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The Difference Engine: No more addresses
REMEMBER the panic over the “millennium bug”, when computers everywhere were expected to go haywire on January 1st, 2000, thanks to the way a lot of old software used just two digits to represent the year instead of four? Doomsters predicted all sorts of errors in calculations involving dates when the clocks rolled over from 99 to 00. In the event, the millennium dawned without incident. That may have been because of the draconian preparations undertaken beforehand. Or perhaps, as many suspected, the problem was grossly exaggerated in the first place, as it often happens. Certainly, the computer industry made a packet out of all the panic-buying of new hardware and software in the months leading up to the new millennium. And who would blame them for this? Business is business.
Well, something similar is about to happen in the months ahead. This time, the issue concerns the exhaustion of Internet addresses – those four numbers ranging from 0 to 255 separated by dots that uniquely identify every device attached to the Internet. According to Hurricane Electric, an Internet backbone and services provider based in Fremont, California, the Internet will run out of bulk IP addresses sometime next week – given the rate addresses are currently being gobbled up.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) will then have doled out all its so-called "slash-eight" blocks of addresses to the five regional Internet registries around the world. In turn, the registries are expected to have allocated all their remaining addresses to local network operators by October at the latest. After that, any organization applying for new addresses will be told, “Sorry, none left”.
The issue is real and has been a long time in the making. The Economist first warned about it ten years ago. The problem concerns the address space of the existing version of the Internet protocol (IPv4), which is only 32 bits wide. The total number of binary addresses possible with such an arrangement is 4.3 billion. Back in the 1980s, when the Internet connected just a couple of dozen research institutes in America, that seemed like a huge number. Besides, the Internet was thought at the time to be just a temporary network anyway.
But with the invention of the Web in 1990 came an explosion in popular demand. It was soon clear that it was only a matter of time before the Internet would exhaust its supply of addresses. Work on a replacement for IPv4 began in the early 1990s, with IPv6 finally being made available around 1998. By giving the new internet version an address space of 128 bits, the designers pretty well guaranteed that it would not run out of unique identifiers for decades, or even centuries, to come.
Two raised to the 128th power is an astronomical number. That will come in handy when the "Internet of things" becomes a reality. Already, some two billion people have access to the Internet. Add all the televisions, phones, cars and household appliances that are currently being given Internet access – plus, eventually, every book, pill case and item of inventory as well – and a world or two of addresses could easily be accounted for. And yet, the solution of any problem begins with its verbalization. We are forewarned and it means – forearmed.
Which of the following was NOT the reason why the “millennium bug” didn’t work?
The users took necessary precautions.
The manufacturers had improved software.
The new hardware had been installed.
The problem never existed.
The number of available IP addresses is limited by …
address space of the Internet protocol.
the Internet protocol version.
the number of organizations applying.
the number of computers connected to the Internet.
The solution of the problem with the lack of IP addresses is to …
restrict the number of users.
improve the current Internet protocol.
add a temporary network.
speed up research.
The existing version of the protocol was believed appropriate because …
the net was not popular.
the addresses were not permanent.
no one expected the demand to grow.
another network was being developed.
The phrase “Internet of things” refers to …
personal computers of the users.
appliances with access to the Web.
things ordered through the Internet.
a new network replacing the current Internet.
Speaking of the future of the world-wide web, the author appears to be …
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Back from the seas
A museum of popular drinks
Magic as attraction
One tool museum
Not a bank but …
Still moving along
A brand new shore museum
To play any tune
The Salem Witch Museum brings you back to Salem of 1692 for a dramatic overview of the Witch Trials, including stage sets with life-size figures, lighting and a narration. There is also a possibility to go on a candlelight tour to four selected homes. The museum is open all year round and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Salem is also famous for its Haunted Happenings, a 24-day Halloween festival.
The Discover Sea Shipwreck Museum opened its doors in 1995, and has one of the largest collections of shipwreck and recovered artifacts in the Mid-Atlantic. It contains about 10,000 artifacts from local and worldwide locations, including an intact blown-glass hourglass from a 200-year-old shipwreck, which is also the world's deepest wooden wreck at the heart of the Bermuda Triangle.
The Seashore Trolley Museum is the oldest and largest electric railway museum in the world. It was founded in 1939 with one open trolley car, No. 31 from the Biddeford & Saco Railroad Company. The Seashore Trolley Museum contains over 250 transit vehicles, mostly trolleys, from the United States, Canada and abroad. Visitors can even take a trip along the Maine countryside aboard a restored early-1900s electric streetcar.
American Hop Museum is dedicated to the brewing industry and located in the heart of the Yakima Valley's hop fields, which gather the best harvest for producing beer. It chronicles the American hop industry from the New England colonies to its expansion into California and the Pacific Northwest, and includes historical equipment, photos and artifacts that pay tribute to hop, the everlasting vine that is still an integral part of the brewing industry.
The Money Museum in Colorado Springs is America's largest museum dedicated to numismatics (the study of collecting coins and metals). The collection contains over 250,000 items from the earliest invention of money to modern day, with items including paper money, coins, tokens, medals, and traditional money from all over the world. Highlights include the 1804 dollar, the 1913 V Nickel, the 1866 no motto series, a comprehensive collection of American gold coins, and experimental pattern coins and paper money.
