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The Internet’s 40th Anniversary

The Internet's 40th Anniversary

October 29, 2009 marked a major milestone for the internet – its 40th anniversary. Still considered a computer expert to this day, Leonard Kleinrock reported to CNN that he was a professor of computer science at UCLA on October 29, 1969. This was the day the university’s host computer connected to another machine at Stanford University’s Stanford Research Institute; the first time two computers were ever connected to one another.

The Birth of the Internet

Kleinrock said he essentially supervised the development of the internet at the very first node, instrumental in the first connection and the first email message. He remarked that when those two computers were connected to each other, it was the day “the internet uttered its first words.”

When speaking to CNN about the rapid growth of web-based attacks, fraud and identity theft, Kleinrock expressed much regret over not implementing what he called “strong user or strong file authentication” into the internet. Kleinrock said that no one expected the dark side of the internet that has been revealed today, noting that back then, the culture of the internet was one of trust among all users. Now forty years later, the internet has evolved into an invaluable source of on-demand information and useful resources as well as unregulated playground for potential dangers.

The DARPA (Department of Defense Agency), the entity that officially gave birth to the super computer network, is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the internet with a new contest. Created in 1958, DARPA began as the Advanced Research Projects Agency, or simply ARPA. The internet started out as concept for linking time-sharing computers to a national system. On October 29, 1969 at 10:30 p.m. PST, the first message was delivered over ARPANET, the network considered as the precursor to the internet.

ARPA’s Initial Plans

The initial plan of ARPA was to create a network that would provide early warnings to protect against a nuclear bomb attack from the Soviet Union, a strategy in which radar surveillance, target tracking and all other operations would be computer coordinated. The original project inevitably led to an extensive continent-spanning system compromised of 23 centers, each housing a maximum of 50 human radar operators in addition to two, real-time redundant computers that could simultaneously track up to 400 airplanes. That same system also included the first long distance network in the world, one that gave the computers the ability to send data over telephone lines to the 23 centers.

Dubbed as the “The DARPA Network Challenge,” DARPA’s contest is being held with the hopes of using the internet to bring people together to solve challenging problems. Registration begins December 1, 2009 on the DARPA website. After registering, participates must try to find 10 eight-foot red weather balloons that will be placed in secret locations throughout the United States. Whoever is first to identify the location of all 10 balloons will win a cash prize of $40,000. According to DARPA, the balloons will be positioned on December 5, and should be visible during the daytime and accessible via main roads. Anyone interested in participating can learn more about the contest at the DARPA Twitter page.

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19th December 2009
Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Web Hosting News

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