Sips from the Firehose
A blog that seeks to filter the internet into a refreshing, easily-gulped beverage


Aug 15

Die, Domain Tasters! Die!

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OK, I’m maybe a little over-emotional about this subject. But if you’ve ever tried to help some friends come up with a decent domain name for their business idea ONLY TO SEE SOME KNUCKLEHEAD SWOOP IN, BUY IT AND TRY TO HOLD YOU UP FOR BIG BUCKS, then you can understand my pain/outrage.

And now, my schadenfreude, over the news that ICANN’s crackdown on the practice, known as “Domain Tasting,” where some scum-sucking digital scammer would track the domain names you searched for, and then snarf them up before you made the decision to register them.  Then they’d taunt you via e-mails with the carefully crafted URL you had come up with, and demand that you fork over exorbitant sums.  This happened to me on a regular basis.

Then a year ago, ICANN started charging these internet douchebags when they cancelled too many domains.

The result? In June 2008, there were 15.7 million “returns” on registered domains.  In June 2009? 37,000.

Yeah, baby!

According to Ars Technica, the domain tasters are pissed that this free stream of stolen money is getting snatched from their lazy, greedy paws. Nut graf:

One of the unfortunate aspects of networked computing is that the cost of antisocial behaviors is so small (especially if you have access to a botnet) that it’s easy to profit from activities that make the Internet a less pleasant place. It’s nice to see that ICANN has figured out how to make one of these behaviors unprofitable, but it will be difficult or impossible to apply this model to many other unpleasant scams… or spams.

Oh, if only.  Can we pleez haz some way to make the spammers pay for clogging our Interpipes? They are certainly correct in pointing out that reducing the cost of distribution to effectively zero has paved the way for deceitful knobs to make all our lives miserable and prey on any idiots still naive enough not to recognize the Spanish Prisoner/Nigerian Prince scam. It’d be nice if internet companies started figuring out “antibodies” to rid ourselves of these persistent parasites.

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