America Online, or AOL for short.
America Online originally charged users for every hour they spent on the internet. This was replaced with an unlimited monthly fee in 1996.
The web has revolutionized the way we do businesses. Some of the largest businesses today sprang up out of nowhere. Amazon.com, Netflix, and more built their businesses exclusively around the web. But it’s not just the big businesses that have benefited; small businesses can now sell their products to the entire world, rather than just to the people in their town.
The web has also been a means for people to share their talents. People have started blogs, shared their music or videos, and many have received so many followers that they have been able to make a living at doing what they love. Before, you had to own a newspaper or a TV station to broadcast your message to the world. Now, you just need access to the web.
It isn’t free to connect to the web, but once you’re there, it’s pretty easy to find all the content you want—for free.
The main idea on the web, then, is to provide a service for free, and make money some other way. A musician might give away their songs, and then charge for concerts. A director might give away a short movie, and then sell the DVD; or even use it to try to land a job with a large production company.
Many people think of Google as a search engine company. But how much did you pay the last time you did a search on Google? How can Google be one of the richest and biggest tech companies in the world, if they give away their main service?
The answer lies in information. Google deals in information, not search. When you do a Google search, sometimes you’re looking for information, but sometimes you’re looking to buy something. If Google knows you want to buy a product, then it can sell that information to people who have the product you’re looking for. So when you search for ‘basketball’, Google can charge a few pennies to a particular sports store, and display their ad first. Even though Google makes only a few pennies on each transaction, if you times that by millions of people every day buying online, you’ll understand Google’s business model.
And remember, those are sites, not web pages. There are billions of pages that search engines store.
There were four computers on ARPANET. One each at UCLA, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah.