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The Internet Government Politics

Why the .XXX Domain is a Bad Idea That Won't Die 322

Posted by Zonk
from the braaaaiiins-and-pooooornnnn dept.
Reader tqft tipped us to an opinion piece on the UK site The Guardian, which lays out the reasons why article writer Seth Finkelstein feels the .XXX domain is a terrible idea. You may recall that last year (being an election year and all), the concept of a triple-X ghetto was revived, considered, and then quashed all in the space of a few months. We also recently discussed the fact that the idea just won't die, as the company ICM Registry pushes ICANN to allow them to pass out the names by Summer. Finkelstein primarily argues that the new domain is a bad idea from a business point of view. Ignoring for a moment the issue that much of this content is already labeled, he sees this as primarily a means for ICM Registry to gain a monopoly on what is sure to be a hot-selling product. Speculators, pornographers, and above-board companies will all jump on the namespace in an effort to ensure that their domain is represented ... or not, as the case may be. Where do you fall on this issue? Would a .XXX domain be helpful for parents, or just a political salve/moneymaking scam?
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Why the .XXX Domain is a Bad Idea That Won't Die

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  • by Hao Wu (652581)
    If a idea is bad, it should go away.

    If I say I want no more coffee with reading my breakfast newspaper, then the waiter should go away and not pore another drink.

    If pornography website is labeled acurate or inacurate due to domain ".XXX", then that label should go away like my breakfast waiter.

    • Re:Crazy (Score:4, Funny)

      by thc69 (98798) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @12:46AM (#17781006) Homepage Journal
      No more coffee with your paper? What, did you eat a caffeinated donut [slashdot.org]?
    • by NetSettler (460623) *

      If a idea is bad, it should go away.

      That's perhaps a nice wish. However, assuming it will go away is another thing.

      Government is not simply a world marketplace that offers ideas and if no one buys, it restocks the shelves with other ideas. We give government the special power of force that we do not give shopkeepers wherein if people disagree with the ideas it is offering, it can take action. The more vague that action, the more subject to the individual whim of an individual attempting to en

  • Heh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fnkmaster (89084) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @12:33AM (#17780922)
    Ignoring for a moment the issue that much of this content is already labeled

    Yeah, it's labeled all right. About the time you see a writhing vulva on your screen, and a mega-penis thrusting repeatedly into it using the latest in animated gif technology, you may notice a small blurb of text that says "Please proceed only if you are 18 years of age or older".
  • by Beuno (740018) <(argentina) (at) (gmail.com)> on Saturday January 27, 2007 @12:33AM (#17780928) Homepage
    I'm not against it, I just want new tlds to stop being approved left and right just to make profit out of basically no service.
    It's starting to get very complicated to rely on URLs and the amount of money you have to spend to keep your companys name in your hands is ridiculous.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27, 2007 @02:47AM (#17781562)
      Register your company's name under one TLD, the one which your users are most familiar with. Then sue everyone who registers your trademarked name under any other TLD: The existing name registries trump the domain name system. There is no need to register under all TLDs. On the contrary, it only causes confusion for your users and can wreak havoc with your search engine ranking if you're not doing it exactly right.

      Besides, we need many more TLDs. Not dozens more. Hundreds or thousands more. Only when there are too many domains to register under all will that insanity stop. Only then will other TLDs mean something. Today it's either .com or bust, because users rarely see something else. After all, the other TLDs are just partial duplicates of .com anyway. Even big country code TLDs often cause an unbelieving stare when the email address doesn't end in .com. The last part of the domain name isn't just a delimiter, it actually means something and can be something other than .com. It is very important that we get this message through to users. Too much mail gets misdirected to the .com domain when it should have gone to the CCTLD which belongs to the company that the user wanted to send the mail to. This has got to change, and the way is more choice, not less.
  • bad idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by insertwackynamehere (891357) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @12:34AM (#17780932) Journal
    what constitutes porn? to a lot of people it's the act of sex between two people that is captured in a form of "real" media (photos or videos as opposed to paintings). however to a lot of america (or amerikkka as liberal websites would say :/) it is nudity in a medical or anatomy book when not viewed by an artist or doctor.
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @12:38AM (#17780958) Homepage

