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The Internet

RealNames Closing Shop 206

The_THOMAS writes: "The company RealNames, which tried to make a buck off of the domain name gold rush by adding their own layer on top of the ICANN system, is going out of business (Full story here). To review, the RealNames system is a browser plugin which redirects a user who types 'cookies' in the IE address bar to Nabisco.com. The reason for the closure appears to be the decision by M$ to NOT renew their agreement with RealNames which expires in June."
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RealNames Closing Shop

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  • by eet23 ( 563082 ) <eet23@cBOHRam.ac.uk minus physicist> on Saturday May 11, 2002 @06:25PM (#3503819) Journal
    ...at least with OmniWeb (and presumably other browsers) where I can set up my own keywords to go to a site rather than relying on someone else's based on what they paid.
  • I just use Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kalislashdot ( 229144 ) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @06:27PM (#3503825) Homepage
    I just use google and hit "Im feeling lucky" and I usally find what I need.
    • Re:I just use Google (Score:3, Informative)

      by Economist ( 466965 )
      And if you use Internet Explorer (yeah, let the flames come), you could download the Google Bar, so you should not even go to google itself.

      For the curious: entering cookies in google and hitting i'm lucky directs to http://www.netscape.com/newsref/std/cookie_spec.ht ml
    • Re:I just use Google (Score:2, Informative)

      by frisket ( 149522 )
      But before Google there was DogPile, and one of their sections (fairly high up) was RealNames...and it returned the stupidest collection of garbage in response to almost anything you typed that it was a total waste of time (and one of the reasons I eventually gave up on DogPile; the other one being About.com).
  • Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ViXX0r ( 188100 ) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @06:28PM (#3503828) Homepage
    I mean, I feel sorry for the employees of another failing dotcom company, but really - I thought this was a dumb idea in the first place. If you need a plugin to remember how to get to your favorite web sites, then get off the 'net.

    Hopefully they'll find something else to do that's actually useful.
    • Re:Good (Score:3, Insightful)

      by danheskett ( 178529 )
      Exactly right, I mean, how much mental capital are you saving by typing in "cookies" instead of "nabisco.com" or "bookshop" instead of "amazon.com". Its really not a big deal to remember the major web destinations (alot easier than phone numbers which people routinely remember).

      Seems a little silly that the Slashdot submission blamed 'M$' rather than the RealNames people for the failure of the company.
      • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @06:44PM (#3503909)
        Actually, if this WERE to be common, and I were to use it, when I type in "Cookies", I am looking for information on cookies. I am not looking for a specific brand. If I WANTED nabisco cookies, I would have typed in "nabisco". I want general info on cookies. This is not useful, it is marketing.


        So, what would I do? I would go to Google and type in cookies there. That's it.

        • So, what would I do? I would go to Google and type in cookies there. That's it.

          Mozilla/NS6.2+ almost has this;

          Click in Location field.

          Type in cookies.

          Below the Location field, this string appears;

          1. Search Google for "Cookies"

          Press down arrow and press enter to search.

          (Q. Is the default Google now, or still Netscape's search? It's been so long.)

          Personally I like the default behavior; typing in cookies sends you to "cookies.com". If it used a search engine instead, you'd have to click another link to get to the site you wanted...or you'd have to type the whole URL (no biggie, but why bother?).

          • Mozilla/NS6.2+ also has this: Keywords for your bookmarks, including keywords that take a parameter. I use 'g whatever i'm looking for on google' and 'ng whatever i'm looking for on google groups' or 'imdb star wars' etc etc all the time.

            I found a great write up of it here [deftone.com].
      • Yes, Microsoft is doing a good thing by cutting RealNames off. Maybe people using this will discover the Google is the search engine they should be using instead of RealNames (or MS, or any of the rest of those marketing based "search engines" posing as a regular search engine.

        Now, not to say that MS actively decided to do something nice or anything. They only have about 30 years practice being evil, and they are bound to slip up occasionally. Even Hitler liked dogs and kids (I have an acquaintence who remembers visiting Hitler on vacation when she was young quite fondly. She does not seem to understand why he was so disliked.)
      • I'm going to miss them quite a lot. I used to type in, "MyFavouritePlaceToTrollOnTheInternetForNerds", instead of just clicking on a bookmark on my personal bar, and then I'd arrive at "www.slashdot.org".

        ;^p
      • Its really not a big deal to remember the major web destinations (alot easier than phone numbers which people routinely remember).

        I almost never use urls any more. I just use google, and remember the keyword. Why bother remembering http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/ when you can just type "copyright law" into google? Why remember http://www.harmonycentral.com/Guitar/tab.html when I can type "olga" into google? Realnames is a good idea, they just didn't have a business model which made sense.

    • Re:Good (Score:3, Funny)

      by raju1kabir ( 251972 )

      Honestly, it couldn't have happened to a stupider pack of schmucks. The business model was straight off an insane asylum rec-room wall, and their shrill arguments in its support made them (at least any of them who dared show their virtual faces in public) sound like they were holding first class tickets to Jonestown, for all the irrational yet fervent defensiveness they spurted out.

      Add to that, of course, that their company's sole goal was to make money off the forced Balkanization of the internet. Sort of an online Slobodan Milosevic.

      This news truly makes my week. Beers are on me tonight. Nobody at the bar will know what the hell I'm talking about, but that's probably for the better.

  • I've been using computers for twenty years, and Windows since 3.0, but I didn't even know it was possible to just type keywords into the IE address bar... I wonder how many people out there did?

    Granted, I use Netscape a lot more now, but still...

    • In IE,

      Go to Search -> Customize -> Autosearch settings, and you can choose there what you want the behavior of the Address Bar to be.
    • by Ron Bennett ( 14590 ) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @06:44PM (#3503907) Homepage
      I get about 200 hits per month through via a keyword - it's a trademarked madeup word. Many people I suspect simply forget the .com part and then after seeing they're still being routed properly to our site due to RealNames, they use it more and tell others. So in this regard, keywords do have some value in regards to convenience.

      But as far as driving traffic, etc...keywords are generally a poor way to do it...keywords don't work the same everywhere...for example AOL keywords and RealNames don't correspond with each other...if RealNames had any sense, they should have gotten AOL aboard - perhaps they tried...but in any event, keywords lacked consistency and thus most companies, etc simply stayed with internet domain names - they're familiar to people, consistent for the most part, and much less expensive since RealNames also charged surcharges for high volume sites.

      So all in all, I'm glad to see RealNames fail...and it serves VeriSign right too - they're about the worst company on the face of the planet...heck, look at what they did to two decent services GreatDomains and Registrars.com after they acquired them...but I digress...
      • I get about 200 hits per month through via a keyword - it's a trademarked madeup word. Many people I suspect simply forget the .com part and then after seeing they're still being routed properly to our site due to RealNames, they use it more and tell others. So in this regard, keywords do have some value in regards to convenience.

        But most browsers would do the same thing anyway - fire up a non-Realnames-enabled browser and type in your made-up word without the .com on the end. Presto, it adds the http://www.\1.com/ on its own.

  • by sanermind ( 512885 ) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @06:29PM (#3503835)
    Good god. $100,000,000 invested in the buisness plan of a company that produces absolutely nothing, the only possible appeal of which would be to allow the redirection of someone on a particular browser platform (who is too stupid to understand .com or use a search engine) to your site, for which you would pay them up to 500 a year.

    Unbelievable. Thank reason that's all behind us.
    • Internet TLDs mean nothing, they contribute no extra information. Slashdot.org is the same as Slashdot.com.

      The reason RealNames got so much money is that it was actually conceivable that people might just prefer not to have to type .com. This is a "feature" that AOL provides as well.

      I for one, would so much prefer to do away with TLDs altogether. Give Nabisco COOKIES if they want it. TLDs lead only to user confusion and annoyance as some bozo buys up YOURCOMPANY.NET or .TV or .ORG. And suddenly some of your clients are wondering when you got into the porn business.

      Maybe TLDs would be useful if they meant something. But as it is right now, they're meaningless and a nuisance for site owners and web users. Apparently, enough was thought of this nuisance that they were able to raise $100M on the promise of removing .com from the vernacular of the internet.

      Sweat
      • by birder ( 61402 )
        It wasn't too long ago that slashdot.com went somewhere completely differnet to slashdot.org.

      • by macshit ( 157376 )
        That's a silly argument; TLDs are quite often meaningful, and useful, as long as they're used correctly. Of course, in the rabid world of commercial entities trying to grab all mindshare, the usefulness of the system often gets trampled.

        Most of the (original) TLDs describe types of organizations so they're obviously the most useful when your site is that of one. Some TLDs contain mostly organizational host names (like .edu and .gov), so those are obviously the most focused and meaningful.

        `slashdot' doesn't name an organization at all so naturally it doesn't fit well into the system.

        The problems with TLDs mostly seem to be caused by the attempts to ignore them, trying to get around user cluelessness by using `.com' as a sort of `constant suffix for keywords'. This attempt to pretend that that domain names are handy keywords seems pretty hopeless (there's too much conflict), but I suppose people aren't going to stop doing it.

        I wish they'd just allow domain names without TLDs for this sort of `keyword' usage, allowing the TLDs to remain for domain names where they're useful (especially .edu). This would even help the existing TLDs a bit, by freeing up namespace currently used for `keywords' for use by real organizations.

        [Of course, I also wish the DNS admins would enforce some sort of `reasonableness', e.g., `no, you can't have coke.net, you're already coke.com! ... and no, you can't have coke.net, because you're a pr0n-meister trying to leech off of users' innocent mistakes!' Based on what happened in Australia, I guess it's not going to happen though...]

          • TLDs are quite often meaningful, and useful, as long as they're used correctly.

          That's the whole problem. With the internet gold rush on domain names, you are lucky when you can find a name for your business which counterpart .com domain name is still available. Domains in .net aren't just for Network organisations anymore, and .org is lame for a business.

          No thanks to script kiddies and squatters who registered en masse all the domains they could find a few years back, we're stuck with a very flat .com domain, and exponentially growing other TLDs. In the end, the situation is perverted: it isn't that simple to find a good name any more, and to get your domain.com is a miracle unless you don't mind shelling off $10,000's to someone who was quicker than you.

      • Internet TLDs mean nothing, they contribute no extra information. Slashdot.org is the same as Slashdot.com.

        Not always...one example that comes to mind is that mbusa.net [mbusa.net] is the website of a filtered ISP while mbusa.com [mbusa.com] is the American website of a certain German automaker. I doubt that's the only example where the TLD disambiguates.

  • Ignoring the stupidity of their entire business strategy, it's no surprise that they went over.

    The article says they had 80 employees. 80! I would say that at max, they'd need a few sales people, a few programmers, a designer, a tech support person, management, and a receptionist. That's 20 people at most. Instead, they've got 80 people.

    I bet that half of their employees are browsing Slashdot all day. :)
  • Any one ever heard of 'AOL keywords' same concept, Something like this needs to happen, but it needs to be standardized
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 11, 2002 @06:37PM (#3503880)
      It has been. They're called domain names. They're supposed to make remembering hosts easier by not having to remember the numeric IP address. It's just some people have abused this system or used it incorrectly resulting in a less valuable resource for all.
      • It's just some people have abused this system or used it incorrectly resulting in a less valuable resource for all.
        If you don't mind me asking, how does this make it any less useful for us all? You can just Google search and find whatever official site you want, or use the direct domain names themselves. That seems pretty straightforward to me, and it works to find any site.
  • Looks like Microsoft beat these morons to the punch on this one (and probably Netscape before so). Just like Netscape used to redirect non-sites to Netcenter Search, IE by default sends queries to MSN Search---but in IE's prefrences, that is configurable; for example, I have mine set to Google.

    This software sounds like something that would have to be installed covertly. I'll stick with IE's feature, thanks.

    What if I like Keebler better than Nabisco?
    • What if I like Keebler better than Nabisco?

      I'm only vaguely familiar with their service, but I recall that their service permitted more than one owner per "keyword". I'd provide a link right here, but that "feature" of their website is unavailable at the moment.

      They used to have an arrangement with the Altavista search engine, and it really just worked like a limited search service.
    • but in IE's prefrences, that is configurable; for example, I have mine set to Google

      Where is this option? Care to enlighten a fellow /.er? Thanks!

      • Take head my son, Google itself holds the answer [google.com] to this and many questions.

        I'm seriously considering founding a religion based around google.

        btw, rather than screw with registry settings to make IE conform, may I suggest you use Opera [opera.com]. It comes pre-configured to search google and many others. I use Opera with Javascript etc. turned off and only load IE when I find a page the requires that stuff. That system seems to work well.
  • I wonder if this is happening because of google.

    After all, in IE, you may use google's taskbar to provide a keyword-search right there on your browser. And in Mozilla, you have the sidebar with google enabled. So why bother using 'keywords' to search for stuff when you have something much more stable in google?

    In any event, they probably shouldn't have tried to put so many eggs in the Microsoft basket. Yet, I'm unsure they would have had much choice... where else could they have gone?

    Hmm.. and Microsoft wishes to convince folks that a monopoly such as theirs is a *good* thing?
  • And how much time will elapse before RealNames has brought another anti-trust suit...? ;)

    Why would Micro$oft cancel the contract? Do they not need redirection based on keywords anymore? Or did the programmer they keep in the basement all of a sudden figure out how to make IE redirect based on keywords without RealNames?
  • Everybody knows that Microsoft practices monopoly pricing practices and hurts consumers in the process. After all, who wouldn't expect them to skew the software market in their favor if they do wield the power to do so? Any company would do the same thing, and it's no surprise that BillG and friends take advantage of their unique position at the top of the food chain to gouge customers.

    However, there is a second, more subtle effect to Microsoft's dominance of the PC software industry: they have the power and funding they need to prop up unprofitable ventures that serve only to increase their stranglehold over PC consumers. Take the RealNames scenario, for instance: Microsoft was able to compete with the Internic registry[1] only because they could afford to bleed money for several years without hurting. In this case, the market prevailed and RealNames collapsed. However, this isn't always the case. Take a look at Internet Explorer: for many years it was inferior to Netscape's offering, and only recently has Mozilla again surpassed it in speed and usability. IE never made a single red cent for Microsoft, but their monopoly position and cash reserves were used to force it down users' throats. And that, my friends, is why Microsoft endangers the entire software industry and desperately needs increased government oversight. Judge Jackson ruined our first chance to fight back, but hopefully the DoJ will not give up that easily.

    [1] I am not endorsing ICANN or their corporatist interests, but their system is clearly superior to RealNames' undemocratic process.

    • Thank you! When I opened up this news story I was worried for a minute that I didn't see any sterotypical anti-MS attacks.

      Thank you for not allowing me to be disappointed.

  • "For instance, IE users who type "RealNames" into their address bars are automatically taken to RealNames' Web site at www.realnames.com."

    That is pure genius. Next thing you know we will have the ability to visit webpages by typing in a "URL" into the address bar.

    • In IE, if you type RealNames into the address bar, then hit Ctrl-Enter, it automatically attaches a http://www. before and a .com/ after. This company had some pure geniuses working for them, I tell you.
  • Aww...does this mean I actually have to type in www.farmlove.com now?
  • In Danish papers not long ago, it was reported that the the company and its partners had oversold their service to danish municipalities, which received lots of negative coverage.

    The people at the company defended themselves, saying their service provided great value, and the municipality officials said they were confident about their purchases.

    With this shit, some people are getting their asses burned.. and a lot of people will say "I told you so".

    What now? will all the current customers lose their services or will Microsoft take over business?

    my comment: HA HA.. damn I hate you sploiters!!!
  • So let me guess, Microsoft is deciding to "embrace and replace", errr, I mean, "embrace and entend" and do this this themselves. Yet another competitor/partner made redundant by the monolith. Sigh.

  • MY question is, whatever happened to the ORIGINAL RealNames? Once upon a time it was basically a search engine to find corporations' websites. For example: the large, national "Dick's Sporting Goods" is *not* at "dicks.com", it's at "dickssportinggoods.com". Once upon a time, RealNames woulda told you that - and most any other company you wanted to find.

    • For example: the large, national "Dick's Sporting Goods" is *not* at "dicks.com", it's at "dickssportinggoods.com".

      Pretty unpleasant mistake to make, that.

      It reminds me of a story I heard from a good friend. Back in the early 90's his mother was just getting into this "Internet" thing. She had some kind of business related to selling kids' toys. There's a brand of kids' toys called "Little Tykes," and she wanted to find their web site.

      What did she do? She went to altavista.digital.com (remember that?) and typed "little tykes." She was unpleasantly surprised at the results.

      Of course, this was in the days BG-- before Google. Right now, Google returns several pages of kid-related material when given the phrase "little tykes," and not a bit of kiddie porn.

      Sort of a bittersweet moment, actually.
    • For example: the large, national "Dick's Sporting Goods" is *not* at "dicks.com", it's at "dickssportinggoods.com".

      LOL, I actually made that mistake, and realized my error *just* after hitting the enter key!
  • RealNames had an icky business, but nevertheless what this also goes to show, is that bedding with Microsoft is a dangerous game.

    Never base your business on another business like Microsoft. You'll be enslaved.
  • yaargh (Score:4, Funny)

    by Iamthefallen ( 523816 ) <Gmail name: Iamthefallen> on Saturday May 11, 2002 @06:53PM (#3503936) Homepage Journal
    Yes I am probably being a bit picky, but seriously, using M$ instead of MS is getting really old. If M$ is to be the way we spell it then I suggest spelling Linux as [h4h4h4, I pwnz0r j00 suxxz0rz!1!1!]
    *BSD should be: [j00 st00pid "h4h4h4, I pwnz0r j00 suxxz0rz!1!1!" n00bs! we pwn j00 4ll!!!11!111!!1!1]
    This way it will be more consistent and easier to understand just which company or OS someone is referring to, thank you for your cooperation
    • So you don't mind if we refer to Microsoft as the evil empire, a convicted monopolist or any other derogatory but true term as long as it's correctly spelt? So what new term are you going to coin to replace M$ then? Personally I think it's a very good way of summing up their corporate strategy. ;o)
      • So you don't mind if we refer to Microsoft as the evil empire, a convicted monopolist or any other derogatory but true term as long as it's correctly spelt? So what new term are you going to coin to replace M$ then? Personally I think it's a very good way of summing up their corporate strategy. ;o)

        That may well be the case. But it was old when it was Compu$erve getting the '$ in the name' treatment, and it's still old now.
        • The first time I've seen Compuserve written like that is by you - mind you I don't often see the word Compuserve at all!
          • The first time I've seen Compuserve written like that is by you - mind you I don't often see the word Compuserve at all!

            I remember Compuserve was often referred to as Compu$erve -- when it was the dominate losed online service~ . They and AOL made insane amounts of money off of some people. Often hundreads and sometimes thousands a month.

            So, calling the $ as in M$ old is right on target. It's accurate, but still old.

            ~. Before Internet became what people refer to as online.

  • what?! (Score:3, Funny)

    by NotAnotherReboot ( 262125 ) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @06:59PM (#3503952)
    how the hell do I get to nabisco's site now?
    • You can't. That's what's so annoying. As a result of this decision, the entire internet has basically died; I won't even be able to get to google without RealNames to help me find it.

      Good job I bookmarked slashdot really. What are we going to do? How can we survive this terrible decision by the software company of the beast? ;-)

  • by papasui ( 567265 )
    Couldn't you just setup an alias in the Windows host file that would do the exact same thing. Christ, for 3 minutes you could have an application that could do this.
  • misguided (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tps12 ( 105590 )
    The whole thing was doomed to failure. Look back at the original plans of Arpanet (the precursor to the Internet, documents available at the Library of Congress). URLs were never meant to be easy to remember. They are a technical device intended to allow addresses to reflect physical network layouts more intuitively than do IP addresses.

    Of course, these have been abused since the web took off. A great example is slashdot: apple.slashdot.org is not necessarily a different machine than bsd.slashdot.org, and either one or both may be multiple machines in RL.

    URLs are not targetted at end-users, who should be dealing with bookmarks and search engines to access business names.

    Basically, RealNames was a kluge that won't be missed; good riddance, I say.

  • The reason for the closure appears to be the decision by M$ to NOT renew their agreement with RealNames which expires in June

    Sounds like another Microsoft ploy to me. M$ likes to keep a tight leash on stupid users, part of what makes the company so successful. Since there are options in IE to do similar feats, why not kill the companies you can, and reap the rewards yourself?
  • Type in 'cookies' in IE and it takes you here [cmu.edu]. If more keyword searches would take you to non-commercial sites like this one, maybe people would actually end up using them more often.
  • Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by darnellmc ( 524699 ) on Saturday May 11, 2002 @07:03PM (#3503966)
    I'm glad they are gone. Many names could not be purchased and their fee structure sucked - IMHO.

    And to top it off they could not protect their customer database [com.com] and compromised every one of their customer's credit cards.

    I never actually used their service, but made inquiries in the past, for names that I found they would let no one purchase. Some common terms could not be purchased. Even inquiries required giving them a credit card number. And eventhough I never signed up, there was no way to remove my card from their database afterward. I did not know they kept it stored and when they were hacked I had to get a new card number FAST.

    I hope no such service is ever made again!
  • I always though that this site [makeashorterlink.com] was a truly inspired idea! For anyone who hasn't been there, you just put some godawful long URL in there, and it translates it to a reasonably small URL (the URL actually goes to their server, then is redirected to the real site after a couple of seconds). No adverts, simple to use, works great!

    (No, I don't have anything to do with running the site :-)
  • This is the ultimate in paid-for searching and I'm glad this psuedo-search is going off the air. While google remains free and doesn't change its search results for advertising money, this corporate handshaking is simply obselete and consumers are better off without it.

    Nice of the editors to get in an MS jab for not supporting a bad business plan. Not to mention plain names like 'cookies' shouldnt resolve to web sites if theres a server or pc on your network called cookies.
  • I suppose, because we've all got as far as /., we're all pretty experienced net users. But not everyone out there is and the idea behind this company doesn't seem too dumb.

    (Though obviously it doesn't work.)

    I well remember being told by someone that my web site didn't exist because when they typed in the url they got nothing back.

    On closer examination it turned out they were typing the url into yahoo. They knew nothing else about the web (they were an important UK journalist) and presumably sombody had just made yahoo their home page left them to it.

    In that sort of world, somebody doing the searching for them might have worked.
    • I agree. Typing in "French Tutorial" and going to a specific site might prove useful for people wanting to limit results. In schools, you don't want kids wasting time on the Internet searching for the site that you asked them to find. Not everybody has a creative short name for their url.

      This way, you don't need one, if the audience is limited. It could also be seen as a semi-equivalent command line interface to make use of bookmarks. It may actually be easier to type "Fr tutor", short for "French Tutorial", instead of going through countless folders and such to search for your bookmarks.

      As long as everybody is aware of its strengths and limitations, then this tool is of value to those who can use it.
  • This is a good thing. Not only did the business provide little if any value (Memorizing keywords to get to sites? That's what hostnames *are*!), but it was attempting to make a new namespace that would only be visible to IE users. I'm very glad it didn't catch on. If it did, we might have started seeing sites that didn't bother registering names in the DNS standard way and instead just mapped their IP addresses to this goofy scheme. Thank reason that didn't happen.
  • Does thing mean that MS no longer has an excuse to record every mistyped domain name along with a unique ID in IE?

    Nah, I'm sure they will continue to collect that data. After all, this is MS we are talking about.
  • Netscrape had something called "Internet Keywords" that did roughly the same thing. Is that still in use?
  • Over five years ago I wrote this column [aardvark.co.nz] in which I offered Bill Gates a "billion dollar" idea to help him achieve his goal of taking over the Internet.

    Perhaps the situation with RealNames is just a precursor to the implementation of this plan by Billy-boy?

    I bet if they weren't so worried about anti-trust laws, Microsoft would have already done this.
  • I know we're all laughing at how stupid the RealNames business plan is but I can remember a company that had a worse one.

    I can't remember the name of the company but their plan was to give each individual website and webpage its own phone number. They claimed it would be simpler for people to remember phone numbers for websites than URL's. Each extra page on a site would be like an extension to the phone number. Needless to say this company soon went out of business.
    • Closest I could find was ringmysite.com. Apparently, they would let visitors enter your phone number at their site and be autoforwarded to yours. Not a bad idea to me, really, reusing your own phone number that is.

      What I *thought* you were referring to was the spam that has web URLs shown as long numeric sequences. I once read about a business that offered phone number forwarders specifically because its easier for WAP phone users to enter phone numbers than alpha URLs. Well, a little research [google.com] has shown that those purely numeric domains are simply an exploit against DNS resolvers. Those "domain names" are calculated by converting the dotted quad IP addresses to hex, concatenating the four fields, and converting the now 8-digit hex value into base 10. From the linked google hit, try pinging 1078106110. It works, and is the same length as a North American phone numbers (but is technically not valid).

      I say "exploit" because the freakish domain names fail in reverse lookups, which makes them popular with spammers. Granted, a ping reveals the calculated IP which may or may not complete a reverse lookup, but I'm *still* teaching someone "ping" at least once a week.
  • I thought "cookies" took you to Jennnifer.com??
  • by The Mutant ( 167716 ) on Sunday May 12, 2002 @03:54AM (#3505137) Homepage
    On his private web page [teare.com], RealNames founder Keith Teare sez M$ will probably integrate the functionality directly into IE.

    Why am I not surprised at this?

  • because the important thing is this: the executives got million-dollar paycheques. That made it all worthwhile!

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. -- Thomas Edison

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