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UK Government Owns 16.9 Million Unused IPv4 Addresses

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the who-needs-that-ipv6-thing dept.

Government 399

hypnosec writes "The Department of Work and Pensions in the UK has a /8 block of IPv4 addresses that is unused. An e-petition was created asking the DWP to sell off the block to ease the IPv4 address scarcity in the RIPE region. John Graham-Cumming, the person who first discovered the unused block, discovered that these 16.9 million IP addresses were unused after checking in the ASN database."

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399 comments

Who cares (5, Insightful)

Formalin (1945560) | about 2 years ago | (#41371113)

Just apply the real cure already... This is so ridiculous.

Re:Who cares (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371129)

What's with the number? TFA actually gives the exact value of 2^24 and then refers to it later as a block of 16.9 million addresses. Weird rounding scheme.

I believe... (5, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 2 years ago | (#41371839)

I believe in the incremental approach to updates; it's so much safer and usually easier.
So it's going to be IPv5 for me, while you suckers make a mess of IPv6!

Re:Who cares (5, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 2 years ago | (#41371139)

I know IPv6 is needed, and it'll be great having disposable addresses to throw at any device. I'll be certainly happy to get rid of NAT in many circumstances, but OTOH, IPv6 is going to suck. I have tens of IPs in my head, which I access daily by memory. IPv4 addresses are easy to remember, easy to pass over the phone, easy to type, and easy to operate (i.e, calculate things such as masks in your head, etc). IPv6 is going to make it way harder, and that's not taking into account he migration process ...

Re:Who cares (5, Informative)

mellon (7048) | about 2 years ago | (#41371157)

Dude, it's time to learn how to set up DNS. Honest, it's not that hard. Your DHCP server can automatically update the DNS for you. Try it—you'll like it!

Re:Who cares (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371201)

I think you'll find that this complaint comes mainly from folks that do know how to set up DNS.

The real difference isn't realizing that we have DNS, it's that with IPv6 and no more NAT, devices will do DNS and it won't be such an annoyance.

Re:Who cares (5, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#41371241)

Sometimes DNS fails or you need to validate routing tables and troubleshoot based on pure IP alone. Yes, IPv6 is going to suck badly in this regard. Feeble human mind. Oh well, I'll just have to get used to depending on an IPv6 calculator app on my smartphone. That and a TXT list that I can cut-n-paste in a terminal screen. Bah!

Re:Who cares (3, Funny)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 2 years ago | (#41371745)

that's the price of progress

Re:Who cares (1)

dracocat (554744) | about 2 years ago | (#41371793)

Custom hosts files will probably go far for this. Instead of keeping a txt file or something of your ipv6 ips. Throw them all in your hosts file.

Re:Who cares (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | about 2 years ago | (#41371363)

My DHCP server is a crappy consumer appliance that can't update DNS from DHCP without unsupported and buggy third-party firmware hacks. I think the majority of internet users are in the same situation.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371517)

My DHCP server is a crappy consumer appliance that can't update DNS from DHCP without unsupported and buggy third-party firmware hacks. I think the majority of internet users are in the same situation.

Nope. Most internet users have a cheap piece of shit router that is more than capable of updating DNS from DHCP, and it's been like that since the late 90's.

Re:Who cares (1, Redundant)

jibjibjib (889679) | about 2 years ago | (#41371565)

No, in the late 90s, most Internet users connected via dial-up and didn't have a router at all.

Of the three or four cheap routers I have tested, from different manufacturers, using different chipsets and different operating systems, none have used DHCP information to answer DNS queries.

You realize DHCP isn't needed for IPv6, right? (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 2 years ago | (#41371905)

It's called stateless address autoconfiguration.

http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2462.txt [ietf.org]

Re:Who cares (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about 2 years ago | (#41371369)

The problem is, DNS is like USB, and IPv4 is like RS232. If you're anywhere close to being right, you can probably get ipv4 (or a real serial port set to 9600-8-N-1) to work well enough to give you clues about what the real problem is. In contrast, DNS (like USB) tends to just fail hard and catastrophically, giving no obvious clues about what might actually be wrong.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371467)

Care to explain? I can't think of a single example where anything you said makes sense. Just a simple instance of DNS failing hard and catastrophically with no obvious clue as to what may be wrong will suffice.

Re:Who cares (1)

DavidRawling (864446) | about 2 years ago | (#41371721)

For me it's not the "hard and catastrophic" failures that are a problem - it's the subtle ones. For example a recent customer environment - DNS lookup for a particular server returned the wrong IP. It worked perfectly, and fast, except that the data was wrong. It took nearly a week of debugging firewalls, routing tables, services and app configuration to figure it out - and the problem was actually caused by OpenDNS and its filtering.

