Johnny Ryan on the history of the Internet and its future

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by on November 8, 2011 · 3 comments

On the podcast this week, Johnny Ryan, Senior Researcher at the Institute of International and European Affairs, discusses his recent book, “A History of the Internet and the Digital Future.” The book is a comprehensive overview of the Internet and where it came from. Ryan discusses some of the core concepts, including what made the Internet revolutionary, and how many of these ideas came from RAND Corporation researcher Paul Baran. He explains that the initial concept for packet switching did come from the need to build a communications system to withstand nuclear attack. The discussion then turns to the advent of communication between computers, which sprang from a group of graduate students who used a collaborative process to create the network. Finally, Ryan discusses Web 2.0, and how technologies like cloud computing and 3-D printing will disrupt industries in the future.

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