Items tagged with: early
It took nearly five years into the internet’s life before anyone made a concerted effort to archive it. Much of our earliest online activity has disappeared.
Article word count: 1844
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19562650
Posted by seagullz (karma: 865)
Post stats: Points: 206 - Comments: 155 - 2019-04-03T12:08:30Z
#HackerNews #early #internet #left #little #the #theres #why
In 2005, student Alex Tew had a million-dollar brainwave.
The 20-year-old was playing around with ideas to pay for a looming three-year business degree; Tew was already worrying that the overdraft he had would mushroom. So he scribbled on a pad: “How to become a millionaire.”
Twenty minutes later he had what he thought was the answer.
Tew set up a website called the Million Dollar Homepage. The site’s model was almost obscenely simple: on it was a million pixels of ad space, the pixels available to buy in blocks of 100 at $1 a pixel. Once you bought them they were yours forever. When the millionth pixel was sold, Tew would be a millionaire. At least, that was the plan.
The Million Dollar Homepage launched on 26 August 2005, after Tew had spent the grand sum of 50 euros on registering the domain and setting up the hosting. Advertisers bought pixels and provided a link, tiny image and a short amount of text for when the cursor hovered over their image.
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After little more than a month, thanks to word-of-mouth and ever-increasing media attention, Tew’s homepage had raised more than $250,000 (£140,000). In January 2006, the last 1,000 pixels were sold at auction for $38,100 (£21,500); Tew had indeed made his million.
The Million Dollar Homepage is still online, nearly a decade and a half after it was created. Many of the customers – which included the likes of the UK’s The Times newspaper, travel service Cheapflights.com, online portal Yahoo! and rock duo Tenacious D – have had 15 years of advertising off that one-off payment. The site still has several thousand viewers every day; it has probably been a very good investment.
Tew, who now runs the meditation and mindfulness app Calm, indeed became a millionaire. But the homepage he created has also become something else: a living museum to an earlier internet era. Fifteen years may not seem a long time, but in terms of the internet it is like a geological age. Some 40% of the links on the Million Pixel Homepage now link to dead sites. Many of the others now point to entirely new domains, their original URL sold to new owners.
The Million Dollar Homepage shows that the decay of this early period of the internet is almost invisible. In the offline world, the closing of, say, a local newspaper is often widely reported. But online sites die, often without fanfare, and the first inkling you may have that they are no longer there is when you click on a link to be met with a blank page.
Around a decade ago, I spent two years working on a rock music blog and on the music section of AOL, the sprawling internet pioneer now owned by US phone company Verizon. I edited or wrote hundreds of live reviews, music news stories, artists interviews and listicles. Facebook and Twitter were already massive audience drivers, and smartphones were connecting us to the Web between work and home; surfing the Web had become a round-the-clock activity.
If Brewster Kahle hadn’t set up the Internet Archive and started saving things, without waiting for anyone’s permission, we’d have lost everything – Dame Wendy Hall
You could, quite reasonably, assume that if I ever needed to show proof of my time there it would only be a Google search away. But you’d be wrong. In April 2013, AOL abruptly closed down all its music sites – and the collective work of dozens of editors and hundreds of contributors over many years. Little of it remains, aside from a handful of articles saved by the Internet Archive, a San Francisco-based non-profit foundation set up in the late 1990s by computer engineer Brewster Kahle.
It is the most prominent of a clutch of organisations around the world trying to rescue some of the last vestiges of the first decade of humanity’s internet presence before it disappears completely.
Dame Wendy Hall, the executive director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, is unequivocal about the archive’s work: “If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have any” of the early material, she says. “If Brewster Kahle hadn’t set up the Internet Archive and started saving things – without waiting for anyone’s permission – we’d have lost everything.”
Dame Wendy says archives and national libraries had experience saving books, newspapers and periodicals because print had been around so long. But the arrival of the internet – and how quickly it became a mass form of communication and expression – may have taken them by surprise. The attempts to archive the internet have, in many areas, been playing catch-up ever since. “The British Library had to have a copy of every local newspaper published,” she says. As the newspapers have gone from print to the Web, the archiving takes a different form. Are these websites as vital a resource as the papers which preceded them?
Newspaper archives are vulnerable, too, to being lost when the publications are closed down or merged with other titles. “Most newspapers, I imagine, will have some sort or archive,” she says. “But that can be lost unless it is archived properly.”
