HTML and CSS Reference
E-commerce, the buying and selling of goods on the Internet, is already an important
part of the Web. According to a recent study by Jupiter Research ( http://www.
jupitermedia.com/corporate/releases/06.02.06-newjupresearch.html), revenue generated
by e-commerce will continue to grow. By 2012, over $183 billion in online retail sales
are projected by eMarketer ( http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1006813). With
over 1.5 billion people online worldwide ( http://www.internetworldstats.com/
emarketing.htm), that's quite a few potential shoppers!
As wireless Web access becomes more commonplace, e-commerce and Internet
access not only will be regularly done from stationary computers but also from
mobile devices—Palm Pilots, netbooks, smartphones, and devices we haven't even
How do we keep track of all the devices (wireless and otherwise) that are connected to
the Internet? You are already aware that each device on the Internet is assigned a
unique number called an IP address. Currently, IPv4 is being used. Theoretically, this
allows for at most 4 billion possible IP addresses (although many potential addresses
are reserved for special uses). With the proliferation of mobile devices, even this many
addresses may not be enough. IP Version 6 (IPv6) will provide a huge increase in the
number of possible addresses and many technological advances.
What is IPv6?
IPv6, Internet Protocol Version 6, is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol. IPv6 was
designed as an evolutionary set of improvements to the current IPv4 and is backwardly com-
patible with it. Service providers and Internet users can update to IPv6 independently without
having to coordinate with each other.
IPv6 provides for more Internet addresses because the IP address is lengthened from 32 bits to
128 bits. This means that there are potentially 2 128 unique IP addresses possible, or
340,282,366,920,938,463,463,347,607,431,768,211,456. (Now there will be enough IP
addresses for everyone's PC, notebook, cell phone, pager, PDA, automobile, toaster, and so on!)
The development of the Internet2 is another effort in advancing Internet technol-
ogy. The Internet2 consortium comprises more than one hundred U.S. universities
in partnership with industry and government. Their mission is to develop and
deploy advanced network applications and technologies, focusing on applications
related to learning and research such as telemedicine, digital libraries, and virtual
laboratories. Visit the Internet2 Web site at http://www.internet2.edu for informa-
tion on this initiative.
Another technology to be aware of is web services. A web service is a self-describing,
self-contained application that provides some business functionality through an
Internet connection. For example, an organization could create a Web service to facili-
tate information exchange with its partners or vendors. The Universal Discovery,