Children’s Domain Names

On the same day that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had their baby (this past Saturday), Jolie’s lawyers registered the baby’s “official” domain name: This made me want to check the availability of domain names for my kids. Both full names dot com are available. I guess I should snap them up. They are only 6.95/year on GoDaddy (with the code Hash3 from a podcast GoDaddy sponsors).

Domain Name Auction

I helped a friend win an auction for an expired web site domain name. Apparently, when a domain name expires, the domain registry does not immediately release the name to the general pool. First, they hold it for 30 to 45 days, giving the original owner about a month or so to get their act together and renew it. After that grace period, the name is released to selected partners. If the name had been registered through Network Solutions, the largest .com registry because they were first, it is released to Snap Names.

Before the name is released to Snap Names, you can place a free backorder for the name. You give them a credit card and agree to bid a minimum of $60 for the name if it becomes available.

Over the weekend the name was released and the auction started. 32 people were in it. The rules are little different than an ebay auction. Only those people will backorders can participate in the auction. That means that once it starts, the pool of participants is fixed. Also, if a new bid is made near the end of the auction, the time of the auction is extened. This give everyone a fair chance, and increases the amount of money Snap Names can earn from the auction.

For most of the auction, I was the high bidder at $81. I had put my maximum bid at $200. On the last day, first I upped it to $500, then $1000, and finally $2000. Every time some one upped their bid, I was already there with a higher number.

It got pretty nerve-wracking at the end, because in the last minute, someone placed a new bid. This extended the auction another 4 minutes. When it was finally over, I had purchased the domain name for $1601. This auction also included 1 year registration on Network Solutions.

I am the legal owner of the domain name, but I spent my friend’s money. It may seem like a lot of money to me, but does not compare to the current record: for $750,000.

Save the Internet Today!

Congress is threatening the freedom of the internet. A new bill is backed by telecommunications and cable lobbies and will reduce and remove consumer choice on the internet.

“Network Neutrality” — the First Amendment of the Internet — ensures that the public can view the smallest blog just as easily as the largest corporate Web site by preventing Internet companies like AT&T from rigging the playing field for only the highest-paying sites.

But Internet providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending millions of dollars lobbying Congress to gut Net Neutrality. If Congress doesn’t take action now to implement meaningful network neutrality provisions, the future of the Internet is at risk. So far, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. But numerous examples show that without network neutrality requirements, Internet service providers will discriminate against content and competing services they don’t like.

* In 2004, North Carolina ISP Madison River blocked their DSL customers from using any rival Web-based phone service.
* In 2005, Canada’s telephone giant Telus blocked customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to the Telecommunications Workers Union during a labor dispute.
* Shaw, a big Canadian cable TV company, is charging an extra $10 a month to subscribers in order to “enhance” competing Internet telephone services.
* In April, Time Warner’s AOL blocked all emails that mentioned — an advocacy campaign opposing the company’s pay-to-send e-mail scheme.

Save the Net Now

Another New Blog?

I just heard that on average 80,000 new blogs are created every day, and I just created another one this week. Sleeping Grace is a blog of daily pictures of Grace asleep. Each post only contains a simple title and a 500 pixel wide photo.

Since we never know where Grace will ultimately fall asleep, this has great potential. So far, she has been in her bed, but it is still pretty amusing (to me) to see a series of pictures of Grace asleep. The picture of her lying on the stack of pillows, and an offhand comment about it were the inspiration for the blog. That, plus the fact that she has slept in her closet, in a pile of stuffed animals and face down on the carpet in the hall. Good times definitely lay ahead.