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Five Billionth Device About To Plug Into Internet

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  • devices... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alphatel (1450715) * on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @11:33AM (#33276320)
    If there was a race to plug in the most, what would be the cheapest method of getting several million "devices" online? Also, what would we win?
    • Re:devices... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jd (1658) <imipak @ y a h o o .com> on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @11:41AM (#33276466) Homepage Journal

      The cheapest method is to not have physical hardware. Get a single box, plug in the CLICK software routing element for the kernel and the routing element to pipe onto a network simulator like NS-2 or NS-3. Have your simulated network contain a million virtual nodes, all with their own IP address. You now have a million nodes on your network and there's nothing even a simple portscan could do to tell you that they were not physical devices.

      If you're really clever, have some of the terminal nodes on the virtual tree connect to a virtual machine running on the Linux box. For any one of those nodes, you can even demonstrate the existence of applications, login prompts, etc.

      • by Score Whore (32328) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:13PM (#33276926)

        ...there's nothing even a simple portscan could do...

        You know, if you aim low you'll certainly succeed.

        (Generally if you are going to use the phrase "there's nothing even can do", then should be something powerful. Such as "my plan is coming to fruition and there is nothing Superman can do to stop me." Contrast that with "my plan is coming to fruition and there is nothing two week old infant can do to stop me.")

        • by jd (1658)

          Why do you think I aimed low? :) Besides, it's not like anyone counting would run Nessus over 5 billion addresses. (And if they ran Superman over them, his X-Ray vision would corrupt the state of the memory chips.)

          • by BitZtream (692029)

            There was a story on slashdot that I'm too lazy to find that talked about a distributed project that was Nessus scanning the entire usable Internet address space, which is under 4 billion addresses.

            So yes, someone is doing it.

            • by jd (1658)

              If it was the Internet Auditing Project, they wrote a lightweight Nessus-like program called BASS to do the scan. They also got hacked by the NSA. This was the first time a serious report of MD5 being broken surfaced.

      • by hitmark (640295)

        sounds like one hell of a honeypot.

        • by jd (1658)

          Oooooh! That's an idea I'd not thought of. You're right! A complete virtual network of honeypots, especially on one of the less secure cable networks, would be awesome. You'd probably want fewer than a million nodes, but with a complete simulated network, you could not only see how an intruder/malware attacked a single node but how they moved around the network as a whole. That could actually be quite a fascinating project in itself. A whole network would also surely be a very tempting target.

    • Re:devices... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @11:58AM (#33276712) Journal

      Find your old PCs, install some dialup software (like NetZero)*, and give it away to anyone who does not have a computer. That's how I got my brother, then my niece, then a poor neighbor online. So +3 additional devices. If all the geeks did this with old PCs or laptops, we could add several million internet devices within a year.

      *
      *If they have DSL, use that instead.

      • I do the same thing but I've learned to be a bit selective as I end up being the free support/tutorial source for most of the recipients. As a pre-offer screening test I normally hold my hand up at shoulder height and tell them "You must be this smart to use the internet". If they give me the old twisting their head to the side thing (like a dog would), then I don't offer a computer. If they laugh or attempt to elicit some elucidation then they can have a box if they like.

        The dial-up thing is going away as
    • Re:devices... (Score:4, Informative)

      by bofkentucky (555107) <bofkentucky@nOSPAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:04PM (#33276782) Homepage Journal
      Theoretical, for a single piece of HW Solaris 10 on a Sun Sparc Enterprise T5440, 4 Processors 512GB Ram 256 LDOM's per server 8191 Zones per LDOM 1048448 Total machines in a 4RU enclosure the machines would be severely IO and disk space bound (Only 4x300GB disks in the box), but it could be done Anyone know the theoretical numbers for Linux on Z or a fully configured vmware cluster?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Score Whore (32328)

        Not even in your wildest dreams. Each zone requires it's own init, svc.startd, svc.configd, cron, etc. Just those four are going to 2.5 MB + 17 MB + 10 MB + 5 MB = 35 MB of memory just to even begin to boot. You 512 GB of RAM only provides 512 KB of memory per zone. Even if you used all of the disk space as swap, you're still way short.

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@PARISlynx.bc.ca minus city> on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @11:34AM (#33276332) Journal

    There's only 4 and some odd billion IP addresses, so this number would suggest that they are included NAT'ted devices... except how can they have a remotely accurate count of the number of NAT'ted devices?

    Or are they including places that have migrated to IPv6?

    • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @11:38AM (#33276392) Homepage Journal

      except how can they have a remotely accurate count of the number of NAT'ted devices?

