Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My Question of Dr. Vint Cerf on Internet Authentication

I was at Google Atmosphere 2011 and asked Dr. Vint Cerf a question on Internet authentication.   I asked the question at the 18:10 mark in the webinar.

As I stated previously regarding Dr. Cerf, but it is worth me quoting me here :-)  Above is a true living legend - Dr. Vint Cerf.  Vint now works for Google.  I have had the privilege of speaking with Vint on a number of occasions.  It is better to be lucky than good and I have been lucky enough to get invited to events where Vint was at.  Vint is VP & Chief Internet Evangelist for Google.  I asked Vint the very first question of the entire conference.  The question was a security question regarding true user authentication on the Internet today and what needs to be done to enable this.  Vint said it was a tough question and gave a very thoughtful and detailed answer.  He apologized to the audience for "geeking out" during his answer, but I appreciated it.

He, Bob Kahn and a few others claim the joint title of "father of the Internet".  What is absolutely true is if you reduce the "father of the Internet" status down to just TCP/IP then the two individuals who claim that title are Cerf and Kahn.  I was fortunate to meet both and have both sign the original TCP/IP white paper (twice).  I have one and Neil Groundwater has the other original.  As Bob Kahn told me at the time, "this better not be on eBay tonight!"  I told him, "no, I will hold off until tomorrow."  I then had to say, "I am kidding - this will never be sold."  Both men are brilliant.

Every time I have seen Vint he is in a 3 piece suite which is his style.  One of the interesting stories he told was that he has temperature and humidity sensors in his house grabbing readings every 5 minutes to properly balance out his ducts.  Now THAT is a true geek :-)

The first time I met Vint was at Yorktown High School in VA when he was giving a talk on interplanetary IP.  I walked into the auditorium a little ahead of Dr. Harry Foxwell who I was with at the time.  Both Harry and I worked at Sun.  I am walking toward the front when Vint says, "hey, come here and help me with this."  I come running down.  I do all the things Vint asked me to do - move some stuff, sweep up some things and help him get ready.  I then ask, "Dr. Cerf, would you please sign this book."   Vint then says, "who are you?"  I reply, " I am Dave Edstrom from Sun Microsystems and I am here to listen to your talk."  He then laughs, "I thought you were the janitor. Thanks for helping me out."  It was great talk then and he is a great guy - even if he does think that I am this janitor stalker that follows him around the country asking him questions :-)

All of the Google Atmosphere 2011 videos are located here.