Back in March, I posted a link to a Gizmodo story about a man whose claims to have invented e-mail the author presented as a sort of translation error. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai invented a program called "EMAIL." Others claimed to have invented the concept of e-mail first. I suspected the story was being aired on a Republican-oriented web site as an inducement to comedians to come up with Al Gore jokes.
Apparently there's more to it. Someone posted a live link to what appears to be a legitimate, informative web page presenting Shiva Ayyadurai's case. Because we've declared a policy banning live links from the comments section, and because I didn't intend to take sides in a serious lawsuit, and because it does appear that a teenager working alone on his own time really did invent a working e-mail program, I'm reposting that link here:
Many interesting links, including a statement of support from the great linguist and controversial philosopher Noam Chomsky.
This web site discusses more of what Shiva Ayyadurai's doing now:
I have, as the saying goes, no dog in this race--no personal interest in any further decision that remains to be made on Shiva Ayyadurai's place in history. Though I do think the idea of a fourteen-year-old boy having invented either one of several independently written e-mail programs, or the first such program that worked in use, makes a terrific story.