Who’s going to pay for it? We produce so much more material than we used to – Dame Wendy Hall
One major problem with trying to archive the internet is that it never sits still. Every minute – every second – more photos, blog posts, videos, news stories and comments are added to the pile. While digital storage has fallen drastically in price, archiving all this material still costs money. “Who’s going to pay for it?” asks Dame Wendy. “We produce so much more material than we used to.”
In the UK, the role of digital conservation has partly fallen to the British Library. The library runs the UK Web Archive, which has been collecting websites by permission since 2004. The archive’s engagement manager Jason Webber says the problem is much bigger than most people realise.
“It’s not only the early material. Most of the internet is not being stored,” he says.
“The Internet Archive first started archives pages in 1996. That’s five years after the first webpages were set up. There’s nothing from that era that was ever copied from the live web.” Even the first web page set up in 1991 no longer exists; the page you can view on the World Wide Web Consortium is a copy made a year later.
For much of the first five years of the Web, much of the material published in Britain ended with the designation .ac.uk – academic articles written by academics. It was only in 1996 that the Web started seeing more general sites being set up, as commercial websites started outnumbering academic ones.
I think there’s been very low level of awareness that anything is missing – Jason Webber
The British Library does one “domain crawl” every year – saving anything that is published in the UK. “We try and get everything, but we do only do it once a year. But the cap for a lot of these sites is set at 500MB; that covers a lot of smaller sites, but you only have to have a few videos in there and that limit gets reached pretty quickly.” News websites like BBC News, however, do get crawled more often. The library, Webber says, has tried to build as complete picture as possible of events such as Brexit, the London 2012 Olympics and the 100th anniversary of World War One.
“I think there’s been very low level of awareness that anything is missing,” Webber says. “The digital world is very ephemeral, we look at our phones, the stuff on it changes and we don’t really think about it. But now people are becoming more aware of how much we might be losing.”
But, Webber says, the only material organisations have the right to gather is publicly viewable; an even bigger amount of culturally or historically important data is sitting on people’s archives, like their hard drives. But few of us are keeping those for posterity.
“The British Library is full of letters between people. There are exchanges between politicians, or love letters, and these things are really important to some people.”
We consider the material we post onto social networks as something that will always be there, just a click of a keyboard away. But the recent loss of some 12 years of music and photos on the pioneering social site MySpace – once the most popular website in the US – shows that even material stored on the biggest of sites may not be safe.
And even Googleʼs services are not immune. Google+, the search giantʼs attempt at a Facebook-rivalling social network, closed on 2 April. Did all its users back up the photos and memories they shared on it?
“Putting your photos on Facebook is not archiving them, because one day Facebook won’t exist,” says Webber. If you have any doubt about the temporary nature of the Web, take a few minutes to trawl through the Million Dollar Homepage. It is the testament to how quickly our online past is fading away.
There is another side to data loss. Dame Wendy points out that not archiving stories from news websites could lead to a selective view of history – new governments choosing not to save stories or archives which have cast them in a poor light, for instance.
The political is so often tied into the technical – Jane Winters
“As soon as there’s a change of government, or restructuring of quangos, sites are closed down,” says Jane Winters, a professor of digital humanities at the University of London. “Or look at election campaigning sites, which by their nature are set up to be temporary.”
Sometimes the sites that are lost echo even more seismic changes; the deaths and births of nations themselves. “It happened with Yugoslavia; .yu was the top-level domain for Yugoslavia, and that ended when it collapsed. There’s a researcher who is trying to rebuild what was there before the break-up,” she says.
“The political is so often tied into the technical.”
There is, perhaps, a slight silver lining. “I come from a history background, and we’ve always had to deal with gaps in the historical records, some of which we know about, and some we just have no idea about.”
Dame Wendy Hall also sees parallels with the physical. When she was 15, in the late 1960s, she appeared as part of the audience in a taping of the BBC’s music show Top of the Pops.
The show was shown on Christmas Day. “The TV was on, and my mother said ‘There you are! But I missed it. And I’ve since gone to the BBC and tried to get a copy of it – they taped over it. I never got to see it.”
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3 reasons why a boring evening routine is essential to becoming a productive morning person. I’ve been accused on several occasions of being “one of those annoyingly productive morning people.” And…
Article word count: 1838
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19409513
Posted by joeyespo (karma: 20777)
Post stats: Points: 110 - Comments: 136 - 2019-03-16T19:03:03Z
#HackerNews #annoyingly #becoming #early #morning #person #productive #secret #the
I’ve been accused on several occasions of being “one of those annoyingly productive morning people.” And while there are far more productive morning people out there, I am pretty productive and 90% of it happens in the early morning.
