Folks, this was sent in by one of our readers today:

It all   started with a skin flick
In 1933, a beautiful, young Austrian woman took off her clothes for a movie  director. She ran through the woods, naked. She swam in a lake, naked.  Pushing well beyond the social norms of the period.
The most  popular  movie in 1933 was King Kong. But  everyone in Hollywood was talking  about that  scandalous movie with the gorgeous, young   Austrian woman.
Louis B. Mayer, of  the giant studio MGM, said she was the  most beautiful woman in the  world. The film was  banned practically everywhere, which of  course  made it even more popular and valuable.  Mussolini  reportedly refused to sell his copy at  any price.

imagesCALYQ6JCThe star  of the  film, called Ecstasy, was  Hedwig Kiesler. She  said the  secret of her beauty was “to stand there and  look  stupid.” In reality, Kiesler was anything  but stupid. She was a  genius. She’d grown up as  the only child of a prominent Jewish  banker. She  was a math prodigy. She excelled at science. As she grew older, she became ruthless, using all  the power her body  and mind gave  her.
Between  the sexual  roles she played, her tremendous  beauty, and the power of her  intellect, Kiesler  would confound the men in her life,  including  her six husbands, two of the most ruthless   dictators of the 20th century, and one of the  greatest movie  producers in history.
Her  beauty made her  rich for a time. She is said to  have made – and spent – $30  million in her life.
imagesCARL9JU6But her greatest  accomplishment resulted from  her intellect, and her invention  continues to  shape the world we live in today.

You see,  this young  Austrian starlet would take one of  the most valuable technologies  ever developed  right from under Hitler’s nose. After fleeing  to America , she not only became a major Hollywood  star, her name sits on one of the most important  patents ever granted by the  U.S. Patent  Office.
Today,  when you use  your cell phone or, over the next  few years, as you experience  super-fast wireless  Internet access (via something called  “long-term  evolution” or “LTE” technology), you’ll be using   an extension of the technology a 20- year-old  actress first  conceived while sitting at  dinner with Hitler.
At the  time she  made Ecstasy, Kiesler was married to one of the richest men in Austria. Friedrich  Mandl was Austria‘s leading arms maker.  His  firm would become a key supplier to the Nazis.
Mandl  used his  beautiful young wife as a showpiece at  important business dinners with representatives of the Austrian, Italian, and German  fascist  forces. One of Mandl’s favorite topics at these gatherings – which included meals with Hitler and Mussolini – was  the technology surrounding  radio-controlled missiles and  torpedoes.

imagesCALH2BJSWireless weapons offered  far greater ranges than  the wire-controlled alternatives that  prevailed  at the time. Kiesler  sat through  these dinners “looking stupid,”  while absorbing everything  she  heard.
As a  Jew, Kiesler  hated the Nazis. She abhorred her  husband’s business ambitions.  Mandl responded to his willful wife by imprisoning her in his  castle, Schloss Schwarzenau. In 1937, she  managed to  escape. She drugged her maid, snuck  out of the castle wearing the  maid’s clothes,  and sold her jewelry to finance a trip to London.
 (She got  out just  in time. In 1938, Germany annexed Austria. The Nazis seized  Mandl’s factory. He  was half Jewish. Mandl fled to Brazil.  Later, he became an adviser to Argentina‘s iconic  populist  president, Juan Peron.)
In London, Kiesler arranged a meeting with Louis  B. Mayer. She signed a long-term  contract with  him, becoming one of MGM’s biggest stars. She appeared in more than 20 films. She was a  co-star to Clark Gable,  Judy Garland, and even  Bob Hope. Each of her first seven MGM  movies was  a blockbuster.

imagesCA1JM616But  Kiesler cared  far more about fighting the Nazis  than about making movies. At the  height of her  fame, in 1942, she developed a new kind of  communications system, optimized for sending  coded messages that  couldn’t be “jammed.” She  was building a system that would allow  torpedoes  and guided bombs to always reach their targets.   She was building a system to kill  Nazis.
By the  1940s, both  the Nazis and the Allied forces were  using the kind of single – frequency  radio-controlled technology Kiesler’s ex-husband had been peddling. The drawback of this  technology was that the  enemy could find the  appropriate frequency and “jam” or intercept  the  signal, thereby interfering with the missile’s  intended  path.
Kiesler’s  key  innovation was to “change the channel.” It  was a way of encoding a  message across a broad  area of the wireless spectrum. If one part of  the spectrum was jammed, the message would still  get  through on one of the other frequencies  being used. The problem  was, she could not  figure out how to synchronize the  frequency  changes on both the receiver and the  transmitter.  To solve the problem, she turned to  perhaps the world’s first  techno-musician,  George Anthiel.
Anthiel  was an  acquaintance of Kiesler who achieved some  notoriety for creating  intricate musical  compositions. He synchronized his  melodies  across twelve player pianos, producing   stereophonic sounds no one had ever heard  before. Kiesler incorporated Anthiel’s  technology for synchronizing his player  pianos.  Then, she was able to synchronize the frequency changes between a weapon’s receiver and its   transmitter.
On  August 11, 1942,  U.S. Patent No. 2,292,387 was  granted to Antheil and “Hedy Kiesler  Markey,”  which was Kiesler’s married name at the   time.

Most of  you won’t  recognize the name Kiesler. And no one  would remember the name  Hedy Markey. But it’s a  fair bet than anyone reading this  newsletter of  a certain age will remember one of the great beauties of Hollywood’s golden age ~Hedy  Lamarr.
That’s the name Louis B.  Mayer gave to his prize actress. That’s the name his movie company made famous.
Meanwhile,  almost  no one knows Hedwig Kiesler – aka  Hedy Lamarr – was  one of the great  pioneers of wireless communications. Her technology was developed by the U.S. Navy, which  has used it ever  since.
You’re  probably  using Lamarr’s technology, too. Her  patent sits at the foundation  of “spread  spectrum technology,” which you use every day when you log on to a
wi- fi network or make  calls with your  Bluetooth-enabled phone. It lies  at the heart of the massive  investments being  made right now in so-called  fourth-generation  “LTE” wireless technology. This next  generation  of cell phones and cell towers will provide tremendous increases to wireless network speed  and quality, by  spreading wireless signals  across the entire available spectrum.  This kind  of encoding is only possible using the kind of frequency switching that Hedwig Kiesler invented.

Now you know the rest of the story…