Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Internet is full!

So the Internet is almost full. Only 500 days until all the IP addresses in the world (over 4 billion of them) have been exhausted.

While the Y2k bug was a bit of a fizzer (one large video late fee excluded), and the recent PS3 System Clock bug forced gamers outside to see the sun for the first time this century, the IP address exhaustion is serious business!

An IP address uses four numbers from 0 to 255 to distinguish one online device from another (this is known as IPv4) . With the massive rise in online capable devices - from TV's to phones to fridges etc - it's no wonder the cup is almost full.

So what's the solution? Enter IPv6. A protocol so vast that if each unique IPv6 address was the size of a grain of sand, we could build 300 million Earth-sized sandcastles (if we could find a parking spot at Bondi!)

But it's not all video games and sandcastles. Many of your everyday online devices won't allocate you an IPv6 number - this includes you iPhone users. What this means is that you may be 'locked out' of newer Internet sites, and be forced to spend eternity navigating the slums of 'old internet' (those websites that are viewable for both IPv4 and IPv6 users).

Needless to say, there will be riots in the streets! Forget the Mayan Apocolypse, with the death of IPv4, we may not even make it to December 21, 2012.

Source: Text adapted (loosely) from SMH.com.
Disclaimer: Predictions of riots and destruction are pure speculation, and may not actually transpire. Any rioters are asked to keep the volume down, CSU Library is a quiet space.

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