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April 14, 2006

Ray Tomlinson — He really did invent email


Al Gore, your office is calling.

I'd never heard of Tomlinson (above) until I read Kate McKenzie's article headlined "Email — Is It Out of Control?" in this past Wednesday's Financial Times Digital Business supplement.

Shows how out of touch I am.

As if you needed more evidence.

Anyway, the article was the usual, formulaic "woe is my inbox, what am I gonna do?" type of deal but a small sidebar was most interesting and follows.

    From the FT:

    Electronic mail had already been in use for several years before ArpaNet, the US military network which formed the basis of the internet, was created in 1969.

    However, at this stage it was limited to communications between different computer administrators on a single mainframe.

    Ray Tomlinson, a programmer conducting research at the time into possible uses for the ArpaNet, developed network email and the address format used today, with the now ubiquitous "@" sign to separate user name and host name.

    Mr Tomlinson's very first genuine email is long-forgotten but he believes it was something trivial, along the lines of "QWERTYUIOP".

    His first serious message was simply to tell colleagues that email was now available.

    He receives many questions about the origins of email and answers them on his web pages.

    Among the points he makes are that "the early uses were not terribly different from the current uses. The exceptions are that there was only plain text in the messages and there was no spam."


Among the many wonderful things I learned about Ray Tomlinson wandering around his website was that he, like me, abhors the hyphen in "e-mail" and believes it's long past time for the clueless to hop on board the train and drop the silly thing.

He writes, citing Donald Knuth, "... it's high time for everybody to stop using the archaic spelling 'e-mail.'"

Next we'll turn our attention to those who insist on "VoIP" rather than "VOIP."

You tell me: don't you find that one little "o" rather silly?

Then why are you still using it?

April 14, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Key Nut Opener


From Lemongras, the design firm of Carmen Cheong and Moritz Engelbrecht (below).


"No less is needed to crack a walnut. Here, a well-known principle has found its modern form."

Made of stainless steel, the divine object measures 4.5 x 4 cm.

I always knew that someday Archimedes Principle would burst out of the tub space but I had no idea it would happen this soon.

Wait a minute — that's not right....

But I digress.

The world is an interesting and strange place.

I mean, here you have a woman born in Singapore and a man born in Berlin both of whom decide to attend the Royal College of Art in London at the same time so they can meet and move to Munich to start Lemongras.


€4.8 ($5.80; £3.3)

Walnuts not included.

[via Shawn Lea and everythingandnothing]

April 14, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kinja card for bookofjoe


Say what?

I happened on this site earlier today while I was doing something close to... what?

Don't be so predictable.

Anyway, it would appear that kinja.com, Nick Denton's blog guide, now creates a "card" (top) for each blog it indexes so that interested parties can add them to their virtual Rolodex.

At least, that's how it appears to me.

Perhaps Nick Denton will offer a few titbits (as they say in his native land, unlike our more modest "tidbits") about Kinja and its various features.

Offers like this don't come along every century, you know.




Full disclosure: back in the day, before Nick got big — really big — he responded to my emails.

Now his people don't even know I exist.

Such are the perils of not scaling well in your personal space.

Let us hope a similar fate does not befall moi.

April 14, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hammaka Chair: TechnoDolts™ need not apply — or buy


When I espied this chair (above) I did a double-take: there's a lot going on in that sitting space.

From the website:

    Hammaka® Chair

    Lets you enjoy hammock comforts as you sit.

    Great for relaxing on a porch, patio or in your back yard.

    Fully outfitted with a pillow, armrests, footrest, drink holder and carrying case.

    Enjoy it in its tripod or hang it from a ceiling joist.

    Double-layered UV-protected 600-denier polyester fabric.

    • It feels like a hammock and looks like a chair — Hammaka has the flexibility and comfort of a hammock and the convenience of a chair. And it's fully outfitted with a pillow, armrests, footrest and drink holder.

    • Perfect for limited space or if you have no trees for hanging a hammock — The chair hangs freely from a secure tripod and folds to place in its own carrying case when not in use.

    • Specifications — Aluminum tripod with hardwood spreader bars. Supports up to 300 lbs. 17 lbs. and 7-½ feet tall.

    Assembly required.


I was doing OK until the last two words.

Then I looked again at the picture and realized that I wasn't close to being qualified and able to cope with assembling this device from the giant box of parts that would arrive on my doorstep if I bought it.

So I'm just going to have to pass on this.

But that doesn't mean you do.

After all, word on the street is you've got a triple-figure I.Q.

Yeah, I know you're modest and all but hey, don't always go hiding your light under a bushel, eh?


April 14, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Battle of the Superstars: Kate Moss v Maria Sharapova in Digital Camera Throwdown


Two women enter taking hi-res digital photos, one woman... what?

No matter.

Nikon's just rolled out its new ad campaign starring none other than the once-disgraced, now flying-higher-than-ever-before Kate Moss (above) against the incumbent champ, Maria Sharapova for Canon.

Now, the fact that Sharapova could snap Kate Moss in two


with one hand has nothing to do with what's going on here.

Theresa Howard wrote in this past Wednesday's USA Today about the new contender's entry into the ring.

It happened this week with the rollout of Nikon's campaign featuring Ms. Moss seeming "to float about a sleek silver set wearing a skimpy black dress — or nothing at all."

Nikon's even created a website — stunningnikon.com — to showcase Ms. Moss with her new toy, the Nikon Coolpix S6 (top).

Time for Canon to dust off the heavy artillery and refresh their Sharapova campaign, which I must admit is getting a little long in the tooth — unlike the mighty Sharapova,


who's continued to grow and now, at 18, stands a formidable 6'2" tall.

April 14, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Push Lever Pie Server — 'Gently pushes a piece of pie or cake to the plate with a single squeeze'


How have I managed up until now? was all I could think when I saw this device.

From the website:

    Pie Server - Push Lever

    This stainless steel pie server was designed for easy, finger-free serving at the buffet, dinner table or barbecue.

    The pie server has a serrated edge, a comfortable handle, and a push lever that gently pushes the pie slice off the server.

    18/10 stainless steel.




$7.50 (Canadian — or you can get it from Amazon (US) for $6.82 [USD — Doh!]. And no — I'm not going to do the conversion for you so you can compare the prices in the same currency. If it's that important then here's a link to a website where you can do the math yourself. I once read that if you give a man a fish he better eat it right away or it will spoil, but if you teach a man to fish he will starve forever if they're not biting. Wait a minute... that's not how it goes... is it?)

[via the Washington Post]

April 14, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'The funny thing — this [bookofjoe] proved more successful than advertising in the UK Sunday Times'


So wrote Dennis Ringwood early this morning in an email.

Mr. Ringwood is, as you may or may not recall, the founder of ur-country.com, which I featured here this past Tuesday.

At that time I noted that Bill Gates and I were the only people living in ur-country's U.S. Citizens subdivision (below).


But then, last night, when an evening constitutional took me through the 'hood I noticed with delight that four more families have moved in, tripling the population (below).


Welcome, campers!

But I digress.

I emailed Dennis before heading for dreamland and received his email back in the wee small hours, while I was sleeping.

He added, "You've really got something going with your blog."

Stipulated — but what?

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear.

You know the rest.

April 14, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ben Wallace 7-Foot-Tall Inflatable Defender


Sports Illustrated wrote about it, "So lifelike in every detail, it's guaranteed not to shoot."

That's all well and good but the same issue (the current one, April 17), on page 31, in the latest NBA Players Poll asked the question, "Who is the toughest rebounder in the NBA?"

Long story short: Ben Wallace was picked by 63% of his peers as the toughest.

Second place was a tie between Dwight Howard and Reggie Evans — they each got 6% of the vote.


Bad news, good news from the Inflatable Defender website.

The bad news is the first shipment of Inflatable Defenders sold out in a Detroit Minute.

The good news is that "orders received today will be shipped on or about May 17, 2006."

Lots going on on the website: A "Click to inflate Ben" button, a video and a page chock-full of useful information on how to get the most out of your Inflatable Defender.

"Fear the Fro!"



[via Sports Illustrated]

April 14, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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