New gTLDs XTNS offers new gTLDs (sort of)
posted by david on Friday August 31, @01:44AM

XTNS, in partnership with RealNames, has launched a new batch of what they call “Open Domains” – domains defined by their prefix rather than their suffix (e.g. www.whatever,, starting with four 'domains': www., store., corp., and sex.

Though I'm a little hazy about the technology they're using, their press release notes:

"Our namespaces sit on top of DNS in a complementary relationship and form a perfect fit with anticipated extensions and enhancements to the DNS, meaning we permit new functionality over the existing system and future developments. By doing so, we enable XTNS's system to overlay the DNS, enhancing it without interfering with it or damaging it in any way. . . . It is central to XTNS's intent to work closely with bodies such as IETF and ICANN, and be supportive of the ongoing work of these bodies, and the single root structure or DNS."

Only I.E. users, however, can resolve the names that are provided (though XTNS notes that over 80% of users worldwide are using the I.E. browser)

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    XTNS offers new gTLDs (sort of) | Login/Create an Account | Top | 127 comments | Search Discussion
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    XTNS "hot suggestions" are getting colder...
    by dtobias on Wednesday September 05, @09:48AM (#2226)
    User #2967 Info |
    Looking some more in the XTNS site, I see on their "store" page these "hot suggestions" of possible names to register in their system:
    A few problems here: They presently only allow names with one dot in them, not two. And they've withdrawn www as an acceptable prefix. Thus, none of their "hot suggestions" are actually usable as names in their system!
    Proprietary, vendor-specific namespace...
    by dtobias on Tuesday September 04, @01:46PM (#2211)
    User #2967 Info |
    I notice that whenever I or anybody else points out the obvious fact that XTNS, given that it only works on MSIE for Windows, is a vendor-specific "solution" that is not in any way part of the open-standards-based Internet, the silence from the XTNS cheerleader is deafening.

    Will there ever be a way for users of Netscape or Mozilla or Opera or Lynx or Konquerer or PWWebSpeak... or Macintosh or Linux or WebTV or Sega Dreamcast... or email or FTP or IRC or telnet or traceroute or ping... people running the applications of their choice under the platform of their choice to use the Internet protocols of their choice... to use those new XTNS pseudo-domain-names for this purpose? If not, then this is just a proprietary feature in one vendor's program, not an address space for the Internet.
    Re: Proprietary, vendor-specific namespace...
    by dtobias on Wednesday September 05, @09:26AM (#2223)
    User #2967 Info |
    Actually, you can see for yourself right now that .biz and .info actually work... try or If your ISP uses the standard ICANN roots, these addresses work now. (If you're using an alternative root, your mileage may vary...)
    Re: Proprietary, vendor-specific namespace...
    by fnord ( on Wednesday September 05, @09:58PM (#2236)
    User #2810 Info
    That is a quite perceptive comment. Thx. -g
    Why this obsession with XTNS?
    by dtobias on Saturday September 01, @01:04PM (#2123)
    User #2967 Info |
    Why is it that articles on XTNS attract by far the highest number of messages in the discussion on this site? Surely other topics are more worthy of comment than this pathetic proprietary keyword system that pretends to be some sort of "domain name".

    I guess it's that cowardly anonymous XTNS flack person who's responsible...
    If the XTNS people are such technical wizards...
    by dtobias on Saturday September 01, @08:09AM (#2111)
    User #2967 Info |
    then how come their store and message boards are in URLs that have a raw IP address as their host? Do they not know how to configure the DNS for a hostname within their own domain, like and
    Re: If the XTNS people are such technical wizards.
    by fnord ( on Saturday September 01, @12:29PM (#2116)
    User #2810 Info
    Perhaps the fact they couldn't afford put them off using DNS. :)

    You might like this Dan. As they are unlikely to make any money, they have apparently registered

    whois -h
    260 s lake ave #234

    Domain Name: XTNS.ORG

    Administrative Contact, Billing Contact:
    "Mr Web Master"
    Phone: 626 449 4334
    Technical Contact, Registrar:
    "Mr Easyspace Hostmaster"

    Thank goodness these DNS mavens aren't their own technical contact. As luck would have it also does keywords. -g

    Re: If the XTNS people are such technical wizards.
    by fnord ( on Saturday September 01, @09:55PM (#2125)
    User #2810 Info
    Errr, earth to mister clueless, hello to mister clueless, I'll be your waiter this evening. They don't have the .com, that is part of the joke. Why is it that ICANNWatch has turned into a moron magnet? Could it be that those who want the ICANN cash cow to continue are here spreading fsckedup responses?. Yup it is a joke.--g
    Re: If the XTNS people are such technical wizards.
    by fnord ( on Sunday September 02, @08:17PM (#2135)
    User #2810 Info
    LOL! This is entirely too rich. They bought it back in March but didn't put a proviso in the sale that the For Sale site would be taken down, not just immediately, but sometime prior to their August launch so as not to cause confusion? That would take 5 minutes. Or they haven't figured out in the intervening 4-6 months how to put up a Coming Soon page? That would take 10 minutes. But no, it is still in the process of transfer:

    Domain Name..........
    Creation Date........ 2000-01-13
    Registration Date.... 2001-03-29
    Expiry Date.......... 2003-01-13
    Organisation Name.... Online Sales, LLC
    Organisation Address. 1350 Beverly Road, 115 PMB 240
    Organisation Address. _
    Organisation Address. McLean
    Organisation Address. 22101-3917
    Organisation Address. VA
    Organisation Address. UNITED STATES

    Admin Name........... Hostmaster USWhois
    Admin Address........ 1350 Beverly Road, 115 PMB 240
    Admin Address........ _
    Admin Address........ McLean
    Admin Address........ 22101-3917
    Admin Address........ VA
    Admin Address........ UNITED STATES
    Admin Email..........
    Admin Phone.......... (703) 827-6550
    Admin Fax............ _

    Tech Name............ Verio Hostmaster

    I guess that explains their (often) claimed 72 hours to have an XTNS name function. The 72 hours it normally takes for a transfer to go through is 4-6 months and counting in XTNS's alternative reality time clock. This joke just keeps getting better. The sad part is that Joe Sims and Louis Touton are able to pass this loonieness on to M. Stuart Lynn to pass on to the Board to pass to on to Congress and the press as why they, and only they, have to assert control. As I've alluded to previously, one would be hard pressed to come up with a better satire on the current namespace situation. This is hilarious, please continue. -g

    Re: If the XTNS people are such technical wizards.
    by fnord ( on Monday September 03, @09:21AM (#2154)
    User #2810 Info
    Heh heh. This is too funny. They allegedly bought their .com name at least 5 months ago. They aren't using it. It isn't transferred. But I'm going to head over there right now and give these technical wizards my money. Tell me another one, this farce is fun so far. -g
    Re: If the XTNS people are such technical wizards.
    by fnord ( on Monday September 03, @04:15PM (#2178)
    User #2810 Info
    Please provide a pointer to said announcement, assuming you have figured out how to provide pointers. Assuming XTNS could figure out how to transfer a domain, they could provide a redirect to their .net (or raw IP for reasons best known to themselves). I've flamed, but not for that. makes more sense than, and perhaps the existing owners wouldn't sell. Interestingly it is a redirect to a site selling watches. Synchronistically the clock is ticking on this XTNS scam. In fact it is ticking on most of the get rich quick name hoarders. OK, it's been awhile now even using XTNS's slow motion calendar. If you're so smart, how come you're not rich yet? -g
    Re: XTNS offers new gTLDs (sort of)
    by dtobias on Friday August 31, @02:41AM (#2079)
    User #2967 Info |
    Like I've said all along, these XTNS things are not domain names. They're merely a proprietary extension to a proprietary keyword system, designed to kinda, sorta, resemble domains because they have dots in them and are sometimes assigned in some sort of hierarchy -- except that the hierarchy is artificial, not built into the system as it is with the DNS, as exemplified by the fact that the XTNS people get to change their mind at will as to whether the hierarchical levels go right-to-left (as in real domain names) or left-to-right (as they're doing now with the "prefix-based" names).

    And, don't forget, this system of theirs works only for users of MSIE for Windows... so I guess anybody using Netscape, Opera, Lynx, Konquerer, etc.... or Macintosh, Linux, WebTV, etc... is not part of these guys' "Internet". (See my Brand X Browsers Page.)
    Re: XTNS offers new gTLDs (sort of)
    by fnord ( on Friday August 31, @09:14AM (#2084)
    User #2810 Info
    The quote "XTNS is like New.Net on Steroids" is actually not quite what I said. It was "This [XTNS] looks much like the on steroids I'd predicted...".

    I've already backed off that statement with regard to XTNS, whose order page at produces an error due to an unterminated string constant, as do other of their pages, via Internet Explorer 5.5. They do appear to be a bit of a joke. I certainly wouldn't order from them, but then I'm not a speculator.

