What do Vint Cerf and Bob Khan have in common with Carol Burnett, Muhammed Ali and Alan Greenspan? Yup, they're all winners of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. You may have forgotten what Carol Burnett did to deserve the honor (probably it was for years of entertaining America, but in that case shouldn't Woody Allen also have one?) but it's hard to imagine a more important launchpad for innovation and worldwide transformation than Cerf and Khan's little TCP/IP stack.
"At the time, we saw this as an exciting technology challenge and research project," Kahn said during an interview while attending the Marconi Society's symposium in New York City on Friday. "You have to realize that there wasn't anything known as the personal computer. We didn't know where things would lead."
Some Internet denizens find the award questionable, though. The tone of the conversation on Slashdot is decidedly conspiratorial, with accusations that the award was given now to reward Cerf for his role at ICANN and his support of the US position on control of DNS.