    Would a .XXX domain be helpful for parents

    No. Really, stop asking [faqs.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As a parent, it will help me out when I am searching for pr0n so I will later have more time to spend with the kids.
  • by Spacejock (727523) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @12:39AM (#17780960) Homepage
    I help to run web filtering at a small primary school, and while I realise a TLD like this won't shift all the crud into an easily-blocked area of the net, it's a good start. Of course, the downside is that nanny-state governments can then instruct ISPs to block the TLD, thus protecting their good citizens. Protecting primary school kids is one thing, but 'protecting' adults is a whole different ball game.

    I guess I just argued for both sides of the equation. I think I'm getting fence splinters.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Conception (212279)
      On an aside, I think the only way to reliably filter at school is to have a white list of addresses approved at the firewall/router. There's just too much to blacklist reliably, and the list of whitelistable sites is probably pretty small. And with some method where kids can ask to have sites added for whatever reason, you should be able to grow the whitelist easily without worry about some bright kid circumventing or accidentally running across teh pR0n. Primary school kids don't need access to the whole i
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      i applude your sane reasoned response, and i would like to add that the very definition of becomign and adult is that you don't -need- protection from new idea's or adult situations.
    • by norton_I (64015)
      I thought I was for an optional .xxx domain, but after reading the article, and especially reading ".sex considered harmful" [ietf.org] I chanced my mind. While it is long and technical, the salient points (for me, and regarding host names for web services only) were:

      First, due to the availability of redirects and other features, it is impossible to determine whether when I type something in the location bar or click on a link, whether I will end up at a .xxx labeled site. Thus, for an adult who wishes to police him
    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      I help to run web filtering at a small primary school, and while I realise a TLD like this won't shift all the crud into an easily-blocked area of the net, it's a good start.

      No, it's just more work. It would create a new set of porn sites which you'd block. Knowing they're being blocked by people like you, most sites, ESPECIALLY the most objectionable ones (i.e. the "crud"), will keep their .com site fully active. So what do you gain? And any site you admin will be blackmailed into buying the correspond

    • Protecting primary school kids is one thing, but 'protecting' adults is a whole different ball game.
      Fuck the Children.

      If they come across a porn site "by accident" amid their travel, I considering it part of a process called "growing up". Anyone with anecdotal evidence of some random teenager's life being "consumed" by porn is hearby and forever adviced to move to Saudi Arabia. They love you there.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dogtanian (588974)

        Fuck the Children.
        Erm..... you may wish to rephrase that, unless you were actually advocating paedophilia :-O

        Anyone with anecdotal evidence of some random teenager's life being "consumed" by porn
        Teenager's lives *are* consumed by porn; heck, if you ban it like those f****d-up Wahabi tossers, 14-year-olds will still jerk off twenty times a day to two goats at it in the yard.
  • by Gazzonyx (982402) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @12:44AM (#17780988)
    I think I represent the majority of us here when I say, "Who cares?".


    This seems to be rooted solely in politics and the money thereof. Let's leave this one to the politicians, knowing when everything is said and done, more is said than done.

    Just my $.02

    • by melikamp (631205)
      I agree. One thing is for sure: whatever technical measures they might implement and whatever laws they might pass, the Interned will still resemble a series of tu... I mean, a truck full of x-rated movies.
  • sexual repression (Score:2, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436)
    this whole .xxx debate is about sexual repression. while having a .xxx domain won't stop the less responsible porn peddlers from invading the rest of the web as they already have done, it certainly won't hurt at all. what this debate is really about, it the religous right not being able to stand the thought of someone living a life style they consider sinful. if we let them have their way the world would be forced into a scary ned flanders world.
  • by JPriest (547211) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @12:52AM (#17781044) Homepage
    The reality of the matter is that even if a .xxx domain is created it

    A) makes porn easier to find
    B) Does not solve the problem of being able to filter it with parental control software because nobody is going to shut down the porn.com's.

