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Mobile Technology News, August 31, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Hyperlapse For iPhone Will Revolutionize Wildlife Films
    As a biologist, my first thought after hearing about Hyperlapse – Instagram’s new app for making time-lapse movies – was this: nature videos.
  • Here's How Americans Spend Every Minute Of Their Days
    How many Americans are shopping, watching TV or working at any given moment of the day?

    A new interactive chart, built by e-commerce company Retale using survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, answers that question, depicting what Americans are doing in real time.

    You can also see just how routines shift along age, gender and employment lines.

    Explore the data below:


  • Further Proof 'Game Of Thrones' Is The Most Spectacular Show On TV
    Game of Thrones” may have been snubbed from the major Emmy categories this year, but it did take home one very deserving statue.

    The HBO series won the award for Outstanding Special and Visual Effects, and if you have any doubt over why, this new video will reassure you. From Rodeo FX, this “Game of Thrones” special effects reel shows all the amazing work the company did on the series for Season 4. From revealing how they created Meereen and thousands of Unsullied to the gorgeous shots of Stannis’ army invading Mance Rayder to the baby and the Night’s King. If this doesn’t prove just how visually amazing “Game of Thrones” is, nothing will.

    [h/t EW]

  • Five Essential Travel Tips For Small Business Owners

    If you’re a small business owner, there’s not really the option of closing the office when traveling on business. I know this firsthand. As a speaker and trainer on productivity and attention management, I’m on the road a lot. Here are the tools and strategies I’ve found that keep me calm, comfortable and productive when I’m away from my home base.

    1. Tame e-mail

    E-mail doesn’t stop when you travel, but you can take steps to keep it from using all your energy when you’re on the road. Start by setting your out-of-office message for an extra day before and after your trip, to give yourself a buffer. You’ll find that you’re more likely to be thoughtfully responsive, rather than instinctually reactive, if you know that people will expect your response to be delayed. Turn off push notifications, and decide specific times when you’ll check email (for example, during your afternoon break at a conference). This will allow you to be present at your destination, leveraging your time away. Don’t schedule any meetings or appointments for the day you get back in the office. This will give you an opportunity to catch up and regain control over the backlog. Finally, setting a plan for how you will catch up on email when you return can help ease the compulsion to stay on top of every single message when you’re on the road.

    2. Pack smart

    Overpacking slows you down, but so does forgetting something essential and making a last-minute shopping trip to hunt down your allergy meds or a new pair of dress shoes. I hate packing, so I use an app called Packing Pro to take some of the sting out of the process. You can use Packing Pro to create and store your own customized packing lists. If you’re on the road a lot, keep a toiletry bag packed with all your essentials. This makes for one less packing task.

    Efficiency doesn’t just come down to what you pack; it’s also how you carry it all. One of my absolute favorite travel tools is the EYN Smartphone Case, which keeps my phone, driver’s license, cash and credit cards handy. And, since it has a wrist strap, it also keeps my hands free.

    I have a few other go-tos that make it easier to navigate airports and hotels: The Bag Bungee keeps a laptop or other smaller items secure on top of your wheeled suitcase. A carabiner or S hook enables you to keep your hands free and clip just about anything (a carry-out bag with your lunch, a travel pillow, another bag, your iPhone holder, etc.) to your suitcase or other bag.

    3. Energize your devices

    The high-tech tools that enable us to do work and stay connected anywhere can be a great thing — as long as we keep them all charged up. For those times when you can’t get to an outlet, a backup power source is a lifesaver. A USB battery pack can keep you powered and productive when outlets are scarce or non-existent. They’re so inexpensive now, no one who is frequently away from a power supply should be without one. A travel power strip can also come in handy.

    4. Energize yourself

    These days, it’s hard to keep working when you drain the batteries of your phones, tablets or laptops, and you can’t neglect your own batteries, either. If you have trouble sleeping away from your own bed, give yourself a little help. Noise-canceling headphones or earplugs can make it easier to nod off, especially when combined with an app that plays some white noise that is soothing to you, like crickets or ocean waves. And don’t forget to request a quiet room when you make hotel reservations.

    Unfortunately, a lot of the food that’s most convenient when we travel, from the sugary pastries in the meeting room to the greasy pizza at the airport, aren’t the best fuel for taking care of business. Use an app like Yelp to scout out healthier food options near you, or try GateGuru to find better fare at the airport. Staying hydrated also helps keep you at your best. I always travel with a stainless steel water bottle (and a holder) that’s easy to fill at the airport. Don’t rely on the stingy cup you might be given on board — if the flight is bumpy, the attendants may have to stay seated. Also, save the alcoholic beverages for the ground. The humidity on planes is already extremely low, and alcoholic beverages dehydrate you, exacerbate jet lag and cause other irritations like dry throat and eyes. Physical discomfort impede your productivity at your destination, minimizing whatever benefits you were expecting from the trip (closing the deal with the prospect, providing great service to the client or absorbing all of the wisdom and networking at the conference.)

    And sometimes just the right little luxury gives you a boost. I mix essential oils like lavender (to relax) and peppermint (to energize) with distilled water in travel-sized spritzer bottles.

    5. Be tech-smart

    While part of my job is helping people avoid all the ways our devices zap our productivity (like constant email and social media alerts), I’m all about the ways they can actually help us be more productive and efficient, including when we travel. The TripIt app is my travel essential. Forward your email confirmations from airlines, hotels and rental car companies to TripIt and it will organize all the information into one easily viewable window. The pro version will also keep an eye on your flight status. Then there’s Expensify, the fastest and easiest way to keep track of expenses related to a specific client trip. Need to track your mileage? MileBug creates reports for you with the push of a button.

    Sometimes, though, the most efficient thing you can do when you’re traveling is to put down your phone or tablet. Instead of automatically reaching for a device when you’re in line or waiting for your flight, just let your mind wander. Your brain uses downtime like that to reach insights and epiphanies. Maybe you’ll have a breakthrough that transforms your business. What smarter use of your time could there be?

