back to article It's official! The Register is fake news… according to .uk overlord Nominet. Just a few problems with that claim, though

Nominet, which runs the .uk domain-name registry, has taken a leaf out of Donald Trump's playbook, and called our report this week into its sale of up to £100m worth of domain names "fake news." "The Trouble with Fake News," a blog post from Nominet CEO Russell Haworth on Wednesday is titled. It begins: "Unfortunately, we’ve …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

    Poke the bird, bring back a bloody stump. I await the retort.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

      Might be nice to make Private Eye aware too....?

      1. steelpillow Silver badge

        Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

        "Might be nice to make Private Eye aware too....?"

        I just did.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

          Bat a lot of use to it I expect.....

          1. Spanners Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

            When watching Have I Got News For You, I note that the PE editor, Ian Hislop, is not stressed about being unaware of technology.

            1. Is It Me Bronze badge

              Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

              While Ian Hislop might not be interested in technology I am sure that there are others that do most of the work there that will be

              1. Steve K Silver badge

                Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

                Absolutely - you only have to read the latest issue to see that they have Facebook’s (and other similar Tech companies) data collection strategies and hypocrisies all worked out.

                1. Joeyjoejojrshabado

                  Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

                  Yes, I enjoy their reporting on the latest AI patent claims of the likes of Amazon

            2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

              Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

              "When watching Have I Got News For You, I note that the PE editor, Ian Hislop, is not stressed about being unaware of technology."

              He's playing a bit of a role there, hence running jokes about his butler, his claim to not know any pop culture since the 70s etc

              Based on the gossip I've heard, he's about as techy as you'd expect in an editor of a magazine that gets sued for libel* on a fairly constant basis. So a bit more than jo public generally, a lot more on security, and gets decent advice.

              This sort of story is exactly their remit, and it's not that complex technically. Well, other than why the registrars get to run nominet, but that's a political observation.

              Hislop is one of the few people who give me faith in media. He genuinely believes in telling truth to power. He might have a little too much fun sticking it to politicians, but that's the nearest he gets to a vice.

              * they usually win, on account of telling the truth

              1. TeeCee Gold badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

                they usually win, on account of telling the truth.

                It's worth pointing out that the fact that what you said is the truth is not a valid libel defence (although it may contribute toward a valid defence).

                The English libel court's historical verdicts offer many examples of publishers being stiffed for telling the truth. Just one of the reasons why scumbag lawyers move heaven and earth to squirrel out a tenuous reason to bring their crooked client's case in England rather than anywhere else.

                1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge

                  Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

                  Depends on whether it is criminal or civil libel. I believe the latter allows the defence of "it was true". (Ex-PE subscriber, my memory of libel law may be rusty. I think there was something about bananas.)

    2. James Anderson Silver badge

      Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

      Although the amounts of money touted will never be realised.

      The laws of supply and demand also apply in the digital economy. Tripling the supply of domain names should reduce the value of any single domain to almost zero due to oversupply.

      Combined with the fact that no one types in a domain name any more. If I want to get to the FedEx website Iclick on the link in thier e-mail, or, just google FedEx. So if anyone does fork out for FedEx.uk FedEx will probably let them keep it; after sending a "cease and desist" letter warning them that any attempt to fraudulently represent it as a FedEx owned website or otherwise confuse FedEx customers will result in criminal prosecution.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

        Err no. If I want my hair cut, I can, broadly speaking, go to any hairdressers. The "laws of supply and demand" would indeed tend to apply in terms of the price of the haircut and the number of hairdressers close to me.

        But if I want a domain name, I'm not after ANY domain name, I'm after a name from a specific subset of names. Sure I can come up with variations upon variations but for decreasing appeal (for some value of "appeal").

        And yes, FedEx may well not bother with FedEx.uk. They may well not care about someone grabbing that and using it fraudulently. They may well not care about someone manipulating the search engines so it appears above the real domain on doing a search. They may well be happy to have their lawyers send a "cease and desist" letter, or to go through the available appeals/arbitration process to get the domain back...

        ... but all of those options are likely to end up costing FedEx a whole load more than simply buying the domain for relative peanuts and sitting on it.

        That's where Nominet et al have a nice racket going - big companies want to protect their brands so they buy up the possible domain names... and then once all the money from those have come in to the registrars from that, a new extension is announced (for no real benefit to anyone else), leading them to having to buy yet another batch of domains for their brand names!

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

          It's not even a question of maybe wanting to protect their brands. If those brands are registered trademarks they *must* pay to protect them against being lost.

          Domain name registration is little more than a shakedown racket without the baseball bats and suggestions of how fire accidents can happen in the nicest of places.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

            " If those brands are registered trademarks they *must* pay to protect them against being lost."

            It's a _little_ bit more complicated than that.

            Trademarks are field-specific

            I am perfectly entitled to use FedEx as a trading name as long as it is not in any field that Fedex holds their trademark registration in.

            ie: I can be Fedex plumbing and heating, there's zero problem with that at all, and FedEx attempting to bring a trademark dispute or "passing off" action would have a hell off a job doing so unless I was using their logos - in fact, attempting to do so may well find them branded as vexatious if they kept bringing actions against businesses with similar names in unrelated fields.

            1. Def Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

              Yep, good point, well made.

            2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

              I can be Fedex plumbing and heating, there's zero problem with that at all, and FedEx attempting to bring a trademark dispute or "passing off" action would have a hell off a job doing so

              In principle this might be true, in practice, I reckon you'd be in trouble as soon as you put your company name on the side of a van. Especially considering the availability of high-priced lawyers to large companies.

              1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
                Megaphone

                Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

                This may also depend on the jurisdiction.

                A number of family butchers in Scotland called McDonald's received cease and desist warnings from an obscure burger flipping chain from the US.

                Scottish legal system was unimpressed.

              2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

                And what sort of assholes run those companies, as Uzi Nissan discovered.

            3. Wilseus

              Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

              "Trademarks are field-specific

              I am perfectly entitled to use FedEx as a trading name as long as it is not in any field that Fedex holds their trademark registration in.

              ie: I can be Fedex plumbing and heating, there's zero problem with that at all, and FedEx attempting to bring a trademark dispute or "passing off" action would have a hell off a job doing so unless I was using their logos - in fact, attempting to do so may well find them branded as vexatious if they kept bringing actions against businesses with similar names in unrelated fields."

              I don't think Stelios/EasyGroup got that memo.

              1. katrinab Silver badge

                Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

                Easynet (an ISP now owned by Sky) were able to keep their name.

            4. Bogbody
              Facepalm

              Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

              Ah.... no.

              You can't afford the quality and price of the Barrister required to defend your use of the name.

            5. eldakka Silver badge

              Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

              It's a _little_ bit more complicated than that.

              To add to this, it is even a bit more complex than that.

              You don't have to sue every use of your trademark.

              One of the things with trademarks, is that a trademark becoming a common, every day generic term can invalidate it. For example, Google do not want people to use "Google" as a term for searching, e.g. "I'll Google it". Because if it becomes a generic, common term that, say, replaces "I'll do an Internet search" entirely in common vocabulary, then the trademark can be invalidated even though no-one else is using it in business.

