Yahoo ! GeoCities: Now Closing after 15 Years of Web presence

Geocities was created in 1994 as an easy way for people to create a Web presence. Fifteen years later, Yahoo has decided to close the doors on the iconic webpage service. Ars reminisces upon the good times of Geocities.

U.S. Internet search giant Yahoo! Inc., said it would close out GeoCities, a personal Web page service it purchased for $2.9 billion in 1999. The GeoCities Web page now sports a prominent note that says, “Sorry, new GeoCities accounts are no longer available.”

Yahoo bought GeoCities for more than $2.9 billion in dot-com-priced stock in 1999, when GeoCities had more than 1.1 million users. However, while the idea of having a personal presence on the Internet has caught on, GeoCities turned out to be a backwater, not the mainstream.

Still unclear is what exactly will become of GeoCities pages. New sign-ups are already no longer permitted, but what about existing sites?

Here’s how Yahoo put it: “You can continue to enjoy your Web site and GeoCities services until later this year. You don’t need to change a thing right now–we just wanted you to let you know about the closure as soon as possible. We’ll provide more details about closing GeoCities and how to save your site data this summer, and we will update the help center with more details at that time.”

The purchase 10 years ago anticipated the popularity of personal Web pages, but GeoCities did not match up to the interactive capabilities of social networking services, like Facebook, Cnet said. Unsurprisingly, Geocities has declined in popularity in recent years thanks to the plethora of similar and easier-to-use services—not to mention the rise of social networks like MySpace that allow the same demographic to make equally horrific pages and try to pick each other up at the same time. Add to that the explosive popularity of various blog platforms and the suffering of the online advertising market, and it’s really not a shock to see Geocities going the way of the dodo.

Google handed over the personal information; Police nabbed the accused in India

Google handed over the personal information; Police nabbed the accused in India.

An Indian man is facing five years in jail for making an “offensive” comment after Google handed his personal data to local police.

Rahul Krishnakumar Vaid, a 22 year-old IT consultant, was arrested after posting derogatory comments on Google’s Orkut social networking site.Vaid was posting in a forum called ‘I hate Soniya Gandhi’ and was identified after the police asked Google to hand over his email address.Vaid was arrested after a police raid on his house on Friday and has been charged with breaking section 292 of the Indian Penal Code and section 67 of the Information Technology Act.

If found guilty he faces a possible five years in prison as well as a fine. The case highlights a curious facet of Indian law. The creator of the forum cannot be punished, since an individual’s dislike is covered under personal freedom of choice. However, the information Vaid posted is classed as “vulgar”, thus the arrest.

Vaid’s arrest also highlights Google’s increasingly tarnished reputation, despite its unofficial motto of ‘Do no evil’.The motto gained the company much kudos in the IT industry but, after Google’s activities in China, many are now questioning its stance on human rights.