Designing The Future Internet

Will the Future Internet just happen, or can we influence its shape? If we can, what values should we seek to uphold? How will technical mechanisms such as IPV6 and policies such as net neutrality change our lives? Is there a way to bring the engineering principles of the IP protocol further up the stack into more advanced layers of services?I had the privilege of hearing these topics discussed last week when I moderated the 2010 International Research Forum in Westerburg, Germany. This year’s conference, which is sponsored annually by SAP Research (an arm of German software giant SAP) focused on the Future Internet. Lutz Heuser, who leads SAP Research and hosts the conference, invited academics, executives and government officials from the United States, Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia to participate in the discussions. The Future Internet goes beyond networking protocols to encompass layers such as the Internet of Things, the Internet of Services, cloud computing, and infrastructure for mobile devices. I have been helping lead discussions at the conference for four years; each year I am struck by the difference in the European and American attitudes toward technology and government.

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