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Posts in category Fact Friday

Domain Name Registrations were Free till 1995

 

Nobody really knew what the internet was capable of back then and this was a huge opportunity for people to own all kinds of do domain names. It was in 1995 that a company called Network Solutions was granted the rights to charge people for domain names. And it was expensive too: prices typically started at $100 per two years of registration.

As much as 30 per cent of this was a fee that went to the National Science Foundation to create an ‘Internet Intellectual Infrastructure Fund’. This fee was later reversed in 1997, bringing the charge down to $70 for two years

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92% of the World’s Currency is Digital

 

This means that most of the money you earn, transact with, use to buy goods/services and so on exists only on computers and hard drives. Only an estimated 8 per cent of currency globally is physical money.

All the black money piles come from within this 8 per cent. This is a fair estimate that economists seem to agree on though, not an exact figure. This low percentage seems absurd but when you stop to think, it makes sense considering that most large transactions are done electronically anyway.

Banks store electronically too and the 92 per cent includes all kinds of transactions done using credit/debit cards and wire transfers. Might be a good idea to revisit all those hacker movies where a nerdy computer hacker manages to siphon billions off in just a few minutes.

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QWERTY was Designed to Slow You Down

 

There are actually two theories to this. The first one starts to make sense when you look at manual typewriters. If someone typed too fast, the keys would jam. QWERTY placed common alphabets at a distance from each other and slowed typists down.

Another theory is that telegraph operators designed the QWERTY layout because it was easier (and faster) to decipher Morse code.

Either way, there was no reason to keep using the layout, but it stuck and there was resistance to change. You can actually change your keyboard layout to the faster Dvorak layout in the language settings (or just buy a new Dvorak keyboard).

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E-mail Existed Before The World Wide Web

 

You probably don’t even think before composing a one-line email message and sending it. But it wasn’t always so easy. There’s an interesting clip on YouTube: “How to send an Email – Database – 1984”. This was from a tech TV show called Database and the presenters demonstrated what it took to actually send an email back in those days.

You had to use a computer and a rotary telephone to connect to a service called Micronet. This was pre-WWW, so there were no URLs, just numbered webpages. For emails, the webpage number was 7776.

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Changing Fonts Can Save Printer Ink

 

That’s right, fonts are not created equal. People create different kinds of fonts for all kinds of reasons: to convey a message, for decoration, embellishment or as iconography.

The theory is, if you use a ‘lighter’ font (with a lighter stroke), you’ll use slightly less ink per page. Based on the assumption that you’re only printing with inkjet printers that use the old style cartridges (not ink tanks, and not toner-based laser printers), you’ll likely save 10 per cent ink by switching to one of the lighter fonts.

Of course, the flip side to this argument is that as a home consumer, you’ll never print enough volumes to actually see a benefit.

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