ICANN, the organization that oversees internet addresses, will soon allow anyone to apply for his very own generic top-level domain (gTLD). In other words, you'll soon have the power to put almost anything at the end of your url, eschewing existing top-level domains such as ".com" or ".edu." "This is a historic resolution," said …
A nameserver can in technical theory at least be authoritative for more than one TLD so that means that for example Nominet (operates the auth nameservers for .uk) could register .ni for Northern Ireland and its nameservers could become authoritative for this too which means it would resolve to the same IP at the top level at least.
Is there a point to this?
Honestly though, what's the f'in point to this? Anyone here *ever* use see any one use any of those other TLDs that ICANN created? (Those would be .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, and .pro) Didn't think so...
So now we're just going to create an extra useless but confusing sea of stupid bullshit TLDs further overloading the Domain Name System so that ICANN can make a few bucks. A solution in search of a problem. Bravo, well done.
There seems little discussion of the technical issues involved. If I purchase a Cyrillic domain name are my browser, computer, TCP/IP stack, router and upstream provider all going to be able to cope?
Re: Oh Dear
Don't worry. All addresses are required to domain name, and a domain name can't be just a top level domain. You are allowed to have an address pointed to your main domain, but that has to consists of at least foo.bar, not just bar.
So if you have a machine called mickey on your local network, then you must presumably be using a local domain of something like .local or .lan or something, and your search domain would be .local or .lan so that when you ask for mickey, you are actually asking for mickey.local or mickey.lan. Anyone running a TLD of mickey, would be able to have domains like hey.mickey and go.mickey, but mickey by itself is not a valid domain, only a top level domain.
Not just corporations
As much as I think this a completly dumb idea in the overall picture of the internet, I can see one or two groups of people combining spending forces to acquire custom TLD's such as .jedi where contributers would get the chance to have their own sub-level domain name for free.
Can we have a new internet please? this one is overflowing with an abundance of spammers, scammers, bloggers, governments trying to control it, RIAA/MPAA etc. trying to control it etc.
@Steven Hunter - .aero
"Honestly though, what's the f'in point to this? Anyone here *ever* use see any one use any of those other TLDs that ICANN created? (Those would be .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, and .pro) Didn't think so."
Actually www.dub.aero and www.snn.aero both redirect to the websites for Dublin (DUB) and Shannon (SNN) airports. If SITA had half a brain they'd have set up redirects for all major airports with designated codes, and for international airlines, so that the public would have become familiar with the domain. A couple of days work for an intern would have given then some return for the man-years of time wasted in committee meetings and negotiations with ICANN. (They don't even do a redirect on their own website - www.sita.com and www.sita.aero point to the same IP address, but even though they use @sita.aero e-mail addresses, they don't redirect visitors to www.sita.com to www.sita.aero
And from December 1st 2008, they're not even going to reserve Airport names any more - anything not already registered will be available on a first-com first-served basis (to those with some vague connection the the aeronautical industry, or a good relationship with a registrar who won't ask too many questions).
Unicode domain names
The stinger is that some scripts have characters visually indistinguishable from characters in other scripts.
Cyrillic ІЈАВЕЗКМНОРСТУҮХ are lookalikes of ASCII characters, but are NOT the same.
[If your browser isn't Unicode aware or you don't have a Cyrillic font installed, that won't make sense. Note also that these are drawn from the Unicode "Cyrillic" range, and not all of these are necessarily used in one langauge.]
Thus you can have a Cyrillic TLD *.СОМ that is wholly distinct from the existing *.COM. Can we say phishing on a grand scale? There, I knew you could do it! You can always depend on the El Reg readership!
I'm none too certain how to handle this kind of thing. Perhaps browsers will have to be told what script/language/Unicode block [*] to display, and convert everything else to some kind of canonical representation in ASCII digits? I sure wouldn't want to be the dude who's tearing his hair out over this!
* Footnote: scripts, languages, and Unicode blocks are not synonymous. You might think that any given language is written in one script, but no. Serbo-Croation is written in both Latin and Cyrillic characters; Abkhazian has Arabic, Cyrillic, and Georgian representations. It's enough to drive a man to drink.
I think i'll register .local just because i'm curious how many people actually use this recommended domain name on their LAN, the number of hate emails i get when i add a wildcard record resolving to a web server serving nothing but popups and porn ads should allow me to estimate the number of companies effected
I might register .you as well, think of the potential subdomains... oh and i still have a bit of cash left over so i think i'll get .sucks and .rules to help fund it all
i also wouldn't mind .freetard so i can issue whatever@freetard email addresses, oh no i forgot there's no revenue potential from those people
You broke mah internet!
Oh great. First they're going for the stupid idea of adding non-ASCII characters, so a lot of software will either break, or cope with it but then we'll have the average Joe baffled on finding how to type Chinese/Cyrillic characters in a qwerty/azerty keyboard.
Now we're also getting free-for-all gTLD's? Oh well, at least now phishers and 419'ers might get .con ... so now you'll know it's a CON, get it???
While I understand that .com has turned into something kind of cliché, well, the other "new" TLD's haven't really taken off, have they? Even with six-digit figures, this is just going to turn ugly.
ICANN has cheez.burger
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