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back to article Wales loses 'dot-cum' domain to tax haven

The organisation behind a bid to give the Welsh their very own top-level internet domain has been forced to rethink its plans after a rule change made its first-choice domain verboten. DotCYM had planned to apply to ICANN next year for ".cym", pronounced "dot-cum", to represent Welsh people, language and culture globally. But …

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.cym?

But surely that has too many vowels?

Yeah I know, I'll get my coat.

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RE: M Gale

It's the Welsh, they have to be awkward.

They can't just use .co.uk like the rest of us

Where do they think being separate from the UK will leave them?

Needing passports to enter England, with less money per head and with less development.

Nowhere good in the long run

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Anonymous Coward

Oh right...

Er, maybe we just want to try and retain some identity? You know, since we were a separate country that was annexed by England, with a now struggling separate culture, identity and language. Regardless of devolution or independence, it's nice to have your own identifier especially for things that are pertaining to your own country, in your own language. i'm sorry if that offends you.

Twll tin.

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No title required

You have identity already, but to split every country further into more, and then even more into .whatevers you just end up with many more imitation sites

With 1 for every city in the world it will be really tiresome.

Microsoft.wales

Microsoft.london

Microsoft.co.uk

Microsoft.com

Microsoft.birmingham

Imagine how quickly that gets dull when you can't find the right website.

And you have a struggling language because you don't use it anymore, very few Welsh people do anymore. you could teach it in schools along with your Welsh history and culture but you don't

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Languages

All languages except English must be banned in computer technology. I mean, use them for documents, alright, but in anything to do with addresses, commands etc they must be made absolutely illegal.

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Sarcasm?

I really hope that's sarcasm.

English is only a common language when you consider it as a second or third language. When you consider first languages then it's a poor second to Chinese.

About than 1 in 6 of the world's population read Chinese as a first language. There are already more Chinese internet users than there are people in total in the US, or in Europe.

Give it a few more years and there will be more Chinese people on the internet than there are people in the US and EU combined.

Based on this, the internet should be converted into Chinese, as Chinese outnumber everybody else.

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@PerfectBlue

Chinese? The Internet should be converted to Klingon!

---

Actually, there are security implications when one considers non-Latin characters sets. Which URL is correct? "www.microsoft.com" or "www.micrоsoft.com"? And no, they are not the same (well, they weren't when I typed them in).

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.engwish

Yeh, but there are more Chinese people speaking English than native English speakers, and I bet most of them can spelligna better than wot we can too.

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Paris Hilton

English

@PerfectBlue - There are a couple of problems with your argument. Firstly, Chinese (all forms) is not considered a "World Language", rather a regional or super-regional one, due to the fact that outside China it has very little sway. This compared to English, which is a World Language and recognised as an official language of the EU, USA, India, etc.

Yes, you are correct in saying more people speak Chinese as a first language than English, over double in fact. Though that number is nearer to 1 in 8 people (when talking in the billions thats a big difference!). However, globally close to 2 billion people speak English, around 30% more than Chinese (all forms).

Then perhaps even more important in this context is not the language, but rather the alphabet. Standardising code to the Latin Alphabet, which English is based upon,is far more logical as it is the basis for over half the world's primary spoken languages, unlike Chinese.

Finally, English has already established itself within current standards and codes, while the vast majority of tech companies and influence is based in English speaking countries (USA..). All major OS's, programs, programming languages, web standards, etc are based on English.

So actually, the idea of having one standard 'digital' language is very compelling and practical. Choosing English, or rather continuing to choose English, is by far and away the most logical given its current and future status.

(p.s. there's a big push within China to adopt English more widely, as an official second language!)

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Oddly enough...

...that wierdly-coded Microsoft got changed to "http://www.xn--micrsoft-qbh.com/" by Chrome, which then failed to find the address.

Also, three downvotes for someone who just pointed out that the entire world does not have English as a first language? I didn't know there are that many Daily Mail readers here...

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@PerfectBlue

(I hope his comments wasn't pure sarcasm...)

Of course, you are right, there are more people with mother tongue Chinese than English. Also considering internet users there are far more non-native than native English speakers. But, this does not really matter.

For historic reason internet is based on English/the latin alphabet. It is the simplicity of this alphabet which is why it not only dominates the internet but also world-wide use. And the same simplicity makes it easier for Chinese to learn it than ever will be for western people to get used to some thousands of Chinese characters.

This does not mean that English will remain lingua franca for ever. I bet, however, that whatever is will be in the future, it's going to be something simple, simlier than Chinese. So I don't quite agree with Vladimir with English having to be the only language in computer technology. But please stay with the standard latin alphabet (without umlaut, accents, etc) or something equally simple such as katakana.

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Boffin

Chinese language?

Not forgetting, of course, that Chinses is a family of related (but mostly mutually-incomprehensible) languages, rather than a single language. Mind you, English may be going the same way in all its different incarnations around the world.

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Anonymous Coward

cultural reasons

English current dominance is one of the reasons non-English power blocks want the ability to break the English Language strangle hold on the internet.

