2016-03-07 (Monday)

Today, I learned that:

The world is in mourning. We just learned that the inventor of e-mail, Ray Tomlinson, died last Saturday, March 5, at the age of 74.

Although I did not know him personally, I remember very well a course we had at my university called “Computer networks”. Today, it would not make much fuss, but mind you, I took this course in 1976, when computers in networks were not all abundant as they are today. I had been given the task of searching for articles about a certain network called ARPANET, and I found that there was a Boston company, BBN (Bolt, Beranek and Newman) that had been the pioneers in the development of ARPANET. ARPANET was later renamed DARPANET and finally Internet. (Update on 2016-09-29: Today I published the report I made back in 1976, see reference # 4 below.)

Ray worked at BBN and was the one that suggested and performed the first task of transfering messages from one computer to another, and attributed the @ sign to separate user and computer in the e-mail address.

ray-tomlinson

Ray Tomlinson. Photo by BBN Technologies

According to the Internet Hall of Fame,”Tomlinson’s email program brought about a complete revolution, fundamentally changing the way people communicate, including the way businesses, from huge corporations to tiny mom-and-pop shops, operate and the way millions of people shop, bank, and keep in touch with friends and family, whether they are across town or across oceans. Today, tens of millions of email-enabled devices are in use every day. Email remains the most popular application, with over a billion and a half users spanning the globe and communicating across the traditional barriers of time and space.”

See also references #1, #2 and #3 below for further information.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Email inventor Ray Tomlinson dies aged 74

2: Ray Tomlinson on Wikipedia

3: Official Biography: Raymond Tomlinson

4: ARPANET

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-02-13 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

Winter in the Northern hemisphere is supposed to be filled with snow, so that people can enjoy the great outdoors making snowmen, having a snowball fight and of course bring out their skis for some exciting tournaments.

But the way we treat Mother Earth, sometimes she responds that we have to make our own snow. And that has happened again this year. Last Thursday, February 11, for the first in three years, there would be one more cross-country ski, in the sprint modality, arranged in the vicinity of the Royal Castle in Stockholm, Sweden. Well, the competition only occurred due to the hugh efforts of bringing in snow from far away and laying it on the ground for the athletes to compete.

stinanilsson

The Swedish ski star Stina Nilsson in action during a qualification heat for the Royal Castle Sprint in Stockholm. Photos by Bildbyrån

And once more, it was the Norwegians that got most of the medals, both in the men’s and the women’s race, two out of three in each discipline. The Russian athlete Nikita Kriukov was the fastest among the male sprinters and Maiken Falla from Norway won the female race. The Swedish star Stina Nilsson, who headed the World Cup sprint table before the race, ended up with the bronze medal after yet another dispute about what is fair or not when trying to defeat a contender.

fenway park

Fenway Park set up for the FIS snowboard and ski big air events on February 11, 2016. Photo copyright by the Canadian Olympic Committee

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, in Boston, MA, USA, there was another set of World Cup events on Thursday and Friday, Snowboarding and Big Air, respectively. Also here the setting was quite uncommon, inside of Boston Red Sox Stadium Fenley Park, where a 43 m tall scaffold ramp had been set up with all the snow to go with it. References 3 and 4 below give complete coverage of the events.

… That’s what I learned in school!

Refs.:

1: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&raceid=25813

2: http://data.fis-ski.com/dynamic/results.html?sector=CC&raceid=25811

3: http://www.fis-ski.com/freestyle-skiing/halfpipe-slopestyle/news-multimedia/news/article=zimmerman-and-gagnier-hit-the-homerun-boston-iconic-balllpark.html

4: http://sverigesradio.se/sida/gruppsida.aspx?programid=3277&grupp=20430&artikel=6367836

+: What did you learn in school today ?