Saturday, August 17, 2013
A new printed guide, detailing facts about the world wide web in a fold-out, pop-up physical booklet thingy. Less of an atlas, and more of an infographic art project for an Edward Tufte protege, it still has punchy visuals. Great coffee table book for your office reception area.
Check out the video after the break.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Happy birthday Robert Metcalfe, born on this day 1946. Metcalf is credited with co-inventing the Ethernet which is celebrating its 40 year anniversary this year. Metcalfe's Law, which first defined the network effect before the network effect was the network effect, was also named after him.
Ethernet enabled computers to communicate within a LAN transfering data to and fro, and brought internet juice to our machines before there was wi-fi.
But more entertainingly, he should also be known for being Technology's worst predictor. He claimed mobile telecommunications was a fad, called the Open Source movement the Open Sores Movement, and was convinced the internet would collapse.
Metcalfe now does professor things at The University of Texas at Austin, probably not teaching Linux.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Five internet pioneers who in no way need $1.5 million, won $1.5 million today for their efforts in building the essential components of the internet. The inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering aims to be the Nobel Prize for the engineering world, focusing on innovations that have been "of global benefit to humanity". And they certainly started with biggest names. Here's what the Queen has to say:
"The first QE Prize for Engineering was awarded to five people who made major contributions to the development of the internet and the WWW: Louis Pouzin, Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreesen each played a significant part in the development of the technology.
Louis Pouzin, Robert Kahn and Vint Cerf made seminal contributions to the protocols (or standards) that together make up the fundamental architecture of the Internet.
Tim Berners-Lee created the worldwide web (WWW) which vastly extended the use of the Internet beyond email and file transfer.
Marc Andreessen wrote the Mosaic browser that was widely distributed and which made the WWW accessible to everyone. His work triggered a huge number of applications unimagined by the early network pioneers.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Well, it's complicated. Depending on how you define email, (or "e-mail" if you're a jerk) the range spreads across 130 years. And since a recent controversy rekindled the debate, let's lay out the issue as such.
ANSWER 1: If you define email as any correspondence happening electronically, in a strict Antonin Scalia-originalism sort of way, then you would consider Morse Code as the first form of email. Which, well, makes sense in that it was binary, employing dots and dashes instead of 1's and 0's Year: 1836
ANSWER 2: If you believe the correspondence should be in human language form, then you would give credit to Western Union and the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of the Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN), a computerized message switching system using second-generation computers and switching centers, where messages were usually sent to a printer. Year: 1958
ANSWER 3: If you believe it can't be email unless addresses have the"@" symbol over the "inter"-"net", then you will credit Ray Tomlinson and ARPANET for inventing a messaging system that traveled across multiple networks and introducing the email address that distinguished between user and machine. Tomlinson in fact is largely considered the inventor of email. Year: 1971
ANSWER 4: If you believe email was invented whenever the term email was first used, then maybe you might credit V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai who claims to have said the word "email" first. Year: 1979
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Three years after it originally launched in beta, Google Chrome has officially taken the position as #2 most popular web browser in November, overtaking Firefox, according to web tracker StatCounter. A bitter 7 year birthday gift for Mozilla, which launched Firefox 1.0 in November 2004. Impressive really. As you can see in the chart below, the green Chrome line has been growing, and the orange Firefox line is declining, and then they meet.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
As founder and CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs was an internet pioneer in his own right. He created great stuff that made the internet look great. But largely overlooked is his contribution away from Apple.
His biggest impact is with something we never really saw, his NeXT Computer. When Jobs left apple, he immediately took some Apple employees and founded NeXT. There they designed high powered workstations, and build an operating system that catapulted object-oriented programming to mainstream computing.
A NeXT Computer is in fact what Tim Berners-Lee used to create the first web browser called WorldWideWeb. The very same computer also acted and as the first web server. That's like inventing ice cream and the cone, it's that groundbreaking.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
BBC is working on a four part documentary about how the digital world is changing our lives. Which is sort of like stating that Tiger Woods needs a divorce lawyer. You know, because it's like stating the obvious. That aside, it should make for an interesting archival for where we are today - a snapshot of how the digerati saw the world in the first decade of the 21st century.
And to show they are practicing what they preach, the producers, lead by actor Stephen Fry, are dropping the web two point oh bomb every where they can, and even describing this as an "open source documentary". The "Digital Revolution" is a working title while the new one is being crowd-sourced via Twitter (you can follow them @bbcdigrev). Offering up scores of editable video snippets to the public, complete with transcripts and a permissive copyright license, is a nice thought and has made for interesting public mash-ups. But an open source documentary? BBC, you doth exaggerate too much.
No matter, ET will be watching and is excited to see the line up of interesting interviews with such digital luminaries as Vint Cerf, Steve Wozniak, and Jimmy Wales. ET will also be giving out a prize to whoever guesses how many times the word "google" is mentioned. Safe to say it will be used slightly more frequently than "virtual", but less frequently than "tweet".