Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Web

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  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    There’s something wrong with my wife and I searching the same term in google and getting different results

    You can turn that off - go into settings on the google search homepage, turn off search history. It's not easy to find, but it's there.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Now where were we? ah yes, the World Wide Web.
    I wondered at the time if there was a way of making money out of this new fangled device, I scoured my planet sized brain for a cunning plan, I came up blank. If you were to set up a money making service on the web, I thought, you would then have to advertise it, thus negating the whole endeavour.
    I have since noticed that many people, obviously, didn’t think things through to the depth I did, fools.
    What I did think was worth doing was buying Cisco shares, $0.08 at the time, $82.00 a mere ten years later. Didn’t do it though, waddaya think I am? a capitalist?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • kiwicmc, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I also came up with many cunning plans - ourphotos.com was one. What you would do is post (yes - post) your photos (yes! photos) to us, we'd scan them in and make a web page for you. The hand crafted HTML was a true work of art that almost looked like a photo album...

    We got my sister's wedding up, plus someone's graduation photos and then.... nothing.

    Domain Name: OURPHOTOS.COM
    ...
    Creation Date: 1996-05-31T00:00:00Z

    My partner in crime, Terry, still renews the domain name to this day...

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2008 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to kiwicmc,

    Had to go look, erm,, forgot my password ;-)
    Seems it is still connected to a server somewhere.
    I still regard myself as being somewhat “web savvy” but can’t for the life of me understand Facebook or how the hell it can be worth billions. Guess there is “One born every minute” whether they be advertisers or customers.
    At least with TV these days I can understand that the viewer is the product but still can’t understand why people think the web itself can be a way to make money unless you use it as a storefront and actually have something to sell. Zukerburg just sounds like a town full of suckers to me.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • kiwicmc,

    http://web.archive.org/web/19981111185814/http://ourphotos.com/

    Now I remember, my sister's kiwi wedding at some winery out Kumeu way was deemed not acceptable to the US audience (so us geeks thought anyway), so we substituted with something suitably more up market.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2008 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • ange wither,

    that took me back to "e-world", an apple based alternative to AOL (simulation here http://www.remember-eworld.de). It was exciting hearing the gardle doodle thwang thwang of the modem, and into an online community. I used to facilitate feminist and queer conversations in women online worldwide (WOW), met some lovely people. Not sure when, maybe 95. Cost a lot. I still have the little e-world disk.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The news media came to believe that being underwritten by advertising was a birthright, and it wasn’t. The phenomenon that sees The Guardian, a paper with around 200,000 readers in print, reach an internet audience of 36 million is the same that sees The Guardian burn up its trust account at the rate of £30 million to £40 million every year.

    Well, yes. And after reading this, I don't know how long the London Review of Books, and it's generously and promptly paid contributors, is going to survive when editor Mary-Kay Wilmers' family trust is no longer under-writing things.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    then moved fairly quickly to Planet Nelson run by the anarchic and lovely Chris O'Donoghue.

    This was just worth repeating.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to ange wither,

    that took me back to “e-world”, an apple based alternative to AOL (simulation here http://www.remember-eworld.de). It was exciting hearing the gardle doodle thwang thwang of the modem, and into an online community. I used to facilitate feminist and queer conversations in women online worldwide (WOW), met some lovely people. Not sure when, maybe 95. Cost a lot. I still have the little e-world disk.

    Yes, I remember eWorld. It was painfully slow, but it was actually my first experience of getting source data on a current news story – that being the trial of OJ Simpson. The Court TV channel provided transcripts, the lot. It was very good.

    The interesting thing is that Xtra’s original “x-Ville” homepage was pretty much a rip of eWorld.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    Here we are. A rare surviving screenshot of x-Ville. I've looked for this image several times and this little gif is all there was.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    www.govt.nz in 1996.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to izogi,

    I love Firefox: it's straightforward; and I don't see an advantage in being over-Googled. google search is great and the maps.

    My first intersection with the internet was in 1995 or 1996 at an INL newspaper. I was specifically instructed that editorial staff access was locked down so journalists couldn't waste their time on it (ie reading foreign newspapers). Access was given on a strictly rationed case-by-case basis -- a bit like the best pens being kept in a locked cupboard in the assistant editor's office. Email addresses were verboten.

    A couple of years later beloved had a fax machine at home that our neighbours used to come and worship and send glamorous notes to their friends and family who lived over the waters.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    One thing has remained constant through decades of change. My hotmail address. Can anyone else here claim an active 18 year old email address? Even more scary, I've never deleted a non-spam message or disposable notification.

    It's actually quite a sucky service. But I'm sentimental about it now. It's like driving a vintage car, on the verge of becoming an antique. It's the original web app, and the idea is still humming today.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to izogi,

    the big point-of-difference with Ask Jeeves being that it let people type in questions, instead of search terms.

