Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Was Afraid This Internet Thing Wouldn't Last...

From News.CNET.com:

Yesterday marked an important step toward the end of Internet plumbing as we know it.

Specifically, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocated two of the last seven blocks of Net eesses that use today's Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). That will trigger the automatic distribution soon of the last five, one each to the five regional Internet registries (RIR) that oversee the distribution of the numbers farther downstream, to the Internet service providers and other companies that actually need the IPv4 addresses.

It looks like the remaining five blocks will be allocated this week, if press invitations involving just about all the central overseers of the Internet are anything to judge by.

IP addresses are required for one computer to send data to another over the Internet. IPv4 allows for 4.3 billion addresses--2 to the 32nd power--but its successor, IPv6, allows 340 undecillion--2 to the 128th power, a vastly higher number. To be precise, 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses.

That new capacity excites network engineers, mobile phone carriers, and others running into IPv4 limits--but unfortunately the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is a difficult one, because the two communication protocols are incompatible.

Experts expect a years-long transition to move fully to IPv6. During that time, Web site operators, Internet service providers, and others will have to gradually shift infrastructure from handling one protocol to handling both.
Or, as Salon.com headlined it:

Internet runs out of IP addresses as devices grow

Internet addresses run low as Asia and smart phones hit the Web. Authorities plan strategy to open up space

Alas, rest easy, downloaders of furry kitten videos and porn! The Bible was wrong (again.) It was the geeks who wound up inheriting the Earth, so we should be good to go.



Sobrino said...

Moore's Law Tio, Moore's Law - cyberspace, as far as we know, continues to expand at a geometric rate...

JohnnyRussia said...

For a sitcom star, Mary Tyler Moore always WAS ahead of her time, Sobrino.