Turns out that the method of integrating online chat and television that I co-invented as a Microsoft intern was approved late last year and nobody told me:
My favorite part of the patent application (which I didn’t write) was the sample chat between the WebTV co-founders, which includes this gem:
Bruce: This is the best movie of the [Star Wars] series.
Phil: Wait until the new ones come out. They’ll blow the first three away.
Steve: I think you’re oversimplifying the importance of the plot to the Star Wars Trilogy. What was gained by 20 years of special effects research? The rereleased versions are no better than the originals.
Other notable relics from a simpler time include the possibility that one day WebTV might operate over these newfangled ISDN lines that we’ll someday all have to our homes, and repeated explanations and definitions of the World Wide Web.