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JenniCam Closing After 7+ Years 605

An anonymous Jenni fan writes "Details are sketchy, but apparently within the past few days, JenniCam has announced that it is closing permanently on New Year's Eve. Jenni Ringley has run the site for over 7 and a half years and was even voted more popular than Linus in a ZDNet poll. Of course, such constant exposure has had its downsides; she has received death threats in the past. Last chance to check out that Slashbox while her life is still online."
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JenniCam Closing After 7+ Years

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  • And... (Score:5, Funny)

    by dr_labrat ( 15478 ) <(spooner) (at) (> on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:33AM (#7637235) Homepage
    ...what better way to say goodby than giving her server a good ole fashioned slashdotting.

  • by musingmelpomene ( 703985 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:35AM (#7637241) Homepage
    I think this calls for a moment of silence, or something. No, I really mean it. This was one of our first chances to see the true potential of the internet - for good and for bad. It spawned camwhores of all varieties and gave rise to a new kind of voyeurism. Goodbye to a pioneer.
  • Am I the only one? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sageo ( 681426 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:37AM (#7637246)
    Who didn't know about this site OR care when they heard about it?
    • by tres ( 151637 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @06:53AM (#7637437) Homepage
      Ah isn't it great ushering in the next generation? Doesn't it just make you feel old as dirt to hear someone who is not only ignorant of Jennicam, but also indignant of the idea that he should know about it.

      I begin to understand the sad forlorn look in their eyes when my parents would wax poetic about something so banal as the A&P grocery stores and I'd indignantly grumble, "who cares?"

      I expect now we'll be saying names like Robert Smith or Steven Morrissey and get quizzical looks, "um.. yeah... huh huh... aren't they like, the ice-cream guys or something... huh huh... huh"


      You whippersnappers, listen up:

      Back when I was your age, we didn't have color screens. Back then, a gui was something you pulled out of your nose.

      When I was your age, we loaded programs onto our computers using cassette tapes. We waited 20 minutes for the program to load up, and if we were lucky, it ran.

      When I was your age, we didn't have C compilers that were free. We had BASIC, and if you were lucky, you had Pascal.

      Back when I was your age, a 9800 baud was one thrilling piece of hardware.

      We had computers that weighed over 100 pounds.


      • by Anonymous Coward
        Wow, aren't you old-school.

        I remember when your only choice for programming was assembler - or if you were unlucky, straight machine code, which you translated from some pseudo-assembler notes on paper.

        I remember when high-level languages were rubbished for being inefficient, and only of academic interest (the same way natural language programming is viewed now).

        And I remember that back then we had twits saying "you youngsters are hopeless, in my day we used punch-cards".

        But, it really does make you fe
        • by AKnightCowboy ( 608632 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:24AM (#7637831)
          I guess she's faded into insignificance, because all the teenagers who watched her with the hope of seeing her naked have grown up.

          No, they've just watched the Internet evolve into the greatest pornography distribution system the world has ever known. In 1994 it was hard to find any good free porn sites.. 1995 brought the businesses who locked down their porn and blurred it out for guests. Eventually the race to compete for customers brought us to the point where you can now just type in random URLs and get to a hardcore pornography site. Who needs to sit around on hoping some 30+ year old chick takes her shirt off? God bless the Interweb and smut peddlers.

      • Yeah, and I bet you had to wark miles to school every day. Uphill. Both ways. In the rain.
      • by Wansu ( 846 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @08:55AM (#7637703)

        Back when I was your age, we didn't have color screens.

        Well, ol' man, back when I was your age, we didn't have monochrome monitors. We had punch cards, card readers and a line printer. Yessir.

        When I was your age, we loaded programs onto our computers using cassette tapes.

        We carried shoeboxes full of punched cards over to the card reader. Woe unto those unfortunate souls who dropped theirs.

        We had BASIC, and if you were lucky, you had Pascal.

        We had Fortran, PL1, Assembler and JCL.

        Back when I was your age, a 9800 baud was one thrilling piece of hardware.

        Try 300 baud thru an acoustical coupler.

        We had computers that weighed over 100 pounds.

        The IBM 29 card punch weighed more than that. So did the Harris card reader. Lord knows what the IBM 360 mainframe weighed. The line printers needed paulbearers.
  • by martin ( 1336 ) <maxsec@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:38AM (#7637249) Journal
    webcrawler starts to suck
    altavista goes static
    google has problems with retricting searches (until recently try getting info on baseball in the UK!), bloggers etc
    napster goes legit (but available only in the USofA) get bought by C-NEt and all the content 'gets lost'
    now Jenni-cam is to be no more

    well that's it, I'm off to desert to eat sand, the internet is dead :-)

  • by phalse phace ( 454635 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:40AM (#7637254)
    JenniCam has announced that it is closing permanently on New Year's Eve.

    Um... I think she'll be closing sooner than that once we get through /.ing her.

  • by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:41AM (#7637259) Journal
    All this time, I could have had her webcam appear whenever I visited Slashdot. Even the guest gallery (there's also a paid members only gallery) is loaded with full nudity and "playing". Even during the past week. Live news and live porn all in the same place. Too bad it'll be over after this month.
  • Closing Jennicam? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xeno_gearz ( 533872 ) * on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:42AM (#7637261) Journal
    On one hand, I could lament the "loss" of an internet mainstay of whom many of us were aware of. On the other hand, webcams have become so overdone. Every teenage girl and her best friend have one. Consequently, this is played out. So who cares? I'm sure "Jenny" has realized she has better things to do than pose on a webcam.

    On the other hand, perhaps Jenny's subscriptions were dropping as creepy men were finding other girls' webcams to ogle. Maybe Jenny realized that her extended 15 minutes of fame are finally up. No disrespect though. She certainly seems to have garnered all the attention she could from a webcam.

    Remember the coffee cam? Now that was cool. Wasn't it at MIT?

    • Re:Closing Jennicam? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Vee Ecks ( 728747 )
      "Remember the coffee cam? Now that was cool. Wasn't it at MIT?" Yep. It's all been downhill since then. The only thing that would have been worse than jennicam would have been if Adam Curry, fresh from freaking out and running away with MTV's domain name (if you remember that, you're a real web old timer) had started the first 24-hour nekkid cam, and he'd been the star.
      • "Remember the coffee cam? Now that was cool. Wasn't it at MIT?" Yep. It's all been downhill since then.

        The German Magazine "Der Spiegel" bought the Coffee Machine (yes, its the real one!) and has it online now for a year or two, don't know exactly. Here it is:

        Coffee Cam []

    • Re:Closing Jennicam? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Meowing ( 241289 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:48AM (#7637279) Homepage
      Remember the coffee cam? Now that was cool. Wasn't it at MIT?
      Close, sort of. it was at the other Cambridge [].
    • at their computer lab not MIT. It was known just as the Internet Coffeee Pot, a webcam on a filter coffee machine. I believe a German publishing house bought the original pot.
    • Re:Closing Jennicam? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JimBobJoe ( 2758 ) < minus cat> on Friday December 05, 2003 @07:02AM (#7637454)
      On the other hand, webcams have become so overdone. Every teenage girl and her best friend have one.

      And this is indeed true...and we can thank Jenni for that. I remember reading and finding the site in 1996 (which is when I first got broadband) and this was pretty hot shit at that time. Quite innovative--I believe I read about her in Wired. The fact that she lasted this long is actually amazing...and is a testament to her patience.

      Not only did she invent this idea of camwhore (though camwhores usually perform on camera and eventually turn it least, there won't be a good picture if they're not at the computer) Jenni wired her house with cameras (though that seems to have dropped off with time.)

      This was of course a form of porn (figuratively and literally) and she might have even made a bit of profit in these years...much like the porn industry.

      Camwhores still represent a troublesome frontier. 16 year old girls everywhere are taking off their clothes for free. Guys of all ages watch (and even if there weren't any watching, the girls would be doing it anyway.) That's gotta keep Ashcroft up late at night.

      • 16 year old girls everywhere are taking off their clothes for free. Guys of all ages watch (and even if there weren't any watching, the girls would be doing it anyway.) That's gotta keep Ashcroft up late at night.
        Nice double entendre there at the end, mate.

      • Re:Closing Jennicam? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by toastyman ( 23954 ) <> on Friday December 05, 2003 @08:53AM (#7637699) Homepage
        Just a note...

        I (believe) that I'm the one who originally coined the term "camwhore". (My original registration of predates any mention of it in google/usenet/, and the oldest web archive I can find is an IRC log of me).

        The word "camwhores" itself was sort of a pun... Sure it had the sexual connotations, but we all were talking about how people who like the attention their webcams gave them struggled with the moral impact of showing random strangers on the internet more of their intimate life than most of their friends have seen. whore n. A person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain.

