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CentralNic Enables Wildcard DNS 178

JamesS writes "It appears that CentralNic has enabled wildcard DNS matching. Many Slashdot readers will remember the backlash aimed at Verisign the last time it did this nearly two years ago to the day, introducing SiteFinder to the world at large."
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CentralNic Enables Wildcard DNS

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  • TDLA wildcard (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slashnutt ( 807047 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:43AM (#13557137) Journal
    How about starting something useful Instead of wildcarding DNS why doesn't one of these venders wildcard TDLAs making them optional. What's that - you get more money by selling N domain names where N = TDLAs. Yeah it would be hard to wildcard TDLAs but after a few years it wouldn't matter, as the DNS names would become the selling point more than TDLAs. I guess the system could default to .com then .org or it could just show you the possible combination and learn which is the most popular based on your country or something. Regardless of the grainy details but I just would like to see the \.[.]{2-3}$ go away.
    • Ooops TDL I had TDMA on the mind... Make to the switch.
    • Re:TDLA wildcard (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fulldecent ( 598482 )
      If you're using Firefox, you can type slashdot into the URL box... and by some magic, you will get to the correct site.
      • by RealityMogul ( 663835 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:03AM (#13557319)
        Yeah, buts its all screwed up for other sites. Typing in "Whitehouse" takes me to the .gov site.
      • Re:TDLA wildcard (Score:4, Informative)

        by ben0207 ( 845105 ) <ben.burton@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:15AM (#13557415) Homepage
        Firefox does a "I'm feeling lucky" search when it doesn't have a proper URL to go to. Very handy, and I wish other browsers would do it too.
        • Re:TDLA wildcard (Score:3, Informative)

          by Cat_Byte ( 621676 )
          I've always felt this should be the job of the default search engine. I usually disable it but some people who only type slashdot in the url will at least get a 'Did you mean' at the top of the search results.
        • Re:TDLA wildcard (Score:3, Informative)

          by spectral ( 158121 )
          This is configurable. go to about:config and filter on the phrase 'keyword'. I happen to not like this feature so much, so I disabled it.
        • Opera actually looks for www.*.[whatever TLDs you have configured]. Which is more useful is a matter of preference.
          • Firefox usually end up with that behavior as well as domain names rank very highly on Google; with Firefox it's more like you get the additional benefit with some intelligence to it as well. If I for example wish to check the latest Firefox builds, I can just type burning edge, and it will take me to the actual site, and not (which, of course, is an ad domain) If I on the other hand type arstechnica, it indeed takes me to, just like Opera would.

            Of course, there are r
      • Re:TDLA wildcard (Score:3, Informative)

        by hungrygrue ( 872970 )
        Yes, and typing 's' gives you McDonalds, 'd' gives you d-link, and "flubber nuts" (with the space) gives you a recipe site. Typing a non address into the address bar will load the first google search returned - just like google's "I'm feeling lucky" button.
        • by fulldecent ( 598482 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:30AM (#13557546) Homepage
          If you're actually trying to get to a site called Flubber Nuts, maybe you should be whispering.
    • Down with TLDs! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:00AM (#13557295) Homepage Journal
      I am with you there! TLDs only serve to cause confusion. Was that website .com, .org,, or And some people will happily exploit that confusion by setting up their website on the same domain with a different TLD. So then you'll have to buy your domain on all likely other TLDs, too. Yech!

      And what's it all good for? I've seen non-profit organizations with .com names, for-profits with .org names, Dutch sites with .nu names, etc. etc. The supposed relation between TLD and function doesn't hold, nor does the supposed relation between TLD and country. And nor could it, what with country TLDs and function TLDs in the same namespace...

      People have told me that TLDs help the system to function, because the hierarchy allows better load distribution. I call bull on that one. Almost everybody wants the .com anyway. You'll have to solve the load problem for the .com TLD, and once you've done that it's not that much harder to throw the rest of the TLDs on that same system.

      So, eliminate the confusion and buy my pure names today! How does "theregister" sound as the name of your website, instead of ""? Only drawback is that nobody's browser actually supports these new names.

      And while we're at it, lets also do away with the inverted order crap. What's with the more specific name going in front of the less specific ones in the DNS name, and the more specific name going _after_ the less specific name in the rest of the URL? And what's with the dot as a separator? /less/to/more/specific/all/the/way!
      • Long live TLDs! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:30AM (#13557553)
        The problem isn't TLDs, the problem is that they're just suggestions. They should be enforced so that in order to get a .com you should have to provide a business license, in order to get a .org you have to be a 503(c) or whatever, and in order to get a country code domain you have to actually be connected in that country.

        Additionally, TLDs with no country code should be strictly limited to international or virtual organizations only. For example, McDonalds could qualify for a .com, but the local burger joint would have to get a Similarly, Mozilla could still be because it only exists on the Net, while the local charity would be

        Function TLDs other than com and org would work the same way, of course, although I don't know off the top of my head what the criteria for .net and such would be.
        • Re:Long live TLDs! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:49AM (#13557770) Homepage Journal
          Oh dog please no! There are several disadvantages to your proposal:

          ``They should be enforced''

          By whom? By the trustworthy Verisign? By the trustworthy some other company? By the trustworthy some committee? By the trustworthy government of some country?

          ``in order to get a .com you should have to provide a business license, in order to get a .org you have to be a 503(c) or whatever, and in order to get a country code domain you have to actually be connected in that country.''

          So this means that the application process for a TLD would be different for each country, because what counts as a business license? What is the local equivalent of 503(c)? What if a country doesn't have any such equivalent? What country TLDs are you allowed to use if you're based in one country, have your site hosted in another country, and have customers from several countries? Do you realize what kind of a monstrous bureaucracy you're asking for?

          ``Additionally, TLDs with no country code should be strictly limited to international or virtual organizations only.''

          At what point does an organization become international enough? If there website gets visits from outside the country? If they have a customer from outside the country? If they have an office in another country? How many countries? Does my personal website (meant for anyone, anywhere, but I only live in one country) count as international?

          ``McDonalds could qualify for a .com, but the local burger joint would have to get a''

          And what happens when the local joint expands over the border? Do they get the right to a .com? Do they retain the right to their old TLD? Would you like your customers to suddenly have to memorize a different URI for your site when the status of your organization changes?

          ``Mozilla could still be because it only exists on the Net''

          Or rather .net? Or both? Or some yet to be invented TLD for virtual vs. real organizations?

          ``Function TLDs other than com and org would work the same way, of course, although I don't know off the top of my head what the criteria for .net and such would be.''

          And do you trust any individual or group to come up with criteria that are universally acceptible?
        • Re:Long live TLDs! (Score:3, Informative)

          by ivan256 ( 17499 )
          in order to get a .org you have to be a 503(c) or whatever

          Why? That's not even the spirit of the TLD. It's not some unenforced rule. .org was for organizations that didn't fit in some other category, not for "non-profits" or some such mythical flamewar initiated nonsense.

          From RFC 1591 []: ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else. Some non-government organizations may fit here.

          I don't know off the top of my head what the criteria for .net and such wo

      • No, the drawback is that DNS was designed as a heirarchical distributed information lookup system. It handles an insane amount of queries per day in a distributed fashion, and has performed phenomenally well all things considered.

        Part of the magic of this heirarchy is that the tree is smaller at the top and wider at the bottom. It just flat-out wouldn't scale or work at all if every domain-name owner today was using a TLD instead of something underneath some part of the heirarchy with fewer names.

        The heir
        • Do you have any numbers to back that up? Because I don't believe it.

          1. DNS queries aren't actually done in a hierarchical way these days. Most of the popular names would be cached at the DNS server you queried; this caching would work just the same if TLDs were to vanish.

          2. The sheer number of .com names makes it so that the servers for .com have to handle a phenomenal load. The extra load of lumping on the domains in the other TLDs is equivalent to adding a lot of .com names. The latter has undeniably happ
    • A well thought out technically and detailed proposal such as this is bound to be well received by they people who actually have a faint idea of how the DNS system works.

      Wait, we could put all the names into a big text file and email it around, that would be even simpler, no?

    • The fact is that there are plenty of domains using wildcard DNS - for instance - has been using it for years - go to for instance, and you'll one of these typical PPC landing page feeds.

