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The web, on this day 10 years ago (tenyearsago.io)
179 points by rhapsodic on Aug 5, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 85 comments

Haha, the HN post about Facebook has a very interesting comment which mentions the internet "a decade from now":

> It is just a joke that Facebook could be valued at $6 billion. An absolute joke.

> FB has 30 million users, and that's not considering potential duplicates.

> The number of active users may be even smaller than that, and some people like I only log on once a week or so.

> If FB gets sold for $6 billion, that means the new owning company would need to make $500 million a year for 12 years(!) to break even.

> Frankly, the Internet will probably be drastically different a decade from now.

> FB doesn't even make $50 million a year, who in their right mind thinks that they will all of a sudden make a profit off Facebook by spending that much money?

> I swear some of these big companies just like throwing money at things. Yes, the dot-com bubble is here once again.

Original comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=34165

Sounds like people talking about Uber today. "No way in hell is Uber worth xxx billion. An Absolute joke. Uber is losing xxx million dollars every quarter. Who in their right mind thinks that they will all of a sudden make a profit off Uber by spending that much money?"

I mean this tells me that engineers (assuming on average there are more technical readers on hacker news) don't know anything about products and their values. Or it's just that people aren't capable of thinking long-term.

Or maybe different things are different, and pointing at facebooks unlikely story to make a case for ubers long-term chances or broad claims about what engineers do or dont know is just as lazy as shunning uber without substantial insight into the field.

The accountants do and Uber's balance sheet makes them wonder if they will be as powerful in 10 years as yahoo is now.

Err, except Uber is actually in big trouble...

Do you think that trouble will last the next ten years?

I don't think it'll need to

Facebook now makes roughly $9 billion in revenue (and $4 billion in profit) per quarter.

Hmm, I see "Unknown or expired link" when I visit that. Is this a joke I didn't get?

Yeah, it was nostalgia. Expiring links used to be something of a plague. Made me chuckle a bit to see it again.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070716155904/http://news.ycombi... is a good rebuttal to the FB criticism though.

They're not wrong. We live in cuckooland.

Original article (with interesting comments) https://web.archive.org/web/20070715031943/http://battelleme...

Front page story 10 years ago on the NY Times: In Silicon Valley, Millionaires Who Don’t Feel Rich (http://web.archive.org/web/20070805144155/http://www.nytimes...)

Sounds familiar...

I remember reading this exact story in college thinking, I'll happily move to a place where he had a million and don't feel rich... I'd still have a million.

And more or less, it's worked out. You still live vastly better here with a million than many other parts of the world without a million.

So basically you're saying, having a million dollars is better than not having a million dollars :P

Nice idea.

Looked at the Apple website and before they opened iOS for native development (and monetarization through the App Store) they tried to push Web-Apps, but maybe this was just a experiment to validate if people will use it:

> Developers can create Web 2.0 applications that look and behave just like the applications built into iPhone, and provide seamless integration with iPhone applications and services including making a phone call, sending an email, and displaying a location in Google Maps. Third-party applications created using web standards can extend iPhone's capabilities without compromising its reliability or security.

A collegue (in college) told me that they initially did not want to release a developer kit (Steve did not "believe" in apps) and that they were a bit ashamed of the state the SDK was in at the time. I've found no article verifying this though.

The CSS for ESPN wouldn't load properly for me which accurately replicates the experience of using ESPN's site 10 years ago

Wow. 10 years ago today, a Breitbart link was at the top of the reddit front page. Huh...

Ron Paul and libertarianism were also super popular on Reddit back in the day. I remember that influencing a lot of my early political thinking.

Breitbart has changed a lot in the last decade.

It used to be far more reputable IIRC.

It began its descent after Andrew Breitbart died. I think it was in 2012.

That FOX News cover story seems pretty well-substantiated.

LOL. Hacker news looks exactly the same.

Wouldn't have it any other way.

Minimalism FTW.

Legit laughed when I saw this.

One pattern I notice and dislike is the increase of average font size on the web (and in OSes), and the overall decrease in density of information. BBC 10 years ago vs now side by side shows the difference [1].

[1] http://instantshare.virtivia.com:27080/1k6i3cajkox2c.png

Don't forget that screen resolutions were lower on average back then, which means that the side-by-side comparison doesn't really account for relative scale.

