late 14c., informacion, "act of informing, communication of news," from Old French informacion, enformacion "advice, instruction," from Latin informationem (nominative informatio) "outline, concept, idea," noun of action from past participle stem of informare "to train, instruct, educate; shape, give form to" (see inform). The restored Latin spelling is from 16c.
Meaning "knowledge communicated concerning a particular topic" is from mid-15c. The word was used in reference to television broadcast signals from 1937; to punch-card operating systems from 1944; to DNA from 1953. Information theory is from 1950; information technology is from 1958 (coined in "Harvard Business Review"); information revolution, to be brought about by advances in computing, is from 1966. Information overload is by 1967.
The adjective sense "being on the inside" is from 1610s, from the noun. It began to be used in slang c. 1900 in reference to the supposed real facts or situation that only an insider would know. Inside man is from 1911 (originally in reference to workers used by management to sniff out union activity); inside job "robbery, espionage, etc., committed by or with the help of a resident or servant of a place" is attested by 1887, American English (also, late 19c., early 20c., "indoors work").
The figurative inside track "advantage" (1854) however is a metaphor from horse racing (1830); inside lanes are shorter than the outer ones on a curved track. Adverbial use in American English inside of (in reference to time) is from 1839.
"of or pertaining to analysis of cultural phenomena from the inside," 1954, from phonemic.