The Etymology of “Tetris” and the Block Shapes Available to Players

The videogame Tetris was named as such due to its creator, Alexey Pajitnov, amalgamating the Ancient Greek prefix “tetra” which means “4”, a direct reference to the various block shapes of Tetris which always have 4 cubes, and the term “tennis” as this was Pajitnov’s favorite sport. The shapes are referred to as “tetrominoes” and consist of an S-shape, Z-shape, T-shape, L-shape, line-shape, 7-shape, and a square-shape

The Reason the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) Was Created in North America

It was the Fatality feature of the Mortal Kombat videogame series that prompted the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, a non-profit organization tasked with reviewing and rating all videogames (e.g. console, online, mobile etc.) made available to North American consumers. The concept of the Entertainment Software Rating Board was created within the U.S. Congress in 1994 and the original intent of the agency was and continues to be, to provide caretakers of minors with pertinent in game information so that they are able to make informed decisions as to the type of content these minors consume

The Reason Financial Investment Platform Robinhood Halted the Ability to Trade GameStop Stock in 2021

On January 28, 2021, soon after the opening bell, Robinhood and several other major trading platforms announced the suspension of the ability to purchase GameStop stock, delivering a devastating blow to the WallStreetBets subreddit community which had been helping to elevate the stocks price point by locking out new investors and causing the stock price to tumble dramatically. The rationale for this decision was that extreme volatility could create unforeseen economic problems in the future (e.g. unsustainable economic bubble etc.) but many retail investors viewed this outcome as professional investors leveraging their authority with the U.S. government and the financial industry to stop the public from continuing to financially annihilate large, established trading firms. In addition to the official reason provided, retail trading platforms are not designed to handle the torrent of transactions related to events like the ascendancy of GameStop which played a factor in why Robinhood and other platforms succame to the pressure to halt all future trading of GameStop stock. Robinhood claimed that the company did not have the liquidity on hand to cover the trades and gains being made. Unsurprisingly, the price of GameStop stock rapidly declined, devastating retail investors and highlighting the fact that the investment market is rigged toward the wealthy and powerful perhaps having a distinct advantage over their counterparts. Experts argue that this intervention unnaturally drove the price point of GameStop stock down, acting to reverse the effects of community based organization and investment. It was the clearing houses however that truly forced Robinhood and other trading platforms into capitulating. When a stock is purchased or sold, the transaction does not settle and finalize until 2 business days after the transaction time stamp, something which is unbeknownst to many investors. During this 2 business day period, due to regulation, brokerages and clearing firms are not permitted to use customer capital to fund the collateral use of those 2 business days, therefore being legally required to leverage the firms own capital. Robinhood argued that it did not possess the corporate capital required to facilitate the enormous volume of GameStop stock trades. It should be noted, Robinhood has repeatedly denied that it was under pressure from hedge fund executives, financial organizations, and the professional financial industry as a whole to stop the short squeeze occurring for those who chose to short sell GameStop stock

The First Personal Computer and its Ramifications Upon Technology

 

The Altair 8800 from Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems is considered to be the first personal computer, although ironically, the system itself did nothing as software had yet to be invented. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak used the Altair 8800 as the basis for the Apple I, the first ever Apple product. Additionally, Bill Gates and his team wrote Basic for the Altair 8800 and created Microsoft from that programming language

How Holograms Work

Holograms work by taking a single laser beam and splitting it into 2 parts, with the primary beam falling upon the object being photographed which then bounces away and falls onto a specialized screen, and the secondary beam falling directly upon the screen. The mixing of these beams creates a complex interface pattern containing a three dimensional image of the original object which can be captured on specialized film. By flashing another laser beam through the screen, the image of the original object suddenly becomes holographic. The term “holograph” is derived from the ancient Greek terms ”holo” which means “whole” and “graphos” which means “written”. The main issue with holographic technology is that unlike traditional visual media which needs to flash a minimum of 30 frames per second, scattering the image into pixels, a three dimensional holograph must also flash 30 frames per second, but of every angle to create depth of field, and the amount of data required far exceeds that of a traditional television photograph or video, even exceeding the capability of the internet until recently in 2014 when internet speeds reached 1 gigabyte per second

The Rationale as to Why Scientific Fact is Often Referred to as “Scientific Theory”

The term “theory” placed behind suffixes of large theories like gravity, evolution, and special relativity (e.g. the Theory of Gravity, the Theory of Evolution, the Theory of Special Relativity etc.), doesn’t mean “theory” in the traditional sense. During the 20th century, Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion began to break down within the theories own borderlines as physics progressed further and further to answer continually larger and more complex questions. As a direct result of this, a grander, more encapsulating law was required to explain certain phenomena (e.g. the reason the sun has a corona of light bend around it during a total solar eclipse) which is why Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is so immensely important, as it explains such phenomena after which Newton’s laws begin to break down (e.g. Newton’s ability to predict planetary orbit but not explain why such a function occurs in nature etc.). Eventually the international scientific community unanimously agreed that laws should not be named as such because they may not remain laws in the long term, as there may be concepts outside of them which help explain both the supposed law itself as well broader phenomena outside of the suppositional law. The term “theory” was utilized to replace the term “law” because something scientific which can change over time, is not or was not truly a law to begin with. The term “theory” is used in the connotation of an idea which accurately describes a phenomena and empowers an observer to accurately predict what they have yet to observe. An idea isn’t genuinely a “theory” until it’s supported by empirical evidence, before which time it remains as a “hypothesis”

