Vint Cerf and The Internet Today | Singularity University

Vint Cerf and The Internet Today | Singularity University

I wanted to give you an idea of what the Internet's you know a little bit about where it came from but you all know most of that the real question is what is it doing today and where is it headed and what are all the problems that are not solved there are a whole bunch of areas where the internet didn't evolve didn't develop isn't satisfactory things like that so let me start out with a back up here this is what the predecessor to the internet looked like in December of 1969 40 years almost 40 years ago there were only four nodes of the net was an experimental packet switching system I was a graduate student at UCLA and I wrote the software that connected a Sigma 7 computer through the first packet switch of the ARPANET that computer is in a museum and some people think I should be there along with it but this was a very successful demonstration and then it expanded fairly quickly by 1972 there were all perhaps 35 or so nodes of the ARPANET scattered around the United States and some were in planning for outside the u.s. particularly in Europe by the time 1977 rolls around I have moved from Stanford University where Bob Kahn and Bob was at DARPA I was at Stanford if we did our original work in 1973 I came to DARPA in 1976 and ran the internet research program and by late 1977 I thought it would be very important to show that this new tcp/ip technology would actually allow multiple packets which needs to be interconnected in a uniform way we had done pairwise connections of these packets which Nets but not all three of them all connected at once so in November 22nd we took a mobile packet radio network which is here in the San Francisco Bay Area with repeaters up on the mountaintops and repeaters and vans and so on in other locations that were essentially radiating packets between 100 and 500 kilobits a second at one point you see it was 17 10 to 18 50 megahertz up in the l/min we were radiating packets in from this packet radio van and then pushing through a gateway that went into the now expanded ARPANET the ARPANET had expanded not only across the United States but also had an internal satellite hop synchronous satellite hop to Norway and then by land line down to University College London then we have in addition to that a packet satellite network which would have multiple ground stations which were sharing a single radio frequency on the satellite it'll set for a so you'd radiate packets up and they would be reradiating down on a different frequency and all the ground stations would pick them up so the idea was to transmit data from the SR I Stanford Research Institute Packer radio van down to USC Information Sciences Institute in Marina del Rey is about 400 miles to the south but the actual path that the packets took was through the Gateway all the way across the ARPANET through an internal satellite hop down to Norway and then to the University College London out of the ARPANET through another gateway into the packet satellite net then up through another synchronous satellite hop through the universe at for a satellite down to e km West Virginia through another gateway back into the ARPANET then all the way across the United States and down to UCLA USC so the path of the packets was about a hundred thousand miles even though the two endpoints are only 400 miles away and it actually worked and I remember leaping around saying it works it works you know as if it couldn't possibly work anyone who understands that it's software will appreciate that any kind of software works it's a miracle so I actually drew this picture and handed frame and send it to dirt aisle Meyer who was at the time the head of DARPA and said you're George I don't think we wasted our so if you fast forward another 22 years you see what the Internet has become in 1999 this is actually an automatically generated image of the connectivity of the Internet man named Bill Cheswick looked at the routing tables of the global routing tables of the internet of that year and each different color represents a different autonomous system which is typically a network operated by a distinct network operator so you get the sense that there were a lot of different operators some of the smaller ones are out here on the periphery some of the central very large internet service providers with international connections or more towards the center if you looked at the 2009 version of this it would look very similar it would be bigger it might be more colorful it might be more connected but it's basically just a very very large and gigantic collaboration of Internet service providers so there is no central authority no one is forced to join the reason they connect is that it's a highly useful system if everyone is connected to it so this is although Metcalfe's law says that the value of the network grows by the square of the number of people who are connected to it there's some argument about that but it's at least n log n which means connecting to systems like this is beneficial increasingly beneficial as the system becomes larger and has more participants in it if we look at some other statistics what we're seeing here is the number of machines that were sorry are visible on the network there are on the public internet you can see over 600 million machines that's as in January this year and the number is undoubtedly bigger this at this point at meteor that doesn't count all the machines that are on the net however because not all the machines are publicly visible as time has gone on and as enterprises have connected to the net as government's have connected to the net they've decided that they don't want all of their assets to be visible publicly and so firewalls are in place to inhibit the visibility of many machines that are online even though they can be reached if you go through the firewalls and authenticate yourself appropriately Google for example has a large number of machines on the net but only a small fraction of them are visible to you publicly with with domain names and IP addresses the others are on the other side of application layer later gateways or or firewalls the number of users is over one and a half billion and interestingly enough another phenomenon in the course of all this growth has been the the rapid escalation of the number of mobiles that are in use that in fact 3.5 billion is low it's probably more like 4 billion now with possibly as many as a billion Mobile's going into use every year not all of them are new users many of them are replacements but maybe half of them could be argued to be new those three and a half to four billion mobiles are some of them are internet enabled and so for a company like Google it's actually quite important because for many people in the world the first exposure that they have to the Internet is going to be through a mobile and for some of them the only exposure they will have so if you're