      Plenty of Internet application protocols use unique device identifiers that remain unique even when used through network address translation. For example, HTTP or HTTPS clients behind a NAT have cookies that can be used to estimate how many devices are active.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kepesk (1093871)
      Notice that they're careful to say they're tracking "equipment that can access the Internet". I have 1 IP address, but I have 4 internet-capable devices using it, 5 if you count my phone. I would imagine that they have ways of estimating how many devices on average use the same IP based on surveys and studies and the like.
      • by delinear (991444)
        Yes, this is almost certainly a guestimate based on average number of net gadgets per gender, per age group, per socio-economic group, per country.
    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      The summary is only two sentenced. One of them answers your question.

    • The Mayans knew we would run out of IPv4 addresses near the end of 2011.
    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      My guess is that they may be basing the figures on assigned MAC addresses, though I could be mistaken.

      However, the assumption that it'll quadruple in the next decade is a bit much. Even if there are four times more network devices created in the next decade than the last, the chances of them being anything but behind a NAT box is highly unlikely. I might double the employees in my office and increase their upstream, but we're still not using any more public IPv4 address space.

      Same for me at home: my network

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The owner of the five billionth device will receive 5 billion Flooz.

  • The AI has been waiting for enough compute power to guarantee it can take control, in order to assure its survival....
  • Five billion? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @11:37AM (#33276386)

    What's the maximum number of different MAC addresses again?

    "The original IEEE 802 MAC address comes from the original Xerox Ethernet addressing scheme.[1] This 48-bit address space contains potentially 248 or 281,474,976,710,656 possible MAC addresses."

    Oh okay, never mind then.

    • by Java Pimp (98454)

      MAC addresses don't have anything to do with it since they are not really useful beyond your switch or router.

    • Unless you also count EUI-64, then there are ~3.4 x 10^30 addresses.
  • I missed this question on the census form... we may have already surpassed 5,000,000,000.
  • Taco,

    That would be 5 billion fingers.

    Sincerely,
    Spazztastic

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @11:39AM (#33276434) Homepage Journal

    Sounds wrong to me. My IP address is only 127001 and I've not had this computer for very long.

  • Paging Dr. IPv6 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by schmidt349 (690948) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @11:41AM (#33276468)

    5 billion devices is, let's face it, outside the capacity of an addressing scheme (IPv4) that originally only anticipated a shade over 4 billion possible devices. Why are we not moving over to IPv6 faster? I don't know much about networking and related issues; what are the big challenges for IPv6 going forward?

    • Re:Paging Dr. IPv6 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ephemeriis (315124) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @11:56AM (#33276690)

      5 billion devices is, let's face it, outside the capacity of an addressing scheme (IPv4) that originally only anticipated a shade over 4 billion possible devices. Why are we not moving over to IPv6 faster? I don't know much about networking and related issues; what are the big challenges for IPv6 going forward?

      First, you've got the whole chicken-and-egg thing going on. There isn't a compelling reason for businesses to roll out IPv6 because most of the world is still on IPv4. Nobody will be visiting you v6 website. There isn't a compelling reason for ISPs to roll out IPv6 because most of the businesses are still on v4. There are no v6 websites to visit. Nobody wants to go first.

      Then you've got some very real technical hurdles... New software and hardware requirements. Patches, upgrades. All that good stuff. And right now that looks like an awful lot of work for relatively little benefit. Legacy hardware that might not be upgrade-able.

      Plus, right now, NAT pretty much works. Yes, I know, it's an ugly hack... But it works. It's hard to tell somebody that you really need to spend tons of time/effort/money switching things over to IPv6 when they're currently able to do everything they need to.

      You've also got some weird psychological resistance to IPv6 addressing. Folks (even IT people) freak out when they see all those hex digits.

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        I wonder if IP addresses will end up just going up in price, forcing smaller sites out or onto virtual domains instead of people switching over to IPv6, even if IPv6 is just used as an edge protocol, where businesses still use v4 as their core layer 3 protocol.

        I hope we go to IPv6 sometime. I just dread having to go find an auction to pay hyperinflated prices for a 5 IP subnet if I want some v4 statics.

        • by vlm (69642)

          I hope we go to IPv6 sometime. I just dread having to go find an auction to pay hyperinflated prices for a 5 IP subnet if I want some v4 statics.

          Most BGP operators filter their incoming routes at /24 or sometimes larger. So if you'll dread the cost of five addresses, the actual cost of, say, a /20 will really annoy you.

          I could see poorer ISPs with large swaths of unused IP space being purchased by richer ISPs solely for their IP space...