When you look at "64.27.80.4" and compare it to "67.215.2.41" the differences are obvious. Not so when you're trying to compare "6732:87fb:87fa:12a9::54d8" with "6732:87fb:87fa:72a9::54d8" and work out why things are failing.

Re:Who cares (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371685)

I am yet to see DNS fail badly. I have seen plenty of people who don't understand it say it does, when the problem is invariably routing or a firewall.

Re:Who cares (4, Interesting)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 2 years ago | (#41371447)

mysql> select count(host) from systems;
| count(host) |
                  498 |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

(stupid slashdot thinks mysql's output are junk characters)

Since most of those 498 servers I manage are behind NAT and have dynamic public IPs, I do have a system to track them (not ddns, but a homemade solution), and I have scripts in place that allow me to get any server's IP. Combine that with shell expansion and I can ssh root@`gethost customer_id server_id` and similar stuff. That doesn't mean you don't have to deal with IP addresses anyway, and it doesn't mean doing ifconfig eth0 2001:0db8:85a3:0042:0000:8a2e:0370:7334 is gonna be easy. Imagine debugging a routing table! Imagine reading the output of tcpdump with such meaningless addresses. IPv6 is gonna be a PITA.

Re:Who cares (0)

fluffy99 (870997) | about 2 years ago | (#41371159)

I know IPv6 is needed, and it'll be great having disposable addresses to throw at any device. I'll be certainly happy to get rid of NAT in many circumstances, but OTOH, IPv6 is going to suck. I have tens of IPs in my head, which I access daily by memory. IPv4 addresses are easy to remember, easy to pass over the phone, easy to type, and easy to operate (i.e, calculate things such as masks in your head, etc). IPv6 is going to make it way harder, and that's not taking into account he migration process ...

Appropriate use of DNS makes memorizing IPs less painful. The transition is painful indeed. Lets start with XP and 2003 not properly supporting IPv6. Their dual stack implementation sucks as you can't even tell it to prefer IPv4 over IPv6 when DNS gives you both a v4 and v6 address. I won't even get into how IPv6 makes it much easier to track you.

Re:Who cares (4, Funny)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 2 years ago | (#41371457)

Well, windows not being able to get into the internet is a big advantage of IPv6!

Re:Who cares (5, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 2 years ago | (#41371475)

I won't even get into how IPv6 makes it much easier to track you.

Because that's nonsense? (Almost) Everybody implements the privacy extensions [wikipedia.org] , so your world-visible address is random and changes every 10-ish minutes.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371663)

An IPv6 interface can have an arbitrary number of addresses assigned.

Privacy extensions are seldom used on servers, but even if they are then a SLAC or manually-assigned address can also be applied to the interface as the management address.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371161)

It is like going from 10 digits dialing to 20 digits dialing. ;P That's when a phone book (DNS lookup) comes in.
If only the IPv6 is as simple as adding extra digits to existing equipment (and not just new equipments) without changing firmware like the common telephone. Somewhere the forward compatibility is lost on people.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371235)

As someone who has poor memory and has used DNS for quite a while now, I can assure you, you will (learn to) manage :)

Re:Who cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371303)

Just face it. There is no need for IPv6.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371321)

I'm looking forward to the IPv6 Internet. However, the biggest loss is going to be anonymity. Every Web browser (and other) access can be taken from the server logs and converted into a name and street address, as every home will get a static IPv6 prefix.

So be careful before you disparage prophets "anonymously;" they will be able to get you.

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

jibjibjib (889679) | about 2 years ago | (#41371527)

Yes. In IPv6, a home internet connection generally has a rarely-changing prefix that can be converted to a name and address with the ISP's cooperation.

But in IPv4, a home internet connection generally has a rarely-changing prefix that can be converted to a name and address with the ISP's cooperation.

How is IPv6 worse?

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41371425)

I think you need to ask yourself why you have to remember all those IP addresses. I'll bet that in each one could be dispensed with if you had the motivation to work out a DNS-based way to access these systems — with the possible exception of the DNS servers themselves.