    However I still maintain that someone, quite possibly Micro$oft themselves, will come up with something along the same lines, and execute it properly. M$ has many things in the pipeline that point to this. -g

    AOL keywords
    by dtobias on Friday August 31, @09:46AM (#2086)
    User #2967 Info |
    Of course, AOL keywords are another example, along with RealNames and its XTNS "extension", of a proprietary namespace that works only for users of some particular service(s) or product(s), and is not really part of the Internet. None of these keyword schemes can truly be thought of as part of the namespace of the Internet.
    Google, Yahoo, etc.
    by dtobias on Friday August 31, @12:30PM (#2090)
    User #2967 Info |
    Certainly, Yahoo and Google are part of the Internet, in that their sites are on the Internet and provide an index and directory to the Internet. However, search strings to be typed into their sites in order to find things are not "Internet addresses". They're simply means of trying to find something via Yahoo or Google, and might find different things at different times at the whims of those sites. However, XTNS seems to be claiming to be providing "new domain names" for the Internet, which is very misleading given that real domain names are actual Internet addresses, usable in many ways on the Internet -- not just in browsers, but for email, FTP, Ping, Traceroute, Telnet, etc. XTNS "addresses" are not usable in those ways, or even in web browsers other than MSIE.
    Re: Google, Yahoo, etc.
    by dtobias on Saturday September 01, @07:13AM (#2107)
    User #2967 Info |
    All right... if those XTNS things are "Internet addresses", can I use them in email, FTP, Ping, Traceroute, Telnet, or IRC? Can I use them as web addresses if my browser is Netscape or Mozilla or Lynx or Konquerer or ICab? Didn't think so...

    There's a lot more to the DNS than just cutesy keywords for web surfing. And there's more even to the web than one browser on one platform.
    Re: XTNS offers new gTLDs (sort of)
    by fnord ( on Friday August 31, @09:31PM (#2096)
    User #2810 Info
    Well the industry must be in particularily terrible shape (whatever industry that might be), because each link I tried off your homepage gave me the same error. And this was using IE 5.5, not one of those alternatives (eg: Mozilla according to Dan, and I'm willing to accept that from someone who signs his name) that don't handle RealNames or XTNS.

    Forgetting the error for a moment, once I got past that I had no sign I was on a secure server. But I'm going to give you a credit card number? Ya, I'd say that is at least a bit of a joke. Why would I send a comment to you? I'm not a speculator, I have no interest in your names, I go to broken websites quite often and sometimes pass on error messages, but not if the site owners are known for doing things like sending commercial messages to the GA list. Call me old-fashioned. -g

    Re: XTNS offers new gTLDs (sort of)
    by fnord ( on Saturday September 01, @11:52AM (#2114)
    User #2810 Info
    This is beginning to look like the theatre of the absurd. Who are We and them? And what level of security? How many bits of encryption? What socket layer? I already know that it is less than 2, which is trivial to implement for any ma and pa site, but these gurus of the DNS haven't managed it. What a joke. XTNS might well be some kind of performance art attempting to make a statement about namespace nuttiness. -g
    Re: XTNS offers new gTLDs (sort of)
    by dtobias on Monday September 03, @02:06PM (#2162)
    User #2967 Info |
    > You are wrong.

    Real convincing argument there... especially coming from an anonymous writer...
    Re: Show me one working name ? ? ?
    by dtobias on Saturday September 01, @01:02AM (#2097)
    User #2967 Info |
    Of course, in the present DNS they're perfectly capable of creating subdomains like for that purpose.

    By the way, "index.html" is a default index file, and you don't have to actually type it... you could slice it off your example URL above and shorten it up a bit.
    Re: Show me one working name ? ? ?
    by dtobias on Saturday September 01, @01:17AM (#2098)
    User #2967 Info |
    This "XTNS" thing is just yet another example of what's rampant on the Internet these days. First, the techie geeks create a system (DNS in this case) capable of expressing complex hierarchical structures. Then, the clueless newbies and the marketing types who pander to them fail to understand or appreciate this structure, so they treat DNS like it's a flat namespace ending in .com. Finally, in the third act of this play, some other marketing type comes in with a "revolutionary" new scheme that does just what the original system did, only in a greatly inferior way -- but, unlike the open standards-based method developed by the geeks in Act 1, this way is proprietary and involves everybody sending lots of money to the marketing type in charge of it. "Reinventing the wheel" can be profitable if it lets you get a patent on it...

    I've run into many examples of this sort of "three-act play", in areas ranging from domain names to Web browser features. After Web designers succeeded in disabling or overriding practically every feature of HTML , HTTP, or browsers, originally designed to make Web pages able to flexibly adapt to the user's needs, a market then developed for proprietary "solutions" that reinvented, in a much clumsier and more awkward way, some of the features that were there in the first place but were ignored or disabled.

