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Vint Cerf Keeps Blaming Himself For IPv4 Limit

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the mea-maxima-culpa dept.

The Internet 309

netbuzz writes "Everyone knows that IPv4 addresses are nearly gone and the ongoing move to IPv6 is inevitable if not exactly welcomed by all. If you've ever wondered why the IT world finds itself in this situation, Vint Cerf, known far and wide as one of the fathers of the Internet, wants you to know that it's OK to blame him. He certainly does so himself. In fact, he does so time and time and time again."

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Things people do... (5, Insightful)

Anonymatt (1272506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987556)

Is this a backwards opportunity taken for asserting that he is one of the Fathers of the Internet?

Re:Things people do... (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988110)

We all know it wasn't him. Seriously - is there anyone here who doesn't know who algoreithms are named after?

Re:Things people do... (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988342)

No need to assert; it's common knowledge.

Vinton Gray "Vint" Cerf[1] [wikipedia.org] ( /srf/; born June 23, 1943) is an American computer scientist who is recognized as one of [4] the fathers of the Internet", sharing this title with American computer scientist Bob Kahn.[5][6] His contributions have been acknowledged and lauded, repeatedly, with honorary degrees, and awards that include the National Medal of Technology,[1] the Turing Award,[7] the Presidential Medal of Freedom,[8] and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

In the early days, Cerf was a program manager for the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funding various groups to develop TCP/IP technology. When the Internet began to transition to a commercial opportunity during the late 1980s,[citation needed] Cerf moved to MCI where he was instrumental in the development of the first commercial email system (MCI Mail) connected to the Internet.

Vinton Cerf was instrumental in the funding and formation of ICANN from the start. Cerf waited in the wings for a year before he stepped forward to join the ICANN Board. Eventually he became the Chairman of ICANN.

Re:Things people do... (0)

Anonymatt (1272506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988424)

Well then let's get him!

Glad thats sorted out! (5, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987564)

Cool. Now that we've assigned blame, hopefully we can move forward with FIXING the problem.

Since there is already a fix available (IPv6), if/when this DOES become a problem, THAT problem should be assigned squarely on the shoulders of the people who failed to implement the FIX in a timely enough manner.

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (-1, Troll)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987736)

For what it's worth, Vint Cerf was instrumental in ensuring that the putative IPv6 fix would fail massively.

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987770)

It's not that I don't believe you, but I would like a little more information than a simple bald assertion by a random Slashdot poster.

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987806)

Who gives a flying fuck what *you* think?

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987954)

You're new here, aren't you?

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988096)

You're new here, aren't you?

Omnifarious (11933)

The five digit UID somewhat disputes your position...

-AC

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988208)

I don't know about Vint Cerf, but IPv6 is not going to fix anything permanently; oh, the namespace is large enough, but any address space beyond say 40 bits will not be maintainable, and the Internet will, by necessity, partition.

Non-hierarchical routing doesn't scale. CIDR was only enough to fix the problem for IPv4 because of Moore's Law. But with Moore's Law broken and moving from a 32-bit address space to a 128-bit address space (without hierarchical routing!), the routing tables are going to reach a size that will require multicore machines to handle. And LISP (not the programming language, the addressing protocol) won't be enough to save us. This is why so many people are proponents of NAT - if you create topological divisions in the Internet, and don't treat the Internet as a flat network, you can do wide-scale routing first based upon the first section of the address, and local-scale routing later. See John Day, *Patterns in Network Architecture*.

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (5, Informative)

hardburn (141468) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988526)

Except IPv6 is hierarchical [isoc.org] , for that very reason. Routing tables can be much, much smaller than they are on IPv4.

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988012)

> Vint Cerf was instrumental in ensuring that the putative IPv6 fix would
> fail massively.

Good for him. Anyone with a right to be on "teh intarwebzes" already has an IP address. All the wogs in bongobongo and the chinks in hoo-no-fuk-ware province can just bugger off until they learn how to wipe their arses.

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987948)

What happened to IPv5?

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (1, Funny)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988060)

Same thing that happened to our razor blades [theonion.com] .

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (0)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988214)

have to use Netscape Navigator 5 for full effect.

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (1)

desertfool (21262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988274)

There was something in the way of IPv5, the Internet Stream Protocol:

http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2003/06/what_ever_happened_to_ipv5.html

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988380)

My understanding is basically as follows:

A 4-bit portion of the IP header block indicates what "version" of the IP protocol is being referenced and for reasons I'm not at all familiar with, the first bit is always supposed to be a zero. So, thus far, the value in that field has always been "0010" (thus "4") but under the new system, it will become "0110" (thus "6").

-AC

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (2, Informative)

powerlord (28156) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988130)

Since I actually bothered to read the article:

But Cerf, chief Internet evangelist at Google, has long known a good laugh line when he has one. In an Aug. 17 talk at NASA, he said:

This is the amount of IP version 4 address space, about 5% left -- my fault actually. In 1977 I was running the Internet program for the defense department, I had to decide how much address space this Internet thing needs. ... After a year of arguing among the engineers, no one knowing, 32 bits, 3.4 billion terminations, has to be enough for an experiment. The problem is the experiment never ended.

So, since the internet is just an experiment that never ended, can we name this "Endless October"? :)

Re:Glad thats sorted out! (-1, Troll)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988186)

I think the Fucking Problem with IPv6 Adobtion is they fucking tried to fix everything wrong with the internet!

Why did they do this? I mean When we ran out phone numbers the first time we just added an exchange number, when we ran out again we just added a area code, then a country code and so on.

Why didn't they just add an extra octet? or even just double the address space from 32 to 64?

But seriously, They over-engineered IPv6 and are now asking why it took so long to adapt? Did you really need to reinvent NAT? And why get rid of DHCP? Next thing I know they're going to tell me when I switch over to IPv6 my Kitchen sink will be redundant.

Also While I'm ranting.... WHY DOES COPY PASTE NOT WORK?!?:!?!?!?!?

So, this is ALL YOUR FAULT! (2, Funny)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987568)

... to quote that hilarious line from Idiocracy.

Re:So, this is ALL YOUR FAULT! (2, Funny)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987628)

Actually, he's Not Sure

Re:So, this is ALL YOUR FAULT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988124)

Yeah, but how bad can one night of rehabilitation be?

The answer is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987588)

HP=Hit Points.

I read the article! OH NOES! I BROKE THE RULES!

Frankly... (3, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987590)

Vint Cerf should blame himself for the IPv6 mess instead.

Re:Frankly... (3, Interesting)

thasmudyan (460603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988546)

Vint Cerf should blame himself for the IPv6 mess instead.

Exactly. I assert that the migration would already have happened (and seamlessly) if we had just extended the address space and left everything else the way it was. To be fair, I believe this is a marketing problem. At the time when IPv6 became serious, all sorts of ideas were floated and sensationalized. A bunch of journalists said stuff like "in the future, a device will have just one static IP wherever it goes" and "we'll do away with firewalls". Which sounded insane! And while it's debatable whether getting rid of NAT is a good or bad thing, the rest of IPv6 is actually more like the incremental upgrade we wanted all along, and less like the authoritarian supernet it was advertised to be.

And then what? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987592)

So, Vince, if it makes you feel better, we'll blame you. It's all your fault.

Now, has that got us more IP addresses? No? Why worry about blame then? Real engineers fix things.

Re:And then what? (0, Redundant)

Gilandune (1266114) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987740)

Who is this Vince you speak of and why are we blaming him instead?

Re:And then what? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987826)

We blame him for having the wrong name. HTH.

Re:And then what? (0, Troll)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988058)

Who is this Vince you speak of and why are we blaming him instead?

