Web 2.0 Culture: Viruses everywhere

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Screenshot of malware, pop-ups, and other viruses on a computer
A familiar sight of Web 2.0 users who didn’t know any better (screenshot from HackRead)

Viruses have been spreading through the Internet for as long as a connection has allowed them. From e-mails, to shady websites, to advanced software like ransomware, they’ve always found a way. A lot of this attributes to user-ignorance; For a tool used by the majority of people on a daily basis, it’s still common in this day and age that most users don’t know how to protect themselves from viruses online.

Fortunately, web browsers and computers created in recent years have been created with more idiot-proof features in order to prevent as much damage as possible. Pop-up blockers, in-browser malware detectors, and the like are everyday tools that keep our computers a little bit safer. But before these convenient virus-preventing services came along, it wasn’t as easy for the average person to avoid them. Of all the web eras thus far, malware seemed to have its most common day during Web 2.0. Continue reading “Web 2.0 Culture: Viruses everywhere”

Web Relic Showcase: Eric Conveys an Emotion

The Netstorian discusses Eric Conveys an Emotion (1998-2008)

Screenshot of Eric Conveys an Emotion
Screenshot of “Realizing that Your Hair Just Caught on Fire” emotion page from Eric Conveys an Emotion

Name: Eric Conveys an Emotion
URL: http://www.emotioneric.com/
Year created: 1998
Year abandoned: 2008

Before social media, websites connected with their audiences through blog comments, guestbooks, and e-mails. The extent of these methods often resulted in FAQ and “Reader Mail” sections and not much more in terms of additional site content. A smaller number of personal sites, however, relied heavily on audience interaction to assist in the site’s content. In this instance, Eric Conveys an Emotion is a successful example. Continue reading “Web Relic Showcase: Eric Conveys an Emotion”

Cyber movie review: Hackers (1995)

The Netstorian reviews the 1995 cult-favourite, Hackers.

Hackers movie cast
The main cast of Hackers (photo from Mike Flynn)

Last week I decided to finally watch the movie Hackers. As a cult film based around cyberculture, I was bound to check it out eventually. It’s more of a computing movie than it is an Internet movie, but the characters having to use the Internet to hack is enough for it to count as such. Continue reading “Cyber movie review: Hackers (1995)”

Let’s Play A Net Game: Peasant’s Quest

The Netstorian plays through the 2004 Homestar Runner classic.

Peasant's Quest title screen
Peasant’s Quest title screen

Game: Peasant’s Quest
Creator: Homestar Runner
Released: August 2004
Play it here: http://www.homestarrunner.com/disk4of12.html

For the second Netstorian live stream I thought it would be fun to revisit a game from Homestar Runner. Though Peasant’s Quest doesn’t feature any beloved main characters such as Homestar or Strong Bad, the game still serves as an important piece of the site. I remember playing this game about nine or 10 years ago when I would visit the website almost daily. Last night was my first time playing it since then. Continue reading “Let’s Play A Net Game: Peasant’s Quest”

Web Relic Showcase: The Subservient Chicken

Screenshot of The Subservient Chicken
Screenshot of the website. The chicken is on standby, ready to obey any commands.

Name: The Subservient Chicken
URL: http://web.archive.org/web/20040727012738/http://www.subservientchicken.com/
Year created: 2004
Year abandoned: 2011 [Only minor layout updates from 2005-2011]

If you recall any Burger King commercials from the early 2000’s, you may remember one which featured the “Subservient Chicken”. These ads were created to promote the restaurant’s then-new TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich. The commercial featured a man controlling a person in a chicken suit to obey his every command, leading to the tagline “Chicken the way you like it”. This led to a marketing campaign in the form of website launched in 2004. The site allowed users to control the same person in the chicken suit via webcam. Continue reading “Web Relic Showcase: The Subservient Chicken”

Web Relic Showcase: Cap’n’ Wacky’s Boatload of Love

Cap'n' Wacky's Boatload of Love
Screenshot of Cap’n’ Wacky’s Boatload of Love homepage

Name: Cap’n’ Wacky’s Boatload of Love
URL: http://www.capnwacky.com/valentines/index.html
Year Created: 2000
Year Abandoned: 2001 (Minor update in 2010)

Valentine’s Day is one of those days that people have mixed feelings about. For those who would rather see a more humorous side of Valentine’s Day, it can be found on pages like Cap’n’ Wacky’s Boatload of Love. Continue reading “Web Relic Showcase: Cap’n’ Wacky’s Boatload of Love”

The Dot Com Super Bowl

Pets.com Super Bowl ad
Still from Pets.com’s Super Bowl XXXIV ad

As the Internet became more popular and the new millennium approached, it wasn’t uncommon to see the entertainment industry trying to get in on the fun. Your favourite TV shows would have episodes revolving around a character doing something that involved the Internet, rather than it being presented as an every day thing. Popular music would make corny attempts to work this trendy new thing into their lyrics and videos. Films such as You’ve Got Mail were likely created to relate to a newly-connected audience of moviegoers.

It’s no secret that when the entertainment world wants to jump on a trend, the hype is heavily milked. So what happens when you combine the Super Bowl, one of the biggest television events of the year, with the Internet, a larger-than-life technology growing in popularity? You get the “Dot Com Super Bowl” of 2000. Continue reading “The Dot Com Super Bowl”

Web Relic Showcase: Ted’s Caving Page

Ted's Caving Page
Screenshot of Ted’s Caving Page’s homepage.

Name: Ted’s Caving Page
URL: http://www.angelfire.com/trek/caver/
Year created: 2001
Year abandoned: 2001

If you’re a fan of reading creepy stories on the Internet, chances are you read Creepypastas. Scary stories are timeless, and without a doubt have always existed online. One frightening tale from the early web that stands out more than the rest is the story of Ted the Caver. Continue reading “Web Relic Showcase: Ted’s Caving Page”

Let’s Play A Net Game: Cartoon Cartoons Summer Resort

Cartoon Cartoons Summer Resort title screen
The title screens for all four CCSR episodes.

Game: Cartoon Cartoons Summer Resort (Episodes 1-4)
Creator: Cartoon Network
Released: Summer 2000
Play it here:
Episode 1: http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/games/cc/summerresort/1.html
Episode 2: http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/games/cc/summerresort/2.html
Episode 3: http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/games/cc/summerresort/3.html
Episode 4: http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/games/cc/summerresort/4.html

Yesterday night marked the very first Netstorian live stream. For those of you who missed it, I played all four episodes of Cartoon Cartoons Summer Resort, a Cartoon Network game from the summer of 2000. Like many Cartoon Network games, CCSR was one that I thoroughly enjoyed playing when I first got online as a kid. Before last night, it had been years since I’d last played it, but thanks to the help of the Wayback Machine, I was able to replay a game that I loved back then, and have a newfound love for today. Continue reading “Let’s Play A Net Game: Cartoon Cartoons Summer Resort”

The death of MySpace: How Facebook won

MySpace logo
The old MySpace logo, featuring the slogan “a place for friends” which was used until 2009. (Photo from TechCrunch)

The Internet has evolved as a social tool throughout the years. Discussion with purpose was held on newsgroups, forums, and themed chatrooms. As the Web 2.0 era came to be, social networking was on the rise. Interaction was no longer limited to specific discussion. Sites like Friendster and Photobucket allowed users to share more of their true selves online. The biggest and most important social network of Web 2.0 was without a doubt MySpace, but as the times went on, it couldn’t survive into the next era. Continue reading “The death of MySpace: How Facebook won”