Re:Who cares (0)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | about 2 years ago | (#41371485)

read my other post. Most of these systems are behind NAT on connections that have dynamic ip addresses. I can't use ddns because of security policies. I do maintain a DB of hosts, and there's a script in every machine that auto-updates the server. I also have scripts that combined with shell expansion allow me to ssh root@`gethost customer_id server_id`. Right now there are 498 active entries in that table. I can watch a log and easily identify one IP from the other. Try doing that with IPv6. Try tcpdumping something, and quickly identify machines as they go by your log. Now try doing that in IPv6. Fuck those extra 96bits.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371683)

You won't need DDNS with IPv6. All of the hosts will have static, globally routeable addresses unless you choose otherwise. SLAAC addresses are based on the MAC address and network prefix, so won't ever change. Just put them directly in the DNS.

Re:Who cares (-1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | about 2 years ago | (#41371513)

When IPV6 is what we have to work with, we will be swarmed by those bastard botnets with no way to block that many IP addresses that will be used to attack.

The IPV6 crowd pooh poohs this and says blocking IP addresses is not the answer. Well not for an established users, but for registration and spam posting it is the answer. Or was.

I will get off the internet before dealing with innumerable attack vectors from our botnet friends in Russia and China. The loss of my little sites will be no big loss. But everyone remaining will be inundated, and they won't be able to deal with it either.

Imo the botnet criminals have been trying to force the use of IPV6 by getting all new ranges of IPV4 allocated as soon as possible. Certainly that's what I've seen these last few years from logging spam attack IP addresses.

Rather than IPV6 globally and IPV4 internally, I think IPV6 should be what the countries that attack us, who just happen to have very large populations, can use for themselves. Do you have any idea how many IP address ranges we are attacked from in places like Latvia? Let them do their attacking with IPV6. Good riddance.

Re:Who cares (4, Informative)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 2 years ago | (#41371921)

When IPV6 is what we have to work with, we will be swarmed by those bastard botnets with no way to block that many IP addresses that will be used to attack.

You'll probably want to just block the prefix rather than the address, which is just as easy under v6. In fact, having sparsely populated address space is good for security since it makes blindly scanning addresses much less effective for the malware.
ith it either.

Imo the botnet criminals have been trying to force the use of IPV6 by getting all new ranges of IPV4 allocated as soon as possible.

Huh? Botnets run on existing machines (frequently home PCs), how does that have anything to do with IPv4 exhaustion?

Rather than IPV6 globally and IPV4 internally, I think IPV6 should be what the countries that attack us, who just happen to have very large populations, can use for themselves.

Why do you want to penalise the "good countries" by forcing them to stay on an obsolete protocol? (that said, a good number of attacks against my servers come from the US)

Re:Who cares (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41371651)

It won't be that bad at first, until a lot of addresses are used, because of the IPv6 notation shorteners. For example, ff06:0:0:0:0:0:0:c3 may be written as ff06::c3. Unless your ISP gives you a random number as an IP address, it'll still be fine to work with.

Re:Who cares (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41371695)

The length of IP addresses isn't your problem, here.

And even if it were, we bitched about phone numbers when area codes started becoming important (suddenly having to remember ten digits instead of seven).

Re:Who cares (2)

burne (686114) | about 2 years ago | (#41371873)

I know I'm a bit of a nerd, but I know my prefix (2001:470:XXXX::) and after the double double colon I am master of my domain, so my website lives on ::10, the mailserver on ::20 etc. If you can remember a ipv4 address, ipv6 shouldn't be more difficult, in general.

Re:Who cares (2)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#41371153)

Agree completely, but how the hell did the DWP end up with that many ip addresses?

Re:Who cares (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371629)

That's got to be the British strategic stock pile of IP addresses, or a part of a secret MI5 scheme to extend the CCTV system to the pensioners using wheelchairs in places of worship.

Re:Who cares (1, Interesting)

CodeheadUK (2717911) | about 2 years ago | (#41371937)

Ranges were given out like candy to anyone who asked in the early days of the web. Corporations, Government and Academics made a land grab because they were the only people who could use the resource at the time.

I've heard that Glasgow Uni has a /8 that's never had more than 10 addresses exposed to the Internet.

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41371171)

As any climate scientist will tell you, the ability of people to deny impending disaster is remarkable, especially when doing something about it costs money. That includes people on Slashdot, who keep telling me that the whole address depletion thing is bogus, that we can keep going indefinitely by discovering unused blocks and using existing blocks more efficiently.

A few years ago, I was part of the product team that was working on a new Sun server. Now, every Sun server comes with an ILOM (Integrated Lights Out Manager), a little embedded Linux system that lets an administrator manage the server remotely. Naturally, the ILOM has its own network interface — but the one planned for this system did not support IPv6. I pointed out all the IPv4 address exhaustion issues, but was basically told to mind my own business. "No customer demand for this feature." Never mind that a few years down the pipe, customers would be very unhappy they didn't have it.