trying to present your products and services to these people you have to take into account the varying data rates with which the Mobile's can get access to the net the limited display area that may be available with a limited kinds of keyboard or or other touchscreen interfaces so it's absolutely quite a challenge to configure applications that will work through a large gamut of you know small display screen mobiles in their large format displaying desktops and laptops so anyone who's interested in serving this disparate population has to take that into account this tells you a little bit about where the users are and another very important conclusion can be reached from looking at this and that is that the asian population will be the dominant user population on the internet there's no doubt about that anymore over almost 660 million people in asia 250 million in china as of sometime at the beginning of this year are online on the internet and that's with only 17 percent penetration of the asian population so as time goes on and more and more of the asian population becomes online the percentage goes up but the absolute numbers of users goes up dramatically into the two and a half to three billion range the others are as you see it Europe is the next largest today one thing that's rather peculiar is that Europe keeps adding countries and so the prediction any prediction about Europe becomes difficult because you don't know what constitutes Europe anymore North America is now number three on the list at 250 million it will not get very much bigger the populations of the US and Canada are not growing dramatically and so on under no circumstance will the North Americans be the dominant force anymore on the Internet even though the internet started there and heavy penetration as you can see 74 percent so what you see in the US may be indicative of what it's like to have a large fraction of the population online but by no means will the North Americans dominate the content or the network or the application space over the long term it will just be part of the picture this is a chart which isn't important to motivate only one thing the only line in here that's important is the one that's going down that's not the Dow Jones average in it's not the GDP or anything it's the number of Internet addresses that are still left that can be allocated by the regional internet registries who allocate IP address space to Internet service providers that address face is going to be exhausted sometime around the middle of 2010 or 11 there are 4.3 billion unique addresses available in IP version 4 which is what you're running that choice the 32 bits was made in 1977 when the project was only four years old and one year a debate had gone about how large the undress space should be and I was in charge of the project that art the time and this one year debate didn't resolve itself and I said well we have to move on when I get something done here and it was that big demonstration was on my mind so I said look you can't make up your mind some people wanted variable-length addresses and the programmers said that was a terrible idea because he plays cycles trying to find the field variable length packets so they didn't like that and we discarded that the only other two options that were on the table were 32 bits and 128 bits and at the time remember this is an experiment I had trouble believing there was any rational argument that would require you to have 128 bits of address space to do an experiment so it's okay it's 32 bits that's 4.3 billion addresses it's enough to do an experiment and if it works you know then we will do the production version well that was a good idea except the experiment didn't end and so here we are in 2009 we're running out of address space the solution to that problem is in fact to shift to IP version 6 which does have 128 bits of address space as 3.4 times 10 to the 38th addresses a number that only the American Congress can appreciate they and what I frankly hope is that that this new address space will be adopted and implemented in parallel with IP version 4 I have to tell you it's been a very slow process these ipv6 was standardized around 1996 and very very few people implemented it and even now it's been a very very slow process Google spent the last year and a half implementing IP version 6 across all of its services and we're not completely done but almost everything is accessible through ipv6 the problem is that unlike IP version 4 which started out with a connected core first the ARPANET then the National Science Foundation Network together forming the u.s. backbones plus NASA science internet and the Department of Energy yes and at all four of those were major Cornell courts in the United States they were all interconnected with each other they were all using nineteen version four so when you connected to any of them using IP version 4 you were connected with everything else IP version 6 is not coming up that way it's coming up in little spots around the net and so we have a spotty if and possibly disconnected collection of IP version 6 implementations you can tunnel between the networks between the ipv6 Nets using the IP v4 backbones but it's a very brittle way of implementing so I am pushing very hard to try to get as many people as possible to get the ipv6 implementations done and to adopt a liberal interconnection policy in order to have a fully connected ipv6 network we think I think any way that as the deadline approaches where the v4 address space is going to run out more and more people will pay attention to the problem the trouble is that they will do it in a crisis and I think engineering in a crisis is a very bad idea so I continue to preach sermons about introducing ipv6 in parallel with ipv4 as soon as possible I want to come back to the Mobile's for just a second because they represent a very interesting feature to be introduced into the network that wasn't really there before it has the property that you carry your information window around with you on your hip or in your purse and it's clearly not a just a phone these are all programmable devices they're all just sort of waiting for more downloads of software to run new applications we're very excited about these at Google in fact very excitement extended to the point where we actually implemented a new operating system called Android we made it available free of charge in source code form in what the whole idea was to put a platform out there that people could treat first of all we hope it's more secure than some of the others are but second its intended to allow people to download new applications and to freely run them so that's all you know to the good I have to say though that if you use your robot to do anything you're confronted with all of its various constraints and limitations one thing that has occurred to me is that when you walk into a room like this your mobile might become aware of devices like this high-res projection unit