Wiki Entry #1 Herman Hollerith
IBM is currently one of the largest global technological brands in the world. This power-house of a company carries its history all the way back to the nineteenth-century. From business computers from personal computers, Herman Hollerith was the man who began a revolution that still affects our lives greatly today. What would begin as electrical connections to trigger the calculations of millions of pieces of data, would eventually turn into the modern computer: a technological advancement common seen in almost every American's home.
Although his original plan may have been far fetched from the at home device seen so frequently in our homes, Hollerith's goal was to aid the calculations of the 1890 U.S. Census. The original methods of collecting Census data were done by hand, and as seen in 1880, took as long as 8 years to calculate. With the American population rapidly expanding, the 1890 calculations would have taken substantially longer than the 1880 Census (Aul, 1972). To Hollerith and the U.S. Census office, there was only one option: to calculate the numbers more quickly and efficiently. He entered a contest proposed by the U.S. Census bureau. Herman Hollerith rose to the occasion. As proposed in his PhD thesis, Herman presented the idea of his Hollerith desk, also known as the tabulating machine. This revolutionary machine could detect the location of holes on each Census card, and consequently tally the overall numbers and characteristics of the tabulations. (Hollerith,1889). Herman won the contest, and it was a great success. The Hollerith Desk proved to provide faster statistics at a cheaper cost for processing. In turn, the Census calculations only took 3 years, (as opposed to 8 in the 1880 Census) and saved nearly 5 million dollars doing so.
Shortly after his great success, in 1896, Herman founded the Tabulating Machine Company in Washington, DC. He opened a shop and began leasing punch cards and tabulators to government businesses for the 1900 Census. Understanding that The U.S. Census Bureau would have to pay whatever he charged to produce the calculations, he raised his prices for use of the Hollerith Machines. However, he began asking for such high prices for the use of his technology that the Census bureau began exploring other options ("History: Herman Hollerith). The Census Bureau gave Hollerith an ultimatum to either cut his prices or they would make and improve the machines themselves. Hollerith refused. (Aul, 1972). In a time where patent restrictions and lawsuits were easier to slip past, Census Bureau employees were able to create their own, more advanced tabulating machines, just in time for the 1910 census. Herman Hollerith's company was nearly driven off the market. Outraged, Herman wrote in letters and newspapers to the President threatening to sue for infringement of his patent. After seven years, he his legal battle to the government and the lawsuit was destroyed.
Despite of the lawsuit battle, In 1911, Hollerith and four other corporations merged to form the Computing Tabulating Recording Company. Hollerith was the company's consulting engineer until reaching retirement in 1921. In 1924, the Computing Tabulating Recording Company changed it's name to International Business Machine, also known as IBM. Today, IBM serves as an enormous corporation helping people achieve the same goals Herman Hollerith once did. He revolutionized the idea that machines could producing faster, more efficient ways of achieving data (History: Herman Hollerith). Despite the modern development of computers during the twentieth and twenty-first century, versions of Hollerith's original card tabulating machine still has its place in modern data processing.
Hollerith was a true innovator of his time. In many ways, he set the state for the beginning of machines and computers creating a faster and more efficient way to get things done. He was able to conceive the idea that if engineered correctly, a machine could be programmed to the produce work of a human, in a less time-consuming and more cost-efficient manor. He looked to the future as a chance to make progressions in the way the world works; he realized that computer machinery was destined to grow and impact the world in a huge way. Today, nearly 130 years after the creation of the Tabulation Machine, Hollerith's legacy still lives on in one of the the world's largest information technology corporations.
Wiki Entry #2 Roberta Williams
A true innovator of her time, Roberta Williams is often seen as the “mother” of the adventure video game genre. The first woman to achieve success as a game designer and developer, she stood alone in an industry that was dominated by men. Born and raised in a small California town, she married her high-school sweetheart, Ken Williams, who would later become her partner in creating graphic adventure games. Together they first developed the first graphical game known as Mystery House. The game was a huge success. For video gamers, this was the first time many had seen such a phenomena. It was the first time an adventure game featured computer graphics. The game was such a huge success that Roberta Williams and her husband founded the company Sierra, which would eventually become a major publisher in the PC gaming industry.
