What that actually means is a fucking mystery to everyone who sees the light of day regularly. But if you were to pin down an expert on network architecture, he will, excited at this human contact, eagerly tell you that this could either be:
- A small deal, or
- A "climb on to the roof of your house with a lot of ammunition" sized deal ...
... depending on how a few things work out. Which doesn't tell us much at all. And to save my readers the trouble of learning on their own time, I knew I had to get to the bottom of this. So, after doing very little research, I climbed on top of my desk, where a vigorous session flexing the twin muscles of my writing talent (Oversimplification and Fabrication) resulted in the following article dropping from between my legs, fully formed. I present it to you now, so that you might handle the coming addresspocalypse as you best see fit.
#1: It means nothing
The reason the Internet is running out of addresses is because the current format for addresses, IPv4, has simply run out of numbers. A new format called IPv6, which can handle more than twice the number of addresses as IPv4, has long since been developed to deal with this problem. So we'll simply transition over to this new format over the next few months and years, which shouldn't be that big a deal, again unless you're one of those awful people who have to work with computers. Most of the software we already use is capable of supporting IPv6 addresses, and there are similar hardware solutions in place that will allow both addressing systems to work in parallel during this transition period. The Internet, and the cat related image trading that drives it, shall go on.
What You Need To Do:
Nothing. (Nothing regarding Internet usage that is. You will still need to eat and poop.)
#2: We'll have to learn to shareIf the transition to IPv6 doesn't go smoothly, it's possible the Internet will have to get by with its limited supply of IP addresses for an extended length of time. With limited addresses to go around, some form of address sharing may be necessary. This would involve a single IP address being shared amongst several users, similar to what we already do with routers, but on a larger scale. A single IP address per neighborhood, or per city, rationed much in the same way lawn watering restrictions are currently implemented. When it's not your turn, you'll simply have to watch the Internet passively, while other people check their email, run raids in WoW and browse Latvian bride catalogs.
What You Need To Do:
Buy two houses on opposite sides of the street, or at a minimum, move to a side of the street with hotter webcam girls.