    Re: Show me one working name ? ? ?
    by fnord ( on Saturday September 01, @05:24AM (#2101)
    User #2810 Info
    XTNS sold themselves as being available to 80+ % of net users in a press release two weeks ago. Now from their message board (which wasn't working yesterday), I learn that the names aren't working yet, but will real soon now. I have also tried names without success using IE 5.5 and with RealNames working. XTNS is therefore available to approximately 0% of net users even if spelled correctly. I'd call that a joke, consumer protection branches of governments might have different words for it. -g
    Re: Show me one working name ? ? ?
    by fnord ( on Saturday September 01, @07:20AM (#2108)
    User #2810 Info
    The XTNS press release of August 15, 2001 states:
    XTNS Extended Namespaces can now be accessed and queried by 88% or over 360 million of the world's Internet users
    That was false then. It is false now. Even if it becomes true tomorrow everything about this operation to date has been underwhelming. I see no reason to believe that will change for the better. -g
    Re: (why) Show you one working name ? ? ?
    by fnord ( on Saturday September 01, @12:59PM (#2119)
    User #2810 Info
    The August 15, 2001 press release I mentioned up the thread also states:
    ...the XTNS's system already built into the Microsoft IE Browser is today already operational in hundreds of millions of PCs worldwide.
    That is an unequivocable claim that it worked two weeks ago. It didn't work then. It doesn't work now. Your repeated prevarications are serving only to convince me that XTNS is an outright scam. Feel free to sue me for saying so. -g
    Re: Show me one working name ? ? ?
    by dtobias on Saturday September 01, @08:01AM (#2110)
    User #2967 Info |
    Actually, the regular DNS does have the ability to handle mistypings, via "wildcard" DNS records. The new .museum domain plans to use this, as explained in this section of its ICANN agreement:

    A DNS wildcard A record will be placed at the end of the .museum zone file as,

    *.museum. IN A nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn

    where nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn is the IP address of a host with the reserved name:

    This name is reserved for a host operated by the Sponsor that will parse a domain name that is directed to it and use the second-level label as a query string to return to the user (a) an ordered listing of all entities sharing that second-level domain label or, if the second-level label is not registered in the .museum TLD, by (b) a response indicating that the SLD label is not in use. If the Registry Operator divides the .museum TLD into multiple zones, an identical wildcard will be placed at the end of each such zone file.

    As for XTNS names like being better than subdomains like, actually, the unsophisticated user that you seem to be aiming for wouldn't be likely to recognize the former as an Internet address, since it lacks a TLD like .com at the end. Thus, the latter form might actually be more recognizable to them, since it has the "right" ending.

    As for email, etc... yeah, they've got some proposed clunky scheme to let people do something resembing email, but through the MSIE browser, not the user's actual email program. Now, will you ever be able to ping or traceroute a XTNS address???
    Re: Show me one working name ? ? ?
    by dtobias on Saturday September 01, @09:10AM (#2113)
    User #2967 Info |
    A lot of people now are too clueless to realize that domains can end with anything other than .com. I hope and expect that this will change over time as new TLDs get introduced, especially if the registries, registrars, and registrants of them do some advertising. I don't, however, expect that very many people will think that .toyota is ever likely to be a proper ending to a web address, since all the TLDs, old and new, refer to generic categories, not specific companies.
    Re: XTNS System working today
    by fnord ( on Sunday September 02, @07:33PM (#2134)
    User #2810 Info
    Anon writes:
    XTNS have stated their system works in 87%+ of all Internet users browsers "today", which is true by virtue of the fact that it employes IE 5.0 and above.
    No it is not true. Using IE 5.5 XTNS names do not work today. Period. Their system works on approximately zero percent of browsers (I'm allowing some slack because they might have some inhouse build of Opera that works, a near trivial thing to do, but I seriously doubt they have even that capability). The XTNS system does not work today, for anyone. Prove me wrong by providing just one single link (oops, sorry, even if it worked it wouldn't do links), by providing an address that resolves (via IE 5.5 I mean, I know it won't do ftp or other protocols) or STFU. What you, whomever you are, are saying is a complete and utter falsehood. What worries me is that there might be some speculators out there even more clueless than you are who believe this drek. I'm not too worried though, that is nearly impossible.

