" 'We are very proud of you and the entire crew, and a little jealous.'

"In an interview in 2000, Clinton said he never used email due to security concerns, but acknowledged emailing Glenn in space as well as some US marines and sailors at sea at Christmas.

"Prior to selling the laptop in 2000, Darling took care to keep the historic email exchange on its hard drive, and made a copy on its internal floppy drive, while deleting all other data. He also typed up a memo about the landmark email, saying Clinton 'seemed to really enjoy himself particularly when he pressed the 'send' key and realized that at that instant his message was traveling through cyberspace and into real space' " (http://artdaily.com/news/69523/Laptop-used-for-first-US-presidential-email-finds-a-buyer-#.U1KIW-ZdXSs, accessed 04-19-2014.) The article reproduced a photograph showing Clinton using the Toshiba Satellite laptop.

On April 17, 2014 the laptop that Clinton used to send the first presidential email sold for $60,667 at RR Auction in Boston.

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MyFamily.com December 1998

The MyFamily.com website was launched in Provo, Utah, with additional free sites beginning in March, 1999. The site generated 1 million registered users within its first 140 days. The company raised more than $90 million in venture capital from investors, and changed its name on November 17, 1999 from Ancestry.com, Inc., to MyFamily.com, Inc. Its three Internet genealogy sites were then called Ancestry.com, MyFamily.com, and FamilyHistory.com.

Reference: http://www.paulallen.net/my-companies, accessed 12-18-2008.

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Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Promulgated December 1998

In anticipation of the exhaustion of available IP addresses under IPv4, The Network Working Group of The Internet Society drafted the IPv6 standard.

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"Where's George?" Begins December 23, 1998

On December 23, 1998 Hank Estrin's Where's George?, a website that tracked the natural geographic circulation of American paper money, became operational.

"A hit is when a bill registered with Where's George? is re-entered into the database. Where's George? does not have specific goals other than tracking currency movements, but many users like to collect interesting patterns of hits, called bingos. The most common bingo involves getting at least one hit in all 50 states (called "50 State Bingo"). Another Bingo, FRB Bingo, is when a user gets hits on bills from all 12 Federal Reserve Banks.

"Most bills do not receive any responses, or hits, but many bills receive two or more hits. The average hit rate is slightly over 11.1%. Double- and triple-hitters are common, and bills with 4 or 5 hits are not unheard of. Almost daily a bill receives its 6th hit. The site record is held by a $1 bill with 15 entries.

"To increase the chance of having a bill reported, users (called "Georgers") may write or stamp text on the bills encouraging bill finders to visit www.wheresgeorge.com and track the bill's travels. Bills that are entered into the database, but not marked, are known as stealths" (Wikipedia article on Where's George, accessed 05-04-2009).

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64,711 New Books on Paper are Published in the U.S. 1999

In 1999 64,711 new books were published on paper in the United States. 

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Filed under: Publishing

Storing Public Records Electronically 1999

In 1999 the British Government issued a white paper entitled Modernising Government, setting among its goals that by 2004 all newly created public records would be electronically stored and retrieved. 

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Computers Have Not Caused a Reduction in Paper Usage or Printing 1999

In 1999 it required about 756,000,000 trees to produce the world’s annual paper supply.

“The UNESCO Statistical Handbook for 1999 estimates that paper production provides 1,510 sheets of paper per inhabitant of the world on average, although in fact the inhabitants of North America consume 11,916 sheets of paper each (24 reams), and inhabitants of the European Union consume 7,280 sheets of paper annually (15 reams), according to the ENST report. At least half of this paper is used in printers and copiers to produce office documents.”

Thus computers have not reduced paper usage; if anything, because nearly everyone who owns a personal computer also owns a printer, and more and more people acquire computers every year, the amount of printing being done continues to increase.

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Domain Names are Property 1999

In 1999 the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that Internet domain names are property.

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Early English Books Online 1999

In 1999 the Early English Books Online project, a joint effort between the University of Michigan, Oxford University and ProQuest Information and Learning, began to provide searchable texts of all 125,000 English books printed from 1475 to 1700. This was a development of a project that began in 1938 to microfilm all English books in the timeframe.

