back to article Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'

Autocue extraordinaire Stephen Fry has cheerily claimed new domain registrations "generate new IP numbers which so far show no sign of giving out". He blogged the explanation while celebrating being the first person in Blighty to sign up for a .uk domain. Dot-UK registry Nominet has not challenged Fry's latest boob, even though …

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In his defence, it could be argued that "giving out" !== "running out".

Although why he imagines a new URL automatically requires a new IP address in the first place is anybody's guess.

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Anonymous Coward

"...uptake is slow."

"IPv4 space is running out, and despite IPv6 having undecillions of addresses, uptake is slow."

I predict that IPv6 uptake will speed up once the IPv4 addresses are actually all run'ed out.

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Alert

It did, long ago...

Back in the days of HTTP1/.0 a new domain name did mean a new IP address on a server somewhere... It was only with HTTP/1.1 that single IP could serve many domains.

(Of course, the creating of that domain name did not magic that IP into existence!)

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Coat

Re: "...uptake is slow."

Even when I'm feeling flush, I don't want my loo to have its own IP address....

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps I missed something -- but could someone point out exactly where in Fry's post he says IP numbers aren't finite (or are infinite)?

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well...

'All these generate new IP numbers which so far show no sign of giving out, despite the billions in use.'

Aside from the very obvious fact that various new TLDs do not 'generate new IP numbers', the suggestion that they 'show no sign of giving out, despite the billions in use' does rather appear to be a reference to the exhaustion of IPv4 numbers which I am sure a man of Fry's limited technical understanding has undoubtedly picked up on yet completely misunderstood. His obvious ignorance in the first statement certainly lends weight to the interpretation the Reg gave to the second.

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Anonymous Coward

> but could someone point out exactly where in Fry's post he says IP numbers aren't finite (or are infinite)?

'All these generate new IP numbers which so far show no sign of giving out, despite the billions in use.'

The maximum length of the uk sub domain is 63 octets which, for convenience, I'll assume only consists of the characters a-z,0-9 and '-' and '_' making a total of 38 characters. This gives a possible 38^63 different domain names or about 3000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 different domains.

Since each of these "generate new IP numbers" this gives you at least this many IP numbers which is more than enough for every atom in the Universe to have its own IP address.

This is effectively infinite.

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Headmaster

>This is effectively infinite.

Even though you have effectively enumerated what appears to be a finite number...

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so every new domain/user generates another server farm, eh?

BZZZTTT.

a new domain name creates a new table in the core DNS servers.

a new domain entry for a new destination creates a redirection record.

the redirection record can be pointed to any IP address, V.4 or V.6, generally through a MX record. if it points to an existing web site, no IP address is created, the old one is used.

if it's a service on a hosting company, it may be a virtual server within the private network of the hosting company, and everybody in the world is using 10... private networks without bothering anybody else, because they never go to the net itself. the internal link is in the hosting company routers.

so, BZZZZT. your suitcase can fit in anybody's car without making a new car for it.

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Vic
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Re: so every new domain/user generates another server farm, eh?

a new domain name creates a new table in the core DNS servers.

Well, it doesn't. But never mind that.

a new domain entry for a new destination creates a redirection record.

What? Why would you use a "redirection record"? The closest to that in real parlance is a CNAME - and there's no need for that if you're creating a new domain...

if it points to an existing web site, no IP address is created, the old one is used.

So if you're vhosting, you don't need new IP addresses? Yeah, we knew that. But it's irrelevant; aside from the fact that it gets quite difficult to vhost if you're using SSL connections, it still doesn't get away from the fact that new IP addresses are required for other things than vhosting, and new domain names do *fuck* *all* about that.

if it's a service on a hosting company, it may be a virtual server within the private network of the hosting company, and everybody in the world is using 10... private networks without bothering anybody else, because they never go to the net itself. the internal link is in the hosting company routers.

So you're trying use use NAT in front of a web host? Yeah, that's pretty pointless. You still need a routable IP address to server the domain, with the above discussion about SSL still in effect. NATting doesn't save you a thing.

so, BZZZZT. your suitcase can fit in anybody's car without making a new car for it.

Well, if we were talking about suitcases or cars, you might have some sort of bizarre point. But as we're talking about IP addresses, you seem to have a few misunderstandings...

Vic.

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and commentards spout forth on any and all subjects...

Except that the registration of a new domain name does not create any new IP numbers. That was the point of the article. Mr. Fry made a completely stupid assertion.

There may be effectively infinite possibilities for additional domain names. But, again, that has nothing to do with the quantity of IP addresses in existence. IIRC, the last blocks of IPv4 addresses were handed out last year, there are no more. Internet Service Providers are implementing work-arounds to kick the can down the road a few years but the Internet really does need an overhaul to IPv6 and the sooner the better, my toaster and my blender need public IP addresses.

