This Week In Techdirt History: August 7th – 13th

from the slightly-shorter-than-usual-edition dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2011, London was caught in widespread rioting, and naturally some officials were quick to place the blame squarely on… BlackBerry, since messaging and Twitter were being used to incite and organize rioters. One MP went as far as to call on BlackBerry to shut down its messenger service (as if that would help), and then Prime Minister David Cameron decided it might be good to ban suspected rioters from social media. They sure did handle it well, huh?

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2006, Sony was continuing its proud tradition of utterly failing when it comes to DRM, this time deciding to delay the launch of the audio/video download store for the PSP because they couldn’t implement the copy protection in time. All the customer backlash against bad DRM seemed to be prompting other DRM-pushers to start changing their story. And then of course there was the battleground for the next generation of DRM media: the fight to replace DVDs with a new emerging standard was just heating up (and would evolve into the Blu-ray/HD-DVD wars, and eventually today’s Blu-ray supremacy).

Fifteen Years Ago

Five years before that in 2001, copy protected CDs were a relatively new idea and it was still unclear how pervasive and protected they were. Meanwhile, the DOJ was starting to investigate the online music services that the recording industry set up (in the wake of said industry’s destruction of several independent online music companies). We also saw a decision that would change the face of two giant brands: a judge told the World Wrestling Federation that it had to stop using “WWF”, and hand wwf.com over to the World Wildlife Fund.

Seventy-Two Years Ago

Some of the earliest computers were put to work in World War Two, and among the most famous is IBM’s Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator — better known as the Harvard Mark I, after it was officially presented to the university on August 24th, 1944. It was described as having “brought Babbage?s principles of the Analytical Engine almost to full realization, while adding important new features.”

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