No idea but it wasn't me :)

Re:And then what? (2, Insightful)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988382)

Who is this Vince you speak of and why are we blaming him instead?
Vince, vint, whatever. Listen up unix beardlings because I am about to drop some real history and knowledge on you.
He is some surfer guy who was too stoned on Maui Wowie to figure out we needed more than 3.4 Billion Addresses.
His name is Vint Cerf, and actually is the REAL REASON why we call it "web surfing".
Back in the olden days before young punks like you had global village modems, ISPs and dialup access and stuff,
us oldbeards were sitting pretty on T3's, "Cerfing" the internet. Well, it wasn't long until Cerf became Surf, and
that you young whippersnappers is how the fax machine was invented.

Re:And then what? (1)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987840)

Wait, I get it now.

blame = attention

Re:And then what? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987890)

It seems to work with preschoolers. I guess we never really grow up, and there always seems to be some truth in "Any attention is good attention."

Don't blame him, thank him. (4, Insightful)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987598)

It's a good thing IPv4's address space is 32-bit. Without that limitation we'd never move to IPv6 and get all of the other benefits that it offers.

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987730)

Or that it wasn't Bill Gates instead of Cerf.
"640,000 addresses out to be enough."

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (1)

vistapwns (1103935) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988182)

You mean IBM and Intel, or their associated personel who designed the 8086 and chose it for the IBM PC. MS was constrained by the memory limit of the system with DOS, there's nothing MS could've done to increase the memory addressability limit of the damn CPU. But you knew that right, mr. super hacker?

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987800)

We should have put Gillette in charge of the solution. I'm pretty sure it would have been "fuck everything, we're doing 256-bit". IPv6 won't last long once we start assigning an IP address to everything* such as light bulbs, toasters, etc.

* no, we won't stop to think if we should. We'll only see that we can.

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (2, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987922)

I think that the IPv6 space is big enough to give an address to every molecule in the solar system.

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987988)

No, not at all. It's only large enough to give an address to every square inch on the Earth's surface.

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (2, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988148)

I think that the IPv6 space is big enough to give an address to every molecule in the solar system.

Yeah, but there are a lot of other solar systems. That's why I'm switching to IPV7 with 256-bit addresses.

Of course the cross-galaxy ping time is a bit of a problem.

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (4, Funny)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988084)

Eh, that's a lot of toasters to use up 3.4*10^38 addresses. If a toaster takes up a square metre (big toaster), you'd have to stack them ten billion high over every single metre of the Earth to use them up.

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988196)

Eh, that's a lot of toasters to use up 3.4*10^38 addresses. If a toaster takes up a square metre (big toaster), you'd have to stack them ten billion high over every single metre of the Earth to use them up.

You're failing to take into consideration toaster future virtualization

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988338)

Eh, that's a lot of toasters to use up 3.4*10^38 addresses. If a toaster takes up a square metre (big toaster), you'd have to stack them ten billion high over every single metre of the Earth to use them up.

You can never have enough toasters ;)

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988442)

Current estimates are that IPv6 has sufficient address space to assign every living human approximately 4 billion IPs. I could assign an IP to every single item I own down to the spare buttons for my shirts, and the unused sandwich bags in my pantry, and not even get to the first percent of my "allocation". The population of earth could increase by an order of magnitude and we'd all *still* have a few million addresses for our very own... we won't have anywhere to stand, but we'll have plenty of IP addresses. I don't think this will be a problem in the foreseeable future.

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (0, Flamebait)

MichaelKristopeit 12 (1916012) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987926)

it's a very good thing the ipv4 address space is 32-bit... without that limitation, the required hardware routers and switches required to make the internet word would have been too expensive to be feasible at the time.

the investors have recovered their investments, given time to build a surplus, and are now ready to place the ipv6 routers, which have come down in cost to an affordable $10M+ each, throughout the globe.

Re:Don't blame him, thank him. (0, Offtopic)

MichaelKristopeit 92 (1926396) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988578)

the truth = "Flamebait"

you're all ignorant cowards.

slashdot = stagnated.