    That's how it was sold, but it quickly became a standing joke, because even if it 'knew' the answer to a particular question (and usually it didn't), it wasn't 'intelligent' enough to deal with the variations in syntax, grammar, spelling, etc of the same question asked in a variety of slightly different ways, and would end up offering something hilariously wrongly left-field in response.

    Nowadays, I do sometimes search by typing complete or semi complete questions into Google, and more often than not, the first results are 'ask.com'.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    the first results are ‘ask.com’.

    Is that like Google's way of saying "learn to use a search engine, Granddad!"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    Can anyone else here claim an active 18 year old email address?

    One 15-year old and one 13-year old Hotmail address, still in use. Plus two Gmail accounts, and a domain/server-based 'proper' address. I'd have killed off the older ones, but given how easy it is these day to route them all through a single desktop-based e-mail program, it doesn't seem worth it.

    It's the mullet of communication. All business in the front, long at the back when it's time to par-tay.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    [The fax of course is not internet; but to a non-techie type like myself, it was almost as glamorous and came in that same bracket as email: instant access to overseas.]

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    It’s the mullet of communication. All business in the front, long at the back when it’s time to par-tay.

    On my 18 year old address I totally "live in the now".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Lyall, in reply to BenWilson,

    Can anyone else here claim an active 18 year old email address?

    Hotmail wasn't founded till mid-1996 so your email address probably isn't quite 18.

    I got my domain in mid-1995 so my email address is 18 and a half.

    However there are people at Waikato University that have had the same email address since at least 1989 so they win.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 60 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to BenWilson,

    Is that like Google’s way of saying “learn to use a search engine, Granddad!”

    Well, the last time I did it, it was 'how do I fill in a paying-in slip?'. Which would be embarrassing, but over the course of ten years in NZ, I don't think I ever paid for anything by cheque, or was ever paid by cheque. Because, y'know, The Internet. So when we moved back to the UK, there was a whole set of archaic skills I had to re-learn when people started paying me by posting (!) these odd-looking, vaguely familiar banky-type pieces of paper to me.

    NZ bank websites are also an oasis of well-thought-out design functionality and user-friendliness compared to some of their UK equivalents. 'You mean it's possible to get all the text on one screen AND readable at the same time? AND the sidebar menu buttons make sense?!' AND I can log on without having to carry around a separate wireless transmitter for my bank card?!'

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    My personal experience of the Internet began in 1994, I believe. Ian had a computer on which he played war games, and I was very disparaging. "I'd rather read a book" I opined. And then he came home with this thing, called the Internet and had us linked up with some company which I can't even remember the name of, and at some point that became iHug, or maybe we switched, I don't remember, and I haven't looked back. Back then there were chatrooms. HTML ones, in which conversations were excruciatingly slow. I used Ask Jeeves a lot but I seem to remember that there was this thing, and I can't remember the name of it, which was like a word cloud. I was fascinated by it. Then Java arrived on the scene, and chat became a lot easier. My most used chat forums at the time were on Delphi, and it was the first time I made friends online. That was succeeded by Xtrachat which was vile - there were many meet-ups of some really interesting and quite dire characters. And I started using messageboards very regularly. Public Address has remained the only one I still use (that and Trademe Pet and Animal forum. Don't judge me.) So my internet experience has gone from a very broad one - I think I belonged to about 7 chatroom forums at one time - to a very narrow one. Whilst the social interactions online in my every day life have moved in the same way and yet, at the same time, expanded my circles of friends, and acquaintances, in this really quite miraculous way. Astounding thing. Happy Birthday WWW.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Simon Lyall,

    I got my domain in mid-1995 so my email address is 18 and a half.

    I registered taniwha.com back in 1993 so my email address is ~21 years old - but I used uucp before that the same machine had served me as ..!taniwha!paul since about 1989

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied have been documenting each cached GeoCities page via a Tumblr and a rather whimsical blog. It's startling to see the ways the web has changed (four-frame GIFs!) and the ways in which it hasn't ("This is my Def Leppard fan page!"]]

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Lipscombe,

    Speaking of intellectual origins of the Web... does anyone remember Xanadu? I've always thought Ted Nelson's idea of non-sequential writing, first developed in the 1960s, was an interesting alternative to Tim Berners-Lee's work on one-way hypertext links. I heard Ted Nelson speak in 1991 at the Digital Equipment Computer Users Society (DECUS) Conference in Auckland, and by 1995 researchers at the University of Auckland were apparently experimenting with a two-way hypertext linking system. Xanadu seemed to me like an exciting possibility at the time but it seems to have ended up as the Neanderthal of web evolution. Are there any survivors?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2011 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Lipscombe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I might have some XTRA screen grabs in my files. All archived on 3.5" floppies -- but I do have an external USB drive that I can use to access the files. I'll let you know if I find anything.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2011 • 19 posts Report Reply

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