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10 unsung heros of technology

Fathers of the tech industry you may not know


When it comes to technology there's plenty of unsung heroes out there. We've rounded up the ten that made the most impact on our lives.

Gary Thuerk

In 1978, an overly aggressive sales rep from Digital Equipment Corp sent out a pitch to several hundred names on an early ARPANET mailing list. Not only did Gary Thuerk get flamed, the feds running ARPANET threatened to throw him in jail.

How times have changed. Today, 80 to 90 percent of all email is spam and nobody seems to know where it's coming from or how to stop it.

As for Thuerk, he's at HP, still selling computer gear. Is Thuerk embarrassed about unleashing the scourge of spam on the world? Not really. "I'm the first one to do it, and I'm proud of it," he says.

John Cioffi

Not one to blow his own horn, Cioffi shies away from publicity. But, by all accounts, the Stanford professor was intent on coming up with a way to deploy broadband over copper wires and developed asymmetrical digital subscriber line (DSL) technology.

He left Stanford in 1991 to found Amati Communications. He has since returned to Stanford, where his research focuses on Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM).

NEXT PAGE: The heroes of Unix and wireless standards

  1. You may not be aware of these 'fathers of industry'
  2. Tony Fadell and John Backus
  3. The father of telecommuting and the inventor of the mouse
  4. Gary Thuerk and John Cioffi
  5. The heroes of Unix and wireless standards


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