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Sunday, March 9, 2014

It's a kind of secular magic...

It sprang from the brain of one man, Tim Berners-Lee, and is the fastest-growing communication medium of all time. A quarter-century on, we examine how the web has transformed our lives

Just two of the 25 interesting things featured about the Web on its 25th birthday:

"3 The importance of having a network that is free and open

The internet was created by government and runs on open source software. Nobody "owns" it. Yet on this "free" foundation, colossal enterprises and fortunes have been built – a fact that the neoliberal fanatics who run internet companies often seem to forget. Berners-Lee could have been as rich as Croesus if he had viewed the web as a commercial opportunity. But he didn't – he persuaded Cern that it should be given to the world as a free resource. So the web in its turn became, like the internet, a platform for permissionless innovation. That's why a Harvard undergraduate was able to launch Facebook on the back of the web.

4 Many of the things that are built on the web are neither free nor open

Mark Zuckerberg was able to build Facebook because the web was free and open. But he hasn't returned the compliment: his creation is not a platform from which young innovators can freely spring the next set of surprises. The same holds for most of the others who have built fortunes from exploiting the facilities offered by the web. The only real exception is Wikipedia."

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/09/25-years-web-tim-berners-lee