Evan Williams is an American entrepreneur who has founded several Internet companies. Two of the internet’s top ten websites have been created by Evan Williams’ companies: Blogger, weblog-authoring software of Pyra Labs, and Twitter, where he was previously CEO. Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan co-founded Pyra Labs to make project management software. A note-taking feature spun off as Blogger, one of the first web applications for creating and managing weblogs. Williams invented the term “blogger” and was instrumental in the popularization of the term “blog”. Pyra survived the departure of Hourihan and other employees, and was eventually acquired by Google on February 13, 2003. In 2003, Williams was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. In 2004, he was named one of PC Magazine’s “People of the Year”, along with Hourihan and Paul Bausch for their work on Blogger.
Ricky Dene Gervais is an English comedian, actor, director, radio presenter, producer, musician, and writer. Gervais achieved mainstream fame with his television series The Office and the subsequent series Extras, both of which he co-wrote and co-directed with friend and frequent collaborator Stephen Merchant. In addition to writing and directing the shows, Gervais also played the lead roles of David Brent in The Office and Andy Millman in Extras. Gervais has also starred in a number of Hollywood films, assuming leading roles in Ghost Town and The Invention of Lying. He has performed on four sell-out stand-up comedy tours, written the best-selling Flanimals book series and starred with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington in the most downloaded podcast in the world as of March 2009, The Ricky Gervais Show.
Penn Fraser Jillette is an American magician, comedian, illusionist, juggler, bassist and a best-selling author known for his work with fellow illusionist Teller in the team Penn & Teller, and advocacy of atheism, libertarian philosophy, free-market economics, and scientific skepticism. He occasionally notes with irony that he lives and works in Las Vegas, but he does not gamble (though he did lend his name to a book on how to cheat at poker). He has never used recreational drugs or alcohol. He is, however, an advocate of the legalization of all drugs and discontinuing the War on Drugs. Jillette is an atheist, libertarian (he has stated that he may consider himself to be an Anarcho-capitalist), and skeptic, as well as an adherent to Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy, as stated on his Penn Says podcast. Jillette is a Fellow at the libertarian think tank, the Cato Institute, and has stated that he “always” votes Libertarian. In January 2007, Jillette took the “Blasphemy Challenge” offered by the Rational Response Squad and publicly denied the existence of a holy spirit. His cars’ license plates read “atheist”, “nogod”, and “godless”. “Strangely enough, they wouldn’t give me ‘Infidel,'” he says.
Kevin Rose is an American Internet entrepreneur who co-founded Revision3, Digg, Pownce, and Milk. He also served as production assistant and co-host at TechTV’s The Screen Savers. He is currently a venture partner at Google. Rose was hired as a production assistant for The Screen Savers. He began appearing on-air in the “Dark Tip” segments and on Unscrewed with Martin Sargent, where he provided information on developing computing activities. He became a regular co-host when Leo Laporte left TechTV on March 31, 2004. On March 25, 2004, Comcast’s G4 gaming channel announced a merger with TechTV, which resulted in a round of layoffs. Rose moved to Los Angeles to stay with G4. On May 22, 2005, Rose reached an agreement with G4 that released him from his contract and went on to create Systm and later, Revision3, where he co-hosted Diggnation alongside Alex Albrecht for 6 years.
Brian Brushwood is an award-winning American magician, podcaster, author and comedian. A regular on the college circuit, he is best known for his display of bizarre magic and fire-eating performances. He is the author of The Professional’s Guide To Fire Eating and the host of Revision3’s Scam School, a web series that features quick ten minute tips to get free drinks at bars and to impress friends, and TWiT.tv’s NSFWShow, a comedic podcast he co-hosts with Justin Robert Young. Brushwood has performed on The Food Network, CNN and The Tonight Show, as well as performing special demonstrations at The University of Texas. Brushwood was also interviewed on episode 205 of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. Brushwood grew up living in California, Colorado, Norway, and Texas. In 1993, he started at the University of Texas in Austin doubly majoring in “Plan II honors program” and history. He performed a magic show as a “creative writing” senior thesis. He began touring with the “Bizarre Magic Show” full-time in 2000. Brushwood also works as a writer and makes appearances on the lecture circuit. Brushwood categorizes himself as a libertarian.
Hossein Derakhshan, also known as Hoder, is an Iranian-Canadian blogger currently imprisoned in Tehran. He is credited with starting the blogging revolution in Iran and is called the father of Persian blogging by many journalists. He also helped to promote podcasting in Iran. Derakhshan was arrested on November 1, 2008 and sentenced to 19½ years in prison on September 28, 2010. Derakhshan started out as a journalist writing about Internet and digital culture for a popular reformist newspaper, Asr-e Azadegan in 1999. Later, when this paper was closed down by the judiciary system, he moved to another newspaper, Hayat-e No, in which he continued to write about the same topic. His column there was called Panjere-i roo be hayaat (A Window to the Life, a reference to Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window), and later expanded to a weekly page on digital culture, Internet and computer games.
Robert Elliot “Bob” Kahn is an American Internet pioneer, engineer and computer scientist, who, along with Vinton G. Cerf, invented the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), the fundamental communication protocols at the heart of the Internet. While working on a satellite packet network project, he came up with the initial ideas for what later became the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which was intended as a replacement for an earlier network protocol, NCP, used in the ARPANET. While working on this, he played a major role in forming the basis of open-architecture networking, which would allow computers and networks all over the world to communicate with each other, regardless of what hardware or software the computers on each network used.