  • The First Email System — History of Email (Part 3)
    This is the third post in The History of Email series.

    What we know today as “email” is a really a system — a system of interlocking parts, each of which is essential for ordinary people to communicate effectively with one or many others, in an environment where different kinds of information must be shared (memos, documents, files, etc.) i.e. the modern office environment.

    In 1978, I was a colleague of Shiva Ayyadurai’s at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), located in Newark, NJ. Shiva and I worked together in the modern office environment of the 1970s, where information sharing, primarily through the printed-paper medium, was the modus operandi.

    Much of my effort at the time was dedicated to managing database software systems. Though Shiva was nearly 20 years younger than me, neither I nor the other Lab members thought of Shiva as a kid or a student. His professionalism, programming capabilities, attention to detail, and commitment to producing software that was user-friendly and reliable, was extraordinary.

    His supervisor Dr. Leslie P. Michelson challenged Shiva to create an electronic system that would emulate the interoffice mail system, then in use at UMDNJ. My interaction was one of being a sounding board for Shiva, time-to-time, on database functions and operating systems issues such as memory management. I recall, in particular, Shiva’s incredible persistence to face a technical problem head on, and to solve it.

    As a former colleague of Shiva’s, I hope my writing this post, as a part of the Huffington Post’s History of Email Series, provides details on the first email system created at UMDNJ in 1978.

    The Interoffice Mail System

    Many people over the age of 40, myself included, will remember the interoffice paper mail system, which was the basis of how offices around the world operated, from the level of secretaries to CEOs. The interoffice mail system had the following interlocked parts (as detailed in Table 1 below), which are the now-familiar components of email: Inbox, the Memo (“To:,” “From:,” “Date:,” “Subject:,” “Body:,” “Cc:,” “Bcc:”), Forwarding, Composing, Drafts, Edit, Reply, Delete, Priorities, Outbox, Folders, Archive, Attachments, Return Receipt, Carbon Copies (including Blind Carbon Copies), Sorting, Address Book, Groups, Bulk Distribution.

    The interoffice mail system was not only used across offices but also inter-departmentally and inter-organizationally, some referring to it also as the inter-departmental or inter-organizational mail system, respectively. In this article, we consistently refer to the mail system as the interoffice mail system.

    The interoffice mail system at UMDNJ was complicated, consisting of many components. In Table 1, below, is a detailed listing of the parts of the interoffice paper mail system, in use at UMDNJ in 1978, along with their detailed descriptions. If you took away any one component or part, such as the ability to attach other materials (Attachments) or the use of Folders or the ability to send Carbon Copies, your ability to function and communicate with co-workers was greatly impaired in the office environment. This is why it was a “system,” because you needed all the components to work together.

