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Five Internet Founders Share First £1 Million Engineering 'Nobel' Prize

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the thank-you-for-letting-us-share-our-cat-pictures dept.

Network 55

judgecorp writes "The first Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, worth £1 million, has been shared by five founders of the Internet and the World Wide Web. In addition to Sir Tim Berners Lee and Vint Cerf, the other recipients are Cerf's colleague Bob Kahn, creator of the Mosaic browser Marc Andreessen, and a much less well known Frenchman, Louis Pouzin, aged 82. Working at Bell Labs, Pouzin invented the datagram protocols on which Cerf and Kahn based the TCP/IP protocols. The judges originally planned the prize for a maximum of three winners, but that had to change, thanks to the collaborative nature of the Internet. All the recipients praised their colleagues and pointed out that engineering is always a team effort: 'Fortunately we are still alive,' joked Pouzin. 'It is forty years since we did the things for which we are being honoured.' Awarded in the U.K., the prize is an international effort to create an engineering counterpart to the Nobels. The judges considered entries from 65 countries."

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Meanwhile... (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year and a half ago | (#43219819)

Al Gore could not be reached for comment, as he was busy hunting Manbearpig

Re:Meanwhile... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43220109)

I am a conservative, and as such hate 90% of the 'informed' opinions that you liberal east coast elites banty about here. However, as much as I hate Al Gore, I have to give him a large share of of the credit / blame for making the internets what it has become today. A lot of you uber edumicated elite either forgot, or are not old enough to remember what the internets was like bfore it became democritized e.g. commercialized. So yes Al gore rightly or wrongly had a large part in fucking up the interwebs. Before we had to use USENET and NNTP to search for porn. Now you faggots just engage in one big circle jerk on Facey Book. Seriously, I wish all you faggots would just get off my internet, and leave me and Al alone.

"When you are remodeling you kitchen, be sure to get a green refrigerator. Green refrigerators are the smartest refrigerators. If I were to rank refrigerators in terms of intelligence; here would be the order: Pink, white, yellow, brown, black, and green."
-Dadist John Stewart.

Re:Meanwhile... (0, Offtopic)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220157)

I am a conservative, and as such hate 90% of the 'informed' opinions that you liberal east coast elites banty about here

Whatisthisidonteven.....? Uh, buddy, just for the record, I drive a pick-up, own 6 firearms, deer hunt, went to a small rural Baptist university, and work a manual labor job. While I live on the east coast, I'm pretty far from being a "liberal elite". So if you are conservative, then you give other conservative people a bad name by making assumptions and then attacking someone based upon those wrong assumptions. It's people like you that made me stop self identifying as Republican.

Re:Meanwhile... (1, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#43222235)

I think he's a troll trying to make conservatives look bad.

I'm a moderate with liberal leanings, and as far as I have seen, that style of conservative only lives in the imaginations and misconceptions of reality found in the far left kooks. The far right kooks are quite a different creature all together.

Actually, if you look at their mindsets and logical failings, the far left and far right look a lot alike, the only difference is the ideology they choose to wield.

G. WIlliam Domhoff makes the same point (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43262199)

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/change/left_and_right.html [ucsc.edu]
"Although the [extreme] Right and [extreme] Left have major differences that make it almost impossible for them to agree on anything, they also have certain -- if not immediately apparent -- similarities as well. In fact, they are remarkably similar for how different they are. Since these similarities are of a type that tends to make them blind to any other view, these similarities further reinforce the dichotomy between them: that is, the similarities I am about to discuss make for more differences."

Without the internet and the world wide web on top of it, it is unlikely I could have learned so much or passed it on to others, like I mentioned in this essay from 2004:
http://www.kurtz-fernhout.com/oscomak/AchievingAStarTrekSociety.html [kurtz-fernhout.com]
"First, as a side note, I could not have written an essay like this before the World Wide Web -- I just would not have had the time to cover so many areas in a couple days writing from home, far from a university library, and relying on Google to make solid ideas that were just wisps of memory (from years of reading broadly on the web); nor would I before the wide adoption of the internet and email and the world wide web have been able to provide immediately accessible links for further exploration by readers, all at essentially no direct monetary cost. That is an example of the sort of exponential increase in technological capacity this essay is referring to. I certainly would not call this essay a scholarly work as it neither cites enough primary sources or connects all the dots, and I'm sure it has its share of flaws, but please consider it as a proof of concept that if even a little of what I write is true, there is enough to go around and make this Earth a more fantastic and more free place for every being on it. "

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220167)

I am a conservative, and as such hate 90% of the 'informed' opinions that you liberal east coast elites banty about here. However, as much as I hate Al Gore, I have to give him a large share of of the credit / blame for making the internets what it has become today. A lot of you uber edumicated elite either forgot, or are not old enough to remember what the internets was like bfore it became democritized e.g. commercialized. So yes Al gore rightly or wrongly had a large part in fucking up the interwebs. Before we had to use USENET and NNTP to search for porn. Now you faggots just engage in one big circle jerk on Facey Book. Seriously, I wish all you faggots would just get off my internet, and leave me and Al alone.

and what was wrong with that?

