Less known things that might surprise you about technology in general
One of the first Computer Science Ph.Ds was earned by a nun
Sister Mary Kenneth Keller, born in Ohio in 1914, entered the Sisters of Charity in 1932 and professed her vows in 1940. She went on to study at DePaul University, where she received a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Mathematics and Physics. n 1965, she became the first American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science. Afterwards, Sister Keller founded the computer science department at Clarke College in Iowa, which she directed for 20 years. She was passionate about providing access and information to everyone, not just computer scientists. She also envisioned a world in which computers made people smarter and learned to think on their own.
Changing fonts can save printer ink
Some say that if you use a ‘lighter’ font (with a lighter stroke), you’ll use slightly less ink per page. Based on the assumption that you’re only printing with inkjet printers that use the old style cartridges (not ink tanks, and not toner based laser printers), you’ll likely save about 10 per cent ink by switching to one of the lighter fonts.
QWERTY was designed to slow you down
There are actually two theories to this. The first one starts to make sense when you look at manual typewriters. If someone typed too fast, the keys would jam. QWERTY placed common alphabets at a distance from each other and slowed typists down. Another theory is that telegraph operators designed the QWERTY layout because it was easier (and faster) to decipher Morse code.
92 per cent of the world’s currency is digital
This means that most of the money you earn, transact with, use to buy goods/services and so on exists only on computers and hard drives. Only an estimated 8 per cent of currency globally is physical money. Banks store electronically too and the 92 per cent includes all kinds of transactions done using credit/debit cards and wire transfers.
Russia built a computer that ran on water, in 1936
Before the miniaturization of transistors, computers had a much more visible system of counting: things like gears, pivots, beads and levers were often used and they needed some sort of power source to function. Vladimir Lukyanov built something like this in 1936, but he used water to create a computer that solved partial differential equations. In images of the Lukyanov computer, you’ll see a complex system of interconnected tubes filled with water. It was also called a Water Integrator and was originally designed to solve the problem of cracking in concrete. It’s now found in Moscow’s Polytechnic Museum.
The first mouse was made of wood
It was created by Doug Engelbart, with the assistance of Bill English, during the 1960’s and was patented on November 17, 1970. According to computerhope.com, the mouse was originally referred to as an “X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System” and was first used with the Xerox Alto computer system in 1973. Using the mouse, Douglas was able to demonstrate moving a mouse cursor on the Alto computer in The Mother of All Demos. However, because of its lack of success, the first widely used mouse is the mouse found on the Apple Lisa computer.
A killer may have gone free due to using Firefox
The Florida sheriff’s office that investigated Caylee Anthony’s death confirmed that it overlooked a computer search for suffocation methods made from the little girl’s home on the day she was last seen alive. WKMG reports that sheriff’s investigators pulled 17 vague entries only from the computer’s Internet Explorer browser, not the Mozilla Firefox browser commonly used by Casey Anthony. More than 1,200 Firefox entries, including the suffocation search, were overlooked.
The data can be corrupted by high-energy particles coming from the space
According to makesenseof.com, some scientists have suggested that Toyota’s unintended acceleration fiasco may have been caused by the interference of cosmic rays combined with inadequate fail-safes for recovering from randomly introduced errors. For most PC users, however, invaders from outer space are not the most likely source of trouble. Good ole-fashioned human error is a more common cause. Corruption usually occurs because of user error (deleting or modifying files that shouldn’t be tampered with), malicious activity (malware) or routine degradation and failure of storage media (mechanical and solid state drives).
The first ever webpage still exists at its place
Invented by Tim Berners Lee, the first website went live at research lab CERN in 1990. Created by 60-year-old British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, while he was a researcher at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the website still exists today. The site’s address is info.cern.ch, and provides information about the world wide web – the platform that sits on top of the Internet, where documents and pages on the Internet can be accessed by URLs, and connected to each other via hyperlinks.
And, on a lighter tone…
- In 2012, at least 17 newborn girls were named Siri
- A red panda is native to the Himalayas and southwestern China. Translated, the English word for red panda is “Firefox,” which is where the browser gets its name.
- The world’s first camera took eight hours to snap a photo.
- About 1 out of 8 married couples actually met each other on the Internet.
- There is a factory in Japan which can run unsupervised for 30 days at a time — it’s almost entirely manned by robots.
- In Mexico City, there are special bins that offer free wifi to people who properly dispose of their dog poop.
- On an average day, a typist’s hands fingers travel 12.6 miles.
- The first banner advertising was used in 1994.
- Two hundred and twenty million tons of old computers and other technology devices are trashed in the United States each year.