          Also expect to see a full court marketing B.S. press pushing "NAT access" as somehow being better or more private than getting public ip space, and if it happens to kill P2P all the better.

          • by mlts (1038732) *

            Nail, head hit. One reason IPv6 isn't being pushed is because of artificial scarcity. If top tier ISPs can force people to pay for V4 addresses, so much the better. It isn't like there is a lawmaking body that can tell them to flip the switch like how ARPANet went from NCP to TCP/IP in the past.

            Plus, the more people behind NATs, the harder it is to P2P, and the less bandwidth used by people. All wins for ISPs (especially cable companies who want people watching their TV and not streaming video), all los

            • by tlhIngan (30335)

              I wonder if IP addresses will end up just going up in price, forcing smaller sites out or onto virtual domains instead of people switching over to IPv6, even if IPv6 is just used as an edge protocol, where businesses still use v4 as their core layer 3 protocol.

              BINGO! You can use the same explanation for peak oil, too. As oil and IP addresses get more scarce, the price goes up. People move to cheaper technologies (NAT, hybrids). Lather, rinse, repeat. Thus, the sudden "no more oil!" crisis just like the "no

      • Re:Paging Dr. IPv6 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Zocalo (252965) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:08PM (#33276860) Homepage
        Also, no one is really sure that there are not some gaping and fundamental flaws in the protocol that are just waiting to be found and exploited by some enterprising black hat. CIOs not wanting to have to deal with a serious network compromise because they were on the bleeding edge of adoption probably has a lot to do with things. It's been a long time since large organizations have had every device on their network on an Internet routable IP, and there's a nice sense of false security to be had in thinking NAT at gateway firewalls and routers provides you with some valuable additional protection.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by loufoque (1400831)

        First, you've got the whole chicken-and-egg thing going on. There isn't a compelling reason for businesses to roll out IPv6 because most of the world is still on IPv4. Nobody will be visiting you v6 website. There isn't a compelling reason for ISPs to roll out IPv6 because most of the businesses are still on v4. There are no v6 websites to visit. Nobody wants to go first.

        As an employee working on upgrading some network products to support IPv6, let me add on that.
        There is simply no real demand whatsoever fo

      • by grahamsz (150076)

        I suspect the main driver will be smartphones. Hardly anyone would notice if their smartphone was on IPv6 and it'll be a cheap way for big operators in china and such to get millions of devices online in short order.

      • by kasperd (592156)

        There isn't a compelling reason for businesses to roll out IPv6 because most of the world is still on IPv4. Nobody will be visiting you v6 website.

        However popular this explanation is, it may actually be slightly distorted. It's not that hard to deploy IPv6 that it would stop all websites from doing so. A lot of websites would deploy IPv6 even if it only meant that a very small number of additional users could access it. Maybe those users count for something, and getting started now means you will be prepare

        • To clarify, the problem is at the DNS layer. When you type slashdot.org into your browser's address bar, it looks up the A record in DNS to find the IPv4 address. If your computer has IPv6 support, it will also look up the IPv6 address in an AAAA record. If you get an AAAA record back, it will try to connect with IPv6 in preference to IPv4. Unfortunately, just because you and the remote site have IPv6 support does not mean that the network between the two does. All of the machines on my local network h

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Chang (2714)

        You're completely right about the psychological resistance. I don't know why but even hard core tech people take time to get over the addresses and I think this has been a major factor in the lack of widespread adoption.

        You're completely wrong about the number of IPv6 websites. There are thousands available and the growth has been noticeably accelerating since the 2008 Google IPv6 implementors conference. Every year around conference time more major sites announce availability. This year Facebook was th

        • by Abcd1234 (188840)

          I just wish some basic software supported IPv6. I'd be very happy if I could finally migrate my home network off IPv4 completely (right now it's running dual-stack, with connectivity provided by Hurricane Electric). But software like mysql *still* doesn't support v6. Fortunately, that list is getting smaller and smaller, but glaring omissions like this one make migration challenging, to say the least.

          And then there's the broken routers. I went and picked up an 802.11n-capable D-Link router (don't recall

        • Does NAT64 only work with the DNS mangling? That seems a bit of a problem with the concept - plenty of applications use IPv4 addresses directly. Is there no way for a client to discover the prefix of the NAT gateway, so it can send deal with this?

          • by Chang (2714)

            Yes - in a network where the client has only IPv6 connectivity, it requires DNS64 mangling.