Bogus shortage (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987668)

There isn't a true shortage with companies that are hording large blocks of IP addresses. Example HP has 2 class A address blocks among others which gives them over 32 million IP's. With all the mergers that have happened why isn't there a process to recover address blocks that can be reused properly.

Part of the problem is that no one thought of recovering address blocks when companies merge. You can't tell me that HP needs 32 million plus IP's?

There is also the fact that both companies and ISP's can use the Private blocks and NAT for internal and only use routable blocks for devices that need them.

It all boils down to miss management of the address system which could be changed to extend the life of IPV4 and make it more efficient.

Re:Bogus shortage (0)

RebootKid (712142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987752)

Exactly. I predict that there will soon be a trade market for IP subnets.

Re:Bogus shortage (1)

div_2n (525075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987776)

By the time companies expend the time and resources necessary to validate that all of their "unused" IP blocks aren't actually being used by something, engineering migration plans for those that are being used by non-critical systems, etc. they could just go ahead and move to IPv6.

Apply a cure, not a band-aid.

Re:Bogus shortage (0, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987824)

I agree with your points except but for the fact that Miss Management has nothing to do with all of this, she's only a secretary.

Re:Bogus shortage (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987958)

The scary thing is that for every Class A returned to the pool, you only buy like a month of life for IPv4. It's just growing too fast now and we're going to start seeing a lot of stories about people not getting their IP addresses in a year or two. Luckily it won't affect existing customers too badly, but it will be a real limit on growth.

Re:Bogus shortage (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988428)

The question is: why is it growing at all?

Every new device should be IPv6 compatible.

Who's making IPv4 crap? And why aren't we charging them $100 a number?

Re:Bogus shortage (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988008)

2? They have four:

HP Class A
Compaq Class A
DEC Class A
Palm Class A

I have a friend who works at HP. He's previously been given an entire /16 (or some ridiculous netblock of similar proportions) to play with. He only needed ~128 IPs.

To be fair the problem is they're not "hoarding" them, it's that they have a bunch of stuff *using* those assigned netblocks and re-numbering everything would cost them a *lot* of money.

Re:Bogus shortage (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988052)

There are more people on Earth than there are IPv4 addresses. There is a true shortage, whether companies are sitting on address blocks or not.

Re:Bogus shortage (2, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988204)

1. The legacy address space is a special case. They were issued directly from IANA before ARIN and the other RIRs were formed and were given out without many rules attached, so reclaiming those is legally difficult at best. Typical blocks issued today can be and are reclaimed when they're not being used and you currently have to go to significant lengths to show you need the address space, especially with RIPE's policies.

2. We've been fucking doing that. NAT is why we are running out of addresses now rather than 8 years ago. Pretty much everything that is able to be put behind NAT already is. And don't even get me started on the abomination that is "carrier grade NAT".

3. If you reclaimed the entirety of the legacy address space, assuming it is possible to do that in the 8 months we have left until IANA's pool runs out, it would buy about 2 years at the most, then we'd really be out, and existing evidence shows that ISPs and companies would simply use that 2 years to sit on their hands like they've been doing for the past 2 years, and the 2 years before that.

Kinda silly. (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987680)

The scale of computing was much smaller then.

It was pre-home computer revolution and nobody thought computers would shrink to the size of everybody's pockets (cellphones). Nobody thought we'd be using machines will a billion bits (or more) or memory. Back than ~4000 was considered a lot (it was the hardcoded limit for the Atari console). Everything was smaller in scale, and Mr. Cerf is not to blame for not predicting the invention of the Web Browser (killer app) and how it would reach into every facet of our lives.

Re:Kinda silly. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987876)

No thats wrong. HTTP and the web browser were so obvious at the time of writing the specifications for IPv4 we let that retard Berners-Lee write up his papers and feel good about himself for being "first" to come up with it. This problem could easily have been predicted.