or you walk into a hotel room and there might be a wet WebTV keyboard or something it would be kind of nice if there were standards so that the mobile detected these devices and recognized there were other i/o things available besides the mobile itself and so those are the sorts of things that we might look forward to in time the other thing which we can see at Google is that when people use their mobiles to interrogate the net to do various searches they frequently ask questions related to where they are so this means that geographically indexed information is becoming increasingly valuable and so people who go to the trouble of sociate a geographical location with information can monetize that well I sort of understood this intellectually but I didn't really viscerally appreciate it until my family went on a holiday in its page Arizona there's a big lake called Lake Powell and we decided to go and rent a house phone and go out on the lake so while we were driving into the small town of Page Arizona someone pointed out that there weren't any grocery stores on the lake and that we had to buy all of our food before we launched the boat or we wouldn't have anything to eat so that turned the conversation to you know meals and you know what did people want to cook somebody said why don't we make paella longer on the boat and I thought that was a really good idea but I didn't know where I could find salmon where where can I find saffron in Page Arizona so I got my BlackBerry out and I was getting a good dated connection so he went to the Google homepage and I typed Safran Page Arizona a grocery store and I got that three responses with telephone numbers and little map showing how to get to the store I clicked on one of the phone numbers the phone rang voice answers and I said may I speak to the spice Department please now remember this is a small store it's probably the owner of the story this is the spice Department so do you have any Safran nieces I don't know but I'll go check and he runs off and he comes back and he says yes so I follow the map and he run into the store and I buy $12.99 worth of Safran and as I was walking out of the store I realized what had just happened is in real time as I needed it I got exactly the information required to get that point zero six ounces of saffron I didn't get the answer you know it's 1500 miles away in New York City and so it made me a real believer in the utility and value having good geographically indexed information which allows you to localize the kind of searching that you're doing well as time goes on I have seen a variety of things appliances connected to the internet that I certainly never expected to see in 1973 things like refrigerators or picture frames or things that look like telephones but they're actually voice over IP computers but I like the one in the middle this is a guy in the Netherlands who built an internet-enabled surfboard you know I don't know him but I have this you know a little image in my head and the guy sitting on the water you know thinking while he's waiting for the next wave thinking you know if I had a laptop in my surfboard I could be surfing the internet while I'm waiting so he actually built a laptop into the surfboard put a Wi-Fi server back on the rescue shack and now he sells this as a product so if you're interested in surfing the internet while you're out doing the other kind of surfing this that's the product for you so my belief right now is that we are going to see many billions of devices on the net probably more devices than there are people some of them we already see today like what TVs or personal digital assistants or computer games that people connect to the high-speed Internet and they talk to each other while they're shooting at each other but there are some other little surprises the refrigerator there does exist the refrigerator it's at the high end and it has a nice liquid crystal display and you can go surfing the net while you're in the kitchen you could use it to augment your family communication system you know sending blogs to each other or you know emails or instant messages or flaming or whatever but I have this other thought you know what would happen if everything you put inside the refrigerator had an RFID chip in it so the refrigerator if it could sense that would know what it has inside so while you're off working it's surfing the net trying to find recipes that it could make with what it knows it has inside and when you get home you'd see is set of choices for dinner coming up you can extrapolate that you could be on vacation and you might get an email and it's from your refrigerator and it says you know I don't know how much milk is left but you put it in there three weeks ago and it's going to crawl out on its own or maybe you're shopping and your mobile goes off it's your refrigerator again don't forget the marinara sauce I have everything else I need for spaghetti dinner tonight you know the bad part about these kinds of scenarios our Japanese friends have invented an internet-enabled bathroom scale you step on the scale and it figures out which family member you are based on your weight and sends that information to the doctor to become part of your medical record and on the surface I think that's okay the trouble is that the refrigerator is on the same network and so if it gets the same information you know with me just put up diet recipes on the display or maybe just refuse to open their you know there are a lot of other things that you know we could I don't have time to really go into in detail but I did want to mention another class of system which is increasingly in common on the net and that's sensor networks and I want to give you an example of one of them I'm running an ipv6 wireless network in my house it's used to instrument every room and every five minutes it collects temperature and humidity information and light levels and that gets recorded every five minutes for every room in the house my motivation for installing this but it's a commercial product this one happens to come from a company called arch rock in the Bay Area there's another company called crossbow which makes similar kinds of equipment so these are becoming commercially available this is not a science project in the garage or anything this is real commercial quality stuff part of my motivation for putting this thing together was to have a year's worth of data about the heating and cooling in the house so that at the end of the year I could go over this with the building engineer and talk about whether the heating and cooling system had done its job well did I get reasonably uniform cooling or a reasonably uniform heating or not and if not then you know what changes should be made to the way the system was working but there is one room in the house which is particularly sensitive it's the wine cellar and this needs to be kept below sixty degrees Fahrenheit and preferably 60% humidity so the cork so dry out so that one has