The Blit (originally named the Jerq!) was an early graphical user interface, connected to a UNIX computer. Inspired by the Xerox Alto from the early 1970s, creators Rob Pike and Bart Locanthi wanted to make a graphics machine for use at Bell Labs that would have the usability of the Xerox, but with the processing power of a 1981 computer. Created using a Motorola microprocessor instead of a Bell one, the machine would be retooled for the commercial market (business market, because it was still expensive) as the AT&T; 5620, which came out in 1984 — using a Western Electric WE32000 microprocessor. The Blit had a vertically-oriented display and an early mouse peripheral; this video explains how it worked.

There are still plenty of ideas out there, ranging from the extremely ambitious — such as Elon Musk’s desire to fly to the Red Planet in the next two decades – to the completely bizarre – like the MarsOne reality-show/one-way-suicide-mission combo.

Here we take a look at historical Mars plans, both crazy and sane, and the few that really stood a good chance at becoming reality.

Did Germany experience rapid industrial expansion in the 19th century due to an absence of copyright law? A German historian argues that the massive proliferation of books, and thus knowledge, laid the foundation for the country's industrial might.

Uchronia: The Alternate History List is a bibliography of over 3100 novels, stories, essays and other printed material involving the "what ifs" of history.

The genre has a variety of names, but it is best known as alternate history. In an alternate history, one or more past events are changed and the subsequent effects on history somehow described. This description may comprise the entire plotline of a novel, or it may just provide a brief background to a short story. Perhaps the most common themes in alternate history are "What if the Nazis won World War II?" and "What if the Confederacy won the American Civil War?"

In contrast, names these days show that people living in what has become an extremely urbanized society miss their links with nature, Makino says. This can be observed in the proliferation of kanji such as 翔 (shō), meaning "flying," 海 (kai), which means "ocean," and 空 (taka), meaning "sky."

So how do parents decide on names for their babies? Well, there's no shortage of methodologies out there to help with their selection, and many people actually combine two or more of them.

Few people have the chance to watch a shy young man grow into a ruthless dictator -- and live to talk about it. But, for one North Korean professor, Kim Jong Il is much more than the man holding his country hostage. He's a former student.

Massiva bombanfall mot Stockholm, Malmö och Göteborg. En pansarkår mot Sundsvall. Fallskärmsjägare över Östersund. Infanteri mot Karlstad. Intrång vid Haparanda. Landstigning i Örnsköldsvik och på Gotland.

Sverige kunde mycket väl ha råkat ut för en tysk invasion. Historikerna har olika uppgifter, men enligt vissa källor var det bara några timmar före utsatt tid – den 1 juli 1943 kl 02.00 – som Hitlers kontraorder anlände.

The Greek crisis has revealed why the euro is the world's most dangerous currency. The euro was built on a foundation of debt and trickery, where economic principles were sacrificed to romantic political visions. The history of the common currency is the story of a good idea that turned into a tragedy of epic proportions.

And then, in a sort of poetic irony that makes this story almost seem like it was pre-scripted to Teach us a Lesson, JAVASCRIPT succeeded in doing what JAVA had intended to do. Microsoft, Java, Sun, Netscape, all were brought low by their hubris. But humble Javascript, the throwaway, 'you get 10 days to make this', blink-tag-replacing runt of a language was able to sneak onto every computer in the world thanks to its clever disguise. Servers are written in Javascript. Databases are built to talk Javascript. The people who build browsers and operating systems move heaven and earth to make Javascript just a tiny bit faster. Java's still out there, of course. In various forms. It probably makes sure your account is updated when you pay your water bill. It's making the underpinnings of your android phone work. It's figured out a way to play host to a zillion new trendier programming languages. But Javascript won the original prize.

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