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Go.Compare now redirecting to the .com

Kevin Murphy, August 8, 2023, Gossip

Go.Compare seems to have backpedaled a little on its high-profile rebranding to a new gTLD domain name.

The domain is now bouncing visitors to the insurance comparison site’s original domain,

When the company announced its rebranding from GoCompare to Go.Compare last September, there was no redirect in place.

The firm seems otherwise entirely committed to the new branding, even putting it on Welsh rugby shirts as part of a sponsorship deal recently.

The only change appears to be the new redirect — visitors will see the .com in the address bar rather than the .compare domain.

My article announcing the rebrand always seemed to get an unusually high amount of traffic on Saturday nights when Go.Compare was advertising its new name prominently on prime-time Saturday night TV, which makes me wonder whether the company was suffering from leakage related to the switch.

.compare is a GoDaddy gTLD and the domain was purchased by Go.Compare’s registrar, Lexsynergy.

Musk prematurely announces Twitter is now X

Kevin Murphy, July 24, 2023, Gossip

Elon Musk has declared that Twitter is rebranding as X, using, apparently as the latest stage of his ongoing mission to destroy the company he acquired last year for lulz.

At 1744 UTC yesterday, Musk tweeted:

The logo on the Twitter web site has now changed to a minimalist X, which was later projected onto the walls of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.

For me, and others around the world, still resolves to a standard GoDaddy parking page, advertising sofas. Others have reported experiencing the redirect to as intended.

It can theoretically take a day or more for name server changes to propagate throughout the entire DNS, due to caching and time-to-live settings, but in my experience with GoDaddy it has never taken more than a few minutes.

Still, it would be smart to make sure your new domain is actually working before announcing a rebranding.

Musk first owned — one of a handful of single-letter .com names available — in the 1990s, when it was the original brand of the company that became PayPal. After he sold PayPal, the domain went with the company to eBay. But Musk reacquired the domain for an undisclosed sum in 2017.

He seems to have an obsession with the letter. His space flight company is called SpaceX. Tesla has a model X. He even named his kid X.

I’m reminded of another eccentric tech entrepreneur who obsessed over a single-letter domain, to the extent that it ultimately harmed his company.

Costerton drops rap album to attract Gen Z to ICANN

Kevin Murphy, April 1, 2023, Gossip

ICANN interim CEO Sally Costerton will today release an album of rap music, in an effort to attract more young people to the ICANN community.

Costeron rapper

Costerton told DI today that it’s become obvious in recent years that ICANN’s community is aging rapidly, and that attracting new, younger talent is vital to ensuring the Org’s longevity.

“Going to ICANN meetings used to be like walking into Rick’s Café, mingling with an international crowd of beautiful young rebels and dashing political hunks,” she said. “Now, it looks more like the Mos Eisley cantina.”

The solution is to modernize ICANN to embrace popular culture, making it more appealing to younger participants, she said.

“Rap is a new form of music from the streets of America, where performers speak over the music,” Costerton, who is releasing 13 all-new tracks and covers under the stage name “Lil Sally C”, explained. “They speak over the music.”

“We’re hoping that with this drop of dope joints, we can draw in the Gen Z chads and thots that we so desperately need,” she said. “We can explain boring ICANN policy concepts in a way that the kids can relate to.”

For example, C said, rather than explain the complex acronym “EBERO”, ICANN could simply direct a newcomer to stream the track “Baby Got Emergency Back-End Registry Operator”.

She expects other tracks, such as “Straight Outta Marina Del Rey”, “I Got 99 Problems (But Adhering To Our Bylaws Commitments To Openness And Transparency Ain’t One)”, and “My Name Is [redacted due to GDPR]”, to be popular singles.

Other tracks on the album include a cover of “Sucker For Pain”, which features guest vocals by DJ Jazzy John Jeffrey.

C lists her influences as Cardi B, NWA, A2M, and Vanilla Ice, but insists her sound is unique and “on fleek af”.

Fellow long-term community members and directors agree.

“She da OG Senior Advisor to President and SVP, Global Stakeholder Engagement & Interim President and CEO,” said board chair Tripti Sinha. “Fo’ shizzle!”

