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Anti-coup students stage protests at Alexandria University in Egypt, March 19, 2014. Egyptian security interferes students with tear gas and pump-rifle.
Photo credit: Ibrahim Ramadan/Anadolu Agency/Getty
The hotel bar TVs were all flashing clips of Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein denouncing the CIA for spying on her staff, when I met an agency operative for drinks last week. He flashed a wan smile, gestured at the TV and volunteered that he’d narrowly escaped being assigned to interrogate Al-Qaida suspects at a secret site years ago.
"I guess I would’ve done it," he said, implying you either took orders or quit. But everybody in the counterterrorism program knew what was going on in those places, he said, and he was glad the agency found something else for him to do at the last minute. "Look what’s happened."
Four years after Feinstein launched her probe of that interrogation program, her committee and the CIA are locked in a death-struggle over what can be released from the panel’s 6,300-page, still-classified report. The impasse is bringing renewed attention to statements by former CIA and FBI agents that buttress the committee’s all-but-official conclusion that the agency exaggerated the interrogation program’s successes and minimized its abuses. Read more.
Photo: Charges of spying on the Senate isn’t the worst the intelligence agency faces. Credit: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA
A Chicago Transit Authority train car rests on an escalator at the O’Hare Airport station after it derailed early Monday, March 24, 2014, in Chicago. More than 30 people were injured after the train “climbed over the last stop, jumped up on the sidewalk and then went up the stairs and escalator,” according to Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago.
Photo credit: Kenneth Webster/NBC Chicago/AP
The datanews team started wondering how many places someone could safely land a Boeing 777 within the potential range of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
On March 12, 1989, British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee proposed an “information management” system that would become known as the Web. We celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of his world-changing invention on the first edition of our new weekly feature, Newsweek Rewind. We dug through our archive and pulled our first article about the Web, from our October 31, 1994 issue. Below, you’ll find the full text of the piece, “Oh, what a Tangled Web,” by Barbara Kantrowitz with Adam Rogers and Jennifer Tanaka.
Oh, What a Tangled Web: New Hope for Navigating the Internet
By Barbara Kantrowitz, Adam Rogers and Jennifer Tanaka
This summer, while you were still trying to figure out how to plug in your PC, the technoliterati were tooling around something called the World-Wide Web and touring a piece of software called Mosaic. The web is a system for linking information through the Internet’s international network of computers; users have access to sound, graphics, and text not available through traditional Internet connections. Just a few months ago, Mosaic was hailed as the latest salvation of Western civilization (or, at the very least, a major technological breakthrough). Developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Illinois, Mosaic was one of the first popular “browsers,” the term for software used to navigate the Web.
In reality, Mosaic can be cumbersome and frustrating to use. But don’t worry. Last week, at the Second International World Wide Web Conference in Chicago, the minds behind the Web and Mosaic concluded that even better stuff is coming to market. A new generation of more efficient browsers should help make the Web accessible to everyone. at the same time, the number of people inventing new ways to use the Web is increasing dramatically, creating a vibrant new Internet culture.
The father of the Web is Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist who was working at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland, when he first developed it in 1989. Berners-Lee was looking for a way to present scientific information using “hypertext.” With hypertext, certain pictures of words on the computer screen are highlighted; users click on them with a mouse and move to a linked image or page of information. With many choices on the initial screen, each reader would go through the information in a different way.
Berners-Lee originally designed the Web for scientists, but now cyberjocks of all persuasions have hopped on, creating Web “sites”—starting points for hypertext travel—for topics ranging from surfing to Elvis Presley to postmodernism. None of this bothers Berners-Lee. “The Web is designed to represent our knowledge and our communication,” he says. “It should be as diverse as we are.”
Each site opens with a “home page,” similar to a magazine’s table of contents. Highlighted pictures and words mark the spots where users can move on to other topics. Corporations, educational institutions and even individual users have set up their own home pages in the last few months. Each is a little world of its own. For example, the Presley home page features a tour of Graceland; you can move through the different rooms just by clicking. There’s even an evolving status system in individual home pages. Many people write up a short biography; high status comes not from being well-born, but from some sort of link to prestigious places, like MIT’s Media Lab.
In limbo: Mosaic became popular because it is relatively easy to obtain and because it is free. The NCSA estimates that 2 million people use their version of Mosaic. They just call up NCSA through their computer’s modem and transfer the software over the phone lines to their own computers. then the fun—and the hassles—starts. NCSA’s Mosaic works great if you have a very powerful computer and fast modem; if you don’t (and most people don’t), you can spend what seems like an eternity in limbo, waiting for an image on your screen.
That infuriating wait could soon be over with the new browsers. One of the most promising was created by some of the programmers who developed the original Mosaic. Led by Marc Andreessen (an undergraduate at the University of Illinois when he began working on Mosaic in 1992), they’ve formed Mosaic Communications Corp., based in Mountain View, Calif. They expect to start selling their browser, Netscape, sometime in the next few months. Andreessen says Netscape is a completely new product, not just a souped up version of Mosaic. A test version, shown at the Chicago conference with many other new browsers, looks promising; it appears to be much faster and more reliable than NCSA’s Mosaic. It also has snazzier graphics and is easier to use.
Another spinoff is Enhanced NCSA Mosaic, produced by Spyglass, Inc., in Illinois. The company, formed four years ago to commercialize NCSA products, says it has sold Enhanced Mosaic to such major corporations as IBM and AT&T, which means that millions of office workers will soon get to try it. Enhanced Mosaic, though faster than the original version, doesn’t appear to be as quick as Netscape.
At the Chicago conference, developers agreed these products are just the beginning. Several commercial online services plan to include Web browsers in their Internet connections in the next few months and new computer operating systems will probably have tools for Web access. The Web may be still evolving, but it’s definitely worth watching.
The once exceptional U.S. economy is expected to remain ho-hum for quite some time. Read more in "Life in the Slow Lane" by Anna Bernasek on Newsweek.com or in the latest print mag, now on news stands.
Jezebel: Officials have established control over what a Wisconsin high school paper can write after the lead story, addressing what the editor in chief defined as ‘rape culture’ at the educational institution, caused an uproar in the community.
On March 12, 1989, British computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee proposed an “information management” system that would become known as the Web. We celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of his world-changing invention on the first edition of our new weekly feature, Newsweek Rewind. We dug through our archive and pulled our first article about the Web, from our October 31, 1994 issue. Click here for the full text of the piece, “Oh, what a Tangled Web,” by Barbara Kantrowitz with Adam Rogers and Jennifer Tanaka.
Our latest cover story: The Only Thing Scarier Than Bio-Warfare is the Antidote by Susan Scutti
As poorly regulated labs race to find the next antidote, bio-error may be more likely to cause an epidemic than bio-terror.
Imagine a future when Big Data has access not only to your shopping habits, but also to your DNA and other deeply personal data collected about our bodies and behavior - and about the inner workings of our proteins and cells. What will the government and others do with that data? And will we be unaware of how it’s being used - or abused - until a future Edward Snowden emerges to tell us?