Friday, 4 February 2011

Internet running out of addresses, new set needed

Thirty years ago, when the Internet was just getting started, it seemed a safe bet that 4.3 billion addresses would be more than enough. After all, that was roughly the world's population at the time.
"Who the hell knew how much address space we needed?" said Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist, considered the father of the Internet, in an interview last month with Australian journalists. "I thought it was an experiment, and I thought that 4.3 billion (addresses) would be enough to do an experiment."
But now it appears the number was too small.
"It turns out the experiment got out of the lab," said Leo Vegoda, number resources manager at the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), in an interview Thursday. "There is a big mismatch between 4 billion and what we need today for a global-spanning telecommunications network that's good for transmitting data packets. We need more addresses."
Every website, computer, smart phone, network printer, cable TV and wireless device out there has a unique numerical IP (Internet protocol) address. As devices and data multiply and the world's population hovers around 7 billion, those IP addresses are now almost exhausted.
On Thursday, the international groups that coordinate Net addresses officially allocated the last blocks of them to five regional registries that in turn distribute to Internet service providers, websites and so forth. Those final allocations could be used up within months.
That means the Internet must now switch to a new address protocol. It's a bit like an overpopulated area code that's out of phone numbers - but instead of just creating a new area code, the behind-the-scenes IP addresses will become a lot more complex.
Seamless - for now

For most users, the transition should be seamless - until a few years from now, when people with older modems may need to upgrade them to recognize the new addresses.
The current system, IPv4 (version 4) uses "dotted quads" - four numbers separated by periods. For instance, the IP address for is (Domain names, such as sfgate, essentially act as an address book, providing an easy way to look up IP addresses.)
The new system, IPv6, uses 128-bit addresses. A typical IPv6 address might look like this: 2001:0db8:0234:AB00:0123:8a2e:0370:7334.
It can handle a huge number of addresses, 340 undecillion, to be precise. That number can be expressed as writing 3.4 followed by 38 zeroes, said David Ulevitch, founder and CEO of OpenDNS, a San Francisco company that translates domain names into numbers.
"The (IPv4) trough is now empty," Ulevitch said. "The Internet continues to grow, and the only way to grow is to use IPv6."
The new protocol

In fact, enterprises have been experimenting with the new protocol for over a decade, but the imminent exhaustion of IP addresses provides motivation to step up those efforts, he said.
June 8 has been designated as the ultra-nerdy "Test Flight Day" when Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other major companies will offer their content over IPv6 to motivate ISPs, hardwaremakers, operating system vendors and others to handle the new addresses.
"It's drawing a line in the sand as to when everyone supports this important technology," said Greg Smith, senior director of technical marketing for Citrix Systems, which sells products to translate the older version of IP addresses to the new ones. "There's a chicken-and-egg dynamic: it requires some investment on the part of websites and companies and they don't want to make it until they see demand."
"This is not sneaking up on anybody," said Bill Woodcock, research director at San Francisco's Packet Clearing House, a nonprofit that researches Internet traffic and global network development. "IPv4 addresses will continue working exactly as they always have."
Some people with older modems may be affected eventually once the new protocol becomes the default.
"A lot of DSL modems and cable modems out there right now don't support v6 because they are the cheapest and most commodity pieces of gear and vendors didn't require their hardware providers to do that engineering until recently," Woodcock said. "At some point those may need to be swapped out."

Kraft Scans Your Face To Determine What You Want to Eat

If you can't decide what you want for dinner, Kraft's new face-scanning technology might be able to help. Kraft and Intel's new Meal Planning Solution device, which they hope to bring to a supermarket near you, uses analytics determined from your look to see which recipes you would like to make. Goodbye Grandma's recipe box. You've now been replaced by the vast Internet catalogue of Kraft recipes.
In an interview with Mashable, Intel director of retail and digital signage for the embedded and communications group Jose Avalos explained how the Meal Planning Solution worked. Basically the machine can judge age and gender just by scanning your face.Using the shading caused by your natural facial features such as your eyes, which are typically darker than the rest of your face, the device can tell what you look like. It's about 86 percent accurate in figuring out if the user is a male or female, and slightly better at telling the difference between children and elderly people. Still, it works overwhelmingly well (70 percent) when figuring out if you are a adult or a young adult. Avalos elaborated:

Intel AIM Suite face detection algorithms have statistically learned the pattern of a human face by being trained on an audience database of thousands of pictures of human faces,” he continues. “The demographics of a face can be determined using a similar process to how a face is found, where the patterns being looked at correspond to male or female faces, or certain age brackets (children, young adults, adults, seniors). The algorithms have learned which face features have the strongest weighting for each gender and age bracket. The combination of various facial features such as eye positioning, nose shape, cheek bones, and overall facial structure are among the variables that are taken into consideration during this process.

I still can't get over the fact that the machine will take one look at me and know what I want to eat. If it predicts I want to make macaroni and cheese (which I make at least once a week), I'm seriously going to be afraid.
One big problem is that scanning your face can't determine what food you are allergic to or other eating habits that you may have as of yet. Other features have been implemented to further customize the experience. The machine can read your supermarket loyalty cards so it can determine what you buy on a regular basis, which can help point out dietary restrictions like being Kosher or being vegan. Your Kraft iFood Assistant account and browsing activity can be uploaded to the device so it can factor in what recipes you like to look at. The machine can even dispense samples - see the video from Fast Company.
Kraft is still looking for a supermarket chain to partner with, but the first Meal Planning Solution should be installed sometime this year. There's still some things they want to figure out, like adding social media sharing functions or a rating system so people who have tried the recipes can comment.

Would you use this device or is it a waste of time?

Hotmail Launches "Throw away email adresses". Have multiple emails tied up in one account.

Microsoft are aware that the whole world, his wife and indeed his dog all have a multitude of different hotmail accounts. Hell I have multiple accounts registered on the same website. Microsoft have now launched a new concept of disposable email addresses. The idea behind this is to allow people to be safe online with anonymous email's without having to risk their personal email addresses that they use to contact family and business associates.

So what's all the hype about? While it wont effect everyone some people like to hold different email's to respond to different types of correspondence for example I have an email for the blog, and email for uni, and email for personal use and an email for general use. I also have a whole multitude of emails that i have used only a handful of times. Microsoft are now allowing users to manage and create all of these accounts from their regular inbox. No more massive lists of passwords and email's to remember, this also allows you to create additional accounts much quicker that before as there are lots of details that you wont have to fill in again as microsoft already have it on file.

There are of course restrictions. The solution Microsoft's Hotmail team came up with was to make use of some of its existing technologies like account sign-up, message filtering, and multiple e-mail address integration to give users these aliases within the same account. Each user can create up to five aliases, any of which can be deleted and replaced with another at any time. Over time, Microsoft will increase that limit to 15 aliases per account, making it so that the true heavy users won't need to juggle between two or more Hotmail accounts.

First Post!

Well i've had the blog ready to go for a week or so now and i've lacked the motivation to get posting. Well here we go! I hope you all enjoy my blog posts and if you have any questions or anything you would like me to cover please don't hesitate. I'm not exactly the most literate person in the world so there wont be so many posts at first but i'm sure ill get into the swing of things!