      What about ? he's got wildcard subdomains enabled too - - redirects to his home page. Surprisingly non-malicious - I wish I owned it ;)

      The fact that is going to use it is not going to disrupt anything - except possibly the internet clueless who are likely to type in
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:45AM (#13557150)
    It's a private company which does this with private subdomains. Verisign manages GTLDs, which is quite a difference, both impact-wise and policy-wise.
    • Exactly, there is nothing spectacular like this. Allowing someone to buy a subdomain of one of your domains is not what I would call newsworthy material. Don't most blogging sites do this already?
  • Non-issue (Score:4, Informative)

    by heavy snowfall ( 847023 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:46AM (#13557153) Journal
    For a minute I thought this was about the domain, a real TLD, but this is just like slashdot deciding to sell to someone. What they do with their own domain is up to them.
    • Re:Non-issue (Score:4, Insightful)

      by norfolkboy ( 235999 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:48AM (#13557170) isn't a real TLD. it's a second level domain. .uk is a real TLD
      • I thought of that a second after I hit submit... :/ But my point still stands. It would definitely be an issue if Nominet [] did this to *.*.uk.
        • Re:Non-issue (Score:3, Interesting)

          by norfolkboy ( 235999 )
          Too right. Though Nominet seem to have their head screwed on!

          Under UK company law, Nominet are a "section 30" company.

          This means they are limited by guarantee and not by shares.

          They do not have shareholders, and are a not-for-profit organisation.

          So I don't think we'll see any money grabbing advertorial wildcards in Nominet's domain!
      • It's a TLD. You can't buy so is the top level.
    • by DaveCar ( 189300 )
      Ditto. Seems more like a PR shill than news to me. Bad The Register! Surely you can't be descending to /. levels of trivia?
    • Ya I read the article and was like "BFD".
    • Re:Non-issue (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Andy_R ( 114137 )
      It is an issue, my company gets a shitload of e-mail intended for the (bigger) company that bought the '' version of our domain, because their customers (or more commonly their staff) 'correct' their address.

      The whole purpose of is to mislead gullible people into thinking they are buying a real domain. I just wish someone would take it away from the scammers selling subdomains to the unwary and use it for a proper purpose.
      • The whole purpose of is to mislead gullible people into thinking they are buying a real domain.

        You do realise that the large UK chain GAME [] chain used a address [] and had it printed on their bags at one stage?

        The address redirects now; but the point is, they used it as their primary address not so long ago....

        Though I agree with you.... always struck me as ropey 'unofficial' alternative to
        • You do realise that the large UK chain GAME chain used a address and had it printed on their bags at one stage?

          you do realise that deciding to call your company "game" is going to involve some compromises when chosing a domain ending (tld or short second level domain). A slightly dubious ending that has some association with the uk was probablly preferable to some obscure CCTLD or mangling thier name.

          they seem to have got now but i bet they didn't get it easilly or cheaply.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      A decision by American timesuck website Slashdot to make all unregistered domains ending with "" direct to its own webpage has raised concerns over the future stability of the Internet.

      No matter what domain you type in your browser (i.e. []), you will redirected to Slashdot's own webpage, featuring advertising and a ridiculous number of duplicate front-page stories.

      The benefit to is clear - increased sales and advertising revenue - but the system by which the r

  • by sexyrexy ( 793497 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:50AM (#13557194)
    It's the same as me offering subdomains on my privately-held domain, but having a catchall as well. Why is this even an issue?
  • by Joel Rowbottom ( 89350 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:51AM (#13557199) Homepage
    [Disclaimer: Vested interest]

    I don't see why it's such a big deal for CentralNic to do it, really. is their domain for them to do with as they wish.

    I worked for CentralNic day-to-day for a few years, and the company last enabled this in, er, 2000 I think. It lasted 3 days, during which we were subjected to a barrage of emails from people saying 'wah wah what have you done you've stolen my site' because they'd forgotten to put the 'co' in '', and IE had attempted to be clever and autocomplete with '.com'.

    I think the change now is probably because they're doing a bit more with portals, and it makes sense for them to increase the eyeball level by doing this.

    But, er... doesn't seem such a big deal.
    • The issue the Register brings up is that if the community accepts that it's okay for the largest non-TLD portions of DNS to be wildcarded, that it makes it that much easier for Verisign or other TLD's to justify wildcarding TLD's.

