Computer Mouse Creator Douglas Engelbart Dies At 88

Computer Mouse Creator Douglas Engelbart Dies At 88Douglas Engelbart, whose invention of the mouse transformed the way people interact with computers, died Tuesday night at his home in Atherton, California, SRI International — the research institute where he once worked –said in a statement. He was 88.

‘A vision’

Decades ago, Engelbart came up with the idea we now know as a mouse. His first prototype, which featured a carved out wooden block, wheels and a tiny red button, looks quite different from the sleek plastic designs now seen in homes and offices around the world.

A radar technician during World War II, Engelbart worked at the Stanford Research Institute during the 1960s. It was there that a vision of people sitting in front of a video screen, interacting with a computer, came to him.


‘Global scale’

Engelbart invented and patented what he called the “x-y position indicator,” receiving a $10,000 check for the invention. He told CNN he couldn’t recall who on his team had decided to call it a mouse. Later, he went on to found the Doug Engelbart Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to boosting the collective ability to solve complex, urgent problems on a global scale.

In addition to the computer mouse, Engelbart’s work at SRI from 1957 to 1977 helped develop tech innovations such as display editing, online processing, linking and in-file object addressing, use of multiple windows, hypermedia, and context-sensitive help, the institute said.

Engelbart is survived by his wife and four children.

Can you imagine a modern world without the computer mouse? Which technological innovation do you find the most interesting?

Source: CNN

Image: Nerds in the Know

The Internet’s Power As Ubiquitous Surveillance

The Internet’s Power As Ubiquitous SurveillanceWhether we know it or know, whether we like it or not, and whether we admit it or not, we have now arrived at a time when the Internet is so ubiquitous that it has achieved the status of being a Silent Stalker — a perfectly detailed surveillance tool.

‘Ubiquitous surveillance’

Google and Facebook now tracks us. Apple tracks our iGadgets. And now, even what we do offline is linked with the known online data about us. Everything we do now involves the use of computers. All our information are being saved, stored, analyzed and correlated with our spending habits, lifestyle, personalities, and health.

Yes, we are now being subjected to ubiquitous surveillance. All of us are being monitored by the watchful eye of the Internet. We can take a few measures to prevent or just limit this, we can cover up our tracks by deleting cookies, or we can use bogus names on social networks and emails. But being followed is simply not something we can opt out of. We have no choice regarding this matter.


‘Freedom and privacy’

Online, privacy is scarce. One wrong click and your data is stored forever in the most hidden corners of the Web. And today, the government and business companies are working together to maintain the scarcity of online privacy because both of them benefit from it.

So, we are doomed. No more private conversations — email, text, private messages on social networking sites — forget it; it’s not private anymore. This is a world where everything you do on your computer or cellphone is being saved, used, stored, and passed around with out your consent. This is a world where all of us are held under ubiquitous surveillance without our knowledge. And to begin with, we were awestruck with this treasure trove of knowledge that we once worshiped.  Truly, we are paying a big price for the advancement of technology — a price that involves our freedom and privacy.

Anybody else here misses old-school snail mail and post-it messages?

 

Image: Psy Blog