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Elon Musk’s $1 Million Birthday Gift to Nikola Tesla Fans

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk pledges $1 million towards building a Nikola Tesla museum

1 min read
Elon Musk
Photo: Jerry Lampen/AFP/Getty Images

In May, the web site published a cartoon reviewing the Tesla Model S. In the second half of the review, the cartoonist, Matthew Inman, pointed out that while Tesla Motors was perfectly free to use inventor Nikola Tesla’s name without any family connection, it might be nice to show the company’s respect for Tesla the man by donating to an effort to build a Tesla museum in Shoreham, N.Y., at the site of Nikola Tesla’s laboratory. At the time, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had already contributed $2500 to the successful Indiegogo campaign to buy the property. Inman asked for more—$8 million more—to build a museum on the property. Musk quickly tweeted, “I would be happy to help.”

Nikola Tesla

Photo: Photo Researchers/Getty Images
The man, the mustache.

Yesterday, on the 158th anniversary of Nikola Tesla’s birth, Inman reported that Musk followed up that tweet with a phone call, and filled in the details of what he’d provide—namely, $1 million and a Tesla charging station on site. That won’t completely fund the museum-building effort, but it certainly will give it a big jump start. And I’m sure it’s a lot more than Inman expected when he issued the challenge.

It was a very happy birthday for Tesla fans.

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How the Graphical User Interface Was Invented

Three decades of UI research came together in the mice, windows, and icons used today

18 min read
Stylized drawing of a desktop computer with mouse and keyboard, on the screen are windows, Icons, and menus
Getty Images/IEEE Spectrum

Mice, windows, icons, and menus: these are the ingredients of computer interfaces designed to be easy to grasp, simplicity itself to use, and straightforward to describe. The mouse is a pointer. Windows divide up the screen. Icons symbolize application programs and data. Menus list choices of action.

But the development of today’s graphical user interface was anything but simple. It took some 30 years of effort by engineers and computer scientists in universities, government laboratories, and corporate research groups, piggybacking on each other’s work, trying new ideas, repeating each other’s mistakes.

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