Apr 19, 2019

Congress' Mueller report CD-ROMs renew interest in older tech

Photo: Martin Child/Contributor via Getty Images

News that the Mueller report would be delivered on CD-ROMs led to a flurry of jokes and reminiscences within the tech industry.

What they're saying: There were references to AOL, which was famous for bundling its CD-ROMs with everything from magazines to cereal boxes, and jokes about floppy disks, an even older storage technology.

  • That was followed by interest in other niche technologies, including those for scanning, uploading and parsing documents.
  • The initial released version of the special counsel's report wasn't machine readable.
  • But people quickly took the document as it came from the Justice Department and uploaded it to hosting services that automatically applied optical character recognition — making it searchable.

Buzz: Former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky even sent the PDF to Kinko's to get his own hard copy, because, well, that's Steven.

Flashback: Last week it was hard drives in the news, as the group behind the Black Hole photograph used physical storage transported on a plane to bring back the massive amounts of telescope data needed to create the photo.

The bottom line: People not only have fond memories of older technologies, but also sometimes find new uses for it. Even the telegraph was used until very recently. Western Union sent its last telegram in the U.S. in 2006. India continued to use telegraphs until 2013.

Go deeper: Read the DOJ's redacted version of the Mueller report

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Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 hours ago - Health

Big video game conference delayed amid coronavirus concerns

Photo: GDC

Next month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco became the latest tech event to be cancelled or postponed amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: A growing number of events are being scrapped, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 developer conference. Some, like the giant SXSW event in Austin, insist they are moving forward.