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August 9, 2019 | 0 comments

When you grow up surrounded by civil war, you tend to ignore the rules and become resourceful. 

That’s what Nabil Bukhalid did in the late 1980s and early 1990s with an ad hoc group of colleagues at American University of Beirut (AUB), turning what began as an effort to get faculty access to medical journals over computer networks into a full-fledged effort to connect the country to the Internet. 

Bukhalid was trained as an electrical engineer, “during the early phases of computing, back when we used to build computers rather than use them,” he said. He began looking at networking in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s while developing his specialty in biomedical engineering.

“Medical devices were starting to connect to networks then,” he said, and he began looking at connection options to help researchers and doctors in the war-torn, resource-lacking country gain access to a new online library for medical journals.

“We had no infrastructure, no government,” he said of his early efforts. “Even when the civil war ended we had no government and the infrastructure was completely destroyed. We had no electricity. The war made us a bit creative." 

Still, he found himself in a catch-22. Without a proper phone line or modem, he was unable to gain an IP...

July 30, 2019 | 0 comments

Since the Internet became commercialized in the 1990s, we’ve heard about the digital divide between those who have access and those who don’t. 

But today, Internet Hall of Fame inductee Nabil Bukhalid says he is more concerned about the economic divide. 

“We used to have the technical divide. Now we have the economic divide… because the Internet did not bring equal distribution of resources to the various communities on the Internet. I believe something should be done about that.” 

Besides looking for solutions to that conundrum, Bukhalid said he continues to look for security solutions.

 “During the technological and protocol development, we did not pay enough attention to the security of the Internet infrastructure,” Bukhalid says. “We need to provide better identity authentication and encryption methods.”

“The biggest challenge,” he adds, “is that a lot of people lost trust in the Internet. We need far more efforts to regain that trust.”

 

July 22, 2019 | 0 comments

When ARPAnet’s founders began sending messages in 1969, they probably did not envision Pokemon Go or Grumpy Cat as part of their creation’s future.  So maintains Xconomy’s Wade Roush.

Written as part of a regular series in honor of the 50thanniversary of the first message sent over ARPAnet, Roush notes that just as it was difficult at best for the early tech pioneers to predict the first 50 years of the Internet, it would be equally difficult for anyone to try to predict what the next 50 years will bring. 

Considered the forerunner to the modern Internet, ARPAnet was an academic network funded by the U.S. military that established the basic transmission protocols still used today. 

“We pundits know in our hearts that we can’t speak with much authority about how the Internet will work, what its impact might be, or even whether it will still exist in the year 2069,” he writes. “But we...

July 15, 2019 | 0 comments

The Internet Hall of Fame will once again celebrate Internet history this September when it inducts 11 more individuals who have helped to advance the Internet and made it more accessible to people around the world. The Internet Hall of Fame’s fifth inductee class will be announced at a ceremony set for 27 September in San José, Costa Rica.  

“The Internet Hall of Fame recognizes those individuals who have made significant contributions to the development and expansion of the global Internet. We are excited to announce this new class of inductees, to showcase their accomplishments, and to honor their dedication and commitment to building a better Internet for everyone,” said Andrew Sullivan, President and CEO of the Internet Society. 

"The Internet's evolution is a story of many, many contributions. Each of these individuals made an important contribution to that history. The Internet Society wants to be sure to tell and to preserve those stories."

The Internet Hall of Fame was launched in April 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland, in conjunction with the Internet Society’s 20th anniversary celebration and Global INET event, which brought together Internet experts and enthusiasts to discuss the Internet’s future. Since Geneva, the awards have been held in Berlin, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles. The awards ceremony will be held in Latin America for...

June 27, 2019 | 0 comments

A gaggle of Internet Hall of Fame members will be among the tech pioneers converging on Boston next month to help observe the 50thanniversary of the first net message.

Previous Inductees Vint Cerf, Elizabeth Feinler, Radia Perlman, Leonard Kleinrock, Robert Kahn, and Bob Metcalfe are among the scheduled speakers for Net@50, scheduled to start July 16 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. The event is co-hosted by Xconomy and World Frontiers Forum. 

Along with examining the challenges and opportunities facing the web, the event will honor the 50thanniversary of the first message sent via ARPAnet, the precursor to the modern Internet. It will also highlight the 30thanniversary of the establishment of the World Wide Web and that more than half of the world’s population will have Internet access by year’s end.