Internet turns 40 with big bash

2009-10-30 07:55

kalahari.com

Los Angeles - Technology and media stars, pundits and entrepreneurs joined the internet's father on Thursday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his culture-changing child.

"It's the 40th year since the infant internet first spoke," said University of California, Los Angeles, professor Leonard Kleinrock, who headed the team that first linked computers online in 1969.

Kleinrock led an anniversary event at the UCLA campus that blended reminiscence of the internet's past with debate about its future.

"There is going to be an ongoing controversy about where we have been and where we are going," said Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the popular news and blog website that bears her name.

"It is not just about the internet; it is about our times. We are going to need desperately to tap into the better angels of our nature and make our lives not just about ourselves but about our communities and our world."

'The Internet Age is here'

Huffington was on hand to discuss the power the internet gives to grass roots organisers on a panel with Kleinrock and Social Brain Foundation director Isaac Mao.

"The internet is a democratising element; everyone has an equivalent voice," Kleinrock said. "There is no way back at this point. We can't turn it off. The Internet Age is here."

Kleinrock never imagined Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube that day four decades ago when his team gave birth to what is now taken for granted as the Internet.

"The net is penetrating every aspect of our lives," Kleinrock said to a room of about 200 people and an equal number watching online.

On October 29, 1969, Kleinrock led a team that got a computer at UCLA to "talk" to one at a research institute.

Kleinrock was driven by a certainty that computers were destined to speak to each other and that the resulting network should be as simple to use as telephones.

Scientist Leonard Kleinrock poses with the first Interface Message Processor. (AFP)

'Human right'

US telecom colossus AT&T ran lines connecting the computers for Arpanet, a project backed with money from a research arm of the US military's Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Arpanet grew into what is known today as the internet.

"It feels to me like the alumni meeting of the framers of the US Constitution," Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow said as he addressed the gathering.

"There are a lot of people in this room who are honest to god uncles and aunts of the internet. What you did is conceivably the most important technological event since the capture of fire."

Barlow, whose nonprofit legal organisation fights for online freedom, maintained that internet access is on the verge of becoming an inalienable human right.

"The reality today is that the internet is like a new life; it is organic," said Regina Dugan, director of what became Darpa when "Defence" was added to the agency's name.

"It is inherently beautiful. It challenges us all to think about ourselves, about others, about ethics, and about the future."

Power of the internet

To test the power of the internet, Darpa will release 10 "very large balloons" in the continental US and then pay $40 000 to the first person or team to pinpoint their locations using online tools or networking.

The balloons will be afloat for two days and visible only during daylight hours.

"Individuals can make information go viral," Dugan said. "Then it was an internet challenge, today it is a network challenge."

The competition will be tracked on wildly popular microblogging service Twitter, according to Darpa.

Kleinrock, who is now 75, sees the internet spreading into everything.

"The next step is to move it into the real world," Kleinrock said. "The internet will be present everywhere. I will walk into a room and it will know I am there. It will talk back to me."

- SAPA
Read more on:    internet  |  technology
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.