Re:Who cares (1, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41371405)

Oops, I mentioned global warming, I guess that makes me a troll.

Re:Who cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371593)

Oops, I mentioned global warming, I guess that makes me a troll.

No, that doesn't, but acting like the issue is settled and done with does. Pick something less controversial and more agreed on next time. There are plenty of examples you could have used to support your point which are not politically charged topics.

And as for your server, they made the right decision. There are plenty of workarounds using the existing system and you seem to have ruled out the possibility that anybody would ever be able to add such functionality in the future. It's not likely that we're going to see ipv6 within then next 3 years anyhow, and frankly I'll be surprised if we see it within 5.

Re:Who cares (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41371711)

No, that doesn't, but acting like the issue is settled and done with does. Pick something less controversial and more agreed on next time. There are plenty of examples you could have used to support your point which are not politically charged topics.

In other words, play it safe - use gay marriage as your example next time.

Re:Who cares (1)

MaerD (954222) | about 2 years ago | (#41371525)

Straw man argument. If you, in your individual data center/office/etc are able to exhaust all of the private ip blocks for your management network that has no business facing the Internet, you have way more hardware than you really need and should probably consider virtualization, blades or some other method of reducing your server footprint.

All that extra power usage contributes to global warming, after all... ;)

Re:Who cares (2)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 years ago | (#41371887)

Except for the fact that, when an emergency comes, the budget magically opens and people stop counting their pennies.
That would mean that if/when the IPv4 crunch comes to a point where we HAVE to confront it, IT dept's will get fresh new budgets to buy the NEW Sun server that *does* have IPv6 functionality.
I'm not saying omitting it was a good idea, but cynically it might make sense.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371911)

What's one more massive regression since OpenBoot?

Re:Who cares (1)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#41371915)

especially when doing something about it costs money

Costing money is the ONLY reason. Why would an ISP implement IPv^ if they can upsell fixed IPv4 addresses and put everybody else behind local addresses.

Now many sell the IPv4 addresses for about 50EUR a month. This because they say that there are not enough of them. This way with NO investment they can ask 50 EUR more from any (small) business.

Once IPv6 is around, they can not do that anymore and small businesses will just buy cheaper personal accounts.

So this situation is ideal. No extra investing + extra income vs the opposite.

Re:Who cares (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 2 years ago | (#41371687)

Exactly. The idea that we're fretting over sixteen million addresses when IPv6 can literally provide about a hundred IP addresses for every atom on earth is ridiculous.

Then again, when when there are more IP addresses than there are molecules of air, providers won't be able to charge you $15/mo for a static IP address any more.

Re:Who cares (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#41371833)

don't worry just because they won't have a ligament reason to won't mean they won't do it anyway just so they can make a few extra bucks

Re:Who cares (1)

badfish99 (826052) | about 2 years ago | (#41371733)

To apply the fix, everyone involved must cooperate and spend a lot of money upgrading.

The alternative is to carry without ipv6: this will create an artificial scarcity of ipv4 addresses. They will become more and more valuable, so existing businesses will be able to make more and more money renting them out: as no more are available, nobody else will be able to join the cartel to get a slice of the pie.

So: the choice is: spend a lot of money on ipv6 now to help the customer, or screw the customer over and head towards a cartel-dominated future. Surely ipv6 is doomed.

Must be a UK citizen to sign the petition. (2)

i286NiNJA (2558547) | about 2 years ago | (#41371169)

You have to be a UK citizen to sign the petition so please sign if you can.

No point anyway (1)

stooo (2202012) | about 2 years ago | (#41371591)

This will give IPv4 globally perhaps two days. No point in that !
ISPs will run so fast to reserve that space it will be consumed (not used) in seconds.
And also, even if a govt agency decides to release addr space they partially use, it could take years for that decision....

Sell the Addresses? Don't Give Them Ideas (5, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | about 2 years ago | (#41371173)

An e-petition was created asking the DWP to sell off the block to ease the IPv4 address scarcity in the RIPE region.

Why not just ask them to do the right thing and give them back to RIPE? I mean seriously, what kind of example are we trying to set here? Or maybe someone's just trying to bootstrap a market for IPv4 addresses in order to cash in on the increasing scarcity....

... In any case, encouraging profit from a public resource like this is a terrible idea.

This is exactly what markets are good at (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | about 2 years ago | (#41371377)

Markets aren't perfect, but efficiently allocating scarce resources is one thing they do well. When you have a quasi-governmental body decide who should get IPs, you end up with situations like this, where people need them can't get them and people who have them don't need them.

