Tag Archives: AT&T

Jew of the Week: Saul Bass

Saul Bass

Saul Bass (1920-1996) was born in the Bronx to Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Blessed with a talent for art, he made his way to Hollywood as a young man and worked in film advertising. In 1954 he designed his first poster for a major motion picture. Impressed by its ingenuity, the filmmaker asked Bass to put together the opening credits sequence as well. Bass realized he can make the opening and closing credits more than just boring scrawls of peoples’ names. And so, Bass single-handedly invented creative film title sequences that are now standard with all movies. His elaborate and creative sequences quickly became hugely popular. Over a 40-year career, he designed the opening sequences and movie posters for countless blockbusters. Bass also produced short films of his own, one of which won an Oscar (and two more were nominated), as well as a full length science-fiction movie. He served as a director and cameraman, too, most famously for the “shower-murder” scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho. Aside from film-making, Bass designed the logos for dozens of big companies, including AT&T and Quaker. All in all, Bass is considered to be one of the greatest graphic designers of all time, and a major force in the development of film. Of his work, he said: “Design is thinking made visible.” Today’s ‘Google Doodle’ is a tribute to Saul Bass, in honour of his birthday.


Words of the Week

This is the meaning of “Love your fellow as yourself”: Just like you are blind to your own failings, since your self-love covers them up, so, too, should your fellow’s failings be swallowed up and concealed by your love for him.
– Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch (1789-1866)

Jew of the Week: Bob Kahn

The Father of the Internet

Bob Kahn – Father of the Internet

Robert Elliot Kahn was born in New York in 1938. After receiving a Ph.D from Princeton, and working at AT&T Labs, he joined ARPA, the US military’s massive research branch. There he led the team that developed ARPANet, which came alive in 1972 when twenty computers went online. Realizing the significance of this tremendous achievement, he moved on to develop a protocol that would allow all computers in the world to be connected. He wrote out the blueprint for TCP – Transmission Control Protocol. A man named Vinton Cerf joined him to develop this system [Vint Cerf is possibly a descendant of Jews himself, as “Cerf” is a last name common to Jewish-Hungarians]. Together they created TCP/IP, which serves as the backbone of the internet to this day, allowing computers to communicate with one another and exchange packets of information. Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf have therefore been titled “the Fathers of the Internet”. In 2004, they received the Turing Award for “pioneering work on internetworking, including… the Internet’s basic communications protocols… and for inspired leadership in networking.” The two have also been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest award in the US). Interesting: Bob Kahn initiated what may be the largest single research project in history, the Strategic Computing Program, which cost over a billion dollars – in the 1970s!


Words of the Week

And at that time there will be no hunger or war, no jealousy or rivalry, for the good will be plentiful, and all delicacies available as dust. The entire occupation of the world will be only to know God… the people of Israel will be of great wisdom. They will perceive the esoteric truths and comprehend their Creator’s wisdom to the full capacity of man, as it is written (Isaiah 11:9): “For the Earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God, as the water fills the seas.”

– Maimonides (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings 12:5)

Jews of the Week: Martin Cooper and Joel Engel

Inventing the Cellphone

Cellphone Inventor

Martin Cooper & DynaTAC

Though many people were involved in the production of the cellphone, credit is given to Martin Cooper (b. 1928), nicknamed the “father of the cellphone”, who made the first cellular phone call in New York on April 3, 1973. Cooper was the executive of Motorola, and placed the first-ever cellphone call to his major competitor Joel S. Engel (b. 1936), a fellow Jew who was also working on cellphone technology. Engel participated in the Apollo space program and worked for AT&T before becoming the research head at Bell Labs, where he had previously co-led the team that developed “the architecture of the cellular network and its parameterization”. Meanwhile, Martin Cooper was born in Chicago to Ukranian-Jewish immigrants. Besides the cellphone, he had many more contributions to radio and communications technology, including “Cooper’s Law”, named in his honour. He went on to become Vice-President and Corporate Director at Motorola, which opened its first branch outside the U.S. in Israel. Their first phone was the DynaTAC, which weighed 1 kilogram and cost $9,000 (adjusting for inflation). Cooper described it as such: “The battery lifetime was 20 minutes, but that wasn’t really a big problem because you couldn’t hold that phone up for that long.” He said that his inspiration for the cellphone came from Captain Kirk’s Communicator device on Star Trek!

Words of the Week

Joel Engel

We have discovered how to hit the Jews where they are the most vulnerable. The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.

– Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah