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GIF creator receives honor, still chafes at mispronunciation
If you've ever wondered who to thank (or blame) for those 8-bit animated graphics that have managed to remain relevant even on today's high-bandwidth Internet, Steve Wilhite is your man. Working at CompuServe in 1987, Wilhite used his knowledge of compression technologies to create the GIF format that allowed for color graphics to be used efficiently in the days of dial-up Internet access. Wilhite received a lifetime achievement award at this year's Webby Awards and took the oportunity to once again remind us how 'GIF' should be pronounced.
In an interview with the New York Times, Wilhite says, 'It is a soft "G", pronounced "jif". End of story.' You can see Wilhite's GIF-enabled Webby Award acceptance 'speech' (introduced by Tumblr's David Karp) on YouTube.