Issue 2, 26th September 1995: Trouble on the Net
There's trouble down at t'Net. With the Internet's high-fashion status and usage explosion, the gentlemen's agreements that hold it together are bursting at the seams. One fundamental service is DNS (the Domain Name System) by which human-comprehensible machine names (eg www.exnet.com) and users' email addresses (eg firstname.lastname@example.org) can be looked up and turned into numeric (IP) addresses that the network can actually use; people like these names to reflect what they or their company does and tempers rise when this can't be arranged quickly enough or at all. So the allocation of domain names and the maintenance of DNS have become fraught in the last few months, with people insulting one another in (cyber-) public, demanding large amounts of money to create and maintain domain names, etc. Also, we're running out of IP addresses to some extent, and the regional registries that hand out blocks of these addresses are earning themselves unpleasant reputations for being too miserly and slow. Getting the new administrative structures in place to resolve these issues is proving to be quite difficult. The `new generation' IP (IPng) addressing system that will probably start seeing serious use in five years or thereabouts should help relieve that shortage, though at the cost of making all existing IP-based software and hardware obsolete. But we'll still have the fights and bitching and probably legal action over allocation of domain names for a long time to come. In the next issue I will look at IPng, and some of the possible pros and cons, such as how IP service providers can gain a strangle-hold on their customers because of the IP addressing scheme.
Damon Hart-Davis, Computing Editor email@example.com.
4--6, Paderborn, Germany. Third Conference on Mechatronics and Robotics: ``From Design Methods to Industrial Applications.'' For more details see the Web page.
5, New York, NY, USA. ``Parallel Computing: Ready for Prime-Time.'' Why scalably-parallel computing has emerged as key strategic technology for the '90s.
12, Cyberia, London. Wired Buildings. From telecottages to wired buildings; architects and planners think of how to use the Internet for leisure and work. Mail Sally Matrick.
23--26, Cornell, Ithaca, NY, USA. Workshop on Parallel Programming on the IBM SP.
23--24, Boston, MA, USA. Internet and International Trade Conference on using the Internet for import/export, joint ventures, market research and other international trade activity. Contact Assist International for a brochure.
24, Manchester, UK. High Speed Networking Forum 1995. Tel +44 171 208 5008/5017.
26, London, UK. High Speed Networking Forum 1995. Tel +44 171 208 5008/5017.
31--2 Nov, Electronic Commerce '95. Barbican Centre, London. New exhibition and conference ranging from EDI to the Web. Contact Lorraine Hall, tel: +44 181 332 0044.
21--22, London, UK. Data Warehousing '95. Tel: +44 181 543 6565. Fax: +44 181 544 9020.
28--29, London, UK. Understanding Client/Server Computing. Tel: +44 171 610 4533.
17--18, London, UK. Accessing the Internet. Tel: +44 171 610 4533.
22--23, Dublin, Ireland. Accessing the Internet. Tel: +44 171 610 4533.
6--9 May 1996. ATM '96. Send proposals to the Technology Transfer Institute.