              So no, a trademark owner doesn't have to sue anyone who uses it, or blindly 'defend' the trademark. The goal is to prevent the trademarked term from becoming a generic term that is no longer eligible to be a trademark. Knee-jerk suing activity is merely the implementation detail. It is how lawyers see it as the method of preventing a term from becoming generic. And which, by the way, earns the lawyers lots of money by just defaulting to "sue someone using my clients mark in any way." Even if the trademark owners lose the case, they get the chilling effect of people knowing that they'll probably get sued if they use the trademark innocently, therefore the cost of even a lost trial can be acceptable to the trademark holders.

            6. Richard Cranium

              Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

              re: " and FedEx attempting to bring a trademark dispute or 'passing off' action would have a hell off a job doing so".

              True up to a point but a small business can't afford the court costs of fighting. An example is KFC attempting to strong-arm the Tan Hill Inn for trademark infringement because they called their Christmas Dinner a "Family Feast", a term KFC use to describe a meal conveniently delivered in a bucket (that one might later find useful as a receptacle for vomit). Tan Hill fixed the problem by getting national news coverage and shaming KFC into backing down, in the face of legal threats, however spurious, many others would just comply.

              https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1551113/KFCs-legal-threat-to-Englands-highest-pub.html

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

                a meal conveniently delivered in a bucket (that one might later find useful as a receptacle for vomit)

                Ooh, I wouldn't recommend it. For KFC vomit you really want something deeper, to cut down on overspray. I'd also want something tougher than coated paper.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

          Then some panicy exec decides they need to register all the close typos of their brand name, such as tehregister.uk and thereegister.uk etc. and the registars make even more money.

          Anon, because my employer is one of the smaller Nominet members...

          1. Nick Kew

            Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

            Who owns theregistrar.uk ?

            1. dotdan

              Re: Give the users a break

              Nobody - you could register it yourself: https://www.nominet.uk/whois/?query=theregistrar.uk#whois-results

              theregister.uk, though, redirects to the El Reg homepage and has El Reg's nameservers, so guessing that it's firmly attached to the vulture's nest.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Give the users a break

                Perhaps El Reg should buy theregistrar.uk and use it to launch their own registrar. "Register your domain with the Register! Bite the handle that means you!"

          2. chivo243 Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

            We had people calling us saying that ourdomain.com and .net etc were available and someone wanted to buy them, and we needed to act FAST to protect our ourdomain.other and buy these ASAP, call before midnight tonight! Deal expires today!

            Haar, je keneet scam me, I've had 5 calls this week from M$ support alerting me to problems with my system, fun times! I'm not buying lots of look-a-like domain names. If anything, I've got parts of a bridge in Russia you might be interested in...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

            "Then some panicy exec decides they need to register all the close typos of their brand name [...]"

            Many years a go a customer explained why they were offering us packs of free cigarettes when we did a support visit. The packs were labelled with names confusingly similar to their main products. In order to maintain these as variant trademarks they had to have them on sale every so often in a few tobacconists in the UK.

        3. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

          The domain speculators would have you believe that if you wanted a haircut, you would visit hairdressers.uk and see what it has to offer.

          In reality that is a really bad name to choose as it is too generic and unlikely to be found by Google.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

          It’s much easier than that - I once got an email (to hostmaster@mydomain) from a domain squatter who offered to sell me a domain that was extremely similar to my employers main domain, the implied threat was that if I didn’t enter into negotiations to buy the domain for a few thousand pounds, it would be sold to someone else.

          It was pretty easy to reply with a specific threat of litigation for trademark infringement, which could be easily remedied by the domain squatter transferring the domain for free. Which he did.

          I can’t see that the likes of Asda, Audi or anyone else would deal with it any differently.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

            "the implied threat was that if I didn’t enter into negotiations to buy the domain for a few thousand pounds, it would be sold to someone else."

            Yup, that's the point about those kinds of offers.

            They rely on suckers not realising that they can sue the infringer's pants off and then pour napalm all over the bare arse for good measure.

          2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

            I thought that - that the value of Audi.uk is not great if you're not Audi, and Audi probably can stop you. Especially if you're Honda.

            On the other hand, a careful... blackmailer?... will take longer to trace and punish. And not every case of a domain name resembling yours will be pursuable. Look at the long weary story of s e x dot com.

        5. James Anderson Silver badge

          Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

          However large corporations pay whopping retainers to mega law firms.

          So they have already paid for hours of legal representation, if nobodies currently suing them they can use up the hours coming down hard on domain trolls

      2. a pressbutton Silver badge

        Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

        The laws of supply and demand also apply in the digital economy. Tripling the supply of domain names should reduce the value of any single domain to almost zero due to oversupply.

        Not true.

        The value of $a_very_long_name_that_is_not_very_memorable_or_relatable_to_a_commercial_or_other_entity.uk

        will indeed -> cost of provision

        but

        $a_short_very_memorable_name_commercially_useful.uk

        will -> lots

        not quite a veblen good, but sort of.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

          "not quite a veblen good, but sort of."

          UK car registration numbers are of varying value - often depending on context. I knew a GP in the 1960s who was rather pleased when his new car happened to be delivered with "999"*** as the number part.

          The Austin's Funeral Services company has custom number plates like D 6 AFS - as well as some rather surprising vehicle options for hearses.

          ***that was the only UK emergency services phone number in those days.

      3. AndrueC Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

        The laws of supply and demand also apply in the digital economy. Tripling the supply of domain names should reduce the value of any single domain to almost zero due to oversupply.

        No, because domain names are not fungible.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

          Up-voted purely for use of the word fungible.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Go

      Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

      "The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable"

      Well done Reg.

    4. Aqua Marina

      Re: Nice write up! Excellent fact checking!

      When a company doesn't let you comment on their posts (um does AO work for nominet) then leave them a bad review on their facebook page.

      https://www.facebook.com/pg/nominet/reviews/?ref=page_internal

  2. JakeMS
    Joke

    Quick!

    Uh oh! Quick!! We (Nominet) look bad! Write a blog post! It'll fix everything!

    1. Dabooka

      Re: Quick!

      Hopefully they'll see a variation of the Streisand Effect playing out over this.

    2. MrReynolds2U

      Re: Quick! - Blog posting??

      The 90s called... they want their publication medium back

  3. CliveS
    Thumb Down

    I took a look at that piece of snivelling sophistry from Howarth, and note that, just like Nominet itself, there is no way for anyone to leave a response as commenting is disabled.. Tosser.

  4. Steve Button

    Indian giant Dada Group?

    Is that Italian Giant? Or Tata group?

  5. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Someone register

    nominet-s.uk

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Someone register

      or nominet-co.uk...

  6. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Money, money, money.

    The domain name business is completely broken. It's sole purpose now is to make money for those who run the service. It has very little to do with providing a service to the users of the internet.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Money, money, money.

      Yes, what is it about the people that these kinds of organisation attract? You have the likes of ICANN making things up to suit themselves and enriching the employees of supposedly "non-profit" companies. Non-profit for who I wonder.

      It seems as if NOMINET has been watching ICANN drive a coach and horses through the regulations and thought "Hang on a minute, I'll have some of that!"

      Greedy, manipulative bastards who could not even spell integrity if their lives depended upon it.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Money, money, money.