I don't think the BBC is doing that bad, but I do notice allot of sites these days do look huge on my 15" MBP, and you have to scroll a tonne to see very little. Though these sites usually work pretty well on my 27" iMac, I feel like no one makes responsive sites anymore.

> BBC 10 years ago vs now side by side shows the difference [1].

Ads take a lot of space on current BBC capture.

What i love about these things is i have to think about back then

What phone was i using?

When did i last buy a roll of film?

First amazon order and what was it?

First online order?

When did i get rid of landline?

When did i stop using aol? When did i get gmail?

Pretty sure it was an Ericsson W880i. The last non-touchscreen phone I owned... I miss that phone sometimes.

Roll of film? What's that again?

I think I still haven't ordered anything off Amazon, hadn't bought much online at all back then.

I've never had a landline in my own name (that we actually used, had a couple that came with an ADSL bundle when naked ADSL wasn't cheaper).

What's AOL? Got Gmail in '04 I think, late in the 'invite only' phase before they got evil.


>504 Gateway Time-out

>The server didn't respond in time.

Top story on HN: Wesabe, a dead startup.

Tells you how important HN launches are.

I wish this would link directly to the Internet Archive instead of showing it in a frame so that it would be easier to send links to people.

10 years later, here's what I feel:

- Some websites have changed for the better, for e.g. youtube.com

- Some have changed but maintained the same feel, for e.g. amazon.com and news.ycombinator.com

- Some have changed little, but I wish they had not changed, because they used to be better, for e.g. reddit.com and nytimes.com

Reddit was significantly more US focused and political than I remember. Wasn't surprised to see a Ron Paul article up at the top, but I remember more technology and programming type articles.

It does show how much nicer the front page was when it wasn't full of low effort pictures because image hosting sucked until imgur came along.

Things do not appear to have changed that much, huh?

Hah, not a word about subprime mortgages

Ten years ago I could use the upvote arrows on HN w/o JavaScript.

So nothing has changed.

I really like the idea, and looking at Youtube interface 10 years ago remind me of the time when I started writing small programs.

But I'm disappointing that the website doesn't use SSL at all.

It just links to Archive.org, and spoofs the address bar. So the content is 100% loaded from Archive.org. A very trivial website, but interesting looking back for a few minutes nevertheless. You can do the same with a more complex interface on Archive.org.

Why would you need encryption on this site?

popular subreddits:

* programming

* science

Oh, how times have changed.

The 'race to the bottom' of reddit has been fascinating to watch. I think it clearly demonstrates that without moderation popular forums will necessarily devolve to lowest common denominator content. (I do, however, appreciate there are still quality subreddits).

agree, though i think its tempting to view this cynically rather than as an almost inevitable product of the circumstances. i think it was david foster wallace who made a similar point about tv, namely that it caters to the lowest common denominator because thats what we all share- you cannot have the "mass" part of mass media without doing that. we all have more deep interests, but they are disparate- so the venn diagram essentially dictates the subject matter.

For sure, but technological trends have certainly catalysed the process, at least with respect to reddit. The ubiquity of the gif, and incredibly low friction image hosting services come to mind.

They are on Hacker News now.

HN is a hivemind. Post wrongthink and you will be downvoted to oblivion. I posted a scientific paper that shows legalizing prostitution increases the volume of human trafficking and I was shit on because it goes against HN social-libertarian dogma.

So are these our choices: a hivemind or a shitstorm of trolls, griefers, and 4chan kiddies? I don't have any answers here.

The web, on this day 10 years ago was better.

Nice to see HN keeping up with the times.

No redesigns in how long now?

The fonts on this site are hilariously small. Padding is tiny. All the feel of the 1990s, today!

Still good content, but come on -- do we not have a designer or artistic front-end who can help out?

I think the anti-modern layout has become too much of a cultural shibboleth at this point, people cherish any feature they feel will drive away casual users and preserve the intellectual purity of the community. PG once mentioned that he wasn't concerned with such trivial things, which makes updating the design difficult without sparking a minor revolt among the userbase, especially if such an update causes the site to look or feel more like Reddit, which it likely would.

Plus, bear in mind that HN doesn't separate its logic from layout in templates, unless it deviates wildly from the original Arc forum code, so redesigning the layout around, say, lists as opposed to tables may be more complicated than it would be on another site.

But on the plus side, since i've been here at least, the expired links bug has been fixed, shadowbanning is community-reversible, Show HN is a thing, users can hide and favorite threads, and there's thread folding. Those are all definite improvements to the user experience.

