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 …

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  1. joeW

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Mpeler
        Coat

        Re: "...uptake is slow."

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

    2. Adrian Bool
      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!)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    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)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

      1. swschrad

        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.

        1. Vic

          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.

          1. Gordon 11

            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.

            1. Vic

              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.

          2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            @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"

        2. PGregg

          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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. oolor
        Headmaster

        >This is effectively infinite.

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

      2. td97402

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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).

      3. Gordon 11

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. Daniel B.

            @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.

      4. PGregg

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

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

  3. Bertie D'astard

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

  4. TRT Silver badge

    And it doesn't differentiate between...

    IPv4 and IPv6.

  5. Irongut

    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!

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      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

      1. AbelSoul

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

        Indeed and +1 for the Flashheart link.

      2. 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.

        1. Steve Knox

          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.

          1. Charles Manning

            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.

        2. toadwarrior

          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.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          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

      3. tomDREAD

        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.

      4. beep54

        @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

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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?

    1. Purple-Stater

      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.

  7. The BigYin

    I should buy...

    ....f.uk

    1. ACcc

      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

      1. graham_

        Re: I should buy...

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

      2. andyroob

        Re: I should buy...

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

  8. Jean-Paul

    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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      you could try reading it again, that might help

  9. Jim 59

    Man makes mistake

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

    1. heyrick Silver badge

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

      There, fixed that for you.

      1. Tromos

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

        ...passing himself OFF...

        Fixed your fix for you.

    2. mike2R

      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.

  10. Crisp Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    We're all running out of IPv4 address space

    And Stephen Fry is just sitting there pontificating.

    1. Ian 55

      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.

  11. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    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

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
      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.

  12. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well he is sort of right

      "IP adress show all the signs of being infinite actually"

      How do you insert 'infinite' into a DNS record. Would you not have run out of atoms in the known universe a long, long way before that point? As an IP Address is always a collection of digits or characters then they will always have to fall into a finite space.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Well he is sort of right

        Right. I'm buying infinite.uk today.

      2. NumptyScrub

        Re: Well he is sort of right

        To pull a Fry and talk authoritatively about something I don't actually understand properly, an infinite IP address range would have cardinality Aleph naught, because it would be directly translatable to the set of positive integers. Effectively what Pierre was arguing is that as we reach whatever finite limit we currently have defined, we'll just extend the limit closer towards Aleph-naught.

        We've gone from 32-bit to 128-bit addressing this time, suggesting the next shift could be to 512-bit addressing, then 2048 and so on. Until we have extraterrestrial colonies though, I'd suggest one address available per atom in the planet is more than enough; apparently there are 1.33e50 of them, give or take, which is a bit less than 2179 or a 180-bit address space.

        IPv6 should be ok for a little while yet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 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..."

      So if we redefine what the term "IP address" means, then they become infinite. Brilliant. Thanks for playing.

      Similarly, if we change what "The Duke of Kent" means, then he's also infinite, or if we change "World War Two timeframe" to not mean 1939-1945, but instead to cover an infinite period of time, that's also infinite.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: Well he is sort of right

        There is no intrinsic limitation in the number of "Internet Protocol address" that we can create. Each subset (protocol) that we implement has finite limits, but creating new protocols (and therefore exponentially more adresses) is "just" a matter of adding numbers*. It is very difficult to run out of numbers. I suggest you start counting up and stop when you have run out of numbers to add. Should take you quite a while.

        *or letters or whatev' we use to make it more practical.

  13. Fred Dibnah

    Well...

    .. I think I'll let him off with a bit of artistic licence, because someone from an engineering company wrote this:

    " Q. How many addresses will IPv6 accommodate? How does that compare to IPv4?

    " A. IPv6 supports addresses that have four times the number of bits as those of IPv4 addresses (128 instead of 32). IPv6 is expected to accommodate, theoretically, an almost infinite number of IP addresses..."

    Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

    BTW the company is Cisco:

    http://tinyurl.com/nll67w4

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

      Is a number that is almost 100 100? Is 98 100?

      And Mr. Dibnah wouldn't approve of that attitude when it came to engineering. Is this strong enough to support 100 tons? Yes, it's strong enough to support 98 tons....

      Finding another idiot on the internet doesn't make Stephen Fry correct, it's not the facts with the most votes that are right.

      And relax......

      1. NogginTheNog
        Thumb Up

        Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

        Upvote just for mentioning the Bolton Legend!

        1. Bob Wheeler
          FAIL

          Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

          When ever the word 'almost' is used, it mean "not quiet" or "less than"

          e.g

          Q: Are we there yet?

          A: Almost there: in other words, not quiet there yet.

          Q: Is 0.999 recuring equal to 1.0

          A: It almost qual to 1.0: in other words it is less than.

