Want to see what a website looked like on a specific date? You can always go to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine and type in a URL to find out. Or, you could do what The Science Elf did and build a box that runs the Wayback Proxy and lets him dial in a specific date to surf old versions of websites on vintage web browsers.
These days, we’re used to whipping our phones out and connecting instantly to the internet. But back in the 1990s, it was a much slower task. Gough Lui dusted off an old PC running Windows 98 to walk us slowly down memory lane to surf the web using a 31.2k baud dial-up modem and some vintage web browsers.
In the early 2000s, a website made the rounds that wreaked havoc on many computers, slowing them to a crawl as attempts to close its Flash animated windows only spawned more windows. NationSquid looks back at the story of YouAreAnIdiot and why it drew curious internet users like moths to a flame.
To help deploy high-speed Internet access to rural areas, Facebook Engineering has been developing a robot which can ride along on existing power lines to install fiber optic cables, saving time and money compared to conventional methods such as digging. The system uses with special cables which resist weather damage.
The Dancing Baby was one of the first internet memes, dating back to 1996. Because everything old is new again, JArmstrongArt decided to update the funky CGI baby to run at 60fps and 1080p resolution. Through some serious sleuthing work, he was able to dig up the original 3D model. Oooga-chaka! (Thanks Rob!)
If there’s one thing the Internet is good for, it’s disseminating silly memes. The guys at Know Your Meme and musician Hot Dad look back at the past decade with an animated timeline that illustrates the most popular memes, from Forever Alone to Woman Yelling at a Cat. How many of these do you remember?
Remember when Excite!, Lycos, and Geocities were a thing? In one of its more fascinating moving bar charts, Data Is Beautiful looks back at the history of the Internet over more than two decades, tracking the biggest websites based on monthly visits. Yes, there was a time before Google, Facebook, and YouTube.
Back in the 1990s, the internet was a kinder, gentler, and downright sillier place than it is today. Quartz looks back at some of the primitive and cheesy websites of the era, and pontificates on what may happen to the information and content they housed as these sites gradually go offline.
Simplify was created by Michael Leggett, who used to be the lead designer for Gmail. It’s a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that rids Gmail of the colors, lines and other distracting clutter. It still lets you use images as backgrounds as well as use a dark theme.
Jumbo is a privacy app that makes it easy to access your social media account’s deletion or security settings. Right now, it lets you delete old tweets and your Google search history, as well as set your Facebook privacy settings. It will soon work with Instagram and Tinder.
CZNIC’s Turris Mox is a router that you can enhance or optimize at will. The basic unit has dual-band Wi-Fi, Gigabit WAN, USB 3.0, and microSD ports. The other modules add Ethernet LAN ports, a backup LTE modem, fiber and more. You can also get just the circuit boards.
Nerdwriter reminds us to be vigilant and read text before clicking links when we’re browsing online or playing games. He points us to “dark” patterns – bad user experiences that are designed to manipulate an outcome. For more, there’s a helpful awareness website.
The Tenda Nova MW6 is an affordable set of three routers that can each act as a Wi-Fi access point. Install them apart to ensure you get a strong signal in all areas of your home. One set can cover 6,000 sq ft, and you can connect more units for larger areas.
(PG-13: Language) exurb1a theorizes about at how our obsessive use of the Internet and smartphones has diminished our ability to pay attention, learn new things, and deal with problems in the real world, and provides some ideas for cutting back on our digital addictions.