The success of Mystery House brought on an additional eight more adventures, including The Wizard and the Princes, which became the first adventure game with colored graphics. Her distinguished ability to create one success after another lent her the opportunity to create a series that would forever make her famous. Requested by IBM, Roberta created King’s Quest, a 3D animated game that involved adventures of a royal family. Roberta’s goal was to recreate a child’s fantasy for adults to experience. The idea of fables and childhood stories was the true inspiration behind her eight series of the game.
Her success continued on as consumers continued to buy her Hi-Res Adventure games. As she continued on with the series of King’s Quest, she was given a $4 million budget to create a 7 CD-ROM horror game known as Phatasmagoria. When asked in interviews, Roberta stated that Phantasmagoria was her favorite game to work on and play because the challenges were like no other program she ever created. The game sold over a million copies. Roberta was unstoppable and it seemed as though the video gaming market was completely in her hands.
Roberta remained an active part of Sierra until 1996, when it was sold to CUC International. Although her company was sold, she continued on to make one final addition to the 3D King’s Quest series, called King’s Quest: Mask of Eternity. Although the game wasn’t as a huge success as the others of the series, Roberta won numerous awards and special tributes at the end of her career. In 1997, she was awarded the Roberta Williams Anthology for her work on the King’s Quest games. After nearly thirty years of creating and producing unstoppable video games, she is currently retired with her husband Ken Williams.
Roberta stands as a pinnacle not only in video gaming history, but also in women’s history. She thrived in a business dominated by men and is known as one of the most successful in her line of work. She revolutionized the video gaming world, and opened the world’s eyes to adventures and fantasies never seen before. Roberta pushed the envelope and expanded the minds of gamers by creating graphics and 3D pictures. She truly marked the “next step” in video games and technology. Up until her creations, people had only seen text-based games that lacked color, complexity, and availability. However, as the computer became more available to consumers, so did video games. She created imagination and complexity; she drew people into the future of excitement and fun. This being said, it is important to pay tribute to such an important leader and creator of what the world and the future will hold.
Wiki #3 Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales, born August 7, 1966, is an American entrepreneur known for his creation of the internet website Wikipedia. Born and raised in a small town in Alabama, he attended Auburn University, earning his bachelor's in finance, and gained and master's in finance at University of Alabama ("Jimmy Wales Biography"). After earning his education, he moved to Chicago where he worked as a options trader, earning enough money to eventually start his own internet company. He first began in 2000, with the creation of an online encyclopedia known as Nupedia. This site offered an opportunity for scholars and experts to create their own contribution to a free, online, encyclopedia. Nupedia's success ran short, and it turned out to be a slow and rather unsuccessful project.
Wales turned to his partner Larry Sanger, and in 2001, created Wikipedia through the use of wiki software. This new and improved site offered the opportunity for anyone to create and edit any page on Wikipedia's website ("Jimmy Wales Biography"). The website saw unpredictable growth and was a huge success among internet users. Often seen as less reliable than encyclopedias, Wales's Wikipedia page relies on everyday citizens to update and create it's pages. Interestingly, the website is constantly being checked for false information and is promptly corrected within 24 hours of any noticeable mistake made ("Internet Entrepreneur: Jimmy Wales). Sanger and Wales parted in 2002 after a dispute related to who came up with the idea for Wikipedia. The site's lack of credibility created a target for practical jokes and editorial wars ("Jimmy Wales Biography"). Despite this, the site was still a huge success and is currently running in more than 150 official languages.
In 2003, Wales set up the Wikimedia Foundation, which was created to support a general policy for encyclopedia websites. As the chairman of the foundation, Wales efforts were unpaid and volunteered. However, in 2008. he was accused of using The Foundation's funds for recreational usage. His wrongdoings were denied, and all accusations were erased. Nonetheless, Wales's success still carried on in full swing (Terdiman, 2009). In 2004, Wales's and a former coworker from his foundation formed Wikia, a search engine devoted to a wide variety of topics. The website was free, and a place where internet users could access free web hosting services.