        A whole industry of webcam portals, from Jennicam to Stile Project's old cam portals back in the 90's(which evolved into to the huge sites that are out there now have really changed a lot of how porn works. You didn't have to sell your soul and have sex with strangers in a studio to play with your exhibitionist side. You don't have to make a cheesy home video and try to get your friends to watch it. The live nature of webcam porn lets the viewer interact with the person in front of the cam directly. And this isn't just a fringe minority either, do you really think the hundreds of thousands of webcams sold are just used to videoconference with grandma? When Gateway bundled a webcam with most of their college-geared desktops a year or so ago, the number of applicants on our site alone doubled.

        However, the reason for this whole post(not just because of my personal involvement with the word)... The whole "Camwhores" scene is NOT about underage girls. All the major webcam portals, adult hosting sites, one-on-one show sites, and everyone else are really really strict about age verification and policing their content.

        The last thing we need is Ashcroft running TV ads saying that webcams fund terrorists. :)

        Anyway, Jenni was surely one of the big pioneers of this whole thing, and I wish her the best.
    • Re:Closing Jennicam? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <> on Friday December 05, 2003 @01:14PM (#7639733) Homepage
      I think I was the first user of the JenniCam. I knew her from her original Tour of Her Body web site, and had a mad crush on her for some time.

      Anyway, she told me she got a cam, and primitive software that loaded a new picture every minute, and she was showing it to me hosted off her dorm room Mac.

      The images were black and white, and at that time Jenni was a really hot-looking girl. (I haven't looked lately, so I won't comment on her current status). It began as something private, a special moment or two shared between her and her friends.

      For a while I even hosted her site, but eventually had to move due to the huge bandwidth use once she took it public.

      For her, it was never about the money, it was about showing her life, as it was. I admired her for that and still do.

      But she did wind up changing. For a long time, I had an archive featuring her most charming pictures, and if you were persistent enough, you could see her naughtiest. But she made me take it down, with a remarkably cold note threatening legal action. I thought that was contrary to the original spirit of it, but since I didn't want to hurt her, I respected her wishes.

      So yes, today I shed a tear for her innovation, her charm and her creation. What a long strange trip it's been.

      I wonder what she will do next ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:45AM (#7637268)
    ...but there's always DarlCam [].
  • She must be too old to be a cam girl now. Assuming she was at least 18 when she started it, she's gotta be at least 25 now.
    • Re:too old? (Score:5, Funny)

      by xeniten ( 550128 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:54AM (#7637298) Homepage
      Jennie is NOT a cam girl!!!

      Jennie used the camera as a medium of self expression and speech, a means and method of recording her life for all to see on the internet. Jenniecam really was purely a social experiment.

      She will be greatly missed.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:48AM (#7637281)
    JenniCam isn't closing, it's just changing name to reflect the fact that Jenni is getting ripe. Here are the official domain names she'll use in the future:

  • Jumped the Shark... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by abbamouse ( 469716 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:48AM (#7637282) Homepage
    ...when she dissed her best friend who helped her move in next door by nabbing her fiance. Well, actually that was interesting but it turned into a long-term relationship. Dex just makes my skin crawl and the cam and journal got really boring after that. I mean, there's only so much gardening crap a person can read about. It was more interesting before she settled down. I think I've checked the cam like four times in the last year...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2003 @06:08AM (#7637321)
      From the sound of it, I'd say more like four times in the last half-hour. Man, you are seriously creeping me out here...
    • by weave ( 48069 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @06:09AM (#7637328) Journal
      True. Also, around that same time she moved from DC to CA and got a day job, so most of the day there was nothing to look at except the occasional cat.

      I'm still going to miss her.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I watched the Jennicam for about twelve minutes and never went back. What's so interesting about a less-than-attractive (no offense) chick sitting around in front of her camera all day, sleeping half nude at night and occasionally bonking an ugly boyfriend? I can't believe there were actually suckers willing to pay for a subscription to that. Lame lame LAME.

      I'm sure the ONLY reason she's closing it is that she's no longer raking in the dough. Otherwise you can be absolutely certain she would still milk it.
    • by markhb ( 11721 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:54AM (#7637991) Journal
      I'm not sure if she jumped it then, or earlier, when she incorporated and sent out C&D orders to everyone who had unauthorized archives of her cam shots... especially the early ones from her college days.

      Does anyone else remember when she was "sponsored" by some nudism library, and they solicited for beer donations?

    • I worked with her (Score:3, Interesting)

      by EvilStein ( 414640 )
      I'm happy to say that Courtney is a lot better off these days, IMHO.
      She was at Netscape at the same time I was.

