Startup

Startup: I’m Not Dead Yet!

This is what your Internets used to look like when you stepped away from the computer. Scary!

Anyone remember WAP? Sure you do, if you’ve owned a cellphone that’s not a current smart-phone. Odds are good that at some point — probably accidentally — you ended up using that poor overmatched little beast to browse the internet. And odds are also good that you ended up cursing it quietly as you tried to use the cursor key or joystick to scroll through a badly-mangled version of the website you were trying to visit. Very, very slowly.

With the arrival of the iPhone and the similar smart-phones that followed, the Internets were suddenly truly accessible from your pocket. You could see true HTML versions of websites, and see pages in at least something approximating the way their creators intended. And with that, WAP internet quietly died.

But wait, no, it didn’t! It’s actually still around, and more popular than ever! How is this possible? Well, as it turns out, the technology that proved to be absolute rubbish for viewing webpages was perfect for enhancing text messages. In combining the technology of WAP browsers with the technology of SMS text-messages, it resulted in the ability to send MMS, Multimedia Messaging Service, text messages. Now we could include photos, music, sound clips and videos. None of this, as it turns out, was new technology at all; it’s a recycling of an old technology that was very nearly proven to be useless.

So the next time you “accidentally” receive an obscene picture-message at 3AM, thank your lucky stars that some clever propellorhead thought of a new way to use a crap technology. And then use the same technology to flip the original sender the bird.

  • Froggmann_

    Yep simple and useful, save for the 99% of the sites out there that didn't have WAP enabled webpages.

  • dmilligan

    The last I checked, WAP was some sort of security protocol for routers. I've never tried to access the internet with one of the little hand held toys that are so popular right now, mostly because their tiny screens and my crummy vision are incompatible. Touchscreens make my fingers sore from all of the poking one has to do to get them to work, stupid things. And those tiny little button 'keyboards'? Sheer agony on my eyes and my fingers, which tend to get stuck in the crevices around the buttons. Next I suppose they'll have a tounguescreen or something equally idiotic.

    • Deartháir

      We have just the wireless phone for you. It mounts on the wall!
      <img src="http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/io9/2011/06/trailer-futurama-largometraje.png"&gt;

      • dmilligan

        Wonderful! I love it! Well done, young man.

    • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      Right after stylus touch screens came out of fashion I simply could not use those touch screens available at that time. When I held my finger over the screen but did not touch it yet, the doodad thought I was madly tapping at random spots on the screen. By the time I actually touched the screen, it was thinking about showing some other image on the screen, having detected some phantom touch. It was infuriating. Early GPS were like that and so were the first iPhones that coworkers were showing to me. I am still not impressed, who though an interface where I cover-up 2/3 of it with my hand when I use it was a good idea? People's hand look like pecking hens when they use this stuff.

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