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July 16, 2013 | 0 comments

Whether you're a social-media junkie, a technological wizard or just wondering what effects the Internet is having on our lives, make room for a fascinating and enlightening book at the very top of your summer reading list: Untangling the Web: What the Internet is Doing to You, published by Guardian Faber [and out July 4.]

It's written by Internet Hall of Fame Advisory Board member Dr. Aleks Krotoski, a journalist, broadcaster and researcher who investigates the intersection between psychology and computer technology. She earned a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Surrey, England, in 2009, and is a presenter of The Guardian's podcast "Tech Weekly," as well as of the BBC 4 radio show, "Digital Human."

Dr. Krotoski says that for about the past 13 years, she'd been growing more and more annoyed with people saying that the Web is going to destroy civilization – and equally annoyed at those who say it's going to save civilization. The facts she uncovered in writing the book bust both of these myths.

I set out to analyze the phenomena and profound changes that people attribute to the Web. I looked at aspects of our lives as varied as community, friendship and hatred, both 'Before the Web' and 'After the Web,'" she says. Her research delivers a major surprise for the pundits: The Internet has caused very little fundamental change in people at all.

"The technology isn't doing things to us; it's a technology that connects people to people...

June 26, 2013 | 0 comments

The Internet Society has announced the names of 32 individuals who have been selected for induction into the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame. Honored for their groundbreaking contributions to the global Internet, this year’s inductees comprise some of the world’s most influential engineers, activists, and entrepreneurs. Read the full press release here. 

“This year’s inductees represent a group of people as diverse and dynamic as the Internet itself,” noted Internet Society President and CEO Lynn St. Amour. “As some of the world’s leading thinkers, these individuals have pushed the boundaries of technological and social innovation to connect the world and make it a better place.”

Over the next 12 months, the Internet Hall of Fall editorial staff will chronicle the historic contributions of these individuals in a series of exclusive interviews and profiles that will be featured in this column.

Today’s inductees were supposed to be announced at an awards ceremony in...

June 19, 2013 | 0 comments

The Internet Society is changing the location of its 2013 Internet Hall of Fame awards ceremony, scheduled to take place on June 26 in Istanbul, Turkey. The decision comes as a result of the increasingly unstable situation in that region that has resulted from recent protests. Inductees will be announced on June 26, as planned, but the awards ceremony will take place at a later date, in a location yet to be determined.

Follow the Internet Hall of Fame’s RSS, Facebook or Twitter feeds (@Internet_HOF #ihof2013) to find out the names of this year’s honorees on the 26th, and to learn more about plans for the 2013 awards ceremony. 

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June 17, 2013 | 0 comments

Naturally, Internet Hall of Famer and UCLA Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Leonard Kleinrock is proud of his invention of the theory behind packet-switching, which became the underpinning of the Internet. But he takes even more pride in what he calls his “army” of students, who are now doing cutting-edge research worldwide and teaching a new generation of students themselves. He remains in close contact with many of them; in fact, when we caught up to him in late May, he was preparing for a visit from a former student who lives and works in China. He says of teaching and mentoring: “It’s the most pleasurable part of my job. You see that you have inspired people to do the best work they can, and investigate areas you may not even have thought of, and you watch them take off and fly. I have enjoyed this aspect of my career so much that I never even look at it as a job.”

Still, among all his awards, it’s one for his learning, not his teaching, that has a special place of honor in his California home. A montage of prized possessions, including honorary doctorates, fills a frame, but the one front and center – the only one not overlapped by any other – is his Eagle Scout award. Why is that so important to the man who coordinated the transmission of the first message to pass over the Internet? Well, because...

June 5, 2013 | 0 comments

By the Internet Hall of Fame Editorial Staff

Here’s a factoid for everyone who thinks that nothing about Internet Hall of Famers could ever surprise them:

The man who invented email raises rare, tiny French sheep.

At just a foot-and-a-half high, the Ouessant breed has a couple of huge advantages. “They’re easy to handle and don’t need a lot of land,” Ray Tomlinson says of his flock.

Tomlinson, an inaugural inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, can’t spend too much time playing Little Boy Blue: He’s still working for Raytheon BBN in Cambridge, Mass., as he has for 46 years. These days, he’s involved with a project to try to tap the power of the crowd – specifically, the computer gaming crowd – to solve software problems. In the game he’s developing, players try to move through various levels, as they do in many other games, but what they’re really doing is helping to improve the software that’s running the game itself.

“We’re going to try to make players feel as if they’re only playing a game, but with each move they make, we’ll actually be taking advantage of pattern recognition and other processes that humans are capable of,” he says. The real goal of the game is ultimately to help improve the robustness of security on the...