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The bottom line for us is simple.

China wants to leverage IPv6 (and probably a true broadband infrastructure in progress) into technological dominance over America and everyone else and worldwide control over the Internet.

IPv6 is an advanced Internet addressing plan under which anything anybody might conceivably want to plug into the Internet gets its own individual IP address, making it much simpler for devices to interconnect through the Net. Sound geeky? It is.


But the advantages. . . imagine a pacemaker that e-mails you and your doctor when the battery starts to run out. A refrigerator that will e-mail you at the office when food starts to go bad so you can replace it on the way home. . . or tell the manufacturer that it needs warranty service so you find out there's a problem when you get an e-mail asking you to pick an appointment time for a repair person to show up. . . who will have the right replacement part. I'm scratching the surface of the possibilities in a world where everything is networked. What does this future look like? Don't know, but creating it is going to be seriously fun and seriously profitable.

Meanwhile, in our corner, we've got a government pissing away our money (borrowed, but WE get to pay it back in Iraq and a Congress fighting about the terms (aka Net Neutrality) under which Hollywood and the telcos and cable companies get to control content on the US part of what's going to be "the old Internet" Real Soon Now

Fair use excerpts, rest at the URL.

China Builds a Better Internet

Americans have been hogging Internet addresses for decades, leaving  
late-comers like China to divvy up the few remaining slivers. But  
China is fighting back by vaulting to an addressing standard that  
could rewrite the rules of the Internet—and business innovation—for  
decades to come.


Meanwhile, out of sight, in research labs throughout China, engineers  
are busy working on another project that the Chinese government plans  
to unveil at the Olympics: China's Next Generation Internet (CNGI), a  
faster, more secure, more mobile version of the current one.


CNGI is the centerpiece of China's plan to steal leadership away from  
the United States in all things Internet and information technology.

The strategy, outlined in China's latest five-year plan, calls for  
the country to transition its economy from one based almost entirely  
on manufacturing to one that produces its own scientific and  
technological breakthroughs—using a new and improved version of  
today's dominant innovation platform, the Internet.


The technology at the heart of CNGI is an emerging communication  
standard called Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6). The Internet  
protocol is the Internet's version of a postal envelope, containing  
information such as the destination and return addresses, and details  
about a package's contents. The current standard, IPv4 (IPv5 never  
made it out of the lab), doesn't have enough unique addresses for  
every would-be user in the world to connect to the Internet.

[note: it isn't just would-be human users, IPv6 is intended to provide enough addresses to connect absolutely anything and everything anybody thinks might be more useful if it can be controlled or monitored via the Internet - A.Lizard]

solves this problem, and is also more secure and efficient than its  


China is betting that by moving to the next-generation Internet  
before the rest of the world, China's researchers, academics and  
entrepreneurs will be the first ones to develop applications and  
services that take advantage of the new capabilities. (China isn't  
alone in this thinking. Japan and Korea have also launched national  
initiatives to move to IPv6.) If all goes according to plan, those  
services will be commercialized, making China home to the next wave  
of eBays and Googles. But China is also working on ways to use IPv6  
to enhance its now infamous control over Internet traffic into and  
out of the country—which could have dramatic security implications  
for the United States (see "A New Weapon for Control and  

Call CNGI the first-mover advantage to end all first-mover  
advantages. "[China is] looking to leapfrog the U.S.," says Michael  
Gallagher, who was assistant secretary of commerce for communications  
and information, and President Bush's top adviser on Internet issues  
before joining the law firm Perkins Coie in February.


If the US is going to even stay competitive in the coming world, we not only have to keep up with China in the IPv6 game, we have to upgrade our communications infrastructure to where it is competitive with First World nations.

Americans think 1.5 megs up/ 384K down broadband is fast. The developed world has 10-100 mbps broadband. . . lots of things one can do with bigger "pipes" . . . and we can be sure that the nations with 2nd/3rd generation broadband will get them before we do.

Originally posted to alizard on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 05:24 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tip jar (20+ / 0-)

    Advanced communications technology is one of the things (like energy policy) we must get a handle on or our economy is permanently screwed.

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 05:26:37 AM PDT

    •  So many missed opportunities (4+ / 0-)
      I was talking about this last night with my father in law. He was arguing that politics swing back and forth and that everything will swing left & things will be back to "normal" again soon. That may be so, but what about the missed opportunities?

