February 15, 2005
The now-ubiquitous video sharing site, YouTube, is launched. Few web sites have had such an immediate impact on our usage of the Internet. Less than 2 years after its launch, Google paid $1.65 billion dollars to purchase it. Today, it only trails Facebook, Google, and Gmail as the most visited web sites in the world. Additionally, they created a new marketplace for the words “you” and “tube”.
February 12, 2001
Jan de Wit sends out an email stating that it is a picture of the famous tennis player Anna Kournikova. Rather than being a picture of the Russian known more for her looks than her play (although she was ranked as high as #8 in the world in singles and #1 in doubles), it was a malicious script that tried to send itself to every address in a user’s address book and e-mail inbox (Windows users only, of course). The malware was so efficient, it was known to be spreading twice as fast as the “Love Bug” virus that devastated corporate networks a year earlier. The moral of the story is that men are easily manipulated.
February 8, 2005
Google Maps is launched to the public. I never had to ask for directions again. Not that I did before.
February 8, 1996
The massive Internet collaboration “24 Hours in Cyberspace” takes place. It was so early in the history of the mainstream Internet, I bet none of you remember this. I didn’t!
February 5, 1999
Victoria’s Secret holds their first annual online fashion show. The event attracts 1.5 million visitors. While the technology was no where near as advanced as it was today, it was considered the first major successful webcast.
February 4, 2004
Mark Zuckerberg launches Thefacebook, which later becomes Facebook. The world changes forever. And we like it.
January 28, 1999
Yahoo! buys GeoCities for $3.65 billion USD. GeoCities was an early web hosting service getting its start in 1994. As a testament to its popularity, there were at least 38 million pages remaining on GeoCities when Yahoo! shut it down in 2009.
January 27, 1994
Silicon Graphics Inc. co-founder Jim Clark leaves the company to start Mosaic Communications, the operation that later became Netscape Communications Corp. With Netscape cofounder Marc Andreesen, Clark helped popularize the World Wide Web by distributing the company’s browser for free.
January 23, 1996
The first version of the Java programming language was released. The ability of Java to “write once, run anywhere” made it ideal for Internet-based applications. As the popularity of the Internet soared, so did the usage of Java.