While Wikipedia's success is extraordinary and used by millions of people across the globe, the website has been banned from many students in the United States. Schools and universities highly disregard the website for its falsification of material and its unscholarly information ("Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Goes Bananas"). The site's feature of being able to be edited and changed by any person accessing the internet leaves many to believe it is not a reliable and useful source of information. The site has been notorious for "fake deaths" and other vandalization.
Despite Wikipedia's weaknesses, Jimmy Wales is a highly successful entrepreneur who helped narrow down the search engine. During an interview, Jimmy highlighted the fact that we live in a world where there is an information overload, and the intention of Wikipedia was to help create a simple, accessible, and an accurate way to gain knowledge ("Internet Entrepreneur: Jimmy Wales"). Perhaps what made Jimmy Wales most successful, is that he has made the encyclopedia exciting again. Wikipedia is currently one of the top ten most frequently used sites, and it is people like Jimmy Wales that contribute to the growth of the internet. The Digital Age is in constant motion and year after year a world of information is made more accessible to users all over the world. Wales's Wikipedia is a pinnacle in understanding how the world of information can be so easily attained.
Works Cited (Jimmy Wales)
"Jimmy Wales Biography." Biography.com. Web. 24 June 2010. <http://www.biography.com/articles/Jimmy-Wales-39135>.
Ratican, Kimmy. "Internet Entrenpreneur: Jimmy Wales." Ontheinside.info. Web. 24 June 2010. <http://ontheinside.info/jimmy-wales>.
Terdiman, Daniel. "Wikimedia Foundation: Jimmy Wales 'absolutely' Not out | Geek Gestalt - CNET News." Technology News - CNET News. 4 Jan. 2009. Web. 24 June 2010. <http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-10130577-52.html>.
"Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Goes Bananas - Telegraph." Telegraph.co.uk: News, Business, Sport, the Daily Telegraph Newspaper, Sunday Telegraph - Telegraph. 7 Nov. 2008. Web. 24 June 2010. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/3399843/Wikipedia-founder-Jimmy-Wales-goes-bananas.html>.
Works Cited (Roberta Williams)
"MobyGames - Roberta Williams." MobyGames - A Game Documentation and Review Project. Web. 12 June 2010. <http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,60/>.
Jong, Phillip. "Roberta Williams - Interview." Adventure Classic Gaming - ACG - Adventure Games, Interactive Fiction Games - Reviews, Interviews, Features, Previews, Cheats, Galleries, Forums. 16 July 2006. Web. 12 June 2010. <http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/interviews/198/>.
Sluganski, Randy. "Roberta Williams Speaks Out ..." Just Adventure - Reviews PC and PS2 Walkthroughs - Previews and Adventure News! Mar. 1999. Web. 12 June 2010. <http://www.justadventure.com/Interviews/Roberta_Williams/Roberta_Williams_Interview_3.shtm>.
Works Cited (Herman Hollerith)
Aul, William R. "IBM Archives: Herman Hollerith." IBM - United States.(Nov 1972). Web. 29 May 2010. <http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/builders/builders_hollerith.html>.
"History: Herman Hollerith." Census Bureau Home Page. Web. 29 May 2010. <http://www.census.gov/history/www/census_then_now/notable_alumni/herman_hollerith.html>.
Hollerith, Herman, "An Electric Tabulating System", The Quarterly, Columbia University School of Mines, Vol.X No.16 (Apr 1889), pp.238-255. Retrieved from <http://www.columbia.edu/acis/history/hh/index.html>.29 May 2010.
Wiki Article: Social Networking and It's Detriment to Society
Abstract: As the Internet expands, social networking websites are becoming more frequently utilized by people all over the world. With the intention of connecting and creating relationships, social networking has manifested itself into an opportunity for people to expose an extreme amount of information to the world. With safety and privacy concerns, a surprising amount of people still fail to recognize that the information they release is available to universities, employers, and hackers. Additionally, it has allowed people to manipulate and control their friendships and identities, all at the tip of their fingers. As these websites exponentially grow, these risks and possibilities will also increase.