        "Yes, what is it about the people that these kinds of organisation attract?"

        IP lawyers who saw how much $$PROFIT$$ could be made and whose eyes went CHA-CHING!

        One of whom managed to be elected chair of ICANN after some _distinctly_ dodgy shit went on back in his home country.

      3. Tom 64
        Windows

        Re: Money, money, money.

        El Reg: You've heard of ethics, right?

        Howarth: What's that, like some tribe in South America?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Money, money, money.

          El Reg: You've heard of ethics, right?

          Howath: thilly, that'th where Jamie Oliver come'th from

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money, money, money.

      Agreed, domains should never have been allowed to be sold and should limit the number of seperate registrations if no real content is being published/services connected.

    3. Brent Beach

      Re: Money, money, money.

      Pick the 1,000 wealthiest people, register domains under their actual names, then send them an email offering them the domain for x thousand pounds. This capitalism at its ultimate. Its ugliest.

  7. Lee D Silver badge

    Honestly... do these vanity-plate domains generate money for anyone other than the registrar?

    Who's going to "food.uk" instead of waitrose.co.uk? Which search engine is up-ranking sites because their domain name is "rare" even though they're just a bunch of ads? What typo-squatter is actually doing anything with their domain except put up a boring page of almost-links that don't actually even link to the domain they're typosquatting (for obvious "passing off" reasons)... why, yes, I did mean to go to theregsiter.co.uk, and click an advert for Nike trainers, rather than the tech news website...

    I knew someone many years ago who used to "snap up" domains they consider valuable... I'll change the name slightly with synonyms but do you really think student-flat-search.co.uk is a valuable domain? What about financetohelpyoubuy2let.com? Now, that was the 2000's, so they actually made a small profit by selling those domains to other mugs who thought they were valuable, but they also got lumbered with a bunch of unsaleable domains that they had to keep registration on for years and then just dumped.

    Who's buying these things, what are they doing with them, why, and are they actually making any profit whatsoever? I hold a bunch of domains that the kind of sites that sell them keep contacting me about. Because they were just... "Oh, that sounds nice, I'll use that for my site", not because I wanted to profiteer. They *claim* my domains are worth thousands. Not once has anyone offered anything even approaching that. Still, today, if I put them on that big domain auction site, they get high valuations and *zero offers* at any price.

    The only one I "kinda" get is buying up the misspellings of facebook.com if you're Facebook, but even that seems a bit of a pointless exercise and will only encourage people to register even more misspellings in the hope of a payout. I imagine most of those are actually the result of a court case where Facebook sued the backside off someone who was passing off, and won the domain as part of the settlement.

    1. Naselus

      Every company in the world is going to try and make sure they own as many TLD-variants of their name as possible. So if I work for companyA inc, I'm going to try and get CompanyA.com, CompanyA.co.uk, and now I also need to own CompanyA.uk.

      That's all this is tbh, a meas for some registrar to tax me an extra 8 quid a year so that CompanyA.uk doesn't get bought up by a bestiality porn site.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        I would recommend no company registers .xxx to protect their brand, its just a headache.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          >I would recommend no company registers .xxx to protect their brand, its just a headache.

          ? aspirin.xxx

          1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Asprin

            "? aspirin.xxx"

            Nah, we won a war to make that no longer belong to Bayer. Along with Heroin (previously TM)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Every company in the world is going to try and make sure they own as many TLD-variants of their name as possible.

        I used to work for a small IT services which is also a small registrar (for .uk domains). One of our customers was in fact doing that - it was "interesting" keeping on top of all the renewals which for various reasons* had to be with several resellers. IIRC they were up to 40+ when I left.

        * Mostly to do with various registries' requirements such as having a "business address" in the country - which was usually dealt with by a reseller having an "office" there that all their clients used the address of.

    2. spodula

      Its less to make money from the name, and more to prevent fraud.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Who's going to "food.uk" instead of waitrose.co.uk? Which search engine is up-ranking sites because their domain name is "rare" even though they're just a bunch of ads?"

      I think the only "generic" I can think of off the top of my head and owned by company using it is B&Q's diy.com

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        >B&Q's diy.com

        But then they did have a problem with how do you represent the '&' using the permitted characterset.

        What is interesting is how they have maintained the two brand names and seem in no hurry to follow the pack and go through a rebranding exercise.

      2. raglits

        www.thetoyshop.com is another, it's actually the web site for The Entertainer chain

  8. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    The problem with "fake news"...

    ... is it allows any idiot to respond to a fact-checked article by bleating a two word response, the hard of thinking stay in their comfort zone and blindly believe them, and it means a reasoned argument is no better or worse than an opinion or just some made-up shit. It's the worst thing that's happened in the past decade, it's rolling back evidence-based decision-making and debate which is responsible for most advances over the past 500 years.

    So Nominet deserve it with both barrels.

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: The problem with "fake news"...

      Although in a sense the plague is self-correcting. I, like most people of good sense, notice the tell-tale phrase "fake news" and prepare to learn that the writer of that phrase is himself trying to con me.

      Normal people prefer the old-fashioned word "lies".

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The problem with "fake news"...

        Exactly.

        I have noticed that people who apply the term "fake news" to any given subject are always, without exception, lying about that particular subject.

        Handy filter, that.

      2. Cxwf

        Re: The problem with "fake news"...

        <quote>Normal people prefer the old-fashioned word "lies".</quote >

        Exactly this. The only thing new about “fake news” in the last decade is the label. Lies have been a part of public statements and yes, even journalism, for as long as we’ve been able to print.

        No disrespect at El Reg - I trust you guys more than most sources. But in general, any wise reader should always keep their cynicism handy on the internet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The problem with "fake news"...

          Salesman: "This is the campaign for our marvellous new formula washing powder."

          Customer: "What was the previous one based on?"

          Salesman "Various lyes".

          "Wizard of ID" cartoon strip.

      3. Juan Inamillion

        Re: The problem with "fake news"...

        It seems to me that if an article was referred to as 'lies' it would be taken a whole lot more seriously by it's author and m'learned friends in the public domain.

        Using the phrase 'fake news' is almost childish, playground banter-ish and so much less likely to be taken seriously, but ultimately devaluing the discourse.

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: The problem with "fake news"...

      Well said sir.

      Shouting 'Fake News' - the current defence for the indefensible, helpfully identifying individuals & companies you shouldn't touch with a bargepole. One does wonder if Nominet is doing anything the Competition & Markets Authority should be looking at?

      There is always the .GB TLD, owned by Jisc Services (JANET of times past), resurrecting that seems like a good idea, at least the registration money raised could be going to some educational use.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: the .GB TLD, owned by Jisc Services

        Well, of course, JANET used to own .UK, too. Indeed I have a .co.uk domain name that predates the existence of Nominet. I suspect if .GB were to be commercially exploited by a Quango they'd be overwhelmed by expensive lawsuits from deep-pocketed registrars complaining about state-subsidised competition depriving them of their effective monopoly legitimate income.

      2. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: The problem with "fake news"...

        There is always the .GB TLD

        Since we seem to be heading for a hard Brexit, which will almost certainly result in another Scottish independence referendum and the break-up of the United Kingdom, Jisc could be sitting on gold. Selling .gb registrations may be the only way to fund the UK HE/FE network, given how intent the government is on cutting education spending yet further, even before they dole out yet another unnecessary punishment beating to the economy in a vain attempt to hold the Tory party together.

