.su was assigned as the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Soviet Union (USSR) on 19 September 1990. Even though the Soviet Union itself was dissolved a mere 15 months later, the .su top-level domain remains in use today. It is administered by the Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN, or RosNIIROS in Russian transcription).
- ".su" | 2019-09-18 | 353 Upvotes 226 Comments
.yu was the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) that was assigned to Yugoslavia and was mainly used by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its successor states from 1994 and 2010. After Serbia and Montenegro acquired separate .rs and .me domains in 2007, a transition period started, and the .yu domain finally expired on 30 March 2010. It was the most heavily used top-level domain ever to be deleted, as usage of Internet was much higher than in the beginning of 1990s, at the time of German reunification, and the dissolutions of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union.
- ".yu domain expires today (30/Sept/2009)" | 2009-09-30 | 24 Upvotes 23 Comments
A Request for Comments (RFC), in the context of Internet governance, is a type of publication from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Society (ISOC), usually describing methods, behaviors, research, or innovations applicable to the working of the Internet and Internet-connected systems.
Almost every April Fools' Day (1 April) since 1989, the Internet RFC Editor has published one or more humorous Request for Comments (RFC) documents, following in the path blazed by the June 1973 RFC 527 called ARPAWOCKY, a parody of Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem "Jabberwocky". The following list also includes humorous RFCs published on other dates.
Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.
Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009 when its source code was released as open-source software. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. Research produced by University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
Bitcoin has been criticized for its use in illegal transactions, its high electricity consumption, price volatility, and thefts from exchanges. Some economists, including several Nobel laureates, have characterized it as a speculative bubble. Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, although several regulatory agencies have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.
Bitmessage is a decentralized, encrypted, peer-to-peer, trustless communications protocol that can be used by one person to send encrypted messages to another person, or to multiple subscribers.
In June 2013, the software experienced a surge of new adoptions after news reports of email surveillance by the US National Security Agency.
Bitmessage was conceived by software developer Jonathan Warren, who based its design on the decentralized digital currency, bitcoin. The software was released in November 2012 under the MIT license.
Bitmessage gained a reputation for being out of reach of warrantless wiretapping conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA), due to the decentralized nature of the protocol, and its encryption being difficult to crack. As a result, downloads of the Bitmessage program increased fivefold during June 2013, after news broke of classified email surveillance activities conducted by the NSA.
Bitmessage has also been mentioned as an experimental alternative to email by Popular Science and CNET.
Some ransomware programs instruct affected users to use Bitmessage to communicate with the attackers.
- "Bitmessage: a decentralized, encrypted, trustless communications protocol" | 2016-10-15 | 70 Upvotes 26 Comments
BonziBuddy, stylized as BonziBUDDY, (pronounced BON-zee-bud-ee) was a freeware desktop virtual assistant made by Joe and Jay Bonzi. Upon a user's choice, it would share jokes and facts, manage downloading using its download manager, sing songs, and talk, among other functions.
The software used Microsoft Agent technology similar to Office Assistant, and originally sported Peedy, a green parrot and one of the characters available with Microsoft Agent. Later versions of BonziBuddy in May 2000 featured its own character: Bonzi, the purple gorilla. The program also used a text to speech voice to interact with the user. The voice was called Sydney and taken from an old Lernout & Hauspie Microsoft Speech API 4.0 package. It is often referred to in some software as Adult Male #2.
Some versions of the software were described as spyware and adware. BonziBuddy was discontinued in 2004 after the company behind it faced lawsuits regarding the software and was ordered to pay fines. Bonzi's website remained open after the discontinuation of BonziBuddy and was said to be a virus, but was shut down at the end of 2008.
- "BonziBuddy" | 2019-06-20 | 111 Upvotes 80 Comments
GitHub has been the target of censorship from governments using methods ranging from local Internet service provider blocks, intermediary blocking using methods such as DNS hijacking and man-in-the-middle attacks, and denial-of-service attacks on GitHub's servers from countries including China, India, Russia, and Turkey. In all of these cases, GitHub has been eventually unblocked after backlash from users and technology businesses or compliance from GitHub.
Cicada 3301 is a nickname given to an organization that on three occasions has posted a set of puzzles to recruit codebreakers from the public. The first internet puzzle started on January 4, 2012 on 4chan and ran for approximately one month. A second round began one year later on January 4, 2013, and then a third round following the confirmation of a fresh clue posted on Twitter on January 4, 2014. The stated intent was to recruit "intelligent individuals" by presenting a series of puzzles which were to be solved. No new puzzles were published on January 4, 2015. However, a new clue was posted on Twitter on January 5, 2016. In April 2017 a verified PGP-signed message was found: Beware false paths. Always verify PGP signature from 7A35090F. That message explicitly denies the validity of any unsigned puzzle, as recently as April 2017.
The puzzles focused heavily on data security, cryptography, steganography, internet anonymity, and surveillance.
It has been called "the most elaborate and mysterious puzzle of the internet age" and is listed as one of the "top 5 eeriest, unsolved mysteries of the internet", and much speculation exists as to its function. Many have speculated that the puzzles are a recruitment tool for the NSA, CIA, MI6, a "Masonic conspiracy" or a cyber mercenary group. Others have claimed Cicada 3301 is an alternate reality game. No company or individual has taken credit for it or attempted to monetize it, however.