Vinton Cerf: Interplanetary Googler

Posted on May 23, 2008 
Filed Under Internet

Let it be said, Vinton Cerf, the ‘father of the internet’, Chief Internet Evangelist of Google, and proponent of the InterPlaNetary Internet, is a really nice guy.

Although it was a hectic day for him, with back-to-back press interviews and an upcoming keynote, Cerf was accommodating, convivial and makes a great interview subject.

In 2003, when I interviewed him for the Star, he was equally nice, even LOL-ing my question on whether astronauts in Mars in the future would be spammed with ads for thermal underwear. Even though, at the time, he was still with MCI Worldcom, I had suggested the headline of this post for the story, which was sort of prescient considering he hadn’t joined Google yet.

This time, we spoke briefly on the InterPlanetary Internet project, the Exaflood, his role in Google as the Chief Internet Evangelist (he dressed the part on the first day), his pet subjects – net neutrality, IPv6 and a small self-financed project to provide solar-powered Internet cafes to the developing world.

Later at the WCIT 2008 keynote in Kuala Lumpur, he entertained the audience with his view of the Internet in 2035 as well as stories from the early days.

One example in his presentation was that of a surfboarder who embedded an Internet-enabled laptop into his surfboard. A simple search for the story turned out ironical. The inventor’s name is Jools Matthews. Cerf, Matthews and the Internet. Crazy.

You can view a similar speech Tracking the Internet into the 21st Century in Zurich and download this similar powerpoint presentation.


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