        1. FeeFiFoFum

          Re: The problem with "fake news"...

          Great Britain includes England, Wales & Scotland but not Northern Ireland, which is on the island of Ireland (together with the Republic of Ireland).

          If Scotland left the UK, then it would remain part of GB - but would want it's own (.sco?) TLD.

          If NI & Scotland left the UK, the UK would still exist - albeit smaller - it would then comprise of England & Wales.

          So Brexit worst case scenario, the UK would still exist - .gb would be the TLD that was fragmented - but not .uk (apart from for people in Scotland).

          1. CliveS

            Re: The problem with "fake news"...

            "Great Britain includes England, Wales & Scotland but not Northern Ireland, which is on the island of Ireland (together with the Republic of Ireland)."

            I guess that depends on whether - in this context - Great Britain is used geographically to refer to the island, or politically to refer to the entity formerly known as the Kingdom of Great Britain, but officially Great Britain.

            If Scotland leaves the UK, then politically it would no longer be a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. However the United Kingdom would still exist, albeit as the United Kingdom of England and Northern Ireland. As for poor old Wales, their existence as an independent kingdom effectively came to an end when Edward I defeated Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282.

            1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: The problem with "fake news"...

              Absolutely. A principality is not a kingdom. (cf Monaco)

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. beeurd

            Re: The problem with "fake news"...

            There's already a .scot extension, as well as a .wales (and .cymru).

        2. Dave 15

          Re: The problem with "fake news"...

          It wont be a Scottish independence referendum, SNP are not looking for independence, they just hate the English (feeling is often mutual I expect). Sturgeon already wants to bend over and let Scotland take it again from the EU (or should we say Scotlands old buddies the French with their new German allies).

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: The problem with "fake news"...

            I'm always impressed by the way the most ignorant observations are written in the least literate fashion. Very persuasive.

        3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: The problem with "fake news"...

          There is always the .GB TLD

          I think that "GB" stands for "Gordon Bennett" these days.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The problem with "fake news"...

        "[...] at least the registration money raised could be going to some educational use."

        Unfortunately there have been several cases of the administrative heads of some UK state schools and universities paying themselves apparently unwarranted eye-watering salaries.

    3. Dave 15

      Re: The problem with "fake news"...

      The BBC is one big fake news site.

    4. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: The problem with "fake news"...

      So Nominet deserve it with both barrels.

      I wouldn't phrase it like that (incitement to violence and all) but they do deserve a sky burial. Engage every Vulture Central turbo-props (--->)!

    5. sitta_europea Bronze badge

      Re: The problem with "fake news"...

      "... Nominet deserve it with both barrels."

      Spot on.

      They were lying thieving bastards when I was a registrar twenty years ago, and I can't see that anything has changed.

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Pint

    Thanks

    Beers all round to El Reg journos for staying on this.

    It's sad that it's necessary. I seem to (dimly) remember a time when Nominet were the good guys - for some undefined value of 'good'.

    1. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: Thanks

      Oh, you mean they believed in "Don't be Evil"?

      And then people always discover money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thanks

        "And then people always discover money."

        Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

        Lord Acton 1887

        1. Mike 137 Bronze badge

          Power and corruption

          A very wise man said a long time ago (although not as far back as Acton):

          "people say power corrupts, but they don't stop to consider how difficult it is to show how corrupt you are when you're powerless".

  10. John Jennings

    Pass the popcorn

    I love watching these spats.

    Is theRegister.co.uk up for renewal soon?

    JFJ

    1. adam 40 Bronze badge

      I am sure there is something in the contract...

      ... that allows Nominet to revoke theregister.co.uk with no notice at all.

      That will sort out this story...

      ONCE ...

      AND ...

      FOR ...

      Error: The server at theregister.co.uk can't be found, because the DNS lookup failed. DNS is the network service that translates a website's name to its Internet address. This error is most often caused by having no connection to the Internet or a misconfigured network.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    essentially, the blog confirms your claims

    by providing no evidence to the contrary.

    btw, it was quite painful to see the beeb reporters on air, squirming not to say in plain English, that Trump lied (in reference to his lies about what he said-didn't-say about this dutchess of york or winchester or whatever), despite taped evidence that he lied.

    1. Roger Kynaston
      Joke

      Re: essentially, the blog confirms your claims

      Winchester - he probably thought she was a gun.

      1. Ripper38
        Mushroom

        Re: essentially, the blog confirms your claims

        "...Winchester - he probably thought she was a gun." ...and went off half-cocked at the thought ?

  12. Chris G Silver badge

    The other day I described what's going down at Nominet as a part of the ' Pai Effect'™

    I think some of those at Nominet may be able to teach Pai a lesson or two in Snivelling Mendacity.

  13. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    "Fake news"?

    They actually wrote "fake news", and expect to be taken seriously?

    Despite the fact it's a stupid phrase (if information is fake, it isn't news), it's basically become synonymous with "accurate news reporting I don't like"

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "Fake news"?

      Well, coming from a fake non-profit, what do you expect ?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "Fake news"?

      it's basically become synonymous with "accurate news reporting I don't like"

      It's meant that ever since Trump popularised the phrase (at least!)

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Re: "Fake news"?

        They have at least dispensed with "alternative facts" which was another doublespeak variation for a while.

        This is yet another example though of laws not evolving quickly enough to deal with technology. What Nominet are doing would be insider trading if it was stocks and shares, yet they are publicly announcing that they are doing it and even trying to defend it.

    3. fidodogbreath Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "Fake news"?

      It's official! The Register is fake news

      Does that mean that the BOFH isn't real?!?

      [sniffle] I have based my career on a lie...

    4. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: "Fake news"?

      Despite the fact it's a stupid phrase (if information is fake, it isn't news),

      Only to the degree that Pravda isn't Izvestia and Izvestia isn't Pravda.

      (Na Zdorovie!)

  14. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    .uk was an awful decision

    There was never any good reason to flatten the .uk hierarchy. Obviously it was just a money grab from ths start.

    After all, if those who made the decision thought it actually worthwhile, they'd have automatically mapped *.co.uk --> *.uk, and stopped selling new domains under .co.uk, .org.uk etc.

    Just like the opening up of the top level domains, it's a technically bad decision, made by non-technical money grabbers.

    1. Roger Kynaston

      Re: .uk was an awful decision

      I've always wanted to see mercedes.gmbh.de

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: .uk was an awful decision

        >I've always wanted to see mercedes.gmbh.de

        Why when you have .gmbh ?

        I'm sure the Germans would regard gmbh as being sufficient to denote the origin of mercedes and other quality products originating from their country.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £345,000 over three years compared to £30m under the previous charitable trust

    and nobody can do fuck about it, that's Nominet's position, and I'm pretty sure they paid good money to good lawyers to make sure. There's more than one way to skin a cat, some start-ups scream "AI" when they have neither - but big, stupid fish bite anyway), others give away FREE soft and pimp users' data, others run "non-profit" companies that are very profitable thankyouverymuch because they have no oversight. All scummy - but all legal.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: £345,000 over three years compared to £30m under the previous charitable trust

      ...others give away FREE soft and pimp users' data...

