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Reaching Unsanctioned TLDs With A Plug-In 125

An anonymous reader writes: "Wired is running this article about Idealab creating new TLDs. They propose to do it with a browser plug-in. Many people are upset with ICANN, but is having an incubator distribute new code any better?" If it makes ICANN nervous, I think I'm all for it. If it won't work with browsers besides the Top Two, though, then I guess I'll miss out on dot-duh ...
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Reaching Unsanctioned TLDs With A Plug-In

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  • Oh, sure, I made this same suggestion years ago to Slashdot and I was ignored. DNS is only name to IP translation. No one is required to use DNS at all unless they want a friendly name to chew on.
  • by EvlPenguin ( 168738 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @04:14AM (#387750) Homepage
    According to sources within the motion picture industry, Hollywood movie studios were informed of Idealab's plans late on Thursday, and the studios immediately came up with objections.
    They just can't agree with anything [opendvd.org], can they?

    Idealab first entered the domain-selling business when it acquired the rights to the dot-TV domain from the country of Tuvalo.
    But this is totally diffrent. .TV did not require users to install plugins. IMHO, a system like this can never work. Notice that the big two (Netscape and M$) apparently have no comment on it. Without their support, it would never last; because they would have to make this plugin a part of their standard browser, so next time people upgrade they will also gain access to all those new TLDs. Even if they do support it, how will the rest of the users know about these new domains and what's required to view them? Assuming the plugin works by capturing all requests sent to these TLDs and then redirects them to a specific DNS, then anyone who does not have the plugin will be screwed. It's not like other plugins, because with Flash, you get a message saying that you need a plugin to view the page. So anyone who tries to view a page on the new TLDs will just be left with an error message and no clues as to what they can do to fix it.

    The only thing that would make a lot of users upgrade is the temptation of .xxx >:) Woohoo, a whole TLD full of pr0n.

    --
  • If a user has control over their own machine, then they certainly can point their machine at a different DNS server relatively easily, no matter which platform they're running. True, a dedicated DNS server running on their own machine that can keep a list of the latest updates is more of an issue, but there's no reason why it shouldn't be a 'Click OK' installation either. Installing BIND under Unix is pretty close to that if you're using the root servers and aren't planning on running your own domain. And I don't understand why platform dependence is an issue for DNS but not for browser plugins - browser plugins are platform dependent. Extremely so, not only does each version only work under one operating system/processor combination, but they even require a specific browser!

    Besides which, how is a domain TLD going to take off if the only access to it is via a browser, and a small set of supported browsers on supported platforms at best? What happens when you want to use telnet, ssh, a decent ftp client, etc?

    The browser plugin idea has to be the most clueless idea to get around ICANN I've heard in a long time. It doesn't solve any problems with the minor exception of allowing that handful of people who cannot administer their own machine and aren't stuck behind a firewall to access (for reading) webpages, as long as they're using Netscape or IE, and aren't running some obscure version on an unsupported processor.

    There are, what, 2 people in the entire world like that?

    The real problems continue. It continues to be difficult to publicise information about how to get to the new TLDs, so people who have the new TLDs can expect not to be reached except by an elite few who know "where to get the plugin" (or what DNS server to point their system at.) And there doesn't appear to be a way of validating a particular TLD and associated registry. Who really owns .biz? There are two outfits who claim to, one of whom has been operating it for years, the other of which was just handed it by ICANN.

    I can't see how this proposal can possibly work.
    --
    Keep attacking good things as "communist"

  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @05:19AM (#387752) Homepage Journal
    One top level domain that most people aren't aware of is the .int. It exists and the European Space Agency uses it for their subdomain:
  • Their browser is number one, they like to monopolize. In theory, this extension could be used to take over a majority of the TLD's without ICANN's say. Im not a fan of microsoft, but we all know what happened to netscape vs ie, and if it was microsoft regstrar vs icann, it could very well be a battle that microsoft could easily throw enough money at to do some serious damage. What happens if microsoft were to implement and use this within their next OS? Makes you think...
  • by tshak ( 173364 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @05:25AM (#387754) Homepage
    This can break code that relies on HTTP calls (SOAP objects, content sharing via WDDX,etc.). What about "Real Names"? I mean, ya, they're kinda stupid for us tech's, but for the rest of the world, aren't Real Names a Good Thing(tm)?
  • by Tomcat666 ( 210775 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @05:26AM (#387755) Homepage
    Last year the German CCC (Chaos Computer Club) also wanted to do something like this.

    But they didn't want to write a browser plugin - their idea was just to start a new top level DNS server. People should just set the DNS server manually in their config, so they could access the new TLDs and domains.

    The Chaos Computer Club is against the governmental control of the Internet & domain-grabbing of huge companies, so this was their alternative. Read about it here [heise.de] (German).

    I haven't heard anything about it after that article though.

  • There goes the ability to change IP addresses without affecting hostnames. Right now, I can have a web or email server on 192.0.0.3, and change it to 127.0.2.4, and everyone on the internet won't know or care. DNS is a level of abstraction and allows IPs to change very easily without affecting users.

    And of course, if you changed this right now, nobody would be able to find any web sites. Everyone would need to look up each address. Not to mention, it's easy to remember a lot of dns names. microsoft, apple, cnn, slashdot, nintendo, cisco, sun...I bet you can find their web servers with no effort at all.

    Have fun memorizing those IPv6 addresses! :-D
  • And you can check it out here [unrated.net].
  • There's nothing to "hack" into bind to get it to do this. It supports it natively just fine. Network Solutions just found it more convenient to maintain their monopoly over the DNS system and getting tens of millions of DNS servers to add additional "open" root servers into their root cache files is a monumental task. Not impossible though. You just need to offer something .com/.net/.org doesn't and voila. You'll start to see people pointing to your .sex zone servers.
  • we would need to say goodbye to slashdot and freshmeat!

    We would need to say goodbye to calling them slashdot.org and freshmeat.net, but Andover already owns slashdot.com, and OSDN could buy freshmeat2.com. Or they could just move everything to slashdot.osdn.com, freshmeat.osdn.com, etc. SourceForge could probably keep its .net though, as it does provide hosting services for free software projects.


    All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.
  • I would like to work on a project that would create an open-source version of this or something like it. I've never before worked on a free-software project, let alone begun one, so if anyone could post how we might begin, I would appreciate it.

    We need to bring administration of at least some TLDs into the hands of an accountable group. I don't know how USENET is regulated, but probably there are several models that could be built upon. Does anyone know of a good article that describes how USENET is run? Does anyone know about other governance models which could be applied to the control of the TLDs?
  • While this seems like an exiting idea, it means that the new domains could *only* be used for web sites. Not email, irc, etc etc etc. (I'm sure this has been said before in this discussion, but its such a big point it was worth mentioning again).

