“Good artists copy, great artists steal with talent.” The main paradox of intellectual property. How much did Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Intel, Blackberry and others “borrow” from each other what was later transformed into a legendary know-how that deservedly glorified another brand?
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Apple II computer
In the 70s. of the last century, microcircuits became cheap and accessible – any enthusiast, armed with instructions from a magazine, could build a PC. The young engineer Wozniak was one of those, and, having become adept at working on the first model of the Apple computer, he created the architecture of the “average” device. It suited everyone, but it was assembled from the same spare parts from the shelves of a local store – in fact, the young company only performed the most boring and time-consuming stage of work for users.
It’s the same as if instead of furniture from IKEA you were handed a ready-made chair for your money. Nothing revolutionary, but the broad masses really liked it – few people were attracted by the prospect of sitting out the evenings with a soldering iron.
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In 2001, Microsoft presented not a prototype, but immediately a commercial product – a small all-in-one PC with a flat body and a touch screen running Windows. Despite the clever advertising campaign, consumers did not appreciate the innovation. The first real tablet lacked a keyboard and mouse, the screen did not have a trackpad function, and the stylus was too expensive for it.
It will take 9 years and Apple will release the iPad – either an overgrown iPhone, or an ancient concept of colleagues in a new design. The Cupertinians immediately guessed to take care of the proper range of software that emphasized the advantages of such a spacious touchscreen, so they did it – unlike Gates’ subordinates.
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Once again, the Redmondians were initially ahead of the rest – the MiPad interface was developed and successfully tested in the framework of the Microsoft Research program in 2001. But since it was purely scientific research, the development of promising technologies, the novelty did not go beyond the walls of laboratories. This was not planned at all, so when Apple introduced Siri in 2011 as an “innovation” for the iPhone 4s, the whole world readily believed it. And the specialized specialists out of habit kept silent – let the managers take the rap for their mistakes.
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Steve Jobs not only did not invent a digital media player, he just did a very competent work on the mistakes, studying the strengths and weaknesses of the Rio PMP300 project – the first operating and quite popular gadget in this category. In particular, instead of the meager 32 MB of memory, the iPod received 5 GB at once. And he connected to a Mac computer to download new music once or twice, while in the case of the Rio PMP300, a rare sync session did without dancing with a tambourine. It is the streamlined, polished to the smallest detail iPod interface that has become a guide to the world of digital music for millions of music lovers. And who in reality came up with the player is no longer important.
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Smartphone – when was it invented?
Surely it was not Apple, the 2007 iPhone was a rethinking, a revolutionary modification, but not the first smartphone in the world. Some might say it was BlackBerry, a former industry leader. Yes, it was the Canadians who taught the whole world that using a mobile phone you can manage all kinds of information – documents, navigation, media, games, the Internet, etc. But if you dig deeper, get closer to the most sacramental definition of “what is a smartphone?”, Then from the depths of the centuries will emerge IBM Simon 1994 release. A radiotelephone with an e-mail function and the ability to receive a fax, the first hybrid of a telephone and a computer in the field of working with communications.
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The Rocket e-Book came to the inhospitable world in 1998 and was rejected out of the box. It’s simple, reading has already ceased to be a favorite hobby of humanity, and those who really loved digitized books were offended by the meager memory limit of a gadget of only 10 volumes. Another thing is 250 MB on the drive of the first versions of the Amazon Kindle – Bezos very accurately calculated what consumers most lacked in 2007.
And therefore, he also did not skimp on an integrated modem for quick replenishment of the library on the go. And a comfortable, high-definition, low-power e-ink screen. The Kindle has become the unofficial benchmark for e-books, and Amazon has begun to evolve from a run-of-the-mill online store into a giant marketplace.
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Window interface and two cynical thieves
The first was Steve Jobs, who sneaked into Xerox laboratories and snuck out from there with the tacit consent of the owners and the GUI (graphical user interface), and the concept of the manipulator “mouse”. All this, in a modified form, appeared in the Lisa computer, on the software for which a young Microsoft associate worked.
And Bill Gates, taking advantage of the exclusive access to the materiel, as well as the carelessness of Jobs, who believed in his “uniqueness”, copied the finished interface. And he also changed a little, creating his famous Windows OS. In fact, the world got to know the “windows” precisely because of her, and who really came up with them – a historical lapse.
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Search Engines for the Internet
Names like Excite, AltaVista, Lycos, Yahoo have been known since the early days of the World Wide Web, and various commercial search engines in the IT environment had appeared decades before. The creators of Google did not invent the “search engine” per se, but they were very accurate in assessing what would be of primary value when navigating a medium of interconnected websites.
And we designed the PageRank system, which made it possible to sort pages by rank according to their usefulness and popularity in relation to the words from the query. Therefore, Google quickly managed to become the # 1 search engine, although far from the first in history.
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Smart electric car
Prototypes of vehicles with an electric power plant began to appear almost two centuries ago, shortly before the Crimean War of 1853-1856. There was not a penny in them intelligence, and they did not differ in driving performance either. And so it continued until the 90s. XX century, until Honda, Chrysler and Toyota launched a new wave of electric vehicles – this time with primitive on-board computers. In many ways, they were required precisely for accurate control of the consumption of the deficient battery charge, which will be quite problematic to replenish for a long time.
The breakthrough came in 2008 – the Tesla Roadster was not a revolutionary invention, but only the quintessence of technology at that time. But since this model did not create problems with refueling for the owners and was distinguished by a catchy design, it became the first electric car to be massively registered on public roads.
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A pseudo-intelligence from a computer, capable of answering text questions inappropriately, was written by almost every senior programmer of the past. Some of the developments by the turn of the century had grown to the level of the Cleverbot or Smarterchild web services, which quite tolerably supported the illusion of conversation with the help of short remarks. The difference between modern systems, such as Slack with a budget of $ 3.8 billion, is only in the availability of more efficient speech recognition tools. Plus, data centers have become closer, at an invisible arm’s length, and the rent of their resources is cheaper. This allows chat bots to go through more answer options, simultaneously search for the necessary information on the Internet and even generate flat jokes.
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Mark Zuckerberg was not the first, and even for the genius of his brainchild he never hoped for lack of such. Facebook’s early popularity was driven by well-tuned virus management, and the idea itself was spied on from the MySpace service launched a year earlier. At first, he, in turn, squeezed in one patch with Friendster – really the first social network in the current sense, whose start dates back to 2002. But there were also forums of interest, and before that FidoNet …
The difference between various social networks at the dawn of their emergence boiled down to the addition of tools with which they became more convenient to use and more useful for users who were initially far from the IT industry. This is how an incomparably large audience was formed – the same Friendster had already accumulated 3 million subscribers in a few months after the launch.
But almost all of them were lured away by the MySpace project, which then became a natural victim of Facebook’s expansion. Who’s next in the chain?