10 ways spam taught us to focus our attention

This entry is part 8 of 39 in the series 40 years online

First seen in 1978, spam has become the vaccine for your attention span. It’s the toxin that has stimulated our immunity system’s defenses. Thanks to spam, we’ve had to find technical, social and personal ways of keeping our eyes on the 22% of e-mail that isn’t pure junk, and to avoid the 78% that is.

10 ways you can help to build the Internet

This entry is part 7 of 39 in the series 40 years online

You can help to create the Internet without writing a single line of code. You can help create the online world in which you and your children are going to live. This post maps out 10 ways you can help with that important and rewarding work.

Waiting for your life online

This entry is part 4 of 39 in the series 40 years online

1974 was the beginning of the end for waiting, as home computer kits and time-sharing systems started to cut into all those hours waiting for the mainframe. Over the years, we wait less and less, as our computers and Internet connections and smartphones get better and better. But waiting may just be something worth waiting for.

Another view of the Internet in 1971

Rob Cottingham, who was actually around in 1971, remembers the early Internet a little differently. He’s annotated the Computer History Museum’s 1971 ARPAnet map, which I included in my kick-off on my¬†40 years of looking back on the Internet: Thanks, Rob,...