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Blog Posts for 2021

April 18, 2021 | 0 comments

The roles Dan Lynch has adopted throughout his journey to help develop the commercial Internet have spanned from government scientist to Internet evangelist to startup founder. But in order to understand that arc, you first have to understand who he was as a kid.

“I was a pretty good student,” Lynch says today. “I got mostly As. Except in deportment and conduct.”

Lynch's statement underplays his substantial intellect (he once dreamed how to calculate the interior space of a Chinese lantern--and got the math right). And his conduct problems don't reflect tension with peers -- he just didn't think authorities were always right. He liked to do things his way, or at least try. It’s a theme you often hear from technology leaders and luminaries, and one that likely helped secure Lynch a position in the 2019 Internet Hall of Fame inductee class for playing a key role in driving global adoption of  TCP/IP protocols and fueling the Internet’s commercial success. 

As you get to know Dan Lynch, what emerges is the rare and right individual who could grok complexity, grasp possibility, and navigate the human personalities necessary to...

April 13, 2021 | 0 comments

Email was one of the most vital technologies to emerge from the 1970s. Electronic mail or “network mail” as it was known at the time, was invented by Raymond Tomlinson, a member of the Internet Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.

Versions of email actually predate the Internet, but they weren’t able to travel far. The first example of email was a program called MAILBOX which was developed at MIT in the early 1960s for people who were a few hundred feet apart.  

The first host-to-host connection of the ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Internet, occurred in 1969 and three years later emails were able to travel across the Internet. 

Gizmodo highlights the history of email, what it looked like and how it was used 40 years ago, when it first began.

March 30, 2021 | 0 comments

Thirty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee released the WorldWideWeb browser, unleashing the power of the Internet. Part of the Internet Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, Berners-Lee envisioned a public way to access the Internet, and in doing so, he played a key role in helping facilitate its commercial adoption and growth.

Today, we have five widely used browsers including Google Chrome, Apple’s Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. The Internet has become almost a "commodity" service and much of the latest attention has been on the use of this global information infrastructure for support of other commercial services. This has been tremendously accelerated by the widespread and rapid adoption of browsers and the World Wide Web technology, allowing users easy access to information linked throughout the globe.

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March 16, 2021 | 0 comments

Elise Gerich is not interested in information silos, thanks. A 2019 inductee to the Internet Hall of Fame, Gerich was a key player in the launch of the National Science Foundation’s NSFNET, which facilitated networking among different communities. She also later oversaw NSFNET’s migration to Internet Service Providers in 1995 when the platform was retired.

In a recent interview, Gerich said she is worried about the potential for the Internet to start splitting off again into niche-focused platforms like it did in its early days, thus making it harder for entities to collaborate and share information.

“I’m really hoping for the future that the Internet can continue to be this collaborative and cooperative venture with open communications,” she said.

 

March 8, 2021 | 0 comments

By Dan Rosenheim

Let it be said, loudly and unambiguously, that Radia Perlman’s unparalleled contribution to the existence of a functioning Internet is a product of her remarkable intellectual gifts.

The creator of important innovations that make modern computer networks reliable and easy to manage, including the well-known Spanning Tree algorithm, and author of the seminal network book, Interconnections, Perlman has been widely recognized  in articles, awards and in membership in the National Academy of Engineering, Inventor Hall of Fame and Internet Hall of Fame.

But in an interview from her home in suburban Seattle, Perlman is strikingly self-effacing, going so far as to suggest that happenstance  even in the form of an unwelcome #MeToo experience  may have helped open the door to her stellar career.

“I guess I just don’t project an aura of self-importance,” she said during an hour-long session on Zoom. “I'm sort of glad I don't because it means that I'm approachable, although it is sometimes frustrating when people don’t hear you.”

Perlman’s #MeToo experience in 1976 was a final affront in her pursuit of a graduate degree in math from MIT. It prompted her to leave school and go to work in the private sector  where, within a short period of time, she had come up with...