40 things you didn't know about the internet
LONDON - From its humble beginnings in 1969, the system we know today as the internet has evolved into a world-changing phenomenon. To celebrate its 40th birthday, Adam Woods presents 40 awesome facts about the web.
- The Arpanet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) launched in 1969 as a forerunner to the web.
- The Arpanet was devised as a response to the Russian launch of the Sputnik in 1957.
- UCLA programmer Charley Kline sent the first electronic message, 'LOGIN', to Bill Duvall at Stanford Research Institute in 1969. Only the first two letters arrived.
- Lifehouse, Pete Townshend's abandoned concept album, was based in a world dominated by 'the Grid', similar to the web.
- Engineer Ray Tomlinson sent the first email in 1971.
- Tim Berners-Lee, who founded the world-wide web in 1989, took inspiration from a Victorian book called Enquire Within Upon Everything.
- The web (a system of documents) and the internet (hardware and software infrastructure) are not synonyms.
- Grey Interactive was the first digital agency set up by a major ad network, in 1993.
- The first piece of commercial spam was a message sent by a US law firm in 1994, entitled 'Green Card Lottery - Final One?'
- A famous Monty Python sketch inspired the term 'spam'.
- British Airways first went online to save money on replying to children's letters.
- Eagle Star launched the first British online car insurance site in August 1997.
- Just five in 111 British brands polled by Eversheds in 1997 believed a website was worth an outlay of £5,000.
- In the late 90s, professional development teams in the pay of organised criminals took over the production of computer viruses.
- David Bowie's 1999 album Hours was the first offered for commercial download.
- BT's first big UK consumer campaign for broadband in 2002 confused some customers, who didn't realise they needed a computer.
- The world has 6.8 billion people, of whom 1.7 billion are internet users, according to Internet World Stats.
- In 2002, China had 45.8 million web users. By 2012 it is expected to have 490 million web users.
- India's online population increased to 60 million in 2008, according to New Scientist.
- 72.5 per cent of Americans and 69 per cent of British consumers were online last year, claims New Scientist.
- The web receives an estimated 100 billion clicks per day and contains 55 trillion links.
- Wired executive editor Kevin Kelly calculates that the web has the same processing power as the human brain.
- One Google search uses about 1kJ or 0.0003kWh of electricity, amounting to 0.2g of emitted CO2.
- The internet used 9.4 per cent of the electricity produced in the US in October 2007, says researcher David Sarokin.
- Global e-commerce spend was $6.8 trillion (£4 trillion) in 2008, or 15 per cent of GDP.
- Files created by aXXo, the world's most prolific uploader of pirate DVD torrents, at one point accounted for 33.5 per cent of all movies downloaded, according to Big Champagne.
- Network traffic through LINX, the London Internet Exchange, is typically around 300Gbps.
- Google Wave employs the 'bean soup test'. Type 'fancy some been soup? It's bean ages' and the engine switches the incorrect verb and noun.
- In February 2008, Pakistan instructed local ISPs to block access to YouTube, leading to a global outage of the site.
- 'Elephants have really, really long trunks, and that's cool,' according to the first video on YouTube (April 2005).
- O2 was the UK's biggest online advertiser in 2008, spending £12.3m.
- Google has an estimated 19 data centres in the US alone, and 12 in Europe.
- Footage released by Google of one of its data centres in April revealed that the technicians get around on scooters.
- The first popular browser was 1993's Mosaic, launched by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
- Kirkland House, 95 Dunster Street, Cambridge, MA - the address of Harvard student Zuckerberg when he was developing Facebook.
- The pool of 4 billion unique IP addresses could be empty by February 2010.
- More than 10 per cent of websites flicker regularly on and off as a result of routing 'black holes'.
- The world's most-watched viral ad is the trailer for vampire movie Twilight, according to Visible Measures.
- By 2015, 'perfect search' will let users ask a whole question for a complete answer.
- In ten years' time, the web will distribute physical products via automated manufacturing in people's homes.
This article was first published on revolutionmagazine.com
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