The November 21, Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, visited Trondheim and NTNU and held an inspiring lecture about the Internet's origin and future. The talk was part of the Google Speaker Series.
Vinton Cerf is widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet". Cerf was co-designer for the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In December 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and his partner, Robert E. Kahn, for founding and developing the Internet.
His inspiring talk addressed the current status of the Internet and some of the technology changes that drive its evolution. Among the issues addressed were; net neutrality and competition, IPv6 and how IPv4 will run out of address space in 2011, mobility and smart devices, bit rot and preservation, and security and authentication.
Cerf talked how broadcast technology can be used to send content to multiple recipents at the same time, instead of being used for point-to-point communication. Maybe will the internet access of tomorrow be symmetrical, so consumers can upload as fast as they download content.
In 2011 IPv4 will run out of addresses. Most new operating systems have implemented IPv6 support, but the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) does not support it yet. Cerf said consumers should demand IPv6 support from the ISPs so the transition to IPv6 does not become an act of emergency engineering.
Cerf reported on the status of the interplanetary extension of the Internet, the DeepSpace Network, now underway (RFC 4838 and RFC 5050). The delays and disruptive communication are the key challenges for the interplanetary communication protocols between spaceships, sattelites and the earth.
The authentication and security is build into the protocol, so no 15 year old kid can hack it and take control of a Mars orbiting sattlite. It is easier and safer to build authentication and security into the protocol, than solving the problems in upper layers.
Vinton Cerf's slides from the talk. (ppt)