The Kenneth G. Fiske Museum of Musical Instruments in California has one of the most diverse collections of musical instruments in the United States. This museum is home to over 1,400 American, European and ethnic instruments from the 17th–20th centuries. Selections from all parts of the world also include keyboards, brass, woodwind, stringed, percussion, mechanical and electronic instruments. Other highlights are rare pieces from the violin and viola families, reed organs and instruments from the Orient and Tibet.
The Hammer Museum in Alaska is the world’s first museum dedicated to hammers. The Museum provides a view of the past through the use of man’s first tool. You will find over 1500 hammers on display, ranging from ancient times to the present. The museum does not have any paid staff, and it is run by volunteers. This quaint and quirky museum is an interesting and informative stop for the whole family.
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Saturday jobs: memories of weekend working
Research has shown a sharp fall in the number of teenagers who do Saturday jobs. It seems such a shame – my Saturday job as a kitchen porter was something of a rite of passage. I'll never forget long hours A__________, scouring grease off huge saucepans and griddles. Working atmosphere there helped me grow a thicker skin, develop quicker banter and, most importantly, taught me the value of hard work. It also resulted in a steady supply of cash,B__________. I'm not the only one who has strong memories of weekend work. DJ Trevor Nelson said everyone should be able to have a Saturday job: "It taught me a lot, C__________."
The link between the type of Saturday job a celebrity performed and their later career is sometimes obvious. Dragon's Den star and businessman Peter Jones, for example, showed early promise by starting his own business. "I passed my Lawn Tennis Association coaching exam, D__________," he explains. "At the start I was coaching other kids, E__________, for which I could charge £25–30 an hour. While my friends on milk rounds were getting £35 a week, I was doing five hours on a Saturday and earning four times as much."
Skier Chemmy Alcott got a job working for the Good Ski Guide, on the advertising side. "It became clear to me what my personal value to companies could be. It led directly to me finding my head sponsor … and it offered me an eight-year contract. That gave me the financial backing F__________."
As part of its response to the Saturday job statistics, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills said a lack of early work opportunities makes it harder for young people to acquire experience for their CVs.
but soon I got adults wanting to book lessons
which I would happily spend as I liked
which let me know he approved of me
and things would be different if everyone was given the chance
which I needed to become a professional skier
that I spent in the kitchen of a busy country pub in East Sussex
and I persuaded my local club to let me use a court on Saturdays
Why I sent Oxford a rejection letter
A little over a month ago, I sent Oxford a rejection email that parodied the thousands that they send each year. Much to my surprise, it has become a bit of an Internet hit, and has provoked reactions of both horror and amusement.
In my letter I wrote: "I have now considered your establishment as a place to read Law (Jurisprudence). I very much regret to inform you that I will be withdrawing my application. I realize you may be disappointed by this decision, but you were in competition with many fantastic universities and following your interview, I am afraid you do not quite meet the standard of the universities I will be considering."
I sent the email after returning from my interview at Magdalen College, Oxford, to prove to a couple of my friends that Oxbridge did not need to be held in awe. One of them subsequently shared it on Facebook because he found it funny.
I certainly did not expect the email to spread as far as it has. Varying between offers of TV interviews and hundreds of enthusiastic Facebook messages, it has certainly been far-reaching. Many of my friends and undoubtedly many strangers were unable to comprehend that I'd sent such an email to this bastion of prestige and privilege. Why was I not afraid of damaging my future prospects as a lawyer? Didn't I think this might hurt my chances with other universities?
For me, such questions paint a picture of a very cynical society. I do not want to study law because I want to be rich, or wear an uncomfortable wig and cloak. Perhaps optimistically, I want to study law because I am interested in justice.
To me, withdrawing my application to an institution that is a symbol of unfairness in both our education and the legal system (which is so dominated by Oxbridge graduates) makes perfect sense, and I am reluctant to be part of a system so heavily dominated by such a narrow group of self-selecting elites.
So, why did I apply in the first place? If you're achieving high grades at A-level (or equivalent), you can feel quite a lot of pressure to "prove yourself" by getting an Oxbridge offer. Coupled with the fact that I grew up on benefits in council estates throughout Bristol – not a type of heritage often associated with an Oxbridge interview – I decided to give it a try.
It was only at the interview that I started to question what exactly I was trying to prove. I was well aware that fantastic candidates are often turned down, and I did not believe that this was a true reflection of their academic potential.
Although I share concern that not going to Oxbridge gives you a "chip on your shoulder", I did not write to Oxford to avoid the risk of being labeled as an "Oxbridge reject": I already am one. Last year I made an (admittedly weak) application to Cambridge and was inevitably rejected post-interview.
A year ago, I was in awe of the beautiful buildings of Oxbridge, but today I am in awe of the sheer number of people who, like me, have managed to not take it so seriously. Ultimately, I am not harming Oxford by laughing at it, and it is an amazing feeling to realize that so many people are enjoying my email. Actually, I was amazed to know how many people of different ages bothered to read it and even to leave their comments about it in Facebook. I had fun reading some of them, too.
The email letter the author sent to Oxford was meant to be …
The letter caused so much response because people …
fully agreed with the message.
were outraged with the letter.
wanted to defend Oxbridge.
found the topic very interesting.