Your observation of the phenomenon is correct, but you're a tad naive when it comes to "why". This has less to do with the domain name, and more to do with what the domain owners pay Google.
Bullshit. I would gladly pay google for higher placement in their results, and I have the money to do it. Show me the form where I can sign up, please.
I don't believe that for one second. Google doesn't care about the domain name it the site sucks.
Yup, but if the content is the same as somebody else's, then google uses the domain name to tell the difference. For people who sell real products and services, there often just is not that much content to put on the site. Then, things like the domain name make a difference.
Yet some of the most successful sites don't do that at all. Google, Yahoo and Amazon are fantastically successful, and both Slashdot and Digg are doing pretty well for themselves.
Those are all sites that are successful because they have regular readers/frequently repeating customers. If you sell widgets, and people only buy widgets once a year, people will go to your site once a year. Nobody links to widgets on their blogs. A lot of companies sell things that you buy once or twice in your life. Unless you want to get billions of dollars of capital together to build a company that immediately dominates your sector (it is spurious to claim that you could repeat google or amazon on a startup budget today) good SEO is really the only path.
Most of the sites that I visit that have descriptive names are using names that are descriptive of what company runs them rather than what they do (and that company name was already known/trademarked).
This is my point. In the case of the OP, the trademarked name is already registered. This is a serious problem.
I'm sure it helps you a little in search results, but it doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal.
When was the last time you purchased something from a company on the fifth page of Google? A small company I worked for paid thousands of euros to an SEO get first page google ranking. Our business (which was already pretty good) doubled immediately. Our main competitor had a position called Vice President of Search Engine Optimization, that is how important this is in a sector that has real, physical products (cheap consumer goods don't count).
In meatspace, if a business sets up in a poor location, it affects their traffic because it is a PHYSICAL business. More importantly, no land = no business. On the internet, very few people even type URLs anymore, they google everything. All that domain registration does is place a few letters in the address bar of people's browsers.
Of course, the name does enormous things for your placement in google. Just do a google search for "buy flowers": at least half the results have the search the search terms right in the domain name. This is not a coincidence.
If the name describes what you do and is also your branded name, your success in google is almost guaranteed.
Having a domain name that describes your company is tremendously important for a variety of reasons, not least of which is google ranking. Further, with modern browsers, the address bar searches your history. If you have your name or your product in the domain, this helps people find you a second time. Google Chrome is even better: search and address bar are the same. While I despise these people who park pages, their price is usually worth it if you are a company and the name is good.
So, in the cyber-world, picking the name actually does make a big difference in the amount of traffic you get. Having "widgets.com" really is the equivalent of being off of the highway, while "example.com/widgets" is really miles down the road.
Also, giving up domain names means completely abdicating your surfing to search engines and people who know SEO. Not a good idea.
KDE 4.2 is perfectly usable.
You seem to have a different definition of usable than I do.
Except for number 3, this all works fine in KDE 3.5. It all works fine in Gnome (same machine).
I like KDE4.2, it has a lot of really promising concepts. I am a big fan of the plasma widget desktop. I use it whenever possible, which is why I can actually tell you some of the bugs. But interesting concepts are not enough. For a lot of my work, I simply have to log out and log into KDE 3.5 or Gnome. I am using KDE on two machines, one is debian and the other is kubuntu, so the problem might be in debian's packages.
They do however show that it IS possible for other browsers to support features that MS have invented, features that (many of them) actually make things better.
Yes, but a lot of them make life harder, and a lot of IE's quirks are just plain buggy. The point is that the web should be cross-platform: you have a standard and you code to it. Vendors should not have to implement features invented by a third party that may or may not be properly documented (ooxml anyone?). This is why we have the W3C to develop and innovate standards. Hell, MS helped write a lot of the standards that they don't implement.
Basically, whatever platform you're used to programming for, be it mozilla or ie, the other one IS going to seem alien to you, and stuff is frustratingly not gonna work on it.
A browser is not a platform. It should implement the standard so that we can code to it... "write once, run anywhere" should not be a paradigm reserved for Java.
But for you, the one you hate is IE rather than FF, which can only lead to the conclusion that IT'S SUBJECTIVE!
It is not subjective. There is a standard. While no browser implements it fully, IE is (still) the worst.
Quit letting your opinion be swayed by your bitterness over the fact that a browser from a company you don't like is widely used. If you really have trouble using a non-IE browser, that reflects only on your own abilities.
This polemic is not about the user. The trouble is not in using another browser, the trouble is writing websites for IE. It is a frustrating fucking nightmare. It is such a mess that anybody who has written a website in the last 5 or 6 years can not believe that people would choose IE of their own free will. Of course, the mess is transparent to the user who will blame the website if it does not look right in IE.
Now, I know that the IE situation has gotten better (but is still pretty bad) since IE7, but IE6 just won't die because its quirkiness caused a kind of lock in: corporate intranet sites are written for it and they are too expensive to correct. For these people, using another browser really has become impossible. Whether this corporate lock in was deliberate is debatable, but that is the reason the EU gets involved.
Most people will listen to your unreasonable demands, if you'll consider their unacceptable offer.