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Is the Web Driving You Crazy?: Using the Gopher Model to Create a Sane Asylum on the Internet

by Hedy Lamarr

I am a ghost writer.

I died from heart failure, chronic valvular heart disease, and arteriosclerotic heart disease at age 85 in my home in Florida in 2000.

In life, I became a film star from the late 1930s to the 1950s. I appeared in numerous popular feature films, including Algiers (1938), I Take This Woman (1940), Comrade X (1940), Come Live With Me (1941), H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), and Samson and Delilah (1949).

I walked away from an unhappy marriage to an Austrian Fascist weapons manufacturer in 1937. In an attempt to stall my acting career, he brought me to his business meetings where I found myself listening to “fat bastards argue antiaircraft this, vacuum tube that.”

I realized that by transmitting radio signals along rapidly changing, or “hopping,” frequencies, American radio-guided weapons would be far more resilient to detection and jamming. The sequence of frequencies would be known by both the transmitter and receiver ahead of time, but to the German detectors their message would seem like gibberish.

The technology was far ahead of its time. Although my ideas were at first ignored, the technology was later used by the militaryĆ¢??during the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962Ć¢??and more recently employed in wireless technologies like cell phones.

As is the case with many of the famous women inventors, I received very little recognition of my innovative talent at the time; but before my death, I was showered with praise for my groundbreaking invention. In 1997, the Electronic Frontier Foundation honored me with a special Pioneer Award; and I became the first woman to receive the Invention Convention’s BULBIE Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award, ironically the Academy Award of inventing.

Proving I was much more than just another pretty face, I shattered stereotypes and earned a place among the 20th century’s most important women inventors. I was truly a visionary whose technological acumen was far ahead of its time.

Fed up with the nonsense tolerated on the World Wide Web, I want to suggest an alternative, impressively secure, document delivery system: Gopher.

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