          1. Stephen W Harris

            Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

            0.999 recurring is exactly equal to 1.

            Real numbers are different if there's another number that can be placed between them (a !=c if there exists b such that a<b<c. I typical example would be "(a+c)/2"). In the case of 0.999(rec) there is no value "b" which can be placed between it and 1; therefore 0.999(rec) == 1. It's not "almost 1", it's "exactly 1".

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

              Infinitely (in language terms) can be used to describe a very large thing quite happily. Just don't try and use it in mathematics as such.

              And don't even get me started on infinitesimal.

              1. Benchops

                > And don't even get me started on infinitesimal.

                I want to get you started on infinitesimal.

                But not very much.

            2. Slugworth

              Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

              "In the case of 0.999(rec) there is no value "b" which can be placed between it and 1"

              (1 - 0.999...) / 2 will fit nicely.

              1. Vic

                Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

                > (1 - 0.999...) / 2 will fit nicely.

                It won't...

                Vic.

              2. Annihilator

                Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

                "(1 - 0.999...) / 2 will fit nicely."

                Which would equal 0.

                @Numptyscrub, thanks, didn't know there was a wiki on this subject, but it has my favourite demonstration. Namely that 0.999999r = 9 * 0.11111111r. 0.11111r is 1/9, so 0.999999r = 9 * 1/9 = 1.

                Or, if you subtract it from 1, you get 0.0000000000r and never reach the '1' at the end.

              3. Benchops

                Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

                Decimal expansion is just one way of representing numbers. We're familiar with others, e.g. fractions, but there are deficiencies, e.g. can't represent sqrt(2). Also we would quite happily realise that 1/2 and 2/4 actually represent the same number. It's not just that they're equal -- they're just different representations of the /same/ number.

                Well decimal expansion is just another way of representing numbers. It has its own deficiencies, e.g. you can't concisely represent 1/3 (without a recurring symbol), or sqrt(2). It also has multiple ways of representing the SAME number, e.g. 1.0 and 0.999... It's not that they're equal numbers, they're the same number written down different ways.

          2. My Coat

            Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

            0.999 recurring is equal to 1.0, not almost equal. Here's a test: 1-0.999… equals zero.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

            That's just nonsense Bob. For example;

            "Did you guess the right number?

            Almost. I guessed eleven, but the answer was ten"

            And the inappropriate phrase you're looking for is "not quite", not "not quiet", which actually means "noisy"

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

              " "not quiet", which actually means "noisy""

              I would have thought it was more 'loud'. Something can be loud and not noisy if it is noise that you like, but something can be quiet and noisy if you don't.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?

                > I would have thought it was more 'loud'. Something can be loud and not noisy if it is noise that you like, but something can be quiet and noisy if you don't.

                Erm ... yes, but Steven Fry owns a huge number of ties that are loud without being noisy.

    2. TkH11

      Re: Well...

      Uh no, a number which is almost infinite is finite. If a number is infinite then you can never run out and you have nothing to worry about, a number which is almost infinite is finite and you can run out.

      In the first scenario you have nothing to worry about, in the second you may.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well...

        A number which is almost infinite, is not. It is billions of times less than infinite, or is that trillions less, in fact isn't it infinitely less than infinite?

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Well... FWIW

          One for the mathematicians, but surely if it's infinitely less than infinite it's also infinitely close to infinite.

          And since there are infinite numbers of infinites, almost infinite could be infinite

          After all the numbers in the infinite set of odd numbers are all just one + or - the numbers in the equally infinite set of even numbers.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Stephen W Harris

        Re: Well...

        There's actually no such thing as "nearly infinite".

        For a number to be "nearly infinite" it must be a finite distance ("delta" away, and so has a value of "inf-delta"... which is, itself, "inf". So any "nearly infinite" number is, itself, infinite... contradiction.

        Alternatively, all finite numbers must be infinitely far away from infinity and so are clearly not "nearly infinite".

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Well...

          Or to put it another way....

          'Since any finite number divided by infinity is as close to zero as makes no odds it can easily be proved that the total population of the universe is zero and that any of the people you think you see walking around can be put down to an overactive imagination or having had one too many Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters with Zaphod Beeblebrox'

      4. Purple-Stater

        Re: Well...

        So, it's not quite infinite you say? How much less than infinite is it? Perhaps 1,000 less?

        So: Infinite - 1,000 = <insert dramatic pause> Infinite

        Hmmm, looks like infinite.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Well...

      I think that Cisco can be forgiven, because that number, whilst not infinite, is practically infinite. The difference being that whilst the number of addresses might have a limit, it's probably bigger than the number of things you could practically do with those numbers.

      A quick back-of-fag-packet calculation shows that it is sufficiently large to assign over 100 million unique addresses to every atom in the solar system, which, until we have mastered superluminal travel and for some inexplicable reason decode we need to individually address every particle in the galaxy should do us fine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well...

