2016 Raymond Tomlinson, the godfather of email, died Saturday morning of a suspected heart attack. He was 74. Tomlinson, who was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012, is best known for rescuing the @ symbol from obscurity and, in the process, shaping the way we talk about being online.
I received sad news about Ray Tomlinson’s death from Craig Partridge and Vint Cerf yesterday. I wanted to send what they wrote to the IETF list as well:
I just learned that Ray Tomlinson died this morning.
Ray Tomlinson had been at BBN since 1967. He’s best known for inventing the concept of sending email over a computer network and choosing the @ sign as the way to split the mailbox name from the host name. But that’s a fraction of his amazing contributions to our field. Ray was one of a four person team that created TENEX, the first operating system to support virtual memory using paging. He wrote one of the first implementations of TCP and, when he found data being duplicated in the received stream, devised methods to ensure that sequence numbers were not duplicated that remain fundamental to TCP/IP implementations today. He worked on the first object-oriented distributed system and early multimedia email systems. And I’m sure I’m forgetting at least half a dozen other ways Ray made our world better.
I knew and worked with Ray Tomlinson during the development of the ARPANET and its host protocols and benefited, as have billions, from his seminal work on networked electronic email. More important, from my personal perspective, was his work with Bill Plummer on the first PDP-10 TENEX implementation of TCP (and later TCP/IP). In 1975, he discovered that the TCP as specified in December 1974 had flaws that led it to fail to detect duplicate packets and, together with Yogen Dalal, developed the three-way handshake and initial sequence number selection method to solve this problem. As Craig Partridge summarizes, Ray was a long-time and creative contributor to the Internet, operating systems, and many other highly practical applications in the computer science and communications domains. He was a self-effacing and humble man and extraordinary performer in our online world. I will miss his thoughtful, low-key and always helpful counsel.
11/22/13 Willis Ware, a major, early figure in computing passed 93 years old. His first task at RAND was helping to build the "Johnniac," an early computer system. During his career at RAND he advanced to senior leadership positions, eventually becoming the chairman of the Computer Science Department. Willis was influential in many aspects of computing. As an educator, he initiated and taught one of the first computing courses, at UCLA, and wrote some of the field's first textbooks. In professional activities, he was involved in early activities of the ACM, and was the founding president of AFIPS (American Federation of Information Processing Societies). From 1958-1959 he served as chairman of the IRE Group on computers, a forerunner of the current Computer Society of the IEEE. He served as the Vice Chair of IFIP TC 11 from 1985-1994. At the time of his death he was still serving as a member of the EPIC Advisory Board.
Remembering Douglas C. Engelbart, inventor of the mouse
Computer pioneer Doug Engelbart died at the age of 88. His work transformed the way people use computers today by making them accessible and "personal." His seminal demo of computer graphical user interfaces using a mouse and keyboard transformed people's careers and changed the course of their lives on December 9, 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, CA, presented a 90-minute live public demonstration of the online system, NLS, they had been working on since 1962. http://sloan.stanford.edu/mousesite/1968Demo.html
- A tribute to one of Silicon Valley's most influential and forgotten researchers at Xerox Parc event -SVW
From Ed Bryan: Irwin Greenwald—An Appreciation
Irwin Greenwald had a profound effect on my life and my education as a programmer. The story is worth telling as it shows just what kind of a guy Irwin was.
I first met Irwin in 1960 when I came to Rand to work on computer operating systems.
Irwin had been at Rand since before the beginning of time, it seemed to me. Years later I joked that in those days I knew all the programmers in the world—it wasn’t true, of course, but I’m convinced it was true for Irwin, who was surely one of the very first programmers back in the day when very few of them existed. Irwin probably DID know them all.
A few years later in 1963-64 Irwin, I and Joe Smith (now gone for a few years) worked on the replacement system for JOSS, JOSS II, under the leadership of Chuck Baker (also gone for some years). Joe did the compiler/interpreter for the JOSS language, I did the OS and Irwin did everything else, from the interpretive decimal arithmetic to the I/O and program backup routines. I was the kid on the team. The others had decades more experience than I.
The team worked with eye-opening cooperation and teamwork. Whenever a problem came up everyone tried to figure out how their part of the code could possibly be responsible for the problem. Never was there any defense of turf or finger-pointing.
