What is http://xn--boards-oi0c.straightdope.com/… ?

I was looking for a thread, put * brainglutten intitle:use words site:straightdope.com* into Google, and got a string of hits. Most went to boards.straightodope.com and said so in the green text below the page title and in the status bar (Firefox, if this makes a difference). But the thread I was looking for had a quotation mark before the domain, and the link was http://“boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=15236506.
When I arrived on the page I was logged out of the Dope (I was logged in on other tabs). After logging in I realized something was off, then went to a pre-existing tab to change my password. But was that overkill? The straightdope.com was there, and Google (I thought) would have limited its results to SDMB pages because of the site: tag. Or have I been compromised by someone with the power to infiltrate Google and chaTHIS IS FORMER AGENT. ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ON RHYTHMDVL’S ACTIVITIES IS NOW UNDER SURVEILLANCE TOO. COME TO THINK OF IT, DOES ANYONE ELSE REMEMBER FORMER AGENT?

Well, it appears to be part of the straightdope.com domain, so probably legit. Maybe it’s the raw, un-prettified path to where the board is actually hosted.

It is still hosted at straightdope.com so I doubt your password was compromised. It is probably a test server that wasn’t intended to be indexed by google.

How about THIS one?:


It doesn’t have the graphical appearance of the SDMB at all (nor is it the archives, I get the archives pages sometimes in google searches but this isn’t one of those either).

The threads themselves are definitely Dope threads though.

Or just internal server names that are hidden when you go through boards.straightdope.com.

I stumbled across a couple of sites that were showing stolen SDMB threads, after making the surprising discovery that Vinyl Turnip (along with a bunch of other Dopers) was a member of boards I’d never heard of. Reported it back in January, and **TubaDiva **said they’re aware of it happening but can’t do much about it.

Hey! Could some copy-cat site like uk.newif.com have archived the Winter of Missed Content?

Or what about the Lost Weekend (or whatever it came to be called)?

The strange thing is there doesn’t seem to be a link to that from the root domain.

Isn’t that some kind of a technique that some Chinese systems use to gather data or something? I think I once tried to use one of those “stolen” boards, and it wanted me to register in order to post.

Right. Mostly those kinds of sites are just homes for ads and they steal data from other sites to pad the site out, make it look interesting, draw clicks from Google searches.

DNS names starting with “xn–” are “internationalized” names. It’s a scheme that allows you to encode non-ASCII characters (e.g. Japanese) in a DNS name, and browsers will display those instead of the funny “xn–…” string under some circumstances. In other words, if you wanted to have a web site called “東京.com”, the domain name for it will really be something practically unintelligible beginning with “xn–”.

The reason there’s one of these domain names under straightdope.com isn’t entirely clear, but it does look like the SDMB has a wildcard DNS entry set up so that anything.straightdope.com resolves to the same address, and most prefixes (notably excluding www) just end up redirecting to boards.straightdope.com.

So if I created a web page that had a link to a SDMB thread but I replaced the hostname with fartypants.straightdope.com, it would come up in google searches. I don’t have any explanation for why anyone would do that, but I bet it’s just a copy-paste error where a piece of text quoted the string “boards.straightdope.com” and someone accidentally included the first quote mark when making a link.

IIRC, web spiders were blocked on the boards then, so it would have been much harder to to copy stuff from the Winter of Missed Content. Best chance is Googling exact text used in a post from then.

Damn, the good domain names are always already taken!

There might be some hope it is on the wayback machine ( http://web.archive.org/web/20110624075355/http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/ ) it has some indexes of the boards as far back as November, 2000.