        Fuck sake people, infinite does not mean "a really really big number", and isn't something a number can "almost" be, or "nearly" be. A number is either finite or isn't.

        IPv6 addresses are not "practically" infinite, because that's meaningless, as in, the term makes no sense.

        You can't just put an adverb in front of "infinite" in a sentence and think that means something.

        All it means is you don't actually understand what "infinite" means.

        1. NumptyScrub

          Re: Well...

          quote: "Fuck sake people, infinite does not mean "a really really big number", and isn't something a number can "almost" be, or "nearly" be. A number is either finite or isn't."

          Actually, set theory gets really complicated and introduces various different sizes of "infinite", including the concept of a set being countably infinite vs "uncountably" infinite.

          Since IP addresses are integers, the set of all IP addresses would have cardinality Aleph-naught, and an upper bound of Aleph-naught (aka omega, the least infinite ordinal). Feel free to read the wiki pages, because I'm doing a Fry and presenting information as fact whilst simultaneously not understanding it properly myself. Maths is hard.

          quote: "Q: Is 0.999 recurring equal to 1.0"

          A: Yes. Yes it is

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Well...

            I think that once you get to numbers beyond the scale of anything you can actually measure with them (such as numbers smaller than the Planck length, or larger than the scale, or number of things in, the universe), it doesn't matter whether that number is infinite (or infinitely small), or not. Unless you are a pure mathematician.

            For the needs of humanity, IPv6 addresses fall firmly into "who cares whether it's infinite or not, we'll never run out" territory. They are numbers which are intended to be assigned to a physical, addressable, entity, the countable number of which could never conceivably reach the limits of that address space. From a theoretical point of view, that number is not infinite, but for the other 99.9999% of humanity who do not care to draw a distinction between uncountably large and infinite in scale, it doesn't matter one jot.

            1. NumptyScrub

              Re: Well...

              quote: "For the needs of humanity, IPv6 addresses fall firmly into "who cares whether it's infinite or not, we'll never run out" territory. They are numbers which are intended to be assigned to a physical, addressable, entity, the countable number of which could never conceivably reach the limits of that address space."

              IPv6 convention splits the 128-bit address space into a 64-bit network address (class X subnet metaphor) and 64-bit device address (which can completely encapsulate any existing IPv4 address in the first 32-bits, should translation be required). What this actually means is that we'll actually be assigning a 64-bit range publically (minus the conventional loopback / broadcast / multicast ranges of course) and let routing kit deal with the internal 64-bits.

              So the whole thing has 2127 unique values, but potentially only 263 "assignable" (as in by IANA) values, and a whole slew of dead space, since my home router is not going to need to address 263 devices on my internal network but will get assigned a network ID, and all the unused ones are just as "wasted" as the unused IPv4 addresses in one of the existing assigned class As.

              I completely agree that 128-bits (even split 64/64) is more than enough for a planet, but I'd also suggest tacking more bits on once you have to deal with multiple celestial bodies containing addressable objects, maybe an extra 64-bits defined as the "planetary" identifier, and then 64-bits for the "galactic" granularity level, giving 263 objects per subnet grouping, or 9.2e18 devices per 9.2e18 networks per 9.2e18 planets per 9.2e18 galaxies. 256-bit network addressing should in theory let us deploy to a significant portion of the known universe using a homogeneous routing backbone, and still have unique identifiers per device even with the whole thing running DHCP.

              quote: "There's actually no such thing as "nearly infinite".

              For a number to be "nearly infinite" it must be a finite distance ("delta" away, and so has a value of "inf-delta"... which is, itself, "inf". So any "nearly infinite" number is, itself, infinite... contradiction."

              Have a read of the thoroughly confusing wiki page on ordinal numbers to see why set theory defines ω (equal to the cardinal value 0א) is called the "least infinite ordinal" and thus why ω+1 (infinity plus 1) is considered a perfectly valid term. There is other stuff regarding the infinite different sizes an infinite set can be and all sorts of other horrible maths in there.

              The good news is I found out where omega and aleph were hiding in Character Map ^^;

              Edit: the bad news is you can't put a zero as a subscript on the correct side of an aleph. Oh well :(

          2. harmjschoonhoven
            Boffin

            Re: Q: Is 0.999 recurring equal to 1.0

            That is where L. E. J. Brouwer's mathematical philosophy of intuitionism kicks in. It simple forbids "Gedankenexperimente' as "0.999 recurring".

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Well...

          Let me run a quick math... Infinity - 1 = Almost Infinity. ??? or maybe it equals "damn near infinity".

    4. Annihilator
      Boffin

      Re: Well...

      "Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?"

      Depends. Some numbers are infinite, yet finite. Such as 0.99999 recurring, which is actually equal to 1.

