Tag Archives: web addresses

New domain names voted in – news.stories anyone?

The regulatory body which controls domain names has voted to increase the domain suffixes from 22.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will offer hundreds of additions to the likes of .gov, .org and .com including .coke, .apple and .bbc, it has announced on its website.

But opting for a suffix such as .news or .stories (news.stories anyone?) will cost you a significant sum. To avoid so-called cyber-squatting and the buying up and selling on of domain suffixes, ICANN is charging companies $185,000 (£114,000) to apply, the BBC is reporting. Applications for will be accepted from 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012.

The so-called called generic top-level domains (gTLDs) “will change the way people find information on the internet and how businesses plan and structure their online presence”, a statement on ICANN’s website states. “Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language, offering organisations around the world the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways.”

“ICANN has opened the internet’s naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today’s decision respects the rights of groups to create new top level domains in any language or script. We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind,” said Rod Beckstrom, president and chief executive officer of ICANN.

The new domain names will therefore benefit users of other languages such as Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

Monkey puzzled: Bizarre Express URL actually Goldacre’s handiwork

So, Guardian’s Media Monkey reports a funny URL on an Express story entitled ‘Danger from just 7 cups of coffee a day’:

“(…) mention this after catching sight of the URL at the top of the story, which ends with the immortal phrase ‘utter-cock-as-usual'”

But – the plot thickens – actually it was the work of the Monkey’s colleague, as Monkey updates below the original post. Yes, Dr Ben Goldacre, Guardian columnist among other occupations, lays claim to the mischievous URL. He writes on the Bad Science blog:

“Heh, er, so obviously I’m delighted that my grown up humour slipped unnoticed into the Guardian’s Media Monkey today, but ‘Utter Cock As Usual‘ was not the web address of the Express’s recent storyDanger from just 7 cups of coffee a day‘.

“It’s just the web address I cheekily gave it on my blog post two weeks ago. I thought this was fairly well known, but for those who haven’t joined in the lolz, the websites of Express and the Telegraph, at least, let you substitute whatever text you want at the end of their web addresses.”

A week of innovation from Al Jazeera ends with launch of mobile sites

Media coverage on Al Jazeera English hasn’t always been positive, but since its launch it’s done some interesting things multimedia-wise: launching all its content on YouTube, in April 2007, for example (its English content page can be found here).

More broadly the Al Jazeera network, which includes the Arabic channels, has also not been afraid to try out new technology, with the launch of a ‘citizen-journalism upload portal’ for example.

This week we’ve reported on its video content partnership with the Independent newspaper site. While they’ve tightened up the PR act (no longer in-house, it’s managed by Brown Lloyd James, the same agency that handles press for the Telegraph group) these are newsworthy developments.

Events in Gaza have been a chance for Al Jazeera to experiment and show off its multimedia – through projects showcased at Al Jazeera Labs. Follow Al Jazeera’s head of new media, Mohamed Nanabhay, @Mohamed, on Twitter to find out more.

Particularly exciting is its release of material under a Creative Commons licence, in its 3.0 form – allowing other sites reproduce the broadcaster’s video content as long as they attribute the source.

Today comes further news from the broadcaster: the beta launch of its Arabic and English mobile websites, which will work on any mobile handset with web browsing ability.

“Users only need to bookmark the following web addresses on their mobile, for English news http://m.aljazeera.net/, and for Arabic news http://ma.aljazeera.net/,” a release from the company said.

“The mobile web initiative is one of the key services that is being launched as part of our New Media strategy”, Saeed Othman Bawazir, Al Jazeera’s director of technology, said in the release.

“The aim is to make our content more accessible to new audiences across various new platforms. With the launch of this mobile service, we hope to provide our audience with a customized news browsing experience on the mobile device of their choice,” he said.

This initiative includes ‘delivering video and other content over interactive platforms,’ such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and iTunes, the release said.


An end to WHOIS?

Today a committee at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will deal with calls for the ‘internet addressbook’ service WHOIS to be shut down over privacy concerns.

For those who have not used WHOIS before: the site provides access to contact details for registered owners of web addresses. A simple search of the WHOIS database by domain name brings up the info.

Its a useful tool for journalists wanting to establish who is behind online offerings and as a means of tracking down publishers details.

According to an Associated Press report, privacy groups argue that website publishers should not have to part with so much personal information just to set up a website. There are also issues surrounding the use of WHOIS by spammers.

But, as the headline of the AP article suggests, scrapping WHOIS would be a step too far. Not only is it a valuable resource for businesses, lawyers and the media, but shutting it down would be a rash answer to an ongoing debate over who is allowed access to such information and how.

This is something that ICANN has been discussing for some time now – let’s hope they don’t give up the search for a more workable solution now.