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Google registers its first new gTLD domain

Kevin Murphy, January 4, 2014, Domain Registries

Google took part in dotShabaka Registry’s Sunrise period, according to today’s zone files.

The company registered جوجل.شبكة, in the .شبكة (Arabic “.web”) TLD, via MarkMonitor at some point prior to December 30.

“جوجل” seems to be the Arabic transliteration of “Google”.

The domain is not resolving, but Whois says it belongs to Google and it’s configured to use Google name servers.

It’s only the fifth confirmed Sunrise registration in the .شبكة space — the only new gTLD to so far conclude a Sunrise period.

Rolex registered its trademark and Richemont International registered three of its luxury goods brands. So far, Rolex is the only confirmed new gTLD registrant that is not also an applicant.

None of the registrants to date are from the Arabic-speaking regions.

These may all be defensive registrations, of course, and may never resolve to anything useful.

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Vienna is the first city with its own TLD

Kevin Murphy, January 3, 2014, Domain Registries

The world’s first city gTLD, .wien, went live on the internet this morning.

It’s the TLD for what the English-speaking world calls Vienna, the Austrian capital.

While its nic.wien starter page doesn’t seem to be resolving yet, .wien itself is in the DNS root zone file.

punkt.wien, the new registry, said in its application that .wien names will be restricted to anyone who “can demonstrate that they have an economic, cultural, historical, social or any other connection” to Vienna.

The same test will apply to the use of .wien names — the registry plans to review the content of sites under the gTLD from time to time to ensure compliance.

The policy appears to be modeled somewhat on the .cat geo-gTLD.

According to the .wien application, about a quarter of the Austrian population lives in its environs, giving the gTLD a market of about 1.7 million people.

The registry is planning to launch properly in March, according to its web site.

While it’s the first city gTLD to go live, it isn’t the first geo to hit the root in this round — that honor belongs to .ruhr, which represents a German state.

(Note: Laos’ ccTLD, .la, is often marketed as a city TLD for Los Angeles, but it’s not quite the same thing.)

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.email and two other new gTLDs go live

Kevin Murphy, January 2, 2014, Domain Registries

Three more new gTLDs were delegated this afternoon, including the potentially interesting .email.

The other two were TLD Registry’s .在线 (Chinese for ‘.online’) and United TLD/Rightside’s .immobilien (German for ‘.realestate’).

The reason I think .email could be interesting is that it’s very close to “.mail”, which has been highlighted in several analyses as a potentially dangerous due to the risk of name collisions.

It’s also, I think, one of the highlights of Donuts’ portfolio, despite the fact that the company was the only applicant.

.immobilien is the third delegated gTLD for United TLD. It’s going to be competing against the arguably more attractive .immo — a well-known abbreviation — which is currently contested by four applicants.

For TLD Registry, .在线 is the first delegation. It’s planning to take both .在线 and its companion .中文网 (“Chinese website”) to Sunrise on January 17, so we might expect another delegation soon.

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Our unpredictions for 2014

Kevin Murphy, January 2, 2014, Domain Services

Over the close to four years we’ve been publishing, DI has so far resisted running annual prediction lists.

As a reader, they always strike me as being largely holiday-period filler guff. As a writer, they kind of obligate you to revisit and score yourself a year later. Hugely embarrassing pain in the bum.

But this year we’ve had a change of heart.

It’s really, really quiet out there today.

So here’s our list of events we think will definitely, definitely, definitely happen in 2014.

  • Bob Parsons will give ten bucks to a homeless guy outside a Scottsdale Starbucks, according to a Go Daddy press release.
  • NomCom, hands tied by its gender quotas policy, will be forced to appoint a minor Kardashian to the ICANN board of directors.
  • Pat Kane will quit Verisign in order to head up kp.com, the newly launched sub-domain service for North Koreans who couldn’t get the .kp name they really wanted.
  • A pseudonymous domainer will send TLDH’s share price into a death spiral by predicting that “all new gltds will fail lol” in a comment on an industry blog.
  • Tucows CEO Elliot Noss will accidentally blind four people during a particularly enthusiastic bout of gesticulation.
  • An ICANN director will answer Paul Foody’s question during the Public Forum in Singapore. Foody will leave the room moments later, never to be seen again.
  • Somebody will write a blog post about 27-year-old .xyz applicant Daniel Negari without mentioning his age.
  • ICANN will blame a “glitch” after accidentally delegating .islam to a New York synagogue.
  • Mike Berkens will use apostrophes correctly for a week straight.
  • After the GNSO dies for the fifth time, the entire Council will regenerate as Peter Capaldi, forcing an immediate structural review.
  • 1&1 will start selling pre-registrations in new gTLDs that it expects will probably be applied for at some point between 2018 and 2024.
  • Fox will green-light the production of “Jeff Neuman vs Predator”.
  • DotConnectAfrica will finally withdraw its application for .africa, but only after failed attempts to withdraw applications for .africas, .africka, and .dotdotafrica.
  • Christine Jones will suffer a humiliating wardrobe malfunction during a campaign rally.
  • A smartphone-friendly version of DI will be launched.
  • During an unannounced visit to ICANN’s LA office, Fadi Chehade will stumble across John Jeffrey fucking an apple pie in the staff kitchen.
  • Jennifer Wolfe will speak during a GNSO Council meeting.
  • The Intellectual Property Constituency will complain that ICANN’s latest rights protection mechanisms “go too far to protect trademark owners” and demand an immediate rollback.
  • Rick Schwartz will invest $200 million in Donuts.
  • The sentence “Esther Dyson declined to comment.” will appear in a mainstream media article about new gTLDs.

Happy new year everyone!

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These are the first four new gTLD domain names

Kevin Murphy, December 31, 2013, Domain Registries

Two luxury goods companies have the honor of being the first to register domain names in a new gTLD.

Today, the first four domain names registered to actual registrants popped up in the zone file for dotShabaka Registry’s Arabic “.web” — شبكة.

شبكة. exited its mandatory Sunrise period on Sunday; the four new names appear to be the first ones to get name servers after their Sunrise applications were approved.

The two registrants, according to Whois records, are Richemont International and Rolex.

Richemont is itself a new gTLD applicant. The company has taken a strong interest in the program, with head of digital IP Richard Graham even moderating a new gTLDs conference in March.

The four names (with my best guesses at a translation) are:

None appear to be resolving on the web yet, not even to placeholder pages, at least from where I’m sitting.

Because they’re Sunrise names, it’s possible that all four are defensive registrations that may never lead anywhere meaningful.

Richemont used Com Laude as its registrar while Rolex used Key-Systems.

The Sunrise was limited to Arabic-script trademarks.

dotShabaka said yesterday that it had “very few” Sunrise applications. Now we know that number was at least four.

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