been warmed and if the temperature goes above sixty degrees I get an SMS on my mobile saying you know the we breached the 60 degree mark this actually happened to me when I was visiting Argonne National Laboratory last year just as I was walking into the building for a three-day stay my mobile went off it was the wine cellar calling your wine is just heated up beyond 60 degrees and every five minutes for the next three days I got this little warning saying your wine is warming up unfortunately my wife was away on a holiday and so she couldn't go and repower the cooling system by the time I did get home the gotten up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit that's not the end of the world you know but it wasn't good news either so I called the art drop guys and they said hey do you guys make actuators as well as sensors and the answer was yes so one of the projects is to install the actuator so I can remotely turn the cooling system back on again while I'm away now that obviously has to be access controlled because I don't want the 15 year old next door to turn my cooling system off while I'm away you know I don't need that kind of help you know so I thought well you know there's other information that I can get from observing the data that's being collected from the wine cellar for example if somebody goes in and turn the lights on I can actually detect that because the changing light level she should be signaled so I thought well maybe that would warn me if someone had gotten in there and what that I hadn't anticipated but you know it doesn't tell me anything about when he and whether any wine had left the wine cellar without my permission so the next step is to put RFID chips on all the wine bottles and that way you know I'll be able to do instant inventory to determine whether the wine is still where it should be of course someone pointed out to me that you could go into the wine cellar and drink the bottle and then leave it there and so you wouldn't be able to detect you know that anybody so now I need to put sensors in the corks to determine you know whether there's any wine lamp and as long as I'm going to that much trouble I should put some kind of analysis in there so that I can look at the esters that are developing in the wine to determine whether or not the wine is ready to drink and then before you open the wine bottle you interrogate the cork and if it turns out that's the bottle it got to 90 degrees because the cooling system went off that's the bottle you give to somebody who doesn't know the difference value so it's a very helpful mechanism well let me just say that the internet even though its design was done in 1973 its initial rollout was in 1983 26 years ago this year is probably one of the more momentous in terms of changes that are going on the introduction of ipv6 the introduction of digitally signed entries in the domain name system in order to reduce certain kinds of spoofing phishing attacks and things like that or order poisoning of the the resolver caches is underway and in a number of top-level domains including I this is out of date now gov and the last is now being digitally signed as is nil then we're also introducing non-latin characters into the domain name system that's turned out to be much more complex and a hard thing to do than you might expect but it's overdue because many people use languages that are not expressible in Latin characters so if you speak Russian you would use to relate to if you speak Arabic or do you use Arabic characters or Chinese or Korean and so on so that's happening this year as well the modification of the specification for the domain name system to allow these other scripts to be used is a very big deal and the consequence of that is that new country code top-level domains will have to be introduced because if you happen to be in a country like India which speaks 22 or has 22 official languages you want to be able to express the idea of India not as simply dot I am in Latin characters but also in Malayalam and many of the other scripts that are used in that country so we're going to see a growth in top-level domains and the internet simply because of the introduction of these new character sets and there's also some demand simply do expand the number of generic top-level domains that exist like you know the things like today you have got coop and dog travel and dot dot gov and dot org people are going to be asking for other top-level domains in the generic world as well so this is quite a big year for the internet something else which has become common in the vocabularies cloud communications or cloud computing Google was a very big proponent of assembling large numbers of computers into big data and then sharing data across all the data centers for resiliency and redundancy also allowing variable assignment of the computers to various computational problems so it's a very efficient way of dynamically allocating computing capacity to a variety of different computational tasks they're interesting question for me right now is that as cloud computing systems are developing at Amazon at Microsoft IBM at Google at other enterprises one of the questions that comes up in my mind is how you move data back and forth between those clouds of computers and clearly something is already possible because you can get to the cloud through the internet but there's no formalism right now so if I have data sitting in the Google cloud and for some reason it needs to be moved to the amazon cloud or the IBM cloud or the Microsoft cloud there isn't any vocabulary for that you don't even know how to say move it to this cloud because you don't know how to express the term cloud there's no vocabulary this is not too different from the world of networking in 1973 when Bob Kahn and I began the work of tcp/ip because the network's at the time didn't have a way of referring to another net there was no vocabulary for that and the Internet Protocol was the way of saying send this to an app that isn't you and now we may need to have a way of saying send this to a cloud that isn't you by the way if the data in the cloud is protected with access control how do I send knowledge without access control regime to the other cloud what metadata do I have to send how should i express it how should i express the permissions that the parties who have access have to manipulate the data to look at the data and the like or share the data so this is an open area for research there there are little bits and pieces of exploration of this idea happening too but no coherent standards emerged yet just to emphasize the fact that even though the internet has been around for quite a long time operationally for 26 years now there are a lot of things that are not satisfactory for one thing is not secure enough and this is not a question of simply encrypting data between you know the hosts on the net there needs to be security introduced at all layers in the layered architecture for example was that