Verisign owns .net, .com...

In the last few hours, it would appear that Verisign has taken its monopoly to the next level, which in many aspects blows what Microsoft has done out of the water. Previously, when you typed in a domain that is inaccurately spelt, then you would get a 404 or another similar error. However, thanks to those nice people at Verisign, you are now taken to their holding page, which offers a useful set of alternatives, and the ability to search the web. Thus, they theoretically now own what was left of the internet.

Although this is not the first time this has been done (Microsoft did it with their latest version of IE), the problem with this is that you can't stop it. And this isn't the only problem. First, this presents Verisign with a phenomenal amount of revenue in terms of every mis-spelt domain now resolves to their page. Secondly, this will also hurt the way many basic spam filters work; they often work by checking to see if the domain exists, yet now every domain "exists" so expect allot more opportunities to increase things. However, more critically, this will make the sys admin's life allot harder, as that error message telling you what on earth had gone wrong will no longer be there. Guess we'll all have to get rid of our gremlins, and learn to spel rite.

However, the situation isn't without comedy. A few readers at Slashdot noted that the search did work incredibly well when you tried out some strings :)

View: Verisign's Implementation PDF

View: Comic Searches (slashdot were happy!) - Domain error page : here

View: Slashdot.org Article

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