Accurate timekeeping has long been an engineering challenge if not obsession in some circles. Take for example the iconic Swiss chronometer watch or the pendulum-controlled clock mechanism in London's Palace of Westminster, often referred to as "Big Ben." Such mechanical systems—accurate as they may be—are no match for the clocks we use in telecommunication and computer networks. In our last issue, Geoff Huston described the glitches encountered last June when a Leap Second was applied to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). In this issue he explains the operation of the Network Time Protocol (NTP). The article is another installment in our series "Protocol Basics."
It is difficult to believe that it has been more than 25 years since the first publication of Douglas Comer's book series Internetworking With TCP/IP. Volume 1 of this series will soon be available in its sixth edition, and we asked the author to write an article about Packet Classification based on material in the book.
The recent World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) did not have the outcome with respect to the Internet that many had hoped for. We plan to publish an analysis of this event in our next issue. This time—in our "Fragments" section—we have some reactions from the Number Resource Organization (NRO) and the Internet Society, as well as pointers to further information about WCIT.
January 1, 2013, marked the 30th anniversary of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). A transition from the earlier Network Control Program (NCP) took place on January 1, 1983, also known as "Flag Day." Such an instant technology change would have been desirable for the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, but sadly this isn't possible. Instead we are happy to honor those who dedicate their careers to IPv6 deployment with an Itojun Service Award. See page 25 for more details.
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