I just posted this note on my social networks. My intention was to raise awareness amongst my non-techie friends about the milestone that we're living today.
I'm amazed by how the big players have come together and agreed on a common date in order to activate a technology poised to become a key enabler of further technical marvels. So here it goes. I hope you enjoy it and share this post your non-techie friends too.
Today is June 6th 2012.
We are witnessing a MASSIVE day for humanity and technology. You may not realise the relevance of it, but today IPv6 is going live in The World. IPv6 stands for Internet Protocol Version 6.
A range of powerful, authoritative Internet companies are flicking the gigantic, virtual switch from IPv4 to IPv6 today.
For non-technical readers: Don't panic, YOU certainly won't even notice a thing. If YOU do, it means that WE - Computer Scientists - have done something awfully wrong ;)
IPv6 is a synonym for "a new, larger version of the Internet". IPv6 means being more connected that ever. Even more than we are today. Can you just imagine?
This launch will permeate every single device around you, be it your smartphone, your fridge, your TV, your watch. I'm not even considering laptops and desktops. Thanks to this step, they will ultimately be able to interact with anything else out there, as truly unique, independent and autonomous entities.
It means that each single gadget/device will suddenly become addressable and accessible. Indeed, a big limit to continue evolving technical marvels is literally vanishing today. The FUTURE begins today.
Having said this, believe or not, the real beauty of today lies in what happened in THE PAST. Between 1973 and 1983, the Internet was being architected. It originally sprung off an an "experiment", and no one ever imagined we'd get this far.
In that experiment, only 4.3 billion terminations were allowed in the Internet. That number was proven insufficient after a few years.
Transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6 allows for 360,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000 devices to connect to the Internet. Finally, a little more elbow room to grow.
That's why, on a day like today, Computer Scientists like me rejoice and revel in reflecting, in hindsight, about how far we've reached with our inventions and creativeness. We imagine the impossible, and then we go and build it.
So, what's the next step? It's just a matter of time... Just wait a minute until WE - Computer Scientists - get around to exceeding that limit again. It won't be long ;)
Here's a video from Vint Cerf, one of the Fathers of the Internet, explaining the entire story. Please take a minute to watch it, it's really worth it.
Thanks for supporting our mission to change the way you live, communicate, get entertained, relax, procrastinate, read the news, share your memories, get emotional, joke.
Yours faithfully, The Computer Scientists of The World.