Brad Templeton

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Brad Templeton
Brad Templeton in 2014
BornJune 1960 (age 63)
near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s)Software architect, entrepreneur
Parent(s)Charles Templeton, Sylvia Murphy

Brad Templeton (born June 1960 near Toronto) is a Canadian software developer, internet entrepreneur, online community pioneer, publisher of news, comedy, science fiction and e-books, writer, photographer, civil rights advocate, futurist, public speaker, educator and self-driving car consultant. He graduated from the University of Waterloo.[1]

Notable projects[edit]


Most notably, Templeton was founder and CEO in 1989 of ClariNet Communications, the first company[2] founded to engage in commercial activity over the early Internet.[3]

Electronic Frontier Foundation[edit]

Templeton has been involved with the Electronic Frontier Foundation since 1997, including being chairman from 2000 to 2010.[4] His involvement in online civil rights also includes being the subject of one of the first major internet bans[5] and being a plaintiff before the Supreme Court of the United States in Reno v. ACLU[6] Templeton's strongest efforts have been in the areas of free speech, computer security, privacy and intellectual property.

rec.humor.funny and USENET[edit]

Templeton played an active role over the life of Usenet, including the development of software tools for it. His most notable activities involved the creation and moderation of the newsgroup "rec.humor.funny", a moderated newsgroup devoted to comedy. USENET statistics reported by Brian Reid reported rec.humor.funny as the most widely read online publication starting in 1989, continuing in that position into the mid-1990s,[7] with an estimated 440,000 readers.

Software career[edit]

Templeton began as the first employee of VisiCorp (then called Personal Software Inc.) the first PC applications software company, where he published several games and tools and assisted on Visicalc the first spreadsheet and personal computing productivity tool. He also developed the IBM-PC version of the VisiPlot companion before release of the PC. He was CEO and Founder of Looking Glass Software Ltd. in Ontario. His software specialty has been languages, tools and spreadsheets, as well as software for USENET.


Templeton was editor and publisher for ClariNet's Hugo and Nebula Anthology 1993,[8] one of the largest early commercial e-Book projects. It offered 5 full novels still in hardback release, along with a wide array of short fiction and multimedia. In later years, it has become the norm for the administrators of the Hugo Award to produce an annual digital anthology of award nominees.

This was an adjunct of the "Library of Tomorrow" project, which offered a full library of fiction on an "all you can read" subscription basis.[9] The library failed, but presaged many similar attempts to sell online content by subscription.

Foresight Institute[edit]

Since 2004, Templeton has been a board member of the Foresight Institute,[10] one of the oldest futurist organizations and the leading one in the field of nanotechnology.

Singularity University[edit]

Templeton joined the founding faculty for Singularity University, an educational institution and think-tank devoted to rapidly changing technology and its effects. Since 2010 he has been Chair for Networks and Computing on that faculty.[11]


Templeton has been an active writer in the field of Robocars since 2007, building the site and writing regularly at Brad Ideas. In 2010, he joined the Google self-driving car project (now known as Waymo) where he consulted on strategy and technology. He has also served as a consulting advisor for Starship Technologies[12] in the delivery robot space and Quanergy LIDAR, among others. He writes frequently on this topic on his own web site, the Forbes site[13] and others. Templeton is inventor on 21 patents in self-driving cars and telephony.[14]


Templeton has been a keynote speaker at many conferences and events, including Wired UK,[15] Pioneers Festival Vienna,[16] University of British Columbia Master Mind Class,[17] Web Summit,[18] Next Berlin,[19] The Next Web Amsterdam,[20] Ontario Centres of Excellence Toronto,[21] USI Paris,[22] Australian Unix Users Group (AUUG) Sydney,[23] Korean Global Leaders Forum,[24] CLSA Forum Hong Kong and Tokyo,[25] Baidu Big Talk, Beijing,[26] Singularity Summit Chile[27] (also Buenos Aires, Christchurch, Budapest, Seville, Johannesburg, Milan, Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen) and Innotown Norway.[28]

Software and bibliography[edit]

  • Author, Time Trek game for Commodore PET (VisiCorp 1978)
  • Consultant, VisiCalc port to Commodore PET (VisiCorp 1979)[29]
  • Port, Checker King game for Apple and Atari (VisiCorp 1979)[30]
  • Port, Microchess game for Atari (VisiCorp 1980)
  • Lead Author, Visiplot graphing tool for IBM PC (VisiCorp 1981)[31]
  • Author, PAL Assembler for Commodore computers (Temtech, 1980)[32]
  • Author, POWER programming tools for Commodore (Professional Software, Pro-Line) 1981
  • Lead Author, ALICE: The Personal Pascal Structure editor and integrated development environment for IBM PC, Atari ST and QNX (Looking Glass Software / Software Channels, 1985) [33]
  • Lead Author, ALICE Basic structure editor and IDE for QNX (Looking Glass Software 1986)
  • Lead Author, 3-2-1 Blastoff spreadsheet compiler for Lotus 1-2-3 (Frontline Systems/Intel, 1987)[34]
  • Author, 3-2-1 Gosub programming tool for Lotus 1-2-2 (Frontline Systems, 1988)[35]
  • Compressor Author, Stuffit Deluxe (Aladdin Systems, 1989)[36]
  • Author, Newsclip programming language for Usenet filtering, 1988 [37]
  • Author, TVWish wishlist system for MythTV (open source)[38]
  • Editor, The Internet Jokebook (Peer-to-peer Publishing, 1995)[39]
  • Editor, The Telejokebook/rec.humor.funny annual Vol I-IV (ClariNet 1988–1992)
  • Editor, Electric Science Fiction online award nominees (ClariNet, 1992) [40]
  • Editor, Hugo and Nebula Anthology 1993 (ClariNet, 1995)[41]