    One more thing. Check out F*ckedCompany [fuckedcompany.com] and search for Idealab. Somehow I dont think they're going to make this work...

    -----

  • by dr_labrat ( 15478 ) <spoonerNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday March 03, 2001 @06:35AM (#387762) Homepage
    that would be http://www.itu.int
  • The problem is very simple:

    1) You want as many people as possible to be able to access your web site.

    2) Therefore, you have to have a way for those who don't have the plugin to find you and get it.

    3) Therefore, you have to have a conventional domain name, and advertise it.

    4) Therefore, why bother to have the new name at all? People are going to associate you with the normal one.

    This is similar to the problem Clear Channel Communications is facing with the .cc domain they bought. Nobody remembers to type ".cc", so they have to keep all their domains registered as .com as well. Even their own DJs can't remember to say .cc.

    -
  • The .com .net .blah is only a source for confusion for newbies, which is an obstacle to their acceptance of the Internet.

    What you're proposing is that we change the entire internet to a keyword system. Translation: You're looking for AOL.

    A Joe-Sixpack any-half-trained-monkey-can-use-it internet is one of the worst nightmares of geeks everywhere. The harder things are to use, the less chance there is of intelligent discussions being lost in a sea of mindless drivel. If you had to telnet into slashdot and recieve some sort of globally unique message ID every time you posted, there would be very few goatse.cx/All your base/hot grits/etc posts. With things as they are now, you just click the nice shiny button, type "FP!" and off you go.

    In either case, this needs to be driven by a large ISP or someone is going to decide to cut the pipes of one of these "renegade TLD" or "non-TLD" sites and end them at that.

    You just described AOL again.
    Really, the rest of the internet would have no grounds for pulling the plug on an alternate TLD service. Anyone using that network as opposed to any other would be doing so by their own choice, and the alternate provider's TLDs, or lack thereof, would have no effect on the internet as a whole. ICANN's TLDs flow downstream into AOL and the ORSC root, but neither AOL's keywords nor ORSC's alternate TLDs flow upstream into ICANN's A-root registry.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I said this in another story earlier in the week, but will reiterate here for everyone that missed it. New TLDs that wish to escape the tyranny of the existing system should arrange to operate WITHIN the current structure.

    This will require changes to the resolvers out there, in the form of a table or similar which instructs it where to find the root for these alternatives.

    Let's say you want a ".slashdot" TLD and you have domains called dom1.com and dom2.com. First you map it in this future resolver:

    slashdot. = dom1.com, dom2.com

    What this means is that requests for 'foo.slashdot' get one of those "real" domains tacked on, and the query proceeds as before, only to the real zone: 'foo.slashdot.dom1.com' or 'foo.slashdot.dom2.com'. This is done down in the resolver and is not exposed to userspace.

    The real trick here (besides making resolvers support "deep roots") is establishing which domains will vouch for the new style TLDs. This is the beauty of the design - anyone can try to create a TLD with a given name. Nobody else will honor it unless it's worth their time and effort. So, people behind this scheme will have to do something useful or their particular version of a TLD will wither.

    Another cool thing is that dom1.com and dom2.com can go away and be replaced with other "supporting" domains. Obviously you would want to use PGP or similar to verify that the changes are in fact from the right people, but that's a matter of trust and can be covered elsewhere.

    Steal and spread as necessary.
  • by warlock ( 14079 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @07:09AM (#387766) Homepage
    The INT TLD is nothing special - it is defined in RFC1591 along with the other more well known TLDs (COM, NET, ORG, EDU, GOV, MIL and the ISO-3166 two-letter country codes). Anyway, it is managed by IANA (actually, I think the ITU is responsible for the maintenance and IANA merely handle the registrations or something like that).

    It is not very well known because it is restricted to organizations established by international treaties, according to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (1969), and international databases, which are defined as non-commercial entities that provide services of direct relevance to the operation of the public Internet. Clearly not as big a market as COM :)

    Some examples are UN.INT, ITU.INT, WIPO.INT.

  • www.alternic.net - it's been around practicly forever.
  • One top level domain that most people aren't aware of is the .int. It exists and the European Space Agency uses it for their subdomain

    And NATO [nato.int], among about 60 others.

    dig axfr int @ns0.ja.net
    for a full list.

  • The idea of hierarchical domains is a good one

    Actually, I think it's a bad one. There is no single hierarchy into which you can fit everything and make sense to everyone.

    Rather than a tree, I think a multidimensional web is a better physical model. Let things exist in the context of their relationship to other things. Sure, that eliminates the possibility of true random access, but on the other hand, it makes everything a few steps from something you know.

    Looking for a hardware store? Go to any store. Zoom out to "all types of stores". Zoom in to "hardware stores". Zoom in to your neighborhood.

    Or find it a different way. Start at your house. Zoom out to "my neighborhood". Zoom in to "stores". Zoom in to "hardware stores".

    Or find it a different way. Start with any old object sitting on your desk (presumably it will have a barcode or something). Zoom out to "all consumer products." Zoom in to "hardware".

    Or find it a different way. Start with "my trusted places". Zoom in to "better business bureau". Zoom in to "hardware stores".

    And so on.

    With a conceptual mapping, on as many different levels and criteria as people can imagine, you can find anything quickly, rather than having to guess your way around a fixed, rigid one-dimensional hierarchy that is clearly showing its inability to scale.

  • by raju1kabir ( 251972 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @12:05PM (#387770) Homepage
    I for one agree that material which is obviously pornographic and unsuitable for minors should be placed within a seperate name space which could be easily blocked such as: .xxx, .sex, .pr0n, .porn, .adult, etc. then we wouldn't have to put up with such stupid laws as have just been passed in Austrailia - That all content published on the net should be suitable for children - subject to the judgement of police officers and not courts, judges or a jury of ones peers.
    If ICANN had got off their butts and allowed for such a TLD ages ago I would have less contempt for them.

    One of the few smart things they did was reject these proposals. They are pointless. It is very clear (as evidenced by sites such as whitehouse.com) that porn operators perceive a disadvantage to pigeonholing themselves in obviously-porny domains.

    So creating .xxx would achieve one thing and one thing only: Make it easier for people at unfiltered locations to find porn. Meanwhile, it would still proliferate at other domains (there is, after all, no real cost to making the same content available at multiple addresses).

    The real answer is for people to grow the fuck up and stop worrying about it. At a certain age kids develop an interest in this stuff, and all the filters in the world aren't going to stop them from finding it, whether online or off. Before that, they don't care, they think it's gross, and they won't dwell on it or look at it any longer than they need to figure out that it doesn't interest them; no harm done.

