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'Inventor of Email' Gets Support of Noam Chomsky 288

Posted by timothy
from the today's-bizarro-news-continues dept.
Ian Lamont writes "Shiva Ayyadurai, who famously claims to have invented email as a teenager in the 1970s, is back. A statement attributed to Noam Chomsky offers support for Ayyadurai's claim while attacking 'industry insiders' for stating otherwise. The statement reads: 'Given the term email was not used prior to 1978, and there was no intention to emulate "...a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system," as late as December 1977, there is no controversy here, except the one created by industry insiders, who have a vested interest to protect a false branding that BBN is the "inventor of email," which the facts obliterate.'"
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'Inventor of Email' Gets Support of Noam Chomsky

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  • by jmorris42 (1458) *

    What exactly was there to 'invent' here? Once you conect two computers to each other sending messages is one of the most obvious uses for the ability; probably occuring within seconds of the notion of transferring documents/files. So the name is the claimed invention? The self evident name will be "electronic mail" or some variation in any English speaking country, which all the early networking research was done in. So what is left, the next obvious step of a easier to say/write contraction to 'email'?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:45PM (#40298263)

      Hack like Chomsky? Really? He reinvented linguistics. His influences reach out from compilers to AI to psychology. Hack? Don't judge the man by (your opinion of) his political views.

      • by OakDragon (885217)

        Hack like Chomsky? Really? He reinvented linguistics. His influences reach out from compilers to AI to psychology. Hack? Don't judge the man by (your opinion of) his political views.

        Where did the OP mention anything about Chomsky's political views?

        • Since no one in his right mind can call Chomsky a "hack" based on his achievements for linguistics, there's not much room left for speculations about the OP's motives for choosing this term, is there?
        • by xevioso (598654) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @02:54PM (#40299239)

          A person can be grand at some tasks, like re-inventing linguistics, and a hack in other areas, like pontificating on politics.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @08:03PM (#40303057)

            A person can be grand at some tasks, like re-inventing linguistics, and a hack in other areas, like pontificating on politics.

            Or maybe even brilliant in his field of linguistics, and a mixed bag when pontificating on politics.

            Most of the reason why right wing authoritarians like jcmorris42 hate Chomsky is that Chomsky is intensely critical of the entire scheme of thought in which Western civilization (particularly the US) is a noble knight in shining armor bringing order and justice to a chaotic and immoral and backwards world. (Or would be, if only the leftists weren't screwing it up.)

            Chomsky does himself no favors by being an ideologue in his own way, but that doesn't invalidate the many valid criticisms he's made of self-serving US foreign policies, particularly the really bad ones which are presented to the public (through a kind of Orwellian doublethink) as if the rest of the world ought to be grateful for them.

            (signed, a former hater of Chomsky who eventually realized that a lot of the hate was a cognitive dissonance reaction to logical statements which pointed out contradictions between what I believed the US' role to be, and what it was actually doing. I'm not exactly a Chomskyite now, but I'm not instantly dismissive either.)

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        No. He didn't invent linguistics. He perhaps invented a naive approach to linguistics that only really makes sense when applied to machines.

        • Since the OP clearly stated that Chomsky "reinvented" linguistics, you might want to keep in mind the extent of your own reading ability when you decide to call a certain linguistic viewpoint "naive" the next time.
          • by jedidiah (1196)

            My "reading ability" doesn't alter the fact that Chomsky's work is far more relevant to machines than it is to actual real people and actual natural languages.

            So the distinction between invention and reinvention is probably pretty meaningless.

      • by xevioso (598654) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @02:53PM (#40299221)

        Maybe he means the hack Noam "I don't believe Osamam Bin Laden was involved in 9/11" Chomsky?

        Or maybe he means the hack who said "Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.”.

        Probably that hack.

        http://www.guernicamag.com/blog/noam_chomsky_my_reaction_to_os/ [guernicamag.com]

        • by ToadProphet (1148333) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:14PM (#40299491)

          "I don't believe Osamam Bin Laden was involved in 9/11"

          Since you put that in quotes you are stating that's actually Chomsky's words. Source?

          And PS, they didn't 'quickly learn that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda'. Otherwise, they could have provided conclusive evidence to the Taliban that Osama had in fact masterminded these attacks.

          I don't follow conspiracy theory, but the fact is the evidence at the time was circumstantial at best.

