Don't look now, but we're about to run out of 1 type of IP address. Here's why you should care.

Hey, remember when we ran out of phone numbers in 2001?

Back then, people were in a panic about having to start dialing area codes with every call. The New York Times even warned, at the time, that we may be in store for "yet another number shortage within a decade that could lead to a wholesale revamping of the system."

This is how people felt about area codes in 2001. GIF from "In Bruges."


While that never came to pass, we do suddenly find ourselves in another sort of pickle. Because, seemingly out of nowhere, we have reached the end of the Internet.

Just like the "number exhaustion" of yesteryear, 2015 will be known as the year we ran out of IP addresses.


An IP address is a number assigned to any device that connects to the Internet. You've probably seen them before – it might look something like 64.233.160.0 (which is just one of many IP addresses that belong to Google).

Just like you need to know someone's home address in order to send them a letter, a website or database needs to know your IP address in order to deliver data to your device.

IPv4, the current numbering system, originally allowed for about 4.3 billion unique combinations. And we've only got about 100,000 left.

Relax, there's nothing you need to do to prepare. But that doesn't mean IP address depletion won't affect you.

There's a new numbering system that's been rolling out for a while called IPv6 (no word on why they skipped v5) that allows for 340 undecillion unique IP addresses — or in other words, way more.

Most likely, everyday users like you may only notice some small improvements with IPv6, like better security encryption and smoother delivery of video data.

But there are definitely bigger ramifications.

With the unprecedented growth of the web, net neutrality is more important than ever.

We've certainly come a long way. Photo by Hanan Cohen/Flickr.

There are over a billion active websites on the web today, with over 2 billion people worldwide using the Internet regularly.

Think about that! In the world we live in today, you can feasibly connect with almost anyone old enough to use a computer or mobile device. You can be exposed to a near infinite variety of stories, cultures, and perspectives.

But not if companies like Comcast and Verizonwho want more control over what we see and how we see it — get their way.

As the web continues to grow, let's hope for more diversity and inclusion. Not less.

You can help make it happen by going to Save the Internet and joining the fight, either by signing a petition or making a donation to the cause.

"IPv4 depleting is a testament to the success of the Internet," Richard Jimmerson, chief information office of the American Registry for Internet Numbers told CBSNews. "The Internet is one of the most significant advancements we have made in our generation. I'm very excited we are moving on to do more things that we can't even imagine today."

Hopefully he's right.

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less