DNS article-minor nit

In the mailbag article on the DNS system ( http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mdomains.html ) you used the domain division.company.com as an example. As you might have guessed, the domain company.com is already owned by somebody (apparently one Mike O’Connor). Occasionally people owning domain names get angry for various reasons when their domains are used in examples like this. The domains example.{com,net,org} have been set aside by IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) for use in examples like this to avoid offending anyone, and it’s considered good netiquette to use them instead of making one up yourself (which will almost always turns out to actually exist, as appears to have happened here).

Just thought you might like to know.

I have to challenge the assertion that the Department of Defense started the internet. As everyone knows, it was Albert Gore who invented the internet. (This was when he was very young and had more bladder capacity, you understand.)

One more thing… Do you have a citation for the “internet was designed to withstand nuclear war” thing? I’ve heard it said many times, but I’ve also heard that it’s bogus, and it does kind of sound like a UL. It seems equally plausible that they went with the decentralized design simply because it scales better as the network grows.

Do you have a citation that it’s bogus? Funding for such a project might have improved if the grant writers scattered a few remarks about nuclear survivability throughout their applications.

Try this one–A Brief History of the Internet, from the Internet Society: “It was from the RAND study that the false rumor started claiming that the ARPANET was somehow related to building a network resistant to nuclear war. This was never true of the ARPANET, only the unrelated RAND study on secure voice considered nuclear war. However, the later work on Internetting did emphasize robustness and survivability, including the capability to withstand losses of large portions of the underlying networks.”

SDSTAFF Karl and SDSTAFF Ed might be guilty of a little bit of exaggeration, in saying that “It’s done that way in case there’s a nuclear war.”

Argh. Beg for preview, and then, when it’s available…

Try this one–A Brief History of the Internet, from the Internet Society

Seems to me that if someone takes as generic of a domain name as “company.com”, they must be doing so with the expectation that people will use their domain name as a n example.

Also, I noticed that the article didn’t mention the recent .cc development.

And why doesn’t the site “www.com” host the .com registar?

RM–Thanks. That’s pretty much what I expected.

Yeah, I agree, but people do occasionally get angry about it nenetheless. The example.* domains were reserved to prevent these silly arguments, so why not use 'em if that’s what they’re there for.

Well, internic.net was around long before the web existed. In case you’re wondering what they did with the site before the web, I know they at least had (and still have) an ftp archive of various DNS-related stuff. For instance, ftp://rs.internic.net/domain/named.root has always been the up-to-date list of the root DNS servers (every DNS server has to have a copy of this file).

One thing I would have liked to have seen in the article is how to register names in the “.us” domain. I researched that once, and it took me a few hours to get “the straight dope.” (I was trying to get a free domain name, but of course nothing in life is free.)

In the article, Karl and Ed reffered to ".edu–college-level educational institution ". While that’s certainly the case for the majority of .edu sites, there’s a few that aren’t even schools. The Franklin Institute, for example, a science museum in Philadelphia, has its web page at http://www.fi.edu (I would have expected an .org). So, what are the actuall requirements for an .edu domain? Do you just have to be an educational institution of some sort?

Well, according to Network Solutions, the only organization authorized to register .edu domains (see gTLD registries), in a FAQ:

"The .EDU Web Address is reserved for 4-year, degree-granting colleges and universities. Each college or university may register only one .EDU Web Address. Graduate programs, remote campuses, etc., cannot obtain an .EDU Web Address of their own. Instead, they should obtain a third-level domain beneath the second-level domain of their institution. Inquiries should be directed to the registrant of the second-level domain.

If the college or university registering the Web Address (as listed on line 3a of the Domain Name Registration Agreement) meets this criteria, it must provide a brief explanation of the kinds of degrees awarded under “Purpose/Description” on the registration form.

Alternately, many foundations, institutions, consortia, centers, etc., with educational missions but not meeting the criteria for a Web Address in the .EDU TLD, register their Web Addresses under the .ORG TLD. K-12 schools and community colleges are typically registered under country domains such as .US."

So, my guess is that the Franklin Institute slipped in somehow, perhaps at a time when the rules were more relaxed.