April 6, 2013 |
When Thomas Powers was 17 years old in 1984, things were different. Ronald Reagan was the president of the United States, the Soviet Union still existed, and The Terminator gave moviegoers a glimpse of Judgment Day. But life in general was dissimilar from today. "I spent my day driving around looking for a job and something to do," Powers, an Academy Park High graduate said. "If I wanted to find something out, I'd either have to go to the library or talk to somebody on the street," Powers said.
June 14, 2012 |
With our smartphones, on-demand video and Twitter feeds in 2012, it's hard to relate to the challenges that confronted the team that started Infonautics Inc. in 1992. No one was getting online back then, unless you were a devotee of CompuServe or Prodigy dial-up services. Information was not at our fingertips instantly. Infonautics cofounders Marvin Weinberger and Josh Kopelman aimed to change that with a subscription service called Homework Helper, a pre-Internet reference service that provided full-text access to articles from more than a thousand newspapers, newswires, magazines, books and TV and radio transcripts.
February 7, 1998 |
Tel-Save Holdings, Inc., the New Hope-based telephone company that pioneered an online billing system, said yesterday it has been in talks to be acquired by "a number of potential suitors. " In a flurry of announcements, Tel-Save said it had signed an exclusive multiyear deal to sell long-distance phone service to the more than 2 million members of CompuServe's online service. And it said it plans to start reselling local phone service in the second or third quarter of this year.
September 10, 1997 |
The Justice Department said yesterday that it was reviewing America Online's plan to acquire the 2.6 million customers of its closest competitor, CompuServe Corp. AOL has about nine million subscribers and is the nation's biggest online service. The federal review will focus on making sure the deal won't stifle competition or lead to higher prices for access to the Internet. Under the proposal announced Monday, CompuServe's parent, H&R Block Inc., will sell the subsidiary to WorldCom Inc. in a stock swap worth $1.2 billion.
September 9, 1997 |
America Online, the Internet behemoth, will gobble up the 2.6 million subscribers of the struggling No. 2 online service, CompuServe, in a complex deal that redefines what it means to be big in cyberspace. In the transaction announced yesterday, America Online and WorldCom Inc., a telecommunications company based in Jackson, Miss., said they would split CompuServe's consumer and commercial businesses once WorldCom buys CompuServe for $1.2 billion. H&R Block, which owns 80 percent of CompuServe, has been in search of a buyer for the money-losing service for the last year.
February 5, 1997 |
For the second time, a federal court has ruled against a Philadelphia "junk" e-mailer that has drawn the wrath of America's two largest online services. This time, a federal judge in Ohio declared that bulk mail sent by Cyber Promotions Inc. to CompuServe subscribers amounts to computer trespassing. CompuServe, of Columbus, Ohio, filed suit against Cyber Promotions last year, saying that its host computers were bogged down with junk e-mail, and that subscribers were complaining bitterly about having to sift through their electronic mailboxes while the meter was running on their CompuServe accounts.
January 26, 1997 |
Hey, America Online subscribers! CompuServe will have a message for you during the Super Bowl. The No. 2 online service is running a commercial titled "Busy Signal. " That would be what many people say they get, over and over, when trying to access America Online, even as the computer service continues to sign up new subscribers. "The most difficult thing was listening to the busy signal . . . and hearing an ad for AOL on the TV right next to the computer," Gary Arlen, an Internet industry analyst in Bethesda, Md., said in an interview.
November 22, 1996 |
In what one analyst described as a "strategic retrenchment," CompuServe, the granddaddy of the commercial online services, has decided it will not compete with America Online and other services that are slashing rates to draw subscribers. The company also said it would kill its family-oriented WOW! service effective Jan. 31. The service was started in March, but had attracted only about 100,000 subscribers. "We are walking away from the bloodbath in the mass-consumer market in which hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent" in marketing efforts to gain subscribers, Scott Kauffman, CompuServe's vice president of interactive services, said yesterday in explaining the new strategy.
October 31, 1996 |
Cyber Promotions Inc., the Philadelphia marketing firm that sued America Online for limiting its ability to deliver "junk" electronic mail, now finds itself in a legal battle with CompuServe as well. A federal judge in Columbus, Ohio, where CompuServe is headquartered, has set a hearing Dec. 5 to consider that online service's request for an injunction against Cyber Promotions. This is while a federal judge in Philadelphia is weighing arguments on whether there is a constitutional issue of free speech involved in Cyber Promotion's lawsuit, which contends that AOL, of Dulles, Va., is trying to drive it out of business.
September 15, 1996 |
America Online's recent decision to block some "junk" electronic mail from its system has ignited an important legal debate about the nature of companies that provide Internet access to individuals. Are such companies like newspapers, which have property rights and the ability to decide what information they carry? Or are they common carriers, like phone companies? Those questions - raised directly in a lawsuit brought against AOL by a temporarily thwarted bulk e-mail distributor, Cyber Productions Inc., of Dresher, Pa. - are more than academic.