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43221833)

Actually prior to the internet most of us used BBS. And our phone bills were nightmares for it.
Have you ever been to a LAN party that used coaxial cable and BNC connections?

And who cares if your conservative, liberal or not. Anyone who just conforms to the ideals of a group without giving each issue their own personal thought is just n idiot. Wondering why were in a recession, well try reading up a bit on economic theory. (If your have a good mind the answer will pop out at you.) Wondering why Global Warming is happening, take a few science classes and read the papers on the topic. (You might find that it's just statistics, and the rest is conjecture with a bit of political bull ****.)

Your opinion is your opinion, until you conform to someone else opinion. Then it's no longer your opinion, but instead their opinion, that you are reenforcing. If you don't want to sound like an idiot with them, you should make sure the opinion your supporting is actually worth something.

Poor Al Gore (-1, Offtopic)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43219829)

They're leaving the self-proclaimed inventor of the internet out of his 1/5 million pounds? Guess he'll just have to settle for the $100 million he made selling his TV network.

Re:Poor Al Gore (3, Informative)

HairyNevus (992803) | about a year and a half ago | (#43219953)

Self-proclaimed? Nope. [snopes.com]

Re:Poor Al Gore (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220205)

I think (I hope?) that everyone knows the context and what he actually said. The jibes continue because the claim he actually did make was also pretty out-of-proportion to what he actually did, and hyperbolizing something as satire or comedy is a pretty common thing.

Re:Poor Al Gore (4, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220383)

That's actually not true either. Al Gore didn't invent the idea of internetworking, or any of the protocols, but he was in fact instrumental in making it the "Internet" (big I) that businesses and individuals could connect to and actually use. In more technical terms, his bill (the "Gore bill") worked to transition the NSFNet away from a research system and towards, well, the Internet we have today. If that weren't enough, the bill also sent the funding to NSCA, which they used to create Mosaic.

Among the many technological achievements that resulted from the funding of the Gore Bill, was the development of Mosaic in 1993... Gore's legislation also helped fund the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, where a team of programmers, including Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, created the Mosaic Web browser, the commercial Internet's technological springboard. 'If it had been left to private industry, it wouldn't have happened,' Andreessen says of Gore's bill, 'at least, not until years later.

Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn (recipients of this award):

Gore's actual words were widely reaffirmed by notable Internet pioneers, such as Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, who stated, "No one in public life has been more intellectually engaged in helping to create the climate for a thriving Internet than the Vice President"

Re:Poor Al Gore (2)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#43221631)

Gore's actual words were widely reaffirmed by notable Internet pioneers, such as Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, who stated, "No one in public life has been more intellectually engaged in helping to create the climate for a thriving Internet than the Vice President"

More of these outlandish AGW claims... ;)

Re:Poor Al Gore (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43228927)

It wasn't out of proportion at all. He did the one thing the engineers absolutely had to have but couldn't do: he got if funded. He believed in it and could see the vision of it. Without that, there simply would be no interenet. Money makes the world go 'round. So, I think it's fair to say he was absolutely instrumental in making it happen. It should also be noted that he has never attempted to garner any credit for the internet in a technical fashion.

Re:Poor Al Gore (0)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220365)

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet"

seriously snopes?

Re:Poor Al Gore (0)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220563)

Um, it says right there on Snopes that Al Gore said he created the internet. Did you actually read the article before posting it?

Snopes goes on to argue that he didn't actually mean what he said, but that doesn't mean he didn't say it.

Re:Poor Al Gore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43222303)

Did YOU actually read it? It quotes him directly and he didn't say "I created the Internet." He said he took the initiative in Congress in creating the Internet, and that is in fact what Congress did. Al Gore was instrumental in that process, though IMHO Boucher deserves as much credit or more. At the time, most Congresscritters couldn't even tell you what a computer was, and these guys were largely responsible for changing that.