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"Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe" (LOCKSS): a Digital Information Preservation System for Libraries and Publishers 1999

In 1999 the LOCKSS open-source, library-led digital preservation system ("Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe") began intensive testing at Stanford University. The system provides libraries with:

"low-cost, open source digital preservation tools to preserve and provide access to persistent and authoritative digital content.

 "Librarians need to know that the digital content they acquire today will not disappear when they cancel subscriptions, and that their electronic collections can be preserved and accessed by readers far into the future.

"Publishers need to know that the integrity of their web-based content will remain unchanged and available in perpetuity—even if their own website is no longer available." 

"The LOCKSS system is the first and only mechanism to apply the traditional purchase-and-own library model to electronic materials. The LOCKSS system allows librarians at each institution to take custody of and preserve access to the e-content to which they subscribe, restoring the print purchase model with which librarians are familiar. Using their computers and network connections, librarians can obtain, preserve and provide access to purchased copies of e-content. This is analogous to libraries’ using their own buildings, shelves and staff to obtain, preserve and provide access to paper content. The LOCKSS model restores libraries’ ability to build and preserve local collections.

A LOCKSS network functions in much the same way as traditional library networks, reinforcing the strength of the library community. Participating libraries acquire copies of important “stuff,” but instead of paper, LOCKSS libraries acquire digital content in their local LOCKSS Box. Through a LOCKSS distributed network, libraries are cooperating with one other to ensure their preserved content remains authentic and authoritative. This collaboration measure and validates the integrity of the participants’ holdings. As a result, libraries are self-reliant and self-sustainable in their communities.

When the publisher’s web site is unavailable for any reason, content is served from the library’s “LOCKSS Box,” guaranteeing immediate and continuous user access. There are no “trigger events” that require human intervention. LOCKSS delivers a copy of the original publication to authorized users in real time, whenever it is needed. Because LOCKSS preserves the original publisher’s copy of each item, it ensures that the most authoritative version persists, unchanged, with full credit to the publisher" (http://www.lockss.org/about/what-is-lockss/, accessed 12-08-2013).

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NewspaperARCHIVE.com 1999

In 1999 Heritage Microfilm, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, launched NewspaperARCHIVE.com, making available newspaper pages from 1759 to the present. When I accessed the site in December 2008 it stated that you could :

"Easily Find Over 3.12 Billion Names • Over 1.04 Billion Articles Search 96.5 Million Pages • 794 Cities • 240 Years • 3,150 Titles"
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Bluetooth is Announced 1999

The short range wireless networking standard, Bluetooth, was announced in 1999.

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The Matrix: Referencing Cyberpunk and Hacker Cultures 1999

The Matrix, a 1999 science fiction-martial arts-action film,

"describes a future in which reality perceived by humans is actually the Matrix: a simulated reality created by sentient machines in order to pacify and subdue the human population while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Upon learning this, computer programmer "Neo" is drawn into a rebellion against the machines. The film contains many references to the cyberpunk and hacker subcultures; philosophical and religious ideas; and homages to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Hong Kong action cinema, Spaghetti Westerns, and Japanese animation" (Wikipedia article on The Matrix, accessed 12-23-2008).

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The First Full Internet Service on Cell Phones in Japan 1999

In 1999 NTT DoCoMo introduced the mobile web to Japan with the first full internet service on mobile phones, and the first mobile-specific web browser. 

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Nigerian Letter Scams Move to the Internet 1999

In 1999 the Better Business Bureau warned about Nigerian spams sent by email. These letter scams had previously operated for perhaps 100 years by mail sent on paper. 

"For Immediate Release

"June 10, 1999 - The wording is very familiar to Better Business Bureaus nationwide …only the method of contact, and country of origin have changed:

"* 'We respectfully invite your kind attention to the transfer of U.S. $25 million into your personal/company offshore account.'

"* 'you will receive 20% of the total sum, 10% for miscellaneous expenses and the remaining 70% is for me and my colleagues.'

"* 'It is our sincere conviction that you will handle this transaction with absolute confidentiality, maturity and utmost sense of purpose.'

"* 'such transaction to commence within 10 business days.'

"These statements are typical of the lures contained in what's commonly referred to as 'Nigerian Letter Scams.' The BBB warns that these scams have recently gone high-tech and are emanating from several countries throughout Africa, as well as New Zealand, Brazil and Great Britain. Members of the BBB nationwide report that such pitches now arrive unannounced and uninvited in their fax and email boxes.

