Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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domain shark

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Crawl the Web, looking for references (in hyperlinks, but especially in text) to domain names which aren't actually registered (typos, joke ideas, etc). Register all such domains and offer them for sale, or sell ad space to porn sites, or whatever else cybersquatters do. You could even link back to the pages which originally mentioned the name.
egnor, May 15 2001

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       Nawsty, extremly nawsty. I like it.
Dog Ed, May 15 2001
  

       At least this would fix broken links ...
Aristotle, May 15 2001
  

       egnor, do you have no respect for the purpose of the domain name space and the history of the Internet? or is this just a massive troll?
dgeiser13, May 15 2001
  

       [PeterSealy]: They've been doing everything they can think of, but I imagine most of them aren't really proficient enough to run a dedicated webcrawler. But then, spammers do it, so I guess they could too. But then, it's not like this is a *good* idea, so they probably don't.   

       But anyway, sex.com might (or might not) lose its bogus value, but "sex" and "hot.sex" and so forth would certainly gain plenty of bogus value.   

       [dgeiser13]: How ever much respect I may have for the creators of the Internet and its "intended purpose", I realize that no amount of wishful hoping will change the fact that the current arrangement is terribly broken. I also believe that decreed Ontologies of Everything are basically a lost cause, and that's basically what the original DNS was trying to be. ("For-profit companies go *here*. Non-profit organizations go *here*. Network infrastructure goes *here*...")   

       #include <std.dns.usage.arguments>   

       Regardless, I do understand that cybersquatters are part of the problem, not part of the solution. But we're not exactly restricted to posting "good" ideas, right? See also "evil freedom foundation".
egnor, May 15 2001
  

       I've never understood how opening up the TLDs will help. Then the squatters will just go after the "watchemrot" tld and the "sex" tld etc. It'll be exactly like today, but without the .com suffix.
wiml, May 17 2001
  

       I am supprised that some of the domain name companies (actually I suspect they do) log all searches to see if domain names are free, and automatically buy them if there is enough interest (and no-one else gets them first.)   

       Also, ISP's could easilly build this into their DNS servers and see what unused names people are typing and register them.   

       Both the ISP and the Domain Name Registration companies could then advertise and sell them at an inflated price, say triple the normal value.   

       The number of hits the name had received could be used as a selling point for the name. (The name freecars.com had 4726 hits last month but didn't exist - do you want to buy this name for £100 and get all that extra traffic.)   

       They are likly to get takers for 90% of the names.   

       ISP could also (might put this in as an independant idea) use word/phrase matching to redirect user to an appropriate site (with their 1 per hit of course) whenever the user would have got a DNS domain not found error. They could select companies and agree commision rated with them.   

       Example: You type in www.discountcarpart.ltd.uk and no-one owns that domain, it instead directs you to the halfords web site, and the ISP takes a 5% commision on anything you buy.   

       This might even make free ISP's profitable! Obviously the ISP would have to display a popup saying This domain is not used so we have diverted you to somewhere we think will be the same..."
CasaLoco, May 17 2001
  

       Not all the world's a Web. It's a long way up through the protocol stack from DNS queries to "popups". Your approach only works if the users go through a proxy server. (Otherwise, the entity displaying the "domain not found" message is the user's browser, and the ISP has no influence on that.)
jutta, May 17 2001
  

       You could do itat an ISP server level - instread of displaying a domain not found message, redirect...
CasaLoco, May 17 2001
  

       [CasaLoco] I've often suspected the same thing. Especially after doing a lookup, finding the name not registered, coming back a week later and finding it owned by a domain name clearinghouse.
phoenix, Aug 13 2001
  
      
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