POSTS TAGGED: verisign_labs
Burt Kaliski | May 02, 2013
Of all the societal transformations wrought by the Internet revolution, perhaps the most significant has been the rapid but permanent shift from an environment defined by information scarcity, to one defined by information overload. The era of “Big Data” is here, and an element of success will be an organization’s ability to navigate and make use of its data. According to recent research, the global Big Data market was worth USD $6.3 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach USD $48.3 billion by 2018, at a compound annual growth rate of 40.5 percent from 2012 to 2018.
Big Data’s exact definition depends a great deal on who is defining it. At its core, the term “Big Data” refers to a phenomenon that should be instantly familiar to organizations of all sizes: The ability to collect and store highly relevant, mission-critical data is far outpacing the ability to effectively process, analyze and leverage it to make informed business decisions.
Twenty years ago success in business, as often as not, was determined by who could gather the best and most relevant data (about competitors, customers, emerging markets, etc.) in the timeliest fashion. Because analyzing that data was comparatively simple, and a relatively homogenous process from one organization to another, competitive differentiation came from who could find the best data first.
The Internet changed that paradigm in three critical ways: First, it globally democratized access to data, enabling many more players to gather similar relevant data; second, it exponentially increased the amount of relevant data that is generated, and could be collected and stored; third, there are now tools and technologies that make it easier to analyze large amounts of unstructured data. We believe success is now determined less by who can find the best data, but who can make the best sense of the massive amounts of data available. Read more
Burt Kaliski | Jan 31, 2013
Why has the Internet been so successful?
The key, Internet pioneer Vint Cerf explained to an audience of more than 200 at his recent Verisign Labs Distinguished Speaker Series lecture, is its openness.
"The openness of the net has allowed so many other people to contribute that it's sort of like creating a giant tidal wave," Cerf stated. "We've been surfing (no pun intended) on that tidal wave for 30 to 40 years."
The tidal wave started when Vint and Bob Kahn invented the TCP/IP protocol for sending packets of data reliably from one location to another. TCP/IP is the "lingua franca" of Internet communications, the common language by which computer systems exchange data of any kind. How the data is exchanged -- dial-up, broadband, wired, wireless, or carrier pigeon -- is up to the network implementation. What the data means is up to the application. But the format of the exchange is standard: a source address, a destination address, and data.
A standard interface between layers can often be the catalyst for innovation in both. By reducing the diversity of interfaces, a standard can increase the diversity of parties on both sides of the service interface -- applications and network implementations in this case, service consumers and service providers more generally. Instead of a polyglot of point-to-point interfaces within specific protocol "stacks", developers could master one interface, and focus instead on the applications above or the network implementations below. This architecture of "loose coupling" would naturally attract more applications, because they could be used with more network implementations, and vice versa, a symbiotic relationship that would ultimately make the architecture dominant.
Open architecture takes the principle a step further, by inviting contributors to share their work with one another, and relying on their engagement in the ongoing evolution of standards, a point also made by IETF chair Russ Housley in his lecture in this series. The parts that are built may have proprietary aspects, but the growing body of publicly available specifications and reference material on how they work together strengthens the system overall. Vint described how similar openness benefited another layer of today's Internet stack, HTTP with its HTML format, where developers learned how to write HTML by copying one another's pages. "Openness [created] new opportunities," he remarked, as "everybody learned from everybody else."
A generation of technologists has grown up surfing the Internet wave, learning along the way as a result of the essential openness that Vint has personally championed throughout his career. More than the technical merits of TCP/IP itself, it's the open, collaborative environment around its development that has made the difference. And that environment itself is shaped by the Internet: the more easily technologists have been able to connect with one another, the more rapidly and confidently they've been able to develop TCP/IP and the Internet. (Keeping in mind, of course, the ongoing value of meeting in person, in addition to the online interactions, whether at conferences or in this series.) Read more
Burt Kaliski | Oct 18, 2012
I’ve never been all that handy with car engines, although there was a time when I knew how to adjust a carburetor with a screwdriver while the engine was running to keep the car from stalling. (Let’s not get into the time when I thought I knew how to adjust an overheating radiator with the engine running …)
Nowadays, I just turn on the ignition and drive, thinking much more about where I’m going than what’s going on under the hood. That part I leave to the repair shop to take care of.
You might say my experience with automobiles has become driving-centric rather than vehicle-centric.
Internet pioneer and PARC research fellow Van Jacobson made a similar point as this month’s Verisign Labs Distinguished Speaker. Users just turn on the Internet and browse. A URL such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zOLrQJ5kbU
, once more broadly understood a scheme (“http://”) followed by a domain (“youtube.com”) followed by a path (“watch”) and a query string (“v=3zOLrQJ5kbU”) – a carburetor, a radiator and a transmission, if you will – is now more often seen as a name, a way to refer to an object. User experience, once protocol
- or communications-centric
, has become content-centric
Burt Kaliski | Jul 02, 2012
Earlier this year, Verisign announced its 2012 Internet Infrastructure Grant program, which called for proposals for basic research with “potential to improve the availability and security of Internet access in all parts of the world.” Two proposals would be selected based on criteria of relevance, innovation, feasibility, and overall quality.
It’s my honor now to announce that the program’s distinguished judging panel has reached its decisions. Read more
Burt Kaliski | Jun 15, 2012
One of my favorite data scientists of the “next web” generation is Hilary Mason, chief scientist of Bitly.
Hilary was the presenter at the Verisign Labs Distinguished Speakers Series in late May, and brought a fascinating perspective on what Bitly is learning about human behavior through its URL shortening service. The company is asking questions like: What links are users shortening so they can share them with other users? And what shortened links are they clicking on? It turns out that there’s a difference: users tend to shorten more links that make them seem intelligent – such as world news – yet click on more links that arguably would make them seem less so – like celebrity gossip. The links that are shared and clicked on more are the lowest common denominator among the ones that were initially shortened.Read more