Archive for August 2011
On August 30th, 1982, 29 years ago, 16-year old V. A. Shiva copyrighted “EMAIL” along with the GUI we still use today with the fields “To: From: Cc: Bcc: Subject: Reply, Reply All, Forward” and Email body and attachment.
“When I first heard the word ‘electronic mail,’ I literally felt it was sending electricity through paper. Those two words juxtaposed together in 1978 were absolutely new,” says Shiva. While many claim to have “invented email” the issue isn’t just one of semantics. With electronic messaging systems in place, Shiva is responsible for having transformed what was known as office mail into the very first email system. “That is what I developed, starting in 1978, as a 14-year old, for which in 1981 I was awarded recognition by the Westinghouse Science Awards for innovation, and in 1982 the First US Copyright for EMAIL,” he writes.
“The guys before me we’re involved in text messaging. Messages sent from one computer to another computer. Before that Tom Van Vleck was the first to send a message within the same computer to another user in the mainframe. Leonard Kleinrock sent a message across two computers on the asme network. Ray Tomlinson sent a message across multiple users across multiple computers. But my concept of email was patently related to office mail. That’s what I built: a database, a networking infrastructure and software programming language for email,” said Shiva to me over a Skype call.
Here’s the Certificate of Copyright Registration that Shiva submitted:
Nearly 30 years later and V. A. Shiva is now teaching a class at MIT called “Systems Visualization,” which is currently oversubscribed. It’s a cross discipline class that enables engineers to connect multiple subsystems. built to educate MIT engineers on how to do that. The class aims to artistically answer, in drawing form, the design of services and concept. How do you build a health care system? Or how do we visualize human health in today’s advertising driven society? How do you innovate? How is innovation affected by cultural mores?
When asked about the future of email, Shiva thinks it’s here to stay, regardless of the rise of social media and text messaging. “I think email has a very particular purpose and I think it’s going to grow in that…Web mail might decline but devices will still access people’s email communications. Facebook may do some integrated email but fundamentally it will be email.
Ironically, even as Zuckerburg declares as some trade journals said, “EMAIL IS DEAD”, he is launching @Facebook as a direct challenge to GMail. He says it will have EMAIL in it, along with other types of “messaging.” Facebook produces billions of EMAIL messages everyday.”
For this anniversary, V. A. Shiva (himself!) developed the following infographic depicting the History of Email and Growth of Email Accounts. (Click the image to enlarge)
Taking their fight online, as a means of spreading awareness, Egyptians logged on to Twitter and Facebook yesterday in their first official e-protest against the inordinate number of Egyptian citizens who have been tried in the country’s military courts in the past 6 months.
Organized by the Alexandria branch of a group of activists who have been campaigning for months against military trials for civilians, the e-protest was slated to last one hour, but participants continued to tweet and post long after the hour was over.
On Twitter, the hashtag #NoMilTrials was chosen as a way of distinguishing the ‘e-protest.’
On Facebook, an event was created inviting users to participate by commenting on official governmental Facebook pages. The event itself received over 7,000 positive responses, while participants left an avalanche of thousands of comments on the social network.
Participation on Twitter was just as significant, with the hashtag reaching its highest peak yesterday, since it was first used in February.
This is the first ever-weekend edition of Om Says. In a week full of news one can easily miss some of the good stuff, so I wanted to share with you some of the best stories I read this past week and found useful and/or enjoyable.
- End of an era at Infosys: India’s most successful technology founder, Narayana Murthy, hung up his mouse this past week. He is not Steve Jobs, but for me, he is no less important. He was one of the first people to show up on GigaOM and here is an essay on him I once wrote. Thank you, Narayana, for making youngsters in India believe.
- Seeing the Future and Supporting Bold Initiatives: An excerpt from A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business, the book written in 2008 by frog Founder Hartmut Esslinger. This is perhaps one of the best pieces you can read on Steve Jobs.
- Poor craftsmen blame the tools. Blaming Google for not finding the results we want might actually have something to do with our abilities to search.
- What you can learn from the failure of Dvorak keyboard: Sometimes the best technology fails because people get used to something somewhat inferior.
- How to use LinkedIn properly for business: I for one have not figured out how to use LinkedIn. But this article tells me how I could do a good job, so I am going to give it a try.
- What patents did Google really buy with Motorola? Good question. And the answer makes sense.
- Discovery Engines and how they handle the information overload. Enough said.
- Can Facebook work for brands? Some people don’t think so.
- Is it the end of the Internet in France? Looks like unlimited wired Internet access might be coming to an end. Sacre Bleu!
- How is it (your startup) different from Skype? So many VoIP services, so little time. Skype Journal breaks down and compares all the upstarts with the big daddy of them all.
In light of today’s shakeups, Apple has posted a revised organization chart on its website. The chart lists the newly minted CEO Tim Cook, as well as the other executive staff. It also shows Jobs’ new position as Chairman of the Board and Cook’s new Board seat as well.
Cook’s new bio states:
Tim Cook is the CEO of Apple and serves on its Board of Directors.
