Author Archives: Steve Brier

About Steve Brier

Social & labor historian, professor of Urban Education, & coordinator of the ITP Certificate Program, CUNY Graduate Center.

1990s Censorship Battle over Homosexulality & Abortion

I believe I mentioned during one of our classes the struggle that my colleagues and I waged against Apple in the 1990s when they tried to censor a history CD-ROM that we had developed and the company decided to bundle with all of its computers sold to schools. Details about the event are remembered in this link authored by Bob Stein, the head of the media company, Voyager, that published our “Who Built America?” CD-ROM. Bob wrote the blog in “honor of Tim Cook’s coming out,” noting the irony that one of the key reasons for the Right’s attack on the WBA? CD was that we talked about homosexuality. If Bob’s name sounds familiar he is the same person, now head of the Institute for the Future of the Book, that Kathleen Fitzpatrick mentioned last week in her presentation who helped develop the CommentPress software.


Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Memo, 1989

I mentioned in class on Thursday a famous memo, written by physicist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 while a member of the CERN research team (look it up if you don’t know that that is), which sketches his idea for an Internet based information management system for sharing scholarly resources. This memo, widely acknowledged as having conceived the World Wide Web, took it current form when Mosaic, the first web browser, was publicly launched in 1993 by the Supercomputing Center at the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Tim Berners-Lee, “Information Management: A Proposal.” CERN (1989).  Available online:  http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html