    The porn sites have a right to exist, who are we to force them over to .xxx domains? Forcing them all to register with some central DB so they can be black listed would also be impossible becasue there is no realistic way to keep the DB updated. My solution for addressing the filtering software problem is very simple. We amend robots.txt [google.com] to include a section for Adult content. A simple addition on porn sites of a line like this would solve the problem.

    User-agent: * Disallow: /forums/
    Disallow: /members/
    Disallow: /downloads/
    Adult: /

    Sites not interested in adding the field to robots.txt are not required to by law, but many websites would be willing to accommodate something like this to assist Net Nanny etc., but would fight having to leave porn.net behind for pornforyou12341.xxx tooth and nail. On the internet your company name and your domain name are often the same. Moving them to another TLD would equate to making them shut down and start over under a new name.

    This would also greatly assist Google etc. in blocking some of these sites where "safe search" is turned on thus prevent people form going to a jenny.com by mistake and finding porn.

    I have made this suggestion a number of time in the past. Maybe I should look into what it would take to get it drafted into an RFC?

  • Just do it already (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garylian (870843) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @01:02AM (#17781092)
    I don't really get why this is such a bad idea. Especially if they make it so that any site that sells/features nudity/porn has to move to such an extension.

    Let's face it. www.whitehouse.com was one of the all-time great name squatting done. For the longest time, that was a porn site. How many kids and unsuspecting adults stumbled onto that one in the early days?

    I'm no screaming conservative by any stretch of the imagination. I lean a lot further towards liberalism than I ever though I would, mostly because I am tired of religion affecting our laws so much, and personal freedoms being stripped from us left and right.

    But I don't see any harm in setting these websites up in a much easier to control/block segment of the websphere. And many of these webmasters would love it if it was that much easier to block content by parents. Just think of all the credit card charges to crap companies that supposedly verify age because a person has a CC #? Sheesh, I had one at 16!

    At the very least, I could see killing 50% of the pop-ups I run into, simply by blocking all .xxx domains if that was the only place they could be. And all these damn library filters and crap could be made easier. Block blatant porn, and anything else is fair game. I don't see them putting the Anatomy books behind locked doors so kids can't see a drawing of a nude human, and they don't do it with National Geographic, either. This makes it easy to block porn, and keep everything else open.

    Besides, think of all the business that it would stir up for a while. All those porn banners having to be redone! hehehe
    • by bmo (77928)
      "At the very least, I could see killing 50% of the pop-ups I run into, simply by blocking all .xxx domains"

      If only.

      The .xxx domain is just another way of creating a new "land rush" for domains. That's it. It does nothing else unless you're going to, by fiat, make all porn sites move there. And who gets to define what porn is? Who decides what doesn't "contribute to the delinqency of a minor?"

      In my Dad's day it was Rock&Roll and pinball machines that were T3H 3V1L

      All because some people can't remove
    • You do understand that this proposition covers not just creating the TLD, but banning adult content from the rest of the Internet right? You don't think everyone on an entire TLD requiring CC # from people surfing there would open the door to fraud, or at least some unethical billing practices?

      I would expect a community like Slashdot to strongly oppose this measure, but this does not seem to be the case because few people bothered to realize that this proposition covers more than just a creation of another

    • Especially if they make it so that any site that sells/features nudity/porn has to move to such an extension.

      How are you going to make them, short of sending in the US marines?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You don't see why this is a bad idea? What constitutes porn?

      Does any depiction of a bare breast, buttock, vulva, or penis indicate porn? If you ask my parents then yes it does. If you ask me, I say No. Michelangelo's "David" is not pornographic. "The Birth of Venus" by Botticelli is not porn. Those two examples show my opinion on the matter. However, many others will disagree with me and will state that one or the other, or even both are pornographic. What about images that depict Dante's "Inferno"?
    • by bky1701 (979071)
      Popups hardly come from only porn sites. I have only seen less than 10% that do. Most are stupid "you won!" ads, that this will not block at all (if that's your goal, support a .ads or .spy domain...).

      A good question on the topic of porn is, why does it need blocked or moved? What is wrong with it? Do more people die from looking at porn than eating at McDonald's, fighting over religion and all other such things? No one has ever died of porn. I don't care what some loud-mouthed conservative says; porn hu
    • I don't really get why this is such a bad idea.