    they have made really clear that they will be activated soon and thereafter it will take some 48-72 hours before any given registered name within one of the spaces itself goes live.
    They haven't made it clear at all. Such a statement appears nowhere in their press releases or on their website (until the last step when registering a name). Quite the opposite, as I've quoted their spew here at least twice, it claims to be immediately available. It is false anyway, 72 hours after names are registered they do not resolve.
    Is that so hard to understand?
    Not at all. Anyone who has been online for even a few minutes is aware that their email box, Usenet, and search engine results (just to name three) are full of such braindead crap about making millions of dollars by doing next to nothing. That worked a very few times for a very few people a long time ago in a namespace far away. XTNS is best given a wide berth, not that one could collide with it even if one tried. -g
    Re: You can see XTNS/RealNames System working
    by fnord ( on Monday September 03, @09:24AM (#2155)
    User #2810 Info
    XTNS does not use the same technology as Verisign's ML testbed. You may be taking this joke too far as Verisign may not have much of a sense of humor. -g
    Re: You can see XTNS/RealNames System working
    by fnord ( on Monday September 03, @03:23PM (#2173)
    User #2810 Info
    Anon (at a guess either Greg or Tim) writes:
    It is the IDENTICAL technology to the RealNames resolved part of the Verisign ML testbed: exactly the same.
    Please provide a pointer, assuming you're clued enough to do so, to explain exactly what the RealNames resolved part of the Verisign ML testbed is. -g
    Re: You can see XTNS/RealNames System working
    by fnord ( on Monday September 03, @04:00PM (#2177)
    User #2810 Info
    It isn't hard to find at all. Other readers not yet asleep from this thread may wish to go to the root URL for additional information. If the likes of VeriSign and MicroSoft and RealNames are using XTNS as their agent to market this then perhaps they're finally getting the comeuppance they so richly deserve. -g
    XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by dtobias on Tuesday September 04, @05:11AM (#2190)
    User #2967 Info |
    As long as internationalized domains only work as described in that memo, I would say that they are not true domain names either. Apparently, at the moment, such internationalized domain names aren't actually in the second-level-domain zone files for .com/.org/.net, but are in third level zones, and work only when some software somewhere translates the non-ASCII-character domains typed by a user into the true addresses. When this software takes the form of the IE/RealNames resolver as described in that memo, it has all the flaws and limitations common to other uses of RealNames technology such as XTNS -- the addresses work only in IE, not other browsers, and not in any other Internet software (email, FTP, etc.).

    For the internationalized domains to become genuine domains, there will have to be a robust standard that allows authors of Internet software in general to automatically translate such domains into resolvable addresses in the DNS, which doesn't involve going through the proprietary servers of one particular vendor.
    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by fnord ( on Tuesday September 04, @06:28AM (#2192)
    User #2810 Info
    This report shows the current status, as ICANN sees it. By the most optimistic projections IDNs will not be available until well into next year. Depending on the final method chosen it could take up to a decade.

    VeriSign has been very clear that what they are running is a testbed (which, yes, does use 3LDs), and that registrants have no assurance their names will continue to work. To call this IDENTICAL to what XTNS is selling is false. -g

    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by fnord ( on Tuesday September 04, @11:16AM (#2201)
    User #2810 Info
    It's not a cheap shot, it's free. Unlike those names you've sold which don't work. The Admin on your message board (assuming for the moment that that's not you) was saying they would be up imminently a week ago. Rather than post here why not post on your message board that has 23 listed members, a couple of posts a day, a quarter of the posts from the Admin, and another quarter of the posts from customers who feel you ripped them off (how many credit card chargebacks have you had in your short existence?). That vibrant community could use your help.

    About my being right, I've been consistently right with what I've said about XTNS, barring my first mention of them here, when I rather too enthusiastically reported on their first press release. I am now attempting to atone for that sin. XTNS has been consistently wrong with what it has said about XTNS. You/they clearly know that the press release and subsequent statements are wrong and yet continue to pile error upon error. Please keep playing this little game, your atonements are coming due. -g

    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by dtobias on Tuesday September 04, @01:37PM (#2209)
    User #2967 Info |
    Well, one of the earlier messages, apparently from you (though who can tell, given that you're always posting in cowardly anonymous mode) accused the critics of working for an XTNS competitor, so isn't turnabout fair play?

    Seriously, if you don't work for them, why are you such an intense cheerleader for them?

    I think this is message #100 in this thread... though the subject hardly seems to be deserving of that much more discussion than the other worthy topics on this site.
    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by fnord ( on Tuesday September 04, @07:09PM (#2216)
    User #2810 Info
    You are quite right Dan, as usual. :)

    It just erks [sic] me that these cheerleaders are either registrars (and I use that term loosely) or speculating registrants. You see the same people here, on, at IOD, at, on the ICANN forums, etc. posting drivel. They are those who buy names to resell (and as most of them don't sell, to hoard them), convinced that but for ICANN they would be making a fortune, that somehow ICANN has taken the wind out of the sales in the buyers market. ICANN can be justly accused of many things but that isn't one of them.

