The future of the Internet

liftThere are some moments in life where you have a chance to flirt with history… This is what happened when I was listening to Vinton Cerf, one of the creator of the Internet at lift conference.

The talking dinosaur (as he called himself with a smile) captured the audience and everyone listened carefully to this hyperactive man still re-inventing the web on a daily basis.

He gave us a glimse of what the future of the Internet might be through the description of some of his projects.  First, he took time to surf on the WWW timeline to remind us of where we come from… Nothing new but when told by Vinton Cerf, it makes even more sense… I tell you… especially when the man can make you laugh so much about technology vint_cerfand his projects… Here are some quotes I wanted to share with you :

  • There’s no central power or authority that causes Internet to work – one great thing about the web…
  • Internet showed that people are willing to cooperate and willing to share information freely with others on the web
  • There’s an increasing number of mobile devices connected to the internet. And for millions of users, their first experience of the web is done through mobile phones…
  • Asia is leading the number of actual users on the web with only 15,3% penetration (vs 73% in US and 48% in Europe)

According to Vinton Cerf, here are some of the near term changes he (and others) are working on :

  • IPv4 -> IPv6 – 128 bit addresses (3,4 X 10p38)
  • DNSSEC (.se, .pr, .bg, .br, others?)
  • Internationalized Domain Names: Non Latin Unicode characters, …
  • Increasing need to segregate, compartment, protect data (privacy, legal protections, corporate trade secrets, …)
  • Huge data collections (sensor networks, WWW, digitized everything)
  • Bit-Rot problem (it’s 3000, can you interpret 1997 PPT?) – interpreting older files
  • Crowd / Cloud computing: inter-cloud data exchange (formats? Meta data?), inter-cloud protocols (TCP/IP? Other)
  • Legal Framework: Privacy and Law enforcement in a global system, Domestic/international support for e-commerce, legal value of digital signature, dispute resolution in interneational settings
  • Intellectual property protection (what new models can we invent?): existing copyright framework, new ideas (creative commons, copyleft, …), automatic detection of abuse (e.g. YouTube fingerprinting)
  • Digital libraries (Vint is working for Google at the moment :-): prospective acquisition, retrospective digitization, – user, author, publisher, library rights and responsibilities, Books that talk to each other through the web

And then, the next step Vinton Cerf is working on… :

  • creating another protocol that make interplanetary Internet possible (delay and disruption tolerant protocols) – Space Station testing planned in 2009 (so far very successful…)

This guy embodies the history of the web…. and still he’s about to create its future! Amazing isn’t it?!

… And take some time to watch the video of his presentation at Lift!

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