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[ih] XEROX/PUP and Commercialization (was Re: FYI - Gordon Crovitz/WSJ on "Who Really Invented the Internet?")

On Jul 25, 2012, at 2:19 PM, Ofer Inbar wrote:


> So back to "The Internet": It's not just any internet, it's a specific
> one, and we're trying to identify its lineage.  The history of this
> particular entity goes back to before it even was an internet - just
> as the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies are a key point in the
> creation of the country now known as the United States, even though it
> was neither the US nor an independent country at that time.
> When we're tracing the Internet's history back to its beginnings in
> the days before it was an internet, what we're trying to do is not
> define what "an internet" is, but rather to define what marks a
> particular such entity's identity and continuous existence.  We're
> identifying not *what* it is, but *which one* it is.
>  -- Cos

"The Internet" is defined by the notion of ubiquitous access and connectivity.
You need a "public" IP address, and the associated routing infrastructure that
enables reachability between all the participants.  Being "on" the Internet
means the ability to exchange traffic with others "on" the Internet.  This 
implies that the disconnected corporate or lab network that happens to us
the IP protocol suite are not part of the Internet.

One could argue that the longest running distributed algorithm is what we
use for Inter Domain routing on the public Internet.  Bits and pieces 
come and go, protocols and algorithms evolve, but there really hasn't been
a "flag day" in decades.

This ubiquitous connectivity was an important concept around the time that
commercialization of the Internet started to happen, and the Big Stupid Fone
Companies started to get involved.  It didn't matter how wonderful
product/network X was if it couldn't talk to all of your competitor's networks
and their customers, too.  This (should) seem obvious now.

Louis Mamakos