The public Internet turns 20

You have this man to thank for the ability to read this awesome news blog. (CERN, 1994)

You have this man to thank for the ability to read this awesome news blog. (CERN, 1994)

April 30, 2013:

  • The World Wide Web turns 20 today. In one more year it can have a drink. Until then, let’s raise a toast to Tim Berners-Lee, who in 1989 developed the technology that enabled collaboration between scientists around the world. One April 30, 1993, the European science agency CERN, where Berners-Lee worked, made the first web browser public domain. “I was lucky enough to invent the Web at the time when the Internet already existed,” said Berners-Lee. The first website is still online. The Internet, a network of interconnected computing devices, was first created with financing by the U.S. government.
  • A government panel is encouraging Facebook and Google to intercept online communications in real time, reports The Washington Post. A government task force proposes fining the Internet giants that fail to heed wiretap orders. Both companies have been “resistant” to providing the info, the article says, probably because it would add massive cost to their operations. The fines would start at “tens of thousands” of dollars and double daily after 90 days. Smaller companies, for some reason, are exempt from the fines.
  • You think the weather in Georgia can be bad? NASA recently released images of a “hurricane” on Saturn that has an eye (1,250 miles across) larger than the Earth’s biggest storms (Sandy was about 1,000 miles in diameter). Winds from the “Red Rose” of Saturn reach speeds of 330 miles per hour, four times faster than most Earthly hurricanes, says NASA. Unlike storms here, the one on Saturn does not move — it has been hovering over the planet’s north pole for years, scientists believe.
  • The first private, rocket-powered spaceship took flight Monday. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo fired its engines during a test flight in California’s Mojave Air and Spaceport. The ship, carried aloft by an airplane, fired its engines for 16 seconds and reached an altitude of 56,000 feet and a speed of 761 mph (Mach 1.2) before safely landing. It was the vehicle’s first self-powered flight. Virgin Galactic’s goal is to carry space tourists to the edge of space for $200,000.
  • A key, but allegedly dead, witness in a 20-year-old Georgia murder case is alive and well say the cops who arrested him for child molestation. Dale Lee Higgenbottom, who was 15 years old when baby Christopher Breazeale was killed in 1992, was allegedly romantically involved with the child’s mom, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Prosecutors said they dropped the murder case against accused baby killer Dale Lee Higgenbottom because the father of the baby, Hugh Lonnie Breazeale, was dead. The district attorney said he never asked for a death certificate confirming the death of Breazeale, arrested Thursday in Catoosa County after three underage girls said he had molested them.

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