    They are joined in this by some registrars of both ICANN's, and others', domain names (and that is becoming an extremely loose term), who are happy to promise the world and not deliver. Thankfully, finally, most people are getting it. Afternic is a virtual ghost town and most of the earlier posters on other boards have disappeared. I may be giving them too much credit and it is just that the one year renewal on their names came up and they decided against continuing to flog, but the end result is the same. Much of the rest of the net hype has long since crashed back to reality, it's past time for the namespace to do the same. Unfortunately some of the less clueless speculators have gone on up the foodchain to the big leagues and become registrars making absurd claims, but that at least is within the reach of the FTC (though they seem to have synchronized their watches with XTNS) and ICANN (though they aren't watching at all). Nevertheless, without end customers buying names speculators stop buying names, so the registrars will be dealt with eventually by those market forces one hears about.

    Oh the one hand I feel sorry for these folks who have bought into a dream that is turning into a nightmare. OTOH they have brought nothing to the table except a bit of cash to pass up the foodchain via the registrars to ICANN, and a dubious ability to invent sLD strings (as often as not silly strings) before anyone else. They are motivated by greed and that is not the motivation that built the net, on the contrary, that is why it is stagnating. This has served ICANN well as all critics are then tarred with the same brush. ICANN's power elite are given a ready made horde at the gates to point out to Congress, the BoD (because that isn't the power elite), the press, et al. For example, I consider it quite possible that IOD would have been awarded .web but for the continuous stream of nutbar postings by IOD .web registrants on ICANN's forum, assuming the BoD read them (a big assumption I admit, there is no sign they do normally, but the power elite would have been happy to ensure that). The sad thing is these hoarders are their own worst enemy, and worse than useless to non-hoarders who wish to provide an unmuddied alternative to the present ICANN.

    But, as I've said too often now, ;) you're right. This thread should be left to fall off the main page and into further irrelevance, the chance of XTNS making money here now is at most zero. -g

    by dtobias on Wednesday September 05, @12:11AM (#2218)
    User #2967 Info |
    The speculators don't make a unified front, though, since there are a bunch of different camps of them, depending on what they're speculating in. You can find representatives of all of these on the message boards:

    1) The "Dot-Com is King" crowd: They've invested heavily in .com names, most of them really silly, but maybe they've managed to grab a few pretty nice ones too. Still, they have little prospect of actually selling any of them in the weak market of today, but they can still dream, thinking constantly of the fact that some idiot actually paid millions of bucks for (just before the market crashed). They're using the weak market as a chance to increase their domain hoard by grabbing some of the many names that are expiring due to other speculators giving up or Internet companies going defunct. This group is vehemently against all other TLDs besides .com, whether existing, new, or alternative, and thinks that anybody putting anything up on the Internet, commercial or not, is going to need a .com name (or a dozen) if they want to be "serious" about it. Don't even think about using .org (even if you're noncommercial), or using subdomains logically. Mr. Speculator will gladly sell you a matched set of 200 domain names with a common theme, including some 64-character names packed with keywords to supposedly get you way up in search engines (though I suspect the same effect, if indeed it really exists, can be achieved by use of long subdomains... but no registrar or speculator would profit from that).

    2) The other-TLD booster: Somebody who came in too late to find any decent .com names, and isn't crazy enough to make up the really stupid ones that some of the Group 1 speculators like to hoard. Instead, they've gone to .org, .net, .cc, .ws, etc., where there are much better pickings available. Now they need to do battle with the "Dot-Com is King" crowd to convince others that these names actually have some value. The value, of course, is not in using them for the logical purposes for which they were intended -- there's not much profit in non-profit organizations, there aren't all that many network infrastructure providers, and the population of the Cocos Islands and Western Samoa is rather small. But if these speculators can convince users, or at least other speculators, that one or more of these TLDs is the "Next Big Thing" for e-commerce after the dot-com crash, maybe they can get a sucker... er, I mean, a savvy investor, to buy a name or three.

    3) The new-TLD sunrise speculator. Somebody who's trying to corner the market in the names of any new TLD that's being added. They'll throw tons of money at the registrars submitting multiple pre-registrations for all the names they think will be valuable, and will get mad if the sunrise rules favor somebody else, like the trademark lobby. They'll bend or break any rules if they think they can get away with it, but they'll gleefully turn in their fellow speculators for breaking the rules if it might help them get a place in line for the names they want. As long as they think they might luck out and get good names in the new TLDs, they'll tout how they're the next big hot thing and how all the old TLDs are just not "with it" any more. If they lose the sunrise lottery and fail to get any good names, they'll immediately move into either Camp 1 or Camp 2 above, and start denouncing new TLDs as stupid and pointless. Meanwhile, Camp 3 will join forces with Camps 1 and 2 in denouncing any new TLDs that don't offer very good speculation possibilities, such as ones with highly limited registration criteria (.aero, .museum), or ones that only let you register at the third level (.name, .pro). That these names might provide a useful namespace is irrelevant.