      ...All scummy - but all legal.

      That particular one is no longer legal (at least not on this side of the Atlantic) thanks to GDPR, brought to us by none other than the "evil undemocratic federalist blah blah SOVRINTY etc. etc." EU.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

    1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge

      Re: Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

      Is streisand.uk available?

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

        Not now you mentioned it....

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

        Perhaps buffoons.uk is?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

          I think Boris just registered that one.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

            "I think Boris just registered that one."

            In Swedish/Norwegian the equivalent word to "buffoon" is "byfåne" - which sounds much the same.

            It is a compound word "by"="village" and "fåne"="idiot".

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

              Considering the influence of Scandinavian languages on English, it's highly likely that byfåne is the origon of the English Bufoon. As we Geordies might say after a night out, "Ahm gan Hyem" which is phonetically at least, understandable in Norway as I'm going home. (at least I've been told that!)

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

                The English buffoon is actually from the French (bouffon), who got it from the Italians (buffone), from the Latin buffo, meaning clown. All in the 16th century, or thereabouts. Or so sez my Big Dic.

                I suspect the Swedish/Norwegian version is a happy, yet purely coincidental soundalike.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

                ""Ahm gan Hyem" which is phonetically at least, understandable in Norway as I'm going home."

                Not sure about that. Google Translate gives the expected "Jeg går hjem" (I go home) - and supplies an audio pronunciation.

                The "Jag" will be "Yar"

                "går" is "gawr" or "gore"

                The "hjem" would indeed sound like "hyem"

                Regional vocabulary and pronunciations will probably vary as modern Norwegian is a national construct.

    2. Nick Kew

      Re: Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

      So the 'merkins noticed a well-known and well-documented effect[1] and gave it a name.

      [1] See for example the 1980s "spycatcher" effect. Or various stories going back to antiquity.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Re: Speaking of "fake news",>>>here's a wikipedia article>>>>

        The spycatcher effect is great fun for those of us that live in Scotland, as injunctions obtained in an English and Welsh court don't apply under Scots law. Same thing more recently with the super injunction fad, most of them were reported in the media here too.

  17. SPiT

    Has anyone at the Register considered reviewing their articles of association to see if there is anything in there that conflicts with what they are doing. For example "The objects of the Company are to undertake activities, particularly (without limitation) as were formerly set out in the Company’s Memorandum of Association, and to do so for the public benefit." which indicates an enforceable obligation for the Nominet board to consider the public benefit of whatever they decide to do and, since it is covered by standard company law, this is enforceable in the courts. They could be obliged to release their board minutes to prove their discussion of how they decided the current plan was of public benefit.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      That one's easy : the members of the Board are also members of the public, therefor it is for the public benefit.

      1. adam 40 Bronze badge

        You can change your Memorandum though with a board meeting, you just have to read the minutes of the last few board meetings.... oh wait... hang on...

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Unhappy

      They may

      1. Undertake activities without limitation as were formerly set out in the company's memorandum of association

      2. Undertake those activities for the public benefit

      "And" in lawyerspeak is equivalent to "Or" in boolean algebra

      So, it doesn't have to be for public benefit, it can instead be activities without limitation.

      Also, check what the memorandum says:

      It allows them to do a load of things on a commercial basis

      To set up funds for their own benefit, or for the benefit of their wives (but not husbands), children, and other relatives (that will include husbands)

      Anything else that is likely to benefit or assist the company (that's a catch-all that includes everything)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

    There is a lot of fake news out there. Just check out the BBC's review of the horror movie Ma. One of the most absurd "fake news" statements is that Ma is short for (Black) Mammy. No it's not. If you don't want to take the word of someone who grew up in the South during the Civil rights movement you can look it up on the OED. She also made the claim that Mammies never existed. Just look up Plessy v. Ferguson.

    One of my favorite fake news stories the one that claimed Antifa is a black organization. You can look it up for yourself, I don't have the energy.

    I am not even sure that Trump coined the term. Your site would have a lot more credibly if you left your Trump hating out of your articles.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

      There's no doubt that Trump can claim at least one thing, i.e. that he's made "fake news", leading by his own example, from day one.

      Sorry, actually two things: also by his own example he's sanctioned every little dick-politician to lie in public and carry on regardless, rather than lie and, in shame, hang himself on the nearest suitably thick branch. Not many politicians can claim to have achieved so much in so little time.

      I can't see a single positive thing he's done for the humanity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

        "he's sanctioned every little dick-politician to lie in public"

        Robin Cook for a home-grown example, and Bill "Slick Willie" Clinton for the American crowd. I don't recall either of them apologising for their misbehaving as much as apologising for getting caught.

        I'm not sure if promising to wipe out student debt to (try to) win an election then backtracking *even though he didn't win* should get Jeremy Corbyn on this list or not...

        1. Derezed
          FAIL

          Re: Private Eye always has

          "I'm not sure if promising to wipe out student debt to (try to) win an election then backtracking *even though he didn't win* should get Jeremy Corbyn on this list or not..."

          Maybe not, but THAT train journey puts him on this list...along with pretending he isn't an IRA sympathiser.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

          "Robin Cook for a home-grown example, [...]"

          You are forgetting his anti-Iraq war speech in Parliament after he resigned as Foreign Secretary.

      2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

        "I can't see a single positive thing he's done for the humanity."

        Convinced a generation to get politically active because it's clear the PTB aren't capable of adjusting in time.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

        "I can't see a single positive thing he's done for the humanity."

        As long as he stays as POTUS he prevents the automatic promotion of Mike Pence. At least Trump is a loose cannon that often erratically upsets the alt-rights intentions. Pence is far more dangerous.

    2. David Nash
      Thumb Down

      Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

      How is a movie review "news", fake or otherwise?

      If a reviewer is wrong about the origin of a term, then they could be genuinely mistaken or perhaps a bit dim (I don't know who wrote the review you mentioned, so no accusations).

      In any case a review is opinion and I don't see much scope for being fake unless it outright lies about what the movie depicts.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

        You're replying to someone who used the phrase "fake news" three times in one post.

        Even ignoring the dubious validity of the phrase in the first place, as you point out, in at least 2 of the times, he still used in out of context.

        I don't think he'll understand your post.

        1. adam 40 Bronze badge

          Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

          Methinks you are ascribing too much credit to Trump, this source predates his use of the term by 4-odd years:

          With Facebook, Blogs, and Fake News, Teens Reject Journalistic “Objectivity”

          Regina Marchi First Published October 3, 2012

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

      You misuse the phrase "fake news", and then come out with racist bullshit.

      As the review you mention (http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20190530-rom-mammy-to-ma-hollywoods-favourite-racist-stereotype says, the "happy fat mammy" was a southern white propaganda stereotype to attempt to make slavery look less evil.

      I suggest you read https://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/mammies/

      As for Plessy v. Ferguson, from memory, it was related to discrimination hiding under the banner "equal but seperate" - nothing to do with Mammies. You can look it up yourself - I don't have the energy.

      You seem to be confused on all fronts dear fellow.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

        You do realise that you're replying to an anonymous coward? The troll face is there for a reason.

