40 things you didn’t know about the internet


Interesting trivia list from Adam Woods in Revolution Magazine.

Link: HERE

1. The Arpanet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) launched in 1969 as a forerunner to the web.

2. The Arpanet was devised as a response to the Russian launch of the Sputnik in 1957.

3. 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.

4. Lifehouse, Pete Townshend’s (The Who) abandoned concept album, was based in a world dominated by ‘the Grid’, similar to the web.

5. Engineer Ray Tomlinson sent the first email in 1971.

6. Tim Berners-Lee, who founded the world-wide web in 1989, took inspiration from a Victorian book called Enquire Within Upon Everything.

7. The web (a system of documents) and the internet (hardware and software infrastructure) are not synonyms.

8. Grey Interactive was the first digital agency set up by a major ad network, in 1993.

9. The first piece of commercial spam was a message sent by a US law firm in 1994, entitled ‘Green Card Lottery – Final One?’

10. A famous Monty Python sketch inspired the term ‘spam’.

11. British Airways first went online to save money on replying to children’s letters.

12. Eagle Star launched the first British online car insurance site in August 1997.

13. Just five in 111 British brands polled by Eversheds in 1997 believed a website was worth an outlay of £5,000.

14. In the late 90s, professional development teams in the pay of organised criminals took over the production of computer viruses.

15. David Bowie’s 1999 album Hours was the first offered for commercial download.

16. BT’s first big UK consumer campaign for broadband in 2002 confused some customers, who didn’t realise they needed a computer.

17. The world has 6.8 billion people, of whom 1.7 billion are internet users, according to Internet World Stats.

18. In 2002, China had 45.8 million web users. By 2012 it is expected to have 490 million web users.

19. India’s online population increased to 60 million in 2008, according to New Scientist.

20. 72.5 per cent of Americans and 69 per cent of British consumers were online last year, claims New Scientist.

21. The web receives an estimated 100 billion clicks per day and contains 55 trillion links.

22. Wired executive editor Kevin Kelly calculates that the web has the same processing power as the human brain.

23. One Google search uses about 1kJ or 0.0003kWh of electricity, amounting to 0.2g of emitted CO2.

24. The internet used 9.4 per cent of the electricity produced in the US in October 2007, says researcher David Sarokin.

25. Global e-commerce spend was $6.8 trillion (£4 trillion) in 2008, or 15 per cent of GDP.

26. 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.

27. Network traffic through LINX, the London Internet Exchange, is typically around 300Gbps.

28. 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.

29. In February 2008, Pakistan instructed local ISPs to block access to YouTube, leading to a global outage of the site.

30. ‘Elephants have really, really long trunks, and that’s cool,’ according to the first video on YouTube (April 2005).

31. O2 was the UK’s biggest online advertiser in 2008, spending £12.3m.

32. Google has an estimated 19 data centres in the US alone, and 12 in Europe.

33. Footage released by Google of one of its data centres in April revealed that the technicians get around on scooters.

34. The first popular browser was 1993’s Mosaic, launched by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

35. Kirkland House, 95 Dunster Street, Cambridge, MA – the address of Harvard student Zuckerberg when he was developing Facebook.

36. The pool of 4 billion unique IP addresses could be empty by February 2010.

37. More than 10 per cent of websites flicker regularly on and off as a result of routing ‘black holes’.

38. The world’s most-watched viral ad is the trailer for vampire movie Twilight, according to Visible Measures.

39. By 2015, ‘perfect search’ will let users ask a whole question for a complete answer.

40. In ten years’ time, the web will distribute physical products via automated manufacturing in people’s homes.

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