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Notes to Chapter 1
notes to chapter
All the Web addresses included were checked when we went online, but some, inevitably, may have moved or changed.
"Beam Me Up, I'm Covered," at http://www.ufo2001.com. Partenia is at http://www.partenia.org. The McLibel trial is
archived at http://www.mcspotlight.org. Zhu Ling's page is at http://www.radsci.ucla.edu/telemed/zhuling.
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ASCII art is pictures made out of the simple characters an ordinary computer keyboard can produce. The original
production of HamNet featured an elegant castle made out of characters like |, /, [, and ^.
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Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community (Secker and Warburg, 1994), 37.
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In a confusion of abbreviations, there are two organizations calling themselves CIX. The better-known one in the
United States is the Commercial Internet Exchange, a group set up in early 1991 by the then major regional Internet
service providers to promote the commercial use of the Internet. As this organization only appears briefly in chapter 14,
in general I will use CIX to mean the London conferencing system founded in 1987 whose full name is Compulink
Information eXchange. <back to text>
The reason this no longer works is that those joke conferences had no messages in them, since part of the joke was
that the unwitting participants had no idea how they got into the conference or who had done it. Live online, you would
see you had been joined to the conference, even if it was empty. And it wouldn't be for long, since someone would
inevitably post something of scintillating brilliance like, "Hey! What am I doing in here?" Because offline readers only
know how to pick up waiting messages, they don't see empty conferences, and while you could leave a few seed
messages, your user name would be imprinted on them, spoiling the game. <back to text>
- The distinction between an online service like America Online and a direct-access ISP is an important one.
Essentially, it's the difference between having your computer connected directly to the Internet and using someone
else's connection by connecting to their computer and using it as an intermediary. There were no consumer-oriented
ISPs until the mid-1990s, and services like CompuServe made a lot of money by being able to charge higher prices
and sell access to even higher-priced databases of periodicals normally available only to businesses on subscription
(the way a retailer buys a case of fruit and sells it to you in small amounts). Dial-up online services had advantages
over early Internet access: although they were more expensive, they were easier to set up and use, and they had
search facilities when the Internet was still a jumbled mass of data. CompuServe now also sells direct Internet access,
and version 3.0 of the information service integrates the service with standard Internet access. <back to text>
Briefly, every Usenet newsgroup name is composed of a series of words or parts of words separated by dots, such
rec.sport.tennis . The first part, rec in this case, is an abbreviation for "recreation" and gives a broad idea of the kind
of newsgroup it is--a recreational topic, rather than a computer science one (comp). The second shows that the topic
is a sport; the third identifies which sport. This style of naming newsgroups is easy both for computers to sort and
humans to understand. <back to text>
The "Usenet/Culture-FAQ, "maintained by Tom Seidenberg , is reposted regularly to alt.culture.usenet. For more on
"MAKE MONEY FAST" see chapter 2. <back to text>
From Part 2 of "Net.Legends FAQ (Noticeable Phenomena of Usenet)," maintained by David DeLaney and archived
at http://www.math.uiuc.edu/~tskirvin/faqs/legend.html. <back to text>
WELL stands for Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link, and because it's based in the San Francisco area and was set up as
early as 1985, a large percentage of those most responsible for defining the technology and ethos of cyberspace have
at one time or another been members, who often style themselves "WELLperns" or, occasionally, "WELLbeings."
Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, the two lawyers who brought small-time marketing to Usenet (see chapter 2),
speak of the WELL as if it were the headquarters of some kind of cabal or conspiracy. It's not, although significant
discussions on the WELL have included much of the work of organizing the first and third Computers, Freedom, and
Privacy conferences, the 1991 Harper 's magazine forum on hacking, the dissection of T ime's 1995 cover story on
"cyberporn" and the flawed study it was based on (see chapter 9), and many board members of the Electronic Frontier
Foundation had or have accounts there. The WELL, which originally became known as the Net home for Grateful Dead
fans, is an extremely quirky place, but its appeal has been limited in part by the technical demands of its eccentric, text-
based interface, which tends to weed out a lot of casual users. If the Net has an online equivalent of the Algonquin
Round Table, the WELL might be it. <back to text>
"Freedom from a Strange, New Land," Daily Telegraph, April 16, 1996. <back to text>
Personal interview conducted just after the 1995 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference in early April; it
eventually ran in the Guardian as "Hard Link to the Physical World," on January 11, 1996. <back to text>
"Crime and Puzzlement" circulated widely on the Net. "Decrypting the Puzzle Palace" appeared in Communications
of the ACM, July 1992. "Jackboots on the Infobahn" appeared in W ired, April 1994, 40-48. A complete archive of these
and Barlow's other writings are available at http://www.eff.org/pub/ Publications/John_Perry_Barlow/HTML.
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Gilmore notes on his Web page that he is not actually sure when or where he said it, although he agrees, along
with everyone else, that it probably was him. <back to text>
Henry Hardy, "The History of the Net," (master' s thesis, School of Communications, Grand Valley State University,
1993). Available on the Web at http://ginch.dial.umd.edu/users/cerberus.misc/history-net.html. <back to text>
In "Email from Bill," originally published in the New Yorker and reprinted in The New Science Journalists, edited by Ted Anton and Rick McCourt (Ballantine, 1995). <back to text>
- As part of a profile of Dyson, "Esther Dyson: Pattern Recognizer," by agent and author John Brockman from his
Digerati (Wired Books, 1997), samples of which are archived on the Web at http://www.upside.com/texis/archive/search/article.html?UID=970301106. Dyson is also president of EDventure Holdings, organizer of the annual
invitation-only conference PC Forum, and editor of the industry newsletter Release 1.0. <back to text>
- John Seabrook, Deeper: My Two-Year Odyssey in Cyberspace (Simon and Schuster, 1997), 234-35.
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Slate is published weekly at http://www.slate.com and edited by former
New Yorker writer
and CNN Cross-Fire commentator Michael Kinsley. The only
issue ever published of Stale is
at http://www.stale.com. Wired publishes
both new material commissioned just for the Net
and articles from the magazine on its HotWired site at http://www.hotwired.com. This, too,
had a parody site for a couple of years, HowTired, at http://www.howtired.com. ReWired is athttp://www.rewired.com. Suck, begun by two
Wired employees and sold to Wired in 1996, is
at http://www.suck.com. <back to text>
Todd Lappin, "Deja Vu all over Again," Wired, May 1995, 175.
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