Re:Poor Al Gore (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43229773)

Did YOU actually read it? It quotes him directly and he didn't say "I created the Internet." He said he took the initiative in Congress in creating the Internet, and that is in fact what Congress did.

Oh please, you're intentionally misquoting the guy now. Look at the snopes page:

During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.

Argue semantics all you want, but he did say he created the internet. It's right there, clear as day. Forget what he wanted to say, forget what he meant: look at what he SAID.

Re:Poor Al Gore (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#43222785)

"Took the initiative on creating" != "invented".

Re:Poor Al Gore (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#43228573)

Seriously? Let me explain with an example.

politician: Decides the streets need to be cleaned. So they create funding and hire street sweepers.
IN an interview thay woulod say "I tool the initiative in creting the street sweepers.

Now, do you think he is saying he generically engineered street sweepers, invented brooms and truck? Or do you think he is talking about making the funds available to have street sweepers?

This is high school level stuff. So either you are so wrapped up in a belief you can't actually be rational, or you can't even understand conversation at a freshman high school level.

Instead of praising him for taking the political risk to making ARPANET open, and calling it 'The Internet' , people like you need to come up with twisted ways to blame him for it.

Be smarter.

Re:Poor Al Gore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43219959)

Most of that claim was not made by Al Gore, but by people trying to attack Al Gore.

Re:Poor Al Gore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43220043)

Damn, man, he's one of us:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Gore_and_information_technology [wikipedia.org]

That article doesn't mention it but I recall Gore pushing through another bill limiting taxes on e-commerce in an effort to allow the sector to grow back in the early days.

If we laugh at him we're laughing at ourselves, we're laughing with the jocks.

Re:Poor Al Gore (0)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220115)

They're leaving the self-proclaimed inventor of the internet out of his 1/5 million pounds? Guess he'll just have to settle for the $100 million he made selling his TV network.

Why isn't this getting a troll mod? Gore never claimed to have invented the internet, that was an invention of the right wing Republicans. The right wingers also like to slam him for profiting on the sale of a TV network. Text book hypocrascy given the only thing sacred to the conservative right are profits. I guess a liberal making a profit is evil to them.

Re:Poor Al Gore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43220137)

because it's funny and you are a liberal grouch.

Re:Poor Al Gore (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43220153)

Nothing is funny if you're a republican, and as a republican I don't find this funny.

Re:Poor Al Gore (0)

godrik (1287354) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220123)

There are many comments on Al Gore on slashdot. I did not know what it was refering too. Apparently it comes from a quote in 1999.

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp [snopes.com]

Re:Poor Al Gore (1)

MessageApprovalMan (2871053) | about a year and a half ago | (#43223005)

I'm Message Approval Man, and I approve this message.

what? (-1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year and a half ago | (#43219831)

Al Gore wasn't given part of the prize? :-D

So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43219833)

No Al Gore?

The internet & the web? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43219957)

Did no one tell them that www != internet?

If they're going to award prizes to people who invented things that sit on top of the internet, where are the inventors of ftp, gopher, ssh, and usenet?

Re:The internet & the web? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43220229)

I think they may well know that but are merely pointing out that websites aren't all that usable without Sir Tim's addition

Re: The internet & the web? (1)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#43221567)

Um..websites wouldn't exist without Sir Tim! You may mean Marc's addition. :-)

I take it the honorees must be living (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43219977)

Otherwise, Paul Baran (packet switching) and Jon Postel (RFC editor for IP, TCP, and many others) would probably deserve a share.

Re:I take it the honorees must be living (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220971)

Yes, P. Baran is the first person I was thinking of. The whole idea of packet switching (as an opposite to leased lines) became the foundation of both DARPA and X.25 networks (and many others like Frame Relay). If I remember correctly, he wrote the paper as some kind of research project.

Re:I take it the honorees must be living (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43221393)

Also for packet switching, Donald Davies of the UK's National Physical Laboratory.

unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43220031)

Unfortunately, the achievement they honored is marred by being the worst application development environment ever conceived. The only reason for its success is that it's open, which Sir Tim has consistently recognized, but the rest?

Re:unfortunately (1)

MessageApprovalMan (2871053) | about a year and a half ago | (#43224925)

Unfortunately, the achievement they honored is marred by being the worst application development environment ever conceived.

Not sure if you're talking about the WWW or TCP/IP or what... but the WWW was never conceived as an application development environment. That was clumsily hot-glued on later. It was originally just a protocol for serving hypertext documents. Of course it was just fine for that purpose.

