From the Email Way-Back Machine

I’ve been harvesting emails from a technical mailing list for a project I’m working on. The list started in 1995. I noticed that back in the 90s, before we really thought about Y2K issues, lots of people were still using email clients that used 2-digit years as the From: header. (For example “23 May 95″ instead of “23 May 1995″). After a while this behavior drops off, and everyone used 4-digit years.

At what point did the developers of email software “get the memo” to change to a 4-digit year?

Google chart showing prevalence of 2-digit years in one email list 1995-2013. The biggest change was from 1995-1996 when email software switched to 4-digit years.

This shows that 1995-1996 timeframe was the big change for switching to a 4-digit year in most cases. There were still a few stragglers after 1997, but fewer and fewer each year. (And 13 messages were still written incorrectly in 2000; 10 of which had “100″ as the year. The other three listed “00″.)

View original data

White House responds to scientific data access petition

Using the White House petition system, the People asked to “Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research”. A few days ago, the White House responded, and took it a bit farther with “Increasing Public Access to the Results of Scientific Research“. So, they’re proposing not just access to the journal articles but also the data. The recommendation follows the NIH model (requiring open access to data) but sadly, applies only to research of more than $100m.

To that end, I have issued a memorandum today (.pdf) to Federal agencies that directs those with more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop plans to make the results of federally-funded research publically available free of charge within 12 months after original publication.