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In Brief

Hasta La Vista AltaVista

A screen shot of the AltaVista search engine on June 28, 2013.

News Flash! Yahoo is shutting down Alta Vista. Answer to your question: Yes, it does still exist! But not for long. The ancient search engine — Yahoo acquired it in 2003 and it was about 8 years old at the time — will be scuttled along with 12 other products “in the coming days and months,” the Verge reports. A Yahoo post reveals AltaVista will be shut down July 8.

I hadn’t visited AltaVista in many years, so I googled it (yeah, I know), and the No. 1 return led me to, where I then searched “AltaVista” to get the screen shot at left for posterity.

Charles Cooper over at CNET shares some insight into how AltaVista lost out to Google on search-engine dominance. If you’re old enough, you may remember hearing the phrase "I used to use AltaVista, but now I use Google.”

Robert Roy Britt

Freelance writer Robert Roy Britt is an explainer of things, former editor-in-chief of LiveScience, and author of the science thriller “5 Days to Landfall.” His writing is here.