In 2012, after leaving his company, Sendmail Inc., Eric Allman was supposed to retire.
But after “a career of telling people to get out of my office so I could get my work done, I got lonely,” he said.
So he started hanging around UC Berkeley again, going to seminars and research meetings.
“At some point they said, ‘you know, we should put you on the payroll,’” Allman said.
So he is now, at least technically part-time, working on data storage and security for the Internet of Things, among other things.
“I am one of these people who gets bored easily,” he said, listing off other things like speech recognition, neural networks, and text processing software that he has also been involved in.
IoT security is of particular interest to him, he said, because there are so many new devices being created. And while many people and companies are aware of the security problems—even building them with known security holes—“no one wants to do anything about it … or they don’t want to pay the costs,” Allman said.
“The fact is, we are building a weapon for somebody else to use against us,” he said. “I’m very nervous about it.”
So what’s the solution?
“We should never put those devices directly on the Internet,” he said. “They should have limited connectivity to do their thing, and go through some kind of gateway.”
If something is connected to the Internet, he said, “you ought to be able to remotely update the software...
As part of a small crowd of early network pioneers at the University of California Berkeley, Eric Allman created Sendmail, which was one of the first mail transfer agents on the Internet and a key component of many email servers today.
Still, Allman likes to emphasize that he was just one of many people behind development of the Internet’s email standards and technology. He says it was only through friendly competition and years of collaboration and tweaks to what began as a mailing system on the ARPAnet that he ended up solving the technological issues that made the later versions of Sendmail in the late 80s and early 90s an Internet staple.
In 2014, he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame as an ‘Innovator’ for being the first person to make Internet addresses highly configurable by rewriting the email rule technology. He was also recognized for creating Syslog, the de facto standard logging mechanism used in nearly all open systems and peripherals.
His interest in computers began in the late 60s, he says, when he still in middle school in California.
While most people didn’t even know what a computer was then, Allman said he joined an after school program that enabled students to play around with one of the school district’s IBM mainframe computers. There, he said he learned both FORTRAN and accurate typing skills because programming was still done by key punch cards.
It wasn’t long...
With inductees from ten countries, we continue to see celebrations of the Internet Hall of Fame 2017 inductee class around the globe. We’ve gathered a selection of articles from publications in Brazil, China, Japan and beyond celebrating the achievements of this year's cohort.
Brazil - Canal Tech : Quatorze visionários da tecnologia entram para o Internet Hall of Fame
Barbados - Loop News: Barbadian Alan Emtage Inducted Into Internet Hall of Fame
Chile - EMol: ...
As the Internet Society celebrates 25 years of advocacy for an open, globally-connected, and secure Internet, we are honored to recognize some of the trailblazers who have fueled the Internet’s historic growth.
On September 18, the Internet Society gathered to honor the fourth class of Internet Hall of Fame Inductees at UCLA, where nearly 50 years ago the first message was sent over the Internet’s predecessor, the ARPANET. Over the years, the Internet has evolved thanks to the tireless efforts of individuals, including these inductees, who believed in the potential of an open Internet.
Representing 10 countries, the 14 individuals who comprise the 2017 inductee class are computer scientists, academics, inventors and authors who have advanced the Internet with key technical contributions, fostered its global reach and increased the general public’s understanding of how it works—in turn accelerating global accessibility and usage among us all.
Ultimately, the success of the Internet depends on the people behind it, and these inductees personify the pioneering spirit of the ‘Innovators’ and ‘Global Connectors’ that have been so instrumental in bringing us this unprecedented technology. They are some of...
In anticipation of the 2017 Internet Hall of Fame ceremony on September 18th in Los Angeles, we're taking a look back at ceremonies from years past to see what's inspired us.
One such moment came from Tim Berners-Lee in 2012, when he was inducted into the inaugural Internet Hall of Fame for his groundbreaking development of the World Wide Web.
In his acceptance speech, he pays homage to his own mentors, including fellow inductee Ben Segal, noting that without these mentors, the World Wide Web would not have been possible.
His remarks include a nod not just to the past creators of the Internet, but to the future ones, and to a hope for a decentralized and open Internet that continues to serve and support a growing and truly global community.
Addressing a room full of fellow inductees, he noted: "There are other waves coming on. They’re building on top of the Web, they’re building on top of the open Web platform and so on, but hopefully they’re all building using the same fundamental principles. Not only about how we build stuff, but also about how we work together--about the decentralized and open and caring...community that you guys have set up--we have tried to set up--and I hope they will set up in time....