Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Dec 2011 11:27 UTC
Legal I'm guessing Apple is getting desperate, since its software patent lawsuits aren't doing particularly well. Moving on from software and design patents, the company is now suing Samsung over... Patents for mobile phone and tablet cases (more at The Verge). I think Apple has more offensive lawsuits than products now, so technically, "patent maker" is more accurate than "gadget maker" or "device maker". Fun times.
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rhavyn
Member since:
2005-07-06

Who invented the web browser, Tim-Berners Lee, or the guys behind Netscape?

Applying this to the current situation:

Who invented the smartphone, IBM, or Apple?

Who invented the graphical user interface, Xerox, or Apple?

Who invented the mouse, Douglas Engelbart, or Apple?

Who invented the tablet, GRiD, or Apple?

See what I mean?


Unfortunately you make a really good point, but you obviously don't see it. Tim-Berners Lee might have "invented" the world wide web, but Netscape made it what it is today. Xerox might have made a GUI based computer, but Apple took that and introduced overlapping windows, menus, etc. and made it into what people now associate with a computer. Engelbart might have invented the mouse, but to get from there to the ball mouse that eventually shipped with the Mac was a massive change. "Inventions" that are little more than tech demos are largely useless. And to take away the massive investment that companies like Netscape and Apple made to take what was, for all intents and purposes, a good idea and turn that into a desirable product, well, you can go back to Lee's internet, pre-iPad tablets and pre Mac GUIs and let us know how much you enjoy it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

rhavyn,

"And to take away the massive investment that companies like Netscape and Apple made to take what was, for all intents and purposes, a good idea and turn that into a desirable product, well, you can go back to Lee's internet, pre-iPad tablets and pre Mac GUIs and let us know how much you enjoy it."

I wonder if there's an objective way to make determinations about how other timelines would evolve if variables were tweaked here and there. Often times people claim that things would be worse if X hadn't happened. All can say for sure is that things would be different, but for all we know other time lines may actually be better than ours.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

rhavyn,

"And to take away the massive investment that companies like Netscape and Apple made to take what was, for all intents and purposes, a good idea and turn that into a desirable product, well, you can go back to Lee's internet, pre-iPad tablets and pre Mac GUIs and let us know how much you enjoy it."

I wonder if there's an objective way to make determinations about how other timelines would evolve if variables were tweaked here and there. Often times people claim that things would be worse if X hadn't happened. All can say for sure is that things would be different, but for all we know other time lines may actually be better than ours.


Just to be clear, I'm not trying to make a claim that someone else couldn't have done what, in this discussion, Netscape and Apple did. What I am saying is worshipping the inventor and minimizing the ones who see the promise in the invention and then make it into something useful is incredibly shortsighted. Seeing promise in a technology and making it useful and usable in everyday life is at least as important as the original invention.

Reply Parent Score: 2

tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Unfortunately you make a really good point, but you obviously don't see it. Tim-Berners Lee might have "invented" the world wide web,...

No quotation marks needed -- Tim-Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web, period.


... but Netscape made it what it is today.

No. The web would have been what it is today, regardless of which browser was popular at which time. There were other graphical browsers when Mosaic was catching on.


Xerox might have made a GUI based computer, but Apple took that and introduced overlapping windows, menus, etc. and made it into what people now associate with a computer.

No.

Prior to Apple's Lisa and Mac, the GUI was already very close to what people now associate with a computer.

Apple didn't invent overlapping windows nor menus -- those features were already included in the Xerox Alto years before Apple existed, and overlapping windows and menus were also already featured in the GUIs from other companies, long before Apple demonstrated them.

Here are overlapping windows on the Alto: http://toastytech.com/guis/altost1.jpg

Here are floating menus on the Alto: http://toastytech.com/guis/altorainbow.jpg

Don't add the qualified claim that Apple invented "drop-down" menus, because drop-down menus are merely floating menus stuck to the bar at the top of the window. Furthermore, the Three Rivers Perq had "drop-down" menus on the side of some of its third-party GUI apps, before the Lisa and the Mac.


Engelbart might have invented the mouse, but to get from there to the ball mouse that eventually shipped with the Mac was a massive change.

No.

The "ball mouse" was invented in 1968, at least eight years before Apple Computer existed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_(computing)#Variants

Note in the page linked above that, Bill English (the guy who built Englebart's first mouse) created a ball mouse at Xerox Parc, later in 1972, and ball mice were manufactured for Xerox, starting in 1975 (one year before Apple existed) by The Mouse House.

At any rate, there was no particular advantage to the ball mouse. So, even if Apple had invented it or "popularized" it, it really was inconsequential.


"Inventions" that are little more than tech demos are largely useless.

If it weren't for the tech demos what would Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have had to copy?

No. Tech demos are notorious for having far-reaching consequences in the computer world.


And to take away the massive investment that companies like Netscape and Apple made to take what was, for all intents and purposes, a good idea and turn that into a desirable product, well, you can go back to Lee's internet, pre-iPad tablets and pre Mac GUIs and let us know how much you enjoy it.

Everything that Apple and Netscape did was being developed before, during and after Apple's and Netscape's work. All of that was already happening elsewhere while Apple and Netscape were doing their thing.

Reply Parent Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

"Info.cern.ch was the address of the world's first-ever web site and web server, running on a NeXT computer at CERN."

Hurray!

Reply Parent Score: 2