There are quite a few fun facts about technology people are blissfully unaware of. For example, no one seems to know how WiFi came into being. A lot of these surprising stories can be found all over the technology sector, and we have put together a comprehensive list of “fun trivia” people should be aware of. Get ready, as some of these facts may blow your mind!

By: JP Buntinx – The Merkle

 

#5 WIFI WAS CREATED BY A COMPOSER AND FILM STAR

One of the most commonly used forms of accessing the internet is wireless connectivity, also knows as WiFi. Unlike what most people think, the concept of Wifi was created by Hollywood film star Hedy Lamarr. Her mathematical background and friendship with composer George Antheil created the very foundation of WiFi connectivity we use today. Their objective during World War II was to allow torpedo radio signals to hop between frequencies to avoid jamming. One of the broadcast standards derived from this concept is WiFi.

 

#4 A NUN RECEIVED A COMPUTER SCIENCE PHD

It is very difficult to picture a nun having an interest in technology, let alone computer science. Despite the odds, Mary Kenneth Keller helped develop the BASIC programming language and received a Ph.D. in Computer Science in June of 1965. Keller was a sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is one of the orders dedicated to education. Quite an unusual combination back in those days, but it is a clear example of how anyone can achieve anytime they want, regardless of their current life situation.

 

#3 EASY US NUCLEAR MISSILES PASSWORDS

On a more serious note, the passwords for all US nuclear missiles remained unchanged for nearly twenty full years. While that is not necessarily disconcerting, it is when one realizes the password was 00000000. Such an easy to guess password would allow anyone in the world to control these nuclear missiles, assuming one managed to gain access to than in the first place.

The decision to create this eight-digit password was made by President Kennedy, although his choice for the first-ever password of that kind could have been better. What is more troublesome is how no one dared to change the code to something more secure. Do keep in mind this story was never officially corroborated by the US Air Force, though.

 

#2 NORWAY’S INTERNET WAS SAVED BY UNPLUGGING IT

In this day and age of technological innovation, one would not assume the Internet could be unplugged from the wall. In 1988, however, things were very different. Norway’s first ARPANET node was compromised by Morris, a self-replicating worm. Norwegian computer pioneer Pal Spilling was forced to disconnect Norway from the rest of the Internet, by removing one single cable. Had he not done so, the Morris worm would have infected Norway’s ARPANET node, and caused it to malfunction.

 

#1 DOMAIN REGISTRATION USED TO BE FREE

When thinking of getting a domain name, most people are well aware of how this process invokes a small cost. Up until September 14, 1995, registering an online domain name was free of charge. When Network Solutions were granted the authority to charge for domain names, things unraveled rather quickly. At that time, one domain name cost US$100 for two years. Thankfully, prices have been dropping steadily ever since.

 

Source: The Merkle