24 stories

SEATTLE – Paul Allen has been waiting for the emergence of intelligent machines for a very long time. As a young boy, Allen spent much of his time in the library reading science-fiction novels in which robots manage our homes, perform surgery and fly around saving lives like superheroes. In his imagination, these beings would live among us, serving as our advisers, companions and friends.More →

Twenty years ago today, somebody flipped a switch and opened the floodgates. On April 30, 1995, the last federally funded portion of the Internet shut down, turning it into a free-enterprise operation.

It was just one major breakthrough of 1995, the year the Internet achieved lift-off. Amazon, eBay, craigslist, and all went live that year, while Microsoft rolled out its first Internet Explorer browser. In 1995, about 16 million people were online, less than half a percent of the human race. Just five years later, 5 percent of the world had logged on. Today, it’s 3 billion of us — 40 percent of the planet. Probably no other technology has caught on so fast, built so many new businesses, or demolished so many old ones.More →