Re:Sell the Addresses? Don't Give Them Ideas (5, Insightful)

jibjibjib (889679) | about 2 years ago | (#41371391)

Giving away a block of IPv4 addresses worth about $1 billion is the same as literally giving away $1 billion of taxpayers' money. I don't think that would be doing "the right thing" for the people of the UK.

Re:Sell the Addresses? Don't Give Them Ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371455)

That makes no sense. The block didn't cost the taxpayers that kind of money.

Re:Sell the Addresses? Don't Give Them Ideas (5, Insightful)

jibjibjib (889679) | about 2 years ago | (#41371505)

The amount it cost in 1994 is irrelevant in the decision about what to do with it now.

If it can be sold for $1 billion, then giving it away for nothing is equivalent to giving away $1 billion.

Selling numbers (0)

stooo (2202012) | about 2 years ago | (#41371595)

Yeah, selling reserved numbers, what a great ides.
I'll patent PI ;)

Re:Sell the Addresses? Don't Give Them Ideas (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41371585)

Why not just ask them to do the right thing and give them back to RIPE?

The right thing to do is switch to IPv6. Who cares if they have a lot, we have a plan where everyone can have a lot.

Re:Sell the Addresses? Don't Give Them Ideas (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371641)

RIPE? RIPE doesn't deserve this.

In North America were they to "return unused IPv4 addresses" they would go to ARIN.

Europe can go suck an egg. Neither RIPE nor APNIC nor AFRINIC is getting these puppies.

Did I say suck it?

Cause... suck it.

M

Re:Sell the Addresses? Don't Give Them Ideas (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371717)

RIPE's terms and conditions prohibit selling IP addresses. RIPE actually has the power to take them back if they're unused and they're needed - and they are needed, RIPE just allocated its last block!

In this instance, I shall be voting for RIPE to do just that.

Re:Sell the Addresses? Don't Give Them Ideas (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#41371901)

Maybe this could be the answer to the Social Security (public pension) funding problem in the US? Hold government IPv4 address auctions? Support those retiring Baby Boomers with IPv4 addresses!

How to Argue on the Internet Without Becoming a Tr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371183)

It's September of an election year, and people are drawing lines, taking stands, and proclaiming their political beliefs. Even the lurkers, who brag that they "never post political stuff on Facebook" find their trigger fingers twitching over the "share" button. The internet is a battlefield, and you simply can't get around online without being drawn into a shootout from time to time. When that happens, these tips will keep you knocking down opponents without losing your cool or becoming a troll.
Don't Use Metaphors

If you find yourself typing out the words, "It's kinda like if" then stop immediately and delete what you've written. The silence of your non-response is going to carry much more weight than your argument. Metaphors—comparing the situation you're debating to a different situation—are the cyanide of online arguments.
What's wrong with metaphors?

Metaphors are a teaching method and work wonderfully when your audience is on your side. When someone is on your side, they mentally find the comparison points and use them to enrich their understanding of what you're saying. When they're against you, they focus solely on the differences between your case and the example case. As soon as they do, you're no longer debating about the original point. A second debate thread has been created, and now you're debating whether or not your point is comparable to X. Getting back to your original argument is nearly impossible.

Additionally, metaphors can easily offend. Remember that on the internet, people are desperate to take anything personally. Once they do, the debate will be completely derailed and centered around whether or not you think they're a dog, child, Hitler, or whatever other foolish thing you compared them to.

Look at these two statements and determine which one is stronger:

"What you're doing is kinda like asking me to come pick you up when your car is out of gas, and then complaining about how long it took me to show up."

"What you're doing is selfish."
Don't Post Links

Only a few of the links you post in a regular, friendly conversation with all parties in agreement actually get clicked and read by your audience. If someone's ass is completely chapped over your opinion, imagine how much less they're going to care about which blog posts have moved you.

People don't involve themselves in online arguments because they want to click around and "read more internet." They've been doing that already, and they've finally read enough to form an opinion. They're ready to test it out by fighting over it, and that's how you got involved. They're not going to read the link.
Do Post an Occasional Quote

An occasional quote from an intelligent person is great for bringing in a bit of ammunition, especially when they say it better than you can. But keep it short. If your opponent sees a quote mark followed by a pile of sentences, they're just going to skip it. Be careful about quoting people who are themselves debatable. If you're quoting Ayn Rand or Karl Marx, be prepared to start a new debate about Ayn Rand or Karl Marx.
Deal With Petty Insults Effectively

Did they call you an idiot, or a child, or a Nazi? Good, that means you've almost won. At this point, you have two choices: Deliver the finishing blow or get upset about their insult. There are two typical responses to being insulted, both bad:

Flipping shit: Petty insults persist as a strategy because sometimes people get trolled by them, and when they do, the ensuing firestorm makes everyone look bad. The offender knows they have lost, so they take one last chance of bringing the winner down to a tie. Don't fall for it.

