Y2K 2.0

Posted: August 5, 2011 in Industry, Non-Gaming, Other, Technology
Tags: , , ,

So, apparently, The Internet is about to run out.

It’s funny how you take certain things for granted. I always found the original Y2K scare baffling on so many levels – one, how can a computer (even the more antiquated ones they had back then) possibly be confused by something as seemingly simple as going from 1999 to 2000. Two, how come the original computer makers didn’t anticipate the mankind was still going to be around in the year 2000 in the first place? A cursory glance at Wikipedia will tell you it’s not that simple, but at the time, I found the whole thing kind of odd.

Like this: According to an article in the latest issue of GamesTM, the Internet is starting to run out of IP Addresses – I didn’t realise that was actually possible. With all the different types of devices – wireless or no – that need to access the internet at any given time, there just doesn’t seem to be enough to go around. America apparently ran out last year, with the rest of the world soon to follow by around 2013… AND this has been a concern since the mid eighties – why the hell aren’t I notified about these things? This is a serious event as well, as everything needs an IP address to access the internet, and online services like XBL, PSN, World of Warcraft… your fancy phone, none of it will be able to get on the net.

We’re all using what’s called IPv4 at the moment, which is what was put into us back when the internet first ‘began’ when it was just supposed be a nice little tool for computer professionals. The solution is to switch to what they’re calling IPv6, an IP allocation system that has more numbers involved, and so more possibilities (and so will last longer). The switch over is already happening, with companies like Microsoft supporting IPv6 on all of their properties from now on, but others are reluctant to switch over because of the potential loss.

It’s always the same when it comes to technology – either people don’t understand it, and so can’t grasp the seriousness of it, or they want to cling to what works for as long as possible, right up until it STOPS working, thus landing them in a bit of a bind.

But yeah, not really the next Y2K, although I did amuse myself for a bit pretending it was. You know apparently that’s still technically going on? There were some issues in 2010, for reasons that I won’t even pretend to understand, and they are predicting problems in 2038, which looks like it’s connected to the 32-bit Operating System principle. Switching over to 64-bit should fix that I imagine.

I was going to post about something else today, but I thought I’d throw up some thoughts on this instead. The things you learn, eh?

Don’t Panic.

  1. Emily says:

    I’ve been reading about this as an issue for several years.

    Part of the problem is the likes of ISPs also not doing stuff their end in order to stop a big mess from happening in the first place. ISPs are unwilling to use their profits to help pay towards improving the physical side of a country’s telecommunications infrastructure, so I’m sure you can imagine their reluctance to take on IPv6.

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