      Similarly, infinite sets can be of different size (compare integers with real numbers - both infinite)

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Well...

        I think the poster really meant practicably infinite, rather than practically infinite. It's the difference between an all-you-can-eat buffet and an infinite buffet.

      2. Stephen W Harris

        Re: Well...

        You're confusing an expansion of a finite number with the value of the number. "PI" and "sqrt(2)" are both finite numbers (we can bound them; eg 3<PI<4) but any expansion of that number would take infinite space.

        The "decimal expansion of 1/3" is infinite (0.333 recurring) but no one would claim 1/3 was infinite :-)

    5. Rogue Jedi

      Re: Well...

      Assuming I have not miscalculated there are 28,147,976,710,656 possible IPv6 addresses, properly written out that is:

      Twenty eight trillion, one hundred and forty six billion, nine hundred and twenty six million, seven hundred and ten thousand and fifty six possible IPv6 addresses,

      this is far from infinite at about forty thousand addresses per person on the planet

      1. Badvok

        Re: Well...

        "Assuming I have not miscalculated ..."

        You have.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Well...

        Assuming I have not miscalculated there are 28,147,976,710,656 possible IPv6 addresses

        The actual number is (approximately) 3.4 x 1038, which written out is:

        340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

        I don't believe you could write it out in words (at least not ones people would recognise).

      3. JDM

        Re: Well...

        I think its a little closer to 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (340 undecillion)

      4. JDM

        Re: Well...

        I think its a little closer to 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

    6. Purple-Stater

      Re: Well...

      "Isn't a number that is almost infinite, er, infinite?"

      This is exactly correct, for all useful purposes.

      For the pedantic, yes, almost-infinite is not infinite but, again, for useful purposes, when the numbers you have available are more than you will conceivably use... that's as good as.

      Now, one must continue being pedantic, else we'd not be able to ridicule Mr. Fry, who's simply speaking to the tech-commoners. It's rather like listening to people who love heavy metal music talk about why Justin Bieber is so bad.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am sick to death of the bashing Fry gets on the register. Well done, hes not an expert in IT, but guess what, he has never claimed to be (quite the opposite in fact). Fry has a fascination with technology and likes to use it but admits he himself has no clue how most of it works. It is the press that has painted him as some sort of ambassador for technology and all this article is is an attack against a misconception perpetrated by the gutter press and poorly researched content lacking articles on "technology news sites".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Are you new around here?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The point is people treat him as if he is.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well that's hardly his fault,

        ...so why slam him?

        Is it actually all about trying to inform a nation who loves to think as Mr Fry as a full-on techy, and isn't aimed at him directly? 'cos it seemed pretty well targeted at him to me.

        No of course Mr Fry is a pseudo-techy, probably knows enough about tech to get by, and even to apparently fix the PCs of his luvvie celeb mates, has no real tech depth, but rather ironically I'd actually say the same about The Register journos slamming him, so, possibly some pot...kettle...black syndrome kicking in a bit, I dunno.

    3. tin 2
      FAIL

      Nah. I agree with the first part: the bashing is unpleasant, and he is not an expert in IT, but the problem here is by the very existence of the article (and the previous faux pas on QI) that he is holding himself out to be one. No need at all to mention IPs and running out or otherwise of them, unless one is trying to be a clever-clogs.

      1. g e

        Except that

        QI portrays him as a font of all wisdom, a veritable tree of knowledge and people believe it.

        Which means he needs to be corrected - especially as his track record seems to be not to give a toss and fact-check after whatever his previous drubbing was. And the one before that. And before that. And so forth.

        A sign of intelligence is supposed to be learning from your mistakes. Nothing against the guy at all, he's a very entertaining fellow and quick-witted but desperately needs to know when he's frothing in a field about which he knows cock-all.

    4. TkH11

      I partially agree with you. Fry is a very clever guy but not in the area of technology (heck, we can't all be engineers and understand how the tech works). I have watched him on tv be supportive of technology, he clearly finds it fascinating, and I think this is good, the fact is, most celebs don't give a hoot about tech and have no understanding of it.

      Last night, I watched Michael Mosely in an episode of "The Story of Science" cover a little on Quantum Theory, valves, transistors and the integrated circuit culminating with his saying that he considers the transister to be in the top 10 of all inventions ever created by mankind.

      He left the audience with no doubt as to the importance of Quantum Theory and how transistors could not have been developed without an understanding of it.

      This is the kind of publicity that the tech industries need. We need far more than that.

      The UK general public is in my opinion, technologically illiterate, sure they know how to use tech, but they know nothing of how it works, and anyone that works in the industry is a geek.

      in countries such as India, the USA, anyone in the tech industry has a far higher level of respect shown to them by the public. That's where we in the UK need to be.