    TABLE 1
    The Parts and Detailed Description of the Interoffice Mail System at UMDNJ (1978).
    This was the physical Inbox where a secretary received incoming documents. It was usually made of wood, metal or plastic. A courier or “office boy” or “mailroom clerk” would deliver postal mail or interoffice memos into this Inbox. Deliveries into the Inbox were done at least twice per day. Sometimes, urgent messages were delivered on an ad hoc basis into the Inbox.
    This was a physical box made of metal, wood, or plastic, where outgoing postal mail or interoffice memos, which were composed, edited, an placed in an envelope, and addressed to the recipient, were made available for pickup and delivery to its recipients. A courier or “office boy” or “mailroom clerk” would come and pick up the items from the Outbox regularly, at least twice per day.
    This was a physical box made of metal, wood, or plastic to hold drafts of memos or letters, which were in the midst of being reviewed and edited. Typically, a secretary would write the memo and put in the Drafts box for review. A superior would then pickup, review and provide “red-line” feedback on the memo or letter, and place back into Drafts box. The secretary would retrieve the edited document, make changes, and place the edited document back in the Drafts box. After the superior gave instructions, the memo or document would be deemed as completed; the secretary would then place the memo in an envelope, and place it in the Outbox for pick up.
    The interoffice envelope was typically a bit larger than an 8 ½ by 11-inch paper, and was normally gray or yellow in color. The envelope had a red string on the outside so it could be secured for ease of opening and reuse. The outside of the envelope provided columns and rows on which the sender and the recipient could be listed. After a recipient received the envelope, they could recycle the envelope by crossing out the previous sender and recipient and using the blank rows to write the new sender and recipient, name and address.
    This was typically a piece of 8 ½ by 11-inch piece of BOND paper. The top of the Memo had the words “++++++ MEMORANDUM ++++++” written on it and centered. Below, there were the following areas: “To:”, “From:”, “Date:”, “Subject:”, “Body:”, “Cc:”, “Bcc:” (only for view in the sender’s original), and another section with “Encl.:”, if Attachment(s) were included. After the “Subject:”, there was typically a horizontal black line, after which the “Body:” of the memo appeared. Below the “Body:” were the names of people on “Cc:” list, and then the “Encl.:” list, listing the various Attachments.
    Composing a Memo was done by the action of taking a blank piece of white Bond paper and placing it in the Typewriter. Sometimes, if errors were made during time, a white liquid substance in a small bottle jar, colloquially called “whiteout” was used to erase mistakes, and then the typing was done over the whited out area.
    A Typewriter was an instrument that allowed a person to create a Memo. It consisted of mechanical components corresponding to all the alphabets in the English language plus the 10 digits of the number system, as well as a number of other special characters. The Typewriter required paper and ink ribbon to convert strokes on the keyboard into letters on the paper. There were many styles of Typewriters, mechanical and later electrical.
    Memo to an individual meant that the “To:” field had only the name of only one recipient.
    Scanning mail was the process of quickly reading the Envelope in the Inbox, opening he Envelope and quickly reading the top portion of a Memo, such as the “From:”, “Subject:”, lines to get a quick idea whether to read the Memo immediately, to put for later review, or discarding it into the Trash Bucket e.g. junk mail.
    A Trash Bucket was typically next to a secretary’s desk on the floor. The bucket was made of either plastic or metal, and was the location of where trash, such as old papers, garbage were deposited.
    A person receiving and reviewing an incoming Memo in the Inbox could Forward or Re-Distribute the Memo to others. Forwarding literally involved adding a list of other recipients to review the Memo. This Forward list was sometimes just paper-clipped on the received Memo, and as the forwarded recipients read the Memo, they checked off their name on the paper-clipped list, and passed it on to the next recipient, who had not yet read the Memo.
    This was an important feature to ensure receipt of a forwarded Memo by the recipient. Sometimes, an important Memo, say from a Director, would be received by a Manager, and that Manager wanted to ensure that certain employees in his group received the Memo. Forwarding with Return Receipt enabled the Manager to know exactly when and who got the Memo and who did not get the Memo. Prior to someone receiving the Memo in their Inbox, the delivery person would not place the Envelope containing the Memo into their Inbox, until the recipient signed the Return Receipt. The Return Receipts from each employee were sent back to the Manager, and thereby the Manager could know how many actually received the Memo.
    A memo sometimes would be edited after it was composed. Editing could be iterative based on the feedback received. Editing typically involved the use of whiteout or sometimes starting with new blank piece of paper and retyping the original Memo with the corrections. Editing relied on the use of the Drafts box, as this box served as the point of interaction between the secretary and her superior.
    Sometimes instead of writing a new Memo, an individual replied to a Memo received in the Inbox. When they replied to the Memo, they could either simply send the response Memo or attach to the response Memo, the original Memo sent from the sender as an Attachment, for the originating sender’s reference.
    Carbon copies were copies of a Memo created by the secretary, who would typically place dark blue carbon paper between two Bond pieces of white paper and roll them into the typewriter, to create the copies. The Bond paper on top was the original, the paper below, was the “Carbon Copy” or “Cc:”. Sometimes, several Carbons were used, and sometimes if the “Cc:” list was too long, the original would be mimeographed on a mimeograph machine. Then, the original “To:” recipient would get the original, the top copy, and each person on the CC list would get copies. This got more complicated if there were multiple recipients in the “To:” field, or a Group in the “To:” field.
    Blind Carbon Copies enabled a secretary to send a Carbon Copy of a Memo to some people, that others on the “To:” and “Cc:” lists were purposely made to be unaware, or “blind” of, except the secretary who authored the Memo. The “Bcc:” list, in the header of the Memo, was kept by the sender/secretary, only, and others who got Carbon copies, those on the “Cc:” list, did not see i.e. they were “blind” to those receiving the Bcc’s. So only the sender knew who was on the Bcc list.
    If you did not know what the interoffice mail system was, before reading this article, I hope Table 1 was educational and provided you a detailed understanding of this paper-based system. Moreover, you will observe a near 1-to-1 correspondence with the parts of the interoffice mail system, itemized in Table 1, and the email system you are using today.
    Sometimes a Memo would need to be broadcasted, or sent, to multiple recipients, sometimes hundreds, not just one individual. This involved listing names of multiple recipients in the “To:” field. The original Memo was created with the listing of all people’s names in the “To:” field. Then that original Memo was copied using the carbon paper to copy, if the list was small, or the original Memo was simply mimeographed. Then each copy was stuffed in an Envelope and placed in the Outbox.
    In a large organization, within and across facilities, as at UMDNJ, there were different faculty departments: Pharmacology, Surgery, etc., and one may want to send a Memo to a department or Group. A Group involved a listing of many recipients. However, in the “To:” field only the name of the Group would appear. The secretary would then have to look up in the Address Book and print mailing labels for each individual in that Group, and send a copy of the Memo to each recipient; alternatively, sometimes only one copy of the Group Memo was sent to one address, and the recipient, the secretary or administrator of the Group, on the other end, would make copies of the Memo, and distribute it to members of the Group.
    Sometimes a memo would be thrown into the Trask Bucket for disposal.
    The contents of Trask Bucket, by request, would be collected and be destroyed.
    Every office had an Address Book, which listed each person’s first and last names, campus location, Group affiliation (e.g. surgery, pharmacology), room number and phone number. The Address Book was the cornerstone of each office’s contact list.
    Address Books were updated as employees came and left UMDNJ. New people were added, and those who had left were removed. Sometimes a circular was sent out which was an update to the existing Address Book, and one would have to manually insert the changes to the existing Address Book.
    When mail was left in the Inbox, it sometimes was sorted based on some priority, and marked, such as High, Medium or Low by the secretary. And some secretaries had file folders for sorting these three categories of Memos.
    Not all Memos were discarded after they were read. Some Memos were kept for storage, and were often put into an archive file cabinet and organized for long-term record keeping.
    A Group was listed next to someone’s name in the Address Book. At UMDNJ, individuals could belong to different Groups. Groups included Surgery, Pharmacology, ICU, IT. One nuance was that the Group names may be the same, but the Group was distinct based on the campus location. For example, the Pharmacology Group at Newark may have different people, than the Pharmacology Group at Piscataway. Each location had different people in different Groups.
    In the office environment of the medical school and hospital at UMDNJ, this was a very important feature, because certain Memos had to be acknowledged as received. A Memo could be flagged as a “Registered Memo”; this would mean that it was treated differently. The delivery person would put it in a different colored envelope and ensure that the recipient signed a Return Receipt, before it was put into the Inbox. This would assure the sender that the recipient got the Memo.
    This was a formal receipt that a delivery person would make sure got signed by the recipient who had been sent a Registered Memo. This Return Receipt would then have to get sent back to the original sender.
    Sometimes a Memo could not be delivered even after many Retries. In this case, the delivery person would take the Memo back to the sender with a note on it saying “Undeliverable”.
    All mail had to be delivered, or a real effort was made to keep trying to deliver it before being deemed Undeliverable. This meant a policy of “retries” as many as 3 to 5 times, before the attempts were stopped. The number of Retries was a policy decision at UMDNJ.
    All mail had to be securely delivered. This meant that only the designated recipient had to receive it. Typically this was ensured, as the delivery person knew who was who and knew the secretaries. Moreover, Memos were put in an individual sealed envelope with a string closing the envelope or it being taped, so they could not be easily opened during transit.
    A memo could have Attachments or enclosures such as another file folder, another document, a drawing or a photograph, or even a parcel.
    All mail needed to be transported. At UMDNJ, there were many ways of transporting. The main form of transport between offices, in the same building, was through pneumatic tubes, in which the Envelope was placed. Mail among different buildings and campuses was transported by cars or trucks. Alternatively, a delivery person could physically pick up the mail and deliver it from local office to office, on foot.
    Different locations had mail Sorting facilities, where the mail would come in, be sorted by groups, departments, locations, zip code, office numbers, so the delivery was easier.