Re:Kinda silly. (3, Funny)

cindyann (1916572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987914)

It was pre-home computer revolution and nobody thought computers would shrink to the size of everybody's pockets (cellphones). Nobody thought we'd be using machines will a billion bits (or more) or memory. Back than ~4000 was considered a lot (it was the hardcoded limit for the Atari console). Everything was smaller in scale, and Mr. Cerf is not to blame for not predicting the invention of the Web Browser (killer app) and how it would reach into every facet of our lives.

Only those with no imagination---

I can say with a great deal of confidence that plenty of us knew what was coming.

Now who do we blame for 32-bit time_t on 32-bit iron? There's a relatively new OS that lots of people use today that didn't have any ABI concerns when it was in its infancy, yet its creator didn't have the vision to see beyond doing pretty much what everyone else had done before him. (And I won't name him because then I'll just get modded a troll. But I bet you can guess who it is.)

Re:Kinda silly. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988154)

>>>Only those with no imagination---

Were you even alive then - 1976? I was. Remember that was a time when being able to buy a video & watch it at home was an alien concept (pre-VCR). If you had said to someone, "Someday you'll be able to sit on a bus and watch a video from 10,000 miles away," they'd probably lock you in a loony bin. Or just say, "You're a nutty nerd - let's give you a wedgie."

Computers in 1976 were the size of small rooms, and they were just beginning to be shrunk to PC size, but they were hard-to-use (no keyboards or screens; they used esoteric switches). Nobody at the time thought common people (read: uneducated boobs) would have computers with self-assigned addresses. Nobody thought there'd be more than one computer per home, much less 2-3 per person. Most envisioned computers as being like Star Trerk - a single unit running the whole house. The number of homes was only 900 million, so having ~4000 million addresses was plenty.

Re:Kinda silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988238)

Wasn't there an episode of Star trek in the 70's where Spock used his tricorder to play back historical records?

I think it was the one with the big smokey O-ring of time travel.

Re:Kinda silly. (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988178)

ABI nothing. That new OS needed to have software ported to it and a lot of Unix like software expects time_t and int to be interchangeable so changing it would involve fixing a lot of software.

Re:Kinda silly. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988240)

Exactly, even in the late 90s I heard professors talk about it being important knowing how much space a short took as opposed to an int as opposed to a long long and what'd it'd do for CPUs and registers and whatnot. People in the 70s and early 80s at the dawn of the PC skimped bits and bytes everywhere taking the century off the year and many other things that in retrospect seem stupid. But that kind of cost cutting could save you millions of dollars in reduced requirements back then. I'd love to go back and start off with Unicode/UTF8 instead of the abomination this is code pages and local 8 bit encoding for example. And a common standard for "\n" or "\r\n". To have all PCs use the system clock in UTC (or well GMT back then). The list goes on...

They were building a box car and people that asked those kind of questions sounded like "um, yeah but what about when we break the sound barrier?" It's only in the last decade after the y2k debacle that the motto has become "use 64 bit". 64 bits time_t, 64 bit pointers, 64 bits limits on files and sizes and now finally 64 bit sector counts on HDDs as we hit 3TB+ HDDs and maybe someday 2x64 bit IPv6 addresses, just the first 64 really do the trick the rest will be used for MACs. It's cheaper to spend another few bytes than run into another limit like that.

Everything would be so much simpler if you could look into a crystal ball and learn what the world is like 50 years from now. Also, I'd spend that power making myself ridiculously rich not change the IPv4 address size ;)

Build it Bigger (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987756)

After hearing this story and the '640k ought to be enough' story, the lesson learned is that whenever you are planning on building something technical, be sure to go wayyyy overboard on the size and scope of the projected requirements in order to future-proof the technology.

By the way, is Vint short for 'Vincent?' or 'Voila...Internet?"

Re:Build it Bigger (3, Funny)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988022)

... the lesson learned is that whenever you are planning on building something technical, be sure to go wayyyy overboard on the size and scope of the projected requirements in order to future-proof the technology.

