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Full Net Census Takes a Hint From xkcd

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the you-say-hilbert-i-say-dilbert dept.

The Internet 145

netbuzz writes "The University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute says it's the first full census of the 'visible Internet' since David Smallberg canvassed a piddling 315 allocated addresses in 1982. They're talking about 3 billion pings directed toward 2.8 million addresses over the course of 62 days. Oh, and they credit the comic strip xkcd for sparking the idea of presenting the data using a Hilbert curve." The main page for the census project has links to versions of the census at various scales.

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first census (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20914703)

here I am. continue counting...

Re:first census (2, Funny)

ubrgeek (679399) | about 7 years ago | (#20916141)

For some reason I'm reminded of the M*A*S*H episode, "Five O'clock Charlie" -

Radar: Are you One?

Hawkeye immediately throws his hand on his hip and with a touch of foppishness replies:

Hawkeye: Yes, are you?

Yay, we really are Digg. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20914757)

xkcd on the front page...

Re:Yay, we really are Digg. (1)

ultramkancool (827732) | about 7 years ago | (#20916065)

Heh, I thought that was more characteristic of reddit, not digg.

Re:Yay, we really are Digg. (5, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | about 7 years ago | (#20916235)

http://xkcd.com/301/ [xkcd.com]

and Slashdot in the comic.

A delicious cycle.

Re:Yay, we really are Digg. (1)

greedyturtle (968401) | about 7 years ago | (#20916887)

I think the point is the cool map of the internet, not the really awesome comic.

Re:Yay, we really are Digg. (5, Funny)

Plaid Phantom (818438) | about 7 years ago | (#20918781)

But the awesome comic was what effected the cool map.

Really useful for the colorblind (4, Interesting)

farker haiku (883529) | about 7 years ago | (#20914771)

Anyone got a colorblind friendly version of the map?
FTA:
Responses: positive: green, negative: red, mix: yellow.

seriously guys, wtf.

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (4, Funny)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | about 7 years ago | (#20914841)

I'm still waiting for the braile version.

Seriously guys, wtf.

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (4, Insightful)

Matthew Bafford (43849) | about 7 years ago | (#20915599)

I'm still waiting for the braile version.

Seriously guys, wtf.


The main difference being, of course, that designing visual medium so that it supports both color-blind and normal visioned people equally well is extremely easy. Designing visual media that supports blind people is extremely difficult. There's no excuse, other than ignorance (which is the real reason in most cases), for not supporting color-blind people.

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (1)

kayditty (641006) | about 7 years ago | (#20915773)

The main similarity being, of course, that both color blindedness and .. blindedness .. are rare enough that the designers of the image hadn't even thought of it.

colorblindness IS fairly comon (3, Informative)

Matthew Bafford (43849) | about 7 years ago | (#20915941)

The main similarity being, of course, that both color blindedness and .. blindedness .. are rare enough that the designers of the image hadn't even thought of it.


Stats vary (and you can look them up easily enough), but the general idea is that 1/12 males are color-blind to some degree. That means most groups are fairly likely to have at least one color-blind person in them. Now the severity of color-blindness as well as the affect that has varies significantly from one color-blind person the next.

I, for example, am color-blind, but didn't find the chart to be horribly difficult to use. Different colors might have made things easier, but it doesn't bother me in this case. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered when designing. Like I said, most color problems are due to plain ignorance as to how common the problem really is. I don't blame people for not considering it, as long as they really didn't realize.

Re:colorblindness IS fairly comon (5, Funny)

kefler (938387) | about 7 years ago | (#20916139)

as well as the affect that has varies significantly from one color-blind person the next.

Now, I'd normally think this should be 'effect', but I wonder if you might be doing this. [xkcd.com]

Re:colorblindness IS fairly comon (1)

Matthew Bafford (43849) | about 7 years ago | (#20918841)

Now, I'd normally think this should be 'effect', but I wonder if you might be doing this.


Sadly, I was simply distracted by a conference call. I do know better than to make that mistake. Still, I loved that particular instance of xkcd. Thanks for the correction.