    If you did not know what the interoffice mail system was, before reading this article, I hope Table 1 was educational and provided you a detailed understanding of this paper-based system. Moreover, you will observe a near 1-to-1 correspondence with the parts of the interoffice mail system, itemized in Table 1, and the email system you are using today.

    Email As We Know It Was Invented at UMDNJ
    In 1978, Shiva conceived and developed an electronic system that replicated all the functions of UMDNJ’s entire interoffice paper mail system, as itemized in Table 1 above.

    He called the system “email,” a name that, based on extensive document review, was first introduced and brought into use as his system spread throughout the UMDNJ campuses. This name was assigned to his program for both convenience and out of necessity since the FORTRAN IV programming language, which “email” was written in, required all variables to be in upper case and the RTE-IV operating system had a five-character limit for program names – thus, Shiva concatenated the letters “E,” “M,” “A,” “I,” “L” to name his program.

    In 1978, those five juxtaposed characters had never been used before in the modern English language. While this term may seem obvious to us today, in 1978, it was not.

    First page of the computer program showing Shiva’s naming the program “email,” thus defining email to be the electronic interoffice mail system.

    Table 2 provides a list of all the features that Shiva implemented into the first email system. As you can see, this system was not a “simple” system for just exchanging text messages. It was a full-scale version of the interoffice mail system in an electronic format.

    This was email.

    TABLE 2

    The Parts of Email, the First Email System as Implemented, in the Computer Program Invented by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai at UMDNJ (1978)

    Interoffice Mail System Parts in the First Email System


    All Fields of Interoffice Memo



    Subject: (70 chars length)





    Sending Memo to Individual

    Saving Memo as a Draft

    Scanning Mail

    Forwarding (or Redistribution)

    Forwarding with RETURN RECEIPT (or registered memo)

    Composing Memo





    Broadcast Memo

    Sending Memo to Group



    Address Book

    Updating Address Book

    Searching the Address Book

    By Group

    By Username (short name)

    By Last Name

    By Zipnode (node or location)



    Carbon Copies

    Blind Carbon Copies


    Registered Memo

    Return Receipt

    Undeliverable Notification


    Secure Delivery–Using username and password


    Attaching to a memo
    Creating Attachments from scratch

    Saving attachments

    Attachment editor

    Transmission of memo

    Multi-level User Access–User, Manager, Postmaster, System Administrator


    Memo Formatting
    –Functions were included to make sure that a memo on the screen when printed looked somewhat like a typewritten memo.


    Print all mail

    Print selected memos

    Print only the “envelopes,” To, From, Subject, Date

    Formatted printing–memo looked like typewritten one

    Exporting of Mail

    Export a single memo to a file

    Export a set of memos to a file

    Group Management–Postmaster/Administrator Level

    Creating Groups

    Deleting Groups

    Placing User in a Group

    Deleting User from a Group

    Displaying Groups

    Restricting Group Access–which users could not send to certain groups. E.g. Only the Postmaster could send to “ALL.”

    Postmaster & Systems Administrator Functions

    Reports on mail usage by user

    Deleting aged mail

    Shutdown of the entire system

    Startup of the entire system

    Deleting Users

    Adding Users

    Adding a “Zipnod,” new network

    Deleting a Zipnode

    Disabling a User from logging in to the user interface

    Direct starting of mail transmission

    Integrated System Components

    Easy-to-use User Interface


    Integrated Attachment Editor

    Relational Database Engine

    Modular Inter-Process Communication Protocol

    Print Manager for Formatted Printing

    Systems Administrator Console

    Post Master Console

    Email was delivered as one holistic platform, that integrated an easy-to-use interface, and a word processor, all built from scratch by Shiva, as well as a relational database (to support folders, archival, sorting and many other features not possible with flat-file based approaches), with a modular intercommunications protocol.

    In 1978, UMDNJ had three campus locations in New Jersey: Newark, Piscataway and New Brunswick. Shiva and I worked out of the Newark campus. Workers on these campuses began usng email as a public and commercially viable system. At that time, any one who used a computer on the network, had to login. They were billed for hours of usage for the applications the chose to use. Email was one of these applications

    Shiva solely built the entire system, nearly 50,000 lines of code, using a high-level programming language (FORTRAN IV) and HP IMAGE/1000 database system. He was the sole author of this email system, designing and writing all the code. Dr. Leslie P. Michelson’s article “The Invention of Email,” which is also part of this Huffington Post Series, provides additional details from Dr. Michelson’s interactions with Shiva at UMDNJ.

    Unlike the developments on the ARPAnet, email was built to address a systems problem in the ordinary office situation using local area and wide area networks (LANs and WANs), where computers across offices and multiple campuses were connected — independent of the ARPAnet. None of us in the Lab at UMDNJ had any contact with the ARPAnet. The first email system was meant to be a widely shared system of ongoing communication by ordinary workers, not computer scientists who knew code.

    Email was developed with a focus on user-friendliness and high-reliability, and deployed as a commercial product, where nearly 500 office workers accessed, and used it. In 1981, Shiva was awarded a Westinghouse Science Talent Search Honors Award for inventing email.

    V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai received Westinghouse Science Talent Search Honors Award for invention of email system.

