20 years of the internet: 10 sites that changed my life


The internet is 20 years old today, and that fact made me start thinking about what the internet has given me over the years. I’m not going to get too gushy on you, I promise, but here’s ten websites that have completely changed my life.

What are the internet applications that have changed your life? Our comments box isn’t working at the moment, but you can drop us an email or a Tweet sharing your favourite sites, past and present. Please do, I’d love to hear your stories. Now, without further ado, let’s begin the in-no-particular-order list. Click on the big Hotmail logo to begin.

Nokify – why Spotify and Nokia should team up


Scandinavia is a cold place. The nights are long, the winters are snowy, and the coasts are fjordy. To stave off the cold, they run their computers all night long, and as a result the populations of the Nordic countries have become rather adept programmers and designers.

They make brilliant stuff, like the Pirate Bay, Ericsson phones, and a smörgåsbord of other exciting inventions, including Nokia and Spotify. In my post this morning about Nokia’s new music phones, I questioned why the two companies hadn’t made friends yet.

After all – Spotify has definite mobile ambitions and is in the process of pumping out an iPhone app. Nokia, on the other hand, dearly want to do more with music, but their Comes with Music service is an awful DRM-encumbred experience. Spotify has brilliant software, but no hardware. Nokia has incredible handsets, but a crappy software experience.

So why not combine? Ditch Comes with Music, which must be a buttload of hassle for Nokia to operate, and get Spotify to do exactly the same thing, but better. Build a year’s subscription into the handset price, and everyone’s happy. Nokia gets a fantastic music service that it doesn’t have to run, Spotify gets a tonne of new happy users, and the phone-buyer gets unlimited streaming music for free.

What could go wrong? Well, that depends on how Spotify implements its mobile experience compared to the desktop software. A constant 3G connection is unlikely, so there’s going to need to be some on-device storage of tracks, even if it’s heavily encrypted.

From what we know of Spotify’s iPhone application, it appears that you’ll be able to cache entire playlists – which would be fantastic. When the device can get a 3G connection, it will, but most of the time you’ll probably want to be playing off the internal memory – for reasons of battery life if nothing else.

A Spotify S60 application is coming, there’s no doubt about that, but with Nokia’s resources, expertise and cash behind the startup, something really exciting could happen that could really be a deal-breaker for someone choosing between a Sony Ericsson, Samsung or Nokia handset.

Best of all, it could finally drop the axe on the aging iPod, providing a fantastic, integrated on-the-go music listening experience with a catalogue in the cloud. I can’t think of anything better.

Spotify and Nokia