Believe it or not, the pop-up ad can be traced back to one man. That man is Ethan Zuckerman, and he did it so a car company could run an advert that "celebrated anal sex" - without it sitting on the web page.
Over twenty years later and he's as bummed out about it as we are. "I'm sorry, our intentions were good," he writes in an essay over on The Atlantic. It's actually a pretty interesting read.
Apology accepted, Zuck, but we fear it's too little too late. You can ask J. Robert Oppenheimer all about that.
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