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the nature of the internet

Everyone uses the internet, but how many of us know how it works? I was just doing some light reading about DNS and IPv6, driven initially by curiosity as to how the website belonging to the company that manages (I use the term loosely) our web hosting here at the squibix web has managed to drop completely off the face of the earth. It's not that their site is down per se, it's that it doesn't exist at all. It's the aforementioned DNS, I believe, which is not reassuring in a web host, especially one from whose clutches you're currently trying to pry your domain name.

Anyways, it turns out some computers somewhere take what you enter into the address bar there and, through who knows what sorts of magic, turn it into a unique number that identifies the particular computer you're trying to access over the ether. All those millions of sites! I was looking through some of them earlier via Blogger's "next blog" navigation button, and it turns out that many of them are blogs in Spanish or sites advertising male models. On Blogger, really! I was fascinated. Right now, the numbering system in use only allows for 4.5 billion different sites (very loosely speaking); IPv6, the system of the future, will allow for many many more. As the Wikipedia puts it, with IPv6 "every person on Earth could have roughly eleven million trillion times all the addresses currently available for the whole world."

Just think of all those male models!


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