Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The father of the Internet

Fireside chat with father of the Internet, Vint Cerf who has a great job title, Chief Internet Evangelist for Google
Always enjoy listening to him, but never take many notes, too busy listening. Here's a few gems:

Internet was created by homogenous geeks, like himself, who were only interested in getting it to work. Then it was released on general public, and now it touches everyone. Not everything was thought through! Lots of stuff can be done for security and privacy, technical solutions. But lot we can do personally to improve it. Usernames and passwords a not good, can't remember them, write them down. Two factor authentication much better. Banks already doing it.
Domain name system security being worked on.
End to end encryption is a possibility.
So we can protect ourselves. But, as a former programmer, Vint admitted that no one writes bug free code, so there is no bug free code. No bug free software or browsers!

Internet enable you to turn products into service. Especially relevant to the media. Not just getting information, but being able to interact with it and take actions.

What are his worries about internet? That we will be unable to keep it stable, sustain growth or maintain privacy and security.

Current trends? Internet of things, higher speeds, mobile, connectivity eg google balloons in New Zealand.

Next big thing, computers to augment human intellect. Computers as partners. Ability to have a conversation, not typing commands.

Technology is racing ahead so quickly, and we are so keen to embrace it, we don't always appreciate some of the hazards and side effects. We do things which are innocent, but we can't all predict outcomes of social behaviour. Have to be willing to learn from mistakes.

Global issue of legal frameworks, the internet transcends international boundaries, by design. Problems will not be solved individually, but by cooperation and collaboration.

Google glass is like having your mobile strapped to your forehead but more comfortable. Put out as a pilot to see what people could and would do with it. Demo earlier showed that there is no subtle way to take a photo ( earlier the chair of the day, Jeff Jarvis had demonstrated Google glass. It didn't go well. All I can remember is lots of shouting "OK Glass" and much jerking of the head )

What did he think about copyright? The Internet is one big copying engine. We need to rethink and redefine copyright. Can't keep using an old business model written for the advent of the printing press, for new technology.

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