      I don't really get why people who are discussing Internet policy are so opposed to reading RFCs, like, for example, the RFC that specifically addresses this issue: RFC 3675 [faqs.org].

  • It's a scam (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by bmo (77928)
    It's a scam, just like Ralph Yarro's CP80. (from the Canopy/SCO scam to yet another. What, exactly, is in the water in Utah?)

    Jeez. Let's repeat this again:

    "THE INTERNET IS NOT A BABYSITTER"

    --
    BMO
    • by bmo (77928)
      Ooooh! I got modded flamebait!

      Just who have I offended?

      A. Ralph Yarro? I should be so lucky.
      B. A Canopy/SCO employee? See A.
      C. Someone with a vested interest in the .xxx scheme? See A.
      C. Someone who lives in Utah, has absolutely no sense of humor and doesn't get the Ralph Yarro reference? DING DING DING DING!

      Slashdot amazes me sometimes. *smirk*

      OB On topic:

      Back before Myspace (my eyes! my eyes!), the truckloads of spam, and a lot of the other evil stuff that happens on the 'net (yes, myspace is evi
  • If we care.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by wanax (46819) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @01:24AM (#17781184)
    The basic issue of porn, etc, isn't gonna go away: a significant proportion of people think that sex is bad/dirty etc. In the US we now have a fairly zealous set of laws prohibiting various sexual action/production (just look at the ESPN.com headline yesterday about the 17 year old who's in prison 10 year mandatory for getting a blow job from a 15 year old). With people that are willing to agitate for these beliefs around, I think in terms of technology we should work to make things like porn as clearly classed as possible, like the xxx domain. I would much rather fight over these issues in the .xxx domain, rather than having my freedoms circumscribed in misguided efforts to attain the approval of the zealous because porn is 'hard to filter.'
  • by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro.gmail@com> on Saturday January 27, 2007 @01:32AM (#17781230) Homepage Journal
    While I can't speak much about the registry part of a .xxx name, I believe that it would be useful in the long run.

    While porn ad sites don't care about age, regular pay-for-porn sites would probably prefer those with access to a credit card, meaning those who can likely be there legally. Basically, market the .xxx name for sites that are looking for a purely adult audience. Not just porn, but maybe places like adultfriendfinder, discussions involving less pleasent ideas, and so forth.

    The government could work off this, too. They allow it to pass, and encourage its adoption by the "less scrupulous businesses", and in return for them moving to a .xxx and helping the government look better at "protecting children", the FBI and what not leans off them a little. Yes, there are filters in place for porn, but they aren't always the best- it can be hard to teach a basic filter the difference between HOT NAKED BOOBIES and a page about breast cancer. Along with blocking out content that shouldn't be, it means that content that shouldn't get through does. A .xxx domain would ensure that the filter knows what to and not to pick out. (Hell, some crappy ones might now mark this page as pornographic since I mentioned "boobies".)

    I can understand the fear of governments forcing porn sites to move to .xxx, and thus bringing us into the realm of "what exactly defines porn", but if it can stay as optional as choosing a .com or .net domain, then I don't see a large downfall. I'm sure others will disagree with me, though, and reply as such. (I welcome this, as someone may talk about a point I haven't thought of.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pestilence669 (823950)
      Web pages about breast cancer are next on the list to be censored. Remember, the U.S.A. believes that all breasts, regardless of context, are sinful & dirty. Even breast feeding an infant will get people wound up.

      The breasts are for feeding children. Somehow, everyone has forgotten that they are just food dispensers. The anti-porn movement has begun to influence common sensibilities. "Moral values" groups would rather have mothers feed their child formula (much less healthy), than risk exposing a nipple
    • by crashnbur (127738)
      Basically, market the .xxx name for sites that are looking for a purely adult audience. Not just porn...

      If you want to include sites aimed primarily at adults that aren't porn, then perhaps .xxx isn't the best top-level domain for them. I can think of only a handful of domains that could work, .adult seeming to be an obvious choice, but since .com or .org can work for those sites as well, why do we need an adult-only domain name again?