We live in a world where the world is placed at the tip of our fingers; where information, opportunity, and communication are just a click away. We are connected to everything, to everyone, and have the availability to expose anything about each other and ourselves. However, upon closer examination, we can look at one origin of this phenomena, known as social networking websites. Sites such as Myspace, Facebook, Cyworld, and Bebo, were intended for children, teenagers, and adults to be able to stay connected and feel connected to their friends and family. As a result, the outcome has manifested itself differently and has had some serious downfalls. We have forcefully manipulated the quality of our friendships and ourselves to form an attractive ego-identity for the world to see. We have successfully been able to alter the way we view one another based on how many “friends” we have and how attractive our profiles are. We have changed the way we communicate, and as a result have lost personality in everyday conversation. In addition, our privacy and safety are at more of a risk than they have ever been. By taking a closer examination at social networking websites, this essay will reveal a generation of people who have shown a lack of concern for their privacy and safety, placed a high value on extreme exposure, and have been able to manipulate the way they create friendships and identities for themselves.
In 1997, the first social networking site, known as SixDegrees.com, was created. Its intention was to combine the ideas behind Classmates.com’s “finding old high school and college friends”, and being able to create visible profiles. In a time where the Internet was just beginning to boom, most did not have networks of friends who were online. The idea of e-mail and instant messaging were still new and even advanced to some people, so the website was ahead of its time. Nearly six years later, social networking sites finally hit mainstream appeal with sites such as MySpace, Friedster, LinkedIn, and Xing. The goals of these websites were to help strangers connected based on common interests. People’s eyes were opened to the idea that they could find another person who shared the same passions and ideas as them. The idea was revolutionary and was intended to connect people (Boyd and Ellison, 2007). Finally, in February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard undergraduate, launched Facebook.com, with the intention of connecting fellow college students to one another. The site, with nearly seven million users to date, has reached through college students worldwide, and has become a part of high school studen’ts and adult’s lives too (Westlake, 2008).
The term “networking” often refers to an initiated relationship between two strangers. While often times people create ties with new internet friends, social networking sites are more frequently utilized between people who are already part of each other’s extended social network (Boyd and Ellison, 2007). While people are reconnecting or forming new connections with each other, social networking sites have created a unique opportunity for people to create profiles. These profiles, ranging in questions involving location, age, hobbies, and uploaded pictures, create an opportunity for people to feel virtually connected to those they may have no idea about. This visibility, which may be intended for personal and friend-use only is available to anyone, “regardless of whether or not the viewer has an account” (Boyd and Ellison, 2007). The amount of information disclosed can vary from person- to-person, but studies have shown that a substantial portion of people give a large amount of personal information. Without the intent of people other than friends seeing, 91% of college students using the networking site Facebook claim they have not read its privacy policies (Jones and Soltren, 2005). Joining a network is easy, but “the lack of basic security measures makes it easy for third parties such as government agencies and hackers to access a person’s data without the site’s direct collaboration. Websites such as LiveJournal were receiving as much as five reports of hijacking per day,” (Acquisti and Gross, 2005). People put generous time and effort into their user-profiles, updating them frequently and sharing a lot of information to the public. When a person exposes information, especially online, there are bound to be risks of privacy. From university administrators to police officers, universities have been known to search social networking sites for evidence of students breaking school’s regulations. Many users choose to be unaware of this, and fail to realize that their information is also shared with advertisers and other intruders (Westlake, 2008). Users are also unaware that there is always the possibility of a security breach. No site is ever perfectly secure, and personal information placed online is a risk that can never be eliminated.
Across different sites, most Internet users are content with disclosing a large amount of information to as many people as possible, including their drug and drinking habits, sexual preferences, and e-mail addresses. Exposure across different sites is unlimited, and risks ranging from identity theft, blackmailing, and stalking have become a frequent problem (Acquisti and Gross, 2005). The populations of networkers using sites such as Facebook are, by large, oblivious and unconcerned about their personal privacy. “Personal data is generously provided and limited privacy preferences are sparingly used. The richness of personal information disclosed by profiles is surprisingly attractive to people,” (Acquisti and Gross, 2005). Internet users are undoubtedly trusting in websites, failing to recognize that exposing name, birthdates, hometowns, and residences can create opportunities to estimate social security numbers. Essentially, every user has an indefinite possibility of not only being connected to hundreds of their pee4rs, but also to thousands of others through networks ties. The loss of concern users feel towards their privacy is indefinite, and the risk many set themselves up to is not limited to physical and cyber risks, but also to corporations and businesses who have hired those involved in social networking.
