State authorities, accustomed to controlling gambling within their borders, have been largely frustrated in their efforts to police Internet betting. Kentucky judge Thomas Wingate has hit on a novel strategy: Taking away offshore gambling sites' domain names. The state is taking control of 141 domain names, including sportsbook.com and caribbeangold.com. Novel, but unlikely to be effective; sites will switch to other countries' domains, or — worst-case scenario — have gamblers type in numerical IP addresses. What, you think gambling addicts will balk at having to remember four numbers? The State of Kentucky, which is already in the gambling business, should just expand online and compete directly with its offshore rivals. That seems easier.
Sure, the internet is great, but you never know when some disgruntled person will go out and register a domain name that has to do with you. So 35% of companies "own the domain name for their brand followed by the word 'sucks.'" As well they should! Some companies are more thorough than others. Xerox has XeroxStinks.com and IHateXerox.org, for example, whereas Dell could buy DellIsEvil.com, but doesn't think it's worth it. Either way, it's clear corporations aren't doing their homework—the following domain names are, unconscionably, still available right this minute for anyone to buy:
Hard to believe it's been 37 years since the oversized, photo-driven Look magazine folded. (Bonus trivia: Stanley Kubrick got his start there as a photographer.) Today, I think the guy trying to raise two mil for the look.com domain is aiming too high. The whole world has proven they can learn to spell Google, eBay and Amazon. What do you think a look.com site would be in 2008? It seems perfect for a search engine — hey, isn't look Gaelic for knowledge?
The Fed love a good porn investigation. Allegedly, John Gray, CEO of the strip-club-industrial complex Spearmint Rhino, has been illegally taking control of domains owned by his former business partner, Michael Ninn, best known for the kind of arty, high-gloss hardcore films that almost take themselves too seriously to be porn. The FBI is rumored to be investigating. On the one hand, it's good that the naked-lady biz has its corporate-level disputes treated fairlly by the cops. On the less-lubed hand? The tipster alerting us to this case offers a better remedy: Perhaps Mr. Gray could focus on his actual naked-lady biz and drop the overpriced drinks and cover charges. (Photo via AVN)
Saying he was screwed out of $56,000, Allen Harkleroad of Web design and development firm GMP Services in Stonesboro, Georgia started website Sprint Sucks. It's an absolutely mesmerizing look into the incredibly energetic businessman's obsession. Harkleroad registered the domain sprint-really-sucks.com on May 12, and has already posted well over 5,000 words describing the company's bad service and overcharges in detail.
Google owns 9,984 domain names. Our favorite is bayareaburritos.com, but
mariolovespasta.com comes close. Typing out marissalovescupcakes.com is only wishful thinking. Royal Pingdom rounded up 50 or so of Google's "funny, strange and surprising" favorites. From that list, we've pared it down to ten. It's hard to imagine a sillier, or more profitable, domain name than Google.com. But try your best: Which domain name would you choose for Google's search engine?
Starbucks has an unofficial blog, as do Apple, Google. But Craigslist has not had a blog, unofficial or otherwise (unless you count Craig Newmark's thoughts on national politics). That changed last month when Tim White launched the unofficial Craigslist Blog. Now White's blog has been countered with an official one, written by CEO Jim Buckmaster. Between posts, Buckmaster decided to threaten a lawsuit. Chilling Effects suggests Tim White, the blogger behind the unofficial site, might have a case for saving his site's domain name. Buckmaster's letter, and White's feisty response, after the jump:
Dumb money on display: A publicly traded Japanese company, CyberAgent, has put $1 million of its shareholders' money on a video search engine called Fooooo, or as its radio ads will surely call it, "that's 'ef' followed by five 'ohs' — 'ef oh oh oh oh oh dot com'!" Sure enough, when I tried to type it in the first time, I botched it. Foooo? Foooooo? Fooey. Next time, dear friends from across the Pacific, spend six figures on acquiring an easily typed domain name. That seems easier.
In a modern-day gold rush, many Eliot Spitzer-related domains have been registered since the news broke about his involvement with pricey escort services. We're not sure how many of these are going to be worth anything in a few months when this is all over — but there's nothing we like more than a good scandal. Some of the best domains: spitzerforvp.com, spitzerisscrewed.com, spitzerperpwalk.com and, of course, spitzerswallows.com. Classy. Get the full list after the jump. (Photo by AP/Stephen Chernin)
After domain-name registrar Go Daddy charged him for an account he never opened, MessageCast CTO Dave Hodson looked into how it happened. He discovered Go Daddy doesn't ask customers for the three-digit code that appears on the back of their credit cards during the purchase process — a measure meant to assure customers has the original cards in their possession. So Hodson blogged about it to warn others that "Go Daddy is a fraudster's paradise." Really, Go Daddy security czar Neil Warner should stop futzing around with time zones and get his employer to add card-code verification. But that's not the best part of the story.
As the real world's real-estate bubble pops, a virtual one continues to inflate. Cruise.co.uk, a British travel agent, has paid $1.1 million for the domain name cruises.co.uk. An exorbitant sum to let pasty Englishmen know they are able to purchase more than one cruise at a time. The second domain is to be used for a "social network," Cruise.co.uk's PR agency claims.
Remember that guy you hate, Rick "Domain King" Schwartz? He sold iReport.com to CNN for $750,000 earlier this month. Well, the feeling's not mutual. He doesn't hate you. He just wonders why he's only one living the way he does. Schwartz told Sydney Morning Herald he's shocked more people don't get into the business of trading domain names. Because really, it's a fabulous life. Just ask the King himself.
The "life change" Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg Twittered about? Not, as we suspected, a big-ticket purchase funded by his company's recent $29.5 million financing round, some of which reportedly went into the founder's pockets. Instead, he tells Valleywag, it was the purchase of ma.tt, his new domain name. Buying a .tt domain, based in Trinidad and Tobago, costs foreign registrants $500 a year, and requires an international wire transfer. Only in Silicon Valley would the purchase of a domain name be considered a "life change." I've learned my lesson: Mullenweg is far too boring to gossip about.
Rick Schwartz just sold CNN the domain iReport.com for $750,000. Schwartz bought the domain in 1997 for "$70 to $100," he told Silicon Alley Insider. CNN likely bought the domain for its I-Report program. You know, the one where You The Viewer get to do all the work. A concept which jibes just so nicely with Schwartz's latest post on his personal blog.