Other roles[edit]

Templeton was a director of Bittorrent Inc.[42] Bittorrent's software was the largest driver of internet bandwidth use during the early 21st century. He is also the author of several well known internet essays on copyright[43] and netiquette. He was also an active artist at Burning Man creating installations based on photography and telephony.[44][45]


Templeton is the son of Charles Templeton and Sylvia Murphy, and the brother of Ty Templeton.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Templeton, Brad (2001-12-21). "I Remember USENET". O'Reilly Media. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
  2. ^ Templeton, Brad. "History of ClariNet". Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  3. ^ Baczewski, Philip (1994). Google Books ClariNet references. ISBN 9780672304668.
  4. ^ "EFF Page on Board Member". Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  5. ^ McCarthy, John. "The rec.humor.funny censorship at Stanford University". John McCarthy's Stanford Site. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Reno v. ACLU - Affidavit from ClariNet". American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  7. ^ "USENET Readership Report".
  8. ^ "Publication: Hugo and Nebula Anthology 1993". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  9. ^ Easton, Tom (2006-10-01). Off the Main Sequence. Wildside Press LLC. ISBN 9780809512058.
  10. ^ "Directors and Advisors". Foresight Institute. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  11. ^ "Brad Templeton". Exponential Medicine | November 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  12. ^ Angel List page for Starship Technologies
  13. ^ "Brad Templeton - Brad Templeton". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  14. ^ "Patent Database Search Results: IN/"Templeton, Bradley" in US Patent Collection". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  15. ^ "Brad Templeton news and features". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  16. ^ "". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  17. ^ "Master Mind Master Class with Brad Templeton". alumni UBC. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  18. ^ "Web Summit Review – Douglas County Herald". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  19. ^ "Brad Templeton". NEXT Conference. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  20. ^ "The Next Web Conference". Mediaan. 2017-07-10. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  21. ^ "Opening Keynote Discovery 14: Salim Ismail and Brad Templeton".
  22. ^ "Promise and Responsibilities in Our Digital World: Our Take on the USI 2016 Conference". Boston Consulting Group Site. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  23. ^ "AUUG broadens topic base at annual conference". Computerworld. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  24. ^ "Global Leaders Forum 2018". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  25. ^ "CLSA hosts over 650 global investors and 170 Japanese companies at the 13th Japan Forum in Tokyo – CLSA". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  26. ^ "The BIG Talk·奇点大学北京公开课解读比特币_科技健康_《参考消息》官方网站". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  27. ^ "Singularity University Announces First SingularityU Summit in Latin America". Singularity University. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  28. ^ "Brad Templeton • Innotown". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  29. ^ "Implementing VisiCalc". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  30. ^ "Atari 400 800 XL XE Checker King : scans, dump, download, screenshots, ads, videos, catalog, instructions, roms". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  31. ^ "GrepLaw | Brad Templeton on Usenet Policy, Spam and Reinventing the Phone". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  32. ^ "An Interview with Brad Templeton - Jim Lawless' Blog". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  33. ^ Dougpete (2017-03-05). "Whatever happened to ..." doug --- off the record. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  34. ^ "LC Linked Data Service: Authorities and Vocabularies (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  35. ^ InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. 1988-11-28.
  36. ^ Cady, Glee Harrah; McGregor, Pat (2002). Protect Your Digital Privacy: Survival Skills for the Information Age. Que Publishing. ISBN 9780789726049.
  37. ^ "Usenet and Usenet Software FAQ". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  38. ^ "TVWish - MythTV Official Wiki". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  39. ^ Templeton, Brad (1995). The Internet joke book. Internet Archive. San Jose, Calif. : Peer-to-Peer Communications.
  40. ^ "Google Groups". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  41. ^ "Publication: Hugo and Nebula Anthology 1993". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  42. ^ "Brad Templeton". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  43. ^ "10 Big Myths of Copyright Explained". Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  44. ^ "Commerce & Community: Distilling philosophy from a cup of coffee …". Burning Man Journal. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  45. ^ "ETech 2009: Speaker: Brad Templeton — O'Reilly Conferences". Retrieved 2019-08-07.

External links[edit]

  • [1] – Templeton's home page
  • [2] – rec.humor.funny website
  • [3] – Templeton's blog
  • [4] – Robocars