By Angie Kilbourne, AAM
Shop Site of the Month
ToyoMotors Auto Care - Phoenix, Ariz.
Neil Geesey, owner of ToyoMotors, tells us his website brings in an average of 13 new customers a week. He credits the site's ease of navigation and constantly updated content, which includes a blog on service and maintenance topics. We love the calls to action on the home page, and the quality photography is a nice touch, adding a professional air to the whole site.
Nominate your shop's site for a Net Worth profile. E-mail your Web site address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web Wise: IP Addresses Exhausted; Tech Heads
to the Rescue
There's been a lot of hype surrounding the announcement by the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in early February that the global warehouse of more than four billion Internet Protocol (IP) addresses is now empty. But no fear, says ICANN, the tech-heads and Web engineers have known about this for a few years and are working on a solution.
IP addresses are those numbers you sometimes see online, such as 188.8.131.52. We're currently using a system dubbed "IPv4" (Internet Protocol version 4), which is based on 32 bits and only allows for about 4.2 billion IP addresses. The solution is IPv6 (version 6), which is based on 128 bits and will provide approximately 340 undecillion (that's 340 + 36 zeroes) IP addresses. In other words, a trillion people could be assigned trillions of their own IP addresses, according to Rod Beckstrom, ICANN's president and CEO.
This move, however, will not be without its own challenges, as the IPv6 format is still being worked out, and experts say it has a lot of bugs and security issues that need fixed. For the average user, there are few concerns - unless, of course, you're still running Windows 2000. Today's modern operating systems, including Mac OSX 10.2 and Windows XP SP1 and higher, are IPv6 compatible. Modems will need to be checked for compatibility; they may need only a driver upgrade or a unit may need to be replaced entirely.
But doing nothing is simply not an option any longer: "The Internet won't stop working; it will just slowly degrade," says Lorenzo Colitti, a Google engineer. "Things will get slower and flakier."
Now, to be honest, there are still plenty of IP addresses available with IPv4, but many of them are unused and have already been allocated to organizations such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, IBM or Ford Motor Co. Experts say we've probably got about two years before it really becomes a problem. And to be truthful, they will likely go up in price as they become scarcer.
What you really need to be focused on at this time is ensuring your website's hosting company and your Internet service provider are ready for the transition to IPv6, and your equipment - computers, modems, etc. - will transition when the time comes. So for now, rest easy; for most people, the change will be very much like the recent transition from analog to digital television.
ASA Web Ways: Take the Hill with ASA
Don't miss your chance to meet with your congressional representatives and important policymakers this May 11. ASA's "Taking the Hill" Day, scheduled along with the association's annual business meeting, offers members the chance to talk directly with your representatives about the issues that are affecting your business and the industry. Make the investment now and be part of this grassroots legislative effort. Details and online registration are available now at www.ASAshop.org/annual11/index.html.
As of last June, nearly 30 percent of U.S. households have eliminated landline phones, up 5 percent from just one year earlier.
Source: Business Insider/Citi Investment Research and Analysis
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