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The vision of the Internet and World Wide Web goes back to an article by Vannevar Bush in the 1940s. Bush was an American scientist who had done work on submarine detection for the US Navy. He designed and developed the differential analyser which was a mechanical computer whose function was to evaluate and solve first-order differential equations. It was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and developed by Bush and others at MIT in the early 1930s. Bush supervised Claude Shannon at MIT, and Shannon’s initial work was to improve the differential analyser.
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Licklider was an early pioneer of AI and wrote an influential paper ‘ Man-Computer Symbiosis’ in 1960 which outlined the need for simple interaction between users and computers.
BBN Technologies (originally Bolt, Beranek and Newman) is a research and development technology company. It played an important role in the development of packet switching and in the implementation and operation of ARPANET. The ‘@’ sign used in an e-mail address was a BBN innovation.
Packet switching is a message communication system between computers. Long messages are split into packets which are then sent separately so as to minimise the risk of congestion.
The origin of the term ‘Trojan Horse’ is from Homer’s Illiad and concerns the Greek victory in the Trojan War. The Greek hero, Odysseus, and others hid in a wooden horse, while the other Greeks sailed away from Troy. This led the Trojans to believe that the Greeks had abandoned their attack and were returning to their homeland leading behind a farewell gift for the citizens of Troy. The Trojans brought the wooden horse into the city, and later that night Odysseus and his companions opened the gates of Troy to the returning Greeks, and the mass slaughter of the citizens of Troy commenced. Hence, the phrase ‘Beware of Greeks bearing gifts’. Troy is located at the mouth of the Dardanelles in Turkey.
Bush, V.: As we may think. Atl. Mon. 176(1), 101–108 (1945)
Chesbrough, H., Rosenbloom, R.: The role of the business model in capturing value from innovation: Evidence from Xerox Corporation’s Technology spin-off companies. Ind. Corp. Chang. 11(3), 529–555 (2002) CrossRef
Kahn, B., Cerf, V.: Protocol for packet network interconnections. IEEE Trans. Commun. Technol. 22, 637–648 (1974) CrossRef
Malmsten, E., Portanger, E.: Boo Hoo. $135 Million, 18 Months. A Dot. Com Story from Concept to Catastrophe. Arrow (2002)
Porter, M.E.: Competitive Advantage. Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. Free Press, New York (1998)
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