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Long ago and far away, a tech network was born

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CNET Networks this summer celebrated its 10th anniversary, and to mark it, the company created a Web site (http://ten.cnet.com)-sporting the tagline "The power of 10"-that looks back at the past 10 years. Probably because it was conceived by founder Halsey Minor as a cable TV network covering technology, the CNET Web site has always had a video component. For its 10th anniversary, the company cobbled together archival footage from the past decade into a short video. Watching it shows how much things have changed since 1995. There's a CNET reporter explaining that a home page is the "front door" to a Web property. Former Intel Corp. CEO Andy Grove, in March 1996, confidently predicts that widespread broadband access is "decades away." There's a clip of Larry "Bud" Melman, made famous by David Letterman, answering a question from a viewer named Matt Brodie: "Who owns the Internet?" Melman replies, "Well, Matt, I do!" and laughs maniacally. There's also an appearance by Ryan Seacrest of "American Idol" fame, who used to appear on the CNET program "The New Edge." The online tech information network debuted on the Web in June 1995.

The boys at Orange County Choppers, the motorcycle shop featured on the Discovery Channel's "American Chopper" show (and previously covered in this column for its work on a chopper for manufacturing giant Caterpillar Inc.), custom-built a $58,000 T-Rex Soft Tail motorcycle for ThomasNet.com as part of a sweepstakes to generate awareness for the Web site, an industrial buyers site. In fact, the chopper was created using industrial parts and components found on ThomasNet.com's site, which contains information on more than 650,000 industrial suppliers in 67,000 product categories. Painted "ThomasNet.com Green," the bike features a highly modified motor with aluminum barrels and heads and a "chopped" single gooseneck frame. Angela Stanett, a bookkeeper at Columbus, Ohio-based Hydraulic Services, who was visiting the site to check some information for a customer, was the lucky winner from among more than 100,000 entrants. Hydraulic Services is also among those listed on ThomasNet.com. Stanett said she has ridden motorcycles in the past and "always enjoyed it." She said she plans to get her motorcycle license because "I plan on riding a lot more now."

Schneider National, a transportation and logistics services company, hosted its annual Associate Appreciation Days June 6-10 to recognize its 20,000 associates, from truck drivers and mechanics to office associates. As part of the event, corporate executives hit the road and visited associates around the country, showing their appreciation by washing truck windshields, pumping gas and hosting Q&A sessions. During the week, Driver Operating Centers featured information booths from Schneider suppliers and provided information on safety, maintenance, process, careers and service. At the various events, representatives from Schneider suppliers-including Definity Health, Freightliner, Maptuit Corp. and XM Satellite Radio-provided information about their products and services. The week also featured raffles and online games.

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