"Cynics Are Often Right, But They Never Get Anything Done": Why Bob Metcalfe Is an Internet Optimist
Right alongside Moore’s Law, which describes the exponential growth in computing power since the 1960s, there’s Metcalfe’s Law, which describes what we’ve done with all that power: namely, use it to connect the world.
"Two Years Ago, I Would Have Said the Internet Is Fantastic”: What Scares Networking Pioneer Radia Perlman
Bob Metcalfe co-invented Ethernet, the communications standard still used for most local on-site networking, but Radia Perlman made it work. Her creation of the Spanning Tree Protocol while working for Digital Equipment Corporation in 1983 made it possible to link individual Ethernet networks into a vast interconnected system—that is, the thing we now call the internet.
You probably feel pretty comfortable navigating the internet. You might even be among the 1 in 5 people who created a website. Or maybe you're part of the 48% with "make a website" on their to-do list. But could you correctly say what a safe URL actually looks like? If you can't, you wouldn't be alone.
People are more connected to each other than they have ever been. For that, you can partly thank Robert Metcalfe.
Bob Metcalfe started working with computer networks in the 1970s and was part of Xerox’s Palo Alto, Calif. team that invented what would become Ethernet, the foundational technology used to connect computers. He’s known as “the father of Ethernet.”
Sputnik has spoken to Ben Segal, the developer of the internet computer network at CERN and one of the mentors of Tim Berners-Lee to find out whether the people beind the world web and the internet regret their invention, who paid for the first intercontinental computer network, can the internet be completely turned off around the world and why black swans today determine the development of information technology.
When even those who built the internet as we know it are warning of its insecurities and the deep privacy challenges it poses for society, you know things are very broken indeed.
In late 1966, a 29-year-old computer scientist drew a series of abstract figures on tracing paper and a quadrille pad. Those curious drawings were the earliest topological maps of what we now know as the internet. The doodler, Lawrence G. Roberts, died on Dec. 26 at his home in Redwood City, Calif. He was 81.
Vint Cerf hasn’t changed in over a decade. He is impeccably dressed in his trademark three-piece suit, sharp as a tack and as busy as ever, shuttling around the world trying to improve his creation - or increasingly, trying to prevent its destruction.
UCLA's Dr. Leonard Kleinrock, a 2012 Inductee to the Internet Hall of Fame, tells PCMag about the ARPANET days, how he got the geek bug and a full scholarship to MIT, as well as UCLA's new $5 million Connection Lab.