Happy Birthday Web!
On August 6, 1991, Tim Berners-Lee, then a scientist at CERN, made the first page on the World Wide Web publicly available. On the 20th anniversary of the Web's birth, here are 20 things we are happy the Information Superhighway has made possible.
Web sites like Google and Bing have made it as easy as a keystroke to find some of the most obscure information. No need to head to the library, pick up an encyclopedia, call friends, or give yourself a massive headache trying to remember small facts you once knew or need to know. Information is one of the greatest gifts the Web has given us.
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Wikipedia isn't the best source for a research paper, but it's a one-stop shop for getting a quick rundown on most subjects. Just be careful; anyone can change the site's information.
Mark Zuckerberg's baby, Facebook, has revolutionized the way an entire generation communicates. Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, and Foursquare, just to name a few, have given rise to an unlimited source of interaction between people all around the world.
Credit: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenk
Spotify is just one of many music-sharing sites that have allowed the world greater access to many different styles of music. Want polka music? Salsa? Rap? It's only a click away.
In times of crisis, such as natural disasters, photo sharing becomes a fast, efficient way to get information and images to massive numbers of people. Sharing photos online has also been a way to store and share memories.
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AIM hit it big a few years ago, and now most social sites have an instant-messaging component, making communication from anywhere in the world easy.
Tila Tequila is just one of many stars born on the Web. She was discovered on MySpace and became a reality star. Likewise, Justin Bieber was found on YouTube and rose to teen superstardom. The Web has opened the world up to an entirely untapped range of talent.
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Shopping sites like Zappos have made getting clothes, shoes, books, and accessories easier than ever. In the comfort of your own home, the Web presents a larger selection of products than any mall on earth.
YouTube videos and great jokes gone viral online have long entertained users of the Internet. Who doesn't love to hate Rebecca Black's "Friday" or get entertained by Nyan Cat?
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"Hacktivist" groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec have been a nuisance to authorities, but their hacking has given media attention to dire issues around the world, allowing the organizations to live up to their names.
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Uniting Under a Common Cause
An Egyptian protester waves his national flag as tens of thousands gather for a demonstration at Cairo's Tahrir Square. Young Egyptians got fed up with the oppressive regime and united through social media to revolt against their government.
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Web-only series like Lisa Kudrow's "Web Therapy" have charmed and entertained. So much so that "Therapy" is moving to Showtime in the fall.
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TV Shows online
Hulu has made missing your favorite show tolerable by streaming them online only days after their original air date. No longer do we have to mourn missing a huge plot point of the best of what TV has to offer.
Netflix has made streaming movies and old television shows affordable--even with the recent price hike--giving college students something to do in their dorm rooms besides study.
The remix wasn't popularized until the Internet came along, and nowadays, with the right app, anyone can be a DJ and drop some sick beats.
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New studies say iPhone users would give up shoes and sex for their phones, which are largely so engrossing thanks to the Web.
Finding obscure collectables or selling old things for a profit has never been so easy, thanks to auction sites like eBay.
A large portion of relationships now are fostered through an online connection. Sites like Match.com have complex algorithms designed to find love.
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Bye-bye snail mail. Want to send an official notice, party invitation, break-up letter (yes, that does happen) or just a "hello"? No problem, it won't even take three to five business days.
Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? It's pretty easy to find out with the help of GPS systems found on Mapquest or powered through Google Maps.
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