you could encrypt email going from a source to the destination and imagine that there is a virus attached to the email while you encrypt everything it goes through this cast-iron pipe through the net nobody can see the virus it gets decrypted to the other end and then of course does its damage on the other side so cryptography does not solve that particular security problem it may solve other problems like exposing higher-level protocols to view which people abusers can use to mount certain kinds of attacks against the TCP layer for example if you encrypt that into an you can't mount that particular attack but there are all kinds of authentication issues that have not been addressed we don't know for example statistically how the internet behaves we have lots of measurements but it's not like the phone system mr. Ayer long examined the phone system 100 years ago and said the average telephone call is about three minutes and it has a nice bell-shaped distribution curve but the internet doesn't behave that way because people keep inventing new applications that have different statistics and so there isn't any such thing as the average statistical behavior of a task or an application on the net and as the network's capacity increases people come up with new applications that make very different kinds of demands it's particularly weird with your using the world wide web and you're clicking around by pointing at things small amounts of data are going back and forth and all of a sudden you click on something and you get megabit file transfer taking place and so you have these wild variation at the edges of the net in terms of the capacity that's required I'm not going to go through all of these but a couple I wanted to highlight especially we've done a very bad job of dealing with mobility in the internet it's ironic because one of the first nets that I mentioned was this packet radio net which in fact allowed mobility but only within that network it didn't take into account the idea of moving from one place in the internet to another maintaining a connection as you go from one Internet access point to another because today that changes your IP address changing an IP address the stories the TCP connection I just didn't recognize that at the time as a serious problem partly because computers of the day filled up several rooms cost several million dollars and you didn't put them in your pocket and so that scenario just didn't didn't filter in but today it's a very different story and things do move around and they do need to be accounted for multihoming is another example people are connected more than one internet service provider for redundancy end up getting two IP addresses and that creates the real problem because you can't meld together traffic coming from multiple sources independent of the path and have them all be the same IP address they actually look like distinct pounds and that's not good we don't use broadcast very well we take a broadcast radio channel like the 802 11 Wi-Fi and we turn it into a point-to-point link we don't actually recognize in the protocol sense that when you radiate over the radio multiple sites may actually hear the same data or if you're radiating from a satellite if you have the right protocols you could take advantage of the fact that hundreds of thousands or millions of receivers get the same information we just don't have protocols to do that even though the underlying communication system is capable of delivering that service so it's an area where we could do a lot better so there are lots of other things that I don't want to take too much time on I briefly mentioned authentication this is something we do very badly in the net today we don't have a strong way of assuring you that you've gotten to the correct host on the net even if you do a lookup in the domain name system and even if that's digitally signed you still might want to have a three-way handshake that confirms which machine you're actually talking to before you carry out a remaining transaction there are certain instances at higher layers a protocol like email where you're not quite sure where the email come from it would be nice if you have a strong way of authenticating the party with whom you are transacting and so introducing strong authentication at various places in the network architecture would allow us to do things that today are not very feasible oh gosh there's all these other things that I don't want to spend too much time on I'm going to come back to delay in disruption tolerance in a little while I'm already mention mobile operation in fact I'm going to skip over this slide because I'm going to get back to something else in a minute anyway I'll come back to those topics one thing I want to strongly assert is that the notion of copyright as we think of it today is seriously impaired by the way the internet works on the way the world wide web works copyright says you can't copy this unless you have permission from the copyright holder and that works well for material which is fixed in a medium for example paper or a DVD or a tape of some kind but in the internet world especially the world wide web it's all about copying if you think about the way a browser works the browser goes out to a host and it copies a file and then it interprets it so the internet says giant copying engine and somehow that comes you know face to face with the notion of copyright collides with it so we don't have good models right now for adapting the rule copyright to this environment where it's easy to duplicate and distribute digital content and somehow we have to find a way to cope with it because people still want to be compensated some of them for their intellectual property others maybe not and in fact the avalanche of information that's coming into the World Wide Web since the web was publicly introduced around 1994 tells you that a lot of people just want to share their information that's why YouTube for example is now getting 20 hours of video per minute uploaded into our systems at Google I have no idea who's watching all that stuff you know it just amazes me that there would be that much new material being pumped into the system it's like blogs I mean there's something 200 million blogs in the world and you know I wonder what the average readership is it's probably 1.1 you know the guy that wrote it plus his dog so we have this this incredible willingness and desire to pump information into the net for public sharing some of the parties with white people compensated other people simply want to know that their information was useful and in some cases it's it's a very smart move to make the information freely available standards for example that people have free access to source code that you want to make available because it's an open source environment all contributed to the idea of people wanting to share their information without specific compensation so we have this very broad range of motivations for sharing information