Recruiters at companies ranging from Microsoft to Starbucks have been known to search social networking websites for potential job candidates. Other companies such as IBM has been monitoring its employees by searching Facebook pages for non-professional and job-related information on profiles. Websites such as LinkedIn are utilized to see what former and potential employees are doing, and the barrier between social and professionalism can be easily crossed. Social networking has appealed to people in a way where they feel awarded when they can share information on their moods or photos from vacations and parties. Friends and family can comment on status updates and pictures, however people fail to realize their bosses and coworkers can also access their intimate information. College students who post pictures of themselves chugging beer in their underwear may think their friends are the only ones that see, but more and more businesses are surveying these websites prior to hiring. In fact, research has shown that undergraduate students are the users who disclose the most information through social networking websites (Acquisti and Gross, 2005). Corporations looking to hire potential employees have been shocked by the amount of immature and provocative material they have found on social networking websites. The idea of discrepancy by most people is ignored, and as a result, many people have lost their jobs or potential career opportunities (Grudin and Skeels, 2007).
The social networking generation, also labeled as Generation Y, has notoriously been marked as being more connected than ever. In large part because “technology facilitates contact in ways that is unfathomable even ten years ago, and eases communication in ways that will forever alter, for better or for worse, the ways in which people relate in person,” (Westlake, 2008). In many ways, the Internet has altered the way we read text and each other’s performances. Social networking sites like Facebook.com provide a form of communication and connectedness never seen in any other generation. These sites offer a collaborative, interactive, and performative text that goes beyond chatting and text messaging. The instant gratification of it all is attractive to so many who are able to communicate more than just words, but moods and pictures that best express his or her nature. With nearly 750 million hits on average a day, social networking sites rank in the top niche of overall Internet traffic (Bugeja, 2007). Social networking has allowed people to update and express any interest or opinion they have at any time in the day, for any person to view.
Social networking has created its own subculture and language. The ease and accessibility of it all brings fear to many people, claiming that the increased use of internet communication will result in lacking the socialization needed to function in society. For example, sociologists Thomas Wells Brignall III and Thomas Van Valey fear that: “If individuals move to use online forms of interaction as the primary way to communicate, the rules of online communication will begin to compete with and perhaps dominate those of face-to-face social interaction,” (Westlake, 2008). While there are obvious concerns that computer-based communication may mold generations to not properly socialize, research has shown that in fact, computer-communication does not replace traditional face-to-face connections. There is no denying, however, that online communication has altered many people’s understanding of public nature and the online performance of self. In many ways, we have lost sincerity and truthfulness in our communications. More often than not, phrases like, “LOL” (laughing out loud) are replaced by a person’s genuine laugh hidden behind an online encounter. The abbreviations towards so much of our communication have brought laziness to the English language. Phrases such as “TTYL” (talk to you later) are accepted and understood by nearly everyone using online communication. The technological medium we use to communicate has decreased our expectations and levels of motivation (Thurlough, 2006). People are attracted to the idea of broadcasting faster and shorter bursts of language, and that is why social networking sites have facilitated a less personal existence for so many.
One of the most recent additions to social networking websites involves the idea of “microblogging”. These websites, such as Twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce, allow users to update their page at any minute with brief messages to the public. They allow people to create and follow friends, family, and celebrities along their day-to-day endeavors. Whether it be the things people do, the places they are, or even short pieces of wisdom, it can all be shared with everyone at the same time. The largest, most common use for Twitter is to talk about and follow what people are currently doing. Users are attracted to the availability of constantly knowing what is going on in other’s lives. Although the line of communication from person-to-person may be delayed, this popular website has allowed people to feel connected by single sentences at a time (Finin, Java, Song, and Tseng, 2007). With the allotment of shorter posts, it allows the user to use less time and thought as a form of communication. Additionally, it allows the user’s communication to reach all of his or her friends in their network at any point in the day. Websites like twitter have facilitated a formation of an egocentric identity that allows people to feel importance in the amount they expose to people. People who “follow” or post responses to status updates reinforce this idea. Somehow, we have become addicted to checking other’s status’s just as we would check our e-mail. With new advancements in cell phones that allow Internet access, these features are accessible at nearly any time of the day. The epidemic that has become social networking has taken on all shapes and sizes and has continued to reach and appeal to millions of users daily.