  • This is the wrong solution on many levels. Whether the solution to the ICANN problem is alternate registries is not up for discussion here. More relevant is the fact that browsers all suck. We don't need more "plugins" for already broken crash-prone browsers. We don't need a solution that makes what you can see from your browser different from what you can see from your terminal. The solution to this problem, if you want to use alternate registries, is to set up your own nameserver (takes anywhere from 5 seconds to 5 minutes to do) and feed it the appropriate hints database so that your resolver library will ask the nameservers you choose. This is simple, it's orthogonal, and it's fast. No coding necessary, no browser involved. Doing this any other way is simply not sane.
  • Oh! So you live in Niue, right?

    Victor
  • You can only pump so much money into a loosing situation before people completely give up.
    Yeah, tell that to the people giving their time and/or money to Amway!
  • it redirects i believe. i saw a comment on their forums that if you go to say www.metallica.mp3 using the plugin you actually go to www.metallica.mp3.new.net
  • would be nice if was a transparent plugin at the root domain servers isps. I thought I wanted screen.tv so I could have a big.screen.tv email address. From network solutions page I type in screen.tv and they want $12,000 / year for a domain. There should be a distintion between commercial and personal domains. All I want is farking email!@
  • He hasn't been castrated, he's just lost his plugin.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ICANN's [icann.org] strength lies that it is not a commercialized entity, so its unlikely it can fall into some of the problems that plague other companies, monopolization, absurd rules, irrate Terms of Service, etc.

    Sure many can be upset with ICANN, but as stated it is a non profit organization, so it makes due with whatever resources they have at their disposal. In comes company xyz with all the funding (think about these irrate issues such as Microsoft [microsoft.com], Sprint's [sprint.com] garbled Terms of Agreement, etc.), and you have to wonder if it really such a good idea.

    As for the top two browsers, how many people DON'T use the top two browsers, why should they be forced to switch to another method of communications on the net to accomodate Idealab's idea?

    Just my non important thoughts.

    Just what the doctor ordered [antioffline.com] // sil
  • Well, this is crap, Let's redesign the internet, change the protocols and network stacks all over the fucking planet! Never intruducing DNS! Lets use IPv12 using a 1024bit address space, and ask users to write the numbers they think important on a paper strip.

    Hey, why don't we just use random 1024bit addresses, huh, this would be fun.

    Get real, changing _anything_ in DNS and or the way people use it takes huge amounts of $$$ and time. Won't happen! Plain as this, and if something will happen, then it's going to get more comfortable (read: IPv6), then more complicated.
    --
  • There should only be root servers that answer for "." as the TLD. The .com .net .blah is only a source for confusion for newbies, which is an obstacle to their acceptance of the Internet. It's also unregulated, so you have .orgs that are not .orgs, etc. Too much duplication; what is the purpose of having a mcdonalds.net and a mcdonalds.com. This is a result of the lack of organization. Now they have .tv being touted as something great, and it is just as open, adding to the stupidity. The TLDs must go.

    In either case, this needs to be driven by a large ISP or someone is going to decide to cut the pipes of one of these "renegade TLD" or "non-TLD" sites and end them at that. The /. effect on these sites when they appear will swamp them and draw attention from the current ISP who will see the traffic as bad. An ISP could make a nice name for themselves by calling this a benefit of their service while other ISPs are not supporting it.

  • I'd just like to say,

    There is no CABAL.

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close
  • Well that just about does away with virtual hosting of any kind, which, with the shortage of IP addresses (ipv4) is currently being promoted as the standard way to serve a new host.
  • Yea, and as an ISP operator I can promise you that after about the first half-dozen support calls we get from customers who've repointed their DNS to this alternate provider, or who are now having problems with this plug-in, we're going to discard Idealab's IPs when they enter our autonomous system.

    Sounds like something I'd really want to invest in... != (of course, when you look at Idealab's track record, most of their other investments have the same merit and performance).

    *scoove*
  • It seems to me you've got to get AOL or Microsoft on board. AOL users constitute the majority of web traffic to many (perhaps most?) sites, and of course Microsoft browsers constitute the majority of browsers visiting most web sites. If either company, AOL or MS, were to try this themselves, they'd likely have fairly easy acceptance, despite the massive uproar from Slashdot-types, since they'd automatically have 50%+ of the market. AOL runs their own DNS so they'd have instant market penetration, while MS could build the alternate DNS capability into their OS, browser, and ISP service, and have solid market penetration within a year. Once that point of critical market saturation (I think at least 50%) is reached, companies will start advertising or hosting desirable destinations with the new URLs, and individual holdouts will switch over even if they don't use MS or AOL's latest software. One other important industry from which to gain support are search engines. But if enough users are going along with an alternate system, Google and others would probably follow, especially if you tossed them some cash for their support. AOL and MS have plenty to toss. IdeaLab seems to be going at it from the other end, which has been tried countless times already. While they haven't released financial details, they're probably the best funded effort to date, and the timing is good with solid International dislike for the establishment (ICANN). But they'll still need to get some bigger supporters than the "midsized ISPs" they've currently lined up.
  • If the way of the net was that everyone who ran a DNS server ran it with a root zone and pointed to the TLDs they wanted to have (and from where they wanted to get them), and left out the TLDs they didn't want (like religious groups leaving out .sex and .xxx), then ICANN would just be irrelevant.

  • Yes, this would be a good way of doing things...see OpenNIC [unrated.net]...this is exactly what they do. Add a new server into resolv.conf, and you can resolve the tld's that they've created.

    I thought it was pretty decent, and the proper way to circumvent ICANN's stupidty.

    -Ben
  • How do you change this on a Mac?

    use the "name server address" box in the tcp/ip control panel. that's how i've got my imac using the open root servers.

    --saint
    ----
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @07:29AM (#387787) Homepage Journal
    I run my own system, so changing my DNS to use (Alternic|OpenNic|...) wouldn't be a big deal to me. I could do in in about 60 seconds.

    Let's suppose I did. OK, now lets suppose there some site, www.deepthought.42, that has all the answers to my life. Unfortunately, I don't know it exists. How do I find it?

    This is the biggest problem with any of the alternate root servers IMHO: there is nobody indexing them! Now, suppose that Google set up to index that domain, and just to keep people from being confused set their system up so that they wouldn't list any Alternic domains in a search unless you were querying search.google, rather than www.google.com. Then, maybe I'd be motivated to use them. But until I can find these new domains, they are no good to me.