I agree with you that the text could be more readable - a site meant for intellectual and technical discussion should be encouraging long-form comments, not discouraging it (as it does by fading the text for non-link post) but it does seem that the staff have been improving what they can, when they can get around to it.

I'd like to see a site that has the best content in the industry actually look like a site that has the best content in the industry.

IDK, doesn't really bother me anymore, not since some pretty good Chrome extensions came out, e.g. Georgify, which makes HN 1000% easier to read. + I built my own minimal front end to HN with just the info I'm interested in ( https://news.adriel.co.nz/ )

This site design is what correct looks like.

From a usability perspective, this isn't even close to being true.

text with links.

loads fast.

no autoplay videos

no scroll jack

no social sharing buttons

no tracking scum

no page moving when you are about to click on something because some more bullshit just loaded.

usable in lynx and links across ssh.

so tell me, what is bad about it?

Font size... tiny. Set to wrap at like 900 px.

You can have fast loading and everything else and not have out-dated / bad design.

All you're doing is listing bad things, but there's literally no attempt to make the site readable or clickable. Most fonts are size 9 at the moment; you can't defend this given phones and modern screens.

This reminds me of another good site www.pastdaily.com

This open up a flood of nostalgia for anyone else?

Apple, Youtube, and Amazon especially.

All sorts of feels.

Yes, I really miss the old YouTube look.

Reddit and HN look almost the same, only little web theme changes. Look how great the HN stories were, all around startups - no corporate PR nor offtopic - want it back :) http://web.archive.org/web/20070707020853/http://news.ycombi...

One of the stories "PG: What's your current take on reddit's comment system? (reddit.com)": http://web.archive.org/web/20070714221535/http://news.ycombi...

Another story was about Justin.tv, nowadays know as Twitch: http://web.archive.org/web/20070708190608/http://news.ycombi...

Look at Apple.com, the introduction to the first iPhone. Notice the YouTube app on iOS 1-4 looked like a vintage CRT TV, I remember it.

IMDb received a new CSS stylesheet, and the invaluable comments system got unfortunately removed - otherwise little changes.

YouTube changed a lot. Ten years ago it looks still like the early days before Google.

Hacker News comments age about as well as Donald Trump's tweets regarding the Obama administration.

There are ten million Hacker News comments, so obviously perceptions like this are a little prone to sample bias.

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14936809 and marked it off-topic.

This is off topic, and strikes me as trolling.

Why are you already introducing politics into this discussion?

> introducing politics

Any discussion about company valuations is as political as a discussion about US elections. Pretending that "business" and "politics" and "technology" are separated by clearly discernible walls is itself toxic to discussions about any of them.

That may or may not be the case (I would dispute it) but the rules here expressly place political discussions as off-topic. From what I have seen, banning accounts seems to be a last resort for people who post almost exclusively political attacks; one has to be fairly intent on making oneself unpleasant to raise attention. I tend to agree with you that there can be value to political debate, but we must abide by the rules of the forum.

> but the rules here expressly place political discussions as off-topic

This is absolutely untrue. How many times (and how many ways) does dang have to clarify this? Here's the guideline in question:

> Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon.

I'm prepared to argue that a comparison of the aging process of HN comments to tweets from a current US President about a former one is an interesting and novel set of phenomena. And even if it weren't, I think that it's well outside the kinds of stories that are identified by the guideline as off-topic.

I'm sure that there is some interesting technical work being done by various political participants. Tweets do not present novel technological problems; I'm not sure what the HN interest might be.

But politics are hardly relevant here. Somebody was pointing out interesting comments about Facebook and now I'm reading about Trump? It's low-quality material and has nothing to do with the discussion.

I can understand your reaction, but I will say that it provoked an interesting thought in me. I think that the matter of how well material ages is an interesting and difficult-to-predict metric, and that it is quite interesting that we are now measuring this metric using the unit of tweets from one head-of-state about a former one.

Well I certainly wouldn't use it as a measurement. Why should we?

Might as well get it over with. makes comparison to Hitler

Citing "Godwin's Law" out of context is not useful to this discussion.

For those unfamiliar:


Besides, Quirk's Exception and all that...

ron paul, lol

Reddit 10 years ago


Reddit today


You can stay away from /r/all or /r/popular.

Be careful - I got a bad cookie when I visited this website a few days ago.

What's a bad cookie?

Oatmeal raisin...

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