        • by retchdog (1319261)

          more accurately, he says there wasn't, and still isn't, evidence of a legal standard that osama did 9/11, which is of course very different. chomsky's schtick is to generate propaganda mostly without explicit reference to "personal belief," which is partly why he is so effective as a propagandist. it also provides a convenient red flag for identifying right-wing hit pieces; if anyone says "chomsky said that he believes X," chances are good that it's a lie.

          now, i personally think that chomsky is sort of poin

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:21PM (#40300347)

          He is saying quite clearly in that article that the evidence the United States government had of Bin Laden's involvement in 9/11 did not meet the standards required for the imposition of the death penalty by a court of law. They may have had a reasonable belief that he was responsible, but that is not the same thing.

        • For fuck's sake (Score:4, Interesting)

          by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:55PM (#40300723) Homepage

          This is the problem with Chomsky -- people skim what he wrote, then pull out a couple quotes to "prove" whatever point they're trying to make.

          In this case, you're making it sound like Chomsky is a "truther," which is pretty damn far from the case. Nowhere in that article (or any other, afaik) does he deny the connection between al Qaeda, Osama, and the 9/11 attacks.

          He's simply explaining why he disagrees with the decision to execute bin Laden without a trial. Of course, if you'd bothered reading the article, you'd know that.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:46PM (#40298265) Journal

      Chomsky ought to know better, he was certainly an academic in the early 1970s. At any rate, the mail command dates back to 1970-71 and there is a very early RFC detailing an email system. Certainly by 1974-75 the earliest format of what we now call the mbox format was in existence, as was the transport system. This guy created an email system, but his system has nothing to do with the Unix mail system that predates it by several years, and is the progenitor of the UUCP/SMTP systems in place by the mid to late 1970s that were used to broadcast mbox-formatted emails to various organizations.

      In short, this guy's email system was neither the first, nor did it have any influence on the Internet's email system. The claim is pure rubbish. For once I wish I was a subscriber because I actually did a detailed investigation of the various RFCs surrounding Unix mail and demonstrated that the guy is full of crap.

      • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:56PM (#40298461)

        I think the guy is trying to use the evidence that he wrote yet-another-stand-alone electronic mail system (nothing new at the time) and named one subroutine email, therefore he invented the term email. Then there's massive water muddying trying to extend being the first to use that word into inventing the current worldwide internet email system and extending into inventing the very concept of email and extending into inventing email programs as a concept. A pretty big stretch.

        I'm not sure that naming my stereo amplifier that I built with radio shack parts in 1985 the "iPod", because the stringy wiring reminds me of a bean, necessarily means I invented your ipod touch, or I invented the concept of a mp3 player, I'm not even sure if using the name first is all that relevant other than as a trivia question. Going into full blown PR mode with the PR message being "I invented the ipod in 1985" is more than a bit irresponsible. Just for the record I did build a amp out of radio shack parts more or less of my own design, and it worked at least for awhile, but I never gave it a cool trendy name. Should have named it "facebook".

        • by Gilmoure (18428)

          *golf clap*

        • by EdIII (1114411) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:45PM (#40300607)

          I invented Facebook.

          Happened when I was 9 years old and some dickhead was bullying a bunch of friends of mine. One of my friends played the part of bait and when the oaf came barreling around the corner he came to a violent halt when his face started to merge with a large dictionary.

          Word for the day... Concussion.

          Seriously though, it was a term for awhile. That dude got facebook'd.

      • by trb (8509)
        RFC 524 proposed a networked mail protocol in 1973. It notes that there was already a MAIL command for sending networked mail (on the ARPANET).

        http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc524 [ietf.org]

        I agree that the guy's claim is dopey, and I'm not paying careful attention to Chomsky's claim, but I suspect that here he is playing some semantic game that he finds relevant in theory, but serves no useful purpose in fact.

        • It would appear so. I'm sure if someone were to dig, they'd find emails Chomsky sent that predate this guy's "EMAIL" program

          • by trb (8509)
            The guy wrote a program called EMAIL, and he copyrighted the name EMAIL. If he wrote a program called FMAIL, he could have copyrighted the name FMAIL. That doesn't mean he invented anything or did anything innovative. Again, saying he "invented email" is silly.
      • by mounthood (993037)

        I'll try to summarize and address his argument. Please enlighten us with facts about the history of email. From the press release:

        As late as December 1977, Mr. David Crocker, one of Shiva's detractors, part of the ARPAnet coterie, clearly stated in a report he authored, "...no attempt is being made to emulate a full-scale, inter-organizational mail system." ...

