865: Nanobots

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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(Clarified 1998 reference, added IPv4 & IPv6 wiki links)
m (Transcript: using an em-dash that won't disappear next time someone edits the page)
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:[Megan and commander are on a space station.]
 
:[Megan and commander are on a space station.]
 
:Megan: Commander! Come quick!
 
:Megan: Commander! Come quick!
:Megan: It's the nanobots—they've STOPPED!
+
:Megan: It's the nanobots—
 +
:Megan: They've STOPPED!
  
 
:Megan: They devoured 40% of the Earth, and then just ... quit! They're just sitting there!
 
:Megan: They devoured 40% of the Earth, and then just ... quit! They're just sitting there!

Revision as of 23:04, 13 December 2012

Nanobots
I think the IETF hit the right balance with the 128 bits thing. We can fit MAC addresses in a /64 subnet, and the nanobots will only be able to devour half the planet.
Title text: I think the IETF hit the right balance with the 128 bits thing. We can fit MAC addresses in a /64 subnet, and the nanobots will only be able to devour half the planet.

Explanation

In this comic, the two characters are in orbit in space while evil nanobots are devouring the earth in a swarm. The nanobots stop after devouring 40% of the planet. This is a take on the "gray goo" scenario in which self-replicating nanobots destroy the earth while creating more and more of themselves non-stop.

However, the nanobots are only able to destroy 40% of the planet because 40% of the earth mass = (# of IPv6 addresses) x (A few cubic microns). Without more IP addresses, the nanobots cannot continue to replicate.

This is a joke on the shortage of IPv4 addresses. The only difference is that we are on IPv4 and the nanobots are on IPv6.

1998 is when the IPv6 Specification (RFC 2460) was published and IETF is the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Transcript

[Megan and commander are on a space station.]
Megan: Commander! Come quick!
Megan: It's the nanobots—
Megan: They've STOPPED!
Megan: They devoured 40% of the Earth, and then just ... quit! They're just sitting there!
Megan: Why?!
Ponytail: It's a mystery. ... unless ... What's the volume of each nanobot?
Megan: A few cubic microns. Why?
Ponytail: I think the year 1998 just bought us some time.
[Earth's surface, covered in mountains of nanobots.]
In the swarm:
Nanobot: What do you mean, "Run out of addresses?"
Other Nanobot: Look, we should've migrated away from IPv6 AGES ago ...
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Discussion

So IPv6 gives us enough addresses to cover 40% of the earth in nanobots? I'm sold. IPv6 addresses for everyone! Davidy²²[talk] 10:01, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
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