    Since patenting of software was not available in 1978, Shiva had to wait until 1980, when it became possible to protect software inventions by Copyright. In 1981, he applied for protection of his software, and was awarded two US copyrights in 1982.

    Official US Copyright Notice for “Email” Issued on August 30, 1982, now in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History (NMAH).

    One Copyright was for “Email,” “Computer Program for Electronic Mail System,” and the other Copyright was for the User’s Manual. He wrote the User’s Manual with the idea that anybody in an office setting could learn and adapt to his system. He had customers to serve!

    Email Is Not Simply An Exchange of Messages

    So email as a system is not simply exchanging messages among computers, even if a person at one end types a message to a human recipient. Sending text messages alone is what today we call Texting, SMS, Chat or Twitter.

    Standard histories of the Internet are full of claims that certain individuals (and teams) in the ARPAnet environment in the 1970s and 1980s “invented email.” For example, the “@” sign, early programs for sending and receiving messages, and technical specifications known as RFCs, have been claimed to be “email.” But as some claimants have admitted, none of these innovations were intended as a system of interlocking parts ­ Inbox, Memo, Outbox, Folders, Address Book, etc. ­ the email system used today by billions of people worldwide.

    The standard histories have used the term “email” – which today is understood to be a system of interdependent features – to apply to other forms of electronic communication. Those developments aimed to solve various problems, but were not intended to substitute for the interoffice paper mail system.

    These claims have been compiled in an article called the “The Five Myths About Email” by Deborah H. Nightingale, an eminent enterprise systems architect and former Director of the MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center. Research across hundreds of primary sources concerning these claims shows that each of these innovations – while very important in the evolution of the Internet – were single functions and never a system of interlocked components intended to emulate the interoffice paper mail system.


    Members of our Lab kept in touch with Shiva. His work with email continued over the past thirty-five years, even after he left our Lab. From 1978 to 1984, he continued to enhance and evolve his invention at UMDNJ. In 1993, he went on to invent EchoMail, a platform for intelligent email management, growing out of work with the US White House.

    During 1993 to 2003, EchoMail became one of the leading email management and email marketing companies for Global 2000 organizations. In early 2000, Shiva began the Email Research Institute, which is now known as the Email Lab, a division of the International Center for Integrative Systems, and aims to provide fundamental research about email. EchoMail, as I understand, now makes its technology accessible to small and mid-sized businesses. Today, he serves as Director of the Email Lab as well as a Board member of EchoMail, Inc.

    As to his 1978 invention, on February 16, 2012, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC held a donation ceremony to accept the 50,000 lines of computer code, tapes, papers and other artifacts documenting the invention of email at UMDNJ. All of us, who were colleagues of Shiva, were proud of this event and happy that he received this well-deserved recognition.

    An article about the donation ceremony in the Washington Post led to a series of counterclaims, and personal attacks on him. These events inspired those who had worked with Shiva in 1978 as well as some of his other colleagues to develop the website http://www.inventorofemail.com to share the facts about email’s invention.

    As the website documents, industry insiders, loyal to Raytheon/BBN, a multi-billion dollar defense company, had created their entire brand, bearing the ‘@’ logo, based on claims of having “invented email.” This group unleashed a vicious public relations campaign. This campaign aimed to discredit email’s origins, intimidate journalists who did not parrot their claims, and assassinate Shiva’s character, while defending and promoting Raytheon/BBN’s brand as the “inventor of email” in the lucrative and competitive cyber-security market.

    The leaders of these attacks included David Crocker, a member of the ARPAnet research community starting in 1972, and “historians” and “experts,” either former or current employees of Raytheon/BBN or close associates.

    Mr. Crocker, during his attacks, however, had omitted an important fact, to the press and media. In December of 1977, months before Shiva invented email in 1978, Mr. Crocker had authored a historical document for the eminent RAND Corporation, where he summarized the history of electronic messaging by his colleagues, up until December of 1977. In that document, Mr. Crocker had stated:

    “At this time, no attempt is being made to emulate a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system. The fact that the system is intended for use in various organizational contexts and by users of differing expertise makes it almost impossible to build a system which responds to all users’ needs.”

    From the beginning of his joining our research group, Shiva, however, had a singular intention to emulate the full-scale version of the interoffice paper mail system, with the precise goal of addressing the “various organizational contexts,” with “users of differing expertise” such as secretaries, doctors and students at UMDNJ, unlike the ARPAnet researchers.

    He did “attempt” and did do the “impossible” to respond to “all users’ needs” by inventing email – the system of interlocking parts replicating the interoffice mail system – the email we all experience today, which Mr. Crocker and his contemporaries had concluded was “impossible.”

    In spite of the overwhelming facts of email’s invention by Shiva in 1978 at UMDNJ, detractors and “historians,” part of the ARPAnet community as well as supporters of Raytheon/BBN, unleashed a campaign of historical revisionism in journals and other media to attempt to redefine “email” and to state that no one could have “invented email.” Their attempts at such historical revisionism are also documented on InventorOfEmail.com.

    In filing for the Copyright, the United States Copyright Office made Shiva’s work products, such as the User’s Manual and portions of his code, publicly available; anyone in the world could have access to it. Shortly after his invention, from 1982 onwards, other products with the same functions and interlocked components used in Shiva’s program “email” appeared in rapid succession (see the History of Email Infographic).

    Shiva’s distinction as inventor of email is not to suggest that someone else, at some point in history, would not have created a full-scale emulation of the interoffice mail system (and perhaps called it something else), independent of his invention. The advances in computing and networking, and a growing desire to automate paper-based functions, would have eventually led to the creation of such a system. However, Shiva was the first to create such a system, to call it “email,” and, the first, to receive formal recognition by the United States Government for its invention.

    This post, I hope, clarifies what “email” is and what it is not, as well as Shiva’s role as the inventor of email in 1978, while at UMDNJ, and finally, his commitment throughout his career to evolving email to benefit the general public.

  • Teen With Amazingly Long Neck To Undergo Surgery (PHOTO)
    Surgeons are helping a teenager save his neck by shortening it.

