One of President Trump’s first actions after taking office was to institute a federal hiring freeze, leaving thousands of jobs vacant across the US government. Many of these jobs are in agencies that Trump supposedly values, like NASA. But when you look at the job vacancies that NASA is forbidden from filling, we see…
Whether you’re trying to remember the name of that guy from the thing, or just contrasting a score against Rotten Tomatoes’s to see if it’s worth spending 15 goddamn dollars to see something in theaters, the Internet Movie Database is an indispensable consumer resource. There are many reasons IMDB has become an…
In 1999, Davide Bowie sat down for a TV interview with BBC host Jeremy Paxman. Bowie explains that if he were a kid of the 1990s he wouldn’t have become a pop star. Instead, Bowie probably would’ve become obsessed with the internet. Why? According to Bowie, that’s where the potentially interesting—chaotic, nihilistic,…
When Doom was released in 1993 it was an undeniable boon to the game modding community, and among the many fan projects built on its bones was Sonic Robo Blast 2. Its slippery physics recalled the most celebrated Sonic titles and Doomguy’s inhumanly fast movement meshed perfectly with a franchise all about speed.…
Never say anything in an electronic message that you wouldn’t want appearing, and attributed to you, in tomorrow’s front-page headline in the New York Times. That was the advice of Colonel David Russell, head of the IPTO at DARPA in the mid-1970s and it still holds true today.
Whenever I write about the history of the internet, someone slips into the comments with a joke about Al Gore inventing it. And it gets funnier every time.
In 1973, Norway became the first nation outside the US to get online through DARPA’s packet-switched network, the ARPANET. Americans had decided to connect the proto-internet to such a distant country for one reason. They were trying to keep tabs on Soviet nuclear tests.
In 1993, sci-fi author Bruce Sterling testified in front of a House subcommittee about the future of the internet — specifically, what “the Net” would look like in 2015.
Online drug sales gained notoriety thanks to the Silk Road market, but the buying and selling of illegal mood-altering substances through computers goes a lot farther back. In fact, the very first online transaction was a drug deal.
I have heard rumors about this website, but I still cannot quite believe that it exists. I am looking at what I think is a hit list.
CERN, the world's most awe-inspiring physics research facility, is pimping some images of its newly renovated Large Hadron Collider today. It reminds me of the very first time CERN pimped some images on the web nearly a quarter century ago. Let's just say they were not entirely scientific in nature.
According to a newly-published New York Magazine profile, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar sounds like a pretty weird dude. The lengthy piece not only documents the billionaire's latest shenanigans, but also the origins of the world's largest auction site. Funnily enough, Ebola plays a strange role in that story.
Stanford's Linear Accelerator Laboratory operates the longest particle accelerator of its kind—it's produced groundbreaking work in particle physics over the decades, as well as several Nobel prizes. But surprisingly, it also played a major role in the early web: By hosting the first web site in the US. It wasn't much…
Happy birthday, Internet! You may be turning 45 today, but we swear you don’t look a day over 30. And not to embarrass you, but we thought we’d celebrate by sharing some of your baby photos. Or, more accurately, perhaps some of your sonograms.
"Silicon Valley is a place where seemingly impossible problems are solved every day," Ezra Klein writes in a new post for The Verge. "...while Washington is a place where solvable problems prove impossible to do anything about." Klein presents a huge chasm dividing the worlds of technology and politics. This idea is…
Above, is the log book from UCLA documenting the first host-to-host connection of the ARPANET, the precursor to our modern internet. It was 10:30pm on October 29, 1969. The first message ever sent? "LO." They were trying to type LOGIN, but it crashed before they could finish.
Some day a President of the United States may be elected “electronically.” This sentence wouldn’t look out of place in any news story from the 21st century, despite quotes around the word “electronically.” But believe it or not, that prediction comes from a magazine article in 1945.
Every new communications technology has that honeymoon period where a select group of people embraces it as the key to utopia. And then come the trolls. Even early radio had miscreants who would send out false distress signals. The people least prepared for their trollish ways? Canadians.
For something as ubiquitous as the internet today, it certainly isn't easy to find where it all started. I don't mean historically, I mean logistically: 3420 Boelter Hall is a tiny room in a basement hallway of a large nondescript building on the sprawling UCLA campus.