and somehow we have to find a way you'll accommodate all of them in some reasonably legally enforceable way Tim berners-lee talks a lot about Semantic Web and I didn't fully understand what it was he was getting at until I managed to corral him earlier this year in Madrid at the world wide web conference and asked him you know what is this all about and as I understood it Tim was talking about what he what he called data linking and what he's basically I'm the way I'm interpreting this is he's saying that we have a lot of information in the internet that's contained in databases that are not made visible and discoverable through web crawling because the web crawlers mostly see things as HTML or XML on the index that certainly that's what we do at Google but we don't dive down into the databases in fact very hard to do that because a lot of the databases our content is only visible because you initiate a next an SQL query for example you know I can't imagine trying to have a web crawler which finds a database and then sits there for you know days of the time asking every possible question and it doesn't even know what question to ask because it doesn't know what the contents of the database are so we need some way of making the contents of the databases more visible we also have to have some way of interpreting the data so that if we get some of it we know what it means and what to do with it how to process it kind of manipulated how to share how to join information from multiple databases and that's my understanding of what Tim is trying to do is to make the dark content of the Internet visible and usable every single day when you sit down use your laptop or your desktop and you create documents you create videos you create complex simulations you do a lot of things with software the outcome of which is very complex files and those complex files don't mean anything in the absence of the software that knows how to interpret them so imagine for a moment the extreme situation it's the year 3000 you've just done a google search and let's even assume you're using Windows 3000 and you even can't I know you well I'm sorry Kevin is looking very unhappy about that but just for this is a hypothetical Kevin you're using Windows 3000 and you've just turned up a 1997 PowerPoint file so now the question is does Windows 3000 know how to interpret that file and the answer is probably not but you know even that's not an unfair gig at Microsoft even if it was an open source software thing it's not clear that this stuff would survive and be maintained for over a thousand years so the question is how on earth do we continue to the data that we're accumulating interpretable and meaningful over long periods of time it's truly embarrassing to go to let's say one of these special libraries that have many manuscripts in them vellum manuscripts from 1000 ad that are still very readable they're beautiful in fact they may be illuminated manuscripts they've lasted a thousand years and then you know you walk in there with your little DVD and the librarian says and how long do you expect that to last and there's really two questions how long will the medium survive you know and then quite how long will you have a piece of equipment that can actually read it and how long will you have software which can take the bits that have been read and interpret them successfully well I've had many discussions with librarians on this point and I remember sitting in a meeting where one young fellow got up and made the brash statement that this wasn't a problem and that you know the important information would be upgraded and you know read you know rewritten in new applications so that it would survive and the stuff that didn't get rewritten wasn't important and so nobody would care anyway it took about a half an hour to get the librarians off the ceiling because they pointed out correctly in my view that sometimes you don't know what information is important for a hundred years or more and at NASA in particular I want to say that this can be very very important for scientific reasons reanalyzing earlier data in the light of new understanding of new models and new theories can be very very powerful the problem now is not only interpreting the bits and you know what values did they mean but what conditions apply under what conditions were these data collected what metadata needs to be present along with the actual measured material in order to make it possible to continue to understand and use and reanalyze the information these are hard problems and they deserve some serious attention if we don't pay attention then we end up with what I've been calling the bedrock problem where all the data just eventually evaporates because it isn't useful and it doesn't take very long for that to happen it's already happening now as in a small example if I produce PowerPoint slides on my Mac and then I take the file over to a PC running with Vista for example some of the imagery which might have been captured as TIFF files isn't interpreted successfully on the Microsoft PC version and I'm not I'm not literally I hope you'll believe me that I'm not sitting here trying to steal Microsoft at all it's a just an example of the difficulty of maintaining the interpretability of different formats over a reasonable period of time so this is something we really need to attend to let me finish by bringing up a status report on a project that was started in 1998 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and continues now to to be pursued in the larger context now with NASA and my turn Kevin Paul is deeply involved in this activity from Berkeley Intel among others it started out as a kind of a hypothetical question if we are in fact going to continue to go back to visit Mars remember our first landings came the u.s. landings came in 1976 with the Viking landers and subsequently a number of other missions failed and then the two Rovers got there in 2001 and the Phoenix lander landed last year in May we were thinking at JPL what would happen over longer periods of time as more complex missions were required were multiple spacecraft multiple devices on the surface mobile equipment spacecraft flying in tandem what kind of communication would be useful for them to have something richer than a point-to-point radio link which is mostly what we've been doing well we've been using this deep space network since 1964 to reach various spacecraft some of which are very very far away and that radio signals are very faint these are 70 meter dishes located in three places around the surface of the earth in Madrid Spain Canberra Australia in Goldstone California and there are some other smaller 34 meter dishes that are in the same complex so these things are being used to communicate with spacecraft maybe in orbit around the planet or maybe down on the surface of Mars the rover is interestingly enough the ones over here on the your to your left landed over four years ago and they were originally