      On a lighter note, this story and its comments will be one of the top-ran
    • Nope (Score:3, Insightful)

      The problem isn't filtering content. The problem is that domain names are a terrible way to do it (see RFC 3675 [faqs.org]), and there are better ways of doing it (see PICS [w3.org]).

      As for a voluntary .xxx, the public and legislators will misunderstand its limitations. It's practically begging for bad law. It's better not to set it up in the first place.

  • Who gets the licensing money for TLD's anyway? ICANN?

    Anyway, the company (presumably the one in the article summary) stands to make millions auctioning off the prized .xxx domains. Don't assume for a second that sex.xxx or xxx.xxx is going to sell for $10/year or whatever the going rate for a .com is today. They will go to the highest bidder, probably for 7 or maybe even 8 figures.

    IMHO, I'd leave it as it is. You'll never get ALL the porn sites to move to .xxx's, and everyone will end up getting the .xx
  • Damn the puritans (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pestilence669 (823950) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @01:47AM (#17781296)
    The idea that the Internet should be made "safe" is offensive to me on so many levels. If parents would do their job and not let their kids roam the Internet unsupervised, this entire argument would disappear. I, for one, want the puritans the hell away from technology legislation. What about you?

    The Internet is not a playground for children. It's not a fun Christian diversion. It's a network for anyone and everyone to connect to one another electronically. Let's not turn it into Disneyland or Utah. The last thing society needs is FCC-like regulations on everything they do online. Besides, the responsibility in raising children shouldn't fall into the hands of people than don't have any. Parents need to police this issue, not parents AND single individuals.

    The "save the children" argument is just a cheap way to achieve the anti-porn agenda. Don't be fooled. It has nothing to do with kids. Trust me, they'll have pre-marital sex and get each other pregnant without online porn. It's been happening for 1,000's of years and will happen for a thousand more. Humans will do what they're biologically designed to do. Legislation can't stop that.

    It CAN, however, open the door for more censorship-inspired legislation. How long until the FCC steps in and begins to fine people that use profanity online? I don't think I'm exaggerating my fears. It's already ridiculous that you can't say "Shit" on the radio. After all, how many kids listen to Larry King Live?

    Censorship of any kind is fascism. It doesn't matter what cause it's attached to. Today it's porn. Tomorrow it's anti-Americanism. Just because you may not agree with porn, doesn't mean that laws should be passed to control it. Look away. Install commercially available filtering products. Don't let your kids surf unsupervised. For that matter, don't leave your kids unsupervised near ANYTHING you don't want them around. Just don't ask big brother to watch over you. That fucks us all.
    • It's insanely easy to block a whole TLD, but no one's forcing you to block it, and no one's forcing pornographers to use it. Hell, plenty of them already have "You must be 18 or over" links, and even banner ads for things like NetNanny.

      And you aren't exaggerating your fears, really, but you are having a knee-jerk reaction to one immediate assumption. It's true, this article makes that assumption, but you can still stop frothing at the mouth and try to look at this sanely. You are not required to be a corpor
  • It used to work fine for g.o.a.t.s.e. .cx But, maybe it gives too bad vibes for pr0n viewers too.
  • Since there's no perfect solution let's do nothing seems to be the attitude. The primary opposition in truth seems to be the percieved feeling that it legitimizes porn in some way. At least it would give them a fighting chance to block the bulk of porn. It's a loosing battle to remove all porn. Start doing image searches on Google, you'll find lots of nudity. Everyone wants a magic bullet solution. There is none.
  • by Flwyd (607088) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @02:14AM (#17781426) Homepage
    With a .xxx TLD I'd finally be able to distinguish between fullofspunk.net as a motivational business website and fullofspunk.xxx as a site featuring pictures and videos of semen.

    It will also allow us to distinguish between sites run by Landover Baptist Church, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
  • Categories? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by abes (82351) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @02:16AM (#17781436) Homepage
    At first glance, the .xxx idea seems fine to me. Right now the .com domain space is cluttered with random domain names that will bring up porn. It's not so much the children, as just the sanity of it all. The probability that you can type in a random URL and likely pull up porn says that the usefulness of the domain name is diminishing.

