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July 31, 2021 | 0 comments

Apparently you can put a price on history. 

Tim Berners-Lee, a member of the Internet Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, recently auctioned off a copy of the original source code for the World Wide Web as a non-fungible token. After adding in auction fees, the package sold for $5.4 million, with the proceeds going to organizations selected by Berners-Lee and his wife.

The anonymous buyer will be able to download or view the 9,555 lines of code originally written in the early 1990s. The purchase also comes with a 30-minute video showing the code being written, a digital poster, a graphic of Berners-Lee’s autograph and a letter from Berners-Lee about the process involved with creating the code. 

In a statement to Bloomberg, Berners-Lee said the auction preparation work sent him on a trip down memory lane. 

“The process of bringing this NFT to auction has offered me the opportunity to look back in time at the moment I first sat down to write this code 30 years ago and reflect on how far the web has come since then,” he said.

July 29, 2021 | 0 comments

Doug Comer did not see spam coming. 

A 2019 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Comer wrote the first series of textbooks explaining the scientific principles underlying the Internet’s design and communications protocols. His 1987 textbook series is now widely considered to be the authoritative reference for Internet protocols and is credited with making them more understandable for a new generation of engineers and information technology professionals. 

In a recent interview, Comer said it caught him off guard the first time he saw the web being used for nefarious purposes rather than academic or more benign needs. 

“We didn’t assume bad people would be using the Internet,” he said. “When spam appeared, that bothered me. When people started using the Internet to do crime, we knew any technology would be used by criminals to do crime, but it seemed completely out of the range of what we were thinking.”

July 15, 2021 | 0 comments

A personal discovery in the middle of a meeting is partially responsible for the forerunner of the modern Internet’s commercialized core.  

A 2014 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Dennis Jennings was the first Program Director for Networking at the U.S. National Science Foundation and responsible for the design and development of its NSFNet

In a recent edition of the “History of Networking” podcast, Jennings talked about how he initially got on with the foundation, which involved taking a red-eye cross-country flight in order to join a meeting with early Internet pioneers. Within 20 minutes, he stepped up to a marker board and was leading the discussion. 

“It was an object lesson to me that you know what, I knew as much and was just as good as these guys,” he said. “It was a very exciting personal discovery that I could pick up the...

June 29, 2021 | 0 comments

According to its founder, Wikipedia is not relying on artificial intelligence to check its community-created content for bias.  

A 2013 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Jimmy Wales is the founder of Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia. 

In a recent interview with Forbes, Wales acknowledged that while artificial intelligence training often picks up human biases in other areas, those efforts are not being pursued at Wikipedia when it comes to editing. 

“In terms of us using AI, like right now, it's very minimal,” he said. “We have a tool that through machine learning looks at incoming edits to try to identify problematic edits. But that's in a very, very crude and simple fashion. It's pretty good at identifying things like, someone has replaced the entire article with one-word... deep learning tells you that's going to get reverted very...

June 23, 2021 | 0 comments

The human network continues to be a surprise for Adiel Akplogan. 

A 2019 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Akplogan helped establish Togo’s first TCP/IP connection in the mid 1990s. He also helped define the Internet development strategy for several African countries, including Guinea, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso as a member of the technical advisory group for the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Africa. 

Despite his work facilitating Internet access for so many diverse countries, Akplogan said in a recent video interview that the growth over the years of the Internet’s social aspect has truly surprised him. 

“The speed at which the evolution of innovation has spread has impressed me and continues to do so,” he said. “Everywhere in the world, you’ll see the same kind of service, especially the social service. The social aspect of the Internet is what has made it go ‘boom.’”