Yeah! That's why we should be building CPUs with 1024-bit addresses!

Re:Build it Bigger (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988534)

I was going to ask why that's modded Funny, then I realized that yeah, it is.

We should be building network protocols with variable-length addressing, and getting rid of fixed constraints entirely.

Though you should have said "2048". Like the letters 'k' and 'q', it just sounds funnier when used in a joke.

Re:Build it Bigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988560)

4 billion addresses should be enough for every planet.

Re:Build it Bigger (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988266)

Another example is Sony when they decided, "One hour of tape is enough." That decision eventually killed the Betamax VCR. The competition called JVC also thought it was enough time but RCA, which was used to dealing with consumer expectations, insisted it had to be 4 hours minimum so Americans could tape football games. JVC complied and VHS won.

I wonder if we'll ever run out of phone numbers? The current US limit is 9,999,999,999 or about 10 billion. That's enough for 30 phones per citizen, so I suppose we're okay. ;-)

I have 3 numbers assigned to me: Wired phone, cellphone, plus security system.

Yeah right Vint... (0, Redundant)

krazytekn0 (1069802) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987758)

Pfft.it's obviously Al Gore's fault.

Is it a software patents issue? (alan cox) (4, Interesting)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987788)

In a speech around 2004, I remember Alan Cox said that the reason IPv6 wasn't advancing was that big software players were afraid to adopt it before it turns 20 in case there are submarine patents / patent ambush.

Anyone got links to confirm / disprove this theory?

http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Patent_ambush [swpat.org]

an alan cox interview (5, Informative)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987858)

Here's an interview where he says it:

http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/t576610-alan-cox-on-software-patents.html [velocityreviews.com]

"""Alan Cox: The same has happened with IP version 6. You notice that everyone
is saying IP version 6 is this, is that, and there's all this research
software up there. No one at Cisco is releasing big IPv6 routers.
Not because there's no market demand, but because they want 20
years to have elapsed from the publication of the standard before
the product comes out -- because they know that there will be
hundreds of people who've had guesses at where the standard
would go and filed patents around it. And it's easier to let things
lapse for 20 years than fight the system."""

(More info would be good - any other prominent techs saying this?)

http://en.swpat.org/wiki/IPv6 (1)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987970)

Actually, since this problem is sure to boom in the coming months, I've started a wiki page for it:

http://en.swpat.org/wiki/IPv6 [swpat.org]

Laches: the doctrine of you snooze, you lose (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988010)

How many years is it from the start of alleged infringement to the rebuttable presumption that the patent holder has snoozed and lost [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Laches: the doctrine of you snooze, you lose (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988582)


How many years is it from the start of alleged infringement to the rebuttable presumption that the patent holder has snoozed and lost?

It's not a problem - they keep it alive for decades if need to be, by filing small enhancements to the patent before it issues.

Then once the industry has adopted that area of 'IP', they let it issue.

And a patent does not have to be enforced to be valid - latches and waivers do not apply to patents. Submarining is only done to stay under the radar and to lengthen the time the patent is valid. (and to let the industry build billions of dollars worth products before the IP bomb is dropped.)

All brought to you by your friendly neighbourhood patent system that punishes innovators and rewards parasitic cowards.

Re:an alan cox interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988306)

I don't know why they think 20 years is long enough - there are plenty of cases where a patent sat in the "pending" state for a decade, was repeatedly amended to keep up with changing technology and then finally "issued" years after the fact.

Re:an alan cox interview (2, Informative)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988386)

More info would be good - any other prominent techs saying this?

This is not exactly new one, but I read a pretty reasonable article [mises.org] about the effect of James Watt's patents (steam engine) on the industrial revolution - basically how it was delayed by a few decades.

That was 18th century, things moved slower then. Now-a-days within our 5 year obsolescence cycle things completely moved out of whack of course.

