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Gore, Bush, and Berners-Lee rock into 'net Hall of Fame

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The Internet Society has begun its own hall of fame for the bad boys and girls of the information superhighway.

The internet glitterati are organized into three categories: Pioneers Circle, Innovators and Global Connectors. Inductees include Al Gore, Linus Torvalds, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the delightfully named Randy Bush, named for his work in the Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC)

"This historic assembly of Internet visionaries, innovators, and leaders represents an extraordinary breadth of vision and work," said Internet Society president and CEO Lynn St.Amour in a statement.

"While the inductees have extremely diverse backgrounds and represent many different countries, each individual has an incredible passion for their work. We all benefit from their outstanding contributions to a global Internet, making it one of the greatest catalysts of economic and societal development of all time."

In all, 14 people make it into the Pioneers category, which is intended to mark the people who made the early internet possible. They include TCP/IP creators Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, ARPANET pioneers Lawrence Roberts, Jon Postel, Steve Crocker, Dr. Leonard Kleinrock, Charles Herzfeld and Elizabeth Feinler. Donald Davies and Paul Baran are also included for their work on packet switching.

On the Innovators list Sir Tim makes the grade for obvious reasons (along with colleague Robert Cailliau), and Linux justifies Uncle Linus' inclusion. Philip Zimmermann is included for setting up PGP, Paul Mockapetris for organizing DNS and Dr Landweber for his work on email, along with Raymond Tomlinson.

There were also some less than usual inclusions on this list. Craig Newmark, inventor of Craigslist and destroyer of newspaper classified advertising revenues is honored, as is Mozilla's chief lizard wrangler Mitchell Baker for her work on Mozilla.

The Global Connectors list sees the inclusion of the erstwhile Mr Bush and his namesake's bête noir Al Gore, who got his nomination for being instrumental in the internet's creation with the High-Performance Computing and Communications Act of 1991. Thankfully Mr Gore's citation didn't include the incorrect meme that he "invented the internet."

Many recipients are on the list for their work in specific geographical locations. Nancy Hafkin is included for her work in Africa, Geoff Huston in Australia, Daniel Karrenberg for EUnet, Toru Takahashi in Japan and Professor Kilnam Chon for setting up "the first Internet in Asia", called SDN in 1982. Singapore's Dr Tan Tin Wee makes the list for his work in internationalizing the web and Brewster Kahl is included as the founder of the Internet Archive.

As hall of fame lists go the Internet Society's selection is hardly rock and roll by the standards of its musical counterpart. But what the list members lack in sex, drugs and other shenanigans they more than make up for in intellect and their ability to change the world. ®

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