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.earth and .moon?

Have you ever wondered which top-level domain another planet would have if it were to be collonised?  Or, for that matter, does the International Space Station have one?

Would all domain names get longer, to become eg. www.cymeradwyo.net.earth?

To be honest, that probably not the World’s biggest problem at the moment, but if it was there would be one problem that would have to be solved first.  How do you get the internet protocols to work over large distances?

With large, I mean L A R G E – light years, for example.

At the moment, if you send an e-mail around the globe, say from the UK to Australia, then it is broken up into small chunks called “packets” and routed between various internet nodes to get there.  Not all of the message necessary goes the same way, the packets are put back together in the right order when they arrive.

Of course, this all happens very fast and you probably don’t even notice it.  But with larger distances you might still be waiting for one part to arrive.

This problem has, apparently, now been solved – as the BBC News website reported.  It all sounds very simple, storing the data until the next node can be contacted.  But it does present us with two rather important questions:

– how much data is a node likely to have to store?

– if that is the future, what do internet nodes do at the moment if they cannot relay the data?  Do they just throw it away?

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