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Hello 2007, it's 1991 calling

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

David Winer, the self-described inventor of RSS (or not) – the technology that automatically tells you there's a new post to this blog or a news story without having to manually check the site – has discovered a new use for his webcam that he calls a "cool overkill use of technology." Only it's not so new.

Computer science geniuses at the University of Cambridge in England, tired of trotting to what was purportedly the sole coffee pot in their seven-storey building only to find it empty, linked what we now call a webcam to their network and aimed the electronic eye at the coveted carafe – in 1991, when it was really cutting-edge, high-end technology. In 1993, they hooked it up to the internet, instantly creating the world's first webcam superstar: the Trojan Room coffee pot.

I guess Winer missed it – and the coverage it got when the camera was shut down in 2001 and the pot was sold on eBay for £3,350 – because he was busy inventing RSS (or not).

And that's today's history lesson. I think 1991 wants its pot back. (I knew I'd be telling the kids about that one day.)

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