    The domain name is supposed to be some type of mapping between a company's name, general interest, etc. to a specific web page. This was great when the web was small, but even without all the porn, it still mostly fails. Thus the search engine.

    So URLs are relegated to (sometimes) brand name, (sometimes) company names, bookmarks, and printed ads. That is, all other times, it doesn't really matter what the domain name is.

    The .xxx TLD ends up being a small subset of a larger problem, and doesn't even fix the subset problem. As many people have suggested, it's not going to force porn companies from using .com. It may act as a magnet for children, though I'll suspect most browsers will block .xxx by default (think of the children!). Making the entire venture, a method to get lots of money for some TLD company.

    Perhaps a better approach would be to actually put some structure on naming. A hierarchical is already somewhat in use per domain, but is not problem free. Also, name.adult.com is essentially the same as name.xxx.

    Tagging is an already wide-used technique employed on the net, why not use it for names too? The tags can be done in an inclusive manner, such that an organization can allow acceptance of a particular web page to that tag. For example, 'child' could be applied to make sure there is no objectionable material. But wait, by whose standard? Well, there could be several 'child' tag organizations. For parents, they can pick the one which agrees with their standards.

    Am I in favor of censorship? Definitely not. But I'm also going to have to live with the fact that some people are going to disagree with my sensibilities. Why not give them their own playground, and get them out of mine?
  • by Derling Whirvish (636322) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @02:25AM (#17781474) Journal
    If it is such a good idea, then why don't webmasters use xxx instead of www in their URLs? It would allow for all the filtering that a top-level domain name would. Just label a site something like "xxx.pr0n.com" instead of "www.pr0n.com". Simple.

    Or is it simply about the registrars making more money off of a new TLD?
  • by nathanh (1214) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @03:44AM (#17781814) Homepage

    This might be controversial but I think top-level domains - .com, .edu, .gov, .org, .net - are all a bad idea. It's a bad user interface. I understand the technical reasons why they exist but technology shouldn't be an excuse for a broken interface. Here are several reasons why top-levels suck.

    1. They are a limited number of categories that will never satisfy everybody. The basic ones seem obvious - .org, .com, .gov, .edu, .net - but really that's not enough. In Australia we also have .asn.au and .id.au. Even that's not enough. The .xxx top-level is an attempt to corral all pornographic domains into a single top-level domain. Why stop there? Who not create .religion and .news as well? I'll tell you why not; it's a slippery slope and it'll never end. Top-level domains are attempting to use taxonomy to attach metadata to the URL and it's doomed to failure because there will never be sufficient variety.

    2. It leads to cross-domain squatting. The classic example was whitehouse.com - a porn site - which caught unwary travellers who were looking for whitehouse.gov. The converse example is a company like Ebay who needs .ebay.com but what about .ebay.org? It isn't registered and Ebay is never going to be given .ebay.org, so it's stupid for the DNS to permit it as an option.

    3. The geographical breakdown is equally useless. Lots of Australia companies register .com domains because it's "cooler" which means the geographical taxonomy is immediately broken. It also means an international company has to register several dozen (160+) second-level domains (.com, .co.uk, .com.au, .co.jp, .com.ca, etc). It would make much more sense to browse http://ebay/au/ [ebay] because then Ebay has an international presence. Apple has the right idea here because that's exactly what they do; all their geographical top-levels redirect to http://apple.com/xy/ [apple.com].

    4. The user shouldn't need to care. Why should a newbie to the Internet be required to type .com after the name for companies, .edu after the name for universities, etc? How would they even know? Especially given point #2 that typically there isn't going to be any variation; only one of the combinations will be valid. In fact, most browsers automatically append .com because they know the user is going to type "ebay" rather than "ebay.com". But that's fricking useless for everybody who isn't in the USA (ie, most of us).

    5. Some companies straddle the line and don't fit neatly into either category. An example in Australia is Telstra - are they .com.au or .net.au? Are they .net.au when they provide network services but .com.au when they provide non-network services? In fact the distinction is as clear as mud: Telstra has both .net.au and .com.au and they mush them together as they feel like. It makes a mess of the browser security because you can be on telstra.com.au one minute and the next link will take you to telstra.net.au. User. Interface. Disaster.

