Summer Mini-League 3, Question #4

Sometime in 1982, a seemingly innocuous conversation occurred in the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Computer Science Department. Programmers logging long hours in the labs were frustrated by their long walks to the Coke machine, only to find it empty or, much worse, filled with warm soda.

You see, around the halls of CMU, caffeine wasn’t just a substance, it was a driving force. Something needed to be done about these errant trips to the machine.

Soon, conversation spun into action. The solution was the IP address: Apparently, frustrated CMU programmers in search for cold soda created a concept and industry which is was valued at USD 384.70 billion in 2021.

What am I specifically talking about?