Describing at length why you're not what they said you were: Have you ever noticed that when you're truly sick, and you call in to work, you just groan out that "I'm really sick." But when "sick" means your buddies want you to head to the beach, you find yourself on the phone describing the exact times you vomited last night and this morning, the consistency and make-up of your bowel movements, and how you've never felt quite like this before? That's because truth often needs no explaining.

If you're not an idiot, simply say you're not. When you get insulted, start by destroying any real arguments they made in their comment, then briefly deny the insult and patronize them for it: "And I'm not an idiot, don't talk to me like that."
Don't Ask Questions

You should never ask someone a question in a debate. When you do, you are ceding the podium to them and welcoming them onstage. Your question allows them to discuss their arguments from basically any angle they want as long as they loosely use your question as a point of departure.

Just like with metaphors, both the allure and the problem of questioning is that we are trying to be our opponent's teacher. We feel they are ignorant (and they are, dammit!) and we want to educate them. But if you've ever been in an 8th grade biology class with a substitute teacher, you know that a defiant and uninterested student cannot be taught. Any question the teacher asks them will be flipped into something sarcastic or off-topic. Questions don't work, but they can be outsmarted and defeated by superior wit and skillful retorts.

Never say, "Don't you think you're being a little hypocritical after what you did last week?" They won't say yes. Instead, turn your question into a statement, "After what you did last week, this is completely hypocritical."
Don't Be Lead By Questions

Any question someone asks you in a debate is a trap: They want to position themselves as the teacher (authoritative and wise) and you as the student (subservient and inexperienced). Often, they want you to state their point for them, or at least introduce it. At the very least, they are using you to help finish their sentences. If you allow this to happen, you unwittingly become an accomplice to their point, making it much more difficult to argue against.

Just say, "I'm listening if you want to make a point: there's no need to frame it as a question."
Don't Use Annoying Buzz Phrases

Telling someone to "stop drinking the kool-aid," or calling people "sheeple" doesn't do anything to increase your legitimacy. It just makes it sound like you've copied your arguments from a radical pundit on AM radio or cable news. Also, don't call people "folks." Folks is an irritating word used by the elite in politics, business, and media to sound humble and connected. The reality is you sound like a jackass, and imitating jackasses is no way to win.

Any buzz phrase can easily be stated in a much more convincing fashion. Instead of telling someone to "stop drinking the kool-aid," say something like, "You're just repeating the stumping points of [political party]. They haven't been able to back them with convincing evidence, and neither have you."
Do a Quick Structure Check

Since an online post is usually just a quick statement, rather than being a researched, outlined and revised research article, it's often the case that someone will start writing hesitantly and gradually work their way up into a strong point. Before you post, look and see if your first few sentences were just a warm up. Can they be cut? Also check to see if you started with a conclusion, then figured out a good way to explain it. In that case, your first few sentences might work best at the end. Check for dangling arguments that are off point (and could start a second debate thread) along with removing metaphors and questions.

Let's reserve our favorite numbers now! (5, Interesting)

RulerOf (975607) | about 2 years ago | (#41371195)

Am I the only one that sees something like this and immediately wants to call dibs on a "Vanity IP?"
I'll take:
  • 51.51.51.51
  • 51.52.53.54
  • 51.0.0.1
  • ...and 51.50.49.48

I'm sure there's an algorithm or list that could tell me all of the possible "desirable" IPs in the /8, but, due to the fact that we shouldn't be greedy, and the completely arbitrary relation to the number 4 for IPv4, and the fact that it's an election year here in the US, I propose that we Slashdotters limit ourselves to four a piece, and leave the remainder to Reddit and 4chan. Or something.

Re:Let's reserve our favorite numbers now! (4, Funny)

Formalin (1945560) | about 2 years ago | (#41371271)

You can have 51.51.51.51, but I've got dibs on 0x33333333.

Re:Let's reserve our favorite numbers now! (4, Interesting)

RulerOf (975607) | about 2 years ago | (#41371299)

Oooo.....

http://0x33333333 [Enter]

You sneaky bastard :D

Lots of IPs but not so many dentists (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371199)

UK needs dentists! Come on in, dentalists. We welcome you! The duchess will show her tits if you only come!

