Alright, so here we are. Blogging. So, for starters, the nerd news has been a bit ridiculous lately… I guess the easiest to get started with is the .XXX top level domain that was recently approved. This has come up a few times in the past, and apparently this most recent time it actually went through. Occasionally people will ask me what I think about it. It seems like an fundamentally flawed idea to me for a few basic reasons.

Of course, this TLD is voluntary not mandatory, meaning it’s up to individual websites to decide if they want a .XXX domain or not. As an aside, this is really the only way it could exist, because there’s no central authority to Internet content, and even if there was, who would get to decide what is porn and what isn’t? The US? France? Saudi Arabia? So, anyway, because it’s voluntary (and basically must be) you’re just left worse off then you were. All purveyors of pornography (even if an entity considers themselves to be so) won’t be magically and unanimously migrating their websites from various tld’s to .xxx. It’s an added expense to buy a new domain name, and they might not think they should have to. Meanwhile organizations that don’t want their networks used for porn (say, pre-schools, reasonably) can filter out everything .xxx, but they still have to have their old web filter which basically just hopes it catches everything but in reality doesn’t. And really when it comes down to it, few schools, businesses, etc will want to be known to allow .xxx content, so the whole domain structure exists to be filtered out and ignored. And when you put it that way, you realize the only reason Playboy is going to buy playboy.xxx is so that someone else doesn’t do it instead. The only people who will have easy access to .xxx will be people who *want* access to it, and gee, is there anyone looking for porn on the Internet that is having trouble finding it?

Point in fact, the entire nation of India won’t have access to it. I’m sure China and most Middle Eastern countries won’t be far behind. There is one person who benefits, however. Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry (who will be in charge of distributing and selling domain names for the new TLD) had this to say: “For the first time, there will be a clearly defined Web address for adult entertainment, out of the reach of minors and as free as possible from fraud or malicious computer viruses“. Of course, only Stuart knows how these new (old) websites will be free from fraud or computer viruses (malicious or otherwise…). He goes on to say that “The providers will benefit because more people will become paying customers.” He also doesn’t mention precisely how having a new domain name will encourage people to buy what is readily available for free, either.  I’m sure there’s some business-y stuff I’m just not getting, though.

In other news, AT&T and T-Mobile are fixin’ to merge and create Devastator^W I mean AT&T&T, er, sorry… The largest mobile carrier in the US.  And the only provider of a GSM network in the States, too.  Formerly, if you were a dissatisfied AT&T customer (a redundant term, from what I’ve heard) you could switch to T-Mobile and at least keep your phone.  Now you can move to Europe.  T-Mobile was also apparently one of the (only?) larger wireless providers that didn’t pull all kinds of shenanigans on customers and require long contracts or one data plan for your phone and an extra data plan to tether your phone’s Internet connection to your computer.  AT&T is also one of the strictest carriers for Android phones, with a lot of phones not allowing you to install Apps outside of the official Android Market.  Basically it seems like a big, dumb, bad idea that’s probably going to happen because America loves large corporations right now.  “Not Big Enough to be Too Big to Fail”, I think is the official motto.

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Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 Whulian

3 Comments to *.xxx

  • chris says:

    On the matter of AT&T/T-Mobile merger, this just reeks of the WaMu/Chase takeover. For the record, T-Mobile was affordable, but their service was less than par. Coverage was not as widespread. That being said, AT&T the giant will take over T-Mobile (large and popular in its own right), and everything that was charming about T-Mobile will vanish as subscribers will enter “Super AT&T Land”. I say blah and glad I got on Verizon when I did…tho they’re pricey in themselves.

  • Bill says:

    Totally WaMu/Chase. The businesses (and managers) win, consumers lose.

    Yeah, I’m not super stoked with the price of Verizon either. (Do you have a data plan? I do, ouch.) But the coverage is pretty impressive; I get freakin 3G/Data in parts of Shelter Valley. And so far, they don’t fuck with locking down their Android phones too much.

    Apparently, lots of T-Mobile customers were thinking that the one perk of this would be that they could get iPhones now, but AT&T is saying those won’t be available to T-Mobile customers for at least a year after the merger occurred! Wouldn’t take any change in hardware at all, AT&T just doesn’t feel like allowing those purchases/contracts to go through. Instead you’d still have to cancel your T-Mobile plan (termination fees and all) and then sign a new contract with AT&T!

  • chris says:

    I had a data plan and once I was eligible, I got a new phone that doesn’t support it so I could save $30 a month. You’d think AT&T would make iPhones available to T-Mobile customers — but force a new 2 year contract. I guess they’re figuring retaining current contracts in the hopes that ALL those people will still be excited to hop on board and sign a 2 year. Who knows.

    Coverage is pretty good with Verizon. I have the occasional situation where I have to try and resend messages, but I think the weather is a big factor of that. On the whole, honestly? I hate cell phones. I miss the days of, oh, 12 years ago when there was hardly any cell phones in existence and if you wanted to get a hold of someone you could either page (heehee) or wait till they got home. That’s right. Just call me Sven Berkerts. lol

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