Techdirt

by Leigh Beadon


Filed Under:
history, look back



This Week In Techdirt History: September 6th - 12th

from the bug-or-feature dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2010, we got another look at ACTA when the latest draft leaked and, as expected, it was mostly bad news. So bad, in fact, that a majority of EU Parliament members signed a declaration against it, though it wasn't clear at the time if that would make any difference. At the same time, emails released under a FOIA request gave us a closer look at just how much the USTR pushed to keep ACTA as secret as possible.

Craigslist was under attack, and caved this week by shutting down its Adult Services section (and replacing it with a black bar that read "censored"). Some people, at least, were beginning to stand up and point out that forcing Craigslist to do this actually helps the criminals it's supposed to stop, but the anti-Craigslist "public interest" groups kept up their ongoing media attacks. Of course the real source of the attacks was Attorneys General, especially Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal who, it turned out, didn't even have jurisdiction over prostitution.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2005, still two years away from the first iPhone, Motorola released its much-hyped "iTunes Phone" — and it sucked. At this time, the market for smartphones still hadn't been carved out by the well-designed iPhone, and most people simply didn't want phones with lots of features (or just didn't know it yet), nor were they sure why they really needed a mobile data plan, and the future of mobile music downloads looked bleak. Of course all this renewed conversation and speculation around the possibility of a real Apple-made "iPhone", while the company was releasing its iPod Nano (and being weakly answered by Sony's revamped Walkman.

There were plenty of other emerging technologies to wonder about, too. People didn't seem all too interested in interactive television, and business travellers apparently had no desire to make use of wi-fi hotspots (one of those things would rapidly change). New technologies meant to stop identity theft seemed like they might actually be making it easier. Companies were slowly coming to grips with the fact that personal work surfing can't be stopped (and isn't bad anyway). And in news that shocked absolutely nobody, it turned out young men like shiny new gadgets more than older women.

Fifteen Years Ago

Speaking of interactive television, Microsoft tried it back in this week of the year 2000 as well (and nobody thought it'd work then either). And speaking of gadgets, how about a Casio wrist camera? (Apparently it was pretty cool.) Robotic pets and conversational online bots were on the way, as were human-implantable tracking chips... Some people were debating who should receive the dubious title of Most Downloaded Woman.

Microsoft seemed like it might be (slowly) starting to change, and so for that matter did Bill Gates. In the younger dot-com world, we unsurprisingly discovered that the majority of internet advertising is bought by dot-coms, while some preferred to just bankrupt themselves with Superbowl ads (perhaps because being young and rich doesn't always make you happy).

Sixty-Eight Years Ago

The word "bug" as a term for an engineering problem predates computers, but there's a folk etymology for use of the term in the computing world that is based on a true story (though the details are often presented wrongly). On September 9, 1947, an error in the Harvard Mark II (an electromechanical computer) was traced to a literal bug: a moth that had gotten trapped inside a relay. The moth was attached to the log book with the note "first actual case of bug being found", and now resides in the Smithsonian.


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 12 Sep 2015 @ 1:49pm

    Craigslist was under attack, and caved this week by shutting down its Adult Services section (and replacing it with a black bar that read "censored"). Some people, at least, were beginning to stand up and point out that forcing Craigslist to do this actually helps the criminals it's supposed to stop [...]
    Indeed. I remember seeing a TV programme about a guy who was known as the Craigslist Killer and how he was caught because he used Craigslist to attract his victims. Can you imagine how long it would have taken to catch him if he had had to use the darknet?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2015 @ 3:45pm

    young men like shiny new gadgets more than older women.
    But I've always liked older women more than shiny new gadgets.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jake, 12 Sep 2015 @ 5:53pm

    As someone who only recently and reluctantly caved and bought a smartphone, I think I still would prefer "a cheap, simple phone that works." Although maybe it's my fault for buying a Windows phone...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sheogorath (profile), 12 Sep 2015 @ 9:03pm

      Re:

      Absolutely your fault for buying a device with an OS that has the word 'blows' as part of its nickname. ;D

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Jake, 13 Sep 2015 @ 10:15am

        Re: Re:

        In my defence, a) this was back when Windows 10 was looking like a legitimately good operating system and b) it was cheap.

        And in any case, Windows 10 for desktops managed not to suck outside the security and privacy issues, so I'm holding out some hope for the mobile version as well.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2015 @ 10:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If anything privacy issues with phones are worse than with desktops, as both Microsoft and your carrier want to monetize you.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Jake, 13 Sep 2015 @ 3:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            True, but I'm less bothered about my phone spying on me because the web browser and the Dropbox app are both too annoying to actually use and if I don't want my current location to be trackable (ie some political protests I've been on) then I'll leave the damn thing at home.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 13 Sep 2015 @ 3:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Windows 10 for desktops managed not to suck outside the security and privacy issues"

          If we ignore the security issues, then "sucks" may be too harsh a term for Windows 10. However, I do think it's fair to say that on the whole Windows 10 is inferior to Windows 7.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2015 @ 10:56pm

    Craigslist was under attack, and caved this week by shutting down its Adult Services section

    Prohibitionists are just fascist carrying white painted guns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2015 @ 9:11am

    This week in 2005 we were using a Motorola E815 for a wireless modem to surf the web on a laptop. EVDO revision A.

    Google Maps on a Ram Mount in the Tundra. Good times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2015 @ 5:57pm

    "Mild" M asnick hot in this one! Threatens to ban "average_joe". Some "free speech" advocate: attacks, then forbids answer!

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100904/23124610907.shtml#c955

    Masnick clearly partisan abusing administrative position, which pretty much voids Section 230 protections for all time. Examples like this against dissenters abound, but I bet not one scolding of a fanboy can be found. Besides that, Masnick just looks feeble. More so since failed to follow through on threat even after average_joe defied him.

    Heh, heh. Epic hijack too, all the fanboys drawn off-topic to rabid ad hom supporting their cult leader.


    Seventeenth attempt to get this in after trying two days! Saturday before any other comments could be seen; later that night, several appeared, but none of my ten attempts! This "public comment box" is locked down to me all weekend -- probably due to my comment that morning.

    So this is to show that a) Techdirt censors behind the scenes and/or b) has the power to and actually okays comments so is thereby the publisher of them.

    And I'll get it in eventually! Why does Techdirt persist in doing what it derides others for?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2015 @ 6:03pm

      Re: [reply] "Mild" M asnick hot in this one! Threatens to ban "average_joe". Some "free speech" advocate: attacks, then forbids answer!

      See? There I go! Persistence again pays!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2015 @ 2:09pm

        Re: Re: [reply] "Mild" M asnick hot in this one! Threatens to ban "average_joe". Some "free speech" advocate: attacks, then forbids answer!

        You need professional help.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2015 @ 7:45am

      Re:

      out_of_the_blue just hates it when due process is enforced.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2015 @ 7:46am

      Re:

      It might disappoint you to know that nobody derides spamblocking.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 14 Sep 2015 @ 8:26am

      Re: Another misinformed notion from Out_Of_The_Blue

      Masnick clearly partisan abusing administrative position, which pretty much voids Section 230 protections for all time.


      You are wrong. Dead wrong. Mike could delete comments and ban users all he wants and still remain protected by Section 230.

      No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—

      (A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected...

      Source

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Close
Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.