THE VERNAL EQUINOX IS ON !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43220105)

Prepare to meet your maker !!

It is the beginning of the end !!

MARCH MADNESS IS INFECTING ALL !!

Re:THE VERNAL EQUINOX IS ON !! (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220725)

Nah, St Mary's is still in but I wouldn't get excited until they beat Memphis. Then we're talking about the end times.

Can we get back on topic? (2)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220135)

FYI everyone Al Gore never claimed to have invented the internet, you really need to lay off Fox News, it kills brain cells. It's interesting that the first award would be for the founding of the internet. It's managed to eclipse other innovations in a little over a generation.

Re:Can we get back on topic? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#43224579)

Al Gore did word the statement poorly, but not enough to make a big deal out of. It's just a fun meme that has sticking power.

It's roughly comparable to Palin's "I can see Russia from my house". Actually, she said "parts of Alaska", not her house. However, it's now forever stuck in meme-dom due to a funny SNL skit.

Half-truths just sometimes have sticking power.

Related side joke: Mitt was going to make Palin his Ambassador to Russia to cut costs: she could walk to work.

Shouldn't that be an English prize? (0)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220249)

>> The first Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, worth £, awarded in the U.K., an international effort

One of those facts does not fit.

Re: Shouldn't that be an English prize? (1)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#43221569)

Yeah. You forgot Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. ;-)

Re: Shouldn't that be an English prize? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#43228589)

You mean Britain's suburbs? WaaaOOO!

Re: Shouldn't that be an English prize? (1)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#43228791)

And some wonder why people vote for Alex Salmond...!

Re:Shouldn't that be an English prize? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#43222829)

Leaving aside your confusion between England and the uk, the prize was created by the uk government, but is judged by an international panel, and is financed by a bunch of multinational corporations. So there is no paradox.

Marc Andreessen, (1)

strangeattraction (1058568) | about a year and a half ago | (#43220385)

Marc Andreessen finally gets the recognition he deserves. The internet was built on the backs of so many that have failed to be rewarded for their efforts contributions and creations. Finally Marc is getting his due. I hope that he enjoys the money an treats himself to another Yacht or something special like a Jet. The creator of Lynx should field honored that his contributions were recognized.

Purely a publicity stunt (4, Informative)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about a year and a half ago | (#43221365)

None of these individuals need the money. Any one of them could raise $1 million from VCs in a few days, based on their reputation.

This money should have been used to fund new innovative ideas, but I suppose that wouldn't have grabbed the headlines for the main sponsors:

BAE Systems
British Gas
BP
GlaxoSmithKline
Jaguar Land Rover
National Grid
Shell
Siemens
Sony
Tata Steel.

It was just a stunt, and a fairly cheap one for companies of that magnitude.

Re:Purely a publicity stunt (2, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#43221693)

If I were them I'd stay away from VCs, who'll want far too big a say in the venture in exchange for their funding. In contrast, getting 200k quid in the right hands with no strings attached could do a hell of a lot more for innovation. But perhaps they'll spend their share on hookers and blow, which is fine as well.

The point of this prize is not to further science or innovation, but to promote engineering by celebrating notable engineering achievements and contributors to those achievements. Seems like a worthy undertaking to me. I just wished not every sciency non-Nobel prize would be referred to as the "Nobel prize for xyz"

Re:Purely a publicity stunt (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#43222879)

And is the Nobel prize similarly a stunt?

I don't think there's anything wrong with rewarding tim burners-lee for example. We all owe him a lot. He literally changed all of our lives for the better.

And for those that don't need the money, there's a fair chance that they will use the money to invest in promising next generation technology, anyway.

Re:Purely a publicity stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43223039)

Yes it is. It is more politically motivated than by actual actions/accomplishments.

Re:Purely a publicity stunt (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#43228609)

We owe him a lot.. except for capitalizing his name, cause fuck that guy.

Re:Purely a publicity stunt (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43231707)

When I'm typing on a mobile, you get the capitals auto-correct gives. Life's too short for doing shift on a touch screen. Though if I thought there was any chance he'd be reading, I'd have gone the extra mile out of respect.

Too little too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43221627)

This is the problem in the UK - science is measured by "impact", not quality. But impact takes decades to materialise, so even if you do reward people who created impact, the reward is coming way too late to make any difference.

Why can't we give decent funding to brilliant young people to solve the problems of tomorrow? To me, that would make a lot more sense.

Eric Bina gets screwed again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43226837)

Sure do the right thing and freely release what became Apache into the world....

Oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43226915)

Sorry Bo McCool....

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