“Time Machine” in Internet
As a matter of fact, almost every website changes their versions on a frequent basis. The contents in the old version are either discarded or altered. For those who have a need to track the older information provided by a website, the results are usually disappointing. Wayback Machine might help relief some of your frustration. It allows researchers an access to more than 150 billion archived web pages. During the past 2 weeks, Internet Archive released the first beta version of the Wayback Machine, which ‘offers web researchers several new features (with more to come) and a clean, no-nonsense user interface’.
The homepage of the new version consists simply of a search box and two buttons, which are “Latest” and ”Show All”. The “Latest” button will direct you to the latest version of your focused website. The “Show All” button however takes you to a comprehensive list of dates on which the snapshots of the targeted website are available.
No doubts this magical searching machine would provide some help for legal research. For example, in investigation for a fraud by a corporation, there is a chance for a lawyer to dig out the old website on which the company posted the fraudulent content.
The drawbacks of Wayback Machine are oblivious as well. The amount of pages stored in this archive is limited. People also complained about its inaccuracy and delay. However, it might still be the most convenient , or even the only way to retrieve the old version of a website.