Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

Snuffing Out Starforce

I have fulminated against the evils of the Starforce copy protection system before, specifically with reference to a Ubisoft product, and it seems that for once the plaintive cries of us mere consumers was not in vain. Ubisoft have officially announced that they are stripping the much loathed protection software from all future release. From my perspective that means it’s now safe to consider buying PC releases from them again, and hopefully more publishers will follow suit after seeing the immensely positive reaction from gamers. Incidentally, since I know just how mature Starforce employees are, I kindly request that you refrain from defacing this site in retaliation.

Dot Com, Dot EU, Don't CareEuropean .eu domain names were made publically available just a few days ago and already no less than 1,454,218 have been registered. One must wonder, however, whether in this age of searchable Google-dominated internet use your URL really matters any more. The Google philosophy is certainly the “content is king” approach, no matter where the information is located. So while it is undoubtedly true that having a domain to yourself is useful (and would be somewhat hypocritical of me to say otherwise), is its actual name nearly so important as the soaring price tags would suggest?

I’m now packing for my return to uncivilised life on Monday so as usual that means if you have any DVD requests for this term, check out The DVD List and let me know immediately.

Finally, if anyone has knowledge of or information on the FreshMinds Ones to Watch programme, please let me know.

4 Comments

  1. I’m not awfully confident of the contents of this, it’s just from scan-reading the gumf that my domain senders keep sending me.

    >European .eu domain names were made publically available just a few days ago and already no less than 1,454,218 have been registered.

    I think perhaps this is a little misleading.

    I believe they have just become ‘publically’ available to the normal registration procedures, we’ve had what is refered to as a ‘landrush’ for many months now, were people with a prior interest can pre-register for arbitrartion. I suspect most of these domains will have been registered during this period, as that’s when the big-bugs get their domains.

    >One must wonder, however, whether in this age of searchable Google-dominated internet use your URL really matters any more.

    Hmmm… There’s a lot of fear in the .com community of brand-theft, domain hijacking, reputation damage etc. It used to be the case that porn sites/spammers would register mistyped URLs for sites like Yahoo and Google. Thus you will see major companies not only registering domains in their own name, but all the mis-types, mis-spellings and even different pronunciations (MikeRowSoft case anyone?)

    >The Google philosophy is certainly the “content is king” approach, no matter where the information is located.

    Not quite the case I’m afraid. Google’s PageRank engine gives you a lot of bonus points if the search clause is at least partially contained within the URL.

    >So while it is undoubtedly true that having a domain to yourself is useful (and would be somewhat hypocritical of me to say otherwise), is its actual name nearly so important as the soaring price tags would suggest?

    Indeed, I don’t know what the prices for .eu are.

    I think there are other questions here:

    1. Diluation of people’s ability to remember domains. (If I tell you that you should look at ‘meewella.eu’ are you likely to remember the ending? Now if meewella.net takes you somewhere else, are you going to try all of them?)

    2. Financial inequality. n domain names, really doesn’t hurt the likes of Microsoft, who just extend their DNS mappings slightly, but it would really sting me if I were to try and register all of the endings for the domains I manage. I also don’t have the time to sync that many ?-Name records.

    3. Namism. Some poor country has the ending .tv and have it roundly abused by the TV companies.

    The only one of these endless domain suggestions which I thought was sensible was .xxx. That way we could seperate that ‘industry’ out to where people don’t have to ‘observe’ such content if they don’t wish to.

    .eu will also be a political pawn of the increasingly hot conflict between the EU and the USA over who runs the DNS architecture for the internet.

    Having said which I was approached by someone who wanted me to register certain major companies .eu, then provide forwarding services to deflamatory websites about said companies that he ran. So someone obviously thinks its worthwhile….

    Right that’s enough, otherwise I’m going to do Dragon an injury.

  2. You raise several good points. You are certainly right that many of 1.5 million were registered prior to public registration. But I understand that although these were intended for those with prior interest, many others managed to slip in through the backdoor to grab “profitable” domains, which is what I was interested in.

    Mistyped domains do earn a lot of money, but the mistype is based on the actual URL itself. “Google” was not a word synonymous with searching until people were used to typing google.com into the browser, at which point misspelled variations became profitable for domain parking.

    Google’s PageRank rewards those with the search term within the URL but, given some of the traffic this site has received, I think this applies strongly throughout the URL including page name, not merely the domain itself.

    I actually toyed with the wording about soaring price tags but it was still unclear. I was referring to the recent resurgence in all domains, not merely .eu — blue.com recently went for half a million dollars and is just filled with domain parking ads.

    The other questions you raise towards the end are spot on. It’s definitely the smaller organisations/individuals who will lose out. More domains means more difficult to remember (and indeed I chose meewella.com over meewella.co.uk for just that reason).

    Tuvalu being “roundly abused” over the .tv domain is arguable, of course. They make a minimum of $4mil/yr for the next 10yrs over the agreement with dotTV and do sit on its board of directors as a significant minority shareholder. There was undoubtedly great pressure on them to enter the agreement but that’s capitalism for you…

  3. >many others managed to slip in through the backdoor to grab “profitable” domains, which is what I was interested in.

    Why doesn’t this suprise me? 🙁

    >at which point misspelled variations became profitable for domain parking.

    Indeed. And we now have utterly ridiculous situations like ‘Photography.com’ being used as a parking marketed address. In a sensible system ICANN and the like would spend their time evicting people like this, rather than threaterning to evict me from a .NAME domain for not disclosing my address, phone number etc. etc. to the world. (Not that I’m bitter at all).

    >Google’s PageRank rewards those with the search term within the URL but, given some of the traffic this site has received, I think this applies strongly throughout the URL including page name, not merely the domain itself.

    Fair enough, I can well believe that.

    >…soaring price tags … blue.com recently went for half a million dollars and is just filled with domain parking ads.

    I know one or two of the highly-successful .COM people tolerably well. These people lived through the first .COM implosion, by actually having viable businessed.

    They are now increasingly frequrently talking about .COM bubble 2.0, hype surrounding AJAX, domains being bought and sold for ridiculous amounts of money, Venture Capitalists funding people with no viable businesses, ‘celebrity .COMers who know nothing’ and business plans like ‘get noticed, get bought’… It’s all happening again, don’t go buying technology shares if you want to keep your money.

    The cynic in me says that Google is leading the rise, and I wouldn’t be suprised if they lead the fall as well.

    >Tuvalu being “roundly abused” over the .tv domain is arguable, of course. They make a minimum of $4mil/yr for the next 10yrs over the agreement with dotTV and do sit on its board of directors as a significant minority shareholder. There was undoubtedly great pressure on them to enter the agreement but that’s capitalism for you…

    I’m sure that $4E6 is a value for money investment… Scratches head…

  4. ICANN threatened to evict you from a .NAME!? That’s bizarre given the crap they let go without a fuss. I suppose they pick the easy targets instead of the proper ones. It’s terrible that individuals have to put up with that though.

    The .COM buble 2.0 is definitely right by the looks of the weird-ass stuff people are investing in atm. I’d be interested to hear what else they have to say.

    As for Tuvalu, I guess for an island with a population of 10,000 (who therefore probably don’t need that many domains themselves) $4mil/yr for essentially doing nothing probably seemed like a good idea at the time (that’s the minimum anyway, the actual amount is based on proceeds in some shape or form). Sure they could (and perhaps should) have got a lot more, but that’s how big business vs. little business deals always go. And the little business is often quite happy. I wasn’t condoning it, just suggesting it’s no different from our local breed of capitalism. :-??

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