      Yeah, it's a slippery-slope argument, and in 20 years, it might be possible that everyone agrees that TLD's can never do it, but 2nd-level domains are free to do it. But for now, since Verisign says they'll probably reactivate it, we should send a clear and simple message that i

      • The issue the Register brings up is that if the community accepts that it's okay for the largest non-TLD portions of DNS to be wildcarded...

        It is okay. People have been doing it for years, pointing,,, etc to the same IP.

        Don't be fooled by the fact that this is They have no special legitimacy. The commrecial domain for the UK is are just some people who registered a domain name and are trying to make money with it. I first

        • It is okay. People have been doing it for years, pointing,,, etc to the same IP.

          Nobody is taking issue with wildcards in general, you dolt. The issue is with ISP's, and especially ones that act more like registrars, filling in spaces of the internet with advertisements that say "your name could be here!", because in those cases, the presence or absence of DNS names is significant (whereas the presence of [] isn't significant).

          Don't be f

      • From the default BIND configuration:

        // zone "com" { type delegation-only; };
        // zone "net" { type delegation-only; };

        // From the release notes:
        // Because many of our users are uncomfortable receiving undelegated answers
        // from root or top level domains, other than a few for whom that behaviour
        // has been trusted and expected for quite some length of time, we have now
        // introduced the "root-delegations-only" feature which applies delegation-onl
        // logic to all top level domains, and to the root domain. An ex

      • Yeah, it's a slippery-slope argument

        And I think it's a bad slippery slope arugment. Slippery slope arguments rely on there being no hard distinctions between points on the slope. In this case there's a big distinction. is a private domain space, and the owner of it should be able to do whatever they want with it. .com is a public space and therefore should be treated as such with public scrutiny.
  • I say, let the registrars wildcard the domains. Just make them pay for the domains in the same way WE would - force them to pay US$15 (or whatever they charge) a year to a non-profit organization for the advancement of the Internet.

    Let's see - they are wildcarding the domains, so what is the maximum length of any domain element, times the maximum number of domain elements in a domain request - then take the number of valid characters in a domain name to that power, and multiply by $15.

    DaY-UM! We could buy a
  • its just a subdomain (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:53AM (#13557229)

    wildcard DNS's are very common in subdomains, CentralNIc are just re-selling subdomains (for 37 quid !) of course some people have been giving away subdomains [] for years

    this company are nothing more than scam artists, charging 10 times what a real domain would cost but with none of the responsibility of a genuine NIC []

  • Some domain owner points his subdomains to his main domain and this is news?!??!

    Do I get my domain to slashdot if I do the same? Just tell me and I'll set up the DNS entries!
  • Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spazmania ( 174582 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:56AM (#13557254) Homepage
    CentralNIC is a second-level domain owner. They can do whatever their customers will let them do with *

    The outrage at Verisign was over their misappropriation of a root-level domain space where they were merely the custodian.
    • CentralNIC is a second-level domain owner. They can do whatever their customers will let them do with *

      Exactly. Had it been * or *.us it would have been another matter.
  • Basically, they own the domains and several others in that form and are selling out subdomains. If someone accesses a subdomain not purchased, it would go to thier sales page.
  • Choose and Win (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:57AM (#13557264) Homepage Journal
    These registrars were handed a giant chunk of value, ownership registration on our 21st Century language - Internet names - along with the trust of the public that their answers to queries would be "objective", not reflecting some local vested interest. Like which company paid them to return their link. They're "leveraging synergies" between DNS queries and advertising customers. But one person's "synergy" is another person's "conflict of interest".

    Real wildcard queries return all of the matching items, not just the one preferred by the database. These registrars do have a synergic value to offer, as they have info about "close matches". Wildcard queries should offer "disambiguation" replies of all matches, DNS-wide, not just those in the local registrar. And even if they make money placing "sponsored" responses, they should have to actually match the query criteria, not just an arbitrary association bought for money. Sponsored links should appear in a column alongside "real" links, like Google adWords, so they're not in the way of retrieving the real responses. And some proceeds from the sponsorship should be returned to the community from which the system derives most of its value: registrants and queriers. Probably just fund the IETF or IANA, which serves the community equitably. The whole system should be optional, leaving queries to default to the original "failure mode", where null responses return only an error message, not a list of "maybe you wanted" responses.

    These servics are probably inevitable. And they're probably useful, in returning some financing to the organizations that keep the Internet running. And letting them put what amounts to advertising into the error responses gives a revenue stream to DNS servers. That offers incentive for more servers, which would make the system more reliable, more distributed - competition might even produce inherently valuable innovations, not just these capitalist innovations. But we've got to demand they do it right. If the Internet DNS layer becomes just a smartass "TV Guide", as "brought to you by" takes over our seamless navigation, we might as well all go back to watching TV.
    • Re:Choose and Win (Score:4, Informative)

      by zeux ( 129034 ) * on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:54AM (#13557830)
      How interesting...

      I'm working in a company that provides that very service.

      We catch NXDOMAIN answers on any domain and then try to redirect the user to the website he was looking for (mainly through a simple typo correction algorithm).

      We loaded a database with 60% real domain names and 40% sponsored links (well, you know, we have got to make money from this) and plugged our system within the network of 2 small ISPs in France (our system works at the DNS level through a bind patch).

      Looking at this slashdot story, I was wondering how long it would be until somebody else would think about it.

      Seems like you just won.
  • by alanw ( 1822 ) * <> on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:57AM (#13557266) Homepage
    I treat anyone whose web site is a sub-domain of with the same contempt as I do .biz and .info.

    This is a particularly clueless article, and TheReg ought to have known better than to publish it.
    • I think someone whos website ends with should not be throwing stones.

      If you are a company that has a common enough name that the .com and had already been snapped up (in 1996) then a address is the best alternative.

      Redirecting * is not a good idea though. Hopefully they will reconsider.
  • Censored? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @10:58AM (#13557269) Journal
    It's interesting, leads me to the website. But and can not be found? They're not just banning fuck* though, cause goes right to the site.

    It seems they know this is going to be an unpopular move.
    • Re:Censored? (Score:3, Informative)

      by caluml ( 551744 )

      calum@magpie ~ $ whois
      Domain Name:

      This domain name is reserved and may not be registered.

      This whois service is provided by CentralNic Ltd and only contains information
      pertaining to Internet domain names we have registered for our customers. By
      using this service you are agreeing (1) not to use any information presented
      here for any purpose other than determining ownership of domain names (2) not
      to store or reproduce this data in any way. CentralNic Ltd -

    • Of course. That's because a wildcard response doesn't mean that it overrides existing entries. Is it worth mentioning that doesn't redirect to

      (In this case it's because the two sites you mentioned have been blocked off - they've been registered by themselves but don't point anywhere. That's why you get a "cannot be found" error, whereas real sites have a webpage and nonexistent sites trigger the wildcard.)
  • Brown told us "Since CentralNic does not run an email server on the main domains it owns either, email and spam problems have also not been the issue they were with VeriSign's SiteFinder."

    Nuh, the reason spam isn't the same problem like it was with the Verisign wildcarding is that spammers dont seem to use in their forged addresses so who cares if the domain resolves or not? (I guess someone *must* get spam from but my logs dont show any mail from any domains for t
  • Indeed this is corrent resolves to and forwards to a "this domain dosent exist, buy now" page

    I just hope it dosent have too much of an effect on SPAM, because any spammers can now send emails from, and mailservers that check for existing domains will pass it, unlike without wildcards where that domain wont exist and the SPAM will be rejected.

    • by iainl ( 136759 )
      CentralNic have at least issued a statement that they don't run mail servers on that ip, so as long as admins are aware, they can happily work around this with a block on as well.

      Sure, it involves a few extra seconds work, but it isn't the end of the world.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Wildcarding even subdomains become a problem for some email admins who do things like check that the from address is really an address that can be replied to. Until there are better checks in place making sure that is a really domain that can recieve mail is a problem with wildcarding.
  • $ whois

    Whois Server Version 1.3

    Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered with many different competing registrars. Go to [] for detailed information.

    No match for "WAREZ.UK.COM".

    Hey, where's the entry "warez A"? Everyone doing 2LDs has to have a entry for warez!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:14AM (#13557410)
    There difference here is that CnetralNic is not a registry. They bought a domain name from Verisign, just like slashdot did, and then started selling the 3rd level domains off. Ones that people don't buy, they're basically showing adds for their subdomains. No different than what [] has been doing for a couple years now. Check out [] [] and []

    This is not a huge potential problem like it was in the verisign script. The domain is registered (register a domain and you get all the sub domains, duh). Very few people are writing software to deal with making custom scripts / programs to treat as a TLD (which is not). The program with verisign was they wanted to take any unregistered domain and redirect. There are LOTS of programs written for TLD's to check all sorts of things, from your web browser letting you know that the page is not registered, letting the mail system know the domain does not exists, spam checking valid domains, etc.
  • obscure! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by t_allardyce ( 48447 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:43AM (#13557708) Journal
    I've never actually visited a address. No-one gives a shit about anything other than .com or other TLD's just arn't prestigious enough. Although you could make an exception for .org and .net that's pretty much it. .com really is _the_ TLD, everyone's first choice is a .com because no matter where you are in the world everyone recognises the phrase 'dot com' like coca-cola.

    Anyway that was side-tracking, this thing is a pretty evil abuse of the system, although my hat goes off to them for their capitalist achievement.
  • by oglueck ( 235089 )
    It is common practice among ISPs to enable DNS wildcards for subdomains by default. is doing that for instance.
  • by nomad63 ( 686331 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @11:49AM (#13557764)
    I am sorry but if I own a domain, like, I have every right to do whatever I want with the third level subdomains unless I clearly declared somewhere in my terms of service that, I will abide and governed by the same rules that applies to tld dns providers like verisign.

    typing to your browser and typing are two different concepts. For the first one, no one claimed ownership by paying money and verisign in the recent past, decided, they can do anything they want. So they basically claimed rights to every unpublished domain name available.

    Whereas in this example, claimed stake at this domain by paying anregistering this domain name. If you are hitting their server to access another and you have the wrong information, they can do whatever they wish, as you, the surfer, chose to visit a webserver (not a DNS server only) hosted by them.

    I am not really thrilled how the two concepts put in the same category to ruffle feathers personally. Must be a slow news day at the register.
  • 2nd level domain owners do this all the time. It is very useful if you are selling subdomains or providing free subdomains as part of a hosting service or are running an affiliate program off your e-commerce site or any of a dozen other applications.

    Slashdot needs to upgrade its editorial staff or implement a story moderating system so we can browse stories at a point level.

    I can see it now:

    -1 Dupe
    -1 Old
    -1 Overrated (i.e. Dumb)
    -1 Flamebait/Troll

    +1 interesting
    +1 insightful

    howver the point rating should be an
  • see subject. not at all the same. move along.
  • has it really been TWO YEARS since SiteFinder? Say it isn't so! With time passing like that, I feel as if my life is already over. Is the post referring perhaps to some other 'sitefinder,' like maybe Yahoo or Google? Or even some event, perhaps an announcement, and not the actual activation of Verisign's service? :(
  • by mcrbids ( 148650 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @02:06PM (#13559077) Journal
    My company frequently goes to industry shows and conferences, where we typically have a booth to demonstrate our wares to prospective clients.

    We can NEVER count on an Internet connection, even when using a cellular network card - so we have a used laptop set up with the same software as on our public servers, configured with Linux, HTTP, DHCP, PostgreSQL, and DNS, connected to a hotspot. Effectively, the "Internet" that the hotspot is connected to consists solely of the laptop server. This way our salesforce can connect with their laptops and demonstrate our wares easily, while the server and hotspot sit in the corner somewheres near a power outlet. The DNS is wild-carded to our website hosted on said server. Even the user's homepage is co-opted, so if their homepage is goole or yahoo, it redirects automatically to our website.

    It's quite funny when, at conferences, we hear people two booths down swear after connecting to our hotspot and all they can get to is our website! People have gotten *MAD* at us for "taking over the Internet"!!!
  • by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <plugwash @ p> on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @06:17PM (#13561357) Homepage
    its a short domain name someone happened to grab and sell names under.

    as such afaict its basically unregulated and a fairly stupid place to put your site.

Computer programmers do it byte by byte.