Technology is Grand. Or is it?

A few days ago I was having a discussion with a fellow geek on IPv6. I asked “Why do we need so many IP addresses?” Wikipedia states: “The very large IPv6 address space supports a total of 2128 (about 3.4×1038) addresses—or approximately 5×1028 (roughly 295) addresses for each of the roughly 6.5 billion (6.5×109) people alive in 2006.”

He told me that “with so many addresses, each and every device that you own can be connected to the Internet!” At first I thought it sounded kind of cool. But, after a while I got to thinking “Is that really such a great idea? To have every device you own connected to the Internet?” I got to thinking about a lowly refrigerator, but now connected to the Internet. Imagine a hacker/script kiddie somewhere rooting your refrigerator, and then disabling it, thus spoiling your food. Also imagine having to install firmware to fix a bug that allowed it in the first place. This might sound like a crazy thing, but I helped set up a new 42″ television for someone and I spotted an option for “Firmware updates”, and my old DVD player actually had firmware updates out for it. I could updates for those types of products to be (somewhat) acceptable. But imagine A Russian script kiddie turning on your washing machine at 3:30 in the morning while you were trying to sleep. It’s a wild world out there, and it’s only going to get more wild.

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One Response to “Technology is Grand. Or is it?”

  1. Don_HH2K Says:

    If you ask me, once IPv6 gains hold in the consumer market, it’s going to be yet another way that manufacturers attempt to push stuff on us. Don’t want an Internet-connected light bulb that runs its own Web server so that you can remotely turn it on and off with your (insert popular Web-enabled device name here)? Too bad – the laws of supply and demand will make a plain old light bulb too prohibitively expensive to manufacture.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think IPv6 is an excellent system. It’ll virtually eliminate the need to keep everything behind a NAT, and might even minimize the need for dynamic IP addresses (wouldn’t it be great if we all had static IPs?). But I also think that it’s going to mean commodity items are going to get a lot more complex and expensive than they really need to be.

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