    Fu Wengui, 15, of Beijing, is preparing to go under the knife because he’s reportedly caused immense pain by the three extra vertebrae in his neck.

    The teen has 10 vertebrae in his neck while the average person has seven, according to Quirky China, which released photos of him at the hospital. The vertebrae compress his nerves, making it difficult for him to walk.

    giraffe boy

    “When he was six he was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis and abnormal chest frame,” Wengui’s father, Fu Genyou, told agency.

    Congenital scoliosis is a spinal deformity caused by abnormally formed vertebrae, and usually occurs in early development, according to the Scoliosis Research Society. Wengui’s surgery will reduce the size of his neck and hopefully enhance movement and reduce pain.

    A Beijing-based charity will sponsor his surgery at Chaoyang Hospital, which is working on a treatment plan, according to Quirky News’ press release.

    “I just hope I can have a normal neck,” Wengui said.

    (h/t Daily Mail)

  • Iceland's Latest Volcanic Eruption Has Airlines Nervous. Here's Why. (INFOGRAPHIC)
    Iceland, home to one of the largest glaciers in Europe and a multitude of volcanoes, made headlines this week following news of a small eruption in the Bárðarbunga (or Bardarbunga) volcanic system.

    At 118 miles long and 15 miles wide, Bardarbunga is Iceland’s largest volcanic system, so an eruption could have profound implications for air travel in the region, particularly if the volcano emits a large ash cloud.

    The land of fire and ice, it seems, is no place for jet engines.

    For instance, when Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in 2010, the resulting ash plume grounded more than 100,000 flights in what the BBC reports was the largest closure of European airspace since World War II.

    In an email to The Huffington Post on Friday, an FAA spokesperson said there haven’t been any flight diversions as a result of the current eruption. And given the $1.7 billion in revenue carriers lost when the volcano grounded airplanes in 2010, Bloomberg reported, airlines are likely eager to keep it that way.

    So why don’t volcanoes and air travel mix? In two words: engine failure.

    According to the United States Geological Survey, extreme heat — like that emitted from a jet engine — melts ash into a glass. That glass stops up fuel nozzles, the combustor and the turbine, which can quickly lead to a stalled engine.

    In addition, volcanic ash abrades any forward-facing surfaces on an airplane, including the cockpit windows and leading edges of the wings. “Cockpit windows may become so abraded and scratched,” the USGS reported, “that pilots have extreme difficulty seeing the runway on which to land the plane.”

    See the below infographic for more on how volcanic activity affects airplanes and air travel:

    Infographic by Jan Diehm for The Huffington Post.

  • Developer finds evidence supporting 3x resolution coming to iPhone
    It has been speculated for some time that if Apple does decide to make larger iPhone screens as it now appears to be doing, that resolution would have to increase dramatically, which could cause headaches for developers. However, new testing by Dragthing creator James Thompson has revealed that Apple may instead rely on pixel-tripling, asking developers only to provide assets at 1x, 2x, and 3x the logical screen resolution. This could yield Retina-quality images on devices with larger displays.

  • Rock Bands, Startups and Discovering the Next Big Idea
    For the past few years, whenever I meet a new startup, I treat them like a rock band. Not only because I believe startups are rock stars, but because I have learned — from my experience as the owner of an indie record label and as an early-stage investor — that there are a lot of similarities between the two.


    Every band has to have a lead singer and, in my opinion, a drummer. When it comes to lead singers, it doesn’t matter if they can play an instrument, as long as they can sing, be the face of the band, have a stage presence and lead. This is just like a CEO. He or she doesn’t have to be the best developer in the company, but needs to be the face of the company, inspire those around him or her and lead by example.

    And the drummer? The drummer keeps the beat and makes sure everyone is in sync. In startups, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page and have a unified vision for the company. The COO is the natural drummer of the company. In early-stage startups, the drummer is often also a co-founder.

    Discovering Talent

    When it comes to discovering talent, as an early-stage investor, I rely on friends to recommend their friends to me. I also get directly pitched by up-and-coming entrepreneurs who just solicit me. And then there are the times I just stumble across a startup randomly in my daily activities. My personal preference is for startups who are into Internet communications and those explore the edge of qualitifed self technologies.

    When record labels scout talent, they usually send someone to clubs to see up-and-coming bands. While scouting, you learn early on to look for the bands who are unsigned who can attract fans to their shows and whose fans know the words to their original songs. The key to a successful signing with an artist is their fans.

    The same thing goes for a startup. But, instead of spending late nights at rock clubs listening to new acts, I find my way to accelerators, incubators and at times cafes, where the next-generation startups are waiting to get discovered. What I don’t wait for is “graduation day” for the accelerator or incubator, because by then it’s too late for someone who likes to get involved early. What we also get to see by meeting the portfolio of startups in the current class are the current trends of the investment season.

    Signing On

    When I decide to move forward and invest in an early-stage startup, the experience at times feels like when a band gets its first record deal. For the startups, it’s great to have people willing to invest in you, but now you have to work even harder to deliver and make everyone proud.

    Just as bands can introduce new music sounds and be successful, so too can startups who are disruptive. A startup that’s disruptive and successful can change the course of history. (Of course, it may take 99 no’s before someone says yes — the biggest source of failures in startups, and music for that matter, is giving up.)

    The Secret to Success

    Winning startup entrepreneurs need to feel confident enough in their own vision to find and follow their own path. It’s okay to be driven. In my life, I have found success in areas I had no real-life experience in, just passion for something in the space. So I am the last person to think people can’t be successful just because they don’t have any relevant industry experience on their resume.

    It’s hard to get noticed when you sound just like everyone else, look like everyone else and go where everyone else is going. I look for startups that are confident enough to be unique and have their own sounds. I just hope they don’t go off key in the process.

  • Several Ways to Give Mobile Devices the Charge they Need to Survive
    Unfortunately, in this world of mobile devices, we must face one harsh reality — all of them need to be recharged. With that in mind, we took a look at several items that can make that task a bit easier.

