Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Tools Brought File Sharing Widespread Public Attention?

Kazaa
BitTorrent
Napster
Bearshare
The logo for Napster.
Napster

Answer: Napster

As long as there have been computer networks, there have been ways for people to share files. In the early days, however, sharing files was the sole province of the computer savvy. The general public wasn’t dialing into “warez” bulletin board systems and downloading ebooks, games, and music files (in the early days, bandwidth constraints put everything but simple images, text documents, and MIDI files beyond the reach of home users).

The public awareness of the concept of file sharing and the actual use of such all changed radically in 1999 when the music sharing service Napster burst into the public sphere.

Although certainly limited by today’s standards (you could only trade music files), Napster was the public’s first taste of peer-to-peer file sharing. Unlike the more esoteric and difficult to use methods that relied on downloading and reassembling file binaries from Usenet or dialing into private servers, people could just download Napster, start searching for MP3 files, and via the Napster server system, they would be connected with someone somewhere else in the world that had the file they were looking for. Almost overnight it became trivial for the average person to swap files.

While quite popular, Napster was quickly sued out of existence thanks to its centralized server model (later returning as an identically named but different music service that wasn’t focused on illegal file sharing). It was quickly replaced by a flood of decentralized apps like Bearshare, Kazaa, and Gnutella. Eventually those apps in turn were replaced with the rise of the BitTorrent file sharing protocol, long after the file sharing genie was out of the bottle.

Trivia

Hard

The Term “Cliffhanger”, To Refer To A Suspenseful But Unresolved Ending Originated With?

Trivia

Easy

Prior To The Early 19th Century, You Wouldn’t Experience What On Christmas?

Trivia

Hard

Motorola Derived Its Name From What?

Trivia

Very Hard

Who Was The Mascot For Nintendo’s Iconic Gaming Magazine Nintendo Power?

Trivia

Hard

The First CPU Widely Used In Hobbyist Computers Was The?

Trivia

Hard

The Best Selling Vehicle In The World Is The?

Trivia

Easy

Which Of These Banana Cultivars Constitutes The Bulk Of Global Banana Consumption?

Trivia

Easy

Where Were Scenes For The Star Wars Planet Tatooine Filmed?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Other Game Made By The Inventor Of Scrabble Was Called?

Trivia

Hard

Jumboisation Is A Technique For Enlarging?