    Now, what I keep waiting for: AOL gets pissed with InterNIC. AOL configures their DNS to resolve off AlterNIC (remember, you don't LOSE the current set of TLDs, you just gain new ones), and sets up a .aol domain. They offer their uses subdomains off that, so AOLuser JOE42 automatically gets JOE42.aol as a domain (which is an alias for members.aol.com/JOE42). Also, they do this for all the RoadRunner etc. customers.

    Now, what a jumpstart THAT would provide for Alternic.....
  • It most certainly does, but who knows what platforms New.net will release plugins for? Will they go all the way and produce plugins for Linux, Solaris, BSD, and so on? Or will they just do minimal effort and do Win32 and Mac?
  • If you follow FuckedCompany.Com [www.fuckedcompany] you can get a rundown on all the companies that IdeaLab owns - and the fact that damned near all of them have failed or are failing as of late. In fact, I can't think of any of them offhand that is anything more than a spectacular failure, costing between $20 and $100 million each. These include: eToys.Com, Referer.Com, Cooking.Com, CarsDirect.Com, PetSmart.Com (yes, that's an IdeaLab funded one), Modo.Net, FIrstLook.Com, eve.com, and more...

    Heck, here's the FuckedCompany search results on IdeaLab based companies - the funniest being the fact that IdeaLab owns the domain DogCrap.Com. Go fig.

    FuckedCompany search for IdeaLab [fuckedcompany.com]

    In other words - this is move by IdeaLab to look like some sort of industry leader. Don't expect it to happen, or of it does, don't expect it to last very long - or for IdeaLab to last much longer. You can only pump so much money into a loosing situation before people completely give up.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is the stupidist thing I've seen in a long time. By removing DNS from the equation with a browser plugin, they make domain names unreachable by mail servers. Do they think people are going to buy domain names from them that they won't ever be able to recieve email at, or are they going to re-invent SMTP as well?
  • A browser plugin can be installed on the fly, and the user only has to click 'Ok'.

    A program that changes whatever the Windows version of resolv.conf is, could also be a program where they click on an icon and it says, "Ok." Yes, on multiuser (e.g. Unix) systems, it would have to ask for a password. But in cases where the user (e.g. you) knows better than to give root access to whatever program asks for it, the user probably already knows how to change resolv.conf himself.

    The ability to change name resolution is platform dependent

    So is a web browser plugin.

    The reason the root servers aren't going to change anytime soon, is that most people don't use them directly anyway. For performance reasons, they use their ISP's recursive resolver / cache. Thus, it becomes a problem of either getting users to accept a performance hit (which no one wants), or getting the ISPs (not the users) to change.


    ---
  • what about name based virtual hosts...
  • by Jesus IS the Devil ( 317662 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @03:45AM (#387793)
    You know what. Idealab is the company that funded eToys, which was the stupid company that tried to sue etoy.com, which was active much earlier than etoys.com, to rob etoy.com of their domain name. I've also heard from many others that Idealab pretty much rapes you if you ever went to them for VC funding. I hate these MF's and will never ever use their stupid lame ass plugin. I'd rather slashdot or redhat start something like this... then I'll voluntarily install it.


    ---------
    Did you just fart? Or do you always smell like that?
  • Even more than just creating new TLDs, why not replace the root name servers. It would probably be pretty easy to have a new set of root name servers that simply queried the old ones for names that are not found. And it wouldn't even require a plugin, just change the entry int /etc/resolv.conf, or wherever windows people change it.
  • I was a bit harsh against idealism since after all the idea of starting a new set of root servers because those that run the currents ones are lame is being idealistic.

    I sort of envision a small group of people (open to the public) that keep track of who registers which TLD's and doesn't take 300 years to actually do something that people notice.

    Personally I don't really want to become a registrar myself, but it would be great to have an organization that makes the process work more efficiently.

    Looking at the OpenNIC's pages it looks a lot like what I'm talking about. The real question is how to gain wide-spread use?

    end-of-line

  • http://www.youcann.org/ And heres [google.com]how you make one yourself!!
  • We'd have to be careful that this doesn't start another browser war. You could just imagine: sorry, this tld is only reachable by IE users. Netscape users can get stuffed.

    So who would regulate them then? I'd guess there would be a .aol fairly quickly, and if this continues what's to stop every company from getting into bed with one of the big two and creating their own tlds?

    Maybe a USENET-style regulation thing?

  • If an ISP wanted to do a value-added service to their customers, they could just peer their DNS so that if you used their DNS servers, the ISP's DNS servers would go looking upstream at these new TLD servers as well. Bingo, no plugin required for anything. How about www.Slashdot? ftp.slashdot? Discussion.slashdot?...
  • Basically, the idea isn't bad. I am just wondering how realitic the idea of plugins is. For example I am using Konqueror [www.konqueror]. Although it has a fairly cool plugin system, I wonder if anyone will ever write a plugin for it.
    Wired states that "New.net would distribute a small browser plug-in", so I conclude that those will not be open source. That makes me wonder what will happen to alternative or simple (lynx) browsers.
  • 1) Idealab has a plethora of nonexistent companies listed on the front page of their homepage as partners.
    2) How could they possibly put a Napster comparison into an article so blatantly unrelated!!!
  • We're working on several mechanisms for that:

    1) talk to your favorite OS distro about including OpenNIC and other alternate roots as an install option

    2) bring in content sites on alternative domain names, and put an explanation on those sites for how to access them by their non-ICANN

    3) a monthly OpenDNS Day, where all participating sites with non-ICANN names will only server a page explaining this to folks who acess them by their ICANN names; I personally love this idea

    4) whenever folks get together to rant about how much ICANN sucks, mention that there are alternatives (as in this article ... ;-)

    5) get it in the mainstream press; OpenNIC has been discussed in several tech sites (here, K5, TheRegister), but also in some mainstream media (the Wall Street Journal, BBC Online and, next week, The Village Voice)

    6) distribute an easy-to-use application that reconfigures a user's personal computer to use an alternative DNS system (in the works for *nix, MacOS and BeOS)

    7) to speak to your interest, get the many alternate roots to cooperate in presenting a single collaboratevely managed namespace; if you think the other ones looks difficult, this is by far the hardest of the things I've mentioned

    So, we are working on it. The commenters on this article are right, though, that it's a really big task and our percentage of the Net is quite small (and not growing as quickly as the general Net population, either). But the momentum is gaining and ICANN's antagonists number more every time they get any news coverage at all, so it's still positive.

    Nil desperandum.

    Cheers,
    -robin
  • ICANN are bad because they're corrupt. Don't know the full details, don't want to. I'd rather not know.