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Since each of these "generate new IP numbers"

NO!! They generate a name. No numbers in sight. And it is the (IPv4) addresses (which are a sub-set of the 32-bit integers) which are running out, not any names.

And, given that you can apply sub-domains to those names you could raise your 38^63 to any convenient small integer too. Just don't expect anyone to type it. And it still won't generate any more numbers - only names.

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Re: so every new domain/user generates another server farm, eh?

What? Why would you use a "redirection record"? The closest to that in real parlance is a CNAME

I suspect the reference is to an NS record. Which you will need for a new domain, and will be a sort-of redirect.

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Vic
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Re: so every new domain/user generates another server farm, eh?

I suspect the reference is to an NS record

I'm quite sure the reference is to either an A record (IPv4) or an AAAA record (IPv6).

Which you will need for a new domain, and will be a sort-of redirect.

Exactly so, except for the fact that it's nothing like a redirect.

Vic.

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Flame

FFS. I was showing how Fry effectively claimed there was infinite IPv4 not claiming it myself. That is why the "generate new IP numbers" is in quotes - it is his claim not mine.

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@Vic: Re: so every new domain/user generates another server farm, eh?

Haha, you beat me to it. Don't use just love it when a poster takes on an obnoxious and condescending tone when 'correcting' someone with a reply that is full of bollocks?

I'm disappointed you didn't comment on this gem though: " generally through a MX record"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: and commentards spout forth on any and all subjects...

"Mr. Fry made a completely stupid assertion".

To be strictly accurate (perhaps pedantic, perhaps not) it was an ignorant assertion. He made the rather silly mistake of pontificating about something he apparently does not understand. It's edifying to reflect that this sort of behaviour is perfectly normal in the worlds of business, politics, literature, and culture in general. Only in hard scientific and technical subjects is it self-defeating, because in these subjects everyone clearly understands what is true, what is not true, and the difference between them.

In economics, to choose a contrasting example, it is perfectly in order for a world-famous expert to say that inflation depends entirely on the money supply; also, for another expert to say that it does not. No one knows which of them (if either) is correct, and there seems to be no way of finding out.

Remember too that Stephen Fry got into Cambridge University on the strength of a single year's study - an utterly amazing feat - and then got a First in English despite spending most of his time on the stage and other activities. He frankly admits in his autobiography that he mastered the art of writing essays that would be given top marks, whereas others worked much harder and learned more but got worse degrees.

All of this tells us some unpalatable truths about our society and its values. On the whole, I feel we should be grateful to Mr Fry for inadvertently reminding us how foolish and ignorant a person can be, while still being generally regarded as a genius of sorts (with a technical bent).

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Uh, "_" (underscore) is NOT a valid character in a domain name.

I'm presuming the rest of the post is sarcasm.

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Re: so every new domain/user generates another server farm, eh?

"redirection record can be pointed to any IP address, V.4 or V.6, generally through a MX record"...

You really have NO idea how DNS works, do you? Go on, admit it, we will forgive you.

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@Condiment

I'm guessing that Poe's law was in full effect. Even though given the article's topic basically guaranteed that someone was going to make a satirical comment on the topic.

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Surely at some point in his life he's heard of "C" names ;-)

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TRT
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And it doesn't differentiate between...

IPv4 and IPv6.

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I'm very surprised there are no comments on his blog post yet. I felt sure there would be an attack of scathing sarcasm from the great unwashed Reg readership. You're slipping people!

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The Reg readership are generally less critical of Stephen Fry than the Reg Team... Shit, he's been in prison, became a self-made millionaire by his early twenties, has struggled with depression and writes with wit, perception and humanity. Along the way he's indulged his fascination with gadgets, and been a close friend of Douglas Adams.

If you think he's on TV too much, easy: don't watch TV... just remember him as Lord Melchie or General Melchett. Here he is being upstaged by Lord Flashheart, in memory of Rik Mayall:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKfbSHW9uGA

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Anonymous Coward

can't register there

There is a configuration error when trying to register to comment there. Going from 2 entirely different networks with different address ranges the error is ' ERROR: Sorry, your IP address (10.10.20.201) ..' indicating the web app is using the address of something in its own network. Ironical really, given that the blog is about there being no shortage of addresses.

Also the server for this new domain isn't accessible using IPV6, and if it was the assertion in the blog would be true in a sense.

$ dig AAAA stephenfry.uk

; <<>> DiG 9.8.1-P1 <<>> AAAA stephenfry.uk

;; global options: +cmd

;; Got answer:

;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 48154

;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

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Re: If you think he's on TV too much, easy: don't watch TV

Indeed and +1 for the Flashheart link.

