Archive for April, 2007

Chinese and Japanese IDN in .BIZ

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

I just got back this morning from attending the OASIS XRI TC face-to-face meeting in San Diego with Bill Barnhill, Drummond Reed, Laurie Rae, Les Chasen, Markus Sabadello, and Marty Schleiff. A number of good things came out of the meeting, which I’ll leave for another blog because this post is about Internationalized Domain Names, not XRI.

So we just opened the