    The folks at Belkin have developed a 10-Port USB Charger ($299) that can charge up to 10 devices using a single power outlet.

    Although this may seem a bit excessive, even by super technogeek standards, we often often find ourselves needing to re-energize the batteries in five or six devices at a time.

    • Belkin claims it charges 14 percent faster than traditional 2.1A chargers. We have no way of proving or disproving this.
    • It autosenses the power the battery needs, which means it can handle a large variety of devices, ranging from 1A to 2.4A full-rate charges.
    • It’s backward compatible to USB 2.0
    • It comes with a wall mount

    The new Poweradd 50W Six-Port USB Wall Charger ($65.99) is about a third the size of the Belkin 10-port charger and can provide the needed boost for any mobile device that can be charged using an USB cable. Also, like its bigger competitor, it offers the added convenience of being able to charge multiple devices using one power outlet.

    In addition:

    • It can handle everything from the higher demands of 2.4A batteries to devices that only require 2.1A or 1A compatibility
    • It has a voltage range of 100-to-240 volts
    • Everything is housed in a fire-resistant hard plastic shell.

    But what happens if you can’t get to a charger and your battery is nearing the dreaded one percent level? In these cases portable chargers and power banks may save the day.

    Innovation Technology is one of many fuel cell manufacturers – – – most notably portable power devices from companies such as Mophie or Proporta come to mind — flooding the market these days But the company’s Justin line of chargers offers the most choices in power and capacity.

    We’ve been playing with the Justin 2,200mAh Round Power Stick ($24.99), the Justin 6,000mAh Power Bank with a built-in stand ($39.99) and the Justin 10,000mAh Power Bank ($49.99). All of these devices were created to perform one basic task: to recharge the batteries of mobile devices when power outlets are not available.

    The Justin Power Stick is designed to fit in your pocket, purse or briefcase and can give your phone, tablet or other device adequate power to operate for several additional hours, even if the battery has been fully drained, or can recharge the device once before needing to be recharged (another reason to need a multiport USB charger).

    The 6,000mAh power bank is able to provide two or three charges to a 2.1A device (such as a Samsung Galaxy phone). It’s not as small as the Power Stick, but can still easily fit in a briefcase, laptop case or purse. This power bank also features four LED lights that indicate the level of charge left in its batteries, letting you know when it needs to be recharged.

    The 10,000mAh power bank is one of the most powerful portable chargers we’ve tested. It can charge two 2.1A devices at the same time and also has the LED power indicators found in the 6,000mAh device. We were able to get four single charges for our mobile devices using only one port and it was able to charge two devices twice before needing to be recharged.

    Check out Michael Berman’s Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek. You can also contact him via email at jocgeek@earthlink.net or through his website at www.jocgeek.com.

  • New Leaked 'iPhone 6' Photos? New Leaked 'iPhone 6' Photos!
    Apple’s widely rumored unveiling of the new iPhone on September 9th is still a ways off. Until then we have these leaked photos to sustain us.

    Five photos leaked on the Chinese social network Feng.com show what may be the components for the new iPhone, according to Business Insider. While they may not show the new Apple smartphone fully assembled, they are similar to leaked photos we’ve seen before and give a clear sense of what the so-called iPhone 6 might look like:

    Here’s a photo of the outside of the back of the case:

    iphone 1

    Some have criticized the plastic lines on the phone which according to schematics are believed to house the antenna, BGR reports. Rumors had circulated that the lines would instead be made of glass but they appear to have remained plastic.

    A shot of the casing in profile:

    iphone 2

    Rumors have circulated that the new iPhone will be thinner, as well as bigger with a 4.7 inch screen.

    From the bottom:

    iphone 3

    Based on this photo it appears that the iPhone will feature the headphone jack on the bottom, like on the iPhone 5, as well as a newly designed speaker.

    The front screen:

    iphone 4

    iphone 5

    The new iPhone 6 has long been rumored to feature more sapphire glass, a new material that will be both harder and more scratch resistant than the iPhone’s Gorilla glass. More recently, analyst Matt Margolis has said that all versions of the new 5.5 inch iPhone will feature sapphire glass, while only high-end versions of the 4.7 inch will. If the photos are any indication, the new iPhone will likely come in both black and white.

    (Hat tip: Business Insider)

  • Natural Is The New Airbrush: An Actress Bares All And Starts A #NOFILTER Revolution
    Shelby Bilbruck for GLAM4GOOD


    Ellen Barkin is my new hero! It’s hard these days to know what stars really look like. All the filters and digital retouching that go on top of their pictures make a young woman like me want to retouch my pictures, too. Then along comes 60-year-old Barkin posing for a series of photos in Violet Grey’s online magazine, The Violet Files, and her pictures are not retouched in any way! Barkin makes it cool to show wrinkles, smile lines and imperfect skin. Not just for women her age, but for all young women in the age of filter mania!


    “Those pictures with the dark circles under my eyes are exactly what I look like,” the stunning 60-year-old said in an interview. In the shoot, Barkin shows off her fine lines, under eye circles, and everything else that makes her human — and guess what. She’s still stunningly beautiful.


    Not only did she nix retouching the photos, but she did stuff you do in everyday life in them. Chomping down on bacon cheeseburgers, lounging in a robe with a towel on her head, even having a cup of coffee.


    So many times we’re told that being beautiful means being perfect. You have to have straight, white teeth, lustrous hair, no wrinkles or other imperfections on your face. But who is actually like that? No one!


    So to all the young ladies out their, stop spending 20 minutes making your Instagram selfies unrecognizable from all the touch ups and filters, and take a cue from Barkin. Confidence and being yourself, it’s the new airbrush — and GLAM4GOOD is loving it!


    All photos courtesy of Violet Grey.

  • Leaked iPhone 6 logic board shows NFC chip, 16GB of storage [u]
    (Updated with video showing powered-on device) A new set of photos from Feld & Volk and well-known leak source Sonny Dickson show what appears to be a complete logic board for the iPhone 6. Significantly, the board contains both an NXP-made NFC chip and what’s believed to be 16GB of Toshiba flash memory. Plans for NFC are now widely reported, and the photos may back a claim that Apple will retain 16GB as an option.