That’s a programming teamwork lesson learned from Irwin that I will never forget.
JOSS was a milestone in computer history, as one of the first online interactive time-sharing systems. In Rand’s archive there are perhaps 60 papers on JOSS. JOHNNIAC, an IAS-class machine, was the machine on which the first JOSS system was implemented. It
was rescued from a museum trash heap and donated to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, where it was restored enough to still flash some of its lights. It has an honored spot on the History of Computers time path at CHM. Irwin prepared some important physics programs for this machine. [2:06 Automatic translator]
And it didn’t stop there. In 1976, Irwin, together with about 60 experienced programmers from the CP-V development team at Xerox, moved to Honeywell with the challenge to re-implement CP-V and all its compilers, libraries, databases, communications software and utilities into CP-6 on a Honeywell mainframe in three years. That we made it was in no small part due to Irwin, who chaired the CP-6 design review board and enforced proper design and development standards on all of us.
This was yet another example of Irwin’s experience and leadership skills. This kid is now in his eightieth year, and is very appreciative of the lessons taught by his mentor, Irwin Greenwald. ~ Ed Bryan
JACK TRAMIEL, the founder of Commodore, died in the US on 8 April 2012 at the age of 83. As the founder of Commodore Business Machines and later owner of the Atari brand name, Tramiel oversaw the introduction of some of the most celebrated machines from the early days of the personal computer, including the Commodore PET, VIC-20, Commodore 64 and the Atari ST.
Internet Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees
Internet pioneers and luminaries from around the world gathered at the conference to mark the Internet Society’s 20th anniversary.
Recognizing individuals who were instrumental in the early design and development of the Internet: Paul Baran, Vint Cerf, Danny Cohen, Steve Crocker, Donald Davies, Elizabeth Feinler, Charles Herzfeld, Robert Kahn, Peter Kirstein, Leonard Kleinrock, John Klensin, Jon Postel, Louis Pouzin, and Lawrence Roberts.
Recognizing individuals who made outstanding technological, commercial, or policy advances and helped to expand the Internet’s reach: Mitchell Baker, Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, Van Jacobson, Lawrence Landweber, Paul Mockapetris, Craig Newmark, Raymond Tomlinson, Linus Torvalds, and Philip Zimmermann.
Recognizing individuals from around the world who have made significant contributions to the global growth and use of the Internet: Randy Bush, Kilnam Chon, Al Gore, Nancy Hafkin, Geoff Huston, Brewster Kahle, Daniel Karrenberg, Toru Takahashi, and Tan Tin Wee.
Raúl Echeberría, Chairman of the Internet Society’s Board of Trustees, noted, "The Internet, which connects more than two billion people around the world today, is the result of many important contributions from creative and visionary individuals over the past several decades. The 2012 Internet Hall of Fame celebrates the accomplishments and advancements of 33 talented people who have made significant contributions to the design, development, and expansion of the Internet."
Vint Cerf: November 14, 2011
"When Bob and I started writing the specs for the Internet in 1973" Only a handful of people can start a sentence anything like that.
Phil Zimmerman creator of the Pretty Good Privacy software that so many people adopted to encrypt their email was the target of a federal criminal investigation that derived from his making it widely available for download. The government dropped its case in 1996. Today, PGP is the most widely used encryption program in the world. PGP is the reason Zimmerman is going to be inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.
Now offering Silent Circle, an encrypted email, encrypted mobile calls, encrypted VOIP teleconferencing and encrypted instant messaging, all in one place. Silent Circle will offer services both to consumers and corporations, but also to human-rights groups, dissidents and nongovernmental organizations working in dangerous or sketchy places where governments tend to monitor communications. There’s also a promise of no backdoors offered for any individual, organization or government.
Robert E. Kahn is Chairman, CEO and President of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), which he founded in 1986 after a thirteen year term at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). CNRI was created as a not-for-profit organization to provide leadership and funding for research and development of the National Information Infrastructure.
