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Wayback Machine restores Ye Olde Web

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And a big fat welcome to the Wayback Machine, a collection of ten billion Web pages frozen in time, which opened its doors a couple of weeks ago to the public.

The Wayback Machine has collected Web pages since 1996. Unfortunately some contain libels and sensitive material since removed by their owners, New Scientist reports. In the UK, there is currently an important test case in the Court of Appeal between The Times and Russian Businessman Grigori Loutchansky over retroactive deletion of (libellous) archive material. To do so would be "to airbrush history in a manner worthy of Stalin's Soviet Union" if website archives were forced to delete material, The Times argues.

We'll let News International and the Wayback Machine's operators worry about the libel implications.

In the meantime, check out the early design efforts of your favourite companies, from when the Web was an altogether kinder, gentler less flashy place.

And to get you started here are three from our neck of the woods:

If you have any trouble getting in be patient, the Wayback Machine advises. "Warning: Service intermittent. We apologize for not anticipating the usage this service is receiving. We are working on adding servers, but this process will take weeks. Again, we apologize." ®

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