A typical example is the API published by Google for its Maps service. In 1994, the NSF implemented a plan to allow Internet service to be taken over by commercial companies known as ‘Internet Service Providers’ (ISPs), each of which would operate its own backbone, enabling the old NSF backbone to be decommissioned. For that reason, for example, design of the central protocols of the network was entrusted to a Network Working Group that largely consisted of students.

The resultant of these affordances points towards winner-takes-all outcomes – as seen, for example, in Google's domination of the search market, Facebook's in social networking and Amazon's in online retailing and cloud computing. This effect may not be intentional, but it is nevertheless real. This had the advantage of allowing people who were not in a position to install the Web software on their own machines to experiment with it. In general, the dominant view of the working group shall prevail (However, ‘dominance’ is not to be determined on the basis of volume or persistence, but rather a more general sense of agreement). In this way was established the collaborative ethos that has been an important feature of Internet technical development up to the present day.8. Over the 1980s, a grant from the US National Science Foundation allowed smaller universities to connect to ARPANET to share information with those who couldn’t directly connect to the network. The first iPhone was launched by Apple in the summer of 2007. On 28 February 1990, the ARPANET was officially decommissioned; the era of formal military involvement in the operation of the Internet had ended. Reflecting on what those changes mean for the likely future trajectory of the Internet is critical. Customers would connect to one of the companies’ backbones, and the ISPs would operate a set of gateways at which a number of ISPs could interconnect their systems, allowing traffic to pass smoothly from one network to another, giving end users the illusion of interacting with a seamless, unitary system. Despite all this, dissemination of the Web in 1991–1992 was slow and remained so until the spring of 1993, when Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina, then working at the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, released Mosaic, a browser they had written for the Web.

In the disillusionment that followed, many people drew the conclusion that the Internet phenomenon was overblown. But access to the internet is a recent phenomenon that’s reshaped the world in a stunningly short amount of time. SDS, or Scientific Data Systems, an early US computer company staffed by Packard Bell alums, built that first computer that connected to the  network.

A computer application that is so compellingly useful that people are motivated to purchase or adopt the software or hardware on which it runs. With hindsight, this seems surprising, but in fact it is perfectly plausible when one remembers the context in which the technology first appeared. It is posed by a ruling of the European Court of Justice in May 2014 in the so-called right to be forgotten case.

Within ARPA, it was decided to build on this work by creating a packet-switched radio network (named PRNET) in the San Francisco area.

When the bubble burst, these companies were left with apparently unwanted assets, and some went bankrupt.

In just over a month, the total market capitalisation of companies on the NASDAQ exchange fell from $6.71 trillion to $5.78 trillion (Geier 2015). Which is why ‘get big fast’ was the dominant mantra of the time in pitches to venture capital firms. While access to ARPANET was only granted to researchers funded by the agency, membership of CSNET was open to computer scientists in any institution willing to pay the annual subscription (although commercial use of the network was prohibited under the NSF's ‘acceptable use’ policy).

In the US today, most broadband connections come into homes through the same connections used for cable TV, and don’t tend to require access to a telephone line to connect. In that sense, cyberspace and the so-called real world existed as parallel universes. We may not have moved beyond the internet of the early 1990s were it not for Tim Berners-Lee, who was looking for an easier way to find and share research. In this way TCP/IP became the cornerstone of the new ‘network of networks’. There was therefore an urgent need to design a communications system capable of surviving a devastating thermonuclear attack. But, as ever, retrospective generalisation glosses over a more complicated story.

The earliest days of the consumer internet were soundtracked by a cacophony of digital hisses and beeps.

From a technical point of view, there were various ways of achieving this goal.

This is largely a product of two factors: the capacity of the network to enable unanticipated innovations and launch them into society, and the obsession of the mass media with the ‘New New Thing’.3. Most people outside of the magic circle had no knowledge of the network – and even if they did, they would have found it difficult to gain admission to it.

What was distinctive about some of the web services that evolved after 1999 was that they used APIs to specify how entire web services could work together. A comprehensive survey of these developments is beyond the scope of this paper, so an outline of some of the more significant will have to suffice. But the potential for organic growth was not the only affordance implicit in the TCP/IP architecture. ), At the time, internet services, especially in the US, started to become more affordable.

As Van Schewick (2012) describes it, the TCP/IP design created an architecture for ‘permissionless innovation’ which enabled the explosion of disruptive creativity that is perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Internet. Research on its design commenced in 1973 and the network became operational in January 1983. For a prescient summary, see Zittrain (2008), web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The launch of Mosaic was a landmark moment in the evolution of both the Web and the Internet.

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