But the release has not been without controversy. C defended her decision to use the n-word 38 times on the album, explaining she’s “keepin’ it real.”

“There’s an apostrophe instead of the letter G in keepin’,” she said.

Lil Sally C’s album, entitled “Drop Da C-Bomb!”, is available to download today, April 1, via Napster and Yahoo! Music.

In pictures: from tuk-tuks to cheese wheels, every ICANN national stereotype 2016-2022

Kevin Murphy, August 2, 2022, Gossip

What’s the one thing that ICANN most associates with your country?

For the The Netherlands, it seems to be cheese. For Puerto Rico, rum. For Morocco, um… camels.

ICANN ships about 12 metric tons (10 tonnes) of gear to its meeting locations three times a year, and a few weeks after the meeting concludes it issues a “By The Numbers” report, containing a treasure trove of data about the meeting.

The reports include data on how much equipment — servers, routers, mics, headsets etc — was shipped, along with a lighthearted “that’s the equivalent of” comparison.

It started in 2016 with elephants and cars, but from round about the third report, the ICANN 57 meeting in Hyderabad, India, ICANN started picking a comparison with a local connection.

I thought it might be fun to collect all these images in one place for easy reference.

ICANN 55, Marrakech, Morocco

3.5 African elephants. I’m not convinced this one was connected to the host. Probably just representative of “a heavy thing”.


ICANN 56, Helsinki, Finland

12.2 mid-sized cars. Again, this might just be “a heavy thing”. Finland isn’t really known for its cars. Maybe ICANN thought it was in Sweden.


ICANN 57, Hyderabad, India

77 tuk-tuks. This cheap form of private-hire transport is as ubiquitous in India as it is in many parts of Asia.


ICANN 58, Copenhagen, Denmark

1,365 bicycles. Copenhagen is reportedly one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. I recall walking pretty much the full distance from the airport to the venue along a cycle path when I arrived for ICANN 58.


ICANN 59, Johannesburg, South Africa

8 giraffes. South Africa is known for its tourist safaris.


ICANN 60, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

6,517 falcons. Falconry is a popular pass-time and tourist attraction in the UAE.


ICANN 61, San Jose, Puerto Rico

34 barrels of rum. I had to google this one to be honest, but it turns out the Puerto Rico government calls the US territory the “Rum Capital of the World”. It even has a .gov web site to promote the product.


ICANN 62, Panama City, Panama

145 sacks of coffee beans. Panama isn’t exactly internationally renowned for its coffee exports, but I guess it’s difficult to weigh stuff in terms of canals.


ICANN 63, Barcelona, Spain

6,849 Spanish guitars. It has the word “Spanish” in it, do you see?


ICANN 64, Kobe, Japan

17 cows. Kobe is known for its beef, if you’re into that kind of thing.


ICANN 65, Marrakech, Morocco

23 camels.


ICANN 66, Montreal, Canada

38 barrels of maple syrup. A gimme… the leaf is right there on the flag.


ICANN 74, The Hague, Netherlands

1,191 cheese wheels. Who doesn’t love a bit of Dutch cheese?


Five things I learned from UK prime minister candidates’ domain names

Kevin Murphy, July 11, 2022, Gossip

Boris Johnson announced he is to resign as UK prime minister after a series of scandals last week, and as of this evening 11 of his former friends have announced their plans to replace him as leader of the Conservative party and therefore UK PM.

I’ll spare you the details of Johnson’s downfall and the process used to find his successor, but domain names became part of the story over the weekend when a so-called “Dirty Dossier” began circulating among Tory MPs, denouncing candidate Rishi Sunak.

Among the allegations was that Sunak, whose resignation as chancellor last week eventually led to the Johnson’s own resignation, had been plotting Johnson’s demise and his own rise to power since last December, using Whois records for his campaign site as a smoking gun.

I thought I’d take a look at all 11 candidates’ registrations to see what else we could learn.

1. Sunak wasn’t the only “plotter”

Sunak came under scrutiny over the weekend when it emerged that the domain name has been registered since December 23 last year, a few weeks into the Partygate scandal, when the foundations of Johnson’s premiership began to weaken.

