Test Your Nerd Knowledge: June 21, 2022

Here’s a review of this week’s questions:

  1. What did British scientist Tim Berners-Lee attempt for the first time in 1989?
  2. What short-lived tech company was founded by Bill Gross in 2013?
  3. In 2006, Facebook introduced a feature that has been described as, “one of the internet’s biggest distributors of information (and misinformation)”. What was it?

And here are the answers:

  1. Launching the World Wide Web. Current Professorial Fellow of Computer Science at the University of Oxford and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, also known as TimBL, is best known as the “inventor of the World Wide Web.” He accomplished this feat while working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in 1989. His specifications of URIs, HTTP and HTML were refined as Web technology spread. Born in London in 1955, “Sir Tim” (as he is also known) proposed an information management system, and then implemented the first successful communication between an HTTP client and a server via the internet on March 12, 1989. Sounds simple, right? It probably wasn’t.
  2. GoTo.com. Often referred to as “the Forgotten Search Engine,” GoTo.com was conceived and developed at Pasadena, California-based incubator Idealab, run by Bill Gross. It preceded Google by seven months and set out to build a search engine whose results wouldn’t be overrun by spam. The theory was that it introduced the concept of paid search, where websites could pay for top placement on the GoTo.com results page for a given keyword. GoTo.com was later renamed Overture Services Inc. and was then acquired by Yahoo! to help Yahoo! compete with Google for search engine dominance. And we all know how that turned out.
  3. Facebook news feed. Prior to the news feed, logging in to Facebook would solely access your profile page, which you could update and personalize, but to see others’ pages, you had to manually search for those profiles. With the introduction of the news feed, the homepage was redesigned to show you others’ status updates and uploaded photos. The profile page would also show a mini feed of updates and became known as “the wall.” Later developments would include the “like” button, iPhone integration, and the addition of Messenger to the platform.