the IPv6 content issue

Brent Finnegan -- June 6th, 2007

Harrisonburg IPv6 deployment woes aside, what happens if World Airwaves does manage to provide v6 access to parts of the city before fall? Today I came across an interesting post from Mozilla’s network engineer, mrz (you know, the open source company that put out Firefox). If you read between the geekspeak, he’s saying that no one really wants IPv6 because there’s no content.

I’ve touched on this topic before, but mrz sums it up better:

I thought by offering it to customers, I’d have users wanting it. But without content, why would they care? IPv6 suffers from the “chicken and egg” problem… Users don’t clamor for v6 because there isn’t any v6 specific content or content that they can’t already get. Content providers aren’t providing v6 content because users aren’t clamoring for it. But the technology to support it has been there for years – governments have mandated it and NASA’s even launched an IPv6 satellite.

Apparently Firefox isn’t even configured for use on a v6 network. So, the challenge is to give people something that they want. If you’ve ever played Sim City, it’s a similar concept. Create a city full of sewer and electric lines, and no one will move there. You must have housing developments, jobs, leisure activities, etc. Then people will come.

Before I read mrz’s post, I was unaware of The Great IPv6 Experiment. I realize that this may just be an elaborate hoax, but the general idea is that Your.Org is offering free porn to anyone who can connect to it via IPv6. Sleazy as that may sound, like mrz points out, “Three things push technology like nothing else: gaming, military conflict and porn.”

Unless you can see the turtle dancing here, you’re using IPv4.

7 Responses to “the IPv6 content issue”

  1. TM says:

    I’ve always been a big believer in the theory that new technology will only catch on if the “adult” industries can use it. The internet, VHS, etc. Is there a name for this theory? I’d be interested to read more about it, but what the hell do you search for. No telling what my bosses might think I’ve got planned if “gaming military conflict porn” pops up in their Big Brother software.

  2. David Miller says:

    The multi casting capabilities are what will allow porn to flow at unreal (perhaps even unhealthy) speeds. Video on demand, tv broadcasting via ip will all benefit immensely from IPv6. That is, if I’ve got my info right.

  3. Renee says:

    “If you build it, they will come”

    As soon as IPV6 becomes more widely available, technology companies will build their systems to take advantage of it.

    Case in point: RSS feeds. A year ago, most people didn’t know what RSS feeds were. Now, with Google Homepage and many readily available and easy-to-user RSS readers, just about every website (including this one) offers RSS feeds of their content.

    As far as adult entertainment goes, yes it’s true that many technologies are driven by that industry. For instance, a lot of money and effort was put into inventing devices for the porn industry that could be controlled via the internet to attract users to specific “interactive” websites. This push drove the development of technology that now allows us to control other devices, like robotic machinery, via the internet. I’m not about to do a Google search to look up any references to show that what I just said has been proven to be true, though!

  4. David Troyer says:

    It seems there is a bit of confusion as to what IPv6 actually is… At its essence, it is merely a new standardization. I know how unprophetic that sounds, but that’s all it really is. A more robust language, if you will. Not necessarily bigger, newer, fiber optic wires or super computers with fancy flashing lights (although they might be used).

    The main improvement is the number of addresses it allows for. Current IPv4 addressing schemes are 32-bit (255.255.255.255) and support about 4.3 billion addresses. This isn’t enough for every internet appliance to have its own public address, so routing is necessary for lots of appliances to hide behind the same public address. Despite routing techniques, public addresses in IPv4 will eventually run out.

    IPv6 is 128-bit, which allows for an astronomically larger number of public addresses. Try 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 addresses per human on earth. This will allow for every appliance to have its own public address and eliminates the need for some current routing techniques that hinder internet traffic.

    So what is all the hype? The larger addresses signature (4 times as big) will require more bandwidth in and of itself, but each packet will possibly carry more data with it, and the elimination of current routing techniques will allow for more optimal, direct connections across the internet.

  5. JGFitzgerald says:

    The closest analogy to IPv6 would be the decision some years back to allow area codes that didn’t have 0 or 1 as the middle digit, a change that could be fascinating or interesting only to the most intense numbers wonks, and a change that didn’t improve the content of phone calls, faxes, or telemarketing any more than adding channels improves the content of cable TV. 57 quadrillion IP addresses and nothing on.

  6. Justin says:

    If IPv6 ever comes to Harrisonburg, it will be to attract business, not for the every day consumer. This is why the city has offered World Airwaves a franchise. It costs the city nothing (except maybe some hurt pride when delays happen) and it becomes World Airwaves problem to find customers.

    As for the benefits of IPv6 there are many, even without content. Content will be the driving force behind acceptance, but where will that content be created. If Harrisonburg can succeed in getting the network up and running here then a whole industry essentially sprouts up here in the valley.

    Pie in the sky? Most definitely, but that’s how everything worth while gets started.

  7. Zach says:

    “The closest analogy to IPv6 would be the decision some years back to allow area codes that didn’t have 0 or 1 as the middle digit, a change that could be fascinating or interesting only to the most intense numbers wonks, and a change that didn’t improve the content of phone calls, faxes, or telemarketing any more than adding channels improves the content of cable TV. 57 quadrillion IP addresses and nothing on.”

    Quoted for Truth

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