This, it was claimed in the Dirty Dossier, showed that Sunak had been plotting his boss’s downfall for six months.

His team have subsequently claimed that the name wasn’t necessarily registered by them, and his campaign is currently using the similar domain, which was registered July 7, the day Johnson announced his resignation.

The December domain forwards to Sunak’s official campaign site, suggesting its registrant is at the least a supporter.

We can’t tell for sure because all Whois records are redacted due to GDPR, which is still in effect in the UK despite Brexit.

But Sunak wasn’t the only prescient registrant in the clown car. Liz Truss’s campaign site is at, which was registered June 8, a month before there was a leadership job opening available, Whois records show.

Jeremy Hunt, Tom Tugendhat and Sajid Javid have names registered last week. Penny Mordaunt’s was registered in 2019, but that’s because she also stood for Tory leader in 2019, ultimately losing to Johnson.

2. Not much patriotism on display

Of the 11 candidates, only five are campaigning using .uk addresses.

Kemi Badenoch uses a Suella Braverman uses a While Jeremy Hunt usually uses a .org, he’s using a for his campaign. Same for Truss. Javid is using a thoroughly modern .uk, eschewing the third level, at

All the rest use a .com for their sites.

3. Truss and Hunt didn’t register their matching .uk

While Javid appears to have registered the matching his .uk, Truss and Hunt have not registered their matching second-level domains, which is just asking for trouble from pranksters and opponents.

That said, while it’s been six or seven years since .uk domains became available from Nominet, they haven’t really caught on in terms of adoption or popular mind-share. It would be a much greater crime to register a 2LD without the matching 3LD than vice versa.

4. Two candidates own their surnames

While all of the candidates own their full names in their chosen TLDs, only Grant Shapps and Nadhim Zahawi own their .com surnames.

Whois records and show that Shapps has owned since 2000, years before he won his first parliamentary seat. He has a history of being involved in questionable online get-rich-quick schemes and used to follow me on Twitter, so he’s probably quite domain-savvy.

Zahawi, who’s been Chancellor of the Exchequer since Sunak quit last week, has owned since he first ran for parliament in 2009.

5. Here’s what domains everyone else is using

According to Google and the Twitter accounts of the candidates, these are the URLs used by each candidate for their regular official sites and, if they have one, their premiership campaign sites.

Note that in most cases their regular sites are managed by a company called Bluetree, which specializes in running boilerplate web sites for Tories, so the choice of domain may not necessarily be the choice of the MP in question.

[table id=1 /]

Pizza company suffers from penisland syndrome

Kevin Murphy, May 26, 2022, Gossip

A small pizza company from the UK has attracted national headlines this week after its choice of domain name caused mirth on social media.

The Welsh Italian Pizza Co uses, but when it showed up at a festival with signage that did not display the domain in camel-case, attendees had to double-take to make sure it wasn’t “Wel Shit Alian Pizza”, according to The Mirror.

In this case it appears to have been a genuine oversight, but other examples of this kind of snafu have leaned into their ambiguity.

Pen Island, at — slogan “We Specialize In Wood” — has been around for decades and is perhaps the most famous.

A public apology for my April Fool’s blog post

Kevin Murphy, April 1, 2022, Gossip

Earlier today, I published a lighthearted April Fool Day’s blog post concerning the fictional invasion of Los Angeles by a chthonic demon entity, accidentally summoned by a DNSSEC misconfiguration at an ICANN ceremony.

In the course of the post, I made multiple references to “enslavement” and “madness”, and as a result I’ve received a substantial number of complaints both privately and on social media about my choice of language.

Having considered these complaints, I’d like to publicly acknowledge that slavery and mental health are not laughing matters and should not be the subject of jokes, or even referred to in jokes, under any circumstances.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for these oversights. I shall endeavor to be more sensitive in my choice of words in future.

I am a work in progress.

ICANN accidentally summons Lesser Old One in DNSSEC snafu

Kevin Murphy, April 1, 2022, Gossip

Southern California has come under the control of timeless demonic entities, plunging the Greater Los Angeles Area into a thousand years of darkness and torment, after a DNSSEC misconfiguration led to ICANN accidentally summoning a Lesser Old One into the mortal realm.