    5. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Fry has a fascination with technology and likes to use it but admits he himself has no clue how most of it works. It is the press that has painted him as some sort of ambassador for technology

      Sure, no problem. It's the shameless cashing in on said reputation, which he does not go any way to ever dispelling. When he gets called up by the Beeb, "Stephen old chap, come on This Morning, show us the new iphone, plug your book" he doesn't say "Ah well actually probably a tech journalist would be better than me, but I'll come on and talk about the book?"

      Scratch all that, I've just realised that each appearance by S.Fry as a tech evangelist means one less time I have to see Rory Cellan-Jones, who knows roughly the same about tech as Fry but can play the bullshit trombone a little better.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Ah well actually probably a tech journalist would be better than me"

        Really, did you not see the tech journalist from this very site perform recently on Newsnight? It was a pretty embarrasing showing which did nothing to make you think Tech Journalists are going to look good on TV, know what they are talking about, provide a robust argument or add a worthwhile viewpoint to the conversation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Facepalm

          That tech journalist was very open about his experience and was very humble in the account of the event.

          Now, if the journalist was portraying himself as a genius TV pundit in the same way as Mr. Fry portrays himself as a tech genius, things would be different, but he didn't and they're not.

    6. Jim 59

      Fry Roasting

      Agree with AC re Fry bashing. Sure his original Satnav trope was a top funny, deservedly lampooned in these pages for being so ludicrous. But now it feels like somebody at Reg Towers is monitoring Fry's every move, waiting for a slight mistake or vague comment then reporting it with a lot of forced laughter.

      I checked out his website and he does not claim to be anything more than a keen amateur in the tech world, except doing a few gadget reviews. If you don't like the man, the image, the "brand", better to just say so straight out.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Fry Roasting

        > QI portrays him as a font of all wisdom, a veritable tree of knowledge and people believe it.

        It's a silly TV show, FFS... it portrays Alan Davies as an idiot, which he isn't. The presenters of most quiz shows, from University Challenge to Have I go News For You are portrayed as being more knowledgeable than the contestants - that's just how quiz shows work.

        The average viewer knows that the presenter has an autocue or a cue cards.

    7. Tyla

      If he doesn't want to be seen as an expert he shouldn't try to sound like one.

      He is surrounded by people that have no knowledge of a subject about which he has (dangerously) a little knowledge, so he can go around pretending he's the expert simply because compared to the majority he is.

      There are only a few that have actual knowledge that call him on it.

      And this is fun!

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        For every time he does something like getting confused between domain names and IP addresses and annoys the aspe in me, he also goes and does something else far more important like this (oddly not covered by El Reg) so I end up forgiving him. That probably makes him a national treasure.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          @ Dan 55

          Agreed. And let's not forget Stephen Fry offered to pay the fine and subsequent legal fees of Paul Chambers, the man convicted of sending a "public electronic message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character contrary to the Communications Act 2003" - Mr Chambers had made a joke on Twitter about blowing up Robin Hood Airport. His conviction was later quashed.

    8. Don Dumb
      Stop

      @AC - I am sick to death of the bashing Fry gets on the register.

      Agreed. This is utterly pathetic behaviour from El Reg and clearly so much so that Andrew Orlowski is too ashamed to even put his name to the article.

      If this were Linus Torvalds or a CIO then maybe this would be a worthwhile article. But pouring over Stephen Fry's every word so that you can pick up on any mistake is just deplorable.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, are people with https going to fork out a lot more money (often to Nominet members, oh what a surprise) for SubjectAlternativeName certificates so they will match the .uk as well as the .co.uk, or use a second IP address and certificate (what runout?!), or are they going to train more people to ignore the certificate warnings?

    1. DaLo

      Sites rarely have a certificate for all their various domains. They'll just redirect to their default or create a specific secure.xxxxx.co.uk domain to use for secure interactions.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Or a wildcard cert, one IP per domain wildcard.

        I've never tried asking for subjectAltName with multiple wildcard domains, wonder if that would work, one public IP per server farm.

  16. NomNomNom

    Instead of blindly jumping on the bash Stephen Fry bandwagon I would caution other commenters to sit back and reflect first.

    I would hazard a guess that Stephen Fry is correct on this matter. I think that's a wise assumption to begin with at least. Afterall he hosts that TV show on BBC(?), can't remember what it is called but the whole premise of the program is intelligent people telling the audience about intelligent stuff. Steven Fry isn't just a guest, he hosts it.

    Now as to the question of IP address exhaustion, or depletion if you will, do we really understand matters as much as we think we do? It may be that us "IT folk" are too close to the question and are missing the forest for the trees in which case a fresh perspective from a polymath like Stephen Fry could do us some good. So let us put our thinking caps on. It occurs to me that IP address have not run out yet, just like oil hasn't either, so who is to say for sure that either will? And if indeed they ultimately don't then it would seem Stephen Fry is absolutely right as I expected.