    BTW, you know there's a .us tld? Oh, and .net is supposed to be for service provides IIRC, so banning commercial activity there would be OTT. On the other hand, kicking commercial stuff from .org would be good.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 03, 2001 @03:49AM (#387803)
    But isn't the entire point of DNS that it is so incredibly flexible when it comes to hierarchial naming? Why kludge it this horribly, with an ill-concieved browser plugin? It would seem to me it would be better to just run an unsanctioned root server, and have someone hack a bind daemon so that it could split com/net/org resolution off to the regular roots (no need to swamp your server with work that another server is willing to do), but duh/newtld/warez domains to your own. For Windows users, a simple DNS server could be coded, and point their own resolution back to themselves. Hell better yet, have this new unsanctioned root server be dynamic, so that it was truly open to something other than business.
  • Having a centralised authority to keep the net as tidy as possible is not such a bad thing. The net is chaotic enough as it is without people running around creating new toplevel domains too.

    I just wish ICANN had the authority to babysit the domains already here. Kick all commercial activity out of .org and .net, keep .com for the american/international companies and enforce national companies to register under their national domains.

    The net is a chaotic place already, why make it even worse?

  • Well it would be easy enough to change Konqueror, since the source is available... You probably wouldn't even need to do it through a plugin, just edit the URI resolving code to recognise the new tlds and get whatever it would have to from there.

    As for minority browsers, well, I thought we were supposed to ignore them. Seriously, there would have to be some way for them to get at the new names -- some portalish thing maybe?

  • If ICANN kick out commercial sites from the .org TLD and regulates the .NET space also...

    we would need to say goodbye to slashdot and freshmeat!
  • Hmmmm. Andover bought slashdot to use slashdot's popularity to generate advertising revenue...

    Although it may not be generating a profit it was certainly *meant* to after the buyout...

    Why else would Andover pay a squillion dollars for Slashdot?

    Guaranteed First posts? :-)
  • i'll stick with slash.dot.
  • This is not easier. A browser plugin can be installed on the fly, and the user only has to click 'Ok'.

    The ability to change name resolution is platform dependent, and requires administrator/root level access. You are sure as hell not touching that on my machine. How do you change this on a Mac?

    The root servers aren't going to change any time soon. They're well established, and their addresses are distributed with DNS servers, for which there are millions of copies already distributed.
  • As an aside, anyone attempting something like this in the UK or Europe would probably find themselves in prison very quickly. And rightly so in my opinion

    I'm sure that you're wrong about this. There is nothing illegal about it at all. In fact there is no law in any country ( as far as I am aware) to prevent *anybody* designing/building/deploying a system to allow for an alternative method of reaching resources on the internet.

    Imagine if you will that ICQ decided to allow you to reach their users websites by entering icq://uin1234567890 in your browser, would that be illegal? I doubt it. (Btw, if anyone at AOL/ICQ wants to use that idea... please remember to contact me first and pay me a token amount :-)

    The ICANN may not be perfect, but it has worked up to now. It ain't broke, so don't fix it.

    The same could be said about the Linux Kernel, but people continue to improve it. The difference here is that they have been given control of many things which affect every internet user in the entire world and are not directly accountable. No body seems to be able to extert pressure on them to do anything. We do not appear to have made any progress since they came along.

    I for one agree that material which is obviously pornographic and unsuitable for minors should be placed within a seperate name space which could be easily blocked such as: .xxx, .sex, .pr0n, .porn, .adult, etc. then we wouldn't have to put up with such stupid laws as have just been passed in Austrailia - That all content published on the net should be suitable for children - subject to the judgement of police officers and not courts, judges or a jury of ones peers.

    If ICANN had got off their butts and allowed for such a TLD ages ago I would have less contempt for them.

  • "ICANN's strength lies that it is not a commercialized entity, so its unlikely it can fall into some of the problems that plague other companies, monopolization, absurd rules, irrate Terms of Service, etc."

    Just because a organization is not commercialized does not mean that the people who run it can not be jack asses.

  • Or even get rid of the current domain name system completely and replace it by using 'raw' IP addresses. An IPV4 address (especially if expressed as 8 hex digits rather than dotted quad), is no longer than a phone number and people are quite happy to use phone numbers rather type the person/company name into the phone dial.

    For loookup you could have white and yellow pages, which could be indexed in many ways. Also companies and individual users could create their own private address books, in the same way that people do for telephone numbers.

  • What law?

    I understand that the US Congress authorized ICANN, but I don't recall that they ever passed anything that said everybody needed to pay attention to them.

    The internet has always worked under rough consensus, where people generally agree on how things are going to work. The ICANN changes that model, really without consent.
  • cmon' idealab! has appeard about 100 times already on fu@#edcompany... they'll start this "plug-in" and then tank.. maybe they should focus on the business they still have before it goes under..
  • by ka9dgx ( 72702 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @06:03AM (#387815) Homepage Journal
    I like the idea of routing around ICANN, because there are some simple paradigm shifts that need to be made which they incapable of grasping due to the dollar wash.

    I think that this particulary implementation of the idea, as it stands, is going to flop big time.

    Why? ... because it requires work ... and the goal isn't good enough... do we really want to do all this just for some stupid domains like .film ???

    It doesn't solve the basic problem, flat domains. Why should chicago.il.us be nonexistant? It could be the root for every business and person in the city. Geography makes a very good dimension to base domain names on, and should be taken advantage of. A tree structure that lets you walk down to a city or neighborhood is a very good thing.

    What we need are domains that actually make some sense... and use the heirarchical namespace properly for example:

    • CHICAGO.IL.US could actually be open to businesses and people in Chicago... with the home page having information about the city... so if a business was in Chicago, it would be (for example).... goldcoastdogs.chicago.il.us, or ibm.chicago.il.us, government.chicago.il.us, etc.
    • .soft could be people who make software, with each language having a sponsor (or two).... delphi.soft would be run by borland
    • .rating could be used to host sites that rate the equvalent sites without the .rating at the end.... thus ibm.com.rating would give feedback about IBM's services, etc.
    • .anon and .free could be used for dynamic hosted information that needs to be anonymous because of persecution.
    • .act could be for activities.... with examples such as photography.act, runner.act, hiker.act, etc.
    Each level in the heirarchy as the "price" of getting the domain name would be required to host a list (in XHTML) of all the available subdomains that were registered, so that search engines, etc.. could make life easier, and serve as a convinent way to show what's available to everyone. A look at the chicago.il.us site would allow you to discover new businesses available, etc.

    The load of mirroring could also be distributed up and down the heirarchy in a uniform manner, since the data is structured in a uniform manner, the chicago.il.us domain could be mirrored between a group of servers that are members of the domain, such as IBM, the City Government, etc.