      Jenni moved to the suburbs of Sacramento, got fat & out of shape, and ended up picking up an office job with the County. heh.
    • I've had the JenniCam slashbox for as long as I can remember and your post is the most information I've ever actually gotten about her.

      I had read /. for a year or so and finally got around to getting an id. Started setting preferences and noticed the option for JenniCam. Having no idea what it was I checked it just to see. She has been there ever since. I never actually took time (or cared) to find out anything more about her, but it was comforting to see her (or at least her cat) everyday when I check
  • by Unleashd ( 664454 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @05:48AM (#7637283)
    that saw this article and started to hear Forest yell "Don't go Jennay"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2003 @06:08AM (#7637323)
    While Jenni is mildly attractive, there are far more sexier and interesting camgirls out there. My favourite at the moment is Mercatur [], a mid-twenties web designer.

    Unlike Jenni, she is actually an interesting writer. She tackles wide-ranging and amusing subjects like why girls should only sleep with computer geeks (link []) to advice on how to give good head to a guy (link []).

    She is also extremely cute. [] And single, I believe ;-)
  • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @06:09AM (#7637329) Journal
    Don't worry - those having withdrawal symptoms will be able to comfort themselves with the launch of the new Goatse cam. Opening (literally) soon.

    Oh, no, wait, that's a nightmare I had. Same night I had the 24 hour Tubgirl channel dream, now I think about it.

  • by Zog The Undeniable ( 632031 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @06:14AM (#7637351)
    The goatse man announced that, after revolting an entire generation of net users, he was taking his fingers out of his bottom and looking forward to a well-earned sit down. "Frankly, it's hard to find sponsorship these days as all my visitors appear to come from a geek discussion site and leave again within 5 seconds. My fingers are also starting to get cramp and I've been advised that any stools I pass in future may not be accommodated by a standard 4-inch waste pipe", he added.
  • So long, and thanks for all the fish :-P
  • bound to happen (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )
    I suspect it has something to do with the fact that it's been, well, 7 years. She undoubtedly started past the age of 18, so at the very least, she's 25. More likely, she's closer to 30. What'd you expect, an aging woman to display her body indefinately? I think not.

    When was the last time you heard of a 30-year-old porn star? That's functionally what she is, though she doesn't make a habit of actively showing her body, and is more actively showing her mind - pr0n for geeks, I guess. She actively pimps the
  • ... at least the site is slashdotted :)
  • by Saint Stephen ( 19450 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @07:25AM (#7637503) Homepage Journal
    In (1999) I think, I went to a JenniCon. It was fun. She had a timeshare place in Virginia. There were about 14 people there. All the other guys were crashing on the floor of her timeshare -- I rented a place on the other side of the complex.

    She's just a gen-Y pothead. (She and her then boyfriend smoked Pot the whole time, and didn't offer us any. I finally got her to pass me the bong and TreeH got nervous in case they saw me doing it on the cam).

    I think she was part of some national psychological program to profile us Internet Whackos. Whatever. I was there.
  • Zombie site (Score:3, Insightful)

    by marmoset ( 3738 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @07:26AM (#7637506) Homepage Journal
    The site's been undead for years, stumbling around muttering "brains, brains" and bumping into shit. 99% of the time the camera's focused on an empty blue chair. It all went downhill when she stole her "friend's" fiancee and boinked him on camera.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2003 @07:28AM (#7637508)
    Back in the day, I whored many a domain name.
    Among others, I controled and

    Jennicam was at Jennicam.ORG

    One night Jenni was interviewed on letterman and the traffic to the webpage spiked. We put up pr0n banners and an giant headline saying "Jenni is behind one of these banners" -- Those banners generated several thousand bucks. I doubt the users ever found the jenni they were looking for, but they sure clicked.

    One user heard about all this jennicam business on NPR and went to jennicam.COM instead of .ORG -- She was so outraged to find pr0n banners she quickly fired off an email to webmaster@npr.COM complaining about the pr0n. I laughed really hard when I found that in the e-mail catchall. I wrote her back and told her to donate to NPR so we didn't have to continue to put up pr0n banners.

    Aaah jennicam. That stupid whore. NPR and jennicam .COM names now point at the expected places. :)

    • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) * on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:47AM (#7637959) Journal, org and net! First time I ever got death threats running a website.

      Oh the fun to have a random perl redirect script in there. When people would go to, or net they would get redirected to,, NAMBLA and other fun sites.

      It was redirecting them to the Southern Poverty Law Center that really sent them over edge though.

      2600 has done some neat stuff too...., etc
  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @08:31AM (#7637639)

    Hee, hee ... I just love the wtf, she must be , like, 27 or even 30 now! Of course she has to quit! posts ...