Re:Is it a software patents issue? (alan cox) (2, Insightful)

Target Drone (546651) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988504)

If this is true then wouldn't it mean that IPv6 won't get adopted until 2018? 20 years after the original RFC was published.

I personally think the problem is that compatibility with IPv4 seems like it was an afterthought. The designers of IPv6 should have designed the system so that individual computers/routers/networks could be upgraded independently of each other in much the same way you can easily upgrade your network from 100mb to GigE.

A wonderful failure (1)

mrnick (108356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987814)

The examples of him putting the blame on himself for IPV4 running out of address space is just a modest way of saying "Hey I invented the Internet" in a real way not in an Al Gore kind of way.

I can only wish that I would have such a failure in my career!

Nick Powers

Re:A wonderful failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988092)

An Al Gore kind of way? [wikipedia.org]

xkcd update? (-1, Offtopic)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987816)

Has there been any updates to the xkcd Map of the Internet [xkcd.com] ? I mean filling in the unused green pastures, not the amusing but (AFAIK) artistic-license layout of the recent one.

Re:xkcd update? (1)

egamma (572162) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988146)

that map wasn't correct to begin with--the upper right-hand corner, 240-255, is "class E experimental" addresses and will never be given out.

Any one writing about (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987850)

the internet and doesn't know what HP is should go to write about boy bands.
\

Hear him speak live. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987870)

I'm going to this event in San Jose to hear him speak and perhaps give me some good advice around IPv6.
http://www.gogonetlive.com/

Next year will probably be the last year I run IPv4.

Re:Hear him speak live. (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988488)

I'm going to this event in San Jose to hear him speak and perhaps give me some good advice around IPv6.
http://www.gogonetlive.com/ [gogonetlive.com]

Next year will probably be the last year I run IPv4.

We'll think about it, Vint.

Ah, kdawson (0, Offtopic)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987874)

Always with the hyperbole.

The Man Who Was MCI's Spamming Apologist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987880)

Wants you to know he's still around. Vint, you've done enough damage around here but you got a Turing Award anyway, much to the shame of many of us, which is why yours was probably the first and only Turing Award to incite a protest. Then you finished whoring yourself out by working for Google. Now please, show a little common decency, and disappear. Forever. Thanks!

Darn YOU Vint! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987938)

You forgot to take the garbage out again! Oh, and about that Internet IPV4 thing, well, it lasted a while, good job building it, considering computer technology and how fast its obsolete, if you gave people IPv6 right away, they would have all cried out "oh Noes, my 386 'pewter can't easily manage all of that, make it simpler, make it simpler!" So instead you give them IPv4. It lasts for what, 30+ years, then its starts to run out of space, and they all cry out "Vint buddy, just what were you thinking! This, this IPv4 is running out of space, dammit! Who was responsible, YOU? " ...So yeah its beat up on old Vint day. Really, I think he did a heck of a job building IPV4, If you think of the internet now, booming across the world, and what lead to IPv6, you thank Vint and IPV4. If every one of the billions of people now on the internet gave old Vint a penny for his contributions, he would turn off his computer, climb into a nice 150 foot sailboat, and order the skipper to sail to a very warm quiet tropical island with great fishing and clean cold rum. Once there, he would anchor, fish, swim, and after a great supper of snapper, fresh potatoes and a sip of rum, he would shout to the wind "Hey IPV4 haters, go %*#&^! yourselves!", then take a whiz over the side, and relax for a month.

politics is about assigning blame (0, Offtopic)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987962)

engineering is about fixing problems

so when issues of economics, or climate, or policy, or anything else gets political, the political leaders of course make themselves busy with who is to blame for the problem. which of course doesn't solve any problems, it just makes people feel better that they didn't cause the problem (while they continue to suffer the consequences)

we need more engineers running this country, and less politicians

Does that ever ring a bell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988018)

"It's enough to do an experiment," he said. "The problem is the experiment never ended."

This sounds like the vast majority of software projects...

