Interview with internet pioneer Steve Crocker

I interviewed Steve Crocker, Chairman of ICANN and author of RFC1.

This interview was published on on 18 July 2013.

In a bathroom, at three in the morning in April 1969, a graduate student named Steve Crocker started to write one of the most important documents of the last century. Though drafted in humble circumstances Crocker’s document would set the open, inclusive tone of the next half century of Internet engineering culture, and initiate the process of defining the rules that govern virtually all data exchange on the planet. Continue reading

An experiment in startups working with news media companies: looking back at The Irish Times Digital Challenge

(This post also appeared in The Irish Times on 4 October 2012.)

LAST FRIDAY, at The Workman’s Club on Wellington Quay in Dublin, an Irish technology start-up company called GetBulb was announced as the overall winner of The Irish Times Digital Challenge.

GetBulb has produced a system that can rapidly create data visualisations suitable for both high-resolution print and for online interactive graphics in seconds. This start-up could, quite literally, change how media organisations across the globe approach design. Continue reading

Q&A about the history of the Internet with the Epoch Times

The Epoch Times published a Q&A here with me about the book. We covered the idea behind the book and politics. Text below…

The Internet has integrated itself into nearly every aspect of modern life, following users on the cell phone, at work, and at home. While the Web grows, however, its history and future remain a mystery to the common user.

Author Johnny Ryan hopes to change this with his new book, “A History of the Internet and the Digital Future.” The book is the first to tell the story of the Internet from its inception up to the present. The Epoch Times had the pleasure of speaking with Ryan about his work via e-mail. Continue reading

2nd extract of my book in Ars Technica — The essence of the ‘Net

Chapter 3 of my book A History of the Internet and the Digital Future has just been published by Ars Technica. This is one of the 3 chapters (of the 13 in the book) that are being published for free. Here it is, or read at Ars.

Johnny Ryan’s A History of the Internet and the Digital Future has just been released and is already drawing rave reviews. Ars Technica is proud to present three chapters from the book, condensed and adapted for our readers. You can find Chapter 1 here. The current installment is adapted from Chapter 3, “The Essence of the Internet,” and it tells the story of the development of some of the fundamental technologies and protocols that underlie the Internet.


I just published the first chapter of my book for free via Ars Technica. Full text over at Ars

Johnny Ryan’s A History of the Internet and the Digital Future has just been released and is already drawing rave reviews. Ars Technica is proud to present three chapters from the book, condensed and adapted for our readers. This first installment is adapted from Chapter 1, “A Concept Born in the Shadow of the Nuke,” and it looks at the role that the prospect of nuclear war played in the technical and policy decisions that gave rise to the Internet. Continue reading

Speaking notes on the digital future

This afternoon I was doing a prerecord for Drivetime, a popular show on RTE (Ireland’s national radio station). I took a few minutes and wrote down some points I wanted to cover. We were due to discuss my new book A history of the Internet and the digital future so they cover the big picture behind Wikileaks, the future of digital media, and politics. Here they are… Continue reading

The Toronto Star publishes feature interview with me about A history of the Internet and the digital future

By Jennifer Hunter Columnist

Al Gore was ridiculed during the 2000 U.S. presidential election for supposedly claiming he had created the Internet. But digital technology expert Johnny Ryan says Gore’s comments to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer were misinterpreted. According to transcripts of the interview, says Ryan, Gore was taking credit merely for passing an act in 1991 allowing “conditions” for the Internet’s development. Ryan, a senior researcher at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin, recalls this anecdote in his new book, A History of the Internet and the Digital Future. An edited version of the Star’s email interview with him:  Continue reading

Business Week Op Ed “One Way to Save the Music Industry”

One Way to Save the Music Industry, Business Week, 29 July 2010

By Johnny Ryan and Allègre L. Hadida

Given the persistence of digital music piracy, a new subscription-creation model borrowed from online gaming could aid ailing record labels

Does the answer to music retailing’s collapse lie within the computer game industry? Global music revenues suffered a 10th year of decline in 2009, with sales and performance rights falling to $17 billion. In contrast, revenue from the computer game industry’s sale of portable and console hardware, software, and accessories rose from $7.98 billion in 2000 to $20.2 billion in 2009 in the U.S. alone. The music industry may find inspiration in the game industry, where the prevailing Internet-driven trends of online subscription and community participation are reducing piracy and keeping consumers actively engaged.

Continue reading