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Internet Firsts

The 1st Internet Banner Ad was created for the notoriously crappy beverage, Zima, back in 1998.  Since then banner ads have come a long way – back then the idea of swatting 10 George W. Bush-headed flies to win a free iPod nano seemed ludicrous.  How quaint. 

1st person to try to hawk off his virginity online: Florida Honor student and president of his school’s computer and A/V club (read: nerd), Francis Cornworth was willing to drive all the way to Orlando if you were willing to pay for his innocence. Bidding began at a modest $10, and slowly rose until Ebay put a stop to the fun.  He is still a virgin today, all thanks to Ebay's prudish ways. 

1st Hackers to Prank Call the Vatican: Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak managed to hack into long distance with their blue boxes (back in the early ‘70s, when it cost a fortune to dial up Italy), and used the technology to ask the Pope if his refrigerator was still running. The Pope answered, "Yes," and then promptly had the pair excommunicated.  You see, that's why Apple hasn't been very successful lately!

1st Inter-species Online Chat: Taking full advantage of the web, Koko the Gorilla and AOL teamed up for a historic internet chat in April 1998. Of course, the idea proved more captivating than the conversation. When asked what the names of her 2 kittens were, Koko said “foot”, and when asked if she liked to chat with people, she answered, “nipple.”  What an idiot. 

1st Signs of French irritation: Needing something to get prickly about in 2003, the French Ministry of Culture decided to ban the use of the word “e-mail” by government ministries (it was a little too English sounding for their liking). Instead, it adopts the more French sounding “courriel.” They also put the kibosh on the word “blog,” preferring the very different “un blogue.”   They can whine all they want but if it wasn't for us they'd be calling online journals "und blügzeit" and saluting a swastika. 

1st time Saudi Arabian  public is allowed online: 1999.

1st time Saudi Arabian public witnesses a horse having sex with a woman: 1999 + 3 minutes.

1st Internet Search Engine: Way before there was Google, there was Archie, an engine created by a bunch of foolish Canadians and named for their favorite comic book character. Follow-up versions of the system were called Jughead and Veronica (seriously) and became popular nowhere.  However, my search engine, Aquaman, is getting pretty popular.

1st Registered Domain Name: Despite the fact that they could have bought any domain name they wanted back in 1985, the clever marketers at Symbolics Technology decided to blow their cash on Buying an internet domain name back in ’85 wasn’t the only instance of the company being “ahead of their time.” In the mid-90’s Symbolics decided to go bankrupt way before it was cool for dot coms to lose all their money.

1st company to let you order pizza online: Pizza Hut, back in 1994. The only question that remains is why we haven't erected a huge monument to this genius idea yet?

Most unusual group to hang out in a chat room: Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad, PLO Leader Yasser Arafat, and Phillipine President Fidel Ramos met for 10 minutes in an online chat session back in January ‘96.  And that was the last time anything not involving trading porn or soliciting sex  happened in a chat room!

1st Internet Hoax to Get Mass Attention: In 1994, a press release circulated claiming that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates looked at religion as a growth market, and had decided to buy the Catholic Church. Thanks to the deal, Microsoft would acquire exclusive electronic rights to the Bible, and would deliver sacraments to the righteous online. The response was so great that in December of that year, Microsoft sent out another press release (this one authentic) letting people know that they had zero intention of buying shares in the Vatican. IBM faced a similar crisis a few weeks later, when allegations of them buying the Episcopal church (terrible investment). 

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