For years, programmers used .dev domains for testing their code. Those days are over.
Earlier this week, the Spanish government raided the Barcelona office of the PuntCat Foundation, the company that administers the .cat domain, and arrested one of its senior executives.
PuntCat means “dot cat” in Catalan, the language spoken in the Catalonian region of Spain as well as places in France, Andorra, and Italy. The office was raided because Catalonia hopes to hold a referendum on October 1 to decide if it should secede from Spain, and in an effort to quash the referendum, the government of Spain ordered puntCat to “block all .cat domain names that may contain any kind of information about the forthcoming independence referendum,” according to a press release from the foundation.
This is an astonishing attempt at censorship by a member of the E.U. but, unfortunately, that aspect is going largely uncovered because the media is idiotically obsessed with cats…
Now that the list of new top-level domain applications for 2013 has been revealed, geeks around the world can start planning for the domain hacks of the future. Please.do.not.disturb.me was fun, and all, but the if many or all of these new registries are willing to sell their domains to anybody, there’s a lot of potential for new and unusual domain names.
I suspect we’ll soon be typing in addresses like:
- jack.and/jill – the .and TLD is clearly supposed to be for the Andalusian community in Spain, but I doubt that’s going to stop people from coming up with imaginative uses for domain names where you can just “put your own suffix” after the .and/, like we used to do before .isgay.com before it got taken over by domain squatters. (note that .gay will soon be a TLD, so there’s probably going to be a whole raft of these new sites soon…)
- crow.bar – or as we’ll say at the time, “.bar – it’s not just for bars any more!”
- I quite like the idea of sugar.beats, but I think a far more popular use will be “put your own suffix” sites, again, like rock.beats/scissors.
- ro.bot- .bot is one of the many TLDs that Amazon is going for, and it seems likely to me that they’re going to try to resell domains underneath it. I’m just not sure whether sex.bot or ro.bot will be first to be snatched up.
- not.just.broke.but.broker – perhaps you have to be in my head to find this amusing.
- fizz.buzz. This web site would have the best hit counter ever on it (why?).
- s.care, s.cars, s.expert, s.tab, and dozens of other domain names that are only a letter away from meaning something completely different – and that letter is often “s”.
- mon.day, sun.day, dooms.day, birth.day – etc. etc. I’d buy birth.day if the price was right, and then run a basic site spanning happy.birth.day, first.birth.day, and the like, with automatically-generated content on each. It’d be fun.
- yo.dog – a complete abuse of the .dog TLD, no matter what its purpose is supposed to be. Better still, I’d put a page at http://yo.dog.yo.dog/yo.dog, containing the message “I heard you like domain names in your domain names, so I put a domain name in a domain name.” (why?)
- electric.fan – the website that Koreans will set as one another’s home page, as a cruel prank against the superstitious.
- jelly.fish would be an awesome domain name! Who wouldn’t want to have the email address firstname.lastname@example.org?
- mtee.ggee- the future domain name of Hungry Horse pubs? (get it? “empty gee-gee”?)
- a.boy.named.goo, after the Goo Goo Dolls album. But then, I don’t object to domain names with possibly-excessive numbers of dots in them, as the Summer Party On Earth website probably gives away. Hell: I could possibly be using a.home.called.earth as the domain name for our house, in 2013.
- fag.got – I’ll bet that homosexual sex blogger Dan Savage, who’s been trying to reclaim the word “faggot”, would love to have the email address email@example.com!
- bl.ink – I’ve got an idea for a webcam-based site, like ChatRoulette, but with facial recognition software that watches your eye movements. You get paired up with a random stranger and the pair of you have a staring contest, right over the Internet. If you win, you get a point. It’ll be awesome.
- commun.ist, rac.ist, anarch.ist, etc. – I’m sure that Istanbul, for whom the .ist TLD is intended, won’t mind if we borrow their new domain name for a few amusing addresses. Like the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, for example.
- bob.lob.law/law/blog – with apologies to those who don’t follow Arrested Development.
- bi.ngo – sure,.bingo is likely to exist anyway, but this way’s more fun.
- fuck.off – I have no idea what anybody else expected the.off TLD to be used for, if not this.
- child.ren – I quite like this, because it makes not only a full word, but the first part is a word, too.
- im.off.ski – faux Russian is never going to go out of style.
- tube.tube.tube – if I can, I’m totally setting this site up in 2013. All that there’ll be is the picture, below, which makes me smile every time I see it.
Honestly, though: it feels like all of these new top-level domain name opportunities take a lot of the fun out of domain hacks. The more TLDs we have, the easier it is to put together words and phrases with the opportunities given.
Scrabble wouldn’t be so enjoyable if each player had a rack of, say, 30 tiles, rather than just 7. The restriction (and working around them) is what makes domain-name-based jokes so funny, in my mind. What are we supposed to do in a world where anybody with a spare $185,000 USD can have anything he wants?
When I realise that the era of funny domain hacks is coming to an end, it makes me a little sad. But then I look at that picture of a polar bear and everything’s okay again. Tuuuuuuube!
[this post was damaged during a server failure on Sunday 11th July 2004, and it has not been possible to recover it]
[further fragments of this post were recovered on 12 October 2018]
If you’ve been reading this blog since September-ish, you’ll remember when I had about a week of ranting about the VeriSign/SiteFinder lark: this was where VeriSign, who (in layman’s terms) are responsible for linking all .com, .net, and .org addresses to their respective servers, in September last year put a ‘catch-all’ clause in. In other words, every possible combination of letters and numbers, followed by a .com, .net, or .org, ‘belonged’ to them. This was a complete abuse of their position of power, and caused a great deal of faults amongst systems throughout the internet. In addition, it could eventually have been used (and evidence suggests that the intention was there) to monopolise the internet’s search engine and advertising services.
Well; they’re at it again, as this article (“SiteFinder vs. Engineers: Our Mistake Is Ignorance”) discusses, so you’re likely to see me ranting at least a little more. If they do decide to do it again, they’ve stated that they will “provide 60 or 90 days warning, in order for the appropriate technological …
Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #21:
Desperatley try to find a reason not to get a ‘professional’ domain name (e.g. www.avapoet.com), and fail. Panic, and write to your current service provider, asking questions which you’re sure they’ll answer unfavourabley, to save yourself from the urge to get your dream vanity domain. Fail, when they prove to be nothing but useful. Look for justification elsewhere. What do you lot think
The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.