Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Scott McNealy's Top 15 Reasons He's Surprised We're Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Web

Last night, BoomTown headed to San Francisco’s wedding-cake City Hall to attend “The 25 Years of .Com Gala,” which is honoring a quarter-century that I have been jacked into the matrix.

Actually, it’s the 25th anniversary of the .com Internet domain name.

VeriSign (VRSN), which administers the .com registry, sponsored the party, as well as a recent confab in Washington, D.C.

While the growth of .com was slow until the browser became popularized–numbering under 15,000 addresses in 1992–there are now close to 85 million .com domains. This innovative commercial designation is clearly the most important one, both financially and perceptually.

Thus, time to party at an event emceed by Web 1.0 comic favorite Dana Carvey.

He was funny, but perhaps the most enjoyable blast from the past was the appearance of jeans-clad former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, who most definitely retains the title of Clown Prince of Silicon Valley as the needler-in-chief of then-dominant Microsoft (MSFT).

After being one of the superstars of Web 1.0, the wise-cracking McNealy has been missing in action in tech of late, as Sun’s influence waned. The company was sold to Oracle (ORCL) recently.

Ironically, given all the hubbub over Facebook’s privacy screw-ups this week, it was McNealy who famously said in a 1999 interview: “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”

For last night’s crowd, he rendered a very adorkable list of the many reasons he was surprised that the .com was getting feted.

Here’s the video:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik