ME and Ophelia

Thursday, April 15, 2004

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New honour for the web's inventor
British physicist Sir Tim Berners-Lee

The inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, has won a prestigious award which comes with a prize bag of one million euros (£671,000). The "Father of the Web" was named as the first winner of the Millennium Technology Prize by the Finnish Technology Award Foundation.

In 1991, he came up with a system to organise, link and browse net pages which revolutionised the internet. The British scientist was knighted for his pioneering work in 2003. Sir Tim created his hypertext program while he was at the particle physics institute, Cern, in Geneva.

Born in London in 1955. Read physics at Queen's College, Oxford. Banned from using university PC for hacking. Built own computer with old TV, a Motorola microprocessor and soldering iron. Created web in late 1980s and early 1990s at Cern. Offered it free on the net. Founded World Wide Web Consortium at MIT in 1994. Named by Time magazine as one of the top 20 thinkers of the 20th century. Knighted in 2003.

The computer code he came up with let scientists easily share research findings across a computer network. In the early 1990s, it was dubbed the "world wide web", and is still the basis of the web as we know it. The famously modest man never went on to commercialise his work. Instead he worked on expanding the use of the net as a channel for free expression and collaboration.

"The web has significantly enhanced many people's ability to obtain information central to their lives," said Pekka Tarjanne, chairman of the Millennium Technology Prize award committee. "The web is encouraging new types of social networks, supporting transparency and democracy, and opening up novel avenues for information management and business development."

Sir Tim currently heads up the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, where he is now based as an academic.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 4/15/2004
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