After receiving a B.E.E. from the City College of New York in 1960, Dr. Kahn earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University in 1962 and 1964 respectively. He worked on the Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories and then became an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT. He took a leave of absence from MIT to join Bolt Beranek and Newman, where he was responsible for the system design of the Arpanet, the first packet-switched network. In 1972 he moved to DARPA and subsequently became Director of DARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO). While Director of IPTO he initiated the United States government's billion dollar Strategic Computing Program, the largest computer research and development program ever undertaken by the federal government. Dr. Kahn conceived the idea of open-architecture networking. He is a co-inventor of the TCP/IP protocols and was responsible for originating DARPA's Internet Program. Until recently, CNRI provided the Secretariat for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Dr. Kahn also coined the term National Information Infrastructure (NII) in the mid 1980s which later became more widely known as the Information Super Highway.
In his recent work, Dr. Kahn has been developing the concept of a digital object architecture as a key middleware component of the NII. This notion is providing a framework for interoperability of heterogeneous information systems and is being used in many applications such as the Digital Object Identifier (DOI). He is a co-inventor of Knowbot programs, mobile software agents in the network environment. Dr. Kahn is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of AAAI, a Fellow of ACM and a Fellow of the Computer History Museum. He is a member of the State Department's Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy, a former member of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee, a former member of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine and the President's Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure.
He is a recipient of the AFIPS Harry Goode Memorial Award, the Marconi Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, the President's Award from ACM, the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computer and Communications Award, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the ACM Software Systems Award, the Computerworld/Smithsonian Award, the ASIS Special Award and the Public Service Award from the Computing Research Board. He has twice received the Secretary of Defense Civilian Service Award. He is a recipient of the 1997 National Medal of Technology, the 2001 Charles Stark Draper Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, the 2002 Prince of Asturias Award, and the 2004 A. M. Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery. Dr. Kahn received the 2003 Digital ID World award for the Digital Object Architecture as a significant contribution (technology, policy or social) to the digital identity industry. In 2005, he was awarded the Townsend Harris Medal from the Alumni Association of the City College of New York, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the C & C Prize in Tokyo, Japan. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2006, and awarded the Japan Prize for his work in "Information Communication Theory and Technology" in 2008. He received the Harold Pender Award from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010.
Dr. Kahn has received honorary degrees from Princeton University, University of Pavia, ETH Zurich, University of Maryland, George Mason University, the University of Central Florida and the University of Pisa, and an honorary fellowship from University College, London.
J.D. Falk - In Memoriam* 17 November, 2011
J.D. Falk was a founder of CAUCE, and one of the nicest people in the anti-spam community. Besides being a board member of CAUCE U.S. since its inception in 1997, he went on to support the organization as a member of the CAUCE North America Executive. His tireless efforts helped to make CAUCE what it is today.
During his career, J.D. worked at Erols, Priori, Critical Path, MAPS, Yahoo!,Microsoft, and Return Path, but perhaps his most important contributions in fighting online abuse were to the Messaging Anti-abuse Working Group, wherein his tireless efforts organizing the MAAWG meetings were literally immeasurable.
J.D. was a prolific author, his writing published on CircleID, at his employer Return Path's website, and in the RFC process at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). His contributions went far towards making the Internet a better, safer place for us all. Perhaps the coolest tribute thus far is that the IETF, at the encouragement of Dave Crocker and Murray Kucherawy, published RFC 6449 moments prior to J.D.'s passing. - neil
John McCarthy, 1927–2011 Creator Of Lisp, John McCarthy, Dead At 84 A titan of computing for 50 years whose achievements will shape the next 50 http://spectrum.ieee.org/
October 2011 Gene Schultz, R. I. P.
Gene formed and managed the Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC) — an incident response team for the U.S. Department of Energy — from 1986–1992. This was the first formal incident response team, predating the CERT/CC by several years. He also was instrumental in the founding of FIRST — the Forum of Incident Response & Security Teams. During his 30 years of work in security, Gene authored or co-authored over 120 papers, and five books. He was manager of the I4 program at SRI from 1994–1998. From 2002–2007, he was the Editor-in-Chief of Computers and Security — the oldest journal in computing security — and continued to serve on its editorial board. Gene was also an associate editor of Network Security. He was a member of the accreditation board of the Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP).
March 27, 2011 Paul Baran, Internet Pioneer, Dies at 84
Paul Baran, an engineer who helped create the technical underpinnings for the Arpanet, the government-sponsored precursor to today's Internet, died Saturday night at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 84. The cause was complications from lung cancer, said his son, David.
