Alright, so here we are. Blogging. So, for starters, the nerd news has been a bit ridiculous lately… I guess the easiest to get started with is the .XXX top level domain that was recently approved. This has come up a few times in the past, and apparently this most recent time it actually went through. Occasionally people will ask me what I think about it. It seems like an fundamentally flawed idea to me for a few basic reasons.
Of course, this TLD is voluntary not mandatory, meaning it’s up to individual websites to decide if they want a .XXX domain or not. As an aside, this is really the only way it could exist, because there’s no central authority to Internet content, and even if there was, who would get to decide what is porn and what isn’t? The US? France? Saudi Arabia? So, anyway, because it’s voluntary (and basically must be) you’re just left worse off then you were. All purveyors of pornography (even if an entity considers themselves to be so) won’t be magically and unanimously migrating their websites from various tld’s to .xxx. It’s an added expense to buy a new domain name, and they might not think they should have to. Meanwhile organizations that don’t want their networks used for porn (say, pre-schools, reasonably) can filter out everything .xxx, but they still have to have their old web filter which basically just hopes it catches everything but in reality doesn’t. And really when it comes down to it, few schools, businesses, etc will want to be known to allow .xxx content, so the whole domain structure exists to be filtered out and ignored. And when you put it that way, you realize the only reason Playboy is going to buy playboy.xxx is so that someone else doesn’t do it instead. The only people who will have easy access to .xxx will be people who *want* access to it, and gee, is there anyone looking for porn on the Internet that is having trouble finding it?
Point in fact, the entire nation of India won’t have access to it. I’m sure China and most Middle Eastern countries won’t be far behind. There is one person who benefits, however. Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry (who will be in charge of distributing and selling domain names for the new TLD) had this to say: “For the first time, there will be a clearly defined Web address for adult entertainment, out of the reach of minors and as free as possible from fraud or malicious computer viruses“. Of course, only Stuart knows how these new (old) websites will be free from fraud or computer viruses (malicious or otherwise…). He goes on to say that “The providers will benefit because more people will become paying customers.” He also doesn’t mention precisely how having a new domain name will encourage people to buy what is readily available for free, either. I’m sure there’s some business-y stuff I’m just not getting, though.
In other news, AT&T and T-Mobile are fixin’ to merge and create Devastator^W I mean AT&T&T, er, sorry… The largest mobile carrier in the US. And the only provider of a GSM network in the States, too. Formerly, if you were a dissatisfied AT&T customer (a redundant term, from what I’ve heard) you could switch to T-Mobile and at least keep your phone. Now you can move to Europe. T-Mobile was also apparently one of the (only?) larger wireless providers that didn’t pull all kinds of shenanigans on customers and require long contracts or one data plan for your phone and an extra data plan to tether your phone’s Internet connection to your computer. AT&T is also one of the strictest carriers for Android phones, with a lot of phones not allowing you to install Apps outside of the official Android Market. Basically it seems like a big, dumb, bad idea that’s probably going to happen because America loves large corporations right now. “Not Big Enough to be Too Big to Fail”, I think is the official motto.