The Person Who Invented the Internet

Tim Berners-Lee created the internet. Berners-Lee is the son of mathematicians, his mother and father part of a team who programmed the worlds first commercial stored program computer, the Manchester University Mark 1. Berners-Lee developed the original concept for the internet as a young boy, after discussing how machines might one day possess artificial intelligence with his father who was reading a book upon the human brain. Berners-Lee realized that if information could be linked, knowledge which would not normally be associated together, it would become much more useful. Ted Nelson helped expand upon Berners-Lee’s invention by developing the concept of hypertext, a method of digitally linking from one section to another. The development of the internet during the 1960’s became user friendly during the 1990’s as it became increasingly available to the public. Berners-Lee was able to take something which was too complicated for most people to use, and create a system which made it user friendly. Incompatibility between computers had been a thorn in the side of technology for years as specialized cables were needed to ensure computers could communicate with one another. Berners-Lee had the brilliant idea to create a centralized block which all cables would feed into so that one central unit could be used for every computer in the world to communicate. Berners-Lee furthered this idea by designing the concept of anything being linked to anything. A single global information space would be birthed as a direct result of this, a system with common rules, which would be accessible to everyone, that effectively provided as close as possible to no rules at all; a decentralized system. This arrangement would allow a new person to use the internet without having to ask anyone else. Anyone, anywhere, could now build a server and put anything upon it. Berners-Lee decided to name his creation the “World Wide Web” because he thought of it as a global network. Berners-Lee took his intellectual property and provided it to the public free of charge, despite having many commercial offers. Berners-Lee felt that the idea would not become the largest and greatest invention of humanity had it not been free, democratized, and decentralized. The fact that anybody could access the internet and anybody could put content onto it, made the internet massively popular early on and grew at a rate of 10x year upon year. Berners-Lee also created the World Wide Web Consortion, an institution which was designed to help the World Wide Web to develop and grow

The Person Who Invented Ecommerce

Michael Aldrich was an English inventor, innovator and entrepreneur who in 1979, invented the concept of ecommerce, enabling online transaction processing between consumers and businesses. Aldrich achieved this feat by connecting a modified television set to a transaction processing computer which could process purchases in real time via dedicated telephone line. This system entitled “Videotex” had a simple menu driven, human to computer interface, which predated the internet by more than a decade. In 1980, Aldrich invented the Teleputer, a multipurpose home information and entertainment centre which was a combination of the personal computer, television, and telecom networking technologies. Aldrich created the Teleputer using a modified 14” color television which was connected to a plinth containing a Zilog Z80 microprocessor running a modified version of the CP/M operating system and a chip set containing a modem, character generator and auto-dialler. The Teleputer operated as a stand alone, color, personal computer during an era when computer screens were primarily monochromatic. The Teleputer contained software and networking capabilities using dial up or leased telephone lines. The Teleputer system itself included 2 floppy discs, each with 360 kilobytes of memory, later upgraded to a 20 megabyte harddrive, a keyboard, and a printer

The First Usage of Digital Animation (Computer Generated Imagery) Special Effects in Film

The first ever computer generated sequence in a movie occurred in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which lasted for 60 seconds and is referred to as the “genesis scene”. The scene includes a retinal scan of Captain James Tiberius Kirk as well as a planet being hit by a missile which then creates a stable environment for life. Over 50 software programs were written to accomplish this task and the creators of the sequence went on to form the digital animation company Pixar

The Reason Aritifical Intelligence Differs From Traditional Software

Recently, many of the improvements made within the artificial intelligence sector have been due to the technology of “deep learning” which is also referred to as an “artificial neural network”. Traditional software is not intuitive as it simply follows a set of instructions predetermined by a programmer. If the software runs into a new problem which it has no answer prewritten for, it crashes. Deep learning is different as software can now write its own instructions instead of reading the instruction(s) of a programmer. Currently, as of 2021, deep learning is the equivalent of an all powerful, dim witted genie as it has the ability to evaluate the pixels of a photograph of a bottle of water, and can recognize with astonishing accuracy photographs of other water bottles, however it has no idea what the concept of water or the water bottle itself is, what the end user does to drink from the water bottle, what the end user needs the water for etc. This differs in human beings however as humans learn from a sample size of one, and are able to surmise the purpose of water and everything else which is relevant from witnessing it being used upon a single occasion