In the early 1960s, while working at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif., Mr. Baran outlined the fundamentals for packaging data into discrete bundles, which he called “message blocks.” The bundles are then sent on various paths around a network and reassembled at their destination. Such a plan is known as “packet switching."
Mr. Baran's idea was to build a distributed communications network, less vulnerable to attack or disruption than conventional networks. In a series of technical papers published in the 1960s he suggested that networks be designed with redundant routes so that if a particular path failed or was destroyed, messages could still be delivered through another.
Mr. Baran's invention was so far ahead of its time that in the mid-1960s, when he approached AT&T with the idea to build his proposed network, the company insisted it would not work and refused.
“Paul wasn't afraid to go in directions counter to what everyone else thought was the right or only thing to do,” said Vinton Cerf, a vice president at Google who was a colleague and longtime friend of Mr. Baran's. “AT&T repeatedly said his idea wouldn't work, and wouldn't participate in the Arpanet project,” he said. In 1969, the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency built the Arpanet, a network that used Mr. Baran's ideas, and those of others. The Arpanet was eventually replaced by the Internet, and packet switching still lies at the heart of the network's internal workings.
Paul Baran was born on April 29, 1926, in Grodno, Poland. His parents moved to the United States in 1928, and Mr. Baran grew up in Philadelphia. His father was a grocer, and as a boy, Paul delivered orders to customers in a small red wagon.
He attended the Drexel Institute of Technology, which later became Drexel University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1949. He took his first job at the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation in Philadelphia, testing parts of radio tubes for an early commercial computer, the Univac. In 1955, he married Evelyn Murphy, and they moved to Los Angeles, where Mr. Baran took a job at Hughes Aircraft working on radar data processing systems. He enrolled in night classes at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Mr. Baran received a master's degree in engineering from U.C.L.A. in 1959. Gerald Estrin, who was Mr. Baran's adviser, said Mr. Baran was the first student he ever had who actually went to the Patent Office in Washington to investigate whether his master's work, on character recognition, was patentable. “From that day on, my expectations of him changed,” Dr. Estrin said. “He wasn't just a serious student, but a young man who was looking to have an effect on the world.”
In 1959, Mr. Baran left Hughes to join RAND's computer science department. He quickly developed an interest in the survivability of communications systems in the event of a nuclear attack, and spent the next several years at RAND working on a series of 13 papers — two of them classified — under contract to the Air Force, titled, “On Distributed Communications.”
About the same time that Mr. Baran had his idea, similar plans for creating such networks were percolating in the computing community. Donald Davies of the British National Physical Laboratory, working a continent away, had a similar idea for dividing digital messages into chunks he called packets. “In the golden era of the early 1960s, these ideas were in the air,” said Leonard Kleinrock, a computer scientist at U.C.L.A. who was working on similar networking systems in the 1960s.
Mr. Baran left RAND in 1968 to co-found the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit research group specializing in long-range forecasting. Mr. Baran was also an entrepreneur. He started seven companies, five of which eventually went public. In recent years, the origins of the Internet have been subject to claims and counterclaims of precedence, and Mr. Baran was an outspoken proponent of distributing credit widely. “The Internet is really the work of a thousand people,” he said in an interview in 2001. “The process of technological developments is like building a cathedral,” he said in an interview in 1990. “Over the course of several hundred years, new people come along and each lays down a block on top of the old foundations, each saying, 'I built a cathedral.' “Next month another block is placed atop the previous one. Then comes along an historian who asks, 'Well, who built the cathedral?' Peter added some stones here, and Paul added a few more. If you are not careful you can con yourself into believing that you did the most important part. But the reality is that each contribution has to follow onto previous work. Everything is tied to everything else.”
Mr. Baran's wife, Evelyn, died in 2007. In addition to his son, David, of Atherton, Calif., he is survived by three grandchildren; and his companion of recent years, Ruth Rothman.
From: "Peter A. Freeman" March 27, 2011 8:54:29 PM EDT
Subject: Re: [IP] Paul Baran
Dave, We will all miss Paul and his positive, encouraging spirit. His ideas and insights literally helped spark what will be seen by historians as one of the major turning points in human history. He was quite active and vital to the end of his life. Exactly one year ago, March 27, 2010, I had the following email message from him in response to a speech draft I shared with him:
Yes, your message finds me alive and well and busier than ever – as a retirement failure (I know the theory, but fail in implementation). I'm still busy with new technology development and nascent ventures. Thank you for your most gracious words and describing the reality of how things get done and the duality of motivation. Thank you for introducing me to him 40 years ago.