"The letters are usually signed by someone who 'represents' the relevant country's Ministry of Commerce or Finance or the Department of Petroleum Resources. The writer claims that huge funds are left over from a deliberately inflated construction contract or purchase order and he's seeking to ship the funds offshore.

" 'Now that the Nigerian letter scam has gone high-tech and is being perpetrated via fax machines and e-mails, it's more critical than ever that we educate business owners and managers to this scam,' said James L. Bast, president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., the umbrella organization for the nation's BBBs. 'If you receive an offer from a stranger who promises a large payoff in return for assisting in transferring millions of dollars out of Nigeria or any other country, ignore it.' Some letters request copies of business letterhead; others request the name and address of the company and details about its business activities. 'Any response to this fraudulent offer will bring the con artist one step closer to being able to plunder your bank account,' Bast said" (http://www.bbb.org/alerts/article.asp?ID=41. accessed 05-08-2009).

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Berners-Lee's Conception of the Semantic Web 1999

"I have a dream for the Web [in which computers] become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers. A 'Semantic Web', which should make this possible, has yet to emerge, but when it does, the day-to-day mechanisms of trade, bureaucracy and our daily lives will be handled by machines talking to machines. The 'intelligent agents' people have touted for ages will finally materialize" (Berners-Lee, Tim; Fischetti, Mark, Weaving the Web. The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor (1999) Chapter 12).

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"The Internet of Things" 1999

In 1999 British technology pioneer Kevin Ashton, co-founder of the Auto-ID Labs at MIT, invented the term "The Internet of Things" to describe a system where the Internet is connected to the physical world via ubiquitous sensors, including RFID (Radio-frequency identification).

"Ashton's original definition was: 'Today computers—and, therefore, the Internet—are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of data available on the Internet were first captured and created by human beings—by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a bar code. Conventional diagrams of the Internet ... leave out the most numerous and important routers of all - people. The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy—all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. And that's a big deal. We're physical, and so is our environment ... You can't eat bits, burn them to stay warm or put them in your gas tank. Ideas and information are important, but things matter much more. Yet today's information technology is so dependent on data originated by people that our computers know more about ideas than things. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things—using data they gathered without any help from us—we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best. The Internet of Things has the potential to change the world, just as the Internet did. Maybe even more so.' "(Wikipedia article on Internet of Things, accessed 01-07-2013).

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Foundation of Designboom 1999

In 1999 German industrial designer Birgit Lohmann co-founded Designboom in Milan Italy with Massimo Mini. Designboom was the first independent web publication dedicated to architecture and design.

"Based in Milan with her family, Birgit Lohmann runs the website of her own creation, Designboom. At Designboom, people from around the world can compete in design competitions, view design jobs and share their design work.  

"Having created one of the go-to websites for design knowledge, Birgit Lohmann is certainly on the cutting edge. We had the chance to speak with her about the role trend spotting plays in her work with Designboom.

"1. How did you get involved with Designboom and what motivates you to continue?  

"I practiced as an industrial designer and product development manager for 15 years, I worked for a number of Italian architects and master designers which include Achille Castiglioni, Vico Magistretti, Bruno Munari, Enzo Mari and Renzo Piano. At that time we did not use computers, we drew by hand and made lots of models and prototypes. I was able to work on the first chair using polypropylene and developed the tools for producing it. I enjoyed the work so much, that I did not plan to work on my own, but then there was a time when the ‘eternal assistant’ aspired for more autonomy.  

"Two of the things I like best - spending time in nature and figuring out how things work. I got to combine these things through Internet publishing. Massimo Mini and I founded Designboom in 1999. We left Milan with our two children (at that time 9 and 5 years old) and lived in Bali for a while. In between tropical plants in our garden we created an open air office with 4 desks, where the kids did drawings and homework (which was sent to us by email from their Italian school teachers) and we created and updated Designboom.  

"1999 - we are the ‘grandparents’ of online publishing in the field of art, architecture and design. When we started there were only two other relevant sites, the American Core77.com and the Belgian DesignAddict.com. Core77 was created by students inside the university and this targeted their audience - students and young professionals. Designaddict was initially a XX century design collector’s database. Designboom, because of our work experience, always reached design professionals. The ‘real world’ is a place where things change all the time, and it is essential to be updated continuously.  