English is only the language of business because the most powerful industrial nation uses it. USA for generations has been the most important trading nation for goods (industrial/electronic/consumer and, raw) and a wealthy consumer market, it speaks English, so other people that want to do business learn English. Including all the other nations that want to be players (India/Brazil/Russia/China/Japan/Germany) if you want to be a player you need to know the Language.

China and India at the moment want to change that, now it wont happen over night, but the end goal is that over the next century those of us in English dominated cultures will need to learn a new language (be it a Chinese or Indian language or some other upstart that .) Russia too wants to be represented, they still chase former glory.

If the internet (a primary tool for global communication) is locked into English (and other European scripts) it makes this ideal almost impossible. As such these nations will force the issue (and they can, they have the money, political savvy and, man power to force a lot of things these days.)

The Eastern Dragons are waking up, hope you've got breakfast ready for them. The west doesn't have a defacto right to anything, we could just keep hold of it because we had the biggest stick in town.

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Sarcasm?

No. Not at all.

FYI: My first language is Russian and I still maintain that the sole language for operating computer machinery should be English and the character set should be Latin.

It's not difficult to learn a 100 or so words that are being used in computer programs' menues? And the English alphabet is only 26 characters - small price to pay in training of even the most hard-of-learning person when you consider that the prize is universal compatibility and global search and accessibility of information.

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Things must be very different in Russia.

"It's not difficult to learn a 100 or so words that are being used in computer programs' menues"

Learn, computer programs? Everywhere I've been you're just plonked in front of a computer and expected to pick it up as you go along. The whole point of the menu system is to stop you needing training.

(I do still believe in training personally, it's just the rest of the world with unmaintable hacked-up Excel spreadsheets that could be done in a structured and maintainable way in Access in half the time if they knew what they were doing that believe not being trained is in some way admirable.)

Anyway, if we're going to learn 100 or so foreign words, why use English? If people have to learn foreign words to use computers, why not Chinese? Chinese words take up less screen space, after all, and what with the iPhone and all that, screens are finally starting to get smaller again.

Also, with Chinese characters, you don't even have to learn the Chinese word. If you see the Chinese for "cut" you can tie the ideograph to the English word "cut".

Superior in every way.

But localisation is dead easy, so we don't need one single UI language anyway.

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Welcome

But of course...

" [...] there's a big push within China to adopt English more widely, as an official second language!"

But of course...as they're gonna own us...lock, stock and GDP...in the next few years, they had better learn English in order to communicate with their newfound chattel....

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Anonymous Coward

Welcome

I for one welcome our new English-speaking, iPod-making overlords

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Boffin

That is punycode

used for encoding Unicode into characters acceptable in domain names.

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Let's start now...

传统或简体中文?

傳統或简体中文?

I said, Traditional or Simplified Chinese?

Mine's the one with the Babelfish URL in the pocket...

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RE: Vladimir Plouzhnikov

I actually kinda agree there with you Vladimir Plouzhnikov.

How does a chinese person in the UK search for a chinese web address with an English keyboard?

More cost to then buy one and have it imported unless you like to copy and paste everything

This system has suited us fine until now but it does need to change to allow other languages, it's only fair.

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@The Indomitable Gall

"If people have to learn foreign words to use computers, why not Chinese?"

Well, you do that. You are considered barely literate in China (pre-school level) if you only know about 3000 of these symbols. And then you have to interpret every word. In Latin you need 26 letters and a few words - how difficult is it to learn File, Save, and Exit?

"Everywhere I've been you're just plonked in front of a computer and expected to pick it up as you go along."

That's my point exactly - it will be much simpler to pick it up if all computers used one language in their UIs.

And last but not least - English is much more concise and laconic language where you can use single words to describe concepts that need many words in other languages (like Russian). Therefore, Russian-language menues consist of gibberish which you can only understand if you learn that this particular corruption of a word means this particular action of your computer - so you still have to learn literally another language.

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How about...

.bah

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Anonymous Coward

.baa?

that's all.

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or

.boyo

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Coffee/keyboard

titular amusement

hows about .sheepf.uk?

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sheepf

I thought that was a Yewnix command :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Mutation

then Gym instead?

(FYI Gymru is the Soft mutation of Cymru.)

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.Wales

So, when is England going to get it's own domain? Or it's own parliament.

Too long have the English been slaves of the UK. Free the English, Free the English, Free the English.

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Troll

I reccommend they go with .meh

For all the interest the rest of the world has in the Welsh language.

What's next .toon for geordies?

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Coat

I reccommend they go with .meh

"What's next .toon for geordies?"

Personally, I thought they'd have gone with .yi ...

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Anonymous Coward

My personal view...

... is that united we stand, divided we fall especially when it comes to European issues.

I'm Welsh by birth and raising, but live and work in England. On official forms I class myself as British.

While I fully understand the strong role that our strong history plays in our personal identites in the present, there must surely be some way of us working together as Great Britain or United Kingdom or whatever you want to call it, without all this bickering which has led in some cases to violence.

