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In the Iron Man 3 movie, when Stark uses the News Van to access the Internet, he is shown using an IP address which is not consistent with our real world standards. Screenshot:

Screenshot from Iron Man 3 showing a computer interface
Click image for full resolution

From my calculations the maximum number of bits required would be 10+10+6+4=30 (assuming that the last address is 999.999.99.9). We use 32 bit IPv4 addresses (max 255.255.255.255). So my question is,

  • Is it shown like this in this movie only to distinguish Marvel Universe with our Universe ?
  • or Is there some other standard mentioned else where in any of the Comics, Cinema or TV Episode?
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    I think when movies or series shows something related to coding, I already assume that it's just a hype and it's wrong. Like sort of a Easter egg for us programmers to find. Like this on a show called arrow. It's just a for loop statement. imgur.com/qpkrwWn
    – Anton
    Aug 29, 2013 at 9:21
  • You could try calculating for IPv6 though.
    – Anton
    Aug 29, 2013 at 9:28
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    Its also not valid for IPv6, and the shortlived IPv5 used the same addressing as IPv4. Out of universe i'd guess they didn't want to use a real IP just in case someone decided that DOSing it would be fun Aug 29, 2013 at 9:52
  • 1
    Thanks for making my point.
    – DQdlM
    Aug 29, 2013 at 15:50

2 Answers 2

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There's a lot of real world history that shows the truth of a simple fact: if you put a real address or phone number on screen, someone will try to go there or call it, with irritating consequences for whomever lives there or has that number.

This is, for example, why phone numbers on American television are always 555-xxxx.

Similarly, IP addresses on screen tend to be technically invalid, usually by having one of the fields out of range; this is what I think we're seeing here ... IP4 movie style.

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    867-5309 anyone?
    – Monty129
    Aug 29, 2013 at 11:54
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    The best IP address they could use would be 127.0.0.1, instead of some made up value. It looks real because it is, and if there is any idiot hacker out there who doesn't know what it is will be in for a fun surprise when they try to do something to it.
    – Xantec
    Aug 29, 2013 at 13:01
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    @Xantec And for those recognizing a loopback address, it would have meant that Tony Stark is running the WHOLE Internet on this computer... IN A VAN! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!
    – Eureka
    Aug 29, 2013 at 13:11
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    @Xantec 127.0.0.1 looks likely familiar to any geek, and geeks are among the target audience of the movie. A better choice would be an address from those blocks reserved for documentation and examples, namely 192.0.2.0/24, 198.51.100.0/24 and 203.0.113.0/24.
    – Philipp
    Aug 29, 2013 at 14:11
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    @Philipp any address from 127.0.0.1 to 127.255.255.254 will go to loopback (i.e. 127.123.123.123). They could use any number there, not many geeks would recognize 127.343.131.343 as being loopback. Aug 29, 2013 at 15:13
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934.554.32.3, if the periods are replaced with semicolons, so 934:554:32:3:: becomes a valid IPv6 protocol address. (Also note: IPv6 is 4 digits in hexidecimal, and leading zeroes in each place may be omitted. Further, up to 8 such groups may be used.)

Note that 934:554:32:3:: is a valid but unassigned address at present.

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