    That's not to say you can't have the opinion that Stephen Fry is wrong, and perhaps he can be, but if you want to be on the right side of history I would recommend a wise dose of caution in this regard. Remember how they persecuted Alan Turing. Thanks.

    1. g e

      That was ironic. Right?

      See title

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: That was ironic. Right?

        You have to ask?

        To each and every downvoter of that post: U R Teh Lamerz.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: That was ironic. Right?

          I thought the whole purpose of that programme was for a bunch of smugmonauts to belittle and laugh at Alan Davies, possibly the only person on UK television able to take it in the good humour it's intended to be.

          1. NomNomNom

            Re: That was ironic. Right?

            smugmonauts lol

            even the theme tune is smug

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That was ironic. Right?

            Did you see the pilot for QI? In the pilot, Alan walked into no traps, gave a series of moderately interesting answers, the show was as dull as ditchwater and the program almost never went into production.

            Cue change to format - Alan thereafter portrays cheeky chappy giving incorrect and/or commonsense answer.

            In other words, if the other contestants are smugmonauts, Alan is the paid permanent guest stooge - and plays the part very well.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: That was ironic. Right?

        Lol, NomNomNom, is the regular El Reg commentard teaser (I don't use the word 'troll' as Nomey is cleverer and more amusing, not simply being provocative)

    2. dan1980

      @NomNomNom

      I hold Stephen Fry in a certain respect; There is a long version but the shorter one is that his frank and open discussions of his own mental health issues are to be lauded and are every bit as important in that sphere as Angelina Jolie's mastectomy was for breast cancer.

      So, there is a temptation for me to approve of your defence of his statements.

      You are, however, raving mad if even a single syllable of your post was written without your tongue firmy in your cheek. Reading back your previous posts, I hope that is the case. (Cheek, tongue, etc...)

    3. TkH11

      wtf? We are using a finite based numbering scheme which potentially could run out. The question is will we run out? IPV6 has only just been introduced so based on current uptake of IP addresses we probably won't run out for many, many years. But there there are plans afoot to hook more and more devices to the internet, consumer devices, not just computing based devices such as laptops, mobile phones.

      As for being too close to the question, I would suggest that it is precisely because we are close to it, that we understand it, that we understand the industry, that we can see trends, make predictions with some degree of accuracy and make a more accurate prediction than someone that is not an expert in technology. Forest and trees is not an idiom that is relevant in this case.

      I doubt Stephen Fry knows enough about IPV4, IPV6 number spaces to be able to make an informed comment on whether we will run out, his remarks are probably not based on that level of detail, but based on general common knowledge that IP numbers are running out and we have to do something about it (that something is the instantiation of the IPV6 scheme).

      Given that IPV6 hasn't been in use for that long, anyone can make a prediction now, the reality is, we won't know for many years whether that prediction is accurate or not. That is, anyone's prediction now is likely to be as accurate as anyone elses. What is the value of even making a prediction under these circumstances? It's akin to making a weather forecast for the United Kingdom for the 10th June 2015, it has little value and is most likely to be wrong.

      As T0 approaches the certainty increases, there comes a point where you are so far from T0, it's pointless making the prediction.

      If Stephen Fry in years to come, turns out to be correct, I would suggest it's not because of a well thoughtout, intelligent analysis of the data at the time he made the prediction, but down to sheer luck.

  17. Caaaptaaaain kick arse

    IPV6 no?

    Not infinite but enough for everyone and their network enabled fridges, washing machines..... shoes (one ip for each foot?)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IPV6 no?

      Once IPv4 is used up people will be forced to got to v6 which means IP as a whole has effectively infinite address space.

      The more we use, the more we'll get... TA-DA!

      In his ignorance, he may have stumbled on the truth.

      It probably is time to give him a break on facts, since that should be all scripted and not what he makes up himself.

      I'll give him a pass on the grounds that QI is on the ABC and its a relief to listen to with hardly a "g'day" in earshot.

  18. dan1980

    Why is this article attributed to 'Team Register' rather than Andrew?

    1. FIA

      Restraining order maybe?

  19. WibbleMe

    We already have plenty of "New" IP address they are called IP6

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6

  20. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    The day of .uk is upon us.

    I'm sure he actually meant - The day of .uk is upon .us

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: The day of .uk is upon us.

      I'll bet French Connection pushed hard for that one.

  21. Necronomnomnomicon

    Orlowski afraid to put this under his own name now?

    I'd be embarrassed about the amount of time I spent reading through Fry's every published word checking for errors to froth over too.

    1. dan1980

      Re: Orlowski afraid to put this under his own name now?

      Snap!

  22. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Indeed

    Slow uptake does seem to be a problem.