  • The Most Cringeworthy Autocorrects Of The Month
    Autocorrect can make texting fast and easy. Or, it can make your mom sound like a total perv.

    In case you haven’t giggled enough this month, check out the funniest autocorrects that August 2014 had to offer, courtesy of Damn You Autocorrect.

    And no, we have never meant to say “ducking”.

  • Family Identity Theft Is Ugly

    Identity theft isn’t just the stuff of exciting movie and TV dramas; this happens in real life—and often. In fact, that Target breach that made headlines, Neiman Marcus, those 1. 2 Billion records the Russian cyber gang hacked: all identity theft.


    In 2012, according to one research firm, 12.6 million people in the U.S. alone were victims of ID fraud. This translates to this crime occurring every three seconds. If that isn’t bad enough, it’s estimated that one-third of ID theft is committed against the thieves’ own family members.

    Sometimes a person learns this when requesting a copy of their credit report. Expecting to see a high score, they instead see pages and pages of fraudulent credit card activity—and a very damaged credit. The thief can even be the victim’s own mother. Or spouse. Or daughter, son, sister, brother.

    As appalling as this is, it’s not the least bit unusual. It’s easy, for instance, for a parent to access their child’s name and Social Security number, then open up a phony account—even if the victim is literally a child. Most companies don’t check the ages, so that’s why this crime can go undetected for years.

    The victim may not even learn of the crime until adulthood when they apply for their first credit card or student loan. Learning that the thief is a family member, particularly a parent, delivers a particularly hard blow, for obvious reasons. At least there’s no emotional impact when the thief is a stranger or even someone outside the family whom you know.

    It can take quite some time to restore damaged credit. The Federal Trade Commission has an online guide that will help victims recover from the crime of identity theft.

    Children can’t protect themselves, so adults need to do it for them. That often requires an investment of time and money.

    Credit freezes or fraud alerts aren’t available to children until their identity is stolen.

    Applying for a fraud alert every quarter to 6 months and being denied means no credit has been established.

    Identity theft protection in many cases will help prevent child identity theft. However not all services offer this option. The good news is that child identity theft protection is generally less than $50.00 a year per child when the parent invests in a family plan.

    Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing  identity theft prevention. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247. Disclosures.

  • Proud Dad Introduces 'New Mini' To The World Via Clever Apple Parody Website
    This is a baby announcement like you’ve never seen it.

    A former Apple employee crafted a clever website to announce the August 22 birth of his son, Jonathan Henry, by fashioning it in the style of an Apple product announcement page. Simple. Sleek. Adorable.

    “Hello, Baby,” the website’s homepage reads. “Introducing Jonathan, the brand new mini.”

    andreas kleinke baby

    The brains behind the “new mini” is Andreas Kleinke of Munich, Germany, who previously worked as a training manager for Apple from 1999 to 2001, according to TODAY Parents. He says the idea for the website came about during a trip to an Apple store last year, when he and his wife bought their baby-to-be a onesie that had the phrase “brand new mini“ written on it.

    “When his due date was approaching, I started to think about how to break the news to friends and family once the big day arrived (and) I remembered the ‘brand new mini’ thing,” Kleinke told TODAY.

    The adorable site is chock-full of Apple-inspired features like built-in apps titled iEat, iPoop, iSleep, That’s it.

    The “new mini’s” product description is also written in Apple lingo: “The brand new Jonathan (Mid-2014) features a 20-inch seamless unibody enclosure made from a single, solid block of beauty. Ten meticulously aligned fingers deliver the perfect multi-touch experience. Plus, he comes fully equipped with not just one but two iSight cameras, each delivering images in stunning Retina resolution. Dual microphones on both sides catch every sound.”

    Not mentioned: the new model’s seriously cool dad.

  • Mother Upset After Daughter Accesses Erotic Stories On School iPad
    One mother is not pleased about the sites her daughter has been able to access on a school-issued iPad.

    An Oregon mother identified as Sarah says she discovered her 12-year-old daughter reading erotica on a school iPad, even though the school blocked inappropriate sites. Students from Neil Armstrong Middle School are only supposed to use the iPads for educational purposes, but they have repeatedly found ways to breach security, according to local outlet KATU-TV.

    Students at Neil Armstrong Middle School in Oregon have been given iPads as part of a multi-year pilot program to enhance digital learning.

    “I was shocked!” Sarah said about the sites her daughter was using to KATU-TV. “It was not something you expect a 12-year-old to look at, or to talk about, or to want to do or anything. She’s still a little girl.”

    Although Sarah reported multiple incidents regarding iPad security to the district, she did not feel as though they responded effectively. School principal Brandon Hundley told the outlet that “Relative to parent concerns, we take them very seriously and have acted on each as soon as reported … We absolutely limit the access students have and continually add websites to our blocked list as we find those that are not supportive of our educational mission.”

    But the school is not alone in facing security problems after providing students with iPads. Last year, Los Angeles Unified School District embarked on a major project to give every student and teacher an iPad. However, just as the program began, about 300 students breached iPad security limits and accessed forbidden sites, reports Reuters.

    Now, the district just announced that it has suspended its contract with Apple Inc., which is seen as the project’s latest setback.

    We remain committed to providing students devices that support their access to a world of learning and discovery so they are better prepared to graduate college and career ready,” district superintendent John Deasy said in a statement, reports the Associated Press.”Not only will this decision enable us to take advantage of an ever-changing marketplace and technology advances, it will also give us time to take into account successes and concerns learned in the initial phases of the (project),” he said.

  • MSN Messenger to end after 15 years
    Microsoft’s MSN Messenger will be switched off in China in October, bringing a final end to the 15-year-old service.
  • Man guilty of Salmond Twitter abuse
    A man has been convicted of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner towards First Minister Alex Salmond on Twitter.
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