        And, in this case, if a person wishes to make such assertions and not have the integrity to put their name to it, then it's not something worth bothering with.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
          Trollface

          That was not the troll icon. This is the troll icon.

          That icon indicates that he posted anonymously, or from a mobile phone.

          Or both.

          1. JassMan Silver badge
            FAIL

            @Pascal Monett

            This comment is from a mobile phone. Note that the icon is not the same as anonymous coward.

            If you look back through my other phone posted comments you will see a range of icons

    4. NantucketClipper

      Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

      It really is amazing how many tech people drink the "hate Trump" KoolAid. You would think tech people rely more on logic vs. emotion/peer pressure/group think. Trump is the first Republican president (since Reagan) that actually has a spine and fights back. If the leftist world politicians get their way, the freedoms we (i.e. non-ruling class) currently enjoy will be gone. To a large extent, they already have succeeded in many ways--LOTS of people lose their jobs because they dare to challenge the "politically correct" mantra with posts on FaceBook, etc. Put a pro Trump bumper sticker on your car? Expect your car to get vandalized--many, many examples of in-your-face, violent and criminal acts continue to happen from the "woke" crowd/mobs. The fact that so many don't even know these acts happen so frequently is proof of the media's full-on, anti-right/anti-conservative/anti-free-speech agenda--the media do, and will continue to do, everything in their power to silence those that dare to have a different viewpoint. Looking forward to all the down-votes I'll get that helps prove my point--if my post makes it...

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

        @NantucketClipper:

        I'm going to suggest a visit to the sailmaker. You seem to have some terrible holes in your sails. And Im guessing your rudder could use an overhaul.

        You seem to suggest that Regan was someone to emulate. So, I'll guess your ballast is on the loose in the lower holds.

        You suggest that the left wing is responsible for the patriot act. You might want to check that. It was the single greatest loss of freedom published since WWI.

        Overall, I'll have to insist that you keep your clipper in the harbour, tied up at the maintenance slip, prepared for dry dock.

        1. NantucketClipper

          Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

          Yes. I absolutely believe Reagan was someone to emulate: "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." January 20, 1981

          Margaret Thatcher as well: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”

          Indeed, government, in so many ways, is not the solution to our problems. The more people become dependent on government, the more the society will degrade--where's the purpose behind achieving something, if it is only to satisfy the requirements/demands of the government? If I work my ass off to make some decent money, only to have it taken away by the government and given to someone who refuses to work (i.e. contribute to the society), where's my incentive? If I work my ass off to make some decent money and I CHOOSE to give it to someone in need, then I have an incentive of feeling good that I have personally helped someone.

          Trump is an outsider--he is not a lifelong government politician/bureaucrat. He is not part of the elite government "club". That alone disqualifies him in the eyes of many of the DC establishment. How dare he shake the tree of our cushy, free-from-being-fired, non-accountable, government jobs?

          While the private sector looks to find ways to be more efficient, including cutting costs, the government does just the opposite. Ever hear of any government entity, no matter how bad it performs, suggest that it can actually reduce its costs? Of course not--their "solution" is always "we need more money". Ever hear of a tax that is actually rescinded after it is no longer needed? Doesn't happen.

          No. I do not have holes in my sails. FYI, the patriot act was not created under Reagan--it was created in response to 9/11. And, btw, Obama renewed key parts of the patriot act, including section 215.

          And No. I never did, and never will, support something like the patriot act, that gives the government power to spy on its citizens. Which, btw, is EXACTLY what Obama/Clinton did to Trump--before and after he was elected and inaugurated.

          The Bill of Rights was created to LIMIT the powers of the government. The left-wing politicians all have one thing very much in common: limit the power of the people, and give it to the government--the government will decide what's good for you, and take care of everything for you, from cradle to grave. Thanks, but no thanks--I don't need, nor want, a government telling me how to make my living, live my life.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

            But you're happy with a President who acts like a dictator, overriding Congress and the Senate to implement unconstitutional actions.

            "Small Government" doesn't normally mean "one man decides everything".

            Methinks you simply agree with some of the things he says he's doing, and don't care that it's trampling all over the protections the constitution was intended to provide.

            Remember that there will be a different President in the future, whose policies you may not agree with. Set the precedent now, and they will also do the same - and you really won't like that at all.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

            "I absolutely believe Reagan was someone to emulate:"

            Well, your hero Trump is doing an admirable job of emulating the senility bit.

        2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

          That was cold, Alistair ... enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

    5. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: I am tired of you bringing up Trump for no reason.

      More credibility than Trump himself? You've set a high bar for a bunch of talentless hacks. Not sure the journos on here would aspire to such greatness.

      (Joke icon 'cos, you know, Merkins read this site.)

  19. Detective Emil
    Thumb Up

    Reputation management

    I expect Nominet to engage a reputation management consultancy with days, if not hours. I trust El Reg will let us know who gets the job, and how much they're charging.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: Reputation management

      ... and what brand of joss sticks they waved over their logo

  20. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

    Russell Haworth

    ... should be offered a job with the Vogon Constructor Fleet.

  21. Jemma Silver badge

    Cockwomble in Chief

    And this is *precisely* why someone should have put a bullet into Trump, preferably several.

    Because Trump has been elected to the position of president of Inbredistan everything he espouses is OK, because President.

    Racism is now ok

    Homophobic & transphobic murders and attacks - knock yourself out.

    Attacking the truth because you don't like it - practically mandatory.

    Every day that grinning fucktard isn't impeached makes the collective human race just that little bit worse. Why? Because the sociopaths and psychopaths can turn round and say "Trump does it so I can do it" while they're filming "Matthew Shepard II: the search for another Gay Jesus".

    It's spreading through the retard ratio exponentially and even infecting nominally intelligent humans.

    Isn't it strange too, if this mindless idiot was in control of Iran or say the DRC he'd be a pariah and up to his neck in sanctions and radar guided bombs - but he's getting a collective blowjob from the Royals and the Government.

    And kindly cut the "free speech" bollocks - it's an excuse and always has been. For example even basic population theory (in this case, pressure of an extreme environment) can be applied to the "Shoah" and the result is what you would expect. The luckiest and strongest and (sadly) most devious survived. So what we ended up with was a population hardwired to survive ELE conditions - who have had no issues with the situations they've found since. Oh wait - I can't say that - despite it being verifiable fact - because nasty to dead people - odd how you never hear about the LGBT people who were murdered or those pesky travellers. Did you happen to hear about the 10-30* million massacred in Congo - I thought not.

    Trump isn't so much dangerous for his overt existence - even if he's the living embodiment of someone who would drop kick puppies into bonfires** if he could get away with it. He's dangerous because he encourages the scum of society to think they're in charge and abuse and attacks on media, private individuals and actual reality are the result.

    *No one is actually quite sure how many Congolese got slaughtered or died as a result of torture but that it's more than the entire wartime population of the Jews (including the luckier ones, in '38 it would have been kicking around the 12-14 million mark collectively) is pretty much agreed (PS don't look up the Mufti of Jerusalem, we Brits really cocked that up, although he did look like a young Obi Wan Kenobi, so that's all right then).

