Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, is the person most often called "the father of the Internet." His contributions have been recognized repeatedly, with honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Churchill Club catches up with Cerf to hear his take on what new opportunities and services today's ever-faster Internet technologies will spawn and what may stand in their way. Cerf is interviewed by Jessica Vascellaro, tech reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
Vinton G. Cerf
Vint Cerf is a living legend in the tech world. In 2004, with Robert Kahn, he received the Alan M. Turing Award, the highest professional honor in computing, in recognition of their visionary
work and leadership in the development of the Internet. Other honors, again with Robert Kahn, include the US National Medal of Technology, the Japan Prize, and the Presidential Medal of
Freedom. He was the founding president of the Internet Society and served as chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers from 2000 to 2007.
Before joining Google in 2005, Cerf was a senior vice presidentat MCI and a vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives. He began his career at IBM and UCLA. He joined the faculty of Stanford University where he co-designed the TCP/IP protocols and network architecture of the Internet. From 1976 to 1982, he was a principal scientist at DARPA, where he managed the Internet and packet communications research programs. He joined MCI in 1982, where he helped develop the commercial MCI Mail service. Cerf has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the IEEE, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the International
Jessica Vascellaro is a reporter for the San Francisco bureau of The Wall Street Journal. In this position, she is responsible for the paper's news and feature coverage of Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other Internet startups. Before assuming this role, she covered media companies like News Corp. and IAC/InterActiveCorp. and wireless company Research in Motion. She also covered Internet trends for the Personal Journal section of the paper, writing about topics such as social-networking, online video and search.
She assumed her current position at the Journal after college graduation in 2005. Ms. Vascellaro started her career in 2003 as an intern reporter for the Associate Press and was named executive editor of the Harvard Crimson, the college's daily newspaper, in 2004.
Born in New York, N.Y., Ms. Vascellaro received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in Boston, Mass., where she graduated magna cum laude.
"Father of the Internet" Vint Cerf offers his predictions on the future of cloud computing, stressing the importance of interconnecting disparate clouds into a single network. "We're at the same point now in 2010 with Intercloud as we were in '73 with Internet," says Cerf.
Google's Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf discusses the future of television, arguing that the traditional channel-based model will eventually give way to an on demand, content-based model. "If I were a TV broadcaster right now, I'd be paranoid or schizophrenic," says Cerf.
Publicly accessible computer network connecting many smaller networks from around the world. It grew out of a U.S. Defense Department program called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), established in 1969 with connections between computers at the University of California at Los Angeles, Stanford Research Institute, the University of California-Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. ARPANET's purpose was to conduct research into computer networking in order to provide a secure and survivable communications system in case of war. As the network quickly expanded, academics and researchers in other fields began to use it as well. In 1971 the first program for sending e-mail over a distributed network was developed; by 1973, the year international connections to ARPANET were made (from Britain and Norway), e-mail represented most of the traffic on ARPANET. The 1970s also saw the development of mailing lists, newsgroups and bulletin-board systems, and the TCP/IP communications protocols, which were adopted as standard protocols for ARPANET in 198283, leading to the widespread use of the term Internet. In 1984 the domain name addressing system was introduced. In 1986 the National Science Foundation established the NSFNET, a distributed network of networks capable of handling far greater traffic, and within a year more than 10,000 hosts were connected to the Internet. In 1988 real-time conversation over the network became possible with the development of Internet Relay Chat protocols (seechat). In 1990 ARPANET ceased to exist, leaving behind the NSFNET, and the first commercial dial-up access to the Internet became available. In 1991 the World Wide Web was released to the public (via FTP). The Mosaic browser was released in 1993, and its popularity led to the proliferation of World Wide Web sites and users. In 1995 the NSFNET reverted to the role of a research network, leaving Internet traffic to be routed through network providers rather than NSF supercomputers. That year the Web became the most popular part of the Internet, surpassing the FTP protocols in traffic volume. By 1997 there were more than 10 million hosts on the Internet and more than 1 million registered domain names. Internet access can now be gained via radio signals, cable-television lines, satellites, and fibre-optic connections, though most traffic still uses a part of the public telecommunications (telephone) network. The Internet is widely regarded as a development of vast significance that will affect nearly every aspect of human culture and commerce in ways still only dimly discernible.
While I realize you are being facetious Michael, you might take these facts into consideration;
1) Al Gore never claimed to have "invented" the Internet.
2) Al Gore had a big role in promoting the legislation and funding that turned the original experimental network into the Internet we know today.
3) In 2000 Vint Cerf & Robert Kahn themselves said "The vice president deserves significant credit for his early recognition of the importance of what has become the Internet."