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Ivan Sutherland Wins Kyoto Prize

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the and-the-winner-is dept.

Graphics 44

cstacy writes "The Inamori Foundation has awarded the Kyoto Prize to graphics pioneer Ivan Sutherland, for developing Sketchpad in 1963. The award recognizes significant technical, scientific and artistic contributions to the 'betterment of mankind, and honors Sutherland him for nearly 50 years of demonstrating that computer graphics could be used "for both technical and artistic purposes.'"

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Kyoto Prize (3, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#41953971)

Is this something to do with preventing global warming?

Re:Kyoto Prize (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41953987)

Fucking Republicans. Obama wins, and they think they own the world.

Re:Kyoto Prize (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41954379)

This prize has nothing to do with global warming. As I'm sure everyone here knows, Kyoto is a city, and not everything from there is related to the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Prize has been awarded annually since 1985 by the Inamori Foundation, founded by Kazuo Inamori. The prize is a Japanese award similar in intent to the Nobel Prize, as it recognizes outstanding works in the fields of philosophy, arts, science and technology. The awards are given not only to those that are top representatives of their own respective field, but also to those that have contributed to humanity with their work.

Prizes are given in the fields of Advanced Technology, Basic Sciences and Arts and Philosophy. Within each broad category, the prize rotates among subfields, e.g. the technology prize rotates across electronics, biotechnology, materials science and engineering, and information science. The prize was endowed with 50 million yen and Kyocera stock. The prize is rising in prestige[opinion] as it covers fields not often awarded by the Nobel Prizes.

Re:Kyoto Prize (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41954461)

Read TFA before posting.

Re:Kyoto Prize (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 2 years ago | (#41956253)

Read TFA before posting.

GP is referring to the Kyoto Protocol [] .

Re:Kyoto Prize (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41968049)


How about a prize for MS Paint? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41954045)

It has surely been at least as influential.

Sketchpad Video (5, Informative)

Cito (1725214) | about 2 years ago | (#41954057)

Awesome video footage seeing Sketchpad in operation. []

Steve Jobs! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41954397)

Awesome video footage seeing Sketchpad in operation. []

Gee Steve Jobs looked different back then....

Was this before he invented air and water, or after? ;-)

Re:Sketchpad Video (5, Interesting)

GODISNOWHERE (2741453) | about 2 years ago | (#41954585)

One thing that really caught my attention in this video was a throwaway comment about the input pen. It was found to be a failure because the blood would drain from the hand after about twenty seconds, leaving the user with a numb hand. Kay then goes on to say that the input pen had been reinvented about 90 times by other people in the twenty years since the demonstration. This underscores the importance of learning tech history. You can learn from the mistakes of others and avoid reinventing the wheel, and you can avoid being swept up in fads that plague the industry (touch based operating system, anyone?).

Re:Sketchpad Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41955149)

Virtual reality? 3D printing? Space colonization? Same reasoning applies.

Re:Sketchpad Video (1)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#41956033)

They could have just re-oriented the screen so that it was horizontal or at say 30 degrees from horizontal, and it would have been far more comfortable. I had no clue they had such amazing input tech back then.

Re:Sketchpad Video (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 2 years ago | (#41956617)

I would add eye-movement-based interaction to this list of stupid things that everyone feels to be the next big thing. Eye movements are used for visual exploration. If you limit yourself to eye tracker input, it's not generally possible to discriminate between exploration and desired interaction. If you want to provide inputs, you can't explore, and vice-versa.

Re:Sketchpad Video (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 2 years ago | (#41962367)

If you use *only* eye-movement, then perhaps (though you could definitely do something like "look at and pause a bit before it acts upon your look"), but just like with the original use of the mouse, it could be combined with the keyboard or other input device.

Since I'm basically always looking at what I'm interacting with, at least briefly (touch-typing being one big exception), using my eyes as part of the interaction UI is perfectly reasonable, if done well.

Re:Sketchpad Video (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 2 years ago | (#41966797)

So, I gather you've never actually done it, then :) The "look at and pause a bit" thing is generally speaking a pipe dream. Our visual system doesn't work that way. Once you have other input devices available, eye movement quickly becomes unnecessary. It's only useful as the last recourse.

Do recall that our eye's area of highest resolution is a couple degrees across. The real "pointing error" when using eye movements, assuming no errors from the eye tracker at all (pipe dream too), is bound within +/- 5 degrees. The distribution has a peak, but for practical purposes must be assumed to be uniform, since you have to cope with mispointings even if they are a bit less frequent than pefect pointings. Never mind that if there's anything even remotely new and interesting, or changing, on the display, it will often redirect your gaze no matter what you "want" to do, since gaze redirection is usually not a conscious process. When you're pointing with your eyes, the display must be frozen. It's a pain in the ass and only useful if you're severely disabled and can't move anything but your eyes (ALS comes to mind).

Re:Sketchpad Video (1)

lahvak (69490) | about 2 years ago | (#41958407)

Considering that artists were painting or drawing on vertical or nearly vertical surfaces for many centuries, maybe it was just a particularly bad design that made the pen hard to use.

Re:Sketchpad Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41955469)

> "How did you do this in a year?"
> "Well, I didn't know this would be hard; there's nothing like this before"


Re:Sketchpad Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41956369)

We still don't have one, so much for progress, no input device, just a reading tablet, and then it's not even Microsoft or a pc but a closed apple device, not even Linux

Sketchpad-Apple is Pandora's box (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41954063)

They should never have made this award!

Did nobody notice the images in the Wiki entry were Sketchpad-Apple.jpg?

Everybody manufacturing computers for interactive use can now expect to be sued into oblivion!

Wiki article alone doesn't do it justice (5, Informative)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | about 2 years ago | (#41954093)

I recommend watching this video of Sketchpad narrated by Alan Kay [] . You have to remember this is from 1963. It demonstrated copy and paste, rotation and scaling, a pointer based graphical interface, and more. Pretty damn impressive.

Re:Wiki article alone doesn't do it justice (-1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 2 years ago | (#41954117)

I'm totally with you. Ivan seriously deserves that climate award.

Re:Wiki article alone doesn't do it justice (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 2 years ago | (#41955579)

The Youtube comments are worth a read. Kids nowadays... [shakes head] I just want to know why the symbol editor in OrCAD still sucks so bad. Maybe I should send them the link to the video?

Neat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41954241)

Is the source code of Sketchpad available?

Re:Neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41954369)

you want it in C or C++ ??

Re:Neat (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 2 years ago | (#41954745)

Considering that work on C didn't begin until 6 years after Sketchpad was written, I highly doubt that the original version was written in C.

Sketchpad source (2)

Al Kossow (460144) | about 2 years ago | (#41956865)

was written in assembly language for the Lincoln Labs TX-2. Ivan has been asked by many people for the code and as far as I know he has never released it.

Richly deserved! (-1, Offtopic)

boundary (1226600) | about 2 years ago | (#41954281)

I loved this guy in Kelly's Heroes.

Never too late ??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41954295)

I agree this was a very daring thing to do in 1963. It was a great breakthru.
Congratulation to Mr. Sutherland.
But why give a price 50 years laters ??? Is there anymore signification to a so distant event ?
Did someone put Kyoto on the hold for 50 years and they just woke up ???

Where were they during 50 years ????

It's just puzzling me ????

Re:Never too late ??? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41954371)

They were busy with your momma.

Re:Never too late ??? (0)

jkauzlar (596349) | about 2 years ago | (#41954895)

I thought that seemed curious too. Also, why was this 'daring'? I'm not being a troll and I didn't read TFA, but it seems inevitable that given the tools, someone would've made a paint program.

Re:Never too late ??? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41955381)

It's a vector graphics program more closely related to Inkpad or even CAD programs than to Paint. It was written in a time where there was no computer graphics, let alone graphical user interfaces, and the output was basically an analogue oscilloscope. And he built a lot of the technology, including a new high-level proto-OOP language, himself in less than a year.

Yeah, but other than that...

He's still alive and working (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41954389)

Ivan Sutherland, still alive and working at 74. Wow.

Re:He's still alive and working (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 2 years ago | (#41954549)

Er.. people staying alive and productive well into their 70s - and beyond - isn't exactly uncommon these days you know.

Re:He's still alive and working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41955327)

In fact, given that the life expectancy for newborns is approaching 100, the retirement age will have to be pushed well past the 80-year mark for life to be sustainable.

Re:He's still alive and working (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41955693)

The problem is that there are still people who die in their 60s for natural causes. It's stretching beyond normal human lifetime these days.

Re:He's still alive and working (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 2 years ago | (#41956647)

Anecdote: My grandma, as a professor, was going to the university department meetings well into her 70s.

Re:He's still alive and working (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about 2 years ago | (#41957949)

My father is in his eighties and still runs an accounting business. I believe, in fact, if he didn't, he would have wasted away being a retired couch potato, and would be dead by now otherwise. He often walks the three miles to his office (in Florida), and when he doesn't he goes out for walks otherwise just to keep moving. It's WHY he's in his eighties and still sharp and productive.

