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August 4, 2018 | 0 comments

Ira Fuchs’ passion for network communications began as a ham radio operator. As a teenager, he talked with people around the world from his bedroom in Queens, NY.

“I remember the thrill of talking to other ham radio operators. My idea in connecting the scholars of the world was a natural extension of my interest in ham radio,” he said. 

And connect scholars he did… Fuchs co-founded BITNET in 1981 by establishing a connection between City University of New York (CUNY) and Yale University. BITNET was an important precursor to the commercialized Internet we use today, offering many of the Internet’s cores services such as email, file transfer and instant messaging, as well as helping to establish expectations about openness and free access. The network grew to connect 1,400 universities in 49 countries around the world.

Fuchs became interested in computers in the 1960s while studying physics at Columbia University. It was a time when mainframes were becoming important for academics and research.

“I became involved as an undergraduate. I worked at the computing center and in my senior year I worked as a systems programmer,” he explained.

While working on his master’s degree in computer science, he was introduced to early email and more advanced networking systems. At 24, he was...

July 23, 2018 | 0 comments

Inductee Steve Huter was recently awarded the Internet Society’s prestigious Jonathan B. Postel Service Award for “enabling hundreds of institutions to build and operate new components of the Internet” in more than 120 countries, according to fellow inductee and founding president of the Internet Society, Vint Cerf.

The Internet Society said in a press release that the award was presented to Huter in recognition of his leadership and personal contributions at the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC), where he has enabled countless others to develop the Internet.

“Steve Huter is the quintessential candidate for the Postel Award…his dedication to this task mirrors Postel’s own and continues to this day,” Cerf said, referring to Jon Postel, after whom the award is named. Postel, another inductee of the Internet Hall of Fame, was involved in the development of the ARPANET, TCP/IP, SMTP and DNS, as well as the Request for...

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:

 

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