    ** The derivation is "bane" fire - hence the regular drop-kicking of things that you don't like into fires (Arian Bibles (brilliant name for a band, drop-kick bibles), Blacks, Catholics, Government ministers (generally in effigy) and the odd Guido Fawkes*** doll). A bane was the banishment and total erasing of an individual or group from the society in which it was part. Fire destroys most utterly. Has a long history - the ancient Egyptians had it down to a fine art.

    *** and possibly the odd local busybody and health & safety drone.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Cockwomble in Chief

      Your post may have contained several accurate and insightful points. However, I stopped reading as soon as I saw you were advocating murder (however vile the supposed target).

      Going round suggesting someone kill people you don't agree with makes you a fascist, even if the person you want killed is also a fascist. Fascism is bad, mmmkay?

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: Cockwomble in Chief

        Hmm let's see. Topping one deranged racist sociopathic fantasist or letting him go on his merry way and his ideas and supporters pushing us right over the edge of uncontrollable climate shift that we're already teetering on?

        Someone hand me the GAU-8. Just to make sure you understand. There used to be solar panels on the white house - they've disappeared under the Shitgibbons watch. There used to be a semblance of women controlling their bodies in the US -womens rights in the states have been tumbling like ninepins since the Shitgibbon got elected. LGBT rights? Going down quicker than a Clinton intern.

        And you think that's a good thing?

        I am the most peaceful person on the planet - but the worldwide effects this mindless thug is having would make the delegates of the Wannsee Conference (that one, yes) stand up and suggest he might tone it down a scoch.. What's the betting that if Greta Thunburg starts to have an effect on American youth and the Shitgibbon is in charge she won't end up in a mysterious car accident - it wouldn't be the first time or the last.

        Let me say it slowly and clearly. There is only one other person IN HISTORY that did as much damage as Trump is doing and has the potential to do. Thomas Midgley Jr (leaded petrol & cfcs singlehandedly). Trump being in a position of power is inherently dangerous not because of what he does per se, but because his continued power and indeed existence gives credibility and confidence to the retard ratio who think that bigfoot is real and climate change isn't. All they have to do is say "The Shitgibbon says..." and most people will lack the wherewithal or the spine to argue.

        To paraphrase

        "It would be well for you to consider, that having Twitter and the Shitgibbon, or a microphone and the Shitgibbon, in close proximity, is inherently dangerous; mass extinctions have started that way Mr Ambassador..."

        This isn't murder, it's more like pest control, it's like the excision of an aggressive cancer - and to be brutally blunt - the sooner the better because we might just be able to repair the collective damage. Four more years of the Caped Cretin and we are royally screwed.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Cockwomble in Chief

          "This isn't murder, it's more like pest control, [...] Four more years of the Caped Cretin and we are royally screwed."

          He was elected. If you murder him, those same people will elect someone else. If you want to excise your aggressive cancer, you are going to have to persuade rather-a-lot-of-millions of people that you are a smart person looking to put them right on an important point. Putting bullets into your enemy, or inviting others to do so, is not a good start to your PR campaign.

          Oh ... and describing other people as "pests" is disturbingly similar to something that some other guys did sometime back when. That's not a good look either.

          1. Jemma Silver badge

            Re: Cockwomble in Chief

            Oh ... and describing other people as "pests" is disturbingly similar to something that some other guys did sometime back when. That's not a good look either.

            Would you be meaning the British Government describing the Amerindians (more smallpox than bullets), or the Indians or the Indians & the Pakistanis, or possibly the Mahdists or the Americans, and then there's the French, Germans and all the others. Or carefully looking the other way when Jews begged for asylum and were told kindly and politely to "fuck off and die" as official foreign office policy? Or where we said that if the Nazis deported the Jews to English controlled Palestine by boat "you do, and they'll get a torpedo from below"?

            Or do you mean the US government VS practically everyone - pretty much since Woodrow "14 points that everyone ignored" Wilson kicked the bucket?

            See I can cherry pick too.

            And yes, it isn't all that hard to build a list of pre requisites that have to be actioned before we have a chance of fighting climate change. But why waste my time - since the biggest prerequisite of the 4 is the abolition of profit by the abolition of money.

            We are not in a position where the bad situation should be in any way up for debate. It is an unpleasant fact. We should merely be debating how and whether we can solve the problem. Instead the Caped Cretin and his supporters and apologists (guess which one you come under) have stalled things at the "is it really happening" stage in the general consciousness.

            We can't afford luxuries (for a given value of the word) such as the Shitgibbon. Lead times to solve this problem successfully might be as low as months before the damage is irrecoverable (because of the lag between action and effects in such a large complex system).

            Some of you probably don't get the link between the Shitgibbon and Nominet - it's simply this - Nominet are trying to use Trumpian tactics to get what they want - and you see no inherent danger to that?

            I'm going to have to hire one hell of a warehouse for all the "I told you so's" I'm going to get to use.

            And I'm sure you'll do well when your time comes to get cancer and you decide to be nice to it and give it hugs and a name so you can introduce it to your friends... Instead of treating it with the proper fear, respect and medication it requires. I've got a name for you. Jade Goody. Here's another one, Sasha Charoensub, although in her case it was a doctoral fuck up.

            I would prefer he be removed from power while still standing upright - but if not a few hollow points (in like a penny, out like a pizza(tm)) are another, somewhat less appealing, option.

            As I said we are not in a position to play games with life right now, and that's what we'll be doing if the Shitgibbon gets another term in office.

            Be sure to correct me in a few years time when you are up to your waist in sea water. You didn't know? 2-5m sea level rise is already inevitable. You have fun with that, ya hear? The Spinosaurs* did...oh wait

            Too soon?

            *These were mid cretaceous Estuarine fish eating dinosaurs, including the 17m long Spinosaurus (Rudi from the Ice Age movie, favourite food onchoprististis - an 8m long sawfish) and Baryonyx the smaller British version. When the sea level rose the environment changed and the Spinosaurs went bye byes - it's hard to hunt in a terrestrial riverine environment when it's just been submerged in 30m of sea water.

            I wonder if Chicago Town Pizzas will float?

        2. baud Bronze badge

          Re: Cockwomble in Chief

          > All they have to do is say "The Shitgibbon says..." and most people will lack the wherewithal or the spine to argue.

          Reading a few different news sources, it's the other way around. OrangeMan could say "the sky is blue", you would find people say he's wrong and it's an attack on migrants/trans/climate change/others countries/… depending on the inclination of the writer

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Cockwomble in Chief

      Sorry, but there is one massive flaw in your post.

      I doubt that any sane rational person would perceive Trump as anything better than a racist delusional sociopathic misogynistic asshole, however sticking a bullet in his head is pointless.

      Why? Because Trump being... well, Trump... It's not a surprise to anybody. A decade ago The Simpsons had Trump as President because he was the absolute worst person they could think of.

      The problem, and the flaw, lies not in the miserable excuse for humanity that is currently being fawned over by our so-called leadership. The problem and the flaw lie in the 62 million who voted for him, and the millions who still seem to think he's a good guy. Yes, he is enabling scum and yes, he is making this world a darker place with every international treaty he tears up because America Fuck Yeah.

