Happy Birthday World Wide Web! One of the top tech stories this week was the World Wide Web turning 25 and its creator, Tim Berners-Lee, calling for new rules to protect Internet users from government interference. He said he believes the Web now requires legalized protection or a bill of rights.
Berners-Lee also argued for digital rights management (DRM) in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit this week.
"I think that some monitoring of the net by government agencies is going to be needed to fight crime," Berners-Lee posted on Reddit. "We need to invent a new system of checks and balances with unprecedented power to be able to investigate and hold the agencies which do it accountable to the public."
On March 12, 1989, Berners-Lee submitted the vaguely titled "Information Management: A Proposal" to the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. Berners-Lee proposed what he called the "Mesh," his name for the global hypertext system that eventually became the World Wide Web.
Also in the news this week (and appearing on the video version of World Tech Update):
-- Despite a search of more than five days that involved dozens of ships and planes from 10 countries, a Boeing 777 remains missing. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared Saturday after its transponder was shut off on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A report from The Wall Street Journal said that the plane flew for a total of up to five hours based on analysis of signals sent by the plane's satellite-communication link.
-- IBM's supercomputer nicknamed Watson was at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, but it didn't compete on a TV quiz show, as it did in 2011 on "Jeopardy"; rather, it's helping chefs come up with unique, personalized recipes.
-- Telecom and networking professionals were at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference in San Francisco. Corning and Xtera demonstrated a system that can send 100 gigabits per second over a single span of fiber 500 kilometers in length. This could take high-speed broadband into remote areas that don't have it.
-- A robot on display at Cebit in Germany has 3D-printed bones, joints and springs for muscles that allow it to move as much like a human as possible. The springs give Roboy's movements fluidity, which is different from the stiff movements in other robots.