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How 40 Years of the Internet Changed the World

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UCLA Professor Leonard Kleinrock

Professor Leonard Kleinrock with one of the massive computers from 1969 that made the first node of the Internet.

Credit: UCLA

A conference at UCLA on Thursday marked the 40th birthday of the Internet, which was created on Oct. 29, 1969, when a team led by Engineering Professor Leonard Kleinrock successfully linked a UCLA computer at with a machine at Stanford. Kleinrock predicted decades ago that the resulting connectivity would one day be a household product, but said he never guessed that the Internet would be used to connect people to people, instead of people to machines.

"The infrastructure is easy to predict," he said at Thursday's conference. "The applications — that's hard . . . . The applications and services have constantly surprised us." E-mail, blogs, Google, social networking, video/music/photo-sharing and even the World Wide Web itself were all a surprise, Kleinrock admitted. Things have come a long way since the days when he literally knew everyone on the Internet.

From UCLA Today
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