Papers tend to have a House Style which all articles are supposed to subbed to conform to. This one sounds a bit pedantic. Of course styles can change over time - looking at a piece reprinted from the 1940s I am struck by 'bus for omnibus and 'plane, for aeroplane, pieces of punctuation that scarcely seem comfortable now.
I wouldn’t call it behind the times. It’s been a while since I read the NYT style book but I think that TV networks are an exception to the general rule that three-letter abbreviations get periods. Note that the official corporate names are still International Business Machined and Research in Motion, so I.B.M. and R.I.M. are true abbreviations.
This answers your own question more than anything. Clearly newly developing technologies will have terminologies that have yet to settle into common style agreement–especially when so many abbreviations and acronyms are used. But I suspect also the NT Times sometimes has a perverse sense that because of its stature it must call attention to its style choice just to remind everyone who’s the “top dog.” Still, it is pretty strange for them to continue using “I.B.M” when the company itself has used “IBM” for quite some time.
The style I’ve seen in British papers, where acronyms are made words and considered plural for the sake of grammar, is really disconcerting to this American - “Nasa are planning to …”, “Nato are going to …”, and so on
Apparently there was an editor who was planning on ending the use of diaereses but then he died before the change could be put into effect. I would assume subsequent editors took note of this and have been afraid to attempt the change.