  23. vagabondo
    Headmaster

    Fry is a Comedian

    That's his job. Pontificating ad absurdum in order to create a snigger is what he does. We should expect no more and no less.

  24. d3rrial

    Internet

    Poe's law...

    Maybe this was just his way of criticizing the extremely slow transition from IPv4 to IPv6

  25. jason 7
    Trollface

    Bless him!

    He's only a Mac user after all. You don't expect him to know much about tech.

    Dives for cover.

  26. P_0

    Do you guys have some vendetta against Fry?

  27. Spotthelemon

    He's a TV celebrity making a comment on a personal blog, if you want technical advice then go to a technically qualified person. If we start crucifying people for inaccuracies on Blogs or social media then we're going to rapidly have a serious worldwide shortage of crosses & nails

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      "..then we're going to rapidly have a serious worldwide shortage of crosses & nails"

      Nah we just switch to crosses and nailsV6

    2. ukgnome Silver badge

      I actually blogged a similar thing a couple of years ago, I like that Mt Fry likes tech, I like cricket and have very strong opinions on it. I will comment on cricket too, and sometimes I will even blog about it. This however doesn't make me a cricketer, and any cricketers out there could quite easily take some sort of trentsbridge with what I say.

      Give the guy a break.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pointless

    So all .uk addresses are reserved for claiming by the .co.uk owner for 5 years. I can understand why, but it makes all the pomp surrounding the launch of .uk a little over the top.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Gimp

    The patron saint of knowledge and wisdom speaketh and YOU DARE QUESTION HIM!?

  30. Jim 59

    for the lolz

    From SF blog:

    People often come up to me in the street and say, “Stephen, why don’t you pop some clothes on, there’s a good fellow.”

    That's not bad.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Isn't it time The Register had a Redux (apparently, that's what people are doing these days)?

  32. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    The man is a genius!

    But: Is what he says any more stupid than giving out .co and .com registrations to individuals in the first place? There's supposed to be *information* in the domain naming scheme, but it was downgraded to bling in the mid-90s by marketing wuckfits.

    Thought (OW!) : Does this mean as an American resident I must type in StephenFry.uk.uk? If so, I need to register Yuk(.uk(.uk)) for my Popeye tribute site as a priority.

  33. Benchops

    What's the uptake

    in Scotland like at the moment?

    1. Breen Whitman

      Re: What's the uptake

      Not good I am afraid. I just checked and the IP address for the only registered domain name in Scotland, breezyTackleUpMeKilt.sc, and that has run out so you won't be able to register. breezyTackleUpMeKilt.scot.

  34. Stoneshop Silver badge
    WTF?

    Whatthefc.uk

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

  35. Breen Whitman

    Definition: knickers in a twist.

    I looked up "knickers in a twist." in the Oxford dictionary and it said this:

    "knickers in a twist - When writers of The Register see a new phenomenon, a member of mainstream media delve into technology, rather than the previous trend of ignoring anything technical, and said media personality is not 100% technically correct this causes the Register writers underpants to begin to twist sometimes clamping the testicles and causes wearer to hunch over while crying and spluttering unintelligibly."

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Domain names generate new IP addresses do they?

    Like Magic.

    Tee Hee.

  37. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Boffin

    So my computer generates new IP numbers when I register a new domain?

    Awesome! That fits right in with my new lamps. They create electro-gravy when I turn on the lights!

  38. Sampler

    he didn't like typing the .co in .co.uk

    but in the example it shows he has a .com, so he doesn't have type any of it, shift enter and he's done?

  39. smartypants

    Steven Fry is an entertainer

    ...and I don't mean to belittle him by such a description.

    He also seems fascinated by facts about things - something surely we can all appreciate, and I daresay that he's inspired millions to look a bit deeper into things through his popular tv output.

    I sometimes wonder if he gets these article ideas thrust upon him as he's found a rich vein of work being TV's (unfortunately possibly true) 'thick person's clever person', and QI's format (which seems constructed around the premise that the guests are to be embarrassed by their ignorance while the quizmaster lets rip with the secrets of the world) does him no favours in this regard, but despite that, he's a good guy isn't he?

    I happen to know all about IP addresses and domain names, being a smartypants, so it's a bit disappointing reading something that isn't quite true, but hey, it's just a blessed relief that it isn't just another load of complete and utter bollocks about BGT or a stream of idiotic reasons why we ought to sanction the dropping a load of bombs on some peasants' heads in some armpit of the world.

    I suspect that it's more his difficulty with dealing with the moments when he gets something wrong or is upstaged with someone which irritates people, but surely that's down to his well known self-image issues, and it feels bad to derive pleasure from seeing him make errors or feel uncomfortable about them.

