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Email's Invention From ACM Technews, July 22, 2002.

"A Conversation With the Inventor of Email" (07/16/02); Gaudin, Sharon

In an interview with's Sharon Gaudin, email creator Ray Tomlinson of BBN Technologies says the invention of email was not very complicated, and its impact was not immediately apparent because there were few computers. He acknowledges that email has had an effect on society, although it has not fundamentally changed people, but merely given them the means to communicate more rapidly. Tomlinson finds spam to be irritating, and thinks that solutions are either ineffective or are filtering out too much; in his opinion, legislation is not the answer. He does not believe that email will change drastically in the next decade, although he does predict more integration with instant messaging and other communications formats, and increases in bandwidth as well as improvements in cable modems and DSL. Tomlinson does not think there is any technological solution to cutting down the proliferation of worms and viruses via email. "You'd have to have the cooperation of the hacker for that to work," he notes. Tomlinson is currently engaged in a distributed systems project in which expert software applications, dubbed agents, work from different locations to solve problems. The Java-based system is platform independent, and Tomlinson's team is using both the Linux and Windows operating systems. Click Here to View Full Article

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