Some programmer whips up a quick and dirty prototype to prove to management that it can be done... Then they tell him to put it into production and support it for the next 34yrs.

This is why quick and dirty prototypes should never be shown to anyone, because the temptation to actually use them is too great.

How we got here. (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988116)

At the time, XNS, the Xerox protocol for Ethernet networks, was in use. It had 24 bits for the network number, and 24 bits for the device ID. Thinking at the time was that each network would be a local LAN, and "internetworking" would interconnect LANs. Xerox was thinking of this as a business system, with multiple machines on each LAN. So XNS had a 48-bit address spade. That's what we call a "MAC address" today.

The telephony people were pushing X.25 and TP4, which used phone numbers for addressing. Back then, phone numbers were very hierarchical; the area code and exchange parts of the number determined the routing to the final switch. "Number portability", where all the players have huge tables, was a long way off.

The problem with a big address space is that memory was too expensive in those days to deal with huge address tables. A big issue was locative vs non-locative address spaces. In a locative address space, there's a hierarchy - you can take some part of the address and make a local decision about what direction to go, even if you don't have enough detailed information to get to the final destination. IP was originally organized like that - routers looked up class A, B, and C networks. A huge, flat address space implemented using multi-level caches was way beyond what you could do in a router back then. Routers used to be dinky machines, with less than one MIPS and maybe 256K of RAM.

There was a lot of worry about packet overhead. Each key press on a terminal sends 41 bytes over a TCP/IP network. That was a big deal when companies had long-haul links in the 9600 to 56Kb/s range. Adding another 24 bytes to each packet to allow for future expansion seemed grossly excessive. Especially since the X.25 people had far less overhead.

So there were good reasons not to overdesign the system. I don't blame Cerf for that.

The foot-dragging on IPv6 is excessive. The big deployment problem was getting it into everyone's Windows desktop. That's been done.

Re:How we got here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988390)

So XNS had a 48-bit address spade.

Perhaps a different kind of shovel would have been better.

Wait ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988174)

Why did I think it was Al Gore's fault?

Uh-oh... (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988194)

I feel a bit guilty myself now, I got a block of 16 IPv4 addresses last week when I changed ISP. Although they also give me real honest non-tunnelled IPv6 too.

C'mon Slashdot, start supporting IPv6! - even Youtube's on there now!

Why is 127.0.0.1 in a class A? (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988228)

Here's a question for the day: Why did they pick a class A network to place the local machine address (127.0.0.1) in? Why not 192.168.0.1?

Re:Why is 127.0.0.1 in a class A? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988376)

Cos obviously your local machine needs the ability to choose from 16777214 addresses. Duh.

Re:Why is 127.0.0.1 in a class A? (3, Funny)

Nightwraith (180411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988452)

I don't know about you, but I'm extremely satisfied that my interface's home is in a Class A network.

I mean, who wants to live in a sub-class neighborhood?

Re:Why is 127.0.0.1 in a class A? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988514)

Is http://127.0.0.1/ [127.0.0.1] your web site?

I have to say it is quite nice. But then again it looks a lot like mine, so I'm probably biased.

I blame Al Gore. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988298)

I blame Al Gore.

IPV6 is the problem. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988358)

Choosing 32 bits for IPV4 was reasonable at the time when 56kbps was considered a fast link.
The real problem is that when IPV6 was designed it did not allow IPV4 to be included as a subspace.
so you cannot have an IPV4 address that is a valid IPV6 address.
That means that there is no soft migration path from IPV4 to IPV6.
The people who designed IPV6 did not consider the problems of real world users;
they designed in a vacuum. A properly designed IPV6 would be in widespread use by
now, and the problem would be under control.

Who's gonna be the first? (3, Interesting)

harald (29216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988518)

$ host -t AAAA slashdot.org
slashdot.org has no AAAA record
$

'nuff said. Our organisation (that's me) is already 96% dual-stack. We treat non-ipv6 connectivity as fatal. When are you gonna do it?

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