Feeds

Smiley celebrates 25th birthday

Big * and 25x@>--->--- for :-)

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The "digital smiley" - a cunning series of keystrokes which gave rise to the ubiquitous emoticon - is today celebrating its 25th birthday.

That's according to Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman, who says that at 11:44 am on 19 September 1982, during an electronic bulletin board discussion about "the limits of online humor and how to denote comments meant to be taken lightly", he made the following fateful suggestion: "I propose the following character sequence for joke markers: :-). Read it sideways."

Fahlman explained: "I've never seen any hard evidence that the :-) sequence was in use before my original post, and I've never run into anyone who actually claims to have invented it before I did. But it's always possible that someone else had the same idea — it's a simple and obvious idea, after all."

He added in a university statement: "It has been fascinating to watch this phenomenon grow from a little message I tossed off in 10 minutes to something that has spread all around the world. I sometimes wonder how many millions of people have typed these characters, and how many have turned their heads to one side to view a smiley, in the 25 years since this all started." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher
Run whois google.com or whois microsoft.com. We dare you, you PIG◙◙◙◙ER
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.