    The dispute resolution process would then go down to the local level, and namespace saturation could almost disappear. If two businesses had the same name, in the same city, they would be differnetiated by the services offered. Sams.plumbing.chicago.il.us wouln't get confused with sams.publisher.chicago.il.us, for example

    So if someone can put together a heirarchical, locally administered namespace, that routes around the existing ICANN endorsed mess, I'll sign up... I've got a list of little nodes in the big tree I'd like to run, including:
    • amateur.photographer.chicago.il.us
    • apcu.computer.usergroup.chicago.il.us
    • amateur.photographer.us
    • etc....
    My choices for domain names in a tree would tell you far more about me, and be far less random than a contrived name like http://basicsoftware.com [basicsoftware.com] ever could.

    A nice side benefit to all this heirarchy is that it could serve to remove money from the domain registration system, for a lot of people, that WOULD be worth the cost.

  • I just wish ICANN had the authority to babysit the domains already here. Kick all commercial activity out of .org

    Uh, I believe they're attempting to (see The Register [theregister.co.uk]), and it would have been a good idea if the distinctions between .org other TLDs had been maintained from the start, but what do you do with the many people who own .org domains, and have established a presence on the web, but are not non-profit organisations? The problem is that VeriSign (Network Solutions) were willing to sell .org domains to anybody who would pay, but now VeriSign are giving up control of .org (in return for continuing their monopoly over .com and .net adresses), and now ICANN are talking about requiring all owners of .org domains to be registered non-profit organisations. Many .org owners would have to register new names, perhaps readvertise their sites etc.

    One of your other points (keep .com for American/International companies) has similar problems - there are many companies worldwide which have .com domains, but under this description would be forced to change. Unless American-only companies were also forced to change to the .us domain, this would be interpreted as pro-US bias and be widely criticised around the world. (Yes, I know the internet originated in the US, but you can't ignore the fact that it's now worldwide).

    Basically, the idea of enforcing the naming conventions for TLDs now, while desirable in practice, has the problem that it can't really be seen as fair - requiring owners of domain names registered in good faith to rename as a result of ICANN/VeriSigns' flawed policy in the past. I can see a better argument for allowing no new registrations in violation of the naming conventions, but then you have to ask wether there's much point, given the number of existing 'misnamed' domains.

  • I think everything you need is in /etc/resolv.conf nameserver n.n.n.n nameserver m.m.m.m nameserver the.unofficial.tld.people
  • I wouldn't download this plugin.
  • The idea of hierarchical domains is a good one, but it is obviously only geared to local businesses. How many people are going to remember "ibm.armonk.ny.us", versus "ibm.com"? Furthermore, if a company moves or establishes a new branch office, the old address is useless.

    This is the right solution to the wrong problem. Many people and businesses have identical names -- look at the Yellow Pages in any sizeable city. Until you want to use, say, Tax ID's or phone numbers as URL's, there will always be conflicts. Always. Always. Always. Always. Always.

    Always.

    Always.

  • you can already make your own tld's its just that no one without using your dns server can access them. Such as my local network here. I have a dns server providing the tld .home i can send mail to someperson@home or someperson@bob.home Creating tld's is not the problem getting the rest of the world to be able to use them is
  • Not necessarily. It would still be possible to address multiple sites within a single IP address, in the same way as multiple companies can have offices in the same building, or have multiple extensions on a common telephone number. The "internet" just has to route the packets to the host, it will still be possible for hosts to handle multiple sites, in the same was a company switchboard can put you through to the correct department. So if companies "alpha" and "beta" are both hosted by 10.1.2.3, they could be accessed as "http://10.1.2.3/alpha/..." and "http://10.1.2.3/beta/..."
  • http://name.space (or http://name.space.xs2.net/ ) already offers over 500 new generic TLDs.
    You have to change your root.zone or name server. It is possible to access the "new TLDs" also via .xs2.net (i.e. sth.chaos -> sth.chaos.xs2.net), if you have no direct access to the new TLDs.

  • When I first saw this article I thought, what an excellent idea! Make a browser plug in for the clueless people so we can get a critical mass, so this might actually succeed, unlike AlterNIC and al the other failures. There's nothing stopping me from fixing my resolv.conf rather than using the stupid plugin.
  • see OpenNIC...this is exactly what they do. Add a new server into resolv.conf, and you can resolve the tld's that they've created.

    Or use superroot.org [superroot.org]'s root servers. DJBDNS [cr.yp.to] users can simply put

    199.166.24.1
    195.117.6.10
    199.166.24.3
    199.166.31.250
    199.166.31.3
    199.5.157.128
    204.57.55.100
    204.80.125.130
    205.189.73.10
    205.189.73.102
    207.126.103.16
    216.13.76.2
    216.196.48.66

    into their {mumble}/dnscache/root/servers/@ file. BIND users use these instructions [superroot.org] instead.

    The hack gives your access to all the usual TLDs AND SuperRoot's plethora of TLDs without sweat.

    // Klaus
    --

  • I agree with the second paragraph, but need to correct the first one, at least on Windows. Any app that uses the (somewhat braindead) wininet API to fetch URLs can be extended with new URL schemes fairly easily. Napster does this with their nap: URI scheme. So you could do a patch for most winapps that used HTTP tunneling as a communication scheme.
  • by luge ( 4808 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMtieguy.org> on Saturday March 03, 2001 @08:26AM (#387827) Homepage
    Actually, the one article I read indicated that they would be providing tradtional DNS. However, for most people, if your ISP isn't open to using the "new" DNS, then you will never be able to reach those addresses. This is why all the other alternatives have failed- they've depended on ISPs and such to connect to their DNSs, and that hasn't happened, so only folks who know a great deal about their computers are able to use the alternatives.
    Idealab's stroke of genius (IMHO) is that they are going to offer a way around this. Sure, they'll offer traditional DNS, but in the meantime they'll build market and mind-share by allowing folks to just download the plugin and do the name resolution that way. If they distribute enough of the plugins, they'll be able to demonstrate interest to the ISPs- and then the ISPs might get off their butts and incorporate the alternatives into their systems. It's a neat way around the chicken-and-egg problem that has plauged past alternatives.
    Now, I'm not claiming that this will work; certainly all past attempts at this have failed miserably. But if any of them have had a chance, this appears to be the one. Now they just have to convince folks that it is worth their time to put up content on these new domains, and (as someone else wisely pointed out) you need to convince Google to index it. If those two things happen, they've figured out a work-around to the one other problem that has always plagued alternative registries, so it just might work.
    ~luge
  • So they've created .store, .firm, .mp3, .pic, .movie, .game, and so on... but where is the .dot? why don't any of these companies bow down before cmdrtaco and make a dot tld. then we could really have a slash dot
  • those who participate in the f---edcompany.com [f---edcompany.com] deadpool oughta know by now that Idealab! is well on it's way to dot-com death. If you don't, then I highly recommend you add Idealab to your list tomorrow, which is when you can add 5 new dot-coms to your list.
  • There are several ways they could be doing this. Anyone know which one?
    • Redirecting the local DNS client to use their root servers. This is what the AlterNic, etc. crowd do. Bypasses most DNS caches, so these guys had better have a big root server.
    • Modifying the browser's lookup. That's what the "RealNames" and "Internet Keyword" people do. Only affects the browser, of course.
    Neither of those ideas has obtained any traction, although both have been operational for several years.