Microsoft Kinect, Spies, and You! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41954411)

"So you just got the Kinect/Xbox360 gaming system and you're having fun, hanging out in your underwear, plopped down in your favorite lounge chair, and playing games with your buddies. Yeah, it's great to have a microphone and camera in your game system so you can "Kinect" to your pals while you play, but did you read that Terms of Service Agreement that came with your Kinect thingy? No? Here, let me point out an important part of that service agreement.

        If you accept the agreement, you "expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of Microsoft, our partners, or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the Service; or (c) act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public."

Did you catch that? Here, let me print the important part in really big letters.

"If you accept the agreement, you expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications⦠on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public."

OK, is that clear enough for ya? When you use the Kinect system, you agree to allow Microsoft (and any branch of law enforcement or government they care to share information with) to use your Kinect system to spy on you. Maybe run that facial recognition software to check you out, listen to your conversations, and keep track of who you are communicating with.

I know this is probably old news to some, but I thought I would mention it because it pertains to almost all of these home game systems that are interactive. You have to remember, the camera and microphone contained in your game system have the ability to be hacked by anyone the game company gives that ability to, and that includes government snoops and law enforcement agents.

Hey, it's MICROSOFT. What did you expect?

And the same concerns apply to all interactive game systems. Just something to think about if you're having a "Naked Wii party" or doing something illegal while you're gaming with your buddies. Or maybe you say something suspicious and it triggers the DHS software to start tracking your every word. Hey, this is not paranoia. It's spelled out for you, right there in that Service Agreement. Read it! Here's one more part of the agreement you should be aware of.

        "You should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features (for example, voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions) offered through the Service."

Did you catch it that time? YOU SHOULD NOT EXPECT ANY LEVEL OF PRIVACY concerning your voice chat and video features on your Kinect box."

# []


"Listen up, you ignorant sheep. Your government is spending more money than ever to spy on its own citizens. That's YOU, my friend. And if you're one of these people who say, "Well I ain't ever done nothing wrong so why should I worry about it?' - you are dead wrong. Our civil liberties are being taken away faster than you can spit. The NSA is working away on its new "First Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative Data Center' to keep track of every last one of us. This thing will be the size of 17 football stadiums. One million square feet, all to be filled with more technology and data storage than you could imagine. And 30,000 spy drones are set to be launched over America which can each stay aloft for about 28 hours, traveling 300 miles per hour. WHY? Why do we want these things in our skies?

The military is now taking a keen interest in the Microsoft Kinect Spy System, the fastest selling electronic device in history. Conveniently self-installed in over 18 million homes, this seemingly innocent game system, armed with facial recognition programming and real-time recording of both sound and video, will be used by our own government to spy on and record us in our own homes.

And it doesn't stop there. Other game systems such as Nintendo's WWII are also being turned into government-controlled spy systems. WHY?

That's the real question. WHY?!!! Why is our own government spending billions and billions of dollars to spy on its own people? To keep us safe? Do you really believe that?"

Microsoft's Kinect System is Watching You
Published on Apr 5, 2012 by TheAlexJonesChannel: []

Faithful Sketchpad implementation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41955397)

This is a great story, and it's wonderful to hear Mr Sutherland still actively tackling computational problems when others have put their feet up.
I've looked around for an implementation of Sketchpad to build and study, but have never found anything. Has no-one ever recreated it? I don't mean a modern CAD do-everything application, but an honest-to-gosh 100% faithful simulation, with 'hen-chicken' node relationships and a simulated bank of pushbuttons. I've thought about writing one myself (in C#, Javascript, whatever) but the available documentation tantalisingly doesn't seem to present enough detail to do it.... someone please tell me I am wrong.

Re:Faithful Sketchpad implementation? (1)

tibit (1762298) | about 2 years ago | (#41956805)

There was a download of a modern reimplementation running in a browser, done by Ivan's collaborators, but I've lost the links and couldn't find it merely looking around for stuff with Ivan's name on it :(

It's too bad his company was so poorly run (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41956679)

I worked at Evans & Sutherland while they were busy driving themselves under. They had completely lost touch with what being a graphics company was. The board didn't seem to understand that desktop graphics solutions were advancing at a rate that they weren't matching and since "we're far ahead right now, so that's good enough" they didn't even give credence to the idea that cheap desktop cards would surpass their multi-million dollar graphics systems in the near future. Nobody would even listen.

Re:It's too bad his company was so poorly run (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about 2 years ago | (#41957975)

They weren't alone. I'm glad I never took that job at SGI.
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