      But is the problem really Trump? I don't believe it is. The problem is the ones who voted him in, who may well vote him in again, and it's pretty much the same sort of mentality that has paralysed Britain with the wishful thinking known as "Brexit". That's where the problem lies. Not in the baboon that is temporarily elected leader.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cockwomble in Chief

        The USA was ripe for an alt-right POTUS - in the same way that countries in Europe are sprouting the same populist swings. It is reasonable to draw comparisons with the underlying economic and political circumstances of the 1930s.

        The GOP and alt-right made sure they had their preferred back-up in VP Mike Pence. If Trump starts to be an unacceptable loose cannon for their aims - then the 25th Amendment can promote the more compliant Pence with his own chilling vision.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cockwomble in Chief

        > A decade ago The Simpsons had Trump as President because

        … he was already trying to get elected at the time

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Cockwomble in Chief

      You have gone so far to the left that you have met up with the far right ... and are trading tips & tricks with them. In other words, you have become a part of the problem.

      Wingnuts are wingnuts, regardless of which part of the political spectrum they claim to espouse.

    4. baud Bronze badge

      Re: Cockwomble in Chief

      > Homophobic murders and attacks

      Like the Smollet case?

    5. jake Silver badge

      Re: Cockwomble in Chief

      While I've got the Big Dic out[0] ...

      Bonfire is actually from "bane fyre", "bane" in Middle English means "bone". It was a 14th century translation of the Latin ignis ossium ... Seems that early Brits (and other European Pagans) spent the year collecting bones from slaughtered animals and burned them somewhere around the Summer Solstice, to give nourishment to the Sun (the days were getting shorter, so the sun must be getting weaker). Or so the conjecture goes. There is no doubt that by the 1300s, the date for bone burning was set to June 24, or St. John's Day, by the Christians.

      [0] Get your mind out of the gutter. I mean the OED, second dead tree edition.

  22. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    If this is true, and I have no reason to believe El Reg made it up out of thin air, wouldn't those involved be in danger of some sort of Insider Trading prosecution. I know Insider Trading is about stocks, but there must be anti-Gitface laws on the books to prevent such Victorian Railroad Magnate behaviour, surely?

    1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Bah!

      I think anti-Gitface laws would be a wonderful idea. I can't think of a single country in the world that would introduce them.

  23. SoloSK71

    So let me get this straight

    If *I* squat a name I am in the wrong, but if a big registrar squats a name this is all fine?

  24. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Competition and Markets Authority time?

    As above.

  25. Chris G Silver badge

    The Register is Fake News

    I don't believe you, you're lying.

  26. PhillW

    Most Trumpian use of words

    "In this case, the elected members had potential conflicts, and therefore were not involved in the design of the system we decided upon."

    Nominet CEO: "Boy, go away and come up with 3 ways we can offload these domains"

    Office Jr: "Sir, I came up with these 3:

    System 1: Fair and equitable distribution of domains

    System 2: All affected companies given first shout on domains

    System 3: Hoover up all the domain names and sell them on at vastly inflated prices"

    Nominet CEO: "Excellent, WE will have system 3, off back to your desk with you!"

    These slimy POS's must have been looking closely at how 'sir' philip green does business.

  27. Dave559

    How does Nominet get its authority?

    I know that many things from the earlier days of the internet came into being mainly because a relatively small bunch of people came up with ideas, and then fine-tuned them with RFCs, and then eventually trivialities such as formal rules came into being rather later, but how does Nominet actually get its authority?

    Has it been designated as the UK NIC under some kind of permission or licence from the UK Government, or is it what it is simply by dint of having always been there in some form or another and then the rules and regulations gradually caught up with it?

    Sadly, it does sound as though the people currently running Nominet (I know that they used to be rather more internet-community-minded in the past) seem to be far more interested in printing money than in simply providing a professional and sustainable public service (nobody begrudges them covering their costs and making perhaps a little, but not excessive, profit).

    Is it perhaps now time for Nominet's licence, actual or implied, to be withdrawn and the position of UK NIC to be re-tendered and then offered to a new operator whose principles are more in line with the original community spirit of the internet?

  28. HmYiss

    Shades of Hamlet.

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  29. nicomorr

    Just my opinion!

    Top-level domains should represent the country - the only one I know of is bl.uk, there must be more. I was a registrar with Nominet from 1998 to 2005 when I sold off. I watched as the older JANET types were eased out. This latest is a scam pure and simple.

    What a change from the idealistic decades of such as Jon Postel (SMTP, RFC), Paul Mockapetris (DNS), Vint Cerf (TCP/IP), Whit Diffie (PKI), Tim Berners-Lee (HTTP/HTML). Phil Zimmerman (PGP), Bill Joy (UNIX),

    What connects these individuals for me is their idealistic benevolent conceptions of improved communication and the preferment of human knowledge over commercial interests. None of them were in it for the money.

    Greedy Nominet, shame on you!

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Just my opinion!

      I think you will find that this is *not* "Just my opinion!".

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Insider Trading

    If there's information that wasn't public and then someone acted on it, in so doing raked in a ton of cash, how exactly isn't that insider trading?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Insider Trading

      You can find that situation every day in the business world. As soon as you have a marketing guy overhearing a conversation at lunch or dinner and thinking of a way to benefit from it, there you go.

      If that were illegal, there would be no business.

      Besides, insider trading exclusively concerns the buying or selling of shares before some important news which will make the share price change in an important way. So it's only a Stock Market thing.

  31. FlippingGerman

    I've never seen The Register act with anything but integrity. Anyone claiming otherwise up had better prove it.

    Anyone using the phrase "fake news" unironically should really catch up, get a life, and stop lying.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money money money - nominet has it. All of it.

    Didn't .co.uk prices shoot up significantly and out of all proportion to anything else under Russell Haworths watch too?

  33. Aussie Doc
    Linux

    Damn all these fake gnus ruining our interwebtubes all the time.

    Closest we've got to a gnu >>>>

    1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge

      fake gnus - Red Hat, Ubuntu, Linspire, SCO?

      I seem to have wandered off topic.

  34. JCB382

    Apparently, the head of Nominet never was told of the old adage, which is almost applicable in this situation: Never pick a fight with anybody who buys newsprint by the ton.

  35. sitta_europea Bronze badge

    Having had some unpleasant dealings with Nominet in the past, it's really refreshing to see how little sympathy there is.

  36. Mitoo Bobsworth

    Horrible scalping bastards.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Incoming

    you've obviously stirred something up they have started emailing everyone about their .uk domains which haven't been taken up.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Incoming

      Would that be unsolicited commercial email?

      ::eyeballs block lists::

  38. Paul

    bring back the use of .gb

    bring back the use of .gb and make the registry a proper charity

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nominet got this wrong

    Nominet did not write to customers using the post office ..they simply sent one email.which was caught in as spam by virtually all spam software..

    The email was never received by many domain name owners..

    For something so important to a business how can you give the business one weeks notice especially as .uk was the ccTLD that the domain owners in the uk should have had on the first place.

    It’s a real sad affair

    I believe nominet got this wrong.

    Regards

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Competitions Market Authority

    I have sent a report to the competitions market authority (CMA) to have a look at this. I am no lawyer by any stretch of the imagination but I do believe Nominet have abused their position in the market with the way this rollout was handled.

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