Long a backer of the Internet’s democratic style, Internet Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Jun Murai is applying that culture – and his technical expertise – to monitoring the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.
It’s an issue that’s highly personal to him: he is a child of Hiroshima, where the United States dropped the first nuclear bomb.
“My grandfather was president of the Hiroshima University of Literature and Science, later to be Hiroshima University,” he said. “My grandfather, Arata Osada suffered by A-bomb in Hiroshima. My mother visited Hiroshima next day looking for her father. She was suffering from strong contamination. So they are tracking me, monitoring me, because I am a child of Hiroshima.”
Today, he serves as an adviser to Safecast, a nonprofit global network that collects and shares radiation measurements. The group has built Geiger counters and distributed them to volunteers in Japan to measure radiation levels.
The effort, he said, is crucial to ensuring that radiation readings are accurate, and shared with the public.
It’s a program, he notes, that could never be possible without the Internet, which he says allows scientists to easily share data as well as their ideas about accuracy and risk.
“It’s about powering the diversity of wisdom, and people working together to solve things,” he said. “We are not interested in money. We are...
In Japan, Dr. Jun Murai has long been known as the father of the Internet. Outside of Japan, he has also been dubbed the ‘Internet Samurai’ for his dogged efforts to make sure Internet development was truly global.
While much of the early work was centered in the West, Dr. Murai stayed in close touch with pioneers like Vint Cerf, Jon Postel, Larry Landweber and David Farber, keeping Japan in the development loop and maintaining a strong voice for Asian stakeholders. For instance, he developed the first system that allowed Japanese characters to be used on global networks, and he came up with the first concept of country-specific domain names, or CCTLDs, now commonly used around the globe.
He was also an early advocate of creating the Internet Society, or ISOC, to make it easier for foreign governments to accept protocols and standards that were being driven by researchers in the...
African publication AFK Insider recently sat down with Africa’s ‘Father of the Internet,’ Nii Quaynor, to find out what we might not yet know about the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame inductee, and discovered 12 things that shed new light on his life and work.
Most notably, the publication reports that Professor Quaynor is worried that Africa is going to miss out on significant growth opportunities as a result of extremely low Internet user penetration there. Currently, the country posts Internet user penetration of only 9.4 percent, versus 90.6 percent for the rest of the world.
“Africa is about to miss a great development opportunity in much the same way [it] lost on the industrial revolution, unless serious and truly committed efforts are made by Africa to address the rapid expansion on the Internet-user gap between Africa and industrialized countries,” he told AFK Insider.
Other interview insights from AFK Insider:
“While studying in the U.S. during the civil rights struggle, Professor Quaynor was consistently reminded of his African roots and role in the African diaspora. He realized only Africans could liberate and develop Africa, and that the continent’s potential for participation in the global economy was enormous. His continuing studies were spurred on by a desire to acquire knowledge to contribute to his homeland.”
Read the full article...
"The current Internet is not future proof," Dutch Internet pioneer and inductee Kees Neggers told the Internet Hall of Fame.
Neggers spoke plainly about the pros and cons of the modern Internet in a recent interview. Though it's hard to imagine a world without the Internet, he said, it was never designed to be the global network it has become.
It's time for a pragmatic look at the changes needed, Neggers added. "The original ARPAnet and, later, TCP/IP protocols, were not designed for the global network we have today. There are a lot of technical problems in the protocol itself, which are at the very heart of the Internet."
He gave several examples. First, the Internet has one address space, worldwide. "That makes routing complicated because you have to know how to go from where you are, to any place in the world, in a flat address space," he explained. "That does not scale."
Moreover, the Internet lacks security. "The original designers assumed this network would be used by people who could trust each other," Neggers said. "Today, the Internet is open to anybody. It would be nice to have built-in security features, but there are none."
Also, he noted, the Internet was not designed to deal with real-time...
A key figure in the development of the Internet in Europe and the Netherlands, Kees Neggers found himself at the center of the so-called "Protocol Wars" of the 80s and 90s.
Neggers’ strategy at that time was to focus on what worked, collaborating with a host of agencies around the globe with a “win-win” philosophy. In this way, he would lead the effort to create the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) backbone in Europe. "Global networking needs global collaboration,” he asserted when, in 2013, he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.
"I was able to bridge technical people and policy people all over the world,” he told the Internet Hall of Fame in a recent interview. “In doing so, I always focused on creating organizational structures that would last, that would create win-win situations."
Neggers' involvement began as deputy director of the Computer Centre at the Catholic University of Nijmegen (now Radboud University), which became the Dutch node for IBM's European Academic and Research Network (EARN).
He became EARN director for the Netherlands. "As a result, I was involved in all areas of networking—local, national and international," he said.
The country was in an economic slump in the early 80s, when academic computer centers were focused mostly on mainframes. “There was not enough...