Thomas Reardon! The Doogie Howser And the Internet Explorer’s creator

A while ago, I purchased a book called “How The Web Was Won”. It chronicles the journey of several Microsoft idealists who convinced Bill Gates to jump into the Internet bandwagon. It was the beginning for the Internet Tidal Wave, a memo written by Gates himself and sent out to his employees in 1995.

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Among the handful of Microsoft denizens  who pushed Microsoft from Windows and right into the web, figures Thomas Reardon. A thin, pal skinned computer and math prodigy with a feature of an Irish poet.

I’m interested in Reardon because he was the driving force behind the Windows 95 and 98 projects and the man behind the famous Internet Explorer.

According to his biography, Reardon grew up in the New Hemisphere among 18 children in a strict working class family.  According to his relatives and significant others, TR was a child prodigy, learning math and computing. He took a few courses at MIT, and at 15, he enrolled at the University of New Hampshire. He was miserable—a combination of being a peach-fuzz outsider and having no money. He dropped out within a year. “I was coming up on 16 and was, like, I need a job,” he says. He wound up at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at first working in the radiology lab at Duke, helping to get the university’s computer system working smoothly with the Internet. He soon started his own networking company, creating utilities for the then-mighty Novell. He sold his company to the venture capitalist and Bill Gates’ former girlfriend Ann Winblad, who ushered him later to the Gates’ empire.

Reardon’s first job there was leading a small team to clone Novell’s key software so it could be integrated into Windows. However, the major turnover in his career came in  1993, when TR saw the original web browser. He created the project that became Internet Explorer, which, because of the urgency of the competition, was rushed into Windows 95 in time for launch. For a time, it was the world’s most popular browser.

In 2001, Reardon left the company,  frustrated by the bureaucracy and worn down from testifying in the anti-trust case involving the browser he helped engineer. Reardon and some of his browser team compatriots began a startup focused on wireless internet named Avogadro. He is now the CEO and co-founder of CTRL-Labs (formerly Cognescent Corporation) specialized in Mind Control, and according to TR, it’s ain’t no sci-fi thing.

Sofiane MEROUANI

eBay plan to jettison PayPal in favor of Adyen

For someone like me who has been shopping online since 2013, it’s going to make a big difference.

For fifteen years, PayPal has been the premier partner for eBay as its payment getaway but the reign is coming to an end.

eBay decided that by 2020 to jettison PayPal as its primary payment processing getaway in favor of a 12 year-old startup coming right from Amsterdam, Adyen.

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But fear not!

By 2020, PayPal will remain a payment option for shoppers on eBay, but it won’t be prominently featured ahead of debit and credit card options as it is today. PayPal will cease to process card payments for eBay at that time.

PayPal’s stock dropped as much as 12 percent on the news in after-market trading.

At eBay, the move is being billed as a way to take more control over the critical checkout experience as other giant online shopping destinations like Amazon and Alibaba have, while giving more payment options to eBay shoppers. Adyen supports more than 200 payment methods across the world, eBay said in a blog post announcing the news.

But it is a great opportunity to seize for Adyen for a small company with a revenue of $178 million in 2016 as compered to the 11 billion dollar cash cow generated by PayPal.

PayPal entered agreement with eBay all the way back in 2003§. The two companies split into separate public companies in July of 2015 and signed a five-year operating agreement to maintain a close relationship through mid-2020.

Sofiane MEROUANI

Ed Neumeier to pen the sequel of the “original” RoboCop. Ignoring all the rest of the franchise. 

It has been thirty one years since RoboCop made its debut in theaters  and became the sensational icon of the corporate satire and ultra violence that marked the end of the 80s. With the success of the first film, the original writers Ed Neumeier and Mike Miner set out to write the sequel under the subtitle of Corporate War. However the infamous 1988 writer’s strike prevented them from finishing the script. As a result, The unused Corporate Wars was never materialized and the production company at that time, Orion, replaced them with the comic book legend Frank Miller. Miller was inexperienced as a screenwriter and the sequel RoboCop 2, even though was filled with violence, did not achieve the same level of success as the original one.


RoboCop 3, rushed into production just as RoboCop 2 hit the theaters was a complete disaster. And the rest is just history.

But now, Ed Neumeier finally gets his revenge. As the writer of the original film, he sets out to write down the sequel of RoboCop 2.  As of now, we don’t know much about the story, whether or not, Ed would just “port” and continues the Corporate War storyline where he did leave it off thirteen years ago.

In an interview with Zeitgeist Entertainment Magazine, original RoboCop writer Ed Neumeier confirmed that MGM has hired him to write a direct sequel to the 1987 film, which was directed by Paul Verhoeven. Neumeier describes the new script as “a continuation really of the first movie. In my mind. So it’s a little bit more of the old school thing.” There’s some ambiguity there, perhaps implying more of a tonal kinship than a total abandonment of current continuity. For now, however, it certainly seems like RoboCop 2 and 3, not to mention the 2014 remake, will be falling by the wayside.

Sofiane MEROUANI

 

A book I do recommend to read: 1995 The Year The Future Began

The title might sound like 1984 by George Orwell. 

It has been a month since I did not publish an article in my blog. Sometimes, you have to understand me. I’m a flight attendant, and I do spend much of time on the airplane. Back in 2012, I was active on my tumblr weblog simply because I had to keep the trend when scribbling about one of my favorite TV Show, The Mentalist.