For example, on a typical weekday morning, by the time I see my first client of the day, usually around 9:00am, I have:
* Showered, shaved, gotten dressed, picked up a coffee and gotten to my office by 6:00am at the latest. * I then write for at least an hour, usually a draft of a new article or section of a new book. * Next, I meditate, typically for 15 or 20 minutes. * Following that, I spend about an hour doing research for future work or reading. * And I typically end my early morning work with about a half hour’s worth of marketing and/or promoting my work online.
I do this—or something close to it—every weekday morning, Monday through Friday, rain, shine, whatever.
Whenever I describe this to people, I usually get the following that’s-fine-for-you responses:
* Well, you’re probably just one of those super early birds who’s biologically wired to jump out of bed at 5:00am every morning. Except I’m not. If anything, my biological tendency is probably slightly in favor of being a night owl. I only started this routine a couple years ago. * Then you’re probably on speed or some kind of energizing Tibetan herbal tea. No drugs or goofy supplements other than my medium cup of Starbuck coffee every morning around 5:30am, plus a booster cup around midday. * If it’s not drugs or genetics, it has to be magic, right? Absolutely. As I’ll explain, it’s the magic of a good evening routine.
I’m convinced that the reason productive morning people are able to do what they do actually has very little to do with things like biological tendencies, mental discipline and will power, or even morning routines and habits. When you ask people who are productive early in the morning, they rarely describe how arduous and difficult it is and how they’ve slowly developed the grit and special collection of life hacks to push themselves through every tortuous early morning. Quite the contrary: most productive morning people usually say something (annoyingly) along the lines of, It’s easy or I actually enjoy it.
This means these people are either lying (and secretly biologically hardwired extreme early birds or hopped up on stimulants), or there’s something else going on. Something equally powerful but, I suspect, much more ordinary and mundane. So much so that we don’t even consider it because it’s so… boring.
As the subtitle of this piece suggests, I believe that the secret to being a productive morning person actually has very little to do with the morning and everything to do with an evening routine that makes it relatively easy to get up early and be productive.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what this evening routine might look like. Specifically, I’m going to walk through the 3 reasons why a relatively boring evening routine is the secret to being energized, creative, and productive in the mornings.
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Reason #1: The Relaxation-Sleep Connection
Poor sleep is arguably the biggest obstacle to getting up early and then being productive. If you didn’t get adequate sleep, or the quality of your sleep was poor, you’re going to be excessively sleepy and groggy in the morning (and perhaps all day). And I don’t care how disciplined you are, if you’re exhausted every morning you’re not going to successfully establish a habit of productive mornings. You must get adequate sleep. And adequate sleep starts the day before.
Just like a car going 90 mph on the freeway can’t safely exit the freeway without slowing down first, people can’t successfully fall asleep without relaxing first. In a way, relaxation is the mental equivalent of downshifting from the high gear of work/daytime life, to the low gear/park of sleep. And the more time you have to downshift, the smoother your transition will be. To mix my metaphors: a boring evening routine is relaxing, and relaxation is the doorway to good sleep.
So, how do we create a more relaxing evening routine? To be honest, I don’t think coming up with relaxing ways to spend your time is the problem. Most of us know what’s personally relaxing for us and have a pretty good idea of how we could incorporate those things into our evening routines. The harder question, I think, is whether we’re willing to accept the tradeoffs that would go along with it. Specifically, most people have trouble building a consistent and relaxing evening routine because they don’t want to miss out on all the fun, exciting things that could happen in the evenings.
In other words, the primary obstacle to a consistently relaxing evening routine is FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). And while there’s nothing wrong with an exciting, spontaneous, and wild night life, it’s important to acknowledge that for most of us it’s probably incompatible with a productive early morning routine.
Reason #2: Friction Removal
While being sleep deprived is the first and biggest obstacle to getting up and being productive early, there are many other potential obstacles or sources of friction in the morning that make it difficult to just get up and go. And in many ways these little bits of friction are problematic because they’re often small and seemingly inconsequential. So small we ignore them.
A classic example is deciding what clothes to wear. It seems silly, but having to take time to decide on, find, put on, decide against, then find and put on some other arrangement of clothing is a time-consuming and mentally draining process.
