10 Crazy Facts From Internet History

tim berners-leeTim Berners-Lee is credited with the invention of the World Wide Web as we know it today.

When you think of the “World Wide Web,” you likely imagine a sprawling network of computers circling the globe, blasting information to each other 24 hours a day.

And you’d be right, though this wasn’t always the case.

When he first invented it in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee kept the entire World Wide Web (which was still rather small for a time) on his NeXTcube from NeXT, the company started by Steve Jobs after being ousted from Apple.

This is of course but one example from the internet’s unusual history. We’ve got 9 more for you.

The entire World Wide Web used to be just one computer.

Tim Berners-Lee invented what became the World Wide Web in 1989. It had to go somewhere, so for a while, the whole thing lived on his Next computer.

Garfield the cartoon cat once offered a free email service at Gmail.com.

Google literally had to buy the Gmail domain from Garfield.

YouTube's copyright-checking software scans over 100 years of video every day.

Google enlists the help of software to scan the volumes of video footage uploaded to YouTube every day to ensure that intellectual property stays protected. We can only imagine what a timesaver that must be compared to humans doing the same task.

The first-ever webcam was used to watch a pot of coffee.

Because what's worse than walking down the hall to fill your caffeine craving only to discover an empty coffee pot?

Beginning in 1991, Cambridge University successfully implemented the first webcam on its own local network. Its sole purpose was to monitor a coffee pot to see how much coffee was left.

It remained in operation until 2001.

In 1974, the word 'internet' first appeared in the 'Internet Transmission Control Program' booklet as a shortening of the term 'internetworking' or 'inter-system networking.'

Commercial activity online used to be explicitly banned.

It wasn't until 1992, when Congress passed the Scientific Advanced Technology Act, that commercial interests were allowed online. This included everything from paying for your internet service provider to buying something from an online marketplace.

It's thought that this law is what jump-started the internet into the behemoth it is today.

There are sites out there for people looking for effective suicide instructions.

A blessing or a curse? If the internet is a giant collection of the world's information, then part of that information exists specifically to teach you how to kill yourself.

One in six marriages today occur because the couple met online.

The dynamics of romance are changing, and have been rapidly. When you can effectively quantify and attempt to objectively examine people's compatibility with each other, it only makes sense that they'll take to it as a means of finding a mate.

Roughly one out of every three internet searches is for porn.

People's interests seem to be a bit primal when it comes to their online activity.

About 1/3 of all internet searches are for pornography and at any given moment, there are approximately 28,000 people watching X-rated videos online.

Despite the prevalence of porn-related searches, it's expected that the porn world only constitutes about 1.1% of the internet at large.

The Telegraph reports on the 2006 Justice Department's hiring of statistician Philip B. Stark to determine how much internet content was adult-centered and otherwise sexually explicit.

According to his findings, only '1.1 % of the websites indexed by Google and MSN' could be considered as belonging to that category.

Some men just want to watch the world burn.

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