This Week In Techdirt History: January 31st – February 6th

from the tides-of-time dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2011, Egypt was wracked with protests, and the government responded by shutting down the internet. China was trying to stop people from talking about the uprising while Al Jazeera was trying to spread coverage far and wide by putting it under a Creative Commons license. We took a look at the impact of the shutdown, and then later in the week Egypt finally turned it back on.

Meanwhile, in a more insidious form of internet shutdown, Homeland Security was going nuts with the domain seizures, even as its affidavits continued to expose how much it was twisting the law and raise major legal questions. The week’s big seizure was Spanish website Rojadirecta, which made us wonder if there would be an exodus from US-controlled domains, not to mention how the US would react if Spain started messing with American websites. Senator Wyden was demanding an explanation, and Homeland Security was not doing a good job on that front.

Ten Years Ago

After the recent announcement that Nikon would no longer sell film cameras, it felt like yet another end of an era this week in 2006 when Western Union announced it would no longer offer telegrams. This was, after all, a brave new era of broadband weather balloons (maybe, someday) and really expensive connected ovens. Perhaps that also explains why companies were so eager to plug the analog hole with terrible technology, though the real reason was probably to squeeze out amateur creators.

Also this week in 2006: the RIAA sued yet another person without a computer, we looked at the unusual idea of applying trespass laws to computers, and we started catching on to the role of East Texas in the patent world.

Fifteen Years Ago

Rumours were flying about the acquisition of Yahoo! this week in 2001, which some thought would herald the end of the internet while others just wondered if Disney would be the buyer. Such rumours would likely make the “most popular stories” lists that news websites were just discovering. Alongside them, you might see stories of eBay hijinks, ranging from the artist who tried to sell his whole life to the scammer who sold a very literal listing of a Playstation 2 Original Box to one unlucky buyer.

Long before the Apple Watch, Timex made a watch that could check email; long before Obama’s highly digital campaign, some asked if 2000 was the first “net election”; and long before smartphone-aided comparison shopping was the norm, it wasn’t clear if it would ever catch on in the US where people still didn’t seem to care about wireless.

One-Hundred And Thirty-Two Years Ago

The Oxford English Dictionary is the gold standard of the English language, and my personal choice of dictionary whenever possible. It was on February 1st, 1884 that the first dictionary fascicle (look it up, in a watchacallit) was published with its full title: A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles; Founded Mainly on the Materials Collected by The Philological Society. Of course, it was just Volume One: A to Ant.

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History: January 31st – February 6th”

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Anonymous Coward says:

5 years ago:
Egypt was wracked with protests, and the government responded by shutting down the internet. China was trying to stop people from talking about the uprising

and now supposed democratic countries like USA, UK, France are doing the same thing, little by little, not because of any anti government propaganda but because the entertainment industries tell them to!! which is the more ridiculous, i have to ask??

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Longer Seems To Exist

Their ‘about us’ page says….

4. Copyright and Other Intellectual Property

The names, images and logos identifying Aljazeera Network, or any of its associated companies or third parties and their products and services are proprietary marks of Aljazeera Network, its associated companies and/or third parties. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by any means, licence or right under any trade mark or patent of Aljazeera Network, its associated companies or any other third party.

All copyright, trade marks and other intellectual property rights in this site (including the design, arrangement and look and feel) and all material or content supplied as part of the site shall remain at all times the property of Aljazeera Network or Aljazeera Network’s licensors. In accessing the Site, or any other sites of Aljazeera Network, you agree that you do so only for your own personal, non-commercial use. You may not agree to, permit or assist in any way any third party to copy, reproduce, download, post, store (including in any other web site), distribute, transmit, broadcast, commercially exploit or modify in any way the material or content without the prior written permission of an authorised officer the Aljazeera Network.

No creative commons in there.

Anonymous Coward says:

So good that the creators of the Oxford English dictionary had copyright to incentivize them otherwise we wouldn’t have had that book. Of course being first to market as the gold standard helped them capture the majority of readers and dictate to others what actually is English. Having that market share has allowed them to never worry about the competition.

Boy are we lucky that the dictionary didn’t link to or include any other words in use at the time, but the ones the authors came up with or paid others to include, or the dictionary would never had been of use to the people. And people wouldn’t have been given a reason to make up new words.

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