“I can confirm that there was an RRSIG glitch during the ceremony to sign the root zone ZSK for 2022Q2 and introduce HSM6W at our secure facility in El Segundo, California, today,” an ICANN spokesperson said.

“A downstream KSK misconfiguration was inadvertently introduced into the IMRS, resulting in a cascading Trust Anchor collapse across the entire constellation,” he said.

“This unfortunately led to the opening of a transdimensional portal to the Lost City of R’lyeh and the manifestation of an entity our initial analysis indicates may be Baoht Z’uqqa-Mogg, High Commander of the Armies of the Damned and celestial envoy for the mighty Cthulhu,” he added.

“And for some reason Facebook is down in Denver; we’re looking into that too,” the spokesperson said.

ICANN’s Seven Secret DNSSEC Key Holders were observed fleeing from the data center where the signing ceremony had been taking place, casting aside their cowls and robes and clawing at their eyes and skin, according to local reports.

They were pursued by a wailing, forty-foot-tall scorpion-faced lizard monster, emerging from a blinding disc of purple hellfire and bent on subjugating the human race to millennia of torment, local TV station Fox Action 5 Shooty Shooty Bang Bang News reported from the scene, shortly before its news chopper was plucked from the sky by a blistered tentacle and tossed into Z’uqqa-Mogg’s slavering, beak-like mandibles.

The entity was then seen slamming its cloven hoof into the ground and performing an obscene incantation, opening a rift through which poured a horde of bloodthirsty, crab-headed minions that proceeded to swarm through the streets of LA, devouring all in their path.

“This is the one thing we hoped would not happen,” the ICANN spokesperson admitted.

In response to the crisis, which has so far resulted in the deaths of millions and the enslavement into madness of half the US west coast, ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee has formed an ad-hoc working group to devise possible strategies to banish the Old One to its cthonic netherworld.

It’s planning to deliver an initial draft of its report no later than September 2023, after which its work will be opened to the Whatever’s-Left-Of-The-Public Comment process.

Satirists register Joe Rogan domain to promote Covid vaccines

Kevin Murphy, January 31, 2022, Gossip

An Australian comedy troupe has registered podcaster Joe Rogan’s name as a domain as part of an anti-anti-vaccine prank.

The Chaser, which has published satire across print, radio, TV and the web for the last 20 years, picked up a few days ago and redirected it to the Aussie government’s vaccine-booking web site.

The domain was publicized in the latest edition of The Chaser’s podcast, which was rebranded “The Joe Rogan Experience” and spent most of its 20-minute runtime skewering the US comedian and martial arts commentator.

Rogan has attracted negative attention in the last week or so for his skeptical comments about Covid-19 vaccines on his podcast, which is the most-listened podcast on Spotify, the platform with which he has an exclusive $100 million distribution deal.

Musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have pulled their work from Spotify in protest at Rogan’s words, which they said were dangerous.

Rogan has since tried to clarify his comments and editorial policy, and Spotify has said it will start to provide links to reliable Covid-19 information alongside podcasts that address the topic.

New year, new server, new functionality

Kevin Murphy, January 4, 2022, Gossip

Happy new year everyone!

I recently migrated DI to a new server that should allow me to both fix some issues that have bugged the site for a while, and also introduce new functionality.

It’s been a frustratingly complex process — my old hosting account was the best part of 20 years old and running incredibly outdated software that made it vulnerable and incompatible with modern must-haves.

It’s been a bit of a learning curve moving to a more modern platform, and I haven’t ironed out all the kinks yet, but I’m happy to announce that as of today Domain Incite is now SSL-enabled and mobile-friendly.

I’m not a phone person. I can’t imagine ever wanting to look at a web site on a phone, but I know lots of people do, and readers have sometimes complained that DI wasn’t particularly easy on the eye.

If that’s you, it should be easier to read from now on. You’re welcome.

I’ve also installed SSL, something else I’ve been asked about frequently. DI doesn’t ask you for any sensitive information, so I don’t know why anyone would want their traffic encrypted. But now it is, whether you like it or not.

Please do let me know if you find any weirdness or bugs in either of these features, or indeed anywhere else on the site, and I’ll do my best to address them.