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Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
12/31/2003
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Buckingham Palace announced today that Tim Berners-Lee, famous for inventing the World Wide Web, will be named a Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire (see Web Inventor Gets Knighted).

The rank of Knight Commander is the second most senior rank of the Order of the British Empire and one of the Orders of Chivalry the Queen awards every year on New Year’s Eve. Berners-Lee, 48, a British citizen who lives in the U.S., is being knighted in recognition of his "services to the global development of the Internet" through the invention of the World Wide Web.

"This is an honour which applies to the whole Web development community, and to the inventors and developers of the Internet, whose work made the Web possible," said Berners-Lee in a statement.

Nice of Sir Tim to say so, but all those other people don’t get the amazing perquisites he now has at his fingertips. He can:

  • Command troops in battle
  • Declare bank holidays at random
  • Call for tea at any time
  • And collect rent from anyone
As with all such honours, of course, there are downsides:

  • Commanding troops in battle
  • Getting accused of being a malodorous, toffee-nosed git by people who can't stand royalty
  • A high possibility of being executed at Tower Green when the revolution comes…
The latest stats from market researchers eTForecasts suggest that this Internet thing is no flash in the pan. Close to a billion people will be using it in 2005, the firm estimates.

Where did it all start?

Born in London, Berners-Lee graduated from the Queen's College at Oxford University, England, in 1976. While there he built his first computer with a soldering iron, TTL gates, an M6800 processor, and an old television. [Ed. note: In my day y’had to scrape y'fronts clean with knife!]

In 1980, while Berners-Lee worked as a consultant software engineer at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, he wrote his first program for storing information using the same kind of random associations the brain makes. The "Enquire" program -- which was never published -- formed the conceptual basis for the future development of the Web.

While at CERN in 1989, he proposed a global hypertext project to be known as the World Wide Web. Based on the earlier "Enquire" work, it was designed to allow people to work together by combining their knowledge in a Web of hypertext documents.

His program "WorldWideWeb" was made available within CERN in December 1990, and the first successful demonstration of the Web clients and servers working over the Internet was made that same month. All of his code was made available on the Internet in the summer of 1991.

Since then he’s continued working on the design of the Web, coordinating feedback from users across the Internet. His goal is to lead the Web to its full potential, ensuring its stability through rapid evolution and revolutionary change in its use.

He has been awarded many honorary doctorates from universities around the world and was named by Time magazine as one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century.

Berners-Lee joins several other U.K. citizens to be knighted this year, including legendary guitarist Eric Clapton, total rock sellout Mick Jagger (who was actually knighted ages ago but missed twenty opportunities to pick up his gong), actor Pete Postlethwaite, and author Philip Pullman.

The Queen gives out honours to regular folk, too, believe it or not -- they just don't get mentioned. Indeed, in 2002 the mum of Light Reading co-founder Steve Saunders, Philippa Saunders, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to OXFAM and Save the Children [ed. note: which just proved what everyone knew all along -- that Steve's mum is a lot nicer than Steve].

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Boardwatch

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lightreceding
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lightreceding,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 2:47:11 AM
re: Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted
Tim is a good guy who deserves recognition. I heard him give a talk some years ago. I was impressed with him, he is articulate, modest and knowledgable. He has done good work in the tradition of an inventor and custodian of technology.
beowulf888
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beowulf888,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:46:54 AM
re: Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted
Way to go, Mr Zippy! I always wondered about that Al Gore "quote". Of course, it was never in the interests of the right-wing dominated media to do their homework on this issue.

I expect gblive's response will be that Vint Cerf is also a commie pinko liberal who doesn't know what he's talking about.

cheers!
--Beo
BBBoa
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BBBoa,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:07:32 PM
re: Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted
Gee..... All this time I thought Al Gore invented the internet!
technonerd
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technonerd,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:07:32 PM
re: Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted
The thing about Gore inventing the Internet was a misquote. The fact that it has been accepted so widely shows how thoroughly the Republicans dominate the media in the United States.
gblive
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gblive,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:07:30 PM
re: Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted
I think the previous poster is trying to re-write history (Democrats do this regularly).

Transcripts from the interview do not lie:

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS....
gore/

Gore: -- "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Al is probably just sitting around now wondering why some other guy is getting knighted for it !



gblive
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gblive,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:07:29 PM
re: Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted
Gee... first you say it's a misquote so we pulled out the transcript and found the direct quote from the interview. Now it is weasel-wording .... "the Internet was created by the Government" and Al was in Congress, therefore it is acceptable for him to take the credit nonsense.

The actual FACTS -- Al Gore was NOT a sponser of the funding legislation to create the Internet. As a Democrat, he did not support the funding of military initiatives. Do I have to post his voting record to demonstrate this? Most people who have a grasp on reality know it already... it is absurd that Al Gore claims any type of credit or support for the Internet.
technonerd
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technonerd,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:07:29 PM
re: Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted
Yes, and in fact the Internet was created by the government. Gore was referring to the legislation that authorized it. The government created the Internet as a backup communications system in case of nuclear war.
technonerd
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technonerd,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:07:26 PM
re: Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted
The actual FACTS -- Al Gore was NOT a sponser of the funding legislation to create the Internet. As a Democrat, he did not support the funding of military initiatives. Do I have to post his voting record to demonstrate this? Most people who have a grasp on reality know it already... it is absurd that Al Gore claims any type of credit or support for the Internet.
You're simply wrong. Gore did support the legislation that created the Internet, and oh by way he did vote for military spending along with the rest of the Democrats.
OptoScot
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OptoScot,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:07:26 PM
re: Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted
Tim Berners Lee is someone we Brits can be damn proud of .... Al Gore isn't good enough to clean his mouse pad.. the man is a first class wimp !
technonerd
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technonerd,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:07:25 PM
re: Tim Berners-Lee Gets Knighted
Nah, Dean will do what all Democrats do and lie about sex. We rely on the Republicans to lie about the important stuff, like war.
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