        Email, upper case, lower case, any case, is the electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational mail system, the email we all experience today -- and email was invented in 1978 by a 14-year-old working in Newark, NJ. The facts are indisputable.

        So the argument is simple:
        1. Give the definition of email as "the electronic version of the interoffice, inter-organizational mail system, the email we all experience today".
        2. Cite the 1977 report as evidence that ARPAnet (et. al.) were not creating email (as defined.)
        3. Conclude ARPAnet didn't invent email.

        First, 'the email we all experience today' is not a technical descendant

        • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:04PM (#40300147) Journal

          To be clear, Tomlinson himself would never make the claim he invented email, e-mail, electronic mail or whatever. What he did was to extend the

          mail

          and underlying infrastructure to allow the routing of messages based upon whether the recipient was on the local host or on an external host. Email systems most certainly predated his work, and I suspect that you will even find routed electronic mail systems existed before (certainly Telix would fit that category).

          Tomlinson is noted because he extended the mail system which had its origins in Multics (functionality was duplicated in Unix) to encompass ARPANet. Later work also allowed mail to be routed via other transmission channels; most famously UUCP and its (in)famous bang paths, which also predate 1978. In fact, by the mid-1970s the technical specifications were at a level that you could open up a copy of email from that period in Alpine or Thunderbird and it would handle it correctly. By the mid-1970s the mail systems available in Unix and ARPANet-capable systems was sufficiently evolved that one could send email from any compatible node (whether ARPANet, UUCP or some other facility) and delivery to other institutions or agencies, both in the US and abroad, was being done.

          This history is also nicely documented by the RFCs themselves, you can see the evolution of the Internet mail transit systems from the early Multics and Unix local system only variants all the way to fully routed email by 1973, with improvements after that in the structure of the mbox format itself and in the transmission protocols. This Shiva fellow had absolute nothing to do with any of it. He was not a developer of any of the principle technologies, he was not an author of any of the RFCs, his system did not come into any kind of general use, and even by the early 1980s with the first major BBSs like CompuServe to come online, they all used their own electronic mail systems, while ARPANet continued to grow and the email infrastructure, daemons and clients along with it. His software is a little (actually, until he got busted making absurd claims, pretty much unknown) dead end variant on a concept that dates back a couple of decades before he wrote it.

    • by ls671 (1122017)

      It is still nice to remember the old UUCP mail back in those days.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UUCP#UUCP_for_mail_routing [wikipedia.org]

      I will let others debate who really invented email. You have a point there although...

    • by jythie (914043)
      Obvious today, not so much at the time. Though I can not comment on this particular person's place in history, I can say that such things were not exactly obvious even once basic networking was in place, esp since the idea of 'sharing documents' was not there right out of the gate either.
  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:48PM (#40298309) Homepage
    You see this pretty often when someone is very smart and makes revolutionary discoveries in their own field. They essentially convince themselves that they are an expert on everything and have opinions worth having about everything. In the case of the Chomsky that's gotten also wound up in his politics and apparent desire for counter-narratives to standard histories especially when the standard versions are primarily about white Westerners. This isn't that dissimilar to how Linus Pauling developed weird ideas about vitamin C, or how Kary Mullis has decided that global warming is a hoax, that ozone depletion is a hoax, that HIV doesn't cause AIDS, that the Fed Reserve is part of a big conspiracy, and a few other strange ideas besides. None of this should be taken to diminish Chomsky's work in linguistics which was altogether very impressive.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:54PM (#40298429) Journal

      My problem with this specific claim is that Chomsky was around and most certainly must have been using Unix-based mail systems before this twerp developed his little system (that had no influence on the history of email itself). I can't understand where Chomsky is coming from on this. The guy didn't invent email, not even by the definition that Chomsky himself provides. He developed an independent system that seems not at all rooted in the considerable work done over the seven or eight previous years nor did it in any way influence the later development of later email systems. There were no lack of alternative email systems, and Exchange-Outlook are Lotus Notes are based on such systems out of the late 1970s and the 1980s, but the king of them all, SMTP transmitting mbox-structured email, can be directly linked back to the mail command to be found in the first version of Unix. There is a clear genealogy, and that even goes back into the 1960s with Multics. The RFCs are all there, hard proof that this guy did not invent some routed multi-organizational email system, that in fact, academia and the US government had been using such a system, which is the direct ancestor of Internet mail we use today. Hell, by the mid-1970s we had RFCs relating to the mbox format that made an mbox format that pretty much every mail program out there today could open.