    Yes, egads, how could a 27-30 year old woman possibly be attractive? :o

    Hmm, maybe I should just be glad that there is a whole segment of the population too stupid to give me any competition ;)

  • by Pete ( 2228 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @08:48AM (#7637682)

    Thank god we've still got the thrill-a-minute continental drift cam [].

    Much more intelligent. And more exciting.


  • From the CNN link (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kworthington ( 678559 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (notgnihtrowk)> on Friday December 05, 2003 @08:53AM (#7637696) Homepage
    In the CNN link posted above (which was written when the site was online for three years), there's an interesting quote in lieu of the site about to go offline:

    Ringley says she will keep the site going indefinitely -- "I can't imagine any situation which would cause me to want to" take it down.

    Ironic huh?
  • Interview (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lxs ( 131946 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @08:58AM (#7637718)
    Any chance of a slashdot interview by way of a farewell?
  • by tds67 ( 670584 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @09:30AM (#7637865)
    Jenni, I've got your number,
    I need to make you mine,
    Jenni, don't change your number: (Chorus)!
  • This is a big moment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gamgee5273 ( 410326 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:35AM (#7638248) Homepage Journal
    Understandable, but big. I remember when it came online (yes, Virginia, it was a big thing in the college student Internet community). I checked in on her from time to time and I actually knew an English graduate student who was studying JenniCam as a sort of dynamic autobiography (English students want to see the "textual" in a lot of things... books, poetry, video, toast... I know, I was one). The argument made sense, though, as JenniCam is (or, soon will be, was) an almost completely exposed private life unfolding in front of the viewers' eyes.

    And, yes, I was one of the ones who thoguh she was cute. Still do, too. :D

    Good-bye, Jenni.

  • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:39AM (#7638271) Journal
    I'm not surprised by it closing, I'm more surprised that it was still going! Sort of like a sci-fi movie where they find dinosaurs still living in some remote jungle valley.
  • A pioneer.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:51AM (#7638401) Journal
    Jenni was definately a "pioneer." I believe she was the first person to do the 24/7 homecam thing in a serious way. And I think her existance helped to drive a lot of reality-based entertainment, including influencing the writers of "The Truman Show". She also was an early blogger.

    My wife and I worked with her to produce "The Jennishow," a series of streaming video shows about her crazy life, which changed the course of our company, and without it there never would have been a "Geeks in Space" Slashdot radio show.

    We had a lot of fun filming "The Jennishow," including going for a ride in a private plane of a fan, JenniCon with the "top fans", and another fan leading us to the house at the end of the Blair Witch Project. It was a trip!
  • by telstar ( 236404 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @10:52AM (#7638407)
    Will nobody volunteer to archive the hours and hours of Jennicam footage? We're losing a valuable piece of our digital history.
  • by Quietti ( 257725 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @11:31AM (#7638792) Journal
    My earliest recollection of Jennicam dates back from 1996. Back then, she was still living a bachelor's life at the dorm and would sometimes tease the camera. I think I even recall one time when she masturbated online (but don't quote me on this, it's been ages).

    Looking back, she reminds me of Sarah St-James. Girl-next-door looks that trip your sensor array, but don't explode it. Cute.

    I stopped visiting her site the day her picture archive and pretty much anything of interest became a paying subscribtion. Maybe now would be a good time to make everything open-access, as a farewell gift to all, during the last month of operation?

  • Jennicam (Score:4, Funny)

    by retro128 ( 318602 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:23PM (#7640413)
    Ah, yes...I remember hearing about Jennicam back in the day. I even visited there a couple of times, but I wasn't impressed with the empty chair, nor did I have the attention span to wait for that one flash of boobie, and the same pretty much goes for all camwhores.

    That is why I was most surprised a couple of weeks ago when I VNC'd into a co worker's laptop set up at her house to troubleshoot a router problem I was having and saw a pair of boobs on my monitor. It turns out that while my co worker was here at work, her sister has borrowed the laptop and was showing off her assets to a Yahoo chatroom and had the cam preview window convieniently open.

    It was the coolest thing that has ever happened to me, especially since it was during the normal course of mundane systems administration. I mean, there I was troubleshooting a crypto map and *bam* 20 year old boobs delivered to my doorstep. It almost makes me wish my routers would freak out more often.

  • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @03:11PM (#7640817) Journal
    ...The Frickcam! []

    Ah, Miss Frickell, when will you once again grace us with your visage?

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie