Somewhere back in the late 1900s, when I was still an active member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, I attended a convention in Portland, Oregon.

It was during that meeting that we all listened to a representative from the telephone company who told us all about a new enterprise that was going to make a huge impact on the world.

It was the World Wide Web.

I remember quite vividly that the general consensus of opinion by members of that august group following the program that the “www” was a bad idea.

That particular collection of writers has always been fairly iconoclastic. A collection of individual spirits. The very first time I met some of the members I knew I had found my real family. I don’t go to meetings anymore, but I read their newsletter religiously until I lost it off my computer in the great hack and the need to get a new identity.

Among the other things, this woman from AT&T told us was that it was going to be the “information superhighway.”

And one by one, dissenters said that the real superhighways, which had crisscrossed the country with larger and larger bands of concrete, were what was ruining the country.

And a lot of what they predicted came true, I think.

We could all certainly live without Twitter.

But I have to confess this weekly contribution would certainly not exist without the internet. I type it on a computer and email it across the causeway to that great island institution.

And a lot of what goes into the making of this column is located in interesting places like Wikipedia. Where would I be without Google? Not much of anywhere.

Since I was curious about how some of these parts of the www got their start, and especially how they got their names, I went to my old friend Google and asked.

Why is a mouse a mouse?

The guy who invented it named it “X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System.” The first users didn’t like that and started calling it “turtle.” That eventually became “rodent,” which eventually became the cuter sounding “mouse.” That was just right for its shape and size.

The word “byte” was first used by Claude E. Shannon in a 1948 paper “A Mathematical Theory of Communication.”

Apache was chosen in respect for the Native American tribe. It began a series of patches to a code.

Google was born as a brag about how much information it could search. A googol is a number which represents a 1 followed by 100 zeroes.

There’s lots, lots more. Maybe later.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at cathy.gillentine@comcast.net.

(16) comments

Carlos Ponce

From the Indiana, PA Gazette p E8, Sunday June 6, 1993
"The Internet was born in 1973 when the forerunner of the U. S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency began linking government research networks through a shared set of rules for sending data."

Al Gore claimed he invented the internet. After all, they named "algorithm" after him. [wink]

Jim Forsythe

It depends on what you consider the internet. The first transfer of a message from one location to another by a line, was the telegraph. Think of the keyboard as a telegraph key and this links the telegraph to computers.
Along came the computers and the first documented transfer of computer to computer at anther location was in 1969.
The first ARPANET link was established at 22:30 hours on October 29, 1969.
"We set up a telephone connection between us and the guys at SRI ...", Kleinrock ... said in an interview: "We typed the L and we asked on the phone,
"Do you see the L?"
"Yes, we see the L," came the response.
We typed the O, and we asked, "Do you see the O."
"Yes, we see the O."
Then we typed the G, and the system crashed ...
Yet a revolution had begun"
Today, a line is not required as we can use wireless.

Ron Woody

Carlos, I truly cherish the information you provide and the research that you do to try to ensure individuals are presenting facts and not opinion. So, why provide the information that has little to do with the column just to ridicule an individual that rarely matters and his own party pays little attention.

Just have come to expect better from you.

Thanks!

Carlos Ponce

Ridicule him? FACT: Al Gore did claim to have created the Internet.
"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." March 9, 1999 in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer
See video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnFJ8cHAlco
The title of this column is "Let's talk about when the internet was created".
"information that has little to do with the column" ???? Really?
And it's one reason why he is " an individual that rarely matters and his own party pays little attention."
I thought it was funny. Lighten up, man! [beam]

Jim Forsythe

Some people want to make fun of what Al Gore said, and have not taken the time to understand what he was saying. If they had dug into what Gore had done to advance the internet and not just made fun, they may of had a better grasp about what Gore was saying .
In context, Gore’s response (which employed the word “created,” not “invented”) was clear in meaning:
the vice president was not claiming that he “invented” the Internet in the sense of having designed or implemented it, but rather that he was one of the visionaries responsible for helping to bring it into being by fostering its development in an economic and legislative sense.
Some of what he did.
One key was the High Performance Computing and Communications Act in 1991.
As a Senator in the 1980s Gore urged government agencies to consolidate what at the time were several dozen different and unconnected networks into an “Interagency Network.” Working in a bi-partisan manner with officials in Ronald Reagan and George Bush’s administrations, Gore secured the passage of the High Performance Computing and Communications Act in 1991. This “Gore Act” supported the National Research and Education Network (NREN) initiative that became one of the major vehicles for the spread of the Internet beyond the field of computer science
One of his awards Gore received for his work.
In May 2005, the organizers of the Webby Awards for online achievements honored Al Gore with a lifetime achievement award for three decades of contributions to the Internet. “He is indeed due some thanks and consideration for his early contributions,” said Vint Cerf.

Carlos Ponce

In context, created and invented are synonymous.
https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/create
Needless to say, Al Gore did not create nor invent the internet.What you point out in "Some of what he did." occurs after the internet was created. If you go by Dan Freeman's timeline Gore was in college at the time of the Internet's inception. He was not a Tennessee legislator until 1977 - years later. Your post of "fostering its development in an economic and legislative sense" makes no sense. If you go by my timeline, Al Gore was a reporter for "The Tennessean". Again, not in a position to "fostering its development in an economic and legislative sense".

Jim Forsythe

As a Senator in the 1980s Gore urged government agencies to consolidate what at the time were several dozen different and unconnected networks into an “Interagency Network.” Working in a bi-partisan manner with officials in Ronald Reagan and George Bush’s administrations, Gore secured the passage of the High Performance Computing and Communications Act in 1991. This “Gore Act” supported the National Research and Education Network (NREN) initiative that became one of the major vehicles for the spread of the Internet beyond the field of computer science
.

Carlos Ponce

"Senator in the 1980s " That's still years after the internet was created and in use.

Rusty Schroeder

Al Gore created the internet and it's January 8th and we will have a high of 75 today. And his party dismisses him and hardly listens to his views, crazy people I tell ya. :)

Ron Woody

I agree with the humor, just trying to keep a fuse from lighting. :)

Sorry, I don't know how to do cute little smiley faces.

Ron Woody

Never mind Daily News did it for me!

Dan Freeman

Regardless of Vice President Gore's dubious claims, the Internet dates at least to the late 1960s. ARPANET adopted TCP/IP protocol on January 1, 1983. It was subsequently adapted to what we now call the World Wide Web in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee.

https://www.history.com/news/who-invented-the-internet

Cary Semar

Relax, folks! Carlos Ponce is our favorite local troll. And he is very good at stirring the pot. For Cathy: "A troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive messages." From Wikipedia, edited for length.

Carlos Ponce

Troll? No Cary. I'm a teacher. Just an information provider to inform the readers. No quarrel was started here. No one was "upset". No discord was sown. There is nothing derogatory nor inflammatory nor digressive in my posts here.
But it's obvious who is the "troll" here. Do you like stirring the pot, Cary?

Charlotte O'rourke

Al Gore: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.“

Words should be applied and interpreted in context. In context, I took the meaning of the entire statement to be that Gore created a multitude of initiatives to help the Internet expand and this expansion was beneficial to our country.

Whether Gore actually created initiatives that had a major impact on creating and expanding internet growth, I have no clue without research.

But I did enjoy the play on words, and considered it a political joke. Each person should read the actual statement and form their own opinion. You know like those tests that ask what the reading passage really means.

[whistling]

George Croix

When I hear the name Al Gore I just think of the pix of the polar bear on the 'melting ice flow', the private jet, the home that uses more energy than an average neighborhood, and the sellout to Middle East oil, and then smile and go along with the rest of the joke....

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