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Gav
Boffin

He's an actor

The Reg Team, as IT Journos, have an issue with web-based muggles commenting on things that are in their domain. Fry gets it in the neck because he's generally seen as a very clever man with lots of followers happy to believe what he says. Even when he's wrong.

He is a very clever man, but he's not a IT specialists. It's to be expected he gets some things wrong. But I wouldn't be betting all upset about it. No-one is relying on him to configure their domain and no-one is relying on him to deliver IT consultancy.

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Re: He's an actor

He is a very clever man, but he's not a IT specialists.

Yes, if for no other reason than there's only one of him.

The problem is, the general populace know that he's a very clever man and know that he likes technology. This makes him, in their minds, an IT specialist. This makes us waste entire mornings explaining to some knob why the most recent bollocks to come out of his mouth w/r/t IT is, in fact, bollocks.

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Re: He's an actor

No one expects him to know everything but when you're a reasonably intelligent chap you realise it's best not to talk about things you don't have any idea about especially if your fans are going trust you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He's an actor

He is a very clever man, but he's not a IT specialists.

Even when tweeting about Rik Mayalls untimely passing he felt the need to tell us that he was crossing the Atlantic and using WiFi. Like anyone needed to know that fact... the man thinks he knows technology and is qualified to talk about it, but he doesn't

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He's not a IT specialists

He's not a IT specialists but he is very funny and to the vast majority of his IT illiterate friends / followers / +er's… IP4 matters nothing… and never will.

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Re: He's an actor

"the general populace know that he's a very clever man and know that he likes technology. This makes him, in their minds, an IT specialist. "

Not quite.

He is a very convincing communicator. He has the gift of the gab.

He thinks he has a good grasp of IT.

Thus people will listen to anything he says before they will listen to a real specialist that umms and errrs.

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@Dave 126 As an American, I am not familiar with a lot of Stephen Fry's roles, but to my mind he simply IS Professor Bellgrove (just as Christopher Lee IS Flay).

Proud, rabid Gormenghast fan since 1972

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Anonymous Coward

Signal/noise

Didn't read the post, but I think the ratio of pictures/text on that screenshot is significative -- doubly so when you consider what's being pictured. Why not just remove the text to have more space for his mug?

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Re: Signal/noise

The scale of photo to text is reasonable when viewed in it's original form. The Reg just snipped all of it together as an image which really scews it in their usage.

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I should buy...

....f.uk

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Re: I should buy...

Ah - takes me back to travelling the Cook Islands and seeing a local company's web address...must remember set up Web2.0/cloud company there.

[Company_Name].co.ck

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Re: I should buy...

nice to see http://www.trashbat.co.ck/ still going

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Re: I should buy...

Massive.co.ck is available.. js...

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I've got my .uk as well however no need for a new ip, just point the DNS to the same as my .co.uk

Don't get what the big deal is around this "news" story

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Anonymous Coward

No, you really don't, do you ....

you could try reading it again, that might help

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Man makes mistake

Nah, not a howler. Just a mistake arising from a slightly vague form of words.

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Man passing himself of as being knowledgeable in the field makes fundamental mistake

There, fixed that for you.

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Re: Man passing himself of as being knowledgeable in the field makes fundamental mistake

...passing himself OFF...

Fixed your fix for you.

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Re: Man makes mistake

If he wasn't cheerleading the latest bit of Nominet extortion, I wouldn't care. But he is.

Pointing out that he is, pretty much in the same breath, demonstrating he doesn't have a sodding idea what he is talking about and therefore shouldn't be listened to on this subject, is perfectly valid.

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Paris Hilton

We're all running out of IPv4 address space

And Stephen Fry is just sitting there pontificating.

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Re: We're all running out of IPv4 address space

If you want to move everyone to IPv6, just ban HTTP/1.1 requests. If we went back to one IP address can only host one website, people would risk getting killed in the stampede away from IPv4.

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Forgive him....

For verily it says in the Geeks bible

Forgive him lord Lord(insert Deity of choice here, Jobs, Wozniak, Torvold, or Gates ), he clearly dost not know what he spouts on about but those who hast not bullshitted at some point in the hope of being perceived a tad cleverer than they actually are may submit the 1st trolling comment

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Headmaster

Re: Forgive him....

In view of the import of your post, I feel entitled to point out that "dost" and "hast" are second person singular forms of their verbs, not just hilarious old fashioned versions of the third person plural.

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Well he is sort of right

IP adress show all the signs of being infinite actually. IPv4 addies are finite, IPv6 are too, but if we keep implementing new protocols as the old ones are used up, then "IP adresses" in general are infinite...

I know that's not what he meant, and what new TLDs have to do with the number of IP adresses is unclear to me, but still.

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