intended to transmit data straight back to earth through the deep space network through some high gain antennas when they turn the radios on they overheated and the consequences out was they had to reduce the duty cycle to avoid the radios hurting themselves they were only scheduled to transmit 28 kilobits a second and so the scientists were very unhappy that the data rate would have to be effectively reduced now even more because of this problem of overheating so the JPL team said well we have some orbiters around Mars that were used to essentially map the surface of Mars to help decide where the Rovers should go but they still have radios on board they still have processing onboard they still have power available from their solar panels and the rover's could be reprogrammed because there was another radio it was an x-band radio which didn't have the same ability to communicate all the way back to earth but it could get up to the orbiters and so they reprogram the orbiters and the Rovers to transmit data up where the orbiter would hold on to the data and then when it got to the right place in its orbit it would transmit the data at 128 kilobits a second back to through the deep space net to earth so this store and forward operation emulates the way the internet works well this was the direction that we were heading in when we started this idea back in 1998 before the Rovers were in operation and in fact that particular solution worked so well that when they landed the Phoenix lander in May of last year on the North Pole of Mars they implemented this store and forward design because there wasn't any direct path to go from the Phoenix lander back to earth so we had to very well very visible work examples of store-and-forward networking in lieu of point-to-point radio links so that got very exciting for for us and we thought the scientists would appreciate having alternatives to that just a brief commercial by the way if you have not already done to Google Earth and clicked on the saturn icon and picked up Google Mars you really should try it because it's a very exciting piece of work and I'm not going to show it here but you can fly around Mars like you can fly around Earth and you can zoom down and get some really high res pictures and steer around in them as if you were on the rover looking at you can zoom in to see what's going on it's pretty exciting well when we started this project of making a more elaborate internet design versus for space applications we actually thought we could use the tcp/ip protocols that idea didn't last very long part of the reason is that we realized that the speed of light is too slow and the distance between the planets was astronomical literally so between Earth and Mars the distance is anywhere from 35 million to 235 million miles changing as a function of their location in the orbits and the delay is anywhere from three and a half minutes to 20 minutes one way and of course double that round-trip so a lot of the TCP protocols are interactive you know they sort of flow control for example is very simple you basically say to the other guy I've run out of buffer space please stop standing well if you're just on the other side of planet Earth and it takes a few kids or maybe a hundred milliseconds to get that message over there the flow control works pretty well but if it's 20 minutes before the other guy hears you say stop he's transmitting at full speed and the data falls on the floor so flow control didn't work very well then there's this problem with Celeste motion the planets have a habit of rotating we haven't figured out how to stop that so if there's something on the surface of the planet and it rotates you can't talk to it until it comes back around or maybe a satellite has a similar problem so this space communication is both variably delayed and also disrupted and as we started working through those problems we realized that we had a delay in disruption tolerance problem and we had to invent a new suite of protocols which kevin has been very helpful at developing called DPM protocols for delay in disruption tolerant protocols so we've now implemented those and have been doing a lot of terrestrial testing we did a lot of terrestrial testing we had now begun doing testing at interplanetary distances so last October NASA gave us permission to upload the DTN protocols to something called the Deep Impact spacecraft that was the one that visited a comment a couple of years ago launched the probe to find out what the interior of the continent looked like so we uploaded the protocols in October and sent about 3 or 300 messages back and forth over October and November and the protocols worked extremely well and we we didn't lose any data and there were actually a few power failures that we recovered from to show that the protocols were actually quite robust since that time we've been given permission to upload the protocols to the international space station so we're now doing testing with some equipment that's already onboard the space station and in August or September of this year we're going to reload the protocols again to the Deep Impact spacecraft which has been renamed epoxy because it's on its way out to visit a new a new comment so we'll have a three-way interplanetary network to test during the course of the latter months of this year we're hoping at the end of the first quarter of 2010 to actually have a processor on board you know sat 14 which can also have these noob DTN protocols so we have a 4 noded system in order to test that and verify that the protocols work our purpose here is primarily to space qualifying the protocols because once we demonstrated that they work we can offer them not only to NASA but so they all the other spacefaring countries around the world and if they in fact will adopt these protocols okay so the whole idea here is not that we should just build a big interplanetary backbone and hope that somebody will use it what we're saying is that you standardize the protocols so that every spacecraft that gets launched has the standards on board and if you want to use previous assets that are out there they'll be compatible so it's in the same way that when you plug into the internet you can talk to the 600 million other machines because they're all using tcp/ip in this case we hope they'll all be using the DTM protocols and if that is acceptable to the spacefaring nations and over time we will literally grow an interplanetary backbone and over many decades perhaps so it's pretty exciting to be on the very beginnings of that but the end of it you know we won't see I won't see in my lifetime but I think many of you will and certainly your children will probably participate in it so that's that's all the formal remarks I realized I went more than my 45 minutes but I'm happy to do Q&A and I understand dinner is not too far away from here so we can spend a few minutes chatting and then the rest of it over dinner is that okay all right well thank you you


