The author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams, reportedly came up with the idea for what was first a radio comedy series while drunk on a field in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1971.

Or maybe it was in Greece, two years later.

In any case, the idea somehow hatched, and the BBC aired the first radio series in 1978. Stage shows, a series of five books, a television series, a computer game, even comic book adaptations followed. The film version appeared in 2005.

Now there’s a cover story in a technical trade journal that alludes to this multi-media phenomenon. That’s a full sweep.

IPv6…and IPTV

Broadband access providers in the U.S. added 1.6 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2009, continuing to stress the limited Internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) address system. But don’t panic. (Or DON’T PANIC, as the message is typeset in the HHGTTG novels.)

Why not? One reason is that Comcast has been fully engaged with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) on this issue, coming up with several schemes involving carrier-grade network address translation (CGN) technology to ease the transition into IPv6.

How many other service providers hitch this ride remains to be seen. The contrary idea of a hard cutover appeals to some who think Comcast’s "dual-stack-lite" approach merely prolongs the transition.

But there tends to be a delta between white-boarding a solution and working one out pragmatically within an installed base of legacy technology. For the latter approach, see our cover story, the IPv6 update from Comcast’s John Jason Brzozowski.

Speaking of IP migrations, may I suggest that anyone pondering the question of how to evolve toward IP television tear out this month’s wall chart and accompanying story by Rogers Communications’ Sandip Singh? The views are his own, but they fill the need for a common reference document that should help advance the debate on this timely topic.

Jonathan Tombes


The Daily


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