Blog Posts for 2015
The news media can always count on our Hall of Fame inductees to provide insightful perspectives, thought-provoking ideas and memorable quotes. Here are a few examples from the month of January:
Brewster Kahle was the subject of a long profile in The New Yorker and another nice story in The Atlantic, about (among other things) how his Wayback Machine is saving us from the frustration of searching for deleted Web pages.
Paul Vixie doesn’t have much hope that the average user can ever be completely safe on the Internet. But he sees some hopeful trends: “The big companies like Apple and Google now are being helpful; for example, it’s nearly impossible to download software by mistake anymore, and that’s a good thing. Also, people are taking their security more seriously, now that we’re reading every day about identity theft at the large department stores, big-box stores and banks that we all use.” Vixie offers these tips for average users of the Internet:
- Don’t use the same password everywhere. Many websites are operated by folks who don’t know much about security. There are lots of password-management options now, including some that create extremely strong, random passwords for you for each website you visit. Use one of these options.
- Use only the latest version of the operating system and software you have on your computer and upgrade them as soon as upgrades become available. That’s because the fixes, patches and upgrades are usually done to improve the...
Internet Hall of Famer Paul Vixie has a startling take on the people who created the Internet: They were “just a bunch of young rebels who didn’t like the phone company monopoly. They thought they could come up with a better way to communicate – and have fun doing it. For most of us, the Internet we know today was not even a gleam in our eyes. It was just a rebellion, really.”
It’s clear that Vixie is speaking with great affection for the “rebels” who are his peers and predecessors. Dissatisfaction with the way things are “is what makes progress happen,” he says.
Much of his own career has been devoted to taking down those who would interfere with the Internet’s progress. His passion for that is reflected in the way he speaks, like a sheriff in the Wild West, of the “Good Guys” and the “Bad Guys.”
He has always had a fine contempt for the Bad Guys who abuse the Internet. In 1998, Vixie created the first anti-spam company, MAPS (Mail Abuse Prevention System), with the goal of stopping email abuse. And in 2013, he founded (and is CEO of) Farsight Security, which is dedicated to securing the world's digital infrastructure by ensuring that “everyone who’s trying to make the Internet safer has the tools they need to do that.”
Vixie believes that a...
Check out this brief, fun video that wraps up about 40 years of Internet history in just a few minutes -- and does so in an unhurried, understandable way. It manages to explain the difference between the Internet and the World Wide Web, which still confuses a lot of people, and walks viewers through milestones like the invention of packet-switching and the advent of browsers.
In 1991 Dai Davies introduced Internet technology into the pan-European backbone, EuropaNet, which was originally planned as an X.25 network. This put him right in the middle of the “Protocol Wars,” when engineers, organizations and nations became polarized over the issue of which protocol – Open Systems Interconnections (OSI) or TCP/IP -- would result in the best and most robust networks. As we all know now, TCP/IP won the war, but the battles were brutal. Davies recalls being in Japan speaking at a seminar in which he was describing his own hybrid solution, which used a combination of the two protocols. “A guy in the back of the room was making obscene gestures at me the whole time, because I was not advocating for a ‘pure’solution using just one of the two,” he said. “The idea that you could have co-existing protocols was heresy. You had to choose sides, and it was trench warfare.” Davies survived that war and has gone on to lead many successful battles to bring networking to regions worldwide, from the Far East to Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.