Whether it is connections to family or connections to celebrities, people in today’s world have placed a high value on the amount of exposure created by social networking. Dedicated to forming and managing impressions, the realm of friendships that is formed through online connections is shockingly high. In a recent study done on Facebook users, the results reported a mean of 272 friends per person. In many ways, social networking websites have changed the meaning of friendship. Once an inconceivable and indefinable, the word “friendship” has gone from personal and meaningful to easily manipulated and based on quantity, not quality. The increasing use of social networking for relational maintenance has replaced many people’s face-to-face interactions and confrontations (Thurlough, 2006). The fundamental idea of social networking created to “connect people” has gone beyond extreme and fallen into an egotistical existence. “The fact that one of the fundamental functions of social network sites such as Facebook is to rend visible and navigable the nature of one’s social network suggest that this information may serve not only to establish how well-liked an individual is, but also to provide clues about the profile owner’s social status, physical attractiveness, or credibility,” (Heide, Tong, and Langwell, 2008). Rather than placing value on a person’s relate-ability or the quality of his or her relationships, we are normalizing and reinforcing vanity and excessive exposure. While nearly 52 million people are currently connected through social networking, socialization and personal relationships are suffering.Social networking sites have allowed people to manipulate the way people see each other and themselves. This façade, based on attractive pictures and the number of friends, is normalized in society and accepted by most people, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. People have become attached to the devices that connect them to a world of relationships based on these standards. It’s an epidemic that is literally increasing everyday.
The intention of social networking sites is and has been intended to bring people closer together. Whether it is connection between old friends, new friends, potential college roommates, or romantic partners, these sites have been created for the betterment of relationship preservation. In many ways, this is the case. Friendships are being restored and new ones are being created. However, when taking a closer look at the outcomes facilitated by social networking sites, it is undeniable to recognize the detriment being encouraged. In so many ways, the internet is a dangerous place without the addition of Myspace , Facebook, or Twitter. Nevertheless, we fail to recognize that placing individual information regarding our whereabouts, interests, and pictures may be dangerous and available for anyone to see and utilize. We have manipulated our friendships and ourselves to fit standards formed by society or ourselves. Furthermore, we have placed high value on the high amount of exposure we give and receive from our “friends” and “followers”. A generation of people who blog their every thought and over-share information with the public is spreading like a disease. With millions of users all across the globe, social networking sites have connected us, yet allowed us to lose personality and sincerity in our communication skills. We have normalized this extreme amount of connection, yet it’s all virtual and formed through the Internet. As time passes and technological advances thrive, the future is boundless for the Internet and social networking websites.
Works Cited (Wiki Article)
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Bugeja, MJ. "Facing the Facebook." The Chronicle of Higher Education (2006). Google Scholar. Web. 30 June 2010. <http://www.scholar.google.com>.
Java, Ashay, Tim Finin, Xiaodan Song, and Belle Tseng. "Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communities." Diss. University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2007. Web. 27 June 2010. <http://www.scholar.google.com>.
Jennifer, Gibbs, Ellison Nicole, and Heino Rebecca. "Self Presentations in Online Personals." Sage Publications 33.2 (2006): 152-77. Web. 27 June 2010. <http://www.scholar.google.com>.
Jones, Harvey, and Soltren Jose. "Facebook: Threats to Privacy." (2005): 1-76. Google Scholar. Web. 26 June 2010. <http://www.scholar.google.com>.
Skeels, Meredith M., and Jonathan Grundin. "When Social Networks Cross Boundaries: a Case Study of Workplace Use of Facebook and Linkedin." Conference of Supporting Group Work (2009): 95-104. Web.<http://www.scholar.google.com>.
Westlake, E.J. "Friend Me If You Facebook Generation Y and Performative Studies." The Drama Review 52.4 (2008): 21-40. Web. 30 June 2010. <http://www.scholar.google.com>.