Before being named CEO in August 2011, Tim was Apple’s Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for all of the company’s worldwide sales and operations, including end-to-end management of Apple’s supply chain, sales activities, and service and support in all markets and countries. He also headed Apple’s Macintosh division and played a key role in the continued development of strategic reseller and supplier relationships, ensuring flexibility in response to an increasingly demanding marketplace.
Notable in the bottom row is Cook’s likely successor as COO, Jeff Williams. Still present in the top row is the soon-to-be-departed Ron Johnson, Apple’s head of retail who is leaving for JC Penny. I have to admit that It’s an odd sight without Job’s familiar face gracing it.
As it Happened | Steve Jobs’ Resignation Letter |
Apple Fans’ Predictions | Who is CEO Tim Cook? |
Why Apple will continue to dominate |
Woz On Jobs: Greatest Leader Of Our Time |
Steve Jobs: 35 years in technology |
Jobs will remain involved | Apple’s CEOs: From 1977 to 2011 |
A front row seat to Steve Jobs’ career, by Robert Scoble. |
Apple’s new organisational chart |
Apple’s Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of the company,reports the company. Apple’s COO Tim Cook has been named as a replacement and Jobs has been named Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors.
In a publicly released letter, Jobs says that he can no longer meet his duties and expectations as CEO of the company and that he has resigned as the CEO of Apple. In the letter, he also recommended Apple’s COO Tim Cook as a successor, which does not come as a surprise to those of us who have been following the company.
As the company’s interim CEO in recent months as Jobs has been absent due to health concerns, Cook has been the clear choice to those outside Apple for some time now, and apparently that choice had been made inside Apple as well as Jobs says that this is according to the company’s succession plan.
“Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company,” said Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, on behalf of Apple’s Board. “Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration.”
“The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO,” added Levinson. “Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does.”
Steve Jobs has been one of the most intense and charismatic executives of any company in recent years and his leadership has propelled Apple to new heights. This is a dramatic announcement and we will have continuing news on the ramifications of Jobs’ move to Chairman and the replacement of his role at CEO by Tim Cook.
Apple has won a preliminary injunction in a Dutch court on Wednesday which prevents the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones in the Netherlands, and could affect sales across the E.U., FOSS Patents reports. The blog has a copy of the official court order, which states that the injunction will take effect in seven weeks’ time, around mid-October.
The injunction, which was issued by the Rechtbank’s-Gravenhage (a Dutch court located in The Hague), applies only to the Galaxy line of smartphones, including the Galaxy S II Samsung debuted this spring, and not Galaxy tablets. It applies to three different Samsung subsidiaries based in the Netherlands, where Samsung’s primary European logistics hub is located, which means that shipping Galaxy devices to other European countries will likely require Samsung to reroute its operations. The injunction relates specifically to one device patent about mobile devices as used for photo management, and could apply to other European countries where that patent is also valid.
An earlier decision by a German court temporarily blocked sales of the Galaxy tablet line in the E.U., but sales have resumed outside of Germany pending further examination into how broadly the court can rule.
The Dutch court’s decision is the result of a request made by Apple that resulted in a hearing held on Aug. 10 and 11. At the time, the court promised a decision on the matter no later than Sept. 15, so this comes much earlier than expected.
Apple’s patent battles are likely only going to get more heated thanks to Google’s recent acquisition of Motorola, counter-actions like Samsung’s claim of prior art related to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in the case of Galaxy Tab patent infringement claims, and HTC’s recent suit. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as the legal wrangling continues.
Just three weeks after unveiling five new BlackBerry OS 7-powered Bold and Torch handsets, RIM has today introduced three new updates to the BlackBerry Curve family aimed at the low to mid-range smartphone market; the Curve 9350, 9360 and 9370.
The smartphones are remarkably similar, launching as slim, keyboard-centric handsets that have been outfitted with an 800 MHz processor, 2.44-inch 480 x 360 display, an optical trackpad, GPS, Wi-Fi support, and a 5-megapixel camera.
As with RIM’s new Bold and Torch smartphones, the new Curve devices will support Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, as well as RIM’s stop-gap mobile operating system BlackBerry OS 7, as it prepares to roll out new QNX-powered smartphones in the coming months.
The Curve 9370 has CDMA/EVDO and Quad-Band EDGE capabilities with 1GB of in-built storage, the Curve 9360 is available on GSM networks with 512MB of storage and the Curve 9350 supports CDMA only, again shipping with 512MB RAM.
RIM says the smartphones will be available to Canadian markets later this month, rolling out to other carriers worldwide from September.
Twitter has confirmed that it will meet with the UK Home Secretary on Thursday, after being called in for discussions over the role it played in the recent riots that blighted many parts of the country.
We reported last Friday that the UK government had finally set a date for the meeting with the major social networks, after promising to do so at an emergency meeting earlier this month.
With the date set for Thursday, 25th of August, only Facebook had initially confirmed that it was attending. But BlackBerry makers RIM later confirmed that it would attend, following the role its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) services reportedly played in helping to organize the riots.
And now a Twitter spokesperson has confirmed to The Next Web that it too will have a representative at the meeting this Thursday, though no official statement was released other than that.
It will be interesting to learn what comes out of the meeting, though as I’ve written previously, I don’t expect there to be too many changes to the status quo.