So we survived the end of the world on May 21st, just like we survived January 1, 2000 (Y2K). The next apocalyptic date comes up some time in December, so while you wait for that new end of times, here’s an intermediate date to worry about: June 8, 2012.
Haven’t heard about this infamous date yet? Too bad. It’s the next Y2K in a sense. On June 8th, the first big test of Internet Protocol v6 will take place. What’s that, you say? Internet Protocol is the way that all of our computers, and smartphones, and iPads, and everything else that connects to the Internet find one another. We’ve been using version 4 of IP for a very long time. In fact, we used it so long that we’re able to skip version 5 and move straight to version 6. The problem is that there just aren’t enough addresses to go around. The last available addresses have been distributed. If we don’t change soon to something else, future Internet users will be left out. That will, of course, lead to war, plague, famine, and pestilence everywhere. Probably not, but I’m trying to give you an interim date to worry about.
What is more likely going to happen is that a whole lot of people will be unable to get to a whole lot of places online. Even though the gearheads have been warning about running out of numbers for years, no one is listening. I think it’s because we were supposed to have run out of phone numbers about a decade ago and I have more phone numbers of my own now than I did then.
Eventually we will have to make a change. This test on June 8th will show how far from ready most of the Internet is. I don’t have a clue what will be done with that result.