Four Kitchens

Trip to the Internet Archive: 3 new features that will change the internet

3 Min. ReadBeing online

I am in the Bay Area this week for the Bay Area Drupal Camp, and as part of my visit, I got to go the Internet Archive (thanks to a generous tip from a friend who was attending a talk last night). The event was meant to be a celebration of the Internet Archive, and an opportunity to announce some new features the Internet Archive is releasing. Here are my top 3 “wow” features the Internet Archive is releasing.

Wayback Machine and permanent citations

47% of links in US government documents are broken links. Nobody likes a broken link, so the Internet Archive is releasing a new feature as part of the Wayback Machine to rid the internet of broken links. In a nutshell, you can now save a website instantly and get a permalink that will serve as a permanent citation for your work — a complete snapshot of a site at the time the citation is made. Amazing!

This will be especially helpful for content in Wikipedia, so you can always have a permanent citation of content. No more broken links!

Quotable TV news

As part of their TV news collection, you can now search for quotes and find matching clips of TV news coverage. The system uses close captioning to capture transcripts of the TV news clips, which makes pretty much any quote searchable. Not only are quotes searchable, they are, erm, quotable. The TV news collection allows you select a quote and share a direct link to that part of the broadcast on social media, or embed it on your own blog or publication.

This new system allows you to get some valuable information for your research. There is relevant information about each broadcast, plus you can filter content by broadcast network, making it very easy to get historical data about certain networks or coverage. Also, you can even borrow a DVD of the broadcast! To see all this new functionality, click on the “try beta version” on the upper right hand corner when visiting the TV News Research Center.

Historical software in your browser

The Internet Archive does a great job of allowing users to read books, listen to audio files, or watch videos, all right from the browser. The only part of this equation continually left outside the “in browser” party was software. In the past, you would have to download historical software and find an emulator that could run it. This would be difficult at times, depending on how rare the historical software was. Not anymore! The Internet Archive brings you Javascript MESS! An in-browser emulator using Javascript. This project is completely open source (and taking volunteers, if you’re interested). They currently have about 300 emulators and are working on more. Currently, you can run Atari, Apple II, Commodores, Tandy, and much more! You can check out more information on the Javascript MESS project here.

I find all of these new features really exciting. It is amazing to continually be a part of a new chapter of the internet, and the Internet Archive continues to do work that will ensure the web is an open web.