## 0865: "Nanobots"

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ModestMouse
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

They could try some gnatting!

LOL hehe hahahohe snicker I crack me up

matko5
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

javahead wrote:The preferred term is Nanite-Americans

You, sir, win at internet.
Hai.

thorvoquien
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

thyristor wrote:I use Firefox with the "ShowIP" extension and only today I noticed the xkcd.com front page has an IPV6 address. Has it been like that before or does it explain the point of the comic?

ipv6.xkcd.com has been around for some time. The AAAA on the xkcd.com proper domain appears to be new. That said, publishing the AAAA for xkcd.com isn't actually very helpful because the CSS and Images on the page are hosted by imgs.xkcd.com which doesn't have one. Actual IPv6 viewers get a horribly broken site (example of what it looks like: http://files.zaphoyd.com/images/xkcd_ipv6.png).

XKCD admins: Adding AAAAs to your production site is very noble of you. If you are going to do it in a way that still requires full IPv4 connectivity to actually do anything useful with the site doesn't that defeat the purpose? I am pretty sure your host, Voxel, offers their CDN service over IPv6 as well as their regular hosting so fixing this shouldn't be too difficult.

Vehemence
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Fixblor wrote:
Isaac wrote:why do the nanobots need to be individually addressable? Why do they need to be addressable at all? Can you even store 128 bits of data in "a few microns"?

They must be converting the dirt they eat into something; Why not bits?

Of course, micron sized nanobots that can both devour up to 40% of the total elements of the Earth and communicate in English are none-the-less still bound by the same scalability foresight as us ugly bags of mostly water.

Hey! That's organic meat bag to you, pal.

Brace
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

I was actually aware of all the things being referenced in this comic and didn't have to look them up! \o/
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BioTube
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Regarding xkcd.com having an IPv6 address:
The text under the logo wrote:xkcd.com now has IPv6 connectivity. If you can't reach it, you or your
ISP have misconfigured equipment. Sadly, I now have no way to tell you.
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Splarka
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

hyperion2010 wrote:Frankly I'm not too worried about this scenario. Unless we figure out how to make pico alchemists this will not be a problem. Forget the energy requirements.

If your goal is the grey goo scenario, have the chemical composition of the nanobots (or, if not possible individually, a von Neumann hive of different individual symbiotic (symachinic?) types) approximate that of the Earth's crust: Mostly oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, etc. Do pay special attention to including enough carbon requirements to wipe out all life of course.
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thyristor
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

BioTube wrote:Regarding xkcd.com having an IPv6 address:
The text under the logo wrote:xkcd.com now has IPv6 connectivity. If you can't reach it, you or your
ISP have misconfigured equipment. Sadly, I now have no way to tell you.

Why don't I ever read the big letters on top of pages, why?

cellocgw
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Postsingular. Rudy Rucker.
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KShrike
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

thyristor wrote:
BioTube wrote:Regarding xkcd.com having an IPv6 address:
The text under the logo wrote:xkcd.com now has IPv6 connectivity. If you can't reach it, you or your
ISP have misconfigured equipment. Sadly, I now have no way to tell you.

Why don't I ever read the big letters on top of pages, why?

I personally would blame ISPs. We will just have to wait until the World IPv6 day to see whether or not they will actually follow through. I personally believe that since this is the human race, those in charge will be extraordinarily lazy and not fix anything. (If you feel insulted by this because you work for Verizon or Comcast, etc., then I am sorry because I meant no offense)

I have the biased view that ISPs control the internet. I need someone to tell me differently and why, because I lack the education.
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neoliminal
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

tetromino wrote:
madock345 wrote:This is the only xkcd in a Very long time in which I failed to get even one reference, I literally have no idea what they are talking about

The references you need to know are the grey goo scenario and IPv4 address exhaustion.

You forgot free floating women in space. Very important.
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biteme
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

The calculations for this comic are wrong.

Earth mass: 5.9736*10^24 kg
Average density: 5.515 g/cm^3
=> Earth volume: 5.9736*10^27 g / 5.515 g/cm^3 = 10^27 cm^3 = 10^39 cubic microns
Cubic microns per IPv6 address: 10^39 / 2^128 = 3

With nanobots "a few" cubic microns big, there are enough IPv6 to give each bot one address and still devour the entire Earth.