Re:colorblindness IS fairly comon (1)

kayditty (641006) | about 7 years ago | (#20916885)

That means most groups are fairly likely to have at least one color-blind person in them.
Right, but do they know that, and, more importantly, do the people in their group know that? And, more importantly still, are the people designing a map of the internet likely to have a large enough sample size (12 people) to ever encounter color blindedness?

Re:colorblindness IS fairly comon (2, Interesting)

WeirdJohn (1170585) | about 7 years ago | (#20917863)

The frequency of colour-blindness varies with race. Amongst males of Asian descent, the incidence is as high as 30%. It's rarest for Africans, with Europeans somewhere in between. There is also variation in degree (as well as different kinds, with different colours affected). I had a friend to whom the grass was brown - he had very few green cones. Another friend had it so mildly that he only got confused with a few pastel shades. I'm somewhere in between.

Colour-blind people have an evolutionary advantage - most forms of camouflage are ineffective. This works for natural and artificial camouflage, so I'll be a better hunter in the post apocalyptic hunter/gatherer society. In times of famine I'll provide more food for my family. Conversely, my family is much more likely to be injured due to my failure to see a big hailstorm coming.

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 7 years ago | (#20915943)

Yes, but at the same time, isn't it just as easy for a differently color-sighted person to have a web browser capable of doing color transformations that make it legible for them?

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (1)

Matthew Bafford (43849) | about 7 years ago | (#20915971)

Yes, but at the same time, isn't it just as easy for a differently color-sighted person to have a web browser capable of doing color transformations that make it legible for them?

For text, sure. Usually all it takes is selecting the offending text. I'm not aware of any product that will "fix" images, though.

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (3, Interesting)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 7 years ago | (#20916347)

Right, but the transformation itself should be pretty simple, right? Just a rotation/inversion/dilation of the color wheel.

And since Firefox has a really easy process for writing plugins...

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (1)

RxScram (948658) | about 7 years ago | (#20917883)

What about simply not caring? Isn't that an excuse?

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (0)

russ1337 (938915) | about 7 years ago | (#20915913)

I'm waiting for the version for the deaf.



Yeah.. WTF!?

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (3, Funny)

mcmonkey (96054) | about 7 years ago | (#20916067)

I'm waiting for the version for the deaf.

WHAT??

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20917623)

What? you didn't hear the wooshing sound.?

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20916207)

I'm blind and was born without hands, you insensitive clod!!

I'm waiting for the audio version.

God, STFU (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20915257)

I'm colorblind and I can see the difference in shades just fine.

Maybe you should ask the people you're acting like you care about whether they actually need you to whine for them.

Re:God, STFU (3, Informative)

adamziegler (1082701) | about 7 years ago | (#20915911)

Even though you too are red green colorblind... it does not mean that you are seeing it the same way as the parent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blindness#Congenital_color_vision_deficiencies [wikipedia.org] Besides... its fairly simple to design a website or chart that makes things easy for even those who are color blind. I too am color blind... Honestly, I can't tell if the negatives and positives are mixed together when I look at it. (Not that I am fluent in reading the chart anyway!)

Re:God, STFU (1)

thetoastman (747937) | about 7 years ago | (#20916815)

I have red/green color-deficient vision. Red shades towards black and green shades toward white. When I was growing up, I often wondered why green lights were called green lights.

I cannot read the map. So yes, a different color scheme (or a non-black background) might make the map legible.

Re:God, STFU (2, Insightful)

pcgabe (712924) | about 7 years ago | (#20917159)

I'm red-green colorblind, and I absolutely, positively, cannot tell the difference between these two colors on this map. I can see the shades, sure. I just can't see what they are shades OF.

Maybe you should ask yourself whether you're acting like a jerk for attention.

[It's great that YOU can read this map just fine, but that doesn't help ME. In fact, coming here and saying that there's no problem for anyone is actually detrimental. Perhaps you can keep your mild color-blindness to yourself in the future? You're not speaking for the rest of us; no one appointed you representative of Colorblindopolis.]

Re:God, STFU (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | about 7 years ago | (#20917317)

You need to be more sensitive. I think maybe he has a slight case of word-dyslexia, and was, in fact, whining on behalf of the blind coloured people.

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | about 7 years ago | (#20915767)

The green-red-yellow is probably based on traffic lights in the US (and many other countries), which commonly use those colors. While it's not a decision targeted towards accessibility, it's one that should allow most users to partially understand the map easily.

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20915845)

Did you notice the number of shades they used? Putting it in grayscale would give shit for detail.

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (2, Funny)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | about 7 years ago | (#20916239)

The ANT Lab doesn't care about color(blind) people.

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (1)

DrGamez (1134281) | about 7 years ago | (#20916343)

Hey, colorblind user here. I'll let you know when your vision is the same as everyone else's. Until then I ask that you take your sight for granted and give me a better map because I cannot make out half of it.

Re:Really useful for the colorblind (1)

renoX (11677) | about 7 years ago | (#20916889)

Have you tried to read the map?

I'm colorblind too and ofter pester against the HW makers which use green/red LED that I can't distinguish, but I can read this map alright.

See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (5, Funny)

saibot834 (1061528) | about 7 years ago | (#20914781)

Randall Munroe [wikipedia.org] (xkcd author) also made this [xkcd.com] comic entitled "Online Communities". Also a nice way to make a map of the internet. (Extra points for those, who find "Stallman's Airship")

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (2, Informative)

Kandenshi (832555) | about 7 years ago | (#20914867)

For the lazy it's just to the "southwest" of the IRC isles, southeast of wikipedia. Easier to see in the blown up version of the strip here [xkcd.com]

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 7 years ago | (#20915589)

and due south of mit ;)

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (1)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#20915071)

Randall Munroe (xkcd author) also made this comic entitled "Online Communities". Also a nice way to make a map of the internet. (Extra points for those, who find "Stallman's Airship")
It's a bit out of date, facebook expanded a lot. Myspace shrank and wheres slashdot.

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (2, Informative)

SighKoPath (956085) | about 7 years ago | (#20915117)

It's a bit out of date, facebook expanded a lot. Myspace shrank and wheres slashdot.
On the Viral Straits and Bay of Trolls, between Reddit and Soviet Russia.

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about 7 years ago | (#20915173)

wheres slashdot

It's on the right hand side near Digg, labeled "Isle of Slash"

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (5, Informative)

gerbalblaste (882682) | about 7 years ago | (#20915281)

nope thats not slashdot. slashdot is labled /. and is bordered by reddit and soviet russia on the viral straights.

The isle of slash is something very different from slashdot, mostly involving harry potter...

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about 7 years ago | (#20915385)

Not sure I understand how "Isle of Slash" relates to Harry Potter, but yeah I can see /. now that you pointed it out. I kept trying to find the word 'slashdot' instead.

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (2, Informative)

Kandenshi (832555) | about 7 years ago | (#20915633)

You can find out (more than you wanted) what the deal with slash here [wikipedia.org]

Hint: It has something to do with codes like Kirk/Spock or Harry/Draco

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (2, Informative)

Eq 7-2521 (159354) | about 7 years ago | (#20916269)

There's even an xkcd about slash: http://xkcd.com/305/ [xkcd.com]

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 7 years ago | (#20916133)

If you don't know already, you probably really don't want to find out.

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | about 7 years ago | (#20916179)

I didn't know I didn't want to know, but thanks to the other poster who replied I am regretfully informed.

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (3, Informative)

godscent (22976) | about 7 years ago | (#20915189)

It's a bit out of date, facebook expanded a lot. Myspace shrank and wheres slashdot.

In the Ocean of Subculture, south of Digg, bordering Reddit and Soviet Russia, is "/."

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20915501)

wheres slashdot
In Soviet Russia.

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (1)

rk (6314) | about 7 years ago | (#20915239)

'Extra points for those, who find "Stallman's Airship"'

It's far to the east and a little south of Cory Doctorow's balloon.

Qwghlm (1)

ColonelPanic (138077) | about 7 years ago | (#20915483)

Discovering the location of Qwghlm on this map made my entire day. Thanks!

Re:See also xkcd comic "Online Communities" (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | about 7 years ago | (#20915777)

I figure anybody who manages not to mistake the Isle of Slash for Slashdot deserves the extra points; Stallman's Airship is easy.

Plot of the internet 9ft tall (5, Funny)

N1ck0 (803359) | about 7 years ago | (#20914815)

Don't you just hate it when the internet wraps onto the ceiling [isi.edu] . All those packets are horrible on the acoustic tiles.

And once it gets up there you know its going to be hard to get it back down.

Obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20916049)

...someone in Division 5 did the document spec for this one.

over under? (2, Funny)

SIIHP (1128921) | about 7 years ago | (#20914833)

So what's the over under on the percentage of porn sites?

85%?

What _is_ this site coming to? (5, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | about 7 years ago | (#20914869)

People are doing this same thing constantly. [google.com]

Not that its not cool, but acting like it hasn't been done since 1982 is grossly incorrect.

Re:What _is_ this site coming to? (5, Insightful)

CharAznable (702598) | about 7 years ago | (#20915037)

Those are mostly maps of Internet topology. The xkcd map is a map of address allocations. It's entirely different.

Re:What _is_ this site coming to? (1)

buswolley (591500) | about 7 years ago | (#20915291)

You know their mapping sure looks like a treemap. http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/treemap/ [umd.edu]

Map your hard disk with it, just for fun. I am also exploring its utility in detecting trends within my psychological/experimental data.

Still lots of IPs available? (1)

mind21_98 (18647) | about 7 years ago | (#20914883)

Hmm. That means there's still lots of IPs available (if bright blue = unused), right?

Re:Still lots of IPs available? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20915031)

Not necessarily. A lot of servers, not just desktop computers, ignore ping requests for a variety of reasons.

Re:Still lots of IPs available? (1)

Feyr (449684) | about 7 years ago | (#20915213)

yes, there's a lot of dumb pseudo security-expert sysadmins out there. that's the main reason

Re:Still lots of IPs available? (1)

wsanders (114993) | about 7 years ago | (#20915587)

No, those IPs ARE available. All the solid blue blocks should be on the bogon list http://www.cymru.com/Documents/bogon-dd.html [cymru.com] and not even be routable anywhere.

Old data (1)

wsanders (114993) | about 7 years ago | (#20915709)

There are a few discerpancies - for example the 92.0.0.0/8 block is solid blue but not on the bogons list, and it looks like APNIC has started to hand out blocks in this subnet.

Some blocks, like 10.0.0.0, ale "bluer" than others - ??

Re:Old data (1)

toleraen (831634) | about 7 years ago | (#20915929)

Those be private networks [wikipedia.org]

Re:Still lots of IPs available? (1)

lekikui (1000144) | about 7 years ago | (#20915135)

Afraid that isn't quite what the blue areas mean - those are spaces that weren't probed, from what I gather.

Well if they need it... (4, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 7 years ago | (#20914903)

I'd be willing to be a guinea pig for their next project [xkcd.com]

Re:Well if they need it... (4, Funny)

apt142 (574425) | about 7 years ago | (#20915035)

Knowing my luck, I'd be in the control group.

Re:Well if they need it... (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 7 years ago | (#20915057)

That would suck

That would be enough to drive me to drink... oh.

Re:Well if they need it... (3, Funny)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 7 years ago | (#20915659)

I'd be willing to be a guinea pig for this [xkcd.com] project

I thought the next project was going to be (1)

twmcneil (942300) | about 7 years ago | (#20915759)

gluing captions to ur cats http://xkcd.com/262/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Well if they need it... (1)

caluml (551744) | about 7 years ago | (#20917075)

C'mon, you can tell it's not true.

The woman in the 3rd row back gives it away.

Airplane magazines (1)

pwnies (1034518) | about 7 years ago | (#20914915)

Now they just need to sell the puzzle version of the map in airplane magazines.

61% are non-replies (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | about 7 years ago | (#20915005)

39% are pr0n

Stand up and be counted? (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 years ago | (#20915101)

They're talking about 3 billion pings directed toward 2.8 million addresses over the course of 62 days.

I assume 90% are spambots, 5% are people trying to get Frist Psot and the remainder are legit.

you forgot some (2, Funny)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 7 years ago | (#20915183)

... 5% downloading porn, 10% stealing copyright material. the remainder are legit.

sure, that might be 110%, but that just shows you how efficient the Internet is.

nmap (2, Informative)

blhack (921171) | about 7 years ago | (#20915201)

PSH..

nmap -sP *.*.*.* > ips.txt

My adventures in doing a "census" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20915389)

I did something similar years ago. Probably about 10?

How I did it was by downloading the zone file from the arin ftp site(I think I grabbed a few from some of the other regional registries too but like I said this was a long time ago) and doing zone transfers on all the domain servers listed. I then took all the hosts returned and scanned them using nmap(which looking it up dates this as within 10 years). I was about 3/4ths of the way though when an admin in California complained to my ISP. My ISP contacted me, asked what I was doing, I denied it promised to reinstall windows(in case I had been hacked) and stopped.

I never used the results for anything it was more fun doing it then anything but yeah thats my story hope you enjoyed :)

Re:My adventures in doing a "census" (3, Insightful)

SignupRequired (1165001) | about 7 years ago | (#20917435)

It was a low bandwidth activity. Had you told the truth to your ISP, they likely wouldn't have given a shit.

Why has nobody commented on the Hilbert Curve? (5, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 7 years ago | (#20915491)

I knew the Hilbert curve could fill the space by replacing each segment with a copy of itself (a basic concept in fractal theory, self similarity). But I didn't know that the curve had this interesting property: Similar addresses had nearby locations in two-dimensional space. The XKCD guy is a genius.

Anyway, here's more info on the Hilbert Curve [wikipedia.org] . Enjoy.

Re:Why has nobody commented on the Hilbert Curve? (5, Funny)

dextromulous (627459) | about 7 years ago | (#20915625)

I knew the Hilbert curve could fill the space by replacing each segment with a copy of itself (a basic concept in fractal theory, self similarity). But I didn't know that the curve had this interesting property: Similar addresses had nearby locations in two-dimensional space. The XKCD guy is a genius.

Anyway, here's more info on the Hilbert Curve [wikipedia.org] . Enjoy.
News bulletin: two points that are close to each other on a line are close to each other when the line is curved.

Re:Why has nobody commented on the Hilbert Curve? (3, Informative)

MenTaLguY (5483) | about 7 years ago | (#20916173)

News bulletin: two points that are close to each other on a line are close to each other when the line is curved.

The Hilbert curve preserves that locality better than other sorts of space-filling curves, however.

Re:Why has nobody commented on the Hilbert Curve? (1)

StikyPad (445176) | about 7 years ago | (#20918795)

As opposed to a Hibbert Curve, in which any given point has a 22 hour TTL. Uh huh huh huh.

Not new, there's a dithering method based on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20916161)

It may surprise you, but this is not new. There's even a dithering algorithm based on this idea. It's primary use compared to other dithering algoritms is to reduce the size of delta-frames in paletted animation, like GIF.

And in other news... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20915515)

XKCD's writer shows his love for /. . http://xkcd.com/301/ [xkcd.com]

Is that a job ? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | about 7 years ago | (#20915741)

Where do I apply to get paid doing this stuff ?

Re:Is that a job ? (1)

yellowbkpk (890493) | about 7 years ago | (#20917543)

A computer science grad school?

rolling blackout (4, Interesting)

ziegast (168305) | about 7 years ago | (#20915781)

Back in the mid-90's a research student in a south-east Asian country decided to do a similar experiment. They started pinging 0.0.0.0, 0.0.0.1, ...etc... When they got to 1.0.0.0 they took down BBN's network and upstream ISPs because the routers would negative-cache host routes of failed pings, thereby flushing out all the other working routes. My ISP got hosed when they got to 3.0.0.0 (Merit) since they were our customer. The attack moved up through 4.0.0.0 , then, back to 4.0.0.0 BBN, and up through other networks. On that day, the Internet suffered a rolling blackout because everyone was using Cisco routers affected by the same problem. When the source was identified and blocked, the problem stopped.

It's better to measure who is _using_ the Internet at central resources (root DNS servers, google, time.windows.com) rather than who can respond to a ping. Back when I was young, people didn't use NAT or firewalls and everything responded to a ping. Today, millions (billions?) of people don't really have public address space, and are separated from the IPv4 Internet by one or more levels of NAT or proxy servers. Clusters of web servers are mostly virtualized behind a single address served by load balancers and/or firewalls. A "ping" census is worth less today compared to prior to the rise of NAT firewalls in the late 90's. It's still interesting, but not at all accurate.

Aside: When ISPs and corporations are forced to pay equitably for the addresses (and routes!) they use, the IPv4 "crisis" will solve itself.

set icmp_messaging off (2, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | about 7 years ago | (#20916043)

You won't find any of my servers/boundaries responding to a ping on any address at any port for any reason. Send a TCP packet, and all of them will look at it, stroke their chins for a few microseconds, and decide whether to forward them or simply move on.

A ping test is perhaps one of the silliest, as you cite by a more accurate observation of key SOA servers over a period of time.

That said, I like Novell.com's bravery, as they always respond to a ping. It's how I know that my DNS infrastructure is working. It's a randomly successful find (I have no affiliation with them), rather it always works, when it works.

Re:set icmp_messaging off (1)

caluml (551744) | about 7 years ago | (#20917217)

That said, I like Novell.com's bravery, as they always respond to a ping.
Bravery? What? google.com, news.bbc.co.uk, yahoo.com all reply. What's brave about allowing an icmp-echo-request in, and replying with an echo-response?

Re:set icmp_messaging off (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 7 years ago | (#20917353)

Bravery because if you respond, it ties up a tiny slice of resources. Get some bozos that would do a reflected attack, and see what happens to *your* resources.

Pings are a little like sparrow farts, inconsequential, until you get a bunch of servers responding to forged packets. Don't respond by policy, and far fewer CPU strokes are used to service the onslaught. Respond to them all, and suddenly the room smells of sparrow farts.

Play nice, let your firewall answer all pings. (3, Informative)

Medievalist (16032) | about 7 years ago | (#20917439)

You won't find any of my servers/boundaries responding to a ping on any address at any port for any reason. Send a TCP packet, and all of them will look at it, stroke their chins for a few microseconds, and decide whether to forward them or simply move on.
Are you sure that's all they are stroking? Just kidding. It seems a bit unnecessary to shut down your site's ability to help others test connectivity to you. You really aren't doing anything but crippling harmless diagnostics; it's very easy to make your network safe to ping.

A ping test is perhaps one of the silliest, as you cite by a more accurate observation of key SOA servers over a period of time.
But, you see, there's no single trustworthy authority that has root access to all the nameservers. Think about how DNS works, and how the hints file interacts with local and intermediate caches, and you will see that your idea is not really any more workable than a ping test. It's too impossible to co-ordinate. I cache at three levels for good solid reasons not having anything to do with "fear of a bad ping". On the other hand I assume pings are friendly and only monitor them for performance and bandwidth reasons, and I have not yet been hacked despite many years of pen tests by outside agencies we've hired.

That said, I like Novell.com's bravery, as they always respond to a ping. It's how I know that my DNS infrastructure is working. It's a randomly successful find (I have no affiliation with them), rather it always works, when it works.
Aha! You admit that your fears are impacting your ability to serve the community - in a way that you admit is valuable! This admission is the first step to great power! OK, just kidding again.

Configure your firewalls to respond to all inward-bound pings for your entire address space. This will not consume any significant resources, and will not inform any skeery crackers of anything (in fact it's a better way to fool them than blocking ping, since they will not need to resort to stealthier scans that require more resources to detect or block). Log who pings you to the router console and leave a dumb terminal running on it, or pump it into a secure internal web page. Treat ping flooding like any other kind of packet flooding - you can't really make it impossible to DDOS you simply by blocking specific ICMP types anyway. Don't forget to implement packet source ingress and egress filtering, obviously.

Google, yahoo, and Novell all respond to ping. It's a service they kindly provide to the rest of us, a service we should all provide to make the Internet's tubes easier to see through. You aren't going to get hurt by a ping unless you have no idea how to set up a network... in which case dropping ping packets won't save you.

Don't make researchers have to develop new ways to punch through firewalls, let's all just use good ol' friendly, simple, and useful pings.

Possible explanation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20916285)

...owing to its history, ISI's internal network use public addresses, which has certain consequences ranging from amusing to OMFG, WHAT?

Re:rolling blackout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20917067)

I have to agree that an ICMP "ping" census is worthless, indeed. The vast majority of IP address space will likely not respond. Pings can be dropped at any number of nodes on their way to the addressed computer. For example, I imagine most ISP router filters are configured to drop ICMP pings originating from outside the ISP IP address space. Moreover, anyone who has any type of boundary defense such as a firewall will almost certainly block incoming ICMP pings.

Actually, come to think of it, I can think of one group of folks who would find this survey useful, the hacker community. OK folks, here are the blocks of IP addresses that are so unprotected that they'll happily respond to ICMP pings. It'd be even better if the map listed the TTLs (time to live) returned from each ping. While not reliable/useful as in the past, the TTL can help one guess the OS of a given ping-ed device.

Given the wide use of proxies, NATs, firewalls, etc., I'm not sure if there exists any one reliable means of carrying out such a survey. I'm sure that it'd be possible to pull together a survey that used multiple types of scans and data collection sources. However, it'd require the cooperation of many orgs, I suspect.

Hoarding IP addresses and blocks of Phone Numbers (2, Interesting)

Dr.Who (146770) | about 7 years ago | (#20918015)

Aside: When ISPs and corporations are forced to pay equitably for the addresses (and routes!) they use, the IPv4 "crisis" will solve itself.

I used to work for a Fortune 500 company with 30 K employees that had 3 and now has 6 class B IP address ranges so that each computer could have a unique IP address. At the same time, they configured all routers to block all inbound traffic to all but a few of those addresses corresponding to servers for mail, HTML, and FTP!

A small fee of even 1 $/month would make that hoarding go away. Perhaps the first 5 or so could be reserved at a lower rate. The same is true for companies hoarding blocks of 1000 or 100 phone numbers which is causing all of the split and overlays in the NANP.

The pixel-per-host map looks pretty cool... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 7 years ago | (#20916335)

Guys, have a look along the bottom edge and stick a flag in 86.0.202.223 for me ;-)

What's the best estimate of number of hosts now? (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about 7 years ago | (#20916625)

With all the hosts behind firewalls and NATs, id be interested in the number, and the methodology of estimation.

Short on adresses? Na. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20917749)

Let's reclaim the Multicast range. It is not routed over the Internet, so the maximum size the multicast pool needs to be is that of a big corp, which is like /16, or if you really need it, /8. But not /4!
Same thing for 127.0.0.0/8. How many localhosts do you have again?

The Internet Auditing Project of 1999 (3, Interesting)

meridian (16189) | about 7 years ago | (#20918007)

These guys port scanned 36 million hosts connected to the Internet and published some of their findings. It makes for a very interesting read especially the bit about when their Japanese team gets hacked into during the scan after apparently annoying someone in China a little bit after scanning their subnet blocks. http://reactor-core.org/internet-audit.html [reactor-core.org]

Toneloc? (1)

Mondo1287 (622491) | about 7 years ago | (#20918039)

That map looks a lot like the graphical output from Toneloc. (Wardialing app from way back when)

Oh no! The Total Perspective Vortex (mark 0.7) (2, Funny)

tjwhaynes (114792) | about 7 years ago | (#20918525)

The Total Perspective Vortex is the most horrible torture device to which a sentient being can be subjected. It shows its victim the entire unimaginable infinity of the universe with a very tiny marker that says "You Are Here" which points to a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot.

My Hobby... (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | about 7 years ago | (#20918745)

Posting useless XKCD-themed memes on Slashdot.
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