    Now you can disagree with some or all of those points. Hell, Slashdot seems to be full of nitpickers who delight in pointing out grammatical mistakes, so I wouldn't be surprised if somebody said "but without TLD our CEO will be OMG WTF, LOL". But ignore the technical details - they're just problems to solve - and look at the big picture: top-level domains are a broken user interface and no amount of patching will fix it. It was OK as the prototype but because it's the prototyp

    • by joto (134244)

      An intelligent naming system should have intelligent names:

      Flame away.

      I disagree. There's no way we can get everyone to agree that the name "Apple" should point to a machine serving web-pages for the company Apple. There's plenty of other alternatives that are just as sensible. Such as that record-company by the Beatles, the worlds gr

  • by chris_sawtell (10326) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @04:57AM (#17782056) Journal
    That would fix the filtering problem simply and for ever. Also the people should be informed that the numbers are just as good as, if not better than, names. Thus all the interesting numbers would get some intellectual value. Why have the General Electric Company not exploited the IP address 3.4.5.6 for example? Surely that's worth a bob or two? Wake up shareholders of the corporations which hold class A domain numbers, you can sue your corporate directors for not maximising the return on your funds! Taken to the obvious conclusion, a Class A IP number squatter should have all 16 million numbers taken off them and these numbers reserved for porn servers. How about the unused 51/8 network for a start? That would free up 4,294,967,296 numbers which could be especially reserved for porn servers. On the other hand the current user of those numbers could exploit them to provide a substantial income to the British DHSS, who are the current number squatters. Rent your porn server IP number by paying the pension of a poor Briton! Bags 51.52.53.54! The very ages when a flagging body actually needs perking up with a bit of visual stimulation. The mind boggles as to the value of that number. Surely that would keep the even most debauched users of porn happy for a while? As for a .xxx TLD! Well really!! That is just fraud pure and simple. To separate suposedly undesirable content from the rest of the HTTP traffic you just pass a worldwide law to put the all the porn servers on a port other than 80. It's a one digit change in the Apache web server config file. And creating a browser which won't work on that port so as to protect the children's parents from the embarrasment of having to explain to their little ones what the genital organs are for.
    • The easy solution is to block everything apart from the following netblocks

          10/8
          127/8
          172.16/12
          192.168/16

      No more porn (except the stuff you host locally).

      And while we're at it, how about a .spam domain for all spammers and a requirement that all spam be sent from a given netblock?

      (tongue firmly in cheek)
  • So even if you were able to wave a magic wand and put every porn website on a *.xxx TLD, you have not addressed the problem of the link adverts / banners / clickthrus.

    Pulling a number out of my ass, probably half of the websites out there that rely on advertising / banners and clickthrus to exist in the first place do so with "normal" adverts, ebay, amazon, x10 webcams etc.

    Which means half of them rely on porn adverts, so you will have half the commercial websites out there, on .com .net and so on TLDs feat
  • by thedbp (443047) on Saturday January 27, 2007 @12:07PM (#17783808)
    I'm sure the original architects, users, and maintainers of the WWW in the government and educational realms felt the exact same way about the .COM moniker being created in order to open the floodgate of commercialism into their tiny, intellectual ecosystem. And they were right for thinking so. They probably had more reason to be upset about THAT change than ANYONE has to be upset about THIS change.

    Adding .XXX on top of .COM is like going to a guy with 90% burns all over his body and holding his hand over a lighter. Yeah, sure you may do a LITTLE damage, but in comparison to what's already been done its meaningless.

    The 'net was raped when corporations were allowed to turn it into a vast wasteland of advertising, marketing, and surveillance.

    Adding a designated porn area is just the natural progression of things.
  • Who would decide. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cyno01 (573917) <Cyno01@hotmail.com> on Saturday January 27, 2007 @10:49PM (#17787538) Homepage
    Every time this comes up, and people go "This isn't such a bad idea...", they dont stop to think, who decides what is porn?!? We cant even legally define it, "I know it when i see it." is not a valid system for this kind of thing. Other posters have touched on this. A whitelisted .kid TLD is a much better idea.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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