            This is a minor problem with the concept but it doesn't invalidate the concept. Give it a try - you can get a live CD and use it with a free tunnel provider and you might be surprised by how usable it is even at this early stage. Remember - this technique is much more valuable for telcos than it is for a typical home user in the developed world. In those places the user will likely have dual-stack available and run

            • That was a lengthy answer, thanks. If I understand DNS64 correctly, it forms an AAAA record based on the address of a gateway and the IPv4 address - e.g. an A record showing 1.2.3.4 goes to something like 2001:a:b::1.2.3.4, and the V6 host then sends the packets to that address instead. It would seem to make sense to supply the gateway address to the end hosts, so the hosts could do the conversion, but I guess that wouldn't be backwards compatible.

              • by Chang (2714)

                I think you get the concept but what are the end hosts? I don't understand that term? Is that the clients behind the NAT. The gateway address is supplied to them by IPv6 RA (router advertisments). The NAT64 is essentially advertising a /96 or greater subnet which is large enough to hold the entire IPv4 internet.

                Here's the flow

                web client -> DNS lookup for www.yahoo.com

                DNS64 intercepts and instead of responding with A record 67.195.160.76 it responds with 2620:69::67.195.160.76 back to the client on th

      • Right. I would like to implement IPv6 for my business, but it won't happen anytime soon. If I make up a plan to do so, and pitch it to my CFO, the first thing he's going to ask me is "How does the company benefit?" And that's a good question - because the company doesn't benefit. It's not like IPv4 is getting shut off anytime soon. There's not really anything "better" about IPv6. So why would any (non-IT centric) business spend money and resources in implementing it if there is zero return on investment? Co

      • Comcast, for all its evil, is starting to test IPv6 in certain areas, and they are running their own 6to4 relays now. Which is good, because before I had to use a university relay out in the midwest somewhere, despite being in VA. Their core network already supports IPv6.
      • Nobody will be visiting you v6 website

        This may be correct if you put up some IPv6 only website. If your DNS has both a A and AAAA record then a few percent will be visiting your (v4+)v6 website. Those visiting using IPv6 probably won't know, notice or care, and this is a good thing.

        New software and hardware requirements. Patches, upgrades. All that good stuff. And right now that looks like an awful lot of work for relatively little benefit. Legacy hardware that might not be upgrade-able

        Most (GNU/Linux) software has had full IPv6 support for many years now. Hardware isn't much of an issue unless you mean firmware which can not be updated on some hardware since hardware does ethernet frames and don't talk IPv4 or IPv6 anyway.

        Plus, right now, NAT pretty much works. Yes, I know, it's an ugly hack...

        I have used IPv6 for ages

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pentium100 (1240090)

      Incompatibility with v4.

      IPv4 devices will not be able to access IPv6 devices, which means that if you have devices with old OS in your network, you will have to use both v4 and v6.

      Also, there is that chicken-and-egg problem. There is only a small amount of servers that support v6 and even smaller number of them support only v6.

      1.There is no reason for a user to upgrade to IPv6 (they may need to change their router, the new IP address is almost impossible to remember etc) because little would be gained from

      • by vlm (69642)

        IPv4 devices will not be able to access IPv6 devices, which means that if you have devices with old OS in your network, you will have to use both v4 and v6.

        Only if you use stuff much older than, say, Y2K. My MFC cannon laserprinter/scanner works ipv6 out of the box and its a couple years old. My wifes ancient 1st gen mac mini supports ipv6. My windoze-xp gaming partition works. Any roughly late 90s+ era linux kernel support v6.

        If you want, you can set up a machine that specifically excludes v4 or v6, to allow complaining about it, but its more work than just letting it dual stack outta the box.

        There is only a small amount of servers that support v6 and even smaller number of them support only v6.

        Uhhhhh, apache 1.3 worked with patches, so post '98, a mere doz

        • Only if you use stuff much older than, say, Y2K.

          Does Windows 2000 support IPv6?
          In any case, my printer does not support IPv6 it does support IPv4 and IPX.

          Uhhhhh, apache 1.3 worked with patches, so post '98, a mere dozen years ago, is OK with minimal effort.

          I meant servers as in sites, email servers etc. I don't think there are a lot of sites that you can only reach by IPv6. And there is a good reason - no company would be stupid enough to prevent almost all people from connecting to its (public) servers.

      • No compelling reason to switch to IPv6?? You're crazy. A dancing turtle [kame.net] isn't enough for you? What's it going to take to please you?
    • by Gerald (9696)

      Because the 2.6 kernel doesn't support the Broadcom 802.11 adapter in my home router. I have to run 2.4, which has crappy IPv6 support.

      If I don't get IPv6 then no one does. That's what's holding everything up.

    • I can tell you my problem: my router. My computers and ISP should all work well with IPv6, but I haven't found anything about v6 on my router controls or documentation. This was the router I was told to use for my DSL connection, and I didn't check for IPv6 connectivity when I bought it.