Re:Lots of IPs but not so many dentists (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371277)

I came.

Re:Lots of IPs but not so many dentists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371837)

Fuck that! I want to see the queens! huba-huba!

Really? (2)

phizi0n (1237812) | about 2 years ago | (#41371211)

How did nobody notice this until now? There isn't that many public /8 blocks (125 or less since the 10 and 127 blocks are for special purposes and 0 is unusable) and they've been trying to recoup unused /8 blocks for over a decade so is this really a new discovery?

Re:Really? (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#41371691)

They're holding on to them until the rest of the world coughs up the missing Dr Who episodes.

Just escape-code the IPv4 space already. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371245)

For F8cks sake, just define an escape mechanism for a larger address space, and ignore the over-engineered IPv6 standard completely!
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1365

There was an even more ingenious solution out there, but I can't find the link -- IIRC, the guy who used to be on the IETF proposed his solution but was shut down so hard by the bureaucracy that he's even let his page with the proposal die of bit-rot. I thought I had a bookmark somewhere but it's gone. It was a very good use of unused header fields in the existing IPv4 definition with a well-defined way of defining a backwards-compatible (even for DNS) way of getting into the larger address space.

IPv6 is a piece of over-engineered sh*t. How many of you (I mean end-users, not Enterprisey-ISP-admin types) use IPsec? Remember IPsec? It was supposed to solve everything, once it was shoehorned into IPv6. Hah.

Re:Just escape-code the IPv4 space already. (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | about 2 years ago | (#41371427)

It's a bit late to say "ignore IPv6 completely". IPv4 has already run out, and IPv6 is already deployed in production.

But if you stop swearing at IPv6 and start making coherent evidence-supported arguments against it, maybe people will start listening to you in time for IPv8.

Re:Just escape-code the IPv4 space already. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371549)

It's even easier. Steal the top 4 bits from the port address space, and repurpose them for global addressing with some hardcore CIDR and router magic.

An office with lots of NAT users would pay extra for a /32 address with 65,536 ports.

A typical home user would get a /34 address with 16,384 ports

An economy home user might get a /35 address with 8,192 ports.

Individual cell phones would get /36 addresses with 4,096 ports.

IP addresses that currently range from x.y.z.1 through x.y.z.254 would range from x.y.z.1 through x.y.z.4094. There'd be enough /36 addresses for everyone on earth to have two, and enough /32 and /34 addresses to give every household and office with a cable/DSL modem (or future equivalent) 2-4 public IP addresses, even with 12 billion people on earth (not everybody lives alone).

NAT is dead (1)

stooo (2202012) | about 2 years ago | (#41371613)

NAT and other ip sharing schemes is dead.
Now everybody (within ipv6) will be able to communicate directly
Deal with it.

relatively common (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371253)

This sort of thing is relatively common, it's probably used internally as a routable address space, but not intended for use on the public Internet. (Saves have to deal with multiple uses of rfc1918). This sort of thing is very common in the government (though usually much less than an /8). They can't use a consistent rfc1918 address space internally as whenever the government changes it's priorities, work units will shuffle between departments. You'll probably find that this address space is now used by many departments, and trying to move all users over to another range will cost more than they can recover from selling the /8

Propaganda (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371289)

All current needs are solved by NAT and port triggering. There is no need for IPv6 in any real use case scenarios.

Re:Propaganda (4, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | about 2 years ago | (#41371341)

I enjoy the idea of the Internet actually functioning as an end-to-end network the way it was meant to, rather than one with a handful of privileged devices with publically routable addresses and (soon enough) whole cut-off sub-Internets trapped behind them. But that's just me.

Re:Propaganda (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41371465)

"The way it was meant to" was specified by a bunch DARPA funded geeks who design their tech for a small network where all the admins knew each other. They had no concept of operating a network with large numbers of users, many of them malicious

Whenever I hear "the way it was meant to" I run the other direction. It's always based on some lame notion that things were perfect in the past, even though people in the past were also whining about "the it was meant to."

Re:Propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371647)

I enjoy the idea of the Internet actually functioning as an end-to-end network the way it was meant to, rather than one with a handful of privileged devices with publically routable addresses and (soon enough) whole cut-off sub-Internets trapped behind them. But that's just me.

The internet was NEVER supposed to be an end-to-end network of devices. It's an end-to-end network of NETWORKS.
And the term is "intranet" or "local area network" not "sub-internet".

