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 Intentions of the Louvre in Paris, France Over the Past Centuries

Located in the heart of Paris, France, the Louvre Palace was the main place of residence for French monarchs during the 16th and 17th century, however in 1682, Louis XIV moved his entire court to the Palace of Versailles which was an even grander estate located in the countryside. The Louvre was then used to house Louis XIV’s immense private art collection. Today the Louvre remains as a museum housing some 40,000 works of art. The Louvre first opened to the public in 1793 as a direct result of the French Revolution. Napoléon Bonaparte was a master self-propagandist and understood the vast potential which the Louvre held to help promote his image. Bonaparte started filling the Louvre with numerous world famous artworks which he had seized as the spoils of war, from Egypt, Italy, and elsewhere. The Louvre was briefly named the “Musée Napoléon” which means the “Napoléon Museum” in French. The choice to change the name to the Musée Napoléon occurred in 1803 when the then director of the museum and a consummate courtier, Vivant Denon told Bonaparte that the museum should be named after the most glorious leader of France

The Cosmic Web

The Cosmic Web is a scientific approximation of what the universe may look like at the largest scales, with massive clusters of galaxies linked together through vast filaments, with each containing trillions of stars. It would take light nearly 10,000,000,000 (10 billion) years to cross the distance of the Cosmic Web image


The Business Rationale Behind Videogame Pre-Order Perks

Videogame production companies focus heavily upon pre-order sales as these provide the best path to generating revenue, income which is then re-invested to make even more profit. Production studios spend a lot of time and effort trying to come up with appealing pre-purchase packages because the quicker income is generated, the quicker it can be re-invested, but perhaps as important, pre-sales are sold at the full retail price point unlike delayed sales which are often sold at a discounted rate. Video game production companies spend an immense amount of time developing demonstrations for conventions (e.g. E3, Comic Con, Blizzcon etc.) because this is considered the best opportunity to attract gamers and have them purchase on the spot. These demonstrations are often over the top and include features which won’t be in the final version set for release (e.g. advanced graphical shading features), akin to a bait and switch technique in which the best face is presented with the actual product which is less polished actually being delivered. This deception is intentional as it helps generate revenue which helps fuel the production of future gaming titles and franchises

The Usage of 5D Crystals as a Means of Computational Storage

Quartz is being used to create the most powerful data storage device ever developed, the 5D Superman Memory Crystal, a technology which could store data for up to 13,800,000,000 (13.8 billion) years, the calculated age of the universe. The 5D quartz crystal is a method of ensuring a large density of data can be saved within a relatively small object. This is an incredibly secure and long lasting method of saving data as the information is physically encoded into the crystal itself, remaining indefinitely until the quartz itself is destroyed, a very difficult task in and of itself. In 2018, technology entrepreneur Nova Spivack used a 5D crystal to create a permanent space library, sending it to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Heavy Falcon rocket. Quartz is highly stable because it is a crystal, remaining unchanged for billions of years meaning if data is inserted, theoretically it could survive for billions of years. For a quartz crystal approximately 2.5 centimeters by 2.5 centimeters in diameter and 5 millimeters thick, 30 terabytes of data can be held, which is 30,000 gigabytes or 800 Blu-ray discs or 600 smartphones worth of information. This means that the entire British library could be fit into 1000 5D crystal slides, a small enough volume to fit within a single shoebox. A traditional storage medium like a compact disc, stores data in individual pixels, with 1 pixel able to hold the equivalent of 1 bit or 8 bytes of information. In a quartz drive however, each voxel can hold 8 bits or 64 bytes of information. The technology required to achieve this feat however is still in its infancy with scientists still discovering new ways to refine manufacturing, the writing and reading of data, and storage capabilities

The Oldest Artwork in Human History

Near the Ardeche River (pronounced “arr-desh”) in southern France, less than 0.5 kilometers away, 3 explorers set out a few days before Christmas in 1994. While seeking drafts of air emanating from the ground which would point to the presence of caves, these explorers found a subtle airflow which was blockaded by rocks. The explorers found a narrow shaft which was cut into the cliffside, so narrow in fact that their bodies could just barely squeeze through it. Deep inside the cave the explorers stumbled upon the oldest known cave paintings in human history, twice as old as any other artistic depiction made by human hands. The cave itself had been perfectly sealed for tens of thousands of years which is why this 32,000 year old artwork was found in pristine condition. In honor of the lead discover Jean-Marie Chauvet (pronounced “zhan mah-ree sho-vee”), the cave was named “Chauvet Cave”. The French Ministry of Culture controls all access to the cave, an intervention which was rapidly implemented as this discovery was immediately understood as an enormous scientific find, perhaps one of the greatest anthropological and artistic discoveries ever made. Scientists and art historians are typically the only members of the public permitted access to Chauvet Cave, with archeologists, paleontologists, and geologists being the most common interdisciplinary teams provided entry

The Ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt

The Lighthouse of Alexandria was one of the original 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Standing more than 350’ tall, the Lighthouse of Alexandria and was clearly observable to passing ships sailing up to 50 kilometers away. Originally built in 280 B.C., after guiding ships into the port and city of Alexandria for 15 centuries, the Lighthouse of Alexandria collapsed in 1323 due to a series of earthquakes which leveled the structure and caused it to tumble into the Mediterranean Sea. The Citadel of Qaitbay (pronounced “kate-bay”), a 500 year old fortress, now sits at the site of the once standing lighthouse with many of the stones within this structure, pieces of the original Lighthouse of Alexandria, installed after being dredged up from the ocean floor. Although the Lighthouse of Alexandria was originally designed to safely bring ships into the port of Alexandria, the Citadel of Qaitbay acted in opposition as a repellent centuries later, designed to keep enemies (e.g. Ottoman Turks) out of Egypt. No ship was permitted the privilege of docking in the Alexandria harbor without forfeiting all books on board for a short period of time until they could be translated and/or copied outright by scribes

The Invention of Star Luminosity Mapping to Measure Immense Distances in Space

Henrietta Leavitt, a brilliant scientist who worked at the Harvard Observatory discovered the true size of the universe because of her ability to objectively measure the true brightness of stars. Leavitt became enamored and fascinated by a type of star referred to as a “cepheid variable” which means a “star which pulses within the night sky”. Leavitt’s revolutionary breakthrough occurred when she realized that the intensity of brightness is precisely linked to how quick or slow at which the star blinks. If 2 points of light blink at the same rate but with different intensities, it would stand to reason that the brighter star is closer to the observer than the dimmer one. This allowed Leavitts to measure the distance to stars which lay far beyond the reaches of parallax distance