About the Book

This was a really surreal book to write. It was on the wee hours of September 11 that I fell asleep, rewrites and fact checking done, with a book on my face and the TV on. My last visual that night had been watching my friend Jamis MacNiven on his camel Omar at the Soap Box derby on a KQED special about Silicon Valley. When I woke up the news was on and I shook the book from my face and blindly reached around the bed for my glasses just in time to watch the second plane fly into the World Trade Center. It would be hours before I would find out that Danny Lewin, CTO of Akami and one of the brightest young technologists I have ever met, was on the plane from Boston. I sat there at my desk wondering what had occurred and listening to the reports of planes still in the air and unreachable. It was the one time in my life I was completely speechless for hours. At that time it dawned on me that technology would never be the same — that whatever would happen next would probably include a major technology boost such as we had seen in WWII with the Manhattan project. I was amazed that the Internet had survived without a glitch — even though two nodes were brought down in the WTC crashes. I called Len Kleinrock and asked him if he knew of anything that had occurred with the backbone, he said it had survived nearly intact. The next call was to my editor who gave me two more months to rewrite the book. I dug back into the past of the Internet to where the government had become involved with DARPA and that program an offshoot of the technology efforts of WWII and Pearl Harbor, where we had last been attacked on our own soil. FutureNet looks at the parallels between WWII and 9/11 and why those two incidents looked very much the same as far as the US government's need to pour billions of dollars into technology to make sure we are never caught off guard again. Well, just as there were the McCarthy hearings after WWII during the Cold War, there are the current battles being waged for our civil rights are our use and creation of technology vs. the Department of Justice and the current climate in Congress. FutureNet was a very seminal book for me because it became very clear that technology would soon become a battlefield, and even the right to use the Internet as we (the world) see fit will soon become in question by people who may be able to shut down (or the equivalent of flying a 747 into the Internet's backbone) certain uses of the Internet, such as free speech. People who control tend to use the backdrop of war as a good jumping point for controlling things further — look at the Patriot Act for instance. The book closes with key people representing the technology industry and humanitarian/technology organizations commenting about the future of the Internet, its obstacles and the dangers we face. I hope you find the book as interesting as I found writing it.

For immediate release

The Past, Present, and Future of the Internet as Told By Its Creators and Visionaries

by Sally Richards

Why start with a negative, this intro makes me turn off immediately. The next paragraph is a great positive opening and it give an opportunity to list more of the people in the book (next page), something that really matters.
FUTURENET: The Past, Present, and Future of the Internet as Told By Its Creators and Visionaries (Wiley; June 14, 2002; $29.95; Cloth), by Silicon Valley insider Sally Richards, takes a controversial look at what events birthed the Internet, what and who carried through the task of building the infrastructure, and its biggest technological, ethical, and moral challenges going into the future. Through a woven history of the Internet’s creation and evolution as it has never been done before, readers will gain a unique perspective on the financial and business opportunities developing for the next generation of the Internet, its emerging technologies, and the evolving economy.

FUTURENET delves deeply into how the Internet has evolved from a fictional concept to a communications system for national defense to an important business tool and limitless space that continues to grow at an incredible rate. Richards introduces new trends, concepts and business issues arising from the evolution of the Net, and examines what companies like ATT Labs, MCI and others are doing to promulgate the latest stage of Internet development. Revealing profiles and candid discussions feature the first-person perspectives of Internet pioneers, as well as scientists, technologists, and entrepreneurs, who have created and shaped the network world, including:

Fred Baker • Stewart Brand • Vinton Cerf • Alan Cooper • Bruce Damer • Douglas Engelbart • Judy Estrin • Dave Farber • Jerome Glenn • Brewster Kahle • Leonard Kleinrock • Stuart Lynn • Craig Newmark • Charles Ostman • John Perry Barlow • Kim Polese • Lawrence Roberts • Dmitry Sklyrov • Dave Winer • Bob Young • Phil Zimmermann and many others.

These visionaries and many others speak frankly about the past, present, and future of the Net.

FUTURENET examines the ever-changing, volatile technological world as scientists, technologists, and entrepreneurs seek to push the envelope of innovation while uninformed lawmakers try to control the Internet through legislations. From ARPANET, TCP/IPs, and the advent of the World Wide Web to the Digital Millennium Copyright ACT (DMCA), encryption, copyright issues and patents, FUTURENET delivers eye-opening perspective as to where investors, managers, and consumers can expect the Internet to take us in the next few years.

About the Author:
Sally Richards is technologist,journalist of 18 years and an author of several books addressing the future of technology, including Inside Business Incubators and Corporate Ventures, published by Wiley. She is the co-founder of Wild Women of Wonder, a group of more than 200 Silicon Valley movers and shakers who meet weekly to discuss issues of the heart, mind and technology, and LiLoTe (Life, Love, Technology), a group of technologists addressing the mounting challenges between technologists, technology, and government intervention. Her website is www.SallyRichards.com.

The Past, Present, and Future of the Internet as Told By Its Creators and Visionaries
by Sally Richards
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Publication Date: June 14, 2002; $29.95; Cloth; ISBN: 0-471-43324-1

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