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4 Millionth Domain Name 89

cswiii writes "This news brief states that Network Solutions, the "world leader in domain name registration" (guffaw) has reached the four-million domain milestone. You do the math. " The internet is really huge (todays wacky understatement) 26 alpha, 10 digits, some random punctuation. Wonder how long before we run out? We got IPV6, how about DNSv6. Can I have the .dot TLD?
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4 Millionth Domain Name

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  • The solution to domain squatting and litigation is simple. Open the door and allow anything to be used as a TLD. Continue to require registrants to register domains of the form, domain+TLD, i.e., both parts, domain + TLD are to still be required for registration. The TLD itself, however, can be registered to no one and stays free and available for all to use. This eliminates squatters by making their practice impossible (since there are now virtually unlimited domains to choose from). And it prevents litigation by same named companies in different businesses such as Apple Computer, Apple Records, Apple Employment, John Q. Apple, and your local apple grower. is taken? No problem, just use apple.records or apple.farms, etc. A nightmare to implement and administrate? When you realize that the vast majority of current domains are .com site, you can see how it's already a free for all within that TLD and yet things seem to mostly work just fine. Thoughts?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You definitely can. Just meet two conditions:
    • have customized named, so it can respond as TLD DNS server, and
    • convince everyone, or at least goot portion of DNS server owners, to include your server(s) into named.root
    That should do the trick.

    Well, I do not suppose you did not know that, just a sugggestion for others to think about possibility to have our own (I would like to hear somebody's comments on that) alternative TLD.

  • As someone already pointed out, you don't need a customized named. There's no practical difference between a TLD, a regular domain name, and a host name as far as named is concerned.

    I've got one of my machines serving out a .cin TLD (that's "nic" backwards, as well as being the TLA for my Campbell Industries Network) using a standard BIND. It's also doing the official unofficial AlterNIC TLDs.

    If someone wants to set up a .dot, I'll put their DNS in my root cache, provided they'll do the same for mine.
  • Rob could create a new protocol specifically for slashdot and call it "slashdotcolon". Then it'd be "slashdotcoloncolonslashslashslashdotdotdot".

    /.::///...? Looks like some kinda weird regexp...
  • I don't know where you got the idea that we don't have IPv6... my kernel supports it. I'm getting ready to start using it, at least partially, on my LAN. I'm still going to have to have a gateway to v4 to talk to the outside world, but...

    Of course, my machines support the .cin TLD, and all the TLDs AlterNIC provides, too...
  • i've seen email address like that..
  • by gavinhall ( 33 )
    Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    How do you get to be a root DNS server owner?
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    Man, it's like some people never took combinatorics...

    First, the question is "how long can a domain name be?". I don't know the answer, but I'm going to guess around 25. Next we ask "how many characters are available for use in a domain name". Alpha/Numeric/SomePunc gives ~40.

    So we have 40 C 25 (40 choose 25). We have no stricture on uniqueness (can't I name my domain ""?) so this is 40^25 (40 possibilities in each of 25 locations). Now add to that the fact that we can be in one of about 10 different TLDs and we get 10*(40^25).

    This is about 1.125899906843e+41.
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    It's "EUNUCHS".
  • by gavinhall ( 33 )
    Posted by Akira410:

    Heh, How much worse can we get?

    ach tee tee pee colon slash slash slash dot dot dot

    Heh. Poor guy. Rofl.. Try to tell it to someone over the phone:


  • Posted by Akira410:


    Sounds like a great idea! Would like to help me with the implementation of the new slashdotcolon protocol? I would love your assistance =)


  • by gavinhall ( 33 )
    Posted by Akira410:

    Rofl, I wanted for a while to. Looks like its taken. Oh pooty. Or at least i think it is. Im too tired to check. heh
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    You made two errors:

    1) Elementary error: Domain names can be more than alphanumeric. There's a few punctuation marks thrown in, like hyphens.

    2) As noted in another comment, you forgot to include domain names that are less than 26 characters long.
  • by gavinhall ( 33 )
    Posted by Akira410:

    Rofl, thats a pretty cool idea. =)

    **frantically renames all of his directories**

    One time I was talking to someone and told them to go into the `root directory' meaning /root.
    Heh they kept trying to go to / and couldnt figure why it wasnt there. So I was like no no.. cd /root
    So they kept typing CD /

    Anyways =)


  • Here in Brazil, inside the .br hierarchy, there were the,, "top" level domains. Well, they decided it was not enough, and created new ones. -> Art -> industries -> from "nome" (name) for personal pages.
    and many others etc.. some are really confusing, like (it could mean "psicologos", but it actually is "provedor de servicos internet" (isp).

    The moral of the story is: If you can't make it good, don't do it..
  • No, it confuses Brazilians.. :)
  • does anyone remember back when a 2nd level domain that had even a remote resemblance to your business costed $100 and a simple form? Now you have to find the owner and start bids at $1000. We need more top level domains.
  • Do they win a prize?

  • Have a look here [] for a list of TLDs claimed by AlterNIC. They may be silly buggers, but they've got .lnx and .dot on the list.

    I want to log in to h-t-t-p-colon-slash-slash-slash-dot-dot-dot-slash

  • So when you hand someone a business card that has your URL in Russian, how are they supposed to type that into their browser when they're using a Latin keyboard?

    We should be working to unify the world into some common standard ways of doing things, not trying to find ways to let each individual demographic express their *own* ways of doing the Internet. If we do, we end up fragmenting the Internet and causing much confusion and stress.

    Most every computer has some way of expressing letters using the regular Latin alphabet, and since that's how the Internet is run today, it makes sense to keep things like URLs and your basic Internet framework standardized and accessible to everyone.

    If you really want to be able to use your local alphabet/character set in URL's, you should convince your browser vendor to accept that character set in the URL string and do some conversions into the Latin alphabet (i.e. Greek theta -> Latin "th"). That way you can give your Russian URL out to all your russian buddies and they can type it in using the russian character sets, but it really ends up resolving to a normal ISO/latin hostname...
  • There are plans underway to eventually add a few more top-level domains, but there's NO good reason we couldn't just allow any and all TLDs (up to a reasonable length limit) to be created. This'd save so much trouble, and stop the silliness where people try to register "their" domain under every TLD.


  • by mattdm ( 1931 )
    In trademark law, there's the concept that trademarks only apply within certain catagories. For example, a trademark on something computer-related doesn't interfere with a trademark for a food product. But since the DNS is one big namespace, clashes happen really quickly -- "hey, that's my .com domain!". More TLDs helps better distinguish between unrelated trademarks.


  • I hope I'm reading it right. On the top big square, a yellow square would mean that a .org domain there is open, right? But I tried 'whois' and,, etc. and they're all filled up? Is this just old data or am I reading your little square wrong? :)
  • im surprised that all this math is horribly wrong. a domain name consists of up to 26 alpha-numeric characters. which means the correct number is:

    36 + 36^2 + 36^3 + ... + 36^26

    This comes out to approximately 2.9929 * 10^40. Of course this is only assuming there is one TLD. Since there are 5 US (com, org, net, edu, mil, gov), and numerous foreign TLDs, this number is probably 20 or 30 times to small. Considering just the 3 "open" TLDs, 4 million is only 0.0000000000000000000000000000000045491% of the possible domain names.

    Don't believe me? Do it yrself.


  • by Plutor ( 2994 )
    for a whiles i was fantasizing about getting and having this URL:

    course then i realized i was poor


  • Yes, but who really wants to own something like ""???
  • 140 Million a year for terrible customer service and bad response times.. I've submitted a mod for one of my domains three times with absolutely no response. Not even the auto tracking -- so no proof I ever submitted anything.

    The question is -- what sort of registry could anyone but Network Solutions run for $140 Million a year?

  • I already use .dot for my house's intranet's TLD. What I do if IANA up and claimed it? ;)
  • A related article that I stumbled across is at 83/item2195.asp

    It's not too terribly long

  • by Koos ( 6812 )
    Have a look at the page of The Internet Namespace Consortium []. An initiative in splitting the root zone from the .com and other large registries. They already have .dot so you can get a delegation overthere.

    Koos (running one of the tinc rootnameservers).

  • Sometimes I can't stand these bastards. When is it that their contract runs out and other companies begin offering TLDs anyway?
  • If you can't make it good, don't do it

    And what is bad about that? The fact that it can confuse an english speaking person? Why should they care about en english speaking person?

    There was some discussion in Russia, that they should use cyrrilic letters in domain names.
    I wonder if they have done it.

    Well, we all should switch to UNICODE anyway, along with IPv6...
  • If you check the fonts menu on your browser, you will see three(!) types of cyrrilic encoding KOI-8 (old standard), ISO and, guess what - Windows -
    yes, Microsoft just had to come up with its own encoding for cyrrilic, inflicting a mess on all Russian language sites - you have to switch between all this encoding etc.
    Microsoft should be outlawed in the world. Leave US to deal with it.
  • by Detritus ( 11846 )
    I've been wondering when IPV6 is going to show up.

    I'd like a small block of static IP addresses for my home computer network. Without spending a huge amount of money.

    What are they going to do when scarcity is no longer a valid reason to hoard IP address space?

  • Might take a while..... At this point, only 4 million domain names, got room for 100 times that many if there was one domain per IP. But of course, that's not the case....
  • I don't think we have to worry about running out
    any time soon. 26^10 is over 140 trillion.
    ------------------------------------------------ ----
    Jamin Philip Gray
  • Yeah,
    Most people will be thrilled to have:
    maybe will be good.
    (ofcourse msie will mistake it for an ip)

  • If only it were possible. The InterNIC will only allow you to register a domain w/ 26 characters including the ".com".

    Besides, they won't register any domain with the work fuck anywhere in it. It's not fair! -- whining like a little bitch now.

  • That would be fun. When you start allowing people to register their on TLDs, you'll start seeing a lot of one word domains. For example, if I wanted to register the TLD "slashdot", then I can tell you to point your browser to http://slashdot/.

    heh, that would really confuse the AOLers. :)

  • 2) As noted in another comment, you forgot to include domain names
    that are less than 26 characters long.

    No, the previous poster didn't. That's where the summation (my inbuilt spell checker is outta whack, I'm pretty sure that's not correct) came from. ie. 36^1 for the 1 digit + .com names, 36^2 for the two digit names, etc....

  • A short explanation of why you should worry about the World Intellectual Property Organization's proposals for adjudicating conflicts between trademarks (plus other things) and domain names can be found in my Quick Guide to Flaws in WIPO's RFC3 . The comment deadline on RFC 3 has been extended to this coming Friday, March 17, so it's not too late to be heard.
    In theory, the more DN's there are, the more potential for conflict. In fact, if testimony in DC last week is to be credited, there are about 80 alleged TM/DN conflicts for each case reported to NSI. This is credible since NSI policy applies only to exact string conflicts and not near-misses. But since there were 900 invocations of the NSI policy in 1998 (down from 1997), this means that the DN/TM conflicts represent about .035% of the new registrations in the namespace. Yes, point zero three five percent. And less if you average over the total in existence....
  • It just shifts the problems around. If people were allowed to do this, the domain squatters would become more creative. There will still be domain names that are more 'valuable' than others simply because of marketing appeal. How about a .mag TLD? Fine, but someone is going to register porno.mag and try and resell it. You like .sex? Better register all of the interesting combos. Id bet 100 bucks that some pr0n site would pay good money for the domain. Sure there are many more variants, but only a handful will stick out in peoples minds. All the squatters have to do is figure out what these "special" domains are.

    If you allow anything to be used as a TLD, then a whole new crop of trademark problems arise. Lets say that MS wants to have Since the TLD must stay free, then I want, and so on. Im sure Id see MS's cadre of thritysomething lawers breathing fire at that point.

    This also could create confusion for end users. Some people I've run across are too dense to include the www and .com when I tell them to use altavista. I didnt believe it when I saw it. There must be many more lusers than slashdotters. The consistency of the TLD's is at least something that you break down into a quick explanation. People usually don't like answers like, "Well it really could be anything." They like nice little boxes to stick things into. Of course at this point the .com TLD has a lot of inertia and support from the big players. It would take awhile before fragmentation becomes a problem. I think this solution would be a lot of fun, but it won't really take care of the problem.
  • Yes. It's something to do with a monopoly on domain name registrations.

  • with "dot" or "slash" in their names did this thread crash, do you think? I mean, I just checked out and (a mirror!) etc., just to see if they were there. And a lot of them existed but wouldn't load.

    The /. effect rides again!?!?!?
  • Eventually, yes, all DNS host names get translated into IPs. However we are referring to the number of actual domain names possible.

    The answer you are looking for, BTW, is 37^22 (since at present domain names can be no longer than 26 characters total, so there's 22 + .com/.net/.org etc), or 3.165E34, times the number of top level domains.

  • yeah, but there will probably be that many porn sites by the end of the year!

  • Who cares how many domain names are left--it's IP #'s that are running out!

    it's like phone numbers--here we have to dial all ten digits for a local call.

    soon ip #'s will run out and we'll have to figure out how to do an overlay or whatever!

    you know the drill-remove the spam to email me

  • Yeah, let's start the /... revoloution

  • A while back, I did a couple of charts showing how far we are from running out of two- and three-letter domain names. Looks like there's quite a few left: s/namespace/ []

  • Was this 4 millionth domain name before
    or after NSI loosing a bunch of domains
    last week????
    Dammit Jim...It's "U-N-I-X",
  • fsck.

    Thought it looked strange. Thanks fer the
    Dammit Jim...It's "U-N-I-X",
  • I don't follow your logic. Allow "any and all TLD's" and the domain name speculation problem will just skyrocket. For example, I'll go register ".con" (pun intended) and start registering "mcdonalds.con", "yahoo.con", etc, since that's probably a common mispelling of ".com".

    I tend to believe there's no good reason to create *any* new TLD's, outside of country-specific ones.

  • I am going to use .cc domain names, they are waaay more available and stable.

    Here is an interesting way to increase traffic to your web site....

    Wait until sunday morning and register while NSI is 'messed' (with a capital f) up.

    Check this one: (I'd think they'd be more careful with IT)

    # date
    Sun Mar 14 10:04:08 PST 1999
    # telnet 43
    Connected to
    Escape character is '^]'.
    No match for "INTERNIC.NET".

    The InterNIC Registration Services database contains ONLY
    non-military and non-US Government Domains and contacts.
    Other associated whois servers:
    American Registry for Internet Numbers -
    European IP Address Allocations -
    Asia Pacific IP Address Allocations -
    US Military -
    US Government -
    Connection closed by foreign host.
    # date
    Sun Mar 14 10:04:17 PST 1999

BLISS is ignorance.