The same could be said for an assortment of little things we do in the morning, all of which create morning friction and make it hard to quickly get up and start working productively:
* Making and preparing breakfast. * Making, preparing, and packing a lunch. * Deciding on and packing up workout clothes. * Tracking down and packing up work-related accessories like laptops, tablets, folders, documents, ID badges, etc. * And on and on the list goes…
Instead of expending the mental and physical energy to do all these little things early in the morning—when most of us, even if we got good sleep, are still a little groggy—why not do them the evening before? Getting up early and going straight to work would be significantly easier if your clothes were laid out already, you had a breakfast and lunch waiting for you in the fridge, and your briefcase or work bag was already packed full of everything you needed, waiting by the door.
One surprising reason that most of us would acknowledge that this is a good idea but never seem to actually implement it more than sporadically is that we don’t have a good system for reminding us of and walking us through the process in the evening. The term system sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. A simple checklist of evening to-dos written on a little index card that sits on your bathroom counter so you always see it before bed can be amazingly effective.
Not convinced? Read this: The Checklist Manifesto.
Reason #3: Making a Plan
While getting good sleep and removing morning friction are important components to establishing a consistent and effective habit of morning productivity, a hugely important factor is having a clear plan for doing work that matters.
When you talk to those annoyingly productive morning people, one strong pattern that emerges is that the kind of work they’re doing early in the morning is work they deeply care about and are generally excited to do.
I imagine, for example, that there are very few productive early morning widget packagers. Conversely, people who are productive in the morning tend to be productive on a certain type of work. Namely, work that is creative, challenging, and in some way personally meaningful.
Now, it would take more than a couple paragraphs to elaborate on the process of finding meaningful work. For now I think it’s enough to say that it’s important to ask yourself, Why do I want to get up insanely early and be productive every day? It seems to me that most productive early morning people have a compelling answer to that question which acts as a very powerful force that pulls them out of bed early and into hard work.
But let’s assume for now that you do have a good reason for getting up early and being productive. As important and perhaps necessary as that is, I still don’t think it’s sufficient to get us up and going every morning, day in and day out. To push us over the edge, there’s one missing ingredient that should, I think, be added the evening before: A plan. More specifically, a very clear one.
The last reason why having a relatively boring evening routine is essential to getting up early and being productive is that it allows room to make a plan for what you will work on and how you will do it. And even the simplest plan or outline for work, makes it significantly easier to just get started, which in turn makes it a lot easier to get things done.
I recommend staying very, very simple. Take 5 minutes after dinner but before you sit down to watch Netflix (or whatever your relaxing and mildly boring evening routine involves) and jot down the one thing you would like to accomplish most with your early morning. Here are some examples:
* Write introduction and first section of article on evening routines. * Find and summarize 3 articles on the effects of sleep on decision making. * Finish reading Section 2 of The Checklist Manifesto. * Send 5 emails to prospective customers. * Meditate for 30 minutes.
Just like Reason #2 was all about removing friction from getting up and on your way to work, Reason #3 is all about reducing friction between getting to work and actually getting started on the right work. If you find yourself routinely distracted and unsure about how to get started, this little practice of deciding on one important task the evening before will be a life saver.
I would also recommend reading Cal Newport’s Deep Work. It’s all about how to set yourself up to successfully work well on the work that matters most.
By creating space for an intentional and relaxing evening routine, we can massively cut down on the amount of friction that comes between our intention to wake up early and be productive and the reality of hitting snooze and then feeling guilty about it for the rest of the day. But the broader lesson here, I think, is to build a habit of thinking about achieving goals in terms of identifying and removing obstacles rather than the more primitive push harder mentality. This is a key ingredient in learning to work smarter at personal development goals.
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The Early Access Fee is a one-time payment to secure your desired .dev domain early. From February 19th at 8:00am PST to February 28th at 7:59am PST, you can get a .dev domain before General…
Article word count: 93
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19178757
Posted by jonseitz (karma: 28)
Post stats: Points: 63 - Comments: 109 - 2019-02-16T14:52:53Z
#HackerNews #access #dev #domain #early #google
The Early Access Fee is a one-time payment to secure your desired .dev domain early. From February 19th at 8:00am PST to February 28th at 7:59am PST, you can get a .dev domain before General Availability for an additional fee (this fee decreases the closer we get to General Availability). During General Availability, starting February 28th at 8:00 PST, .dev domains will be available without an Early Access Fee.
During both the Early Access Program and General Availability, there is a $12/year cost for .dev domains. Annual fees may vary for Premium domains.
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