      • There is a clear genealogy, and that even goes back into the 1960s with Multics.

        Yeah - a while ago, I lost a day reading through the stuff on www.multicians.org. I remember this [multicians.org] story, though, relevant to this Slashdot article.

    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @02:05PM (#40298549)

      You see this pretty often when someone is very smart and makes revolutionary discoveries in their own field. They essentially convince themselves that they are an expert on everything and have opinions worth having about everything.

      I think this has the cause and effect backwards. These people made revolutionary discoveries because they were self-confident, open to questioning basic assumptions, and willing to endure ridicule for proposing unconventional theories. People like this are wrong 99% of the time, but can make some really big breakthroughs the other 1% of the time.

      • by Bryansix (761547)
        Any comment that implies Noam Chomsky is wrong 99% of the time is a comment I can get behind. It is interesting because it is true.
    • by radtea (464814)

      None of this should be taken to diminish Chomsky's work in linguistics which was altogether very impressive.

      I think you misspelled "mostly wrong". Interesting, sure. But mostly wrong: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/10/daniel-everett-amazon [guardian.co.uk]

      I realize there is still ongoing debate about this because Chomsky has always fiercely defended his theory-of-the-moment, but whole notion of a "language instinct" is pretty tenuous on purely evolutionary grounds. All features of organisms are genetic tendencies that elaborate themselves in a particular developmental context. The insistence that there is a single,

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And these are Chomsky critics in a nutshell. They don't /have/ to disprove anything based on a genuine analysis of the facts, they just have to mention that he's "a brilliant linguistic, and has therefore convinced himself he's an expert on everything", point to the fact his conclusions are /far/ away from the mainstream, and the average person has, without ever seeing a valid examination, been convinced that he's just an old crackpot.

      Maybe he's wrong on this claim. It doesn't seem anyone here is convinced.

      • Thanks for articulating that very well. It actually takes some effort to analyze the facts and try to make a well reasoned argument. I guess that's why so many people take the easy way out to show themselves they are right, and just say something like "X is a crackpot, therefore don't listen to X".

      • Your last question: Because he's one of the last commies standing. Hence all the other commies have to ref him. Even better he's not a *studies type moron. Which even they know says 'Everything I say is dogma, I'm beyond reason.'

        This all has to do with the terrible state of humanities education. Relativism is just stupid.

  • Mumps? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dickens (31040) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:48PM (#40298319) Homepage

    When I started at DEC in 1980 we had a PDP-11 running DEC Standard Mumps that had a program that did email. I believe it was actually called "email" too.
    It was not new at the time.

    • Re:Mumps? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by isdnip (49656) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:02PM (#40299341)

      I was there too. The system in question was called EMS, or Corporate Electronic Mail System. It only supported a couple of thousand users because it wasn't networked. It ran on a standalone computer with about 30 modems on it, so you dialed in to read or send mail. All messages stayed on that machine, in one big MUMPS global file. And the program went down daily to maintain the global. Plug-ugly. Many more DEChies used the DECnet email system on the Engineering Network. That one had ARPAnet gateways, and was a real networked mail system.

      Shiva's work was more like CEMS, a closed non-network toy system. By the standards of its day, it was pretty primitive. By 1977, BBN's HERMES did more than Shivas ever did, over the ARPAnet. And was user friendly, not just a geek tool.

  • by Sebastopol (189276) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:49PM (#40298341) Homepage

    Most of my immediate rants are captured already:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva_Ayyadurai#Email_claims [wikipedia.org]

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Seems like these guys are using the "iPod argument".

      Sure other people invented all of the pieces but they were the first ones to tie it together with a bow and make it easy to use. It sounds like they MAY have created the first walled garden mail system along the lines of Lotus Notes or Outlook/Exchange.

      Want a "word processor" for your email program? Just point your email client to a suitable editor.

      "Tight integration" isn't exactly required.

    • by s.petry (762400)

      I very much like the point that writing a function or program called "AIRPLANE" does not make you Wilbur Wright! I spit some coffee out laughing at that one...

