Pork Swords, Shuttlecock, and the Domain Disaster

Get ready for what may be the worst mess the Internet’s ever seen: ICANN has cleared the way for unlimited custom domain suffixes — you know, the .com or .net part of the URL — and that means we’re about to see more different kinds of addresses than Kim Kardashian’s seen pork swords.

The proposal approved Thursday means anyone will be able to apply for their own custom name — anything from .microsoft to .software to .softcoreporn. There are restrictions: You have to have a full business plan, be able to meet all sorts of technical requirements, and — oh yeah — be willing to drop a few hundred grand on the name. The custom suffixes will start at $100,000 and go as high as half a million.

Even so, does it really accomplish anything to give someone like Apple the option of having apple.com, buy.apple, apple.buy, buy.apple.com, and apple.store? Just imagine how impossible that’s going to be to navigate, whether you’re a novice or veteran tech-head.

Well, shucks — I guess if we can’t stop it, we might as well join it. Consider this the official launch of the TechCult.Shuttlecock Fundraising Initiative. Shuttlecock may very well be the funniest non-vulgar word in the English language, so I say we work together to move this site to that domain. Because I care, I’ll get us started with the initial donation.

All right, only $499,997.50 left to go. Uh, and please go ahead and mail all contributions directly to me. Cash preferred.