Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Internet Artifacts

Web

The Internet is, by its very nature, a transitory medium-pages come and go. But if you had a publicly available Web page in the past three years, chances are that a copy of it is in the collection of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit group that saves “snapshots” of the Internet.

The Archive was founded by Brewster Kahle, whose San Francisco-based Web browser company, Alexa Internet, collects the snapshots every two months and donates the digital tapes to the Archive. As of May, the Archive was in excess of 13 terabytes (a terabyte is 1 million megabytes); in comparison, the Library of Congress holds the equivalent of about 20 terabytes. The Archive is stored in two separate machines in different locations. “It’s too important to have in one place. An earthquake could cause destruction of a collection that’s as large as the largest library ever built by humans,” says Kahle.

But it is proving easier to save the information than to sort through it for any useful purpose. While recent data are stored on disk for quick retrieval, the bulk of the archive is in a library of digital tapes that are too slow to search effectively. Currently, the only way the public can get at it is through the Alexa toolbar (downloadable at www.alexa.com), but, at the time TR went to press, only about the last six months of snapshots were available. When the reading room for these massive stacks is finally built, however, the Archive will be quite a collection.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

AGI is just chatter for now concept
AGI is just chatter for now concept

The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it

Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.

Hoan Ton-That, CEO of Clearview AI
Hoan Ton-That, CEO of Clearview AI

The walls are closing in on Clearview AI

The controversial face recognition company was just fined $10 million for scraping UK faces from the web. That might not be the end of it.

Europe's AI Act concept
Europe's AI Act concept

A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of

The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.