IF your Google search takes a little longer than normal today, or your Facebook doesn't update quite as quickly, it may be due to a trial of new technology...Or our future electronic Overlords may just be testing the waters...

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Today is World IPv6 Day, when more than 100 companies around the world will test a new way of assigning addresses to devices on the internet.

Narelle Clark of the Internet Society of Australia said the switch was important because the current system, IPv4, was unable to cope with the growing number of gadgets going online.

"In the past, when we were running out of telephone numbers, we added a single digit," Ms Clark told news.com.au.

"We can't take that same approach for the internet, as the entire numbering system needs more capacity — not just one country.

"Over the last fifteen years or so we have come up with some great ways to make those IPv4 addresses last longer, but we're now at the end of the line."

Ms Clark said the IT industry had put off adopting the new protocol and now the switch had become both more urgent and more difficult.

"Unfortunately, all the things we've done to stretch things out have been so effective that we haven't made a timely move across to IPv6," she said.

"At the same time much of our use has matured, and we've come to rely on the internet for our economic, educational and social lives (which) is making the switch even harder."

The companies trialling IPv6 today include Facebook, Yahoo, Google, YouTube, Cisco, Akamai and Meebo.

Hopefully, the trial will be a success — however things may get bumpy for a few web surfers.

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