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September 20, 2012

One website with all the TV news since 2009

Screen Shot 2012-09-19 at 8.26.54 PM

It's the latest offering from Brewster Kahle's "Internet Archive, a giant aggregator and digitizer of data, which he founded and leads."

But wait — there's more: much, much more.

Excerpts from Bill Carter's September 17, 2012 New York Times article follow.

"We want to collect all the books, music and video that has ever been produced by humans," Mr. Kahle said.

As of Tuesday, the archive's online collection will include every morsel of news produced in the last three years by 20 different channels, encompassing more than 1,000 news series that have generated more than 350,000 separate programs devoted to news.

The latest ambitious effort by the archive, which has already digitized millions of books and tried to collect everything published on every Web page for the last 15 years (that adds up to more than 150 billion Web pages), is intended not only for researchers, Mr. Kahle said, but also for average citizens who make up some of the site's estimated two million visitors each day.  “The focus is to help the American voter to better be able to examine candidates and issues,” Mr. Kahle said. "If you want to know exactly what Mitt Romney said about health care in 2009, you'll be able to find it."

Of course, if you want to discredit or satirize a politician based on a clip showing some reversal of a position, that will be made easier as well. Or, as Mr. Kahle put it, "Let a thousand Jon Stewarts bloom."

Many conventional news outlets will be available, including CNN, Fox News, NBC News, PBS, and every purveyor of eyewitness news on local television stations. And Mr. Stewart’s program, "The Daily Show" is one of those 1,000 series that is part of the new news archive.

All of this will be available, free, to those willing to dive into the archive starting Tuesday. Mr. Kahle said the method for the search for information would be the closed-captioned words that have accompanied the news programs. The user simply plugs in the words of the search, along with some kind of time frame, and matches of news clips will appear.

"You could turn all the books in the Library of Congress into a stack of disks that would fit in one shopping cart in Best Buy," Mr. Kahle said. He estimates that the Internet Archive now contains about 9,000 terabytes of data; by contrast, the digital collection of the Library of Congress is a little more than 300 terabytes, according to an estimate earlier this year.

The act of copying all this news material is protected under a federal copyright agreement signed in 1976. That was in reaction to a challenge to a news assembly project started by Vanderbilt University in 1968.

As enormous as the news collection is, it is only the beginning, Mr. Kahle said. The plan is to "go back" year by year, and slowly add news video going back to the start of television. That will require some new and perhaps more challenging methodology because the common use of closed-captioning only started around 2002.

Fair warning: There goes the rest of your life.

September 20, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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Brewster Kahle is one of the few humans who could accurately be described as a renaissance person. See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewster_Kahle

Archie and Veronica, the WAIS servers that first provided an index to the Internet before there was the World Wide Web, are his children. They are also the source of his immense wealth - wealth that he dedicates to projects like this one and to printing books on demand or creating the Internet Archive Federal Credit Union to serve an impoverished area of New Jersey. He was the keynote speaker at the Library of Congress several years ago and I've been following this young* man's works ever since.

He was born in October 1960 an is only 51!

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Sep 20, 2012 4:57:39 PM

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