Ivo Skoric" (by way of mf@MediaFilter.org (MediaFilter)) on Mon, 23 Dec 96 01:41 MET

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nettime: name.space revisited

Hi Paul,

I went back.  Now, Peacenet, igc.apc.org is a life.free.zone and I added
it as a new project to the black.hole (they are pacifists, aren't they?  so
they should not kill me?!). I don't have my IP number so I used theirs.
Then I also checked some of the other links.  There is even a
montenegro.free.zone (www.montenegro.com in standard life):
Montenegro is the sixth of former Yugoslav republics, the only one that
did not declare independence - it is a tiny state with a lot of mountains
and it has only like a million people, but it was never ruled by Turks or
Austrians and it has the most beautiful nature (a combination of sandy
beaches, high mountains, rain forests and the world's second largest
canyon).  How did they already discovered the name.space?
Unbelievable, those Balkan people.

Now that I am starting to grasp the idea and the ease of doing it, I am
thinking of renaming the Franjo Tudjman's (Croatian beloved dictator)
homepage (http://www.urpr.hr) to a "brain.free.zone", since it is
increasingly obvious that he is going mad...

I read what that Suisse guy wrote and I believe that Internic will
eventually get along with introducing new TLD names, i.e. opening this
fully.  They are probably scared to death by an anarchy of having a
whatever word for a TLD (which then can't be neatly shelved and
standardized in their databases).  I bet they will have everything
registered in their databases with some standard ID form, but it is not
going to be visible in the actual addresses.  Anyway, the name.space
system is such an obvious advantage, that it can't really be stopped.  I
already talked to my friend who had troubles of changing his business
name because somebody else had a web page registered with that name
(they wanted to start WEBSHOPPER, an American Mall on the Net for
Japanese customers, and I was doing the html consulting; finally they
had to settle with less flamboyant name Virtual Shopping Network or
VSN, and the current address - kind of longish pain in the ass - is
www.virtualshoppingnetwork.com - now, with name.space they'd be
able to strip www prefix and com suffix of the address and maybe have
it like virtual.shop, which is easier to type in and sounds way more cool,
doesn't it?).

Eventually, this is a lot like phone numbers: Americans kept a cool
country code "1" for themselves while all other countries were forced to
take shitty multiple digits codes (like Croatia is 385), and on the Net
nobody really uses .us TLD, meaning that country specific TLDs are
there only for OTHER countries, not for the U.S. But unlike with the
phone network where you can't have a phone operating in Italy with
country code "1", you can have a .com site in Italy.  Therefore, the
collapse of .com is imminent: it is like all the companies in the world
want to have their phone numbers with country code "1".

But the people who write standards are recalcitrant: all the area codes in
the U.S. were "m0n" or "m1n" - always 0 or 1 as a middle digit - for as
long as it was possible to keep it that way - while now there is an 888
are code and a 954 are code (I couldn't believe it when a friend on
Florida left me his phone number with that area code), because they
can't fit more numbers in already existing area codes.

The worse thing for Internic people is that name.space beats them with
the price: name.space offers any name for half the price.  Which means
that they would not only have to get along with it but also to slash their
prices.  They may not like that part, but well, this is capitalism, isn't it?
If you play their game better than them, they go belly up, or they should
move to China and ask Deng to work for him.

Actually the concept that any word can be used as a TLD is not that
new: it came up to people's minds somewhere at the beginning of
Cenozoic when humans started to live of cultivating the land instead of
hunting and gathering.  In larger settlements it suddenly became useful
that each family has its own name instead of that all members of the
tribe share one common tribal last name as a TLD.  That name.space
became evidently necessary is a clear sign of maturity of the Net.
American natives for example had a different name.space idea keeping
very colorful first names (where TLDs were still the tribe names), which
is a cool virtual hosting idea, but it will make a mess of a phone
directory and it will present a hell to a western style inheritance lawyer.
Now our last names can be just any word, and you can even legally
change your last name to for example River or Three.  If we are all
eventually once to have our own URLs, i.e. cyberpersonas, it would be
the most logical that the same legal principles that apply to our
first/middle/last names in real life, apply also to our virtual presence.
And in the case of corporate entities, I believe that this country had
enough books regulating corporate and trademark laws to prevent
somebody misappropriating some other corporation's name.  I couldn't
imagine a reason why would Bill Gates prefer www.microsoft.com to
just simple Microsoft.  Hmm, there lies a devil.  I hope you had your
name.space patented before the evil Bill steals it under your feet and
sells it as a new Microsoft brand.


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