Overcrowded Cyberspace: Is the Web Running out of Addresses?

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Creative image of the Internet

The “Father of the Internet” predicts that web addresses will run out in a matter of weeks.

In 1973 Vint Cerf, who is now the “Chief Internet Evangelist” and vice president of Google, co-wrote the software code that was to spawn a futuristic network called the Internet. In 2011, the same Internet is in danger of running out of web addresses.

When Cerf first started connecting computers with Internet Protocol (IP) addresses he set a limit of 4.3 billion addresses for his little experiment, not expecting that it would never end.

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“Who the hell knew how much address space we needed?” Cerf was quoted as saying when he admitted that the limit of web addresses was his own “fault”.

Just so you don’t all go grabbing for the rights to popular or rare .coms, .orgs and the like, an IP address is not the same as websites or domain names. It’s a unique sequence of numbers assigned to each hardware device that accesses the web.

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Don’t panic though — this does not mean the end of our beloved cyberspace. It may pose short-term problems to an increasingly saturated pool of new smart-phone, tablet, laptop and PC users, but with the development of  IPv6, an updated protocol to create trillions of IP addresses, underway the world wide web it seems will just keep growing and growing. (Via Discovery News.)