"Based in Milan, our small international team is still made up of designers, not journalists. We talk about real experience, cultural intents and influences, restraints and contradictions. We stimulate a global discussion and the rapport that we’ve established with our readers and the greater design community keeps us motivated. It’s a lot of work, not exactly a typical 9-to-5 job, but we spend our days sharing ideas with people of all ages and backgrounds from more than 200 countries. Seriously - what could be better?!" (http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/birgit-lohmann-interview. accessed 01-15-2013).

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"The World Wide Web is the only thing I know of whose shortened form takes three times longer to say than what it is short for." 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." --

This quote by English writer, humorist and dramatist Douglas Adams was penned in November of 1999 for his Sunday regular column in The Independent. On March 17, 2000 Adams posted the column on his website, h2g2.com., The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition at this link (accessed 03-14-2014). In May 2002, one year after Adams' early death at the age of 49, the column was published in print in The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time, a posthumous collection of Adams's writings.

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The Napster Sharing Service for MP3 Files is Launched June 1, 1999

On June 1, 1999 American computer programmer and entrepreneur Shawn Fanning released the Napster file sharing service for MP3 files from his headquarters in Hull, Massachusetts. After Napster's early explosive success Fanning moved the company to San Mateo, California. "The original company ran into legal difficulties over copyright infringement, ceased operations and was eventually acquired by Roxio. In its second incarnation Napster became an online music store until it merged with Rhapsody on 1 December 2011" (Wikipedia article on Napster, accessed 03-18-2012).

"It [Napster] was the first of the massively popular peer-to-peer file sharing systems, although it was not fully peer-to-peer since it used central servers to maintain lists of connected systems and the files they provided, while actual transactions were conducted directly between machines. Although there were already media which facilitated the sharing of files across the Internet, such as IRC, Hotline, and USENET, Napster specialized exclusively in music in the form of MP3 files and presented a friendly user-interface. The result was a system whose popularity generated an enormous selection of music to download."

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comScore is Founded August 1999

In August 1999 Magid M. Abraham and Gian M. Fulgoni founded comScore with the objective of creating the first service to measure trends in e-commerce.

"At the time, no market research company measured online buying behavior. The two leading online measurement companies, Media Metrix and Nielsen NetRatings, were focused solely on tracking Internet users’ site visitation behavior, providing their clients with basic metrics on the size and demographic characteristics of site audiences.

"The panels these two companies used numbered in the tens of thousands. This was far too small a sample size to accurately measure e-commerce since, on average, only 5 percent of a site’s visitors converted into buyers in any month. A panel of at least a million people would be needed. That was a daunting challenge because no research company had ever built a panel of 100,000 people, let alone a million. However, since their experience at IRI had shown that marketers spend four times as many research dollars measuring consumers’ buying behavior as they spend measuring media ratings, Magid and Gian were confident that an attractive market existed for online browsing and buying information. They decided to take on the challenge by raising and willingly investing tens of millions of dollars to discover ways in which to successfully recruit millions of opt-in panelists and develop the technology needed to capture, warehouse and analyze massive quantities of online data" (http://www.comscore.com/About_comScore/comScore_History, accessed 05-12-2009).

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Continuing to Print the British Parliamentary Papers on Vellum November 2, 1999

On November 2, 1999 an unlikely alliance of disgruntled Labor backbenchers and Tories in the British Parliament defeated a move to end the centuries-old tradition of printing copies of Acts of Parliament on vellum, by 121 votes to 53. Remarkably this also shows that the centuries-old debate continued on whether paper or vellum are the more permanent material for the storage of information.

"Under the scheme, already approved by the Lords, instead of two copies printed on vellum, only one would be produced on archive paper which has a life expectancy of 500 years.

“Labour's Nick Palmer, a Commons administration committee member, urged MPs to approve the change - which would have saved £30,000 a year and the skin of several goats.

“But opposition to it was led by Labour's Brian White (Milton Keynes NE) who said it would almost certainly put 12 people at William Cowley, a parchment and vellum printing company in his constituency, out of work and mean the death of the industry in Britain.

