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Happy Birthday, World Wide Web

It's somebody's birthday. Someone very close to you. Someone you probably hang out with more than anyone else you know: in fact, someone you're spending quality time with right now. We mean the World Wide Web.

Believe it or not, it's twenty years since Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist at the CERN research centre in Switzerland, proposed the Web as a way of organising and sharing online information.

At first, Slate explains, the whole web was stored on one server, a NeXT PC made by the company Steve Jobs ran when he left Apple for a few years. It wasn't till 1993 that pictures in web pages became possible, and by 1995 you could order a pizza online or read the New York Times.

Now, with web browsers capable of running powerful online applications - and a whole operating system, Google's Chrome OS, built around the web - you might think the World Wide Web was riding high. But the rise of mobile apps, which package websites into standalone programs, has been seen by many as a threat to the web's dominance, leading Wired magazine to declare the web 'dead' last year.

We reckon the old dog's got another 20 years in it.

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