    • ...so I found an article on the history of Electronic Mail that names all of the relevant RFCs and their date of publication, beginning in 1972, with links:

      http://www.livinginternet.com/e/ei.htm [livinginternet.com]

      Chomsky sucks at websearch... altho the crux of his argument is linguistic, where "email" was not in use before '81, and therefore Ayyadurai's innovation was a new contraction. I can see how that would be a big deal to a linguist - using "email" instead of "electronic mail" or "mail." It's an innovation of the profou

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:51PM (#40298381)

    It's ridiculous for Chomsky to say only "industry insiders" care about this, and that the reason is they're looking to protect BBN. That is a complete falsehood! The loudest voices speaking against Ayyadurai are from the Society for the History of Technology's Special Interest Group for Computers, Internet, and Society. "SIGCIS" as it's known is the world's leading body of historians in the computer field. (It is not an "Internet cabal" as Boston Magazine recently claimed.) I'm a member; as serious historians the only thing SIGCIS is looking to "protect" is historical context.

    • by cartman (18204)

      That is a complete falsehood!

      Chomsky relies heavily upon ad hominem arguments these days.

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:59PM (#40298491)

    All TFA says is V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai wrote a program called "EMAIL" and registered a copyright for it. There is not even a claim that it was actually tried out over a network, or a discussion of how the protocol worked or how it would scale.

    Certainly this does make clear that "email" was not a totally original idea when BBN "invented" it, but neither was the light bulb original when Edison invented it. There is a certain value to making something actually work. (And yes, I know Edison was a douchebag [theoatmeal.com]. He still invented the light bulb, dammit!)

    If it's any consolation, BBN made as much money off licensing their e-mail technology as Ayyadurai did: zero. This was back in the days when researchers shared their work. Contrast with how today's technology companies behave with respect to intellectual property and you'll see why I think Chomsky's denunciation of BBN is a bit overblown.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @02:06PM (#40298565) Journal

      Ayyadurai was shopping himself around as the inventory of email. When he got nailed by several people who demonstrated by simply going through the relevant RFCs dating back to around 1970-71 that this guy had absolutely nothing to do with the development of the electronic mail system that even by 1978 was the prevalent system for much of Western academia, suddenly it became this "I copyrighted a bit of software". He was cut so grossly overinflating his importance that I think you have to call him a liar.

      As to Chomsky, as I've said, he most certainly must have been using Unix-based mail back in those days, so I can't figure out how he can justify coming to this guy's defense.

      • by SirGarlon (845873)

        As to Chomsky, as I've said, he most certainly must have been using Unix-based mail back in those days, so I can't figure out how he can justify coming to this guy's defense.

        Hey, I admire Chomsky for his principles, but even I admit he has an ego the size of a planet and will use the thinnest pretext to get his name in the headlines again.

        • by jmorris42 (1458) *

          > I admire Chomsky for his principles, but even I admit he has an ego the size of a
          > planet and will use the thinnest pretext to get his name in the headlines again.

          This word you use, I do not think it means what you think it means. If your definition of 'principles' includes the notion that bearing false witness is acceptable then I must question your moral compass as well as Chomsky's.

          Perhaps you should log off and spend a quiet month or two in study and reflection on basic principles or morality a

          • by idontgno (624372)

            If your definition of 'principles' includes the notion that bearing false witness is acceptable then I must question your moral compass as well as Chomsky's.

            Actually, the relevant question isn't whether GPP's principles include moral support for truthfulness... the relevant question is whether Chomsky's principles do.

            I wonder if "telling a lie to tell a more important truth" isn't the problem. Chomsky's contrafactual take on the argument tells me that he's advocating something more important to him than m

            • by jmorris42 (1458) *

              > Actually, the relevant question isn't whether GPP's principles include moral support for truthfulness...

              No. The poster I replied to said he 'admired Chomsky's principles' and in the same breath admitted he was almost certainly bearing false witness. Don't know about you but my moral code only has a small number of exceptions to the unacceptability of lying. Things like deception in wartime, etc. Lying to advance an academic argument is simply must be out of bounds if civilization is to remain a via

    • by berashith (222128)

      I thought that the invention that BBN provided was the @ in the address. I worked there, and the lore came up a lot. I walked past the picture of the guy every day in the lobby ( which btw was the greated corp PR picture ever, he was lieing on his side, propped on an elbow ) . I even spoke with him at a christmas event ( but not about email) . I do know that even while this was done, it was seen as an obvious step. A symbol was needed that wasnt used often, so it wouldnt conflict with any names or such that

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      > There is a certain value to making something actually work.

