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The Media Censorship The Courts

Gawker Pays $750,000 To That Guy Who Didn't Invent Email (gizmodo.com) 121

Shiva Ayyadurai still claims he invented email -- rather than the late ARPANET pioneer Ray Tomlinson. Now Gizmodo reports that Ayyadurai "will receive a $750,000 settlement from Gawker Media, the bankrupt publisher that he sued for defamation earlier this year." As part of the settlement, Gawker Media has agreed to delete three stories from the archive of Gawker.com, including one about Ayyadurai. Univision, which purchased most of Gawker Media's assets [including Gizmodo] out of bankruptcy in September, deleted two Gizmodo posts concerning Ayyadurai -- over the objections of the editorial staff -- immediately after closing the transaction... The offending Gizmodo articles made the case that "a lot of people don't believe that Ayyadurai invented email," and that "networked communication actually predates [his] computer program by a few years." As Tomlinson told Gizmodo in one of the stories Ayyadurai succeeded in getting unpublished, the email formats that are so familiar today -- to:, from:, etc. -- were in use years before Ayyadurai "invented" them.
The third post was titled, "If Fran Drescher Read Gizmodo She Would Not Have Married This Fraud."
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Gawker Pays $750,000 To That Guy Who Didn't Invent Email

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2016 @11:03PM (#53226363)

    I didn't invent email either.

    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Email? I didn't invent a lot of things that are a lot more impressive than email!

    • Hey! I didn't invent uucp! (rubs thumb and forefinger together)
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Hillary wishes nobody invented email.

      Maybe she can borrow that time machine Obama allegedly used to change his birth announcement in a Hawaii newspaper.

      • by jcr ( 53032 )

        Congratulations. You win the thread.

        -jcr

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      /me too
      where do I sign up?

      If every US citizen that didn't invent email gets $750,000 the economy would be booming.
      And if we all paid tax on it, that would make up for Trump not paying taxes for the last umpteen years

      • by lucm ( 889690 )

        And if we all paid tax on it, that would make up for Trump not paying taxes for the last umpteen years

        Or it would make up for a single day of taxes not paid by Apple.

      • And if we all paid tax on it, that would make up for Trump not paying taxes for the last umpteen years

        And if we all were smart and used the tax laws correctly, none of us would be paying more in taxes than Donald did, either.

        Unless you have actual evidence of fraudulent tax returns (and don't you think IRS would be all over this by now if there were?) then your beef is with the law, not the people who obey the law and wind up not paying what you think they should in taxes.

    • The To: From: etc fields where from standard American secretarial clerical memorandum practice and they were included in the Pitman method, a well known method book on tachygraphy well before the 70s. I needed email when I was in primary school, I wanted to deliver notes to the girls in front of me in the line and wanted no one to know. I was sending them hand drawn flowers made of arrobas: @>----- etc. I was already fearful of being intercepted! So I devised people in the classroom to learn to make orig
  • Uhh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by danheskett ( 178529 )

    In 2012, an enterprising young Gizmodo blogger published the story of Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT lecturer and renowned liar who pretends he invented email. Today, he adds another achievement to the resume, marrying Fran Drescher. Fran, you fucked up!

    Yeah, I mean, Gawker probably would have lost this if they had taken it to trial. These are falsifiable claims, and interferring or attempting to in this way in a persons personal life would likely result in a good demonstration of "actual malice".

    I mean, if it's

    • In 2012, an enterprising young Gizmodo blogger published the story of Shiva Ayyadurai, an MIT lecturer and renowned liar who pretends he invented email. Today, he adds another achievement to the resume, marrying Fran Drescher. Fran, you fucked up

      .... Gawker probably would have lost this if they had taken it to trial. These are falsifiable claims

      What is falsifiable here exactly? Let's go through it :

      ... an enterprising young Gizmodo blogger published the story of Shiva Ayyadurai .....

      The enterprising-ness is just a matter of opinion. It's true that they published something about Ayyadurai, perhaps not the whole of his story (I guess it didn't describe his birth for example, or how he sits on the shitter) but an interesting part of it; this is a reasonable use of the term "story".

      ... an MIT lecturer .....

      True

      ... and renowned liar who pretends he invented email .....

      True. He certainly is a liar to make that claim, and he is renowned in that many people have heard that claim and know it as a lie. I already

  • I say it's a YUGELY sad story because freedom of speech is a good thing. Yes, Gawker pushed the line, but we if we are going to make errors about the lines around freedom of speech, we ABSOLUTELY should err on the side of MORE speech. We absolutely should NOT allow rich bastards to abuse the system because they can afford to hire lots of lawyers and support lots of lawsuits. Now to the predictions...

    I predict you think the notion of blind justice has become a sick joke. Regardless of where you are on the id

    • by shanen ( 462549 )

      Forgot one more prediction. I predict a serious lack of funny or insightful comments on Slashdot. Or does that even qualify as a prediction since it's just a description of the status quo?

    • I am not going to predict the outcome of the election, but if Trump wins, I predict that his promise to strength libel law and thereby attack free speech is a sincere one. Unlike most of his other promises, this is one he can really deliver on, and I predict the Senate Democrats lack the intestinal fortitude to stop him.

