You probably haven’t heard of the frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system, but you most likely use it every day. The FHSSCS is the basis for all modern wireless communication, from Wi-Fi to mobile phones, making it one of the most crucial discoveries in the history of human development. You might assume that this technology is a relatively new construction, but it was actually exactly 77 years ago that the first FHSS system was created, being formally patented on 11th August, 1942.

Curiously, the discovery was not made by scientists, but by the actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil. When America entered World War II, Lamarr and Antheil, who had no connection to the military, took it upon themselves to develop a system to guide torpedoes with increased accuracy. Despite their impressive achievement, the US Navy did not adopt the system, and it was largely forgotten about for twenty years, until some computer engineers in the 1960s unearthed it and realised its potential. However, it wasn’t until the late 90s that Lamarr and Antheil were publicly praised for their creation, and in 2014 they were both posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Coincidentally, today marks the 69th birthday of Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Inc. Apple was instrumental in the creation of the smartphone, which would not be possible without the discovery of the frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system, the very one that was created eight years to the day before The Woz was born. It’s a reminder that even the greatest visionaries only get to where they are by building on the work of the unsung heroes who came before them.

All of this leads us to here and now, where we take wireless connection for granted, where we can watch webinars on our phone in bed without a second thought. So, this week, while you relax in the comfort of your home and enjoy a webinar being transmitted to you from miles away, take a moment to think about Hedy Lamarr and George Antheil, and the long journey to the present that started 77 years ago today.

Coming up this week:

Staying alive 101 – working safely

by Gemma Pearson

This webinar is available to view now for members, or purchase for non-members.

This webinar will briefly recap on the process through which horses learn, and thus how dangerous or unwanted behaviours become established. Its main focus will be on understanding the concept of arousal in horses, how we identify it, what contributes to it and how we can manage it. This will allow practitioners to identify which horses are likely to react aversely and alter their course of action to prevent injuries.

Intravertebral Disc Disease: Part two

by John Waterhouse

Thursday 15th August 2019, 8:30 pm

John Waterhouse returns to follow up with more information about this painful disease, and how you can treat it.


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