Fox News on IPv6

Here’s what Fox News have to say about IPv6:

Web developers have tried to compensate for [the IPv4 address shortage] by creating IPv6 — a system that recognizes six-digit IP addresses rather than four-digit ones.

I can’t even begin to get my head in line with the level of investigative failure that’s behind this sloppy reporting. I’m not even looking at the fact that apparently it’s “web developers” who are responsible for fixing the Internet’s backbone; just the 4/6-digits thing is problematic enough.

Given that Wikipedia can get this right, you’d hope that a news agency could manage. Even the Daily Mail did slightly better (although they did call IPv4 addresses 16-bit and then call them 32-bit in the very next sentence).

Oh; wait: Fox News. Right.

For the benefit of those who genuinely want to know, one of the most significant changes between IPv4 and IPv6 is the change from 32-bit addresses to 128-bit addresses: that’s the difference between about 4 billion addresses and 340 undecillion addresses (that’s 34 followed by thirty-eight zeros). Conversely, adding “two digits” to a four-digit number (assuming we’re talking about decimal numbers), as Fox News suggest, is the difference between a thousand addresses and a hundred thousand. And it’s not web developers who are responsible for it: this change has nothing to do with the web but with the more fundamental architecture of the underlying Internet itself.

1 comment

  1. Claire Q Claire Q says:

    I think it’s amazing that the predictions from my compsci first year were actually right. They said 2011 would be crux time, back in 2003.

    Also, it’s not like IPv6 was created in response to this last week. It was first described in 1998!

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