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July 17, 2018 | 0 comments

Originally hoped to facilitate the free flow of information, the Internet has fallen short of that lofty goal according to a recent column. 

In a recent piece published by The Economist, Ludwig Siegele pulls from interviews with Internet Hall of Fame inductees Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf, among others, to opine that the Internet has become more centralized and strictly controlled than its early developers ever dreamed. 

“Today the internet is a very different beast,” he wrote....

July 10, 2018 | 0 comments

One of the key developers of the modern Internet’s communications infrastructure says the online universe’s broad reach is not the cause for all of its problems. A three-time graduate of Harvard University, Craig Partridge designed how email is routed via domain names and led the team that developed the first multi-gigabit router. 

He is currently the chief scientist for networking research at Raytheon BBN Technologies.

In a recent interview, the 2017 Internet Hall of Fame inductee acknowledged that while the Internet has facilitated access for some nefarious uses, those problems would not be resolved by restricting the overall flow of information. 

“I fear that our concern…that people who are utterly evil have found ways to use the internet, with child pornography being the most obvious and pernicious problem,” he said. “But to allow people to say it’s because of the opennenss of the Internet is I think is completely misguided and we need to find solutions to target those problems.” 


July 5, 2018 | 0 comments

The development of the world’s first search engine was not spurred by a natural disaster or an epic journey. 

Just an “aha” moment for a graduate student.

While attending graduate school at Montreal’s McGill University in the late 1980s, Alan Emtage developed and launched Archie, the first Internet search engine. Derived from “archive,” Archie was a database of early websites and facilitated the development of multiple techniques used by modern search engines.

In a recent interview, the 2017 Internet Hall of Fame inductee said his creation’s origins were not particularly dramatic, but still required a little subterfuge in the early days to get around some academic red tape. 

“It sort of happened organically,” Emtage said of Archie’s development. “There wasn’t a goal where I had to struggle, ford rivers or climb mountains to get to it. The powers that be didn’t realize what we were doing, so we had to do it under sort of the cover of darkness and not let them realize we were utilizing all of these resources. They didn’t really understand what was going on.” 

Watch our full interview with Alan Emtage below:


June 27, 2018 | 0 comments

When he’s not on the road, Mike Jensen spends much of his time in the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil.

He particularly enjoys his time on the coast of Bahia, Brazil, he said, because, in addition to being close to nature and providing great outdoor activities for his three children, Jensen said he likes “living in an environment that exposes me to the same types of problems I am working to address.”

His current projects include advising on improving connectivity in the Marshall Islands, devising ways to track regulatory change in West Africa and documenting successful community-based rural connectivity initiatives in developing countries.

So, what are the biggest hurdles today in bringing connectivity to such far-flung locations?

“The biggest bottleneck really is the level of awareness of governments in terms of what they need to do to make their networks more cost-effective, and thus more affordable for the general public,” he said. “There is still a general attitude in many countries that incumbent legacy operators must be protected, or that there is only one strategy to connect the unconnected, which is mobile broadband.  … It continues to be difficult to break that mentality.”

Other issues are access to electricity, poor roads and lack of skilled workers.

And what are the most promising new technologies for solving these issues?

“The potential for low-earth orbit constellations of satellites is one area that is extremely...

June 25, 2018 | 0 comments

Frank Heart, who was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2014 for leading the team that built the first routing computer for the Arpanet, the precursor to the Internet, died June 24th in Lexington, Mass. He was 89.

Examining Heart’s historic contribution, Katie Hafner writes for The New York Times, “In 1969, Mr. Heart led a small team of talented young engineers to build the Interface Message Processor, or I.M.P., a computer whose special function was to switch data among the computers on the Arpanet. To this day, many of the principles Mr. Heart emphasized — reliability, error resistance and the capacity for self-correction — remain central to the internet’s robustness."

Heart entered the computer age in 1950 as an MIT student working on MIT’s Whirlwind computer. Whirlwind occupied most of a small building and was less powerful than today’s handheld devices. Later, Whirlwind came under the aegis of MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, and Heart spent the next 15 years at Lincoln, working on the Sage air defense system and on numerous projects connecting computers to real-time data sources, before moving to Bolt Beranek and Newman, where he built first I...