      This diary highlights a great example of what we could be doing if we weren't so distracted by the "war on terra." The list of things we're losing the chance to not only fix, but to be innovators and leaders is awfully long. Renewable energy, repairing and improving our infrastructure, reducing carbon emissions, are what I think of right off the top of my sleepy head. I'm thinking of areas where US innovation could boost the economy and do a lot of good globally.

    •  Sheesh! DSL only became available... (0+ / 0-) my neck of the woods this summer.  It's either that or satellite in this neck o'the woods.

    •  alizard (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      thanks for the excellent diary highlighting in plain english what is doubtless a more complicated topic.

      I'd give you a recommend for the tip jar but alas, dailykos's technology is once more on the blink and your tip jar post is one of 7 comments on this thread that are missing the recommend option after the [Reply to This] (and I've checked it in both Firefox and IE - same result).

  •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but would say energy and food.

    the time has come the walrus said, to speak of many things....

    by farmerchuck on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 05:44:38 AM PDT

  •  My initial reaction (4+ / 0-)

    to getting an email from my refrigerator is that that's creepy.  

  •  This leapfrog is a champion.(sorry Mark Twain!) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, iliketodrum, possum

    The biggest result at the Chinese Olympics will not be the number of gold medals or total medals vs. a vs. the USA (what the miserable craven MSM will focus on) but the advanced protocol 6 that guides communicates, directs transport and all sorts of things to make the visitor's stay pleasant. The Olympics will be a very impressive advertisement for China's progress and leadership in things that really matter.

    And we have two more years of misleadership by Bush to counteract or compete with it?  Yowza.

    OK............ Next!

    by Pete Rock on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 06:25:11 AM PDT

    •  Hrm (0+ / 0-)

      Pull that out of the People's Daily or something?

      I think the biggest story will be how many of the athletes collapse from the crushing pollution in Beijing.

      Or perhaps the days spent unable to compete at all due to the incredible sand storms that coat the entire city in yellow dust due to the desertification(real word? whatever) of much of northern china.

      Anyway, China's certainly advancing at a good clip, but I think a lot of the hype about it is a little overblown, it has a lot of problems to overcome that have been around for thousands of years before it's ever going to become a place famed for its technological innovation again. (Yes, yes, 5000 years of continuous history. They invented gun powder! and golf! I've heard.)

  •  IPv6 - not limited to China (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, possum

    In fact if I remember correctly Japan and other asian countries are implimenting IPv6 infrastructure. Also, it is my understanding that the DoD has a deadline for having IPv6 in place.

  •  Silly me, and I thought it was all "tubes." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, possum

    I guess I shouldn't have listened to that Stevens guy, should I?

    If not now, when? When they come for you, then it will be too late. Shout it from the rooftops, take it to the streets.

    by tjfxh on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 08:51:42 AM PDT

  •  IPv6 already in the wild (4+ / 0-)

    Linux/Unix have had IPv6 support for the better part of a decade now and multiple operating systems are shipping already configured for IPv6 and tunneling IPv4 when necessary.

    The issue is addressing: anything that's still IPv4 by definition can't see the full address space of IPv6 (in fact, that's the basic reason for IPv6, to provide more addressing bits). So the Internet will for a lot of years be a hodgepodge, some IPv6 devices that can communicate with each other using the expanded addressing space, and legacy IPv4 devices that have to be addressed the old way and/or used to tunnel IPv6 addressed packets when they're infrastructure devices.

    The only way around this is to force everyone to toss their old equipment, computers, and software out and to try to re-engineer the Internet from scratch, which is clearly not going to happen. It's not something that can be fixed "upstream" or in some government office. Your PC is probably IPv4. Do you want to throw it away or have to erase your hard drive and install a completely new operating system just to get IPv6? No? Then don't worry, if you buy a PC two years from now with Mac OS X, Linux, or Windows Vista, it will probably be IPv6-ready out of the box and you'll never have to think about it.

    This article is a bit misleading, as China already has an installed IPv4 infrastructure as well and thus face essentially the same issues. You can't just take the entire world to IPv6 at once without taking down the Internet as we know it.

    Luckily, the two can interoperate, so there's no real reason to worry as everyone worldwide gradually transitions.

  •  IPv6 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you're curious, IPv6 has a theoretical maximum number of addresses totaling 3.4×10^38 - which, to give you a point of comparison, is 57 billion addresses for each gram the earth weighs.

    Suffice it to say, that's a lot.