      You couldn't be more wrong. First of all, the executive does not get to make new laws, unless you count the executive orders that go beyond the scope of existing law. They eventually wil

      • He'll be able to get enough done that it'll cause problems. You really think even the establishment Republicans would turn down a chance to flood the Supreme Court with authoritarian crazies if they're anti-abortion, for example? That's the same supreme court that would supposedly reject restrictions on the media.

        I'd also like to remind you that history has a habit of populaces underestimating the ability of a demagogue to inflict massive damage on a country when they gain power, by writing them off as "

        • You really think even the establishment Republicans would turn down a chance to flood the Supreme Court with authoritarian crazies if they're anti-abortion, for example?

          I agree that they would be champing at the bit for that opportunity. Same as if it were any Republican President. The problem is that unless there are 67 votes in the Senate that would refuse to block such a nominee, it won't matter an iota. I cannot see the Democrats sitting on their hands over that one.

          I'd also like to remind you that

          • by shanen ( 462549 )

            A little bit confusing here, but I'm trying to separate out the parts from fuzznuts.

            On one hand, I actually think we are in agreement on the theory of how the Constitution is supposed to work. On the other hand, I think your naivete is touching.

            The theory and practice of government are always separated. There are so many examples I really don't know where to begin, but I think the best is probably Dubya's signing statements, even though they never achieved the infamy they deserved. As far as I know, none of

  • by TooTechy ( 191509 ) on Sunday November 06, 2016 @11:52PM (#53226571)

    https://tools.ietf.org/html/rf... [ietf.org]

    https://tools.ietf.org/html/rf... [ietf.org]

    These pretty much cover this...

    • by trawg ( 308495 )

      To be fair though, RFCs aren't software. If I write an RFC defining how software to teleport beer should work that is one thing, but actually writing the software and making it work is another matter.

      I have no idea what this guys claim is/was; the summary implies though that he actually made some software. But there's a difference between having an idea and actually building something.

      And knowing gawker was involved it's easy to imagine they're being dicks about it just for the sake of being dicks. I could

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The RFCs in question are proposals to formalise the protocols used in software that already existed at the time. The first ARPANET email was sent in 1971. Two years later, RFC 561 proposed that the set headers in use should be considered the "standard" so that people could communicate even if they were using different email clients. There were 3 more RFCs relating to the same protocol, until the final one, RFC 733 from 1977.

        The software existed first, then the RFCs.

        • From Gawker's own article: "Shiva Ayyadurai didn't invent email—he created "EMAIL," an electronic mail system implemented at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey. "

          The question becomes - was this the first full-fledged implementation of the RFCs and was it the first to be commonly referred to that way? It seems dubious, but this guy is not patent trolling. He's merely trying to make sure his place in history is noted.

          Honestly I don't feel good about him getting a settl
          • No, it was not the first full-fledged implementation of the RFCs. It was simply the first electronic mail system to use the specific term "Email". That's it. That's his entire claim.

            The RFCs were a reflection of the programs in use, not the other way around.

            Ayyandurai has a reasonable claim that he coined the term "Email" (even though there was a newsletter out by then that used the term "electronic mail"), and by creating an office email system at age 14, he also has a reasonable claim to being a pretty aw

      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        To be fair though, RFCs aren't software. If I write an RFC defining how software to teleport beer should work that is one thing, but actually writing the software and making it work is another matter.

        I look at RFCs kind of like patents. They formally describe methods, behaviors, research, or innovations of something related to the internet. They let everyone know of an idea so that everyone implementing that idea has a basis for things to work together. And they allow people to build upon those ideas in cre

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Monday November 07, 2016 @12:18AM (#53226661) Journal

    Read his claims carefully. If you consider use of a database critical to email then he did invent email.

    Before anyone criticizes me, the above is humour. Yes, everyone outside of Microsoft realizes that use of a database is not necessary for email.

  • Just give me a few minutes to redefine the meaning of the word "invent".
  • I didn't invent a lot of things. Where's my $750,000?
    • I didn't invent a lot of things. Where's my $750,000?

      Contact Ayyadurai and say you did not invent it before he did. He will be delighted to pass it over to the right person.

  • Actually, as I noted in the "EMail Architecture" chapter of the "Handbook of Information Security", to To/From/Subject(Re) structured headers are far older than Internet email, or for that matter, computer-based electronic messaging. The structure of these headers can be found at least as far back as the inter-war period in military telegraphy and so-called tear-tape messaging. Those familiar with telegraphy-based messaging, civilian, military, or HAM-radio would recognize the elements of the messaging fo
    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Yeah. But this is a clear case of taking some technology in the public domain and patenting it by appending "using the Internet".

      I know. E-mail wasn't patented. But in this sense, Ayyadurai isn't even as bad as Apple with it's rounded corners. He's just practicing something akin to stolen valor. And in this case, a kid banging some code out isn't particularly heroic, even if it was novel at the time. He should have just built a digital clock in a pencil case if he wanted attention.

  • Was it a case of Gawker believing their own premise (and that of many other people in the media) that revisionist history is always right and reparations must be made?

  • In action. Iron, feels so satisfying.
  • Married Fran Drescher.

    When did Slashdot start using madlibs for headlines?

  • Curso NR 10 online [institutosc.com.br] curso NR 10 curso NR 10 online

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