AUTHOR: Matt Dickman TITLE: Vint Cerf at City Club of Cleveland DATE: 5/05/2006 10:31:00 PM ----- BODY:
I had the chance to hear Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist of Google and co-creator of the TCP/IP protocol which is the foundation of the Internet. Vint is widely credited as one of the founders of the Internet. The content of his speech was very relevant and informative. He started with an explanation of his work on protocols and gave one of the best examples of the way the Internet works (at the protocol level) I've ever heard...fitting I know. He compared the protocol to postcards in the mail. The explanation went through all of the iterations of data and how TCP handles it. Think of trying to mail someone a 100 page book and all you can use are postcards. Well, you would have to cut the pages of the book to fit on the cards first. So now you have ~200 cards you need to send. If you put them in the mail as is, how would the other person know what order they were in? So you have to number them. You also need to know if the other person received the cards so you have a confirmation. If you don't get a confirmation you need to re-send certain cards. Archives, storage, quantity, etc. are all factors which came up and what TCP handles. He then moved on to the net neutrality topic and as you can imagine, with Vint working for Google, he is anti-legislation. I agree with his premise. The net, as he envisioned/s it is meant to be free in order to encourage innovation. Broadband subscribers pay to be connected to the net and access anything they want. The legislation proposed by carriers would limit what the end user was able to see. It's a form of censorship by proxy. The less limitations on content the better. Vint also discussed his work with NASA and improving communication with the Mars exploration program. They have developed and are testing a new protocol which would allow data to be sent, saved at a location and sent on at a later point in time on a delay. Finally, one of the most important points I got out of what he said was in the Q&A. He discussed the spread of the iPod and the change in content delivery this signals. No longer is 'live' important. The shift is toward on-demand. That demand may be faster than realtime (on a 1 gigabit connection) or slower than realtime (on a 56K modem). Either way, it is the person requesting the content on their schedule using the connection available.
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