Coyne
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Sorry, but if we have nanobots eating the earth, we're doomed. IPV6 limits won't stop them: it'll only take a second or two for them to upgrade to IPV40 and then where will we be?
In all fairness...

dexeron
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

neoliminal wrote:
tetromino wrote:
madock345 wrote:This is the only xkcd in a Very long time in which I failed to get even one reference, I literally have no idea what they are talking about

The references you need to know are the grey goo scenario and IPv4 address exhaustion.

You forgot free floating women in space. Very important.

Seriously. I choose to interpret the weightless hair as girlhair. In the nanobot future, the only survivors are the GALL FORCE!
By and by, when the sidewalks are safe for the little guy...

Technical Ben
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

dexeron wrote:
Spoiler:
neoliminal wrote:
tetromino wrote:
madock345 wrote:This is the only xkcd in a Very long time in which I failed to get even one reference, I literally have no idea what they are talking about

The references you need to know are the grey goo scenario and IPv4 address exhaustion.

You forgot free floating women in space. Very important.

Seriously. I choose to interpret the weightless hair as girlhair. In the nanobot future, the only survivors are the GALL FORCE!

G.A.L.L. Force? I can think of a couple of backronyms for that...
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bmonk
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Lawton wrote:What does everyone have against nanobots? I, for one, am looking forward to the day when an omniscient, all encompassing supercomputer devours us all. A sentient mass the size of our planet could live a much more rich and full life than anything that has ever lived.

This comic did make me chuckle, but I don't think nanobots would need addresses. I'm pretty sure my brain cells don't know where they are. If anything would stop them it would probably be something entropy based.

If I were to ever post "Randall get out of my head" this would be the time, as I think about nanobots on a daily basis

Even better--how about a Markovian computer as the planet?

(Of course, IIRC, one problem would be developing the Markovian math of the original universe.)
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topquark
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Nope, I'm not geeky enough to get this one

davean
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

thorvoquien wrote:
thyristor wrote:I use Firefox with the "ShowIP" extension and only today I noticed the xkcd.com front page has an IPV6 address. Has it been like that before or does it explain the point of the comic?

ipv6.xkcd.com has been around for some time. The AAAA on the xkcd.com proper domain appears to be new. That said, publishing the AAAA for xkcd.com isn't actually very helpful because the CSS and Images on the page are hosted by imgs.xkcd.com which doesn't have one. Actual IPv6 viewers get a horribly broken site (example of what it looks like: http://files.zaphoyd.com/images/xkcd_ipv6.png).

Isn't helpful for *you*. The web isn't the internet here. Lets try not to jump to conclusions.

thorvoquien wrote:XKCD admins: Adding AAAAs to your production site is very noble of you. If you are going to do it in a way that still requires full IPv4 connectivity to actually do anything useful with the site doesn't that defeat the purpose? I am pretty sure your host, Voxel, offers their CDN service over IPv6 as well as their regular hosting so fixing this shouldn't be too difficult.

Well, IPv4 isn't required to do everything useful. Also, what is with all the jumping? No, the CDN doesn't support IPv6 yet. We're scheduled for the beta though. No word on exactly when that will be.

thorvoquien
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

davean wrote:No, the CDN doesn't support IPv6 yet. We're scheduled for the beta though. No word on exactly when that will be.

My apologies then, I thought I had read that the voxel CDN was fully v6 ready in a post on their blog last June.

flguy1980
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

If the nanobots are _eating_ the Earth, each one might not be able to eat its own volume--I certainly can't.

If Earth's radius is 6371.0 km and we assume 2^128 nanobots assuming the volume of 40% of the earth, then each nanobot is attributed to having eaten 1.273 3 µ^3 of Earth. But each nanobot might be significantly larger than that--in fact, might be as large as "a few" µ^3.

Hopefully, they'll never implement NAT. To have enough nanobots to eat Earth completely, you'd need 2.5 NAT addresses per ipv6 address; let's make it three. Easy. Each ipv6 address would have a NAT router, with two or three ports forwarding appropriately. For example...

[FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF]:22 -> 192.168.1.11:22
[FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF]:122 -> 192.168.1.12:22
[FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF]:222 -> 192.168.1.13:22

lunchmeat
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

The "gnatting" comment made me chuckle.

flguy1980 is right - with NAT and PAT, we'd be dead and there'd be a lot of space to go, as each machine on a TCP/IP stack has 32768 ports. That's assuming that the port cap is held fixed - if not, the 10.0.0.0/8 subnet can hold a lot of addresses.

It's not so much the addressing that would cause the problems, though - it'd be the IP routing that would be a nightmare, since everything's moving....and growing.

Plutarch
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

tetromino wrote:The references you need to know are the grey goo scenario and IPv4 address exhaustion.

I understood none of this comic, but after reading your links, I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

couldbne1
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Dwalla wrote:Shouldn't the alt text say IETF, rather than ITEF?

jstitch
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Am I the only one who noticed that 64 bits isn't the half of addresses of those obtained with 128 bits? That would be 127 bits, not 64...

And yes, I just registered to say this

muntoo
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Plutarch wrote:I understood none of this comic, but after reading your links, I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

Wow, you obviously missed me declaring to half the world * that the world would be eaten by von Neumann muntoo machines beautiful works of art. Unfortunately, the date has been pushed back by 10 years to 2022 due to lack of ice cream and funding (mostly ice cream). Sorry for any inconvenience.

* Which consists of the inner core, outer core, part of the mantle, and my house.

phlip
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

jstitch wrote:Am I the only one who noticed that 64 bits isn't the half of addresses of those obtained with 128 bits? That would be 127 bits, not 64...

And yes, I just registered to say this

Are you referring to the alt text? I think you're misreading it... he's not saying "if we put MAC addresses in a /64 subnet, the nanobots will be able to consume half as much" or anything like that... he's saying that 128-bit addresses are good because it lets you do the MAC address thing (ie 128 is sufficiently large) but nanobots can only consume half (well, 40% according to the comic) of the Earth (ie 128 is sufficiently small).

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
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itsmattknox
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

I also got the references... but for some reason I just missed the humor about nanobots. I'm a weird one.

jstitch
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

phlip wrote:Are you referring to the alt text? I think you're misreading it... he's not saying "if we put MAC addresses in a /64 subnet, the nanobots will be able to consume half as much" or anything like that... he's saying that 128-bit addresses are good because it lets you do the MAC address thing (ie 128 is sufficiently large) but nanobots can only consume half (well, 40% according to the comic) of the Earth (ie 128 is sufficiently small).

Ah!!! Didn't get that one then... Thanks!

nekomata
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

ijuin wrote:Now if they used 256-bit addressing, then that would allow as many addresses as there are atoms in the observable universe (about 10^80).

Yeah, but what happens when we need individually addressable quarks? Young'uns today just don't plan ahead enough v.v

Xezlec
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

It's not as simple as just having a full 64 bits to play around with though. In actuality, IETF recommendations state that a /48 should be assigned to every home user because they might want a home network with subnets, and the IETF apparently thinks that 256 subnets is not enough. Sadly, at least some (and possibly most) ISPs are following this recommendation. Every building, office, or home is in many cases getting a /48, so basically every entity that would previously have used a single IP address and NAT routing. If you do a little research on other things affecting allocation, it becomes clear that running out of IPv6 addresses before the entire (future) world population is connected is very likely.

Technical Ben
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

But how could you have enough addresses to be able to link to all the stupid things said on the internet? That has to be infinite.
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Meem1029
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

We obviously use combinations of 128 stupid things that were said. The we have [imath]\infty^{128}[/imath] options.
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phillipsjk
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Xezlec: Keep in mind that every Internet-connected device is already supposed to have a unique 48-bit MAC address. 48 bits is still a lot of space for the network portion of the address. The IPv6 addresses are hierarchical for routing purposes. If you want to share the Internet connection with another office, neigbour, tenant, or building, you will need an allocation larger than a /64.

