Website Addresses Will Never Be the Same

Adrian Chen · 06/20/11 03:22PM

ICANN, the international organization in charge of web domain names, has just decided to allow people to register pretty much anything as a top-level domain. That means instead of boring old .com and .net, we could be visiting "www.cute.dogs" soon.

Facebook's Insanely Aggressive War on Critics

Ryan Tate · 05/26/11 03:12PM

Facebook really doesn't want you criticizing its technology. Especially via a domain name you bought for that very purpose. That's why the social network has assumed control of such incredibly specific domain names as Paranoid much?

Get Ready for Filthy .XXX Domain Names

Adrian Chen · 03/18/11 04:17PM

ICANN, the international governing body responsible for doling out website domains, has approved the .xxx domain for porn sites. According to PC magazine, the purpose is to "carve out a portion of the Internet that will be set aside for the adult entertainment industry." Already, over 200,000 .xxx sites have been pre-registered. Finally, a place for porn on the Internet! Oh, wait, isn't that already the entire Internet?

Get Ready for .xxx

Max Read · 06/25/10 01:16AM

The shadowy Masonic cabal that controls the internet will likely approve the ".xxx" domain name system—intended for porn sites and Mötley Crüe drummers—tomorrow. Your "x" key will be worn out by next week. [Reuters]

Bill Clinton Wants His Domain Names Back

Owen Thomas · 04/12/09 04:00PM

In the late '90s, private investigator Joe Culligan registered and other Clintonesque domain names as a joke. Now Bill Clinton's lawyer is pursuing legal action to get the website addresses. It's payback, says Culligan.

The Cityfile Collection

cityfile · 12/12/08 10:08AM

Given the lengths to which prominent New Yorkers go to control their public profiles, you'd think they would have purchased their domain names by now. It's a $4 investment, which we're pretty sure billionaires like Jonathan Tisch, Steve Feinberg or Edgar Bronfman Jr. can afford, even if this is the greatest depression ever. After all, four bucks doesn't even buy you a glass of wine at a Jeffrey Chodorow restaurant or Noah Tepperberg-owned club. Or a square inch of real estate controlled by Jerry Speyer. Or a square inch of canvas at one of Larry Gagosian's galleries. As you may have read, we've been collecting names over the past few months. It's a bonus for you: Now you just need to go, say, or or to get directly to their profiles—no pesky searching involved! We've accumulated more than 100 names so far. If you're interested, you can peruse an incomplete list after the jump.

Why eBay's star CEO isn't famous enough for politics

Owen Thomas · 12/10/08 03:20PM

After making billions of dollars by changing the world, tech moguls start dreaming of ruling it. But the political career of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman seems stillborn. Why? She's just not a household name.

Meg Whitman asks for her websites back

Owen Thomas · 11/05/08 08:00PM

Tired of endless campaigns for higher office? Sorry! California's 2010 race for governor is right around the corner. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman hasn't formally entered the race, but she's already busy making gaffes and working on her Web presence. Her reps are pursuing trademark claims against Thomas Hall, a domain-name squatter who registered,, and others. Hall told the Sacramento Bee he felt strong-armed when contacted by Whitman's lawyers, and refused to sell. The Whitman camp is now spending $30,000 or more to recover the domain names through an arbitration process set up by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Any doubts she's running for governor? offline — but check out who owns it

Owen Thomas · 10/30/08 12:40PM

Another embarrassing outage for Facebook: The homepage for is displaying a set of directories, as if the server had been wiped clean. Before you blame Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg for this one, check out the domain-name registration. is registered to one Cameron Winklevoss; last year, it displayed a placeholder homepage. So who's Cameron Winklevoss, and what makes this deception so intriguing?Cameron and his twin brother Tyler famously sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he copied the code for his site from ConnectU, a similar social network they asked him to help code while they were all students at Harvard. Facebook and ConnectU settled the lawsuit earlier this year. One wonders if Facebook's lawyers forgot to ask for the UK domain name.

Your typos keep 200 Googlers employed

Alaska Miller · 10/22/08 02:20PM

Harvard professor and professional Internet gadfly Ben Edelman has released a study that says Google may be making $32 million to $50 million a year from "typosquatting," a practice in which cunning linguists register mistyped domain names in the hope that slips of your fingers will translates into pageviews and ad clicks. Why, that's enough to save the jobs of some 200 overpaid engineers from Google's otherwise-certain layoffs!Google has an advertising service, AdSense for Domains, specifically designed for these domain-name profiteers. But the company's flacks deny that such sites make money for the search engine. Maybe they should give it a try on the 9,984 domain names they do own?

Kentucky can take your domain name if it feels like it

Alaska Miller · 10/20/08 02:40PM

A judge's ruling last month to allow Kentucky's governor to seize domain names to gambling websites is being upheld. One reprieve that the judge did grant was to let site operators keep their domain names if they install Internet filters to block out any IP address from Kentucky. [TechDirt]

Debate's "Joe the Plumber" not cashing in on Web fame

Alaska Miller · 10/16/08 04:40PM

If you weren't live-tweeting the debate last night, you have missed out on all the hoopla concerning Joe the Plumber — the Ohio Mr. Clean doppelganger that asked Obama about his tax plans for small businesses — now being used as the archetype for American blue collar. But it's another Joe, one from Texas, who owns and is reaping the rewards.Since the debate, Texas Joe's website has reportedly garnered hundreds of thousands of pageviews, 300 requests for T-shirts, thousands of phone calls, and even a $800,000 offer for the domain name itself. Joe should get in touch with Julia Allison right now to extend the snooze button on his 15 minutes, but at least I know who I'm going to dress up as for Halloween.

Alaskan Web designer squatting on

Owen Thomas · 10/08/08 04:00PM

How has the McCain campaign let a key domain name,, escape their grasp? The domain was first registered back in 2004, and renewed in April of this year, well before there was any talk of Alaska's governor as a vice-presidential candidate. The owner of the domain, Peter Torkelson, has taken measures to disguise his link to the site after being outed in August. He's changed the registration to a "proxy" which hides his name and address. But Palin was surely aware of who owned the domain beforehand. With a month left before the election, why is it still up for sale?