The Internet began as a project funded by the United States department of defense to create a means of communication that would not go down in the even of a nuclear war. When it began in the late 1960s, the Internet was little more than a handful of colleges along the east coast communicating over 300 baud modems in archaic protocols. There was no such thing as security; the whole point of the network was to share knowledge and produce a better means of doing things. Generally speaking, if you were able to physically access the web at all, you probably knew what you were doing.
Today, the commercialization of the web has brought much negative attention to large organizations. Companies holding delicate information such as credit card information are routinely bombarded with attacks aimed at disabling their business transactions or ruining their reputation as reliable vendors. In an age where virtually everyone has access to the Internet, there is little preventing people who know just enough from harming other systems.
That in mind, I ask you one thing: what do we miss most about the Internet? The obvious answer is trust. We live in a time where even the most innocent constructive task can be used to devastate the web. Innovation in web environments is being stifled by the lack of platforms on which development can occur. Many free web hosting agencies offer HTML hosting but little else–that much can be accomplished on a workstation.
When I began my career as a web developer I was startled by the lack of hosts, free or otherwise, who offered the essential elements for Unix development: a secure shell, a C/C++ compiler, a Perl interpreter, a SQL database, and various script interpreters such as PHP. Many offer limited use of Perl, PHP, and in rare cases a SQL database, but almost never will you find a system on which you can compile code1.
I am a part-time college student and full-time programmer in my early twenties. I have been fortunate enough to acquire both a server and the bandwidth to support it. My goal is to selectively provide talented and dedicated Unix developers with a hosting environment and E-mail services on which they can develop and test their applications, free of charge2.