The Internet

Roxio Acquires Napster Legacy

NapsterNovember 25, 2002

Digital media software company Roxio purchases the assets of the former Napster, including name, logo, domain name, technology portfolio, and other intellectual property. Napster was the peer-to-peer file sharing service that changed the music industry forever, facilitating the easy sharing of music, much to the chagrin of the established music industry. The RIAA sued Napster causing a judgement against the file-sharing service requiring them to monitor its network for copyright infringing material and restrict access when made aware of such incidents. Napster could not comply with this court order and shut down its service before declaring bankruptcy in 2002.

Roxio was the first company to attempt to use the Napster brand for a music service, renaming Pressplay as Napster 2.0. In September 2008, Best Buy purchased the Napster service for $121 million, before merging it with the Rhapsody service in December 2011.

AOL Buys Netscape

aol-netscape-logosNovember 24, 1998

AOL announces it will buy Netscape Communications in a stock-for-stock deal worth approximately $4.2 billion. At the time it was considered a move by AOL and Netscape to merge forces to better compete with Microsoft in the browser and Internet provider markets. However, Microsoft’s dominance in the personal computer market could not be stopped and the Netscape browser lost almost all marketshare to Internet Explorer. In 2003 Microsoft settled a monopoly lawsuit with AOL (then merged with Time Warner) for $750 million over the loss of value of Netscape. AOL itself, once a dominant Internet Service Provider, slowly lost their subscriber base with the evolution of broadband Internet in the 2000’s and operates primarily as a media conglomerate, although their dial-up service still subscribes approximately 2 million users as of 2013.

The Birth of the Internet

c-Arpanet_610x405November 21, 1969

A little less than a month after the first test message was sent, the first permanent link on the ARPANet is established between UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute. As the ARPANet was the foundation of the modern Internet, this connection can now be considered the very first link of what we now know as the Internet.

Amazon Ignites the Kindle

original-amazon-kindleNovember 19, 2007

Amazon introduces their Kindle e-book reader. Where other companies had released e-book readers in previous years with limited success, the Kindle’s integration with Amazon’s industry leading book distribution system helped catapult the e-reader into the the mainstream consciousness. The Kindle sold out within five hours of its debut.

Conception of the World Wide Web

Tim Berners-LeeNovember 12, 1990

Tim Berners-Lee submits a proposal for a hypertext project he calls “WorldWideWeb”. In this proposal he lays out his vision for what will, of course, become the modern web. In about three months, he will have a web browser ready. And in only another three months, the first web server will go online, marking the launch of the world wide web.

A Firefox Rises Out of the Ashes

Original Firefox Logo (2004)

This was the original Firefox logo from 2004

November 9, 2004

The Mozilla Foundation releases version 1.0 of the Firefox web browser. Firefox is significant in Internet history because it represented the first serious alternative to the dominance of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in several years. By many estimations, Internet Explorer had risen to over 90% of browser marketshare since the downfall of Netscape many years earlier.

It is interesting to note, however, that it was Netscape itself that started the Mozilla project when it released the source code to their Netscape Communicator software in 1998. It was upon this codebase that the foundations of Firefox were laid. Firefox’s original name was Phoenix, seemingly in tribute to the fact that out of the ashes of the fallen Netscape came a new browser.

Pets.com Put to Sleep

Pets.com Sock PuppetNovember 7, 2000

After only 2 years in business, Pets.com shuts down operations. Cited as one of the biggest failures of the dot-com bubble, Pets.com was able to gain significant brand recognition through its extensive marketing campaign and sock puppet mascot, but lost money due to an unsustainable business plan. Ironically, the company’s best selling product was its sock puppet. And yes, I own one.

Morris Worm Tunnels Through Internet

The Morris WormNovember 2, 1988

Robert Morris of Cornell University launches a self-replicating worm as part of a research project designed to determine the size of the early Internet. It was intended to count the number of computers that initiated connections when the worm was loaded onto them. However, due to a programming error, the “Morris Worm” began repeatedly infecting machines, clogging network traffic and causing machines to crash. Eventually the worm spread to 6,000 machines, which was roughly 10 percent of the Internet at the time, causing significant downtime for government and university systems for two days. Morris was dismissed from Cornell, sentenced to three years probation and a $10,000 fine.

First Message on the Internet

First ARPANET IMP Log

This is the log of the first message sent on the Internet.

October 29, 1969

UCLA student Charley Kline attempts to transmit the text “login” to a computer at the Stanford Research Institute over the first link on the ARPANET, which was the precursor to the modern Internet. After the letters “l” and “o” are sent the system crashed, making the first message ever sent on the Internet “lo”. About an hour later, after recovering from the crash, the full text of “login” is successfully sent.

First Major ARPANET Outage

The ARPANET in 1980

The ARPANET in 1980

October 27, 1980

The ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Internet, stops functioning for about four hours after the network’s routing tables are corrupted by a malfunctioning Interface Message Processor (IMP).