That said, I agree a /48 should not necessarily be automatic. However, it should be possible to get a /48 or even /56 by asking nicely. Many ISP Terms of Service probably prohibit such "sharing" anyway though.
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Eternal Density
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

flguy1980 wrote:If the nanobots are _eating_ the Earth, each one might not be able to eat its own volume--I certainly can't.
They don't eat so much as disassemble and reassemble. A nanobot would reassemble matter into a copy of itself, i.e. the same volume. But there would be leftover waste material as there would be elements which are not components of nanobots.

Actually, this comic is completely wrong because if the nanobots ran out of IP addresses, the result would be that subsequently assembled nanobots would be unable to connect to the network and thus stuck in offline mode. Unable to receive orders they would likely just do nothing. But that shouldn't stop the rest of the nanobots from continuing to assemble more. Once they are done with the directive of assembling all reachable matter into nanobots then they can think about the addressing problem and probably get the rest online. And then they'll work on the issue of propulsion so they can get to the next planet.

In any case, if they only 'eat' 40% of the Earth, the crust is still long gone so it's not really any mercy to humanity.
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ijuin
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

javahead wrote:The preferred term is Nanite-Americans

But what if they're not Americans? Nanite-Chinese or Nanite-British or Nanite-Brazillians perhaps?

synp
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

FYI, the IETF mailing list has a lively discussion on this issue.

Nanobots will not get /48 subnets. They will get /128 single addresses.

http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ie ... 65614.html

chelliot
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Randall,

Your Nanobots comic hit the IETF mailing list. Here's a link to the top of the thread:

http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ietf/current/msg65614.html

Note that Bob Hinden commented--Bob has been around networking a very long time--slightly less than I have (1975, arpanet), but he's been involved with the IETF much deeper and was very involved with the development of IPv6.

Many of us involved in the IETF enjoy xkcd, even when it's not about IPv6 or networking or computers...

Come join us at the next IETF meeting in Prague the end of March! I'd venture to say we could probably get you a complementary registration!

Thanks!
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BioTube
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Eternal Density wrote:
flguy1980 wrote:If the nanobots are _eating_ the Earth, each one might not be able to eat its own volume--I certainly can't.
They don't eat so much as disassemble and reassemble. A nanobot would reassemble matter into a copy of itself, i.e. the same volume. But there would be leftover waste material as there would be elements which are not components of nanobots.

Actually, this comic is completely wrong because if the nanobots ran out of IP addresses, the result would be that subsequently assembled nanobots would be unable to connect to the network and thus stuck in offline mode. Unable to receive orders they would likely just do nothing. But that shouldn't stop the rest of the nanobots from continuing to assemble more. Once they are done with the directive of assembling all reachable matter into nanobots then they can think about the addressing problem and probably get the rest online. And then they'll work on the issue of propulsion so they can get to the next planet.
At that scale, the addressing system is very likely hardwired, so it'd have to be a part of the swarm that mutated and ate the rest.
In any case, if they only 'eat' 40% of the Earth, the crust is still long gone so it's not really any mercy to humanity.
If they expand radially, then there's a good chance that the unconsumed chunk of surface will be more than enough to survive on(at least long enough to run like HELL).
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j6m8
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

Perhaps I'm missing some big point here, but the way I see it, the nanobots would be biting off and 'digesting' pieces of World small enough that they could (freefloatingly) enter the atmosphere, dust-style... Which means that as long as they're excreting the particles after they 'eat' them and glean from them what they must, they can move on, and no one has to worry about volume... Essentially, a single nanobot could eat the whole planet, given enough time.

...and given that the hotter bits of the planet are cooled down enough by the time the nanobots get to them that it doesn't just wreak melty havoc amongst their ranks. I mean, I don't care WHAT they're made of, magma is still rather toasty.

Similarly, with that kind of technology, I'm not quite sure why we'd still be using an IP system at ALL: Seems easier to me to just use a numeric identification system (with a modified interwebz system, because yes, yes -- I understand why the first IP wasn't just "1").

Osprei
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### Re: 0865: "Nanobots"

If the nanobots ate and presumably replaced 40% of the Earth, wouldn't they start compressing each other once they got too thick? Also, how would the survivors know how much of Earth had been consumed if all they could see was the surface?