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Tech Trivia. No. 1

How much do you know about the technology you take for granted? Test your tech smarts with these interesting bits of trivia.

What was the original name of Yahoo?

As electrical engineering graduate students at Stanford, cohorts Jerry Yang and David Filo launched a website that was essentially a directory of other sites. It was a hierarchy, not a searchable index of pages. Their name for their brainchild? A cumbersome mouthful— “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web.” It became Yahoo! in 1994, and “” was born on January 18, 1995. Actually an acronym, Yahoo stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.” The founders favored the slang explanation of yahoo—sort of a rural uncultured Southern country bumpkin, rude and crude.

How much did the first cell phone cost?

It was 1984. President Ronald Reagan had already announced his intention to seek a second term (January 29) and Michael Jackson won an impressive eight Grammys (February 28). March 9 witnessed the posthumous release of “Borrowed Time” by John Lennon. Although it was likely not generally heralded or widely reported, Its proportions were laughable by today’s standards—13 x 1.75 x 3.5 inches, and it weighed in at 28 ounces. It was so obviously cumbersome that even Motorola, who created the DynaTAC 8000, called it “the brick.”

What does sugar water have to do with technology?

Nothing really, but Steve Jobs earned for it a place in tech history by using it in a famous plea to then-head of Pepsico, John Sculley III. Sculley, a renowned marketer was president of PepsiCo from 1977 to 1983. During his tenure, he launched the Pepsi Challenge which gave PepsiCo the edge it needed to erode the market share of chief rival Coca Cola. During his pitch to persuade Sculley to join Apple, Steve Jobs used the famous line: “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” John Sculley became CEO of Apple April 8, 1983. On his watch, which lasted until 1993, Apple saw sales grow from $800 million to more than $8 billion. Sculley’s reign at Apple was tumultuous, however, and he eventually departed amid disagreements about management styles and priorities as well as the future direction of the company.

To what infamous quote on technology is Senator Ted Stevens’ name attached?

In 2006, during a Senate debate of a committee bill amendment to prohibit large Internet access providers from charging fees to give data from some companies a higher priority over other Internet traffic, Alaskan senator Ted Stevens uttered his now-famous analogy.

When were the first Olympics broadcast on TV?

Although interest and experimentation with the basic science of television had been ongoing for quite some time, it was not until 1928 that the first working television system made its debut. Philo Farnsworth demoed it to the press in early September, 1928. The public’s first look at the invention came two years later at the Berlin Radio Show. Only a hand full of years later, the 1936 summer Olympics were the first to appear on television.

Watch the Maestro blog for future installments of Tech Trivia. There’s plenty more where these came from, and we think there’ll be a few surprises for even the most savvy of techno geeks. Stay tuned.

Need more nuggets of knowledge?

Visit Maestro's Resource section for enough information to keep your brain busy for days.

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