TCP/IP creators Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn win Turing award

Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn, we are all forever indebted. 


“Cerf and Kahn developed the notion of an Internet Protocol (IP) while working on a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project in 1973. The next year they published a paper on the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which could be used to route messages that were broken up into packets of data.”

From Turing Award winners page, past and present.

“ACM’s most prestigious technical award is accompanied by a prize of $100,000. It is given to an individual selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community. The contributions should be of lasting and major technical importance to the computer field. Financial support of the Turing Award is provided by the Intel Corporation.”

Comments (3)

  1. Hmph says:

    And best of all, they didn’t patent their ideas, recognizing both the social evil and practical negative consequences inherent in patenting protocols. I wonder which company could learn a lesson?

  2. Innovator says:

    Dear Hmph,

    Patents have only become necessary recently because due to your precious open source and Free Software movement (I guess) anyone can copy Microsoft’s innovation.

    Being paid in code and respect is nice. Being paid in money pays bills. Some people, by virtue of being teenagers or whatever, prefer the former. Patents will help create a more sensible system. It’s better if it’s encoded into the protocols itself, that way the issue of copying functionality doesn’t even arise for 20 years, an eternity in this business.

    Microsoft is just being sensible.

  3. Innovator says:

    Dear Innovator

    Cerf and Kahn donated their brainchild to us all freely. We are eternally grateful to what they gave permitted the creation of the modern Internet.

    Profit-driven companies do not usually have this altruism. They judge (or misjudge) by financial merit. Mr William Gates was maligning the very concept of the Internet in the early days of Windows 95 and was later forced to recant.

    So thank you Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn. And thanks to other major donationsin computing (some of which are patented but which are never ebforced) like the mouse and hypertext (both by Doug Englebart), the spreadsheet (Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston), the World Wide Web (Tim Berners-Lee), Ethernet (Robert Metcalfe), Unix (mainly Richie and Thompson), etc.

    Thanks guys.