Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and Chief Evangelist for Google, discusses the past, present, and future of the Internet. Cerf predicts that Asia's cultural influence will grow as the continent's Internet penetration rates reach European levels. He says that, while IPv6 will provide enough Internet addresses to last through his lifetime, the implementation of IPv6 creates difficulties for the Internet in terms of compatibility, security, and broadcasting. Cerf describes the trends and opportunities of the Internet in the 21st century: the transformation of information consumers into information producers; the rise of social networking; the emergence of new economic systems in online games; the development of user-generated advertising content via streaming IPTV; and the transformation of mobile phones into multi-purpose devices that provide geographically indexed information. In Cerf's view, the increasingly lower cost of storing and transporting bits fosters a new economics of digital information and the emergence of new Darwinian business models that challenge existing entities to "adapt or die." As a result, Cerf says the Internet is an unprecedented and unpredictable innovation engine because its infrastructure enables people to invent new applications simply by writing new software on the edge of the network without having to ask for permission.
Mar 30, 2009