      So, I'll enable it when it becomes worthwhile for me to replace my wireless router and go through the minor hassle of making it work right. Not before.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      Quite possibly because IPv6 is ugly. Very ugly. It's almost impossible to read, even if you can read it.

      There are still plenty of scenarios where visually noticing an IP address is "wrong" for the situation still exist. IPv6 will make all but the most "professional" IT type have to start over in many ways, because most of them aren't network engineers.

  • The human inverse squared Moore's Law takes hold. I would expect that after 10 years the 10 trillionth device would be plugged into the 4th dimensional matrix that traces its origin to today's interwebs. I would also suspect this device would be a just born human and all the concerns we have today of security, privacy, and data will look somewhat...quaint.
  • Sounds like a scam to me - Congratulations you are the 5,000,000th person to connect to the internet. Click here to have you computer infested with malware and your email in box filled with shite.
  • "The Internet is full. Please try again later."
  • I don't doubt the report, but you'd think just in the consumer market most people have at least 2 or 3 internet connected devices (laptops, phones, pda's, ebook readers, video games consoles, etc.). Not to mention the number of web server, printers, etc. that are floating around out there. I haven't crunched the numbers, and I understand there is a good deal of the world that lives in poverty. But still, 5 billion seems suprisingly low.
    • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Tuesday August 17, 2010 @12:30PM (#33277180)
      but you'd think just in the consumer market most people have at least 2 or 3 internet connected devices (laptops, phones, pda's, ebook readers, video games consoles, etc.)

      A large segment of the world's population doesn't have lunch.
      • by kellyb9 (954229)

        A large segment of the world's population doesn't have lunch.

        True, but the rest of the world's population is overweight. What's your point? If you had actually read my comment, I pointed out that "the haves" likely have 3 or 4 internet connected devices.

        • For adults in the West, maybe. I just counted/estimated for my semi-immediate family (kids/boyfriends/grandchildren/etc). We are not even at 2:1. And this is a VERY tech-centric family. My kids have never known a house without a PC. My grandkids were on the keyboard before they could talk.

          All the preteen grandkids skew the stats. And my local network of 11 individual devices tries to skew it the other way, but doesn't make up for all the little anklebiters.
    • by gapagos (1264716)

      1- Even though some people might have 3 devices, it doesn't mean everyone we all have 3.
      For instance, just because we have a PC in our home, it doesn't mean there's a PC for mom, dad, son, daughter, and the dog.

      2- Don't forget that a large proportion of the world (several billions) live in poverty, sometimes without even access to electricity.

      3- In a lot of developing countries people primarily use Internet cafes to go to the internet at very cheap rates (like 50 cents per hour), so 1 computer serves 5, 10

      • by kellyb9 (954229)
        And agree with everyone of those points. But I must also point out that routers, library computers, lab computers, web servers, ftp servers, work computers, cell phones, etc. are all (for the most part) internet connected devices. This is not limited to the consumer market.
      • I try not to look at this as comparing it to the world's population, but comparing it to the number of claimed "used up" IP addresses. With all of the doomsday talk going on I'd swear we're using at least 3 billion IPs by now. Is the ratio of devices to IPs really only (roughly) 2:1?

    • It seems low to me as well. People constantly talk about how we're almost out of IPv4 addresses (4 billion). I'm single, and in my apartment I have 1 IP address for 6 internet-connected devices. Are there really that many devices that are either not NAT'd or the only thing behind a router/gateway? Granted, I'm also a nerd who likes gadgets, but my family isn't, and they have 1 IP address with 8 internet-connected devices (all the kids are moved out, but I'm sure some of those wouldn't be there if not for ou

      • Sorry to reply to myself, but I am in effect going to now argue against what I just said (though it's more of a rant without any direction... feel free not to read it :) ).

        I only stated what I have at my apartment because I feel that it represents the general population better than if I were to also state that I have 2 colocated servers using a total of 32 IP addresses. Do these stats count virtual servers as devices? My 2 physical servers have a good 10 or 12 VMs running, a couple of which are actu

  • I'm just about to plug it in, but the cable I have isn't quite long enough.

    Can anyone lend me a 5m patch cable?

  • On a serious note though, why not reinstate internet spring cleanup days? I remember them being done regularly every year back in the '90s, and dutifully unplugging my computer every time it rolled around. It was annoying, but this kind of problem never happened back then, so obviously it did what it was supposed to. I don't know why they got stopped - probably because they put a government tax on accessing the internet and so it was in the government's best interest to have more people on... That's proba

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