March 6, 2000 |
Historians often struggle with a dearth of firsthand accounts of important events, cultural changes or people from past centuries. The study of modern times often presents the opposite problem--researchers are quickly buried in an avalanche of data, held back only by government and corporate secrecy.
November 27, 2001 |
Within days of the Sept. 11 attacks, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry rushed to pull a suddenly sensitive report from its Web site titled "Industrial Chemicals and Terrorism." The agency eliminated all traces of the document and its description of sources for home-brew nerve gases and improvised explosives. But on the World Wide Web, almost nothing truly dies.
March 22, 2011 |
In a crushing blow to Google Inc.'s grand ambition to build the world's largest digital library, a federal judge rejected the company's plans to share and sell the millions of books it has scanned over the last decade. U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin said Tuesday that Google's agreement with publishers and authors "would simply go too far" toward giving the company a major advantage over competitors in the electronic book world. The ruling, a crucial development in a five-year legal saga, effectively keeps Google from offering to the public more than 15 million books it has scanned since 2004.
December 26, 2001 |
It didn't take long after the capture of American Taliban John Walker Lindh before journalists were fanning out to learn more about this mysterious young man and how he went from a posh California suburb to a dingy Afghan prison. In the end, some of the most tantalizing clues emerged not from family members and neighbors but from Lindh himself, in writings he had posted years ago on the Internet.
September 20, 2009 |
It was a historian's nightmare. During the change from the Clinton to the Bush administration, websites affiliated with the Clinton White House went dark, and an unknown number of online documents and files were forever lost. Such Internet deaths inspired the Cyber Cemetery at the University of North Texas, which preserves government websites in their final form. The Cyber Cemetery archives sites when commissions or panels expire, allowing the online work of defunct government bodies to live on and remain accessible to the public.