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The Web turns 30: Dream or nightmare?

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In March 1989, Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal for an information management system to his boss, Mike Sendall. Sendall’s reply? “Vague, but exciting.” We know it today as the web. We’ve come a long, long way since then.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee: ” “If you connect people together and keep the web free and open, then people could do good things — what could go wrong?”


CC BY-SA 4.0 Paul Clarke

Berners-Lee wrote, “Suppose all the information stored on computers everywhere were linked. Suppose I could program my computer to create a space in which everything could be linked to everything.” We, of course, don’t have to imagine this. We live in that world.

The idea of a universal, easily accessible, internet-based knowledge system wasn’t new with Berners-Lee. You can trace it back to Vannevar Bush’s “As We May Think” article in July 1945. Personally, I think Ted Nelson’s 1960 Xanadu hypertext vision had even more influence on how the web would turn out. Later, Apple’s HyperCard gave us a hypertext system that might have beat Berners-Lee to the web… except HyperCard was totally network unaware.

CNET: Web’s creator offers a message of hope for its future 

So it was that Berners-Lee turned the hypertext dream into our web reality. In October 1990, Berners-Lee used Steve Jobs’ NeXT machines — the BSD Unix-based computers that are Apple Mac’s most direct ancestor — to create the first Web server: info.cern.ch.

By December 25 1990, Nicola Pellow, a visiting student at CERN, created a simple text-based browser. During 1991, the first real data, the CERN telephone directory, was put online and the WorldWideWeb was made available to other CERN users.

During the next few years, the WorldWideWeb slowly spread through academic and research communities.

That’s where I came in. I wrote the first review of the Web in April 1993. I said, “World-Wide Web (WEB) is still a development project, but it is publicly accessible and it provides Internet information hunters with greater power. WEB brings hypertext to the Internet.”

I concluded, “Alas, for now, WEB remains mostly potential. The WEB server is only available by telneting to info.cern.ch or nxo01.cern.ch. Its full hypertext informational resources are limited at this time, but they are growing. WEB is the informational wave of the future.”

Boy, did I ever underestimate it. The web became a tidal wave that would sweep aside such online services as AOL, CompuServe and Genie. None of us knew then that the web would transform the world.

If you turned 30 this year you can’t imagine how different everything was then. The internet already existed, but you had to be a techie’s techie to use it with such programs as archie, ftp, and gopher. If you wanted a book, you went to a bookstore. If you wanted to listen to music, you went to a record store. If you wanted to talk to your sister, you called her on an analog, wired phone.

The early web was also very difficult to use. For example, then the most popular end-user operating system was Windows 3.1. It came without any TCP/IP support — the Internet’s fundamental networking protocol.

To connect with the Internet you needed the notoriously difficult to use Trumpet Winsock program. Even after mastering Winsock, connecting was a real pain.  At best you used a then state of the art V32bis modem — with a top speed of 28.8Kbps — to hook up with your local Internet Service Provider (ISP). Connection made, you still had to master a web browser. As I wrote in 1994 about the first popular web browser, “Mosaic is in no way, shape or form a program designed for everyone to use, but anyone who loves computing will enjoy it.”

Now, we get vexed if our connection drops below 10 Mbps anywhere on the planet. The web browser, as Google has shown with its Chromebooks, is all the interface we need for most kinds of computing.  We expect to be connected at all times. The web has become as essential for modern life as electricity.

We’ve also moved beyond counting the many benefits the web has delivered to counting the annoyances it has brought us. As Berners-Lee said a few months ago, he used to think that “If you connect people together and keep the web free and open, then people could do good things — what could go wrong?”

We know the answer to that. Berners-Lee continued, “Well, looking back, all kinds of things have gone wrong since.” These include: Fake news; the loss of privacy; personal data abuse; and a 1984-like world where people can be profiled and manipulated. The freedom of the internet is being subverted into tyranny.

Moving on to the next generation of the web, it’s up to us to make a web that fulfills the dream of the internet rather than its worst nightmare.

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The Special Detail Hidden On The Cadillac Escalade-V

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If the V badge means anything in a Caddy, you can think of it as Popeye after devouring a can of spinach. The Escalade-V has a 6.2-liter supercharged gas-fed V8 engine derived from the hardcore CT5-V Blackwing. However, Cadillac engineers gave the mill a more substantial 2.65-liter R2650 TVS supercharger with four-lobe rotors capable of spinning to a heady 13,500 rpm. Pumping out up to 10 pounds of boost accessible with a heavy right foot, the Escalade-V offers 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque, making it the world’s most powerful full-size luxury SUV. In addition, the blown V8 churns out maximum torque from 4,400 rpm, which means you get ultimate shove without burying the go-pedal, a trait that most luxury car or SUV buyers love.

Sure, the Escalade is an opulent (albeit pricey) family SUV, but the V badge and magnificent supercharged V8 have given it a renewed vigor. According to Cadillac, the Escalade-V could sprint from zero to 60 mph in under 4.4 seconds. It could also breach the quarter-mile run in 12.74 seconds at 110 mph. For context, the Escalade-V has more power than a Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 and is faster than a RAM TRX at the dragstrip. Who says you can’t have fun in a three-row luxury SUV?

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Today’s Wordle Answer #382 – July 6, 2022 Solution And Hints

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The answer to Wordle’s July 6, 2022, edition is the word fluff. When it comes to an etymological analysis, there isn’t much meat to the puzzle here. A close predecessor is the word floow (also spelled as flue), which refers to a wooly substance. There’s a Flemish term called vluwe and a French word velu meaning hairy or shaggy that are said to be earlier variants of the word. Some say that the world fluff is an imitative modification of the word floow, which describes the act of puffing a light substance. Another theory is that fluff came out from the merger of flue and puff.

There’s also a movie that was released in 2020 by the name “Fluff,” but you haven’t likely seen it unless names like John Pallotta, Wesley Green, Brian Anthony Wilson, and Gina Martino ring a bell. Fluff sandwich is also a delicacy in the New England region; it gets its name from the light filling that is predominantly marshmallow with jelly or peanut butter, and is colloquially referred to as the fluffernutter.

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Samsung’s Foldable Phones Could Get Much Cheaper In The Near Future

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During the restructuring of its smartphone branding scheme, Samsung adopted the A letter for its mid-range phones, reserving M for entry-level devices (spoiler: the three phone families now spell S, A, M). The Galaxy A series usually has some resemblance to flagship Galaxy S phones, particularly in design, but often skimps out on other hardware components like the processor, memory, and cameras. According to an insider source (via ETnews), Samsung will be using the same tactic to bring down its foldable prices to a more agreeable level.

The report doesn’t say which corners will allegedly be cut to reach that lower price point, though it does mention only having core functions installed. If there is one thing that Samsung can’t skimp on, however, it is the durability of the foldable phone and the materials it will use. If a cheap foldable phone with an already fragile display is easily damaged, it will only serve to scare potential buyers away rather than increase confidence in the product line.

Samsung will reportedly target a price of 1 million KRW, which is roughly $770 USD and therefore considerably cheaper than even the Galaxy Z Flip 3 model’s price tag. This won’t be happening anytime soon, though, as the pieces are unlikely to fall into place until 2024 — presumably when foldable displays themselves have become less expensive to make. Samsung’s timeline might also be influenced by Apple’s foldable plans, as the Korean company will most likely want to have its brand well-established in that market before the first foldable iPhone or iPad launch.

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