back to article No, Google you still can't have dotless, one-word domains

A surreptitious effort to introduce so-called "dotless domains" – where you type a single word into your browser to reach a website – has been noticed and shot down. Despite an explicit ban on the Google-pushed idea – which would, for example, let you simply type the word "search" and be taken to the internet address https:// …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    90s called

    They wanted their AOL keywords back

  2. Mike Echo

    Money

    It's about the money. It's always about the money.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I support this proposal with the following addendum

    4-letter words are immensely useful for helping the public navigate the vast reaches of the Internet without confusion. Said words shall be redirected thusly:

    crap -> End up at your country's Google

    shit -> End up at your country's Microsoft/LinkedIn/Cortana/Tay combo

    arse -> End up at Facebook/Zuckercamp

    bull -> End up at your country's Parliament (for other chambers, use derived words)

    piss -> End up at your Central Bank

    smeg -> End up at the White House

    dead -> End up at the European Commission

    etc..

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    type the word "search" and be taken to the internet address https://search/

    If at least they all used https....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No, Google you still can't have dotless, one-word domains

    Yeah, well... I'm gonna go build my own internet, with forced data collection and one-word domains. In fact, forget the internet!

  6. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Seems pretty trivial to me...

    Enter any string you want, including Unicode, into the browser address / search bar

    Browser delimits the arbitrary string and sends it to the DNS

    The DNS looks it up and returns the numerical IP address

    This could be implemented as proof of concept in a couple of hours with a browser extension and a server pretending to be a DNS (for purposes of demo).

    Grandpa's Browser: 'That search engine, the big one, goggles or something?'

    DNS: 142.166.12.216

    Since the browser address bar is now also a search bar, this is already kinda sorta already essentially done. He who controls the browser can do anything they want. Especially if they also have their own DNS farm.

    1. IT veteran

      Searching from the address bar

      Doesn't always generate the same results - my friend and I have just typed search into Firefox's address bar. The top two results (search.co.uk and *ironically* uk.search.yahoo.com) were reversed for him...

    2. fuzzie

      Re: Seems pretty trivial to me...

      Google already have their own DNS farm behind: 8.8.8.8 - that what you were alluding to?

      Since many (most?) Android devices (or at least Chromecast etc) have that hard-coded they're already doing an insane amount of meta data collection even for those not using their browser/software.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Seems pretty trivial to me...

        fuzzie "...what you were alluding to?"

        Full points.

        As mentioned, one word URLs are (effectively) already here.

        Type CNN into your browser's address (/search) bar, press enter, and see what happens.

        It'll probably even be localized for your convenience.

        Google doesn't need anyone's permission. They own a browser, the database, and even a DNS.

        They got the 'done that' T-shirt already.

    3. Pirate Dave
      Pirate

      Re: Seems pretty trivial to me...

      "Browser delimits the arbitrary string and sends it to the DNS"

      Yeah, because DNS servers the world over aren't already busy enough trying to lookup properly formed names. Delimited arbitrary strings should be a piece of cake.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Seems pretty trivial to me...

        @Pirate Dave

        You think looking up strings is an intractable problem?

        If so, then you're just plain wrong. ...Obviously.

        1. Pirate Dave

          Re: Seems pretty trivial to me...

          No, I'm saying DNS servers already have enough work to do looking-up relatively well-defined names without having to puzzle out what a "delimited aribitrary string" is actually asking for.

  7. zerowaitstate

    In that case, I would like to register the name localhost

    I would like to register the dotless domain localhost, after my new company LocalHost, LLC. We plan to offer complementary MySQL hosting; in fact we will accept any user credentials you choose to submit, just to show you how generous we are.

    1. G2
      Pint

      Re: In that case, I would like to register the name localhost

      and i'd like to register the name localdomain

      of course, named after my new company LocalDomain GmbH

      Both of our new companies are hugely popular these days, almost everyone uses at least one of each of our products, some even more. :)

      /humour

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: In that case, I would like to register the name localhost

      you two are fine, just long as you keep well clear of my company, Intranet ltd.

    3. zerowaitstate

      Re: In that case, I would like to register the name localhost

      I would like to clarify this was only a joke. Some people are actually doing this, or something very similar: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12198026

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge

    In other words, someone tried to write in some contract language that would have allowed a registry to go through a largely unnoticed technical process, decided by ICANN's staff, to pass something that several internet organizations, including the SSAC itself, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and the ICANN Board, have all decided poses a threat to the stability of the internet.

    Why? Because then the owners of top-level domains such as "search" or "hotel" or "weather" could bypass search engines altogether and have people go direct to their websites from where they could direct them. In other words, millions of dollars worth of traffic annually.

    And it could (will) screw up LANs everywhere.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      FAIL

      And it could (will) screw up LANs everywhere.

      Yep, it will do, in many places, and that brings up a security can of worms..

      Basically, such infrastructure is not secure. There should be no way your internal network can be affected by external changes. Organisations whose infrastructure was affected by the verisign 'wildcard A instead of NXDOMAIN' fiasco of a few years ago should have seen it as a wakeup call, but alas...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't anyone remember Internet Explorer?

    Back in the late 90's/early 00's IE used to allow one word domains. Easy money for Domain Registrars until one IE update, Microsoft stopped it and lots of DR's had to give money back. As far as I remember, it was a IE only 'feature'

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Doesn't anyone remember Internet Explorer?

      Wasn't that where it added .com to everything? I remember running a competition as to who could think of the shortest single word typed into IE that would return a non-error web page. I won with BT.

      1. Naselus

        Re: Doesn't anyone remember Internet Explorer?

        ... you can still use 1-word DNS targets in any browser, provided you control the DNS server (or hosts file) that it's referencing the IP from. This in no way means that browsers are 'allowing you to have 1-word domains', because browsers are not part of the DNS infrastructure. At all.

        For example, if you set up your DNS server to recognize https://search/ as 10,10,10,10, then typing 'search' into your browser would point it to 10.10.10.10. This doesn't mean that you've just broken the rules of the internet unless you allow outside queries to it and get someone to add it as a node in the web's DNS forwarding infrastructure. ICANN's ruling here says 'no-one is allowed to do that'. It has nothing much to do with browsers.

  10. not.known@this.address Bronze badge
    Boffin

    Epitaph, Part 3?

    For some reason, the image of brain-wiped zombies running around a ruined Earth like in the last episode of DollHouse season 1 sprung to mind...

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019