This Week In Techdirt History: October 18th – 24th
from the looking-down dept
Five Years Ago
This week in 2010, we saw lots of fights about various kinds of online behavior. The University of Calgary was told by a court that it can’t sanction students for their Facebook comments, while the University of Kentucky’s decision to ban a student newspaper from its sporting events was just begging for a legal challenge; Google was ordered to reveal the IP addresses of a bunch of mean YouTube commenters, while an infamous police officer from the G20 protests in Toronto was seeking to force them to do the same thing for him and a Broadway actor was starting the same crusade against Twitter; the owner of an anti-Ryanair website was forced to hand over his domain because he made a little bit of money, while the owner of a bedbug-tracking website was facing threats from angry hotel owners; one court rejected probation terms that banned a teenager from social networks, while another allowed criminal charges for violating Ticketmaster’s terms of service to move forward (and a Supreme Court justice admitted he doesn’t read EULAs and other fine print). Oh, and Gene Simmons decided it was time to somehow put Anonymous in jail.
Ten Years Ago
This week in 2005, we tried to figure out just what Rupert Murdoch’s plan was for all the online media he was buying up, because it didn’t really seem like he had one, though smarter online news businesses were realizing that the technology doesn’t just change the medium, but the whole approach to reporting the news. Also in the list of things that needed (and still need) an entirely revamped approach: intellectual property.
Also in 2005: India joined the list of countries objecting to Google Earth while a tragedy for its neighbor Pakistan demonstrated the good that satellite photos can do; anti-video-game-violence crusader Jack Thompson bailed on a challenge he issued to create a game for him while we wondered whether (serious, real) challenge competitions are the best way to jumpstart research; Netflix pretty much gave up on its plans to offer movie downloads because of licensing issues and, in other news that surprised nobody, it turned out tech companies in general are magnets for lawsuits.
Fifteen Years Ago
By this week in 2000, the dot-com bust was a reality nobody could shut up about, so everyone had to get in on saying wise (read: obvious) things about it. Some were listing out their reasons for the bubble and its bursting as though nobody knew, some were cataloguing the “lessons learned” as though they weren’t entirely clear, and some were reiterating investment fundamentals as though they were new ideas. Cooler heads were pointing out that the markets as a whole weren’t so bad; others were taking a look at the fallen VCs of the Valley; and some were showering dot-coms with sympathy in the form of free advertising. Did the bust mean the tech industry was out of ideas? For the answer to that, see the past fifteen years.
Sixty-Nine Years Ago
Today, we have a wealth of photos of the earth from space, in stunning high resolution and in almost every set of conditions imaginable. But it was all the way back on October 24th, 1946 that a V-2 rocket launched from New Mexico and returned bearing the very first photo of the earth from space that human beings would ever see: