I just came from one very interesting presentation called “Tracking the Internet into the 21st Century” held by the Internet God itself – Vint Cerf. It was really amazing and inspiring, almost unreal, to actually see a guy who created the Internet. He showed how one experiment he did at Stanford University led him to a leading position in ARPANET team, where he was able to create TCP/IP protocol. Believe it or not, he is responsible for IPv4 standard where all IP address are 32 bit – represented in the form like we know them now e.g. 188.8.131.52
OK, he admits now that it was a wrong decision, but back then it seemed perfectly appropriate. Why wrong decision? Because, according to some estimations made, somewhere in the year 2010 we are going to run out of available IP addresses. They are already working on a solution, don’t worry. It is IPv6, 128 bits IP address. Problem is adoption of course. All nodes on Internet must comply to this new naming standard, and that takes time. So, one scenario that may happen is that there can be “isolated islands” of nodes that support IPv6 but you might not be able to access them. For example, you type “www.some-future-website.com” which on DNS resolves to 187.234.567.432.567.322.345.678.78.645.32.44. If your provider is not supporting IPv6, you won’t be able to see that website.
Luckily, these guys are doing their job very well and the doom day will definitely be avoided.
Other thing that seems like a real science fiction was InterPlaNet Internet project. They are working on a protocol that all “space ships” would use. So, as one by one satellite is launched in the space they will be able to communicate between them with this protocol. That is actually how “earthly” Internet started. One by one node is formed. Imagine the same situation, but this time in space. Cool and weird in the same time. But isn’t that what people were saying about Internet in the beginning also? Think about it.
Vint Cerf works for Google now and this presentation took place in Google development center in Z¸rich. We had a little tour around their offices afterwards. Impressions? Well, mixed.
Offices look really cool. Relaxing rooms all around, hanging sleep bags, power balls, toys and everything is very colorful. Really “googley” as they call it. A bit scary was that it was around 21:00 and a lots of engineers were still there. Are they too busy or too geeky or too googley, I don’t know. I just hope they are sitting there because they don’t have private life, and not because deadlines are too short and project managers are hanging over their necks to get the job done as soon as possible.
All in all, an excellent evening. I guess my private life sucks as well, when I consider that an excellent evening. 🙂