Re:Propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371367)

Man, some people really suck at being network administrators. Why don't you pick up a book or something?

Re:Propaganda (1)

jibjibjib (889679) | about 2 years ago | (#41371463)

If we solved IPv4 exhaustion using NAT, we would divide the Internet into people with public IP addresses and people without public IP addresses. Those without public IPs can't run servers on the standard ports, possibly can't run servers at all, and are limited in their ability to use peer-to-peer protocols.

It's not true that "all current needs are solved by NAT".

Answer is obvious.... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#41371383)

The dept of work and pensions is holding them, so that every pensioner can have a static IP. The betyer for the UK gov, to track you with. Taking tinfoil hat off now.

Re:Answer is obvious.... (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about 2 years ago | (#41371729)

Pensioners have a static IP, working people instead have a dynamic IP...

FBI has (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371415)

FBI has over 128 million but they are being used to catch you

AMPRNet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371423)

Amateur radio operators own a /8 too (44) that has been used slightly at the beginning of the nineties, but is now completely useless.

Re:AMPRNet (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about 2 years ago | (#41371719)

It was useless also in the nineties...plenty of hype about connecting the world with AX25 packet radio, but no real end-user applications to justify this.

Frost p1st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371441)

Raymond in his hype - BSD's more. If you ffel Lizard - In other

And once again (1, Funny)

Anarchduke (1551707) | about 2 years ago | (#41371461)

Wealth can be measured in pieces of eight.

Who says they're unused? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371493)

It may come as a shock to many here, but it's perfectly acceptable to use public IP addresses that you own on a private network, if you choose to do so. So, lack of presence in AS announcements does not imply "unused". This block may well be, but it may equally well be in use, just not on the public internet.

Re:Who says they're unused? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371611)

THIS! IBM (like most other early computer science companies) has a bunch of so called "unused" blocks too. But in reality they use it well for their internal network, and it would be one heck of task for them to get them out of use and auction them (many IPs are statically allocated, they would lose a lot time if they ever decide to migrate).

16.777 != 16.9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371519)

16777216 to be precise. Anecdotal inflation?

Re:16.777 != 16.9 (5, Funny)

Psicopatico (1005433) | about 2 years ago | (#41371573)

Someone used the Imperial IP which is slightly bigger than the Metric IP, hence the result is 16.9.

Re:16.777 != 16.9 (4, Funny)

mrbester (200927) | about 2 years ago | (#41371671)

Ah, the widescreen version.

Used internally..? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371605)

As somebody in the blog comments already noted.. many organizations use public IP space internally without advertising this space to the internet. They generally NAT outgoing traffic over a smaller block that may even fall outside their large (/8 in this case) block.

So somebody sees this organisation doesn't advertise their /8 and decides they should renumber possibly thousands of internal systems? Good luck with that :)

The nuttiness of allocation (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#41371637)

My boss had an entire class C for about 10 years+ with on average maybe 7-8 employees over that time and a web footprint no bigger than a basic corporate contacts website. He probably could have held on to it, too if he didn't see the expense as a waste of money when he was looking to streamline.

Great (1)

Yoda222 (943886) | about 2 years ago | (#41371709)

17 millions ? Great, just give one to every UK citizen next time a cool new connected gadget goes live. It should work thanks to the economics crisis, if only one out of three citizen buy the gadget !

Me too!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371767)

I have plenty of 127.x.x.x addresses to sell, anybody's interested?

They are in use (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371871)

That's a network used for intra government department communications. They won't be giving it back.

Some of that 51.0.0.0/8 actually is in use (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41371895)

Local government network admin here. Parts of the 51.0.0.0/8 address space is in our internal routing table, because it's used for shared private networks between different government organisations. Just because it's not in the public Internet routing table doesn't mean it's not used.

Granted perhaps not the whole /8 is in use (I only see 3 x /16s out of a possible 256 in my routing table at present), but who's to say other sectors which I don't have network connectivity to aren't using it.

We're actually pushing for and slowly enabling IPv6 internally on our core and servers where we can, rather than delay the inevitable. This is despite our organisation ourselves owning a whole public /16 block, yet have maybe only 10-15k addressable nodes max across all our networks we control at present. It will take us much much longer to re-IP/re-subnet the entire network more efficiently so some of that space can be returned to RIPE, than for it to be reallocated and used up after returning, due to old systems and old proprietary software in use. Not to mention the resources required to do such a massive task.

Personally I think the people asking for addresses to be returned by any organisation (supposedly) not using them (including all the other apparently wasted /8 allocations out there) are not looking long term enough. IPv6 is the way to go.

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