Things have changed since then. Now, I’m 32 years old and still writing but the cadence has slowed considerably as compared to my former calling as prolific writer on Tumblr.

But anyway, as the slogan of my blog says : “I keep blogging about everything and nothing”

Anyway, let’s start 2018 with a book I do recommend reading. It’s called 1995: The Year The Future Began. It chronicles the events it occurred that year, which according to the writer, Joseph Campbell, it 1995 ushered the world to the new millennium.

The title might sound like 1984 by George Orwell. (but on steroid)

The book digs dipper into major events that shaped American history for the better and the for the worst. Campbell starts with the emergence of the World Wide Web and the infamous, almost bloody war between Microsoft and Netscape. Then, he jumps into Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon with its humble beginning. And the emergence of the Wiki, which allowed the web to be a more collaborative hub for everyone.

1995 was also a tragic year for America, as the world witnessed the pre-September 11 attack on the American soil. The infamous Oklaoma Bombing that claimed life of 168 lives, which many people will certainly remember the photography of the firefighter holding a moribund newborn. It was by far the deadliest attack ever occurred back then.

On the legal side, 1995 was marked by the trial of O.J. Simpson charged for double homicide while on the politics side, The infamous affair between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky that send a reverberation accorss America and impeached the U.S President.

As Campbell demonstrates in this absorbing chronicle, 1995 was a year of extraordinary events, a watershed at the turn of the millennium. The effects of that pivotal year reverberate still, marking the close of one century and the dawning of another.

A good book that I would recommend to read.

Sofiane MEROUANI

Lumia power users will rejoice as Windows Phone Internals is here!

Although Microsoft killed Windows Phone platform due to its poor performance as compered to the juggernauts Android and iOS, Lumia enthusiasts will rejoice as Windows Phone Internals is here. The tool is made specifically for power users who would like to root, and gain access to the custom ROM of their handsets.

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The tool in question goes thru a series of automation required to unlock the bootloader of your phone. Once done, it will allows super user to do whatever they want to their phone, like creating full device backup or using the phone as mass storage.

For people who are mourning Windows Phone platform, rejoice Lumia will have a second breath.

Sofiane MEROUANI

How to write a good horror screenplay

It’s Friday the 13th today and I thought it would be to watch a good horror movie to celebrate the day. Why don’t we start with the original slasher Friday the 13th by Sean Cunningham and written by Victor Miller.

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One might ask, how do the writers scribe a good horror movies that would make a hit when released to theaters near you.

In you want the answer, the late screenwriter guru Syd Field gives us the standard recipe for a good movie screenplay : it’s a very simple blueprint.

The Hook.

Start with a bang. Step right into a suspense scene. (“Scream” opens with a terrifying sequence with Drew Barrymore on the phone with a killer)

The Flaw.

Introduce your hero. Give him a flaw. Before you can put your hero in jeopardy we must care for him. We must want our hero to succeed. So make him human. (In “Signs” Mel Gibson plays a priest who has lost his faith after his wife died)

The Fear. (or the Phobia) 

A variant of The Flaw. The hero has a fear. Maybe a fear of heights, or claustrophobia. (In “Jaws” Roy Scheider has a fear of water. At the end he has to conquer his fear by going out onto the ocean to kill the shark)

No Escape.

Have your hero at an isolated location where he can’t escape the horror. (Like the hotel in “The Shining”)

Foreplay.

Tease the audience. Make them jump at scenes that appear scary — but turn out to be completely normal. (Like the cat jumping out of the closet) Give them some more foreplay before bringing in the real monster.

Evil Attacks.

A couple of times during the middle of the script show how evil the monster can be — as it attacks its victims.

Investigation.

The hero investigates, and finds out the truth behind the horror.

Showdown.

The final confrontation. The hero has to face both his fear and the monster. The hero uses his brain, rather than muscles, to outsmart the monster. (At the end of “The Village” the blind girl tricks the monster to fall into the hole in the ground)

Aftermath.

Everything’s back to the way it was from the beginning — but the hero has changed for the better or for the worse. (At the end of “Signs” Mel Gibson puts on his clerical collar again — he got his faith back)

Evil Lurks.

We see evidence that the monster may return somewhere..somehow..in the future..(Almost all “Friday The 13’th”-movies end with Jason showing signs of returning for another sequel)

Good Luck And Happy Friday The 13th

Sofiane MEROUANI

Boeing to halt the production of the 747. An end of an era for the Queen of the Skies

It’s bittersweet milestone for the people at Boeing who were involved in the design and the production of the 747. The Queen of the Skies, the royal moniker given to the Boeing 747 fleet will be off the manufacturer catalog in the United States.

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The first 747 hit the sky all the way back in 1969 at the time when the demand of people travelling from one continent to another was high.  The plane was also the symbol of America’s power and influence especially during  the Cold War era. The plane was used as the test-bed for the upcoming of the 777 project that Boeing embarked in the 90s.

When it debuted in 1989, the 747-400 was a world beater. Already on its fourth generation, the jumbo could fly up to 7,200 nautical miles and airlines flocked to it for its ability to fly non-stop to and from Asia from the U.S. and Europe even if they couldn’t fill the roughly 400 seats aboard.

Korean Air is amid the last clients to order the 747.

And of course, the most recognizable 747 of them all, Air Force One, continues on for U.S. presidents.

Sofiane MEROUANI