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Happy Birthday, Internet!

Happy Birthday, Internet!

What’s the population of Singapore? How many species of salmon are there in the world? Who won the gold medal for men’s downhill skiing in the 1994 Olympic Winter Games? Answers to these questions along with an infinite amount of other information are now easily available to a majority of the world’s fingertips thanks to something that happened 44 years ago today. That’s when two computers, one at UCLA and one at the Stanford Research Institute, connected over ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) to exchange the world’s first “host-to-host” message. This rather inauspicious event is viewed by many as the birth of a technology that became a communication tool now used by billions of people around the world every day. Of course, I’m talking about the Internet.
The Evolution of the Cell Phone: A 40 Year Retrospective

The Evolution of the Cell Phone: A 40 Year Retrospective

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first cell phone call, and one would be hard pressed to think of a more ubiquitous high tech device. Market research firm mobiThinking puts the total number of worldwide cell phone subscribers in 2012 at more than 6.8 billion. That’s equivalent to about 96 percent of the world’s population!How did the cell phone become the most widely used communication technology in human history? A major factor is the ongoing advancement of high-performance, low-power semiconductor components. These advancements improve battery life and enable the continuous addition of new features and functionality that make today’s smartphones a reality. Taking this one step further, the advancements in semiconductor technology are largely the result of work by thousands of engineers and scientists to push the limits of the physical and material sciences.