Holger's Thoughts on Delphi

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"555" and IP addresses

This post is a little bit different from the last few. However, I have been asking this myself for quite some time, could not find any discussions about it on the net, so I thought I blog about it.

We all know that all American movies have phone numbers that start with "555". I noticed that whenever it is being talked about IP addresses in series and movies something like "355." or "295." is being said. Hmmm... As far as I know the biggest possible address is "255.255.255.255". I really cannot believe that the writers of these shows overlooked this detail. I know about newer IP addressing versions, but these are not used on the internet yet as far as I know...

So I am thinking: Are movies and series using IP addresses that are in a range outside real IP addresses for the very same reasons that movie phone numbers start with "555"?

Just something to think about for the day. I am eager to hear your comments.

7 Comments:

  • Tools/sites such as "what is my IP?" can easily track your IP.

    By Blogger Avatar, at 1:04 PM  

  • I think the movie makers avoid using real IP-address.

    Everybody knows that the 555-phonenumbers are made up (I think 555 is really Beverly Hills?), but the Internet is still a little unknown. I think they are afraid of picking an IP-number of a real site, since they usually track IP-addresses of hackers, gangsters and the like. It is the same problems with the russians. We cant really make them the bad guys anymore. Now it is abstract corporations or a single person (See James Bond style movies for this trend (discussed several places on the web)). It is the same with web-pages: They don't dare calling a real IP for a "gangster-IP".

    Just my 2 cents / 0.12 DKK

    By Anonymous Steffen, at 4:46 PM  

  • Steffen,

    "555" isn't a valid prefix in the US that is the reason for it being used in movies...

    Of course, in the TV series 90210 all numbers start with "555" as well :-)

    By Blogger Holger, at 7:35 PM  

  • Actually, 555 exchange code is a valid exchange assigned to Directory Assistance, Operator, Repair Service, etc. Only a small range of numbers has been reserved (by BellCore) for entertainment industries: 555-0100 to 555-0199.

    By Anonymous DonS, at 4:40 AM  

  • A 555 phone number is for directory assistance. Like 555-1212. The equivilant ip address would be in one of the ranges defined by RFC 3330 as special. For example 10.x.x.x and 192.168.x.x are both local networks and not routable over the internet. 127.x is loopback. And 240.0.0.0 - 255.255.255.255 are reserved.

    Most likely whoever chose those ip addresses you mentioned don't know much about IP address ranges.

    BTW, that document refers to IPv4. The new addresses you are referering to is IPv6, where the IP addresses look much like a GUID.

    By Blogger Jim McKeeth, at 5:15 AM  

  • For what it's worth.
    The 555 phone numbers are meant to be "fake". The TV studio does not want to get sued for using a real phone number. Think about some teenagers seeing a phone number on TV. And they call it. Then they say that it was on TV. What would happen to the TV sudio?
    Better yet, would you call a phone number you saw on a TV show?
    Now lets take the "fake" phone number idea and use it for an IP address on a TV show. If you saw one would you try to access it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:59 AM  

  • I wonder why this is even a question! I don't believe in the whoever chose those ip addresses you mentioned don't know much about IP address ranges...

    Of course they do, movies and tv series have enough people in them to know these things. They use intentionaly invalid IPs for the same reason as the 555 prefix. Now, if there were a "reserved for movie/tv industry range", I'm sure they would use it instead!

    :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:54 PM  

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