The last thing we need is to be fighting among ourselves, making our presence even smaller than it already is.

Politics is already a mess; I think that a load of smaller fish in collectively smaller ponds won't help. While we need to draw strength from our past, we risk throwing away our future.

But that's just my view.

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Anonymous Coward

I got that wrong...

... a load of small fish in a big pond trying to make themselves bigger by making the pond smaller.

Some politicians should remember what the job title stands for ... "poli" many - "ticks" blood sucking creatures.

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Troll

Following that logic...

...we'll be even stronger if we stand together as Europeans, and put aside our infighting... but somehow, I don't think you're going to agree with this view ;)

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Anonymous Coward

On the contrary...

I do agree.

I think that the society portrayed in Star Trek, where everyone is rewarded according to their contribution, where money doesn't occur because all peoples basic needs are met, and where individual religions are respected but kept from having too much influence on the whole, is something worth while striving for.

It will take a major change in the view of humanity itself before we could reach such a point however. Not going to happen in my lifetime ... not many others, I suspect. Probably take some global catastrophe to make humanity band together to that degree.

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yep

and just give them *.wales.uk to play with.

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A parliament too far ?

@Ian Ferguson

I think many eurosceptics don't - fundamentally - have a problem with European co-operation and many even have a strong sense of European identity. They just don't see the EU (in it's current form) as the best solution for a strong Europe.

The scepticism often comes from the underhanded way the EU operates and the seeming unaccountability of it. The way to win the sceptics over would seem to be to address those concerns rather than ignore/belittle them.

Of course, in many regards these criticisms can also be levelled at the UK parliament as well - which may explain many Welsh/Scots and even English people's growing desire to be separate from that too...

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Anonymous Coward

one

One of the main things that would allow such a nation would be a source of near unlimited power ( Fusion / Massive Geothermal complexes ) Fusion would be most useful in the long run as it could power craft.

What would this do? Well with near limitless power you wouldn't need anywhere near as much oil, and in theory processes to create artificial materials to replace plastic may be more realistic further reducing oil needs. Also with near limitless clean energy you would be able to run electrical vehicles without a huge amount of worry.

While oil and gas will still have a role (fueling backup generators in datacenters, providing power to hard to reach facilities, Aircraft, boats etc) it would be greatly devalued. Two major benefits a reduction in green house and a greatly reduced amount of money going to shady governments and shady companies.

So other problems this can solve, cleaning salt water to make it drinkable is power hungry work, but if you have fusion or geothermal power available again this is more realistic. With more water you can have more aribal land, more food and work leads to happier people, so on and so forth.

Now the other thing is after a few generations of technology the price of electricity will have plumeted (you'll be using a uniform method of power generation reducing maintenance costs and you should have industrial lines pouring out required components) so the costs related to needing power also plummet (imagine how much of the total cost of a product is actually the power that went into getting resources out of the ground, transporting them, smelting, manufacturing, combinging, marketing etc)

Of course one thing to remember is we spend more money on plastic bags than researching fusion power or exploring for geothermal locations.

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Anonymous Coward

Remind me

are these new extensions for the good of the internet or for the bank balance of registrars?

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The registrars of course: silly question.

Just think of all those millions of extra cybersquatters filling in their rego forms...

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Eh?

.uk covers Wales. Why does it need it's own? .eng anyone? Or .lancs? Or .lon? Or .23StirrupLane?

What is wrong with the world when people feel the need to chop themselves up into ever smaller groups?

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Pirate

There's nothing wrong with the world

That's how human nature works - we need to identify ourselves with a peer group, excluding outsiders. The drive is stronger in some than in others, but it can be seen in all walks of life.

When that tendency starts driving global policy, we're all screwed....

GJC

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.lancs ?????!!!!1111111!

surely you mean .thewrongsideofthepennines with .therightsideofthepennines having already been claimed by it's White Rose wearing proper owners.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: .lancs ?????!!!!1111111!

.eck

.moors

.gum

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: .lancs ?????!!!!1111111!

(Those are Yorkshire. Not Lancs. T'other.)

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By 'ek lass

Thy come from nor'e t'Humber.

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By that reasoning...

".uk covers Wales. Why does it need it's own?"

Well, .eu covers the UK too. As do the non-geographic names.

And consider all the registrations in Companies House that include some geographical descriptor. Location is part of brand. And some franchises only operate in certain areas (Hertz Wales is distinct from Hertz UK, for example, or it was last time I tried to return a car across the border).

The TLD can and should be used as part of the brand or it is wasted space, and that means allowing subdivisions of this manner.

And in case you didn't notice, TFA does in fact mention ".london" as a possibility.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: By 'ek lass

Do I heck as like.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: By 'ek lass

(Excuse me, 'eck)

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Anonymous Coward

.albion

.uk is not geographically representative enough for me. I will only settle for .alb. By all means our neighbours should be entitled to get .hib and .mon(a).

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Or

.taff

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