Peter A. Freeman, Emeritus Dean & Professor, Georgia Tech www.cc.gatech.edu/people/peter-freeman Tel: +1-202-294-5399 (mobile)
Paul Baran's 1971 forecasts on the future internet
Here's a fascinating excerpt from Paul Baran's 1971 forecasts on the future of network information services, from a private, unpublished study, recently discovered and posted yesterday by the Insititue for the Future, the research lab Paul co-founded in 1968
IFTF Celebrates Paul Baran: Forecasting the Internet http://iftf.org/PaulBaran2An Evening with Paul Baran who will discuss the origin and development of his accomplishments—which span a lifetime of entrepreneurial activity, including 150 papers, 40 patents, and five start-up companies—and how these continue to have an impact on our everyday lives.
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Daniel J Weitzner serves as Associate Administrator for Policy at the United States Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA is principal adviser to the President on telecommunications and information policy.
Prior to joining NTIA, Weitzner created the MIT CSAIL Decentralized Information Group, taught Internet public policy in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, and was Policy Director of the World Wide Web Consortium. He founded the Web Science Research Initiative with Tim Berners-Lee, Wendy Hall, Nigel Shadbolt and James Hendler. Weitzner was co-founder and Deputy Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Deputy Policy Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Weitzner has law degree from Buffalo Law School, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Swarthmore College. His writings have appeared in Science magazine, the Yale Law Review, Communications of the ACM, Computerworld, Wired Magazine and Social Research.
Stagg Newman - Chief Technologist, FCC National Broadband Plan team
Chief Technologist, FCC National Broadband Plan team
Rob Curtis at fcc.gov>, Tom Brown at fcc.gov
The takeaway from the response time relationship however, is that an increase in throughput commensurate with increases in memory and object sizes will be necessary to maintain the present state of affairs, and a trajectory of even greater throughput improvements will be necessary for increased usability." [jargon / buzzword bingo]
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British mathematician Alan M. Turing, who in 1950 suggested that if a computer could successfully impersonate a human by carrying on a typed conversation with a person, it could be called intelligent. The Turing Test is an adequate test of machine intelligence. Dennett notes that PARRY is the only programme known to have passed the Turing Test - psychiatrists were unable to distinguish between real patients and simulated ones.
UK gov rejects call to posthumously pardon Alan Turing
2/6/12 Wartime codebreaker's 'absurd' conviction must stand
The UK government has turned down a call to posthumously pardon Alan Turing. A petition to pardon the war-time codebreaker for a 'gross indecency' conviction attracted more than 23,000 signatures, prompting the tabling of early day motion in the House of Commons last week. Turing was arrested and eventually convicted for homosexuality in 1952. The conviction meant he was no longer allowed clearance to work on secret government projects. In addition he was forced to undergo a degrading hormone injection programme (chemical castration) as an alternative to a prison sentence. Turing spiralled into depression and ultimately took his own life two years later, in 1954.
2012 Alan Turing: Inquest's suicide verdict 'not supportable' Alan Turing, the British mathematical genius and codebreaker born 100 years ago on 23 June, may not have committed suicide, as is widely believed. At a conference in Oxford on Saturday, Turing expert Prof Jack Copeland will question the evidence that was presented at the 1954 inquest. He believes the evidence would not today be accepted as sufficient to establish a suicide verdict.
Three years ago, former UK prime minister Gordon Brown issued an apology for government's treatment of Turing, describing it as "horrifying" and "utterly unfair" as well as praising Turing's outstanding contribution to the war effort. The apology fell short of the criminal pardon that some - but not John Graham-Cumming, the British programmer behind the 2009 Alan Turing apology campaign – had wanted. However when the issue of granting a posthumous pardon was raised in the House of Lords a government minister said the option had already been considered and rejected at the time of the 2009 apology. Lord Sharkey said that even though Turing had been "convicted of an offence which now seems both cruel and absurd", a pardon is not appropriate because he was found guilty of something that was a criminal offence at the time.