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HE SAID IT. Vinton Cerf, known as the father of the Internet because he developed TCP/IP, the computer language that gave birth to the Internet, recently tickled a group of NASA scientists during his speech about plans to build an Internet in space so that future colonies of astronauts could easily

HE SAID IT. Vinton Cerf, known as the father of the Internet because he developed TCP/IP, the computer language that gave birth to the Internet, recently tickled a group of NASA scientists during his speech about plans to build an Internet in space so that future colonies of astronauts could easily communicate with each other.

The far-fetched concept of a ".mars" or a ".earth" domain certainly caused some giggling. And many laughed at Cerf's straight-faced explanation of the need for tight security measures for this new space-based Internet. After all, he said, we don't want anyone hacking Mars.

But the most entertaining bit of information Cerf offered was his favorite T-shirt, which sported a wish referring, supposedly, to the Internet Protocol he helped design: "IP on Everything."

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WHY CUPS ARE LIKE Y2K. It's not unusual to hear a couple of dishes breaking during a luncheon or dinner. But it takes a quick speaker to seize the moment to make a point. Attendees at a recent seminar on Intelligent Transportation Systems and the Year 2000 problem were startled by the sound of a coffee cup breaking on the floor. The sound was followed by the entire pyramid of coffee cups tumbling down in a dramatic crash. Preparing to take the podium, John Collins, president of ITS America, said the falling cups were like the Year 2000 problem: "It shows how interrelated everything is," he said.

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