Web Inventor Given Hero's Welcome At Olympics

Yesterday's Olympic opening ceremony was a hallucinatory ode to western history, questionable British music, a giant baby, David Beckham's body, and -- amid the athletic sprawl -- one of the greatest geeks of all time.

During one strange portion of the ceremony that honored technology's role in turning us into phone-gazing status zombies, the action abruptly broke away to a 57-year-old Brit at a table with an antique NeXT computer and monitor. He clearly was not on any judo team. And then, in French and English he was introduced -- "Ladies and gentlemen, the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee." The crowd roared like a javelin just went through Hitler in effigy. They were cheering for a guy who created the web, not some gorgeous Danish sprinter -- a computer scientist! A nerd! And still, a world hero. It was one of the few moments in the ceremony that gave me chills, as I watched a bootleg BBC stream based on technology the man had created over two decades ago.

"This is for everyone," Sir Berners-Lee tweeted from the middle of the stadium -- a message that was retweeted over 10 thousand times within minutes.


    Questionable British music?? Let's see, I heard The Beatles, The Stones, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Who, David Bowie and plenty more. If that's questionable, I think you may care to revisit your comment in a few years when you have grown some pubic hair Sam.

    You know I hate to say this but I have seen many articles which have touted at least 5 different people as "the inventor of the internet". I think it's time that we acknowledged that it is a complex creation which many people worked on, and no one person can be held up as "Internet King". Every time I read another article like that, it sounds about as stupid as someone saying "I invented getting irritated when someone takes too long in front of you at the ATM"

      Hi Mufti.
      You're correct, but you're also out of context. Tim Berners Lee did not invent the Internet, but he is universally credited with inventing the world wide web.
      Think of the Internet as the highway, sending lots of different messages, including email, web pages, download torrents and a bunch of other stuff. It goes as far back as the early 70's.
      The world wide web is basically web pages and the concept of hyperlinks. That was all his idea in 1990.
      The wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web says it much better than I can, including the difference between the World Wide Web, and the Internet.

        This is genuinely the best comment I have ever read on Giz. Usually someone trying to make that point on this site would call me an idiot for confusing them, and then suggesting I go and make love to some sort of dead mammal. Thank you.

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