    Now all they need is a virus that installs their plug-in. Maybe a web bug based on the exploitable hole in the Flash plug-in, coupled with hidden disclaimers in the terms of use on sites deploying it.

    Besides, we don't need more TLDs. The number of Internet businesses probably peaked months ago. At the beginning of this year, there were 5021 ticker symbols on the NASDAQ. Today, there are only 4929.

  • eToys was not trying "to rob etoy.com of their domain name." They were trying to resolve complaints from parents about the adult content on the etoy.com site and were unable to reach an agreement with the etoy people who asked for an outrageous sum of money.

    You say tomato, I say tomahto (ok, that expression doesn't work well written).

    This very well may be the truth but it doesn't give eToys the right to attempt to bully etoy.com our of what's rightfully theirs (and was theirs long before eToys existed).


    --
    Turn on, log in, burn out...
  • That's what I meant. You shouldn't steal people's ideas like that.


  • It's more than just that. I don't want any of the users on my network doing something as stupid as changing their dns resolution methods. That's why they don't have priveleges to do this. If they change this, they don't get to resolve any of the names of the servers their daily work depends on.

    They can install a browser plug-in. I couldn't care less if they do this. If it breaks their Internet Explorer when they install the program, they know they get no support because they installed an unsupported program.

    A program that changes whatever the Windows version of resolv.conf is, could also be a program where they click on an icon and it says, "Ok." Yes, on multiuser (e.g. Unix) systems, it would have to ask for a password. But in cases where the user (e.g. you) knows better than to give root access to whatever program asks for it, the user probably already knows how to change resolv.conf himself

    This is only realistic for home PCs. No corporate environment allows users to touch this stuff. So, by choosing this method, you are creating TLDs that only work at home.
  • by mr ( 88570 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @04:00AM (#387834)
    1) Consider the past efforts. RealNames, AlterNIC, and one (I think) OpenNIC
    RealNames and AlterNIC have been around for a LONG (internet that is) time. How often do you run into these? (I bet about as often as a Cue Cat sound on a TV that takes you to a web site)

    2) The enemy of my enemy is my friend makes for a nice warm feeling for a few minutes, but is not good long term strategic planning. If you don't like ICANN, going off and embracing some alternative just BECAUSE it is an alternative and "would piss off ICANN" isn't good technical logic.

    And the gods of the 'net like LOGICAL arguments.

    3) Hate to tell you this, but the Internet goes beyond web browsers. Uniform Resource Identifiers need to be addressed. As the 'idea' here is 'we are gonna do this with browser add-ons', this shows these people are not thinking in terms of the big picture. Just a small, http: view.
  • While I like the idea of more TLDs, having competing alternate registries could create some messy problems. What if two different registries each tried to use the same TLD? You could end up with a situation where different users ended up at different sites using the same address, depending on which alternate registry the user was searching. This would create utter chaos. And God help you if you decided to use alternate TLDs in e-mail addresses. If something like this is going to work, then there should be one unified alternate registry structure. At least then you'd have a fighting chance of getting ISPs to get on board. If you have enough interesting sites available, then ISPs might see a competitive advantage in offering access, since it would expand the variety of sites a user could visit. Well, it really wouldn't necessarily expand it unless these sites were unavailable in the traditional TLDs, but it would at least create the perception. I'm not too crazy about using a browser plugin to access alternate TLDs for the same reasons others have pointed out, but it does make some amount of sense for Idealab to go this route, at least until ISPs reconfigure their DNS servers. Still, if all the alternate registries could come together and cooperate, they'd be much better off. Maybe they could even build an alternative organization to ICANN. I don't think anyone outside of ICANN, including the U.S. government, is very happy with them right now. Perhaps a little competition would be a good thing. Gee, maybe we could even end up with an organization that would be representative of Internet users and not Network Solutions.
  • You say "You say tomato, I say tomahto", I say "You say tomaytoe, I say tomato".

    Rich

  • It is very clear (as evidenced by sites such as whitehouse.com) that porn operators perceive a disadvantage to pigeonholing themselves in obviously-porny domains.

    Then why don't I get a faceful of pr0n every time I type in some random URL like www.whateverifeelliketyping.com? Why can I be guaranteed of coming up with a pr0n site if I type in www.somevariationontits.com, but not somecombinationofrandomwords.com?

  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @04:02AM (#387840)
    Besides the fact that it needs a browser plugin, this would also limited only to http requests. Any other non-browser-but-net-enabled program, such as IM, Napster & clones, and whatnot, would have no idea about these new domains, and therefore would not work if the servers were based on those alternate names.

    I think the whole DNS things needs to be restarted from scratch: the only possible TLDs would be country codes, .intl (for anything international), and .net (for network systems). Within the country codes, it's up the country on how to split it up (This means that trademarks that apply in one country cannot be used to grab a domain from someone in a different country where the trademark may not apply, such as the Corinthians case). The US, of course, would probably just replicated .com, .org, etc, which is fine, but restrict these, and make sure that there are enough TLDs that are NOT related to e-commerce so that nearly every current site can be classified into one of these. If done right, then there would be no reason for a company X to own X.net, X.org, etc in addition to X.com, which makes trademark problems even more limited between two companies and not being a large company and a small-time webmaster. A system should be opened up to allow anyone to introduce an idea of a new TLD, with a public comment period before granting or accepting it, as long as the TLD does not replicate the function of any other TLD and provides a namespace that would have sufficient size to be useful.

  • by tsetem ( 59788 ) <tsetem@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Saturday March 03, 2001 @04:05AM (#387843)
    ...be to provide a genuine DNS Service? I mean, provide a DNS Server that resolves the new TLD's, this way all services can work correctly? And all you would have to do at the OS level is change your resolv.conf (for Unices) to point at the new system and change the DNS lookup order for Windows.

    Of course another solution would be to provide a hack that sits at resolver level that allows all "normal" DNS lookups to go through your ISP, but these special requests get filtered at the OS level and forwarded to the new system.

    But the best solution (IMHO) is for the ISP's to add the DNS Server to the named.ca file so it gets resolved (more or less) proper.

    Providing a plug-in is a fine hack, but it must provide someway to resolve names to DNS Entries. It's just a question of whether the resolution comes at the application or the OS level.

  • by isdnip ( 49656 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @04:44AM (#387844)
    Yes, that would be a better way.

    Idealab this time seems again to be Cluelesslab. DNS is a hierarchical system. Most retail end users now get their DNS service from their ISPs; commercial end users (leased lines, etc.) may have an in-house DNS but that too is hierarchical under their ISP's.

    Now anybody can point to any other DNS, but it's not trivial for Joe User, so it's really best if the ISPs do the fix in their DNS servers. They can simply add these alternative roots next to .com et al. Poof, it's done, for all applications.

    The tricky part is Worldcom's UUNET, the largest backbone ISP (upstream from a lot of retail services). Vint, the Elizabeth Taylor of the Internet (famous because he's famous, and didn't he once make a movie about a horse when he was a kid?), works for them. So Roberts gave him the hot title at ICANN, so he won't defy them. But UUNET's customers (who mostly run DNS servers) can still do the fix.

    But plug-ins? Gross needs a cranial plug in.

    (BTW, Idealab has put up for sublease its fancy Boston digs, occupied for less than a year. They're shrinking away with their stock portfolio)
  • If it won't work with browsers besides the Top Two, though, then I guess I'll miss out on dot-duh ...

    Konqueror runs most if not all Netscape plug-ins. So does Opera. I am assuming Mozilla does too.

    You might get the .dot after all, guys.

  • by martyb ( 196687 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @04:51AM (#387847)

    Though the article only mentions that the plugin would resolve the new TLDs, I have to wonder what ELSE the plugin would/could do.

    Where/how is the resolution going to be performed? And who will own/maintain/operate/control these resolvers?

    Plugin to resolver: Hi! I've got this request from a user. Here's all the stuff I could find out about him, and could you please make a record that he wanted to access this URL? Oh, and by the way, could you also resolve this for me?

    Marketers would LOVE this; privacy advocates may not be so thrilled.

  • What Hollywood is actually doing, according to the article, is a bit more than the Slashdot headline portrays:
    According to the source, Warner has balked at the plan and is reportedly undertaking legal research to see if Idealab can even launch this effort.
    This Idealab concept is a perefectly valid direction for the Internet, a somewhat creative idea (not completely original, but I doubt most people of heard of the earlier competitors), and a legitimate business for legitimate purposes. And Hollywood is trying to stop it with lawyers.
  • Maybe someone can opensource public domain patent the idea. Then all we would need would be some sort of system for hosting the lookups.

    of course, this is the favorite buzzword, but maybe it could somehow be done P2P? I can't see how right now.

  • I've been trying to think of a way to enhance the domain registry system for a while now (as have others, based on the attempts of the AltenrNIC and OpenNIC).

    All such attempts will fail unless they can successfully meet the needs that the InterNIC is leaving unmet.

    To me they seem to be:

    1. An open, free process to acquire a domain name.
    2. An objective and fair policy for domain name disputes that doesn't innately favor either the lone individual or the multi-billion dollar company.
    3. An efficient means for adding new TLD's.
    4. A method for becoming used enough to be worthwhile.

    #1 is probably the second hardest. If the process is free, people will just run a perl script to register every word, trademark, and probably every letter/number combo their quatum computer can spit out in the time it takes to futz with a bucky-ball a few trillion-trillion times.

    #'s 2 and 3 are fairly easy. Just come up with a charter that helps make those outcomes more likely. There are many internet task forces, working groups, committees, SIGs, consortiums, etc, to look towards for models. Just make a few bylaws, elect some officials, and take away all incentive for corruption. Also, don't be idealistic (ala, the FSF). Just be fair and open to all sides (like the internet tends to try to be), and you'll succeed.

    #4 is the zinger... I can think of three ways to do it:

    • Start small, but with a plan. I'd first focus on a group of people who would adopt the new root servers, who can do it easily, and who wouldn't care, at first, if they're the only ones who know about it. Linux/Open Source/Free Software folks seem to be a good fit here. Also, if this "secret" club starts making a large buzz, more and more outsiders will become insiders. Think of what happened to Chips & Dips.
    • Make a big deal about it on key sites. Get Slashdot, Google, WiReD, etc, to put prominent links on their home pages to point to the new DNS project's home page.
    • Combine the first two, and probably a few others I haven't thought of.

    Above all else, like I already said, don't be idealistic! Democratic Name Server? Would fire have caught on if it was Democratic? DNS is a mechanism, not a way of life. If you have two mechanisms which are equal in every way except that one is neutral, it just does what it does. The other does the same things, only it goes out of its way to teach some lesson, tell you you're bad or good, or something similar, which do you think would win going head-to-head? Which would you want to win?

    I'd be willing to help on a project that could repair this flaw in the internet. Any takers?

    end-of-line

  • Thisis getting just dumb. It will be years before any now TLDs come out, and then they'll fill up so quick, it's like we didn't have them.

    Here's what I propose: Open up all 3 and 4 letter combination TLD to the highest registrar bidder. Everything: .abc, .biz, .byz, \.[a-z][a-z][a-z][a-z]?

    That way, the more popular new TLDs could be scooped up by the big boys,but all the crap would be left to *us*. At this point, I'd be happy to register "trevorb.llq".

    Let the market choose which TLDs are cool/needed/useful....
  • Then why don't I get a faceful of pr0n every time I type in some random URL like www.whateverifeelliketyping.com? Why can I be guaranteed of coming up with a pr0n site if I type in www.somevariationontits.com, but not somecombinationofrandomwords.com?

    I am not arguing that porn operators have an infinite supply of money with which to register every possible domain. If they had anything less than an infinite supply of money (which they do), that would be a stupid course of action, since some domains are obviously more likely to attract users than others.

    What you will find, however - and this should have been clear from my post coupled with perhaps a morsel of common sense - is that given the opportunity to get some traffic at a reasonable cost, they will do so, regardless of the potential for surprise or offense.

  • by mephinet ( 181586 ) on Saturday March 03, 2001 @04:10AM (#387870)
    since the new domain registrar, new.net allows everyone willing to pay five bucks to open his own TLD, an enourmous growth of the .cowboyneal-tld has developped interesting urls like
    • www.whois.cowboyneal,
    • www.ilove.cowboyneal, and
    • www.fsck.cowboyneal.
    despite our intensive research, we couldn't find any firm named cowboyneal, and we don't expect any indiviual to exist with a name like that, so the hidden humor behind this tld will stay obscure...

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