Meng Weng Wong
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Wong Meng Weng (黃銘榮) is a Singaporean serial entrepreneur notable for proposing a historicist explanation for the relative tendency of individuals in different generations after immigration to become entrepreneurs (the Wong Greed/Fear Hypothesis). In 1994 he founded pobox.com, an email services company. In 2003 he led the group that designed the Sender Policy Framework standard (RFC4408) which was later embraced and extended by Microsoft. In 2005 he co-founded Karmasphere, a reputation services venture. In 2010 he co-founded the Joyful Frog Digital Incubator, an early-stage digital innovation company.
In 2003, Wong hybridized two earlier proposals for sender authentication, DMP (Designated Mailer Protocol) and RMX (Reverse Mail Exchanger), and devised SPF (Sender Policy Framework, originally Sender Permitted From). In November, he met Mark Lentczner at the Hackers Conference; Lentczner, an experienced protocol and language designer in his own right, became the primary co-author on the draft specification. SPF quickly caught on among the opensource community, receiving mentions on Slashdot, on Dave Farber's influential Interesting-People mailing list, and elsewhere. During 2004 Wong traveled widely, visiting ISPs in North America, Europe, Singapore, and Japan, and speaking at conferences to explain SPF. He was appointed Senior Technical Advisor to the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group. In 2004 Microsoft merged their similar proposal, Caller-ID For Email, with SPF to form Sender ID Framework. In 2005, the Microsoft implementation was rolled out in Hotmail, Exchange, and Outlook. In 2006, RFC4408 was published by the IETF as an Experimental Standard. As of August 2006, between one-third and one-half of legitimate email volume worldwide carries an SPF record.
He is a proponent of the Internet Mail 2000 architecture first popularized by Dan Bernstein; he calls it StubMail. Together with Nathan Cheng, Julian Haight, and Richard Soderberg, he led an initial implementation in 2006 which was presented at Google in July 2006.
Wong subscribes to the accountability framework first devised at the Aspen Institute by Esther Dyson and others. In that framework, authentication and reputation work together to create accountability. SPF, a sender authentication standard, offers the first half.
In 2005, Wong co-founded Karmasphere.com with Martin Hall, the inventor of WinSock and three-time serial entrepreneur. Karmasphere.com aims to offer the second half: reputation. Wong has described Karmasphere as the credit bureau for Internet identities.
In 2008, Wong moved to Singapore to work with BoxSentry.com on reputation systems for fighting false positives.
Investment and Startups
After moving to Singapore, Wong began angel investing in Internet companies. He produced a map of the Singapore Capital Markets for the Media Entrepreneur's Guide to Singapore, the first time all the funding sources for an early-stage venture have been displayed in a single infographic. He also joined the Board of Directors of BANSEA, the local angel investing group.
Wong has published a variety of articles related to technology and society, including
- To Be In Touch, an academic essay about the modes of presentation of self online and offline
- What Segway Bans Have Taught Me About Politics, in the Los Gatos Observer
- Why DSL Providers Are Terrible Email Providers, on Dave Farber's Interesting-People mailing list.
- Internet Governance: An Antispam Perspective, on Circle-ID.
- Advice to a Young Lady, or "Letter to Coco", which was positively reviewed by Alain de Botton.
Wong was born in Singapore on 19 November 1975, the son of prominent psychiatrist Wong Yip Chong and Patricia Ling Ai Wah. He attended the Anglo Chinese School and Raffles Institution as part of the Gifted Education Programme. From 1997 to 2000 while performing National Service he attended an MBA course at the National University of Singapore.
Wong is a graduate of St. George's School and the University of Pennsylvania. He presently lives in Singapore. In a recent biography he claims the following hobbies: documentary portraiture, recreational survivalism, armchair dating, graphic design and typography, and precision housekeeping.
In 2011, together with his mother, Wong was sued unsuccessfully by his half-brothers in a dispute concerning inheritance that reached the Singapore High Court.
He has spoken at the following conferences:
- PC Forum 2006
- The Hackers Conference 2003–2006
- Inbox Event
- Japan Antispam Summit 2005, Keynote speaker
- IETF 59
- National University of Singapore Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2006
- MAAWG where he was appointed a Senior Technical Advisor.
- Spammer-X; Sjouwerman, Stu (2004-11-13). Inside the spam cartel: trade secrets from the dark side. Syngress. pp. 220–. ISBN 978-1-932266-86-3. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
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