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Overconnected: The Promise and Threat of the Internet by William H. Davidow

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SIX

Why the Internet Is Accident-Prone

By 1995, the masses started arriving, well, en masse. Web traffic doubled every couple of months, resembling biological growth, like algal bloom or guppy reproduction. It was clear by then that the Internet had become a commercial enterprise. And evidence of this was beginning to show up everywhere. Under the stale ham sandwiches in snack boxes, airline passengers found floppy disks for signing up with AOL. Home-grown Internet service providers and online bulletin boards with cute names like backfence.net were popping up all over. But perhaps the most telling sign that the Internet had reached the point of no return—that it was destined to become an entrepreneurial Wild West—came in 1993, when Martha Siegel ...

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