The Mercury News has another nice piece today relating to the history of computing (see yesterday’s post on the Merc’s coverage of the history of SRI). This time the focus is on Vint Cerf and his thoughts about the Internet he helped enable, in advance of ACM’s awarding of Cerf and his former research partner Bob Kahn the prestigious Turing Award tomorrow night. Here’s a quick snippet:
Vint Cerf is often called “the father of the Internet,” and he talks about his virtual offspring with paternal pride.
He believes the decentralized nature of the Internet makes it less vulnerable to attack. And that same decentralization encourages people to experiment with new applications, producing swift and widespread innovation.
“What’s lovely about this principle is that you don’t have to get permission from somebody to go try something out. You just do it,” Cerf said Thursday when he came to the Bay Area to receive an award for his work.
“So when voice-over-IP started showing up in the commercial sector, you didn’t have to go to your ISP and say, ‘Please, can I do VoIP?’ you just downloaded the software and did it, which is why Skype is such an interesting phenomenon,” he said, referring to the free Internet phone service.
Here’s the whole thing.