    4) The "Alternative" crowd. There are many subspecies of this, rallying around various alternative roots or namespaces, from to XTNS. Some of them have strident claims about how their favorite system was actually the first to create a namespace containing some particular string of letters in it, and hence should have permanent intellectual property rights to that string of letters in all electronic namespaces. Thus, they expect that someday either
    (a) ICANN will finally see things their way and approve the alternate TLD, preserving its existing registrations, or (b) ICANN will be forced by the courts or the government to recognize them, or (c) the ISPs of the world will move en masse to use the alternate root instead of ICANN's, or (d) everybody in the world will use a browser with alternative namespace support in it, even if it's not really part of the Internet's naming system... and then the speculators can get rich off of the great names they've managed to grab in this space before the general public even realized it existed!

    The interesting thing is that people in all of these camps have sometimes treated me like I'm on their side... when I take strong positions for or against various things, they often coincide with one or another of these factions, though for different reasons. They can each come up with some very good points in their bashing of everybody and everything that opposes them. But their own side is pretty weak too.
    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by fnord ( on Tuesday September 04, @06:08PM (#2215)
    User #2810 Info
    OK, let's tally up the score so far, I'll call myself (and the others who have been correct to date, I don't want all the credit) Boris for convenience. You can play the part of XTNS, a role you are well suited for as neither of you have functional names:

    XTNS claims to be available to 88% of net users.

    True [ ] False [X]
    Demonstrably so. Point for Boris .

    XTNS claims to be selling domain names.

    True [ ] False [X]
    Admittedly false. Point for Boris .

    XTNS denies that XTNS people are posting here.

    True [ ] False [X]
    XTNS later concedes the point for Boris .

    XTNS denies that clients are upset.

    True [ ] False [X]
    Some of them are posting here. Point for Boris .

    XTNS claims to have owned for 5 months.

    True [ ] False [X]
    Not according to WHOIS. Point for Boris .

    XTNS says it is IDENTICAL to the VeriSign ML testbed.

    True [ ] False [X]
    XTNS later concedes the point for Boris .

    XTNS says names are working on August 15.

    True [ ] False [X]
    I'll settle for a half-point for Boris on that one.

    XTNS says repeatedly since then (and as recently as today) that names are working.

    True [ ] False [X]
    Boris gets 1.5 points for XTNS continuing to make the same error.

    XTNS claims to be above par for the industry.

    True [ ] False [ ]
    Given the state of the industry, let's call that one a draw.

    XTNS (or someone claiming not to be XTNS, meaning it probably is) claims to be extremely dumb and extremely rich.

    True [X] False [ ]
    Hard to prove with an Anon poster but as only such people would buy XTNS names Boris concedes the point for XTNS.

    So the score so far is:

    Boris 9
    XTNS 1

    That is pending further proof on such other statements as that I work for a competitor, that XTNS wrote the VeriSign ML testbed, that XTNS is owned by VeriSign, etc. which would further increase our winning margin, though given VeriSign's similar customer service XTNS might yet steal a point. OTOH, we can continually pad our lead for each 72 hour period that XTNS continues not to work, so it looks like we may as well declare victory and call the game. -g

    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by fnord ( on Tuesday September 04, @07:19PM (#2217)
    User #2810 Info
    Oh, and David gets an assist for being a little hazy on the technology, it did turn out to be vaporous. ;) -g
    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by dtobias on Wednesday September 05, @09:42AM (#2225)
    User #2967 Info |
    XTNS claims to be selling domain names.
    True [ ] False [X]
    Yes false -- XTNS NEVER CLAIMED TO SELL "DOMAIN NAMES" Check their site. You are just plain wrong here and have been all along.

    I have checked their site. Perhaps you haven't? The big headline there is:

    Revolutionary New Internet Domain Names...

    Of course, the remainder of the site indicates that the XTNS people lack a clue about just what a "domain name" actually is, evidenced by the animated promo on the front page that says:

    Why have your Internet domain name look like this???

    when it can look like this...

    Of course, neither the "before" nor the "after" items in the above example are "domain names". The first one is a full URL, which includes a protocol, a hostname (which includes a domain name), and a path. The second one is an XTNS keyword string.