      He can't claim credit for that either.

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      He still invented the light bulb, dammit!

      Here is where semantics come in Edison did not invent the "light bulb" he invented the "first commercially viable incandescent light bulb". The term "light bulb" is much too broad to describe what Edison did while "first commercially viable incandescent bulb" is much more accurate. The issue comes in when people write about Edison and find that the longer, more accurate, term is too cumbersome and opt for the shorter, less accurate, term. It would be the same if Ford was credited with inventing "manufacturi

  • who invented Noam Chomsky?

    I mean as some sort of authority figure

    • The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
      --Dalai Lama

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        LOL

        a statement against authority figures, and an appeal to reason, as spoken by an authority figure

        I agree with the quote, I just find the paradox funny

  • SIGH [ietf.org] :(
  • That website of his [inventorofemail.com] (which makes some pretty ridiculous claims) has a public comments section. Disqus is an option for sign-in.
  • Noam Chomsky and the linked website go out of the way to not mention Ray Tomlinson. Mr Chomsky does not compare Tomlinson's program from 1971 to Ayyadurai's program in 1977. A real argument would go feature by feature and explain what was present and what was missing. Instead Chomsky pretends Tomlinson doesn't exist. The linked site http://www.inventorofemail.com/ [inventorofemail.com] even has the gall to refer to Tomlinson as a mascot instead of using his name. All evidense is hand waved away with no explanation. Why do the RF
  • I don't usually start my own threads but I just want this comment to stand alone....

    Who the fuck cares who invented email?!! This guy is pretty obviously a nut. I mean come on how full of yourself do you actually have to be to register inventorofemail.com
  • by medv4380 (1604309) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:13PM (#40299467)
    Chomsky is confused. Every hacker, and computer geek knows, or at least should know, that this guy is a lier. I'd hardly call the opinions of the average Slashdotter the opinion of an Industry Insider. More like Industry Anarchist.
  • by GerryHattrick (1037764) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:49PM (#40299935)
    Fred Hoyle was to astrophysics what Noam Chomsky is to linguistics.
  • Mail-from: BBN-TENEXA rcvd at 22-JUL-75 0617-PDT
    Date: 22 JUL 1975 0904-EDT
    Sender: MOOERS at BBN-TENEXA
    Subject: MSGGROUP# 099 The Attention Subfield in The MAILSYS Address Fields.
    From: MOOERS at BBN-TENEXA
    To: [ISI]Mailing.List:
    Cc: HENDERSON, RBRACHMAN, ULMER
    Message-ID:
    Reference: Kirstein "The Attention Field", Msggroup #82.

    Discussion of Kirstein's message of July 7.

    The problem is that one MAILBOX sometimes serves a group of users
    or projects. How can the messages, as they arrive, be brought to
    the attention

    • by quag7 (462196)

      Mail from USC-ISI rcvd at 8-APR-76 1202-PST
      Date: 8 APR 1976 1110-PST
      Sender: STEFFERUD at USC-ISI
      Subject: MSGGROUP# 314 Welcome Richard Stallman (RMS@MIT-AI)
      From: STEFFERUD at USC-ISI
      To: [ISI]Mailing.List:
      Message-ID:

      Please add RMS@MIT-AI (Richard Stallman) to your MsgGroup mailing
      list, or obtain a new copy form [ISI]Mailing.List;56.

      Richard and Ken Harrenstien (KLH@MIT-AI) have been perusing the
      MsgGroup Proceedings and have raised a number of issues that I
      think are well worth discussion.

      So, Welcome to MsgGro

  • I sent my first e-mail in 1977 in college. We just didn't use that term for it. We called it "a message" for lack of a simpler term (though arguably "email" might be simpler for being shorter, but that name didn't enter the picture because we were not using postage stamps).

    Basically, it was on the IBM mainframe running VM/CMS at our school. It was done in some simple batch scripts that accessed the punch card reader queues in each virtual machine (a login session created a virtual machine with ran a prim

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:26PM (#40300421)

    I am the second Emperor of the United States, Norton II.

  • Noam Chomsky, renowned internet expert.

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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