IETF's April Fools' Gags Geekier Than Ever in 2011

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The IETF is up to its usual April Fools' Day tricks, publishing bogus requests for comment (RFC) on its website Friday for addressing serious IP challenges, including IPv4-to-IPv6 migration.

One joke RFC has to do with conducting regional broadcasts using an "atmospheric link layer" -- RFC 6217 -- that works with a physical layer "made up primarily of nitrogen and oxygen."

[APRIL FOOLS' DAY 2011: The hilarious, the not so funny and the even unfunnier]

RFC 6217 was authored by "T. Ritter," and describes using a new data link layer that scales efficiently to a geographically local network and, "depending on visibility," to an entire Metropolitan Area Network.

"It also makes use of a widely available infrastructure that is in use in all major cities and, surprisingly, rural and under-developed locations as well," the document explains. "Hosts may not receive packets for a variety of reasons, among them weather conditions, line of sight, sleep patterns, and distraction. A best-effort delivery approach is taken."

Another fishy document -- RFC 5984 -- proposes using extrasensory perception to achieve "infinite bandwidth" in IP networks.

The ESP-forwarding RFC was authored by Karl-Magnus Moller of Tankesaft. It describes "a brand new concept in packet forwarding that will provide unsurpassed end user performance regardless of link capacity, distance, and number of hops.

"The foundation for the ESP-based forwarding scheme is to reduce latency by means of precognitive datagram detection and generation. By applying this technology, latency will not only reach zero, but might even become negative."

Everyone's favorite IP topic of the day -- IPv6 -- also gets the phony RFC treatment in a document titled "Adaptation of RFC 1149 for IPv6." The abstract for RFC 6214 describes "a method for transmission of IPv6 datagrams over the same medium as specified for IPv4 datagrams in RFC 1149." From there, the document devolves into an explanation of how carriers of different ages -- young, adult and elderly -- will be suited to carry certain traffic.

The IETF has been publishing April 1 jokes since 1983. Here's a look at some of the most famous ones.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

This story, "IETF's April Fools' Gags Geekier Than Ever in 2011" was originally published by Network World.

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