Blog Posts for 2016
Vint Cerf has been raising the alarm on a coming ‘digital dark ages’ for a while, and he now tells Wired in a recent interview that he and some of his fellow Internet pioneers are “joining with a new generation of hackers, archivists, and activists to radically reinvent core technologies that underpin the web.”
Establishing a “Permanent Web,” as it’s being called, was a key topic of discussion for the new group of collaborators at the recent Decentralized Web Summit, where the group envisioned a world with a web that will one day both archive and back itself up automatically.
Writes Wired:“Unlike the early web, the web of today isn’t just a collection of static HTML files. It’s a rich network of interconnected applications like Facebook and Twitter and Slack that are constantly changing. A truly decentralized web will need ways not just to back up pages but applications and data as well.
The goal: to make the web “resilient to the sands of time.”
The editor-in-chief of Vice Impact, Katherine Keating, recently sat down with Internet Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Wales to talk about the role of civil society in "holding governments accountable for their actions and promoting individual liberties." In a compelling Q&A, Keating asks Wales if there are times that censorship can be justified, why he initiated a Wikipedia blackout in the face of the SOPA Bill, and if the relationship between giant Internet providers and consumers can be transparent and neutral.
Read the full Q&A here.
In a recent radio interview, The Economist Deputy Editor Tom Standage asks Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, to discuss the future of the Internet.
The 2012 Internet Hall of Fame inductee explains where he stands on crucial arguments that are shaping the medium he helped create. Listen to the full interview here.
It takes a community. Especially when bringing the Internet to an entire nation.
At the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Berlin, Germany, Gihan Dias recalled the introduction of the Internet to Sri Lanka, his native country, underscoring that it was a labor of love undertaken by an entire community of people.
“I'm really grateful for this honor,” he said. “But, really, it is not just me. There were many, many people behind this.”
In the mid-80s, Dias was a graduate student at the University of California. “We found this great technology called email, which allowed us to talk to each other,” he said. “But, we didn’t have that back in Sri Lanka.”
So, Dias and a group of colleagues created a network called SLNet, or Sri Lanka Net. Initially set up to “get news from Sri Lanka,” Dias said, “We realized, here is a good way for people in U.S., Canada, Australia and England and all over the world, to talk to each other.”
The network grew. “That was really one of the first social networks, there were others, but one of the first, which was set up globally, long before the (term) social network was ever coined,” he noted.
A map created by University of Wisconsin computer science professor Paul Barford, in conjunction with colleagues from the University of Wisconsin, Colgate University and network security firm Niksun, is the first of its kind to show all the long-distance fiber-optic cables that carry Internet data across the continental U.S. Though they comprise critical public infrastructure, a comprehensive map of these cables has not previously been available.
According to an article about the map in MIT Technology Review: “Although the Internet is publicly accessible, it is woven together from many privately-owned networks that interoperate. Telecommunications companies sometimes show schematics of their core networks, but without much geographic detail. Barford says some government agencies likely have maps of their own, but they aren’t public.”
The map, which took four years to compile, was laboriously created by piecing together public records created by the municipal permitting process for laying cables.