Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

-- George Bernard Shaw --

Dr. Vinton Cerf - Internet, Infinity and Beyond - Page 2

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Well my purpose this afternoon is to give you some sense for what's happening in the Internet, make a few projections about what we think might occur in the future and then to bring you up-to-date on a project to make the Internet work across the solar system.

Dr Vinton Cerf on his first day at Google wearing the formal academic costume of the University of the Balearic Islands in Palma Majorca.Let me begin, first of all with an explanation of my title. When I joined Google in October of 2005 they asked me what title do you want, and I suggested Archduke. Their first reaction was it doesn't match our nomenclature, we're not sure what to do, but then they said considering what you’ve been doing for the last 35 years how about "Chief Internet Evangelist". And I thought that was pretty cool, so on my first day at work I appeared wearing my most ecclesiastical robes. This actually is the formal academic costume of the University of the Balearic Islands in Palma Majorca.

And it seemed very appropriate to dress in that fashion because it was a sociologically interesting experiment too because at lunchtime I went down to the quadrangle of the Google headquarters in Mountain View thinking to introduce myself to the Googlers now you need to understand that most of the Googlers are under the age of 26 I’m one of the exceptions in fact I'm sure that the average age of the company went up when I joined the company but I hope the average IQ didn't go down, which would be embarrassing.

So I thought I would introduce myself to these young folks and it was funny to watch their reactions some of them would kind of look away and think I don’t even want to see this person I tried to shake hands and they'd backup, one of them wanted to know what I was selling or was this an advertising gimmick of some sort on the other hand some of the somewhat more seasoned members of the population at Google including the CEO Eric Schmidt saw the humour in this situation and Eric was the one who to this particular picture. So that where we are now.

By the way Archduke turned out to be a really bad idea because the last Archduke was Ferdinand and he was assassinated in 1914 and started World War I, so maybe it's was a bad idea besides I’m always worried about the promotion rights because the next step after “Chief Internet Evangelist” is Archangel but I think you have to be dead before they give you title; so I’m not looking for that promotion.

Well let's have a look at the statistics of the net have the last 10 years ago If I was here 10 years ago I would be estimating about 22.5 million servers on the Internet not counting laptops and desktops and things like that. Now 400 million in January of 2006 and probably 600 million servers the beginning of 2007 not counting the laptops and desktops and PDAs which are episodically connected to the net. These are statically machines with dedicated IP addresses and dedicated domain names.

The number of users has skyrocketed from the 50 million which we thought was a big number in ‘97 to over a billion today.

The other phenomenon which is shaping the Internet in many ways is the presence of mobiles; there are something like 2.5 billion mobiles in the telecommunications system today. In fact many of those are Internet enabled and they are in fact shaping much of the thinking about how to deliver Internet services through these mobile devices.

I thought you might find it interesting to look at the predecessor to the Internet it was called the ARPANET, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. It consisted of the four nodes, the first one was at UCLA, the second one at Esseri International in Menlo Park in California the third one in UC Santa Barbara and the forth one in The University of Utah.

I had the honour of being a graduate student at UCLA when this system was being installed in September 1969. I wrote the software that connected a computer called the Sigma Seven up to the first node of the ARPANET. That computer is in a museum now and some people have suggested I should be there with it.

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