That Plastic Thing Inside Your Pizza Box Was Invented 30 Years Ago

If you’re one of the 7 billion humans on this planet who enjoys getting pizza delivered to your door, you have a piece of plastic to thank. A piece of plastic? Yes, that circular plastic thing that goes in the middle of a pie to prevent the pizza from sticking to the top of the pizza box. It's called a pizza saver.… » 2/05/15 8:40pm 2/05/15 8:40pm

The Streisand Effect: Celebrating 10 Years of Internet Pile-Ons

Exactly ten years ago today, the internet finally gave a name to one of its favorite phenomenons, the Streisand Effect. Or: What happens when you try to censor something and the internet loses its collective shit, dumping even more attention on it. And what a glorious decade it's been. » 1/05/15 4:52pm 1/05/15 4:52pm

CSS Is 20 Years Old Today

Two decades ago, Opera's Chief Technical Officer, Håkon Wium Lie, published a document that would change web design forever. It was called Cascading HTML style sheets – a proposal. » 10/10/14 7:30am 10/10/14 7:30am

Everything You Need to Escape from Alcatraz

Exactly 80 years ago today, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary officially opened its gates to some of America's most violently incorrigible criminals—after all, it was the most escape-proof prison ever built. Escape-proof, that is, for everyone except three prisoners in 1962 and their trusty arsenal of brilliant,… » 8/11/14 1:20pm 8/11/14 1:20pm

Chernobyl's Steel Radiation Shield Is the Biggest Moving Structure Ever

In the normal world, it's what you'd call a bad investment: Spending $2 billion to build the largest moveable structure ever—and knowing that it won't work for longer than 100 years. But in Chernobyl, it's the best available option for protecting a whole continent from the worst nuclear disaster in history. » 4/28/14 1:40pm 4/28/14 1:40pm

NPR Got the Internet 20 Years Ago: Read the Memo

Exactly 20 years ago, NPR staffer Dennis Fuze circulated a memorandum to his colleagues announcing that the venerable public broadcasting powerhouse would be getting something called "internet." In 2014, the memo seems adorably naive—which just shows you how much technology has evolved since 1994. » 4/28/14 10:20am 4/28/14 10:20am

The Game Boy Turns 25 Today

You've almost certainly played a game on your phone today. Some beautiful, high-res game with a rainbow of colors and fluid animation. You've got a lot of power in your pocket these days, but portable gaming owes a lot to the chunky old Game Boy, which is 25 years old today. » 4/21/14 11:20am 4/21/14 11:20am

9 People Who Thought Gmail Might Be an April Fools' Prank

Gmail's officially entering its tender tween years today, and after a decade with the internet's favorite email service, we can barely even remember our lives without it. But then, that's why we have the internet—to remember for us. » 4/01/14 1:40pm 4/01/14 1:40pm

Gmail Is 10 Years Old Today

Take heed, because there's a lot of bad stuff out there on the internet today. But there's one thing that's very good and useful: it's Gmail, and today your favorite email service is celebrating its tenth birthday. » 4/01/14 11:20am 4/01/14 11:20am

The Untold History of the Easy-Bake Oven

I have a confession: My brother and I destroyed my Easy-Bake Oven. I had the 1981 Mini-Wave model, the boxy, yellow microwave style, which was, in my 7-year-old mind, the only kind of Easy-Bake there was. One day, my 4-year-old brother had a brilliant idea—to "cook" a green plastic steak from our 1972 Mattel Tuff Stuff » 2/13/14 4:00pm 2/13/14 4:00pm

The Most Important Facebook Redesigns in Its 10-Year History

Ten years ago today, Mark Zuckerberg gave birth to The Facebook and launched an online social revolution in his Harvard dorm room. We all know what happened next—thanks in no small part to an eight-time Academy Award-nominated film. With such humble beginnings, no one could have predicted the wild success (and cries… » 2/04/14 10:40am 2/04/14 10:40am

14 Absurd Ads From Before We Knew Cigarettes Could Kill You

Fifty years ago today, in 1964, the US Surgeon General released one of the most progressive documents on smoking of its time, stating definitively that, yes, smoking tobacco can indeed be fatal. And with it, the Untied States' cigarette culture began its (often frustratingly, grudgingly slow) overhaul from one of… » 1/11/14 4:00pm 1/11/14 4:00pm

45 Years Ago, Doug Engelbart Gave the Most Important Tech Demo Ever

On December 9th, 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart—along with 17 researchers from Stanford—gave a 90-minute live public demonstration of the technology they'd been working on for the previous 6 years. It changed the face of technology—and you can watch it in full here. » 12/09/13 4:43am 12/09/13 4:43am

Polaroid's First Camera Caused Black Friday Pandemonium 65 Years Ago

Polaroid is a non-entity these days, but instant photography lives on in the digital photos we produce at dazzling speeds. We're addicted, and that's what made Polaroid the hottest tech company in the world when its first blockbuster consumer product, the Model 95 Land Camera, went on sale. That was 65 years ago on… » 11/26/13 3:00pm 11/26/13 3:00pm

The Last Supersonic Flight of the Concorde Was 10 Years Ago Today

We were promised supersonic flights. Today, we stay well below the speed of sound. We were promised transatlantic flights from New York to London in 3 and a half hours. Today, that flight takes us 7 hours. We were promised the future of flying. That future hasn't existed for 10 years. The last flight of the Concorde … » 10/24/13 12:42pm 10/24/13 12:42pm

The Best and Worst Things 4Chan Gave the World

Incredible as it may seem, today 4chan turns a full 10 years old—hello tween years! But 4chan is, let's say, advanced for its age. And the precursor to pretty much the entire internet as you know it has given us a whole lot to think about over the years. » 10/01/13 6:07pm 10/01/13 6:07pm

Android Turns 5 Years Old Today

Today in 2008, Google executives stood on stage and announced the much-rumored T-Mobile G1 (also known as the HTC Dream). It was the first commercial product to run a new, Linux-based operating system called Android. It turned out pretty OK. » 9/23/13 4:16pm 9/23/13 4:16pm

The Audio Cassette Is 50 Years Old Today

The humble cassette tape, beloved of 80s music lovers, may now be defunct—but it's hardly surprising given that the once-revolutionary medium turns 50 today. » 9/13/13 7:30am 9/13/13 7:30am

The Greatest Google Doodles From Each Year of Google History

Today marks the official 15th birthday of everyone's favorite startup search engine turned tech giant turned Big Brother. And even though many have had their gripes, it's hard not to look back at our Google-fueled time online with a sense of fondness. Because no matter where you might find yourself in life, you know… » 9/04/13 3:20pm 9/04/13 3:20pm

Today Marks Lava Lamps' 50th Year of Lighting Up Your Parents' Basement

Believe it or not, that beloved 1960s relic that once cast a warm, unnatural glow on hippies everywhere is officially 50 years old today. And even though you may still see lava lamps churning away in basements scattered across the country, they are a very much a product of their time. » 9/03/13 5:20pm 9/03/13 5:20pm