    "The NSA offers exciting work for recent graduates in computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application."

    by Scipio on Sat Sep 23, 2006 at 09:33:13 PM PDT

    •  Allocation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The real question is how will will subnets be allocated.  The US was running low on IPv4 addresses long before it needed to simply because huge chunks (like multiple A class) were handed out at the begining where there were only a few hundred people on the net.  And of course China had none of those.

      Yes, there are an almost infinite number of IPv6 addresses, but how those addresses get handed out is the big political question.  Inefficiency  is going to happen, but the hope is that the mind boggling huge number of availble addresses will make up for it.  I have my doubts.  China is wise to jump in now and start grabbing as many TLAs (the most significant 48 bits in the header) as they can.

  •  IPv6.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, snakelass

    As has been mentioned, this is nothing new.  v6 has been out for some time now, and is currently in use world wide.  (Including in the US.)  It's not common by any means, but it's out there.

    The glaring problems with the Internet won't be solved by IPv6 simply because they aren't addressing problems.  They're hardware and layer 1 problems.  We can do most of the functions it provides now.  v6 just wraps it all up in one package and makes it convenient... NAT, QoS and encryption can all be handled in an IPv4 environment. Converting devices over, however, is going to be a bit.... nightmarish in some ways.  (Think y2k but without the urgency.)

    If the US is going to even stay competitive in the coming world, we not only have to keep up with China in the IPv6 game, we have to upgrade our communications infrastructure to where it is competitive with First World nations.

    Americans think 1.5 megs up/ 384K down broadband is fast. The developed world has 10-100 mbps broadband. . . lots of things one can do with bigger "pipes" . . . and we can be sure that the nations with 2nd/3rd generation broadband will get them before we do.

    IPv6 has absolutely nothing at all to do with this.  This is a layer 1 issue.  Cabling, not addressing and not software.  Your OS either supports v6 or can with some software upgrades, and your nic likely does as well, or can with a firmware upgrade.  This won't suddenly give you an OC3 plugged into your computer.  :)  

    •  that's why I mentioned in the original (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, TampaCPA

      diary "(and probably a true broadband infrastructure in progress)". . . because no addressing scheme is going to fix much of anything without a good broadband network to deliver the bits through. And it's really too bad we don't have one at "the last mile".

      I regard it as highly unlikely that the Chinese are going to copy our continuing errors in this area and incredibly optimistic to assume that this is the only Internet initiative the Chinese have in progress.

      I think you confused someone else's post with one of mine, the guy who said we'd have to replace our computers with new IPv6 ready computers. . . I corrected him on this point rather firmly, pointing out that it's a driver issue at the OS level and a firmware issue at the consumer router level.

      The overall issue is communications infrastructure, and investments to improve it other countries are willing to make, but not ours either at the public or private levels.

      We are getting left behind..

      You may believe that the Chinese don't know that IPv6 isn't all that useful without bigger pipes, and if you do, I've got some bottomland to sell you. Just don't ask what it's at the bottom of.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sun Sep 24, 2006 at 04:19:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not a geek, but I do find (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        this interesting.  What should we do?  How do we help correct course for our country.  Dumb fuck will only be Prez for two more (god awfully long) years.

        What should we do individually, and what should we tell our representatives to do?


        In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

        by TampaCPA on Sun Sep 24, 2006 at 04:44:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  get rid of the dumb fuck (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, alizard

          Al Gore was the sole Senate sponsor of "The High-performance Computing Act" of 1990. That turned the research internet, on which commercial traffic was not allowed, into the public internet. You know what happened next.

          If we'd had Al as president for the last six years, China would be eating our dust.

        •  well, to begin with. . . (0+ / 0-)

          Were you aware that we as taxpayers have already paid the telcos $200 billion to deliver to us fiber-to-the-home in tax subsidies?

          The telcos pocketed the money.

          A bill or legal action by the Feds ordering the telcos to either refund the money or deliver the service would be a good start.

          The URL might be a good thing to diary here.

          Another thing we should look at is removing the influence of the Hollywood content cartel from the political process, their buying laws from our legislators (mostly Democratic) for the purpose of telling us what we can and can't do with the Net and computer electronics and over the airwaves is also an anchor around the neck of our technologists.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sun Sep 24, 2006 at 01:25:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Just what I want.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... my pacemaker on the net, so it can get hacked and I can get extorted... PAY US or DIE cause we'll turn off your ticker.

    Long before that level of connectedness occurs, we better have solved security 100%.

  •  And let's not forget spying capabilities (0+ / 0-)

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