[e2e] Nature mag, DARPA, and the Internet

Jon Crowcroft Jon.Crowcroft at cl.cam.ac.uk
Fri Aug 8 23:50:17 PDT 2003

the "I"nternet today means a lot of things that come fro ma lot of places - some of them
were sponsored by DARPA some by other agencies

for joepublic at freemail17.net and foobarbaz.com and creditcardcompanyx.org 
the net only makes sense when you have
secure web access
online credit check 
idiotproof broswers (and that is IE not the "better" unixOrigined browsers)
dsk and cable modems
well provisioned access, transit and tier 1 ISPs
and a host more things - very few of the above were sponsored by darpa
but the darpa programs led the way in a significant fraction of the prototypes and
precursors (although there were important other avenues explored by parallel programs of
research and development, if only to make sure they were dead ends (viz, minitel, x.25, X,
MAC OS, etc :-)

anyone can do this vision stuff, but the DARPA program managers do have i believe a case
for being somewhat more reliable at it than a lot of others.....

i think its a shame people fight over credit for sucess - lots of people should be happy to
have shared in it, even when they worked on honourable failures that Good Science demands
we explore if only for comparison reasons (not forgetting some honourable failures are
better technology, but markets sometimes just dont tip in their favour (e.g. cambridgering
is much better than both ethernet and token ring:))

nature of course has atrack record of publishing bogo-papers:-)

In missive <200308082246.h78MkbUI025964 at localhost.localdomain>, "The Purple Streak, Hilarie Orman" t

 >>Nature magazine for August 7 has an article by Geoff Brumfiel about
 >>the controversy over DARPA's recent controversial projects that
 >>mentions "many credit the agency with developing the Internet" and an
 >>editorial "In Defence of DARPA", mentioning that among its payoffs are
 >>"a host of critical Internet technologies."  I assume the magazine
 >>means well, but this lukewarm referral to DARPA's role seems to show
 >>that those who do not know history are designated to rewrite it.
 >>Even people who like Spam don't make it 10% of their daily intake



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