18 thoughts on “Vint Cerf and The Internet Today | Singularity University”

  • Who is this clown , he knows nothing about memory , portable memory , storage , NTFS or FAT (File allocation tables).

    The fact is and im sorry to be a pain nothing is ever gone as you know evan after a format you can still recover data. Even if something is deleted it's never gone either. Christ of the shelf receovery software for home PC's can get data back. Just plug in your camera , smart phone , tablet or ipod }(anything with ntfs or fat file system) and run the software on that and you will see it will re write the ones and zeros back to what they where. Has the world gone stupid or something.

    Say i accidently formatted my memory stick with a load of photos on it i would run some software like raise data recovery on that SD card and it would UN-FORMAT IT. Nothing is ever lost. There was also a study by MIT years ago were they unformatted  several hard drives off ebay. Same applies to phones now and tablets and Cameras. I studied this in 2004 in southport college and passed my two year course. NOTHING IS EVER GONE UNDERSTAND ME. If you dont beleive me read the a+ computer hardware manual. If i dropped something i would pick it up again……..VINT No offence but you dont know anything.

    Alex Smith (BTEC Student 2004 distinction in operating systems and computer hardware_ peace out….

  • Jesse B. Ferrell says:

    Vint Cerf- The Internet Today
    The question has risen many times—Who invented the Internet?  The distinguished honor goes to American Internet Pioneer Vint Cerf and American Engineer Bob Kahn.  Attached is a Video by Vint Cerf  “one of the fathers of the Internet” (The Internet Today) that provides an excellent overview of the background & history of the Internet.

  • Tell me if you agree —- >

    he said: "The problem was the experiment went too far…" — meaning, it gave to
    much freedom, and power to the people.

    Does that not sound like this elitist is working for corporate-government interests,
    not the people — for disempowering the people from free speech.

    He knows, like all of the rogue governments, they have too install a NEW internet for THEM, for which they can better control.

    Please click my thumbs up if you agree — thanks

  • Very informative and knowledgeable interview. Have to thank Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn for their contributions to the creation of the Internet.

    And nice cameras. Didn't know that 480p video could look so good.

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