Some people – indeed many people – feel that the Internet should be a fundamental utility and be handled in a similar way to other basic utilities.

I find it hard to disagree with that, but in many respects, I feel it already is.

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The image of Tateru Nino's Second Life avatar, as if printed in a bookAlts (AKA alternate accounts) exist in pretty much every online and offline service, from Second Life to Social Security. Usually, identifying an online alt is just a little bit easier than identifying an offline alt.

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IPv6, as you’re probably aware by now, is the successor to the current Internet Protocol (IPv4). Developed in the 1990s, it provides more address-space, and has little bonuses like more efficient routing, and small, but measurably improved performance. With IPv4 largely having run out of address-space (earlier this year), and ISPs charging ever-increasing rates for their remaining stocks of IPv4 addresses, there’s a small, but increasing number of systems that are only accessible through IPv6, and a much larger pool that are available through both.

As a major consumer of IPv4 addresses, the question of whether the Lab has any plans to add IPv6 support to Second Life is an interesting question – and one that has been being asked since 2004. However, Lab’s answers take some interpretation at times.

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Why is it that people open up so much, online? That we make friends faster, may fall in love more readily, that we are faster to trust someone online, whom we do not know. Why we open up to each-other, and exchange more private and intimate details and ideas than we would with any person offline?

You could attribute it to a small measure of relative safety given by pseudonymous identities giving people the freedom to be their genuine selves, but that’s not it. Or, rather, that isn’t all of it. The written word is key.

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