    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by fnord ( on Wednesday September 05, @10:07PM (#2237)
    User #2810 Info
    Another point for the good guys for such a lame post. Do you want to play again? -g
    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by fnord ( on Thursday September 06, @09:43PM (#2258)
    User #2810 Info
    Errr, mister killer.web, time to go to sleep now. The internet revolution is over. Be thankful you still have your head (and I could make so many jokes of that I won't even start). -g
    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by fnord ( on Tuesday September 04, @10:51AM (#2200)
    User #2810 Info
    Wrong. Try again. -g
    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by dtobias on Tuesday September 04, @01:12PM (#2204)
    User #2967 Info |
    I know you are, but what am I? :)
    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by fnord ( on Tuesday September 04, @01:17PM (#2205)
    User #2810 Info
    You're probably right Dan. As usual. :) This Anon non-person is wrong because XTNS names don't work. -g
    Re: XTNS, RealNames, and internationalized domains
    by dtobias on Tuesday September 04, @01:39PM (#2210)
    User #2967 Info |
    I wonder myself why Froomkin allows anonymous trolls like you, but I guess he just values free speech even if much of the results of it are garbage.
    Re: Why 72 hours?
    by fnord ( on Monday September 03, @10:03AM (#2156)
    User #2810 Info
    Anon AKA cowardly anonymous XTNS flack person writes:
    Where did this 72 hours thing come from? XTNS from day-one of launching these domains said that activation of them would be in the near future and once each domain is activated THEN it would take a further 48-72 hours to activate each individual registered name.
    Oh, I see. So that is 72 hours plus the near future. If that near future is sort of like the near future (5+ months) it takes XTNS to transfer a .com name they supposedly own then I imagine those few who have bought names might see them work before they receive a billing for another year's registration if they're lucky.
    Why is this so hard for you to understand?
    Because the press releases and other statements clearly state that the system works now. These are two incompatible alternatives so forgive me for my cognitive dissonance. The press releases do not jibe with what you are saying here and at XTNS (nice black on black color scheme BTW).
    Were you bashing Afflias and Neulevel early this year for not "proving" that .info and .biz are working?
    Yes I have bashed Afilias and NeuLevel. That is what is so great about this satire. One clueless person can put up a website selling thin air and to all intents and purposes be indiscernible from huge megacorps who paid ICANN $50k. I commend you. This is a brilliant masterstroke. -g
    Re: Why 72 hours?
    by fnord ( on Monday September 03, @03:18PM (#2170)
    User #2810 Info
    Their system has approximately zero to do with the VeriSign ml testbed. How long do you think VeriSign and RealNames and MicroSoft are going to allow their names to be bandied about to help sell this scam? Perhaps a real 72 hours, and the long weekend is almost over, -g
    Re: Ask XTNS, not this board
    by fnord ( on Monday September 03, @10:08AM (#2157)
    User #2810 Info
    Or someone close to them? Even XTNS registrants are fleeing their message board. -g
    Re: Ask XTNS, not this board
    by fnord ( on Monday September 03, @03:15PM (#2168)
    User #2810 Info
    Because they are true. Why are you saying these things Anon? -g
    Re: Ask XTNS, not this board
    by fnord ( on Monday September 03, @03:40PM (#2176)
    User #2810 Info
    Please provide hyperlinks to these clear facts. That is how this internet thing works. I and others have used links to XTNS's own words to show the truth. You've provided nothing, not your name, not a link, not a fact. I suppose you figure by multiple postings you somehow make up for a lack of truth, which is a true mark of the spammer/scammer who has been told by some other spammer/scammer that they can make $millions online using Brand X method. They then go online, undertanding almost nothing, and infest boards such as this putting in time whilst waiting for that big check to arrive. Well sorry, it must have gotten lost in the mail. I am not a competitor of XTNS, nor am I paid by one. I have no financial interest whatsoever in XTNS's success or failure, and thank goodness the latter is coming real soon now. -g
    Re: No, XTNS permit www 3LDs
    by dtobias on Thursday September 06, @05:01AM (#2244)
    User #2967 Info |
    Of course, real domain names don't depend on what Microsoft does... only proprietary, browser-specific "features" like XTNS have to care whether MS implements them or not. Real domains simply get added to the ICANN root and are accessible by users of all browsers.
    by fnord ( on Friday September 07, @09:48AM (#2273)
    User #2810 Info
    Clarity is a good thing. XTNS is not. Their new announcement that a Micro$oft browser change is responsible for their delay is just the latest in a long line of excuses. They had previously said they were waiting for Micro$oft to turn on their servers, :) and had also tried to spin that what they were selling was pre-registrations (hey, if ICANN can do it, why not?). In fact if one types in the address line of IE 5.5 bbbbbbbbbbbb or www.bbbbbbbbbbbb or http://www.bbbbbbbbbbbb one receives three different results, a not very robust design, and at any rate none of them, or any other string you can think of, are workable via XTNS. Thank goodness this drek has scrolled off the front page for all but those with weird prefs. I continue my contrition for ever mentioning their name. -g
    by fnord ( on Monday September 10, @02:37AM (#2320)
    User #2810 Info
    You, that amorphous Anon entity that buys/sells XTNS names, have posted about 10 times that XTNS is identical to Veri$ign's multilingual testbed. If that is so, then why is XTNS not working while the Veri$ign testbed continues to work? -g