Who are the 12 greatest computer geeks of all time? Can you put names to the following 12 clues? There will be an answer key at the end of this blog entry.
- Difference engine.
- AI test and work on defeating Nazi enigma encryption during WWII. In 1983, geeks 3 and 4 below received an award named after him, and in 2004 geek 5 was awarded one as well.
- Created B programming language, precursor to C. Coinventor of UNIX operating system.
- Created C programming language. Coinventor of UNIX operating system.
- Played a major role in development of the ubiquitous TCP/IP protocols used by most services on the internet.
- Founder of GNU, creator of the GNU Public License, arguably the most important name in the Free Software Movement.
- Founders of Apple Computer.
- Inventor of the Perl programming language.
- Microsoft founder. Richest man in the world.
- Creator of the Linux kernel, still manages that project.
- Inventor of the World Wide Web.
- Founders of Google.
If you got half them then you’re doing well. Everyone probably gets 9, while few will get 5 and 11, even though Microsoft has actually invented very little, whereas 5 almost qualifies for the title of inventor of the internet, and 11 was knighted for inventing the Web. In a just universe, 5 and 11 would be trillionaires if 9 is a billionaire. Apparently the universe isn’t just. Shocking.
Speaking of shocking, I have created a naked geek calendar, one for each month, akin to the pin up calendars of old. I’ll include a link to it, but first the warning: If you consider pictures of naked people to be adult content, then this is adult content. However, if you like porno featuring naked men, this may disappoint for being too tame. All now warned, here is the link.
My obligatory piece on the iPhone — it is a very nice phone that plays music. That’s pretty much it. While it runs OS/X, it is closed to 3rd party developers and will only run approved phone, internet, and music related applications. I’m waiting for a hand held computer with phone. It’s possible that iPhone will be hacked in the same manner that Xbox was hacked to get it to run Linux. If that happens I might get one. Trolltech’s Green Phone is also one to watch, though currently it’s not quite ready for prime time.
Update on the battle between the RIAA and allofmp3.com : Apparently the RIAA isn’t content to pressure the U.S. government to pressure the Russian government to shut down allofmp3.com and have decided to take more direct action. They are suing allofmp3.com for (little finger to mouth) a trillion dollars!
Canada as well is feeling the pressure. We’re very naughty for having “fair use” provisions in law and not ratifying the 1997 WIPO (a portmanteau for “Wipe Out Fair Use”) treaty. It appears as though the Conservative government is on the verge of selling us out.
Copyright is essentially under attack. The original idea was that all creative works belonged to the commons, but as reward and incentive, creators would be allowed a monopoly on their work for a limited period of time. Corporate entities want to replace this concept with that of “intellectual property,” where the creator, or those the creator has transferred rights to, own the “property” in perpetuity. It’s subtle, but watch and see. They may succeed. They are also hostile to the concept of “fair use.” I’m not sure we’re at the point yet where civil disobedience should be advocated, but we’re getting there.
Geek List Answer Key