"He claimed the committee had not consulted the firm about the change until it was too late, and urged MPs to find a "different way forward that doesn't destroy an industry".

“Acts of Parliament dating back to 1497 recorded on vellum are currently held in the House of Lords Public Record Office.

“Under the proposed change duplicate copies of Acts of Parliament would also no longer be placed in the Public Record Office at Kew, replacing a resolution decreed in 1849 that two copies of every Act should be printed on vellum.

“Opening the short debate, Dr Palmer (Broxtowe) said the committee considered the change "appropriate and justifiable".

“Continuing to deposit duplicate record copies of both public and private Acts at the Public Record Offices appeared to "serve no useful purpose".

“Dr Palmer dismissed concerns about the durability of archive paper compared with vellum as "groundless".

“He said vellum and archive paper were both flammable so security could not depend alone on the document.

“Dr Palmer said he found it "attractive" that Parliament would not be using animal products where it was not necessary, although it was not one of the arguments advanced by the committee report.

“'We didn't have sentiment or animal welfare consideration affecting our judgment here, we reached it for practical, you might even say prosaic, reasons,' he said.

“Dr Palmer said British Library conservation department laboratory tests had proved that archival paper could have a life expectancy exceeding 500 years.

“But Tory Gerald Howarth (Aldershot) said: "I don't believe that this kind of tradition should lightly be tossed aside."

“Mr Howarth said the death warrant of Charles I was recorded on vellum and added: 'Who is to say whether archival paper will last 300 to 400 years? We shouldn't take the chance.' "

quoted from BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/502342.stm accessed 12-04-2008.


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The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act is Enacted November 29, 1999

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (also known as Truth in Domain Names Act), was enacted into U.S. law on November 29, 1999 as is part of A bill to amend the provisions of title 17, United States Code, and the Communications Act of 1934, relating to copyright licensing and carriage of broadcast signals by satellite (S. 1948). The act mades people who registered domain names that are either trademarks or individual's names with the sole intent of selling the rights of the domain name to the trademark holder or individual for a profit liable to civil action.

"In order for a trademark owner to bring a claim under the ACPA, the owner must establish

  • the trademark owner’s mark is distinctive or famous;
  • the domain name owner acted in bad faith to profit from the mark; and
  • the domain name and the trademark are either identical or confusingly similar (or dilutive for famous trademarks)" 

(Wikipedia article on Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, accessed 11-24-2008).

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act was enacted in part because the domain whitehouse.com went online in 1997 as an "adult entertainment" site, leading to this letter from a Whitehouse consel:

"The following is a December letter from a White House counsel to the operator of the "whitehouse.com" adult site regarding the use of the domain and the names and images of the White House, President Clinton, and Hillary Clinton on the site:

"The White House


"December 8, 1997


"Mr. Dan Parisi

"Secaucus, New Jersey

"Dear Mr. Parisi:

"It will come as no surprise to you that the White House Counsel's Office is aware of your Internet Web site, "www.whitehouse.com," and that we object to your use of the names and images of the White House, the President, and the First Lady on that Web site to sell memberships in an adult video club. We also recognize that you undoubtedly will use this letter as an object of humor and as an invitation to advance the claim that you are merely exercising your rights under the First Amendment.

"We too believe in the First Amendment--and in humor, although we see nothing humorous in your use of the White House domain name to draw children and other unwitting Internet users to your Web site. However distasteful your business may be, we do not challenge your right to pursue it or to exercise your First Amendment rights, but we do challenge your right to use the White House, the President, and the First Lady as a marketing device. For adult internet users, that device is, at the least, part of a deceptive scheme. For younger Internet users, it has more disturbing consequences. As your own online disclaimer implicitly acknowledges, the foreseeable result of your use of the White House domain name is that children will access your Web site inadvertently. Your customers will understand that such a result is unconscionable, and so, we submit, should you.


Charles F.C. Ruff

Counsel to the President" (http://news.cnet.com/2009-1023-207800.html, accessed 06-15-2009).

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IBM's Blue Gene Project Begins December 1999

In December 1999 IBM announced the start of a five-year effort to build a massively parallel computer, Blue Gene, the study of bio-molecular phenomena such as protein folding. When the project began Blue Gene was 500 times more powerful than the world’s fastest computers. 

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