    In short, think only of the people who read what he wrote, looked it up as a result of being interested, found out the truth was a bit different but decided nonetheless to be a network engineer :-)

  40. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Joke

    Crimble present

    Someone get him "TCP/IP for dummies" ;-)

  41. Dan 55 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Is this still a top story?

    Or maybe I should say, is this still in the top story box?

    Never mind the quality, feel the click throughs.

  42. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    My guess is..

    ... he thinks it's akin to creating a new telephone exchange (although even that just causes an allocation of an exchange code, and the freeing up of numbers beneath it, rather than 'creating' new numbers....)

  43. OliverJ
    Thumb Down

    Your vendetta...

    ... against Stephen Fry is becoming a bore, justified as it may have been in the beginning. Leave the man in peace, he's an intellectual after all, not a technologist.

  44. dontforgetyourtowel

    Lets pack him off into Ark B

    Into the A ship would go all the leaders, scientists and other high achievers. The C ship would contain all the people who made things and did things, and the B ark would hold everyone else, such as hairdressers and telephone sanitizers. They sent the B ship off first, but of course the other two-thirds of the population stayed on the planet and lived full, rich and happy lives until they were all wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone.

  45. John 203
    Thumb Down

    Why?

    Seems a bit petty to me to be honest.

  46. Mark 78

    When do they become available?

    When do the .uk domains become available for people with the .org.uk currently? It looks like you can only get .uk if you currently have the .co.uk domain, but the one I want hasn't been reserved yet (as far as I can tell) by the person who owns the .co.uk and I'd like to grab it to use alongside my .org.uk

    As I can find an answer on a couple of domain reg sites, I wondered if you wonderful people would know (sucking up usually works!)

    1. Vic

      Re: When do they become available?

      I'd like to grab it to use alongside my .org.uk

      I have a .org.uk domain, and I'd quite like the .uk to go with it.

      Sadly, the .co.uk is owned by a domain squatter. And he gets the rights to the .uk domain :-(

      Vic.

    2. Tom Wood

      Re: When do they become available?

      See http://www.dotuklaunch.uk/

      Basically, you have to wait 5 years for the owner of the .co.uk to decide they don't want the corresponding .uk. Unless you can persuade them to register it and sell it to you (good luck with that).

  47. Mage Silver badge

    Ansible etc

    IPv6

    two problems:

    1) It's badly designed, that's why a slow uptake.

    2) When we figure how to make Ansibles the IPV6 space isn't big enough.

    3) It's nothing like near infinite if it does become as ubiquitous as Bluetooth or 3.5mm jackplugs. What if Apple gives 2 x IPV6 to every Beats headphone? (One for each ear).

    P.S.

    Is Stephen Fry "clever" at all? Or just a pleasant Actor. Hint, he is only Acting the part of Jeeves.

    1. dajames Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Ansible etc

      When we figure how to make Ansibles the IPV6 space isn't big enough.

      It's enough to give a /64 to every inhabitant of around 2,500 million planets with a population of similar size to our own ... if there turn out to be many more planets than that within range of an Ansible we may have to limit them to, say, a /32 each.

      Probably enough to be going on with (he said, complacently).

    2. Vic

      Re: Ansible etc

      You started well enough, but :-

      It's nothing like near infinite if it does become as ubiquitous as Bluetooth or 3.5mm jackplugs. What if Apple gives 2 x IPV6 to every Beats headphone? (One for each ear).

      Take a look at *how* many addresses IPv6 gives you. Even with the minimum allocation unit of /64, you've got 2^64 addresses *minimum*. That's nearly 2x10^19 addresses - and we could easily have a MAU each, as there are nearly 2x10^19 of them available (so there are more than 10^9 such allocations available for every human who could possibly live on this planet).

      IPv6 gives you a *ridiculously* huge[1] address space. Exhaustion will not happen.

      Vic.

      [1] I suspect this is connected to the slow uptake thereof...

    3. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Ansible etc

      Actually, we already have the Ansible (as in Dirac communicator) in one way: It's called the broadcast address.

  48. JeffUK

    "Stephen Fry is an English comedian, actor, writer, presenter, and activist" ... Why exactly should we care that he made a mistake about network protocols?

  49. gc1

    I think Stephen Fry missed a trick going for .uk, surely stephenfry.vip would have been more appropriate. Other alternatives could be:

    stephenfry.actor

    stephenfry.chat

    stephenfry.wow

    stephenfry.wtf

  50. Mig 31

    The uptake is slow, because as usual the UK is behind the 8-ball and too sodding slow to adapt and adopt new technologies.

    Instead of embracing change, too much money is spent on spying on people rather than investing in new technologies!

    I cannot think of any ISP (with the probable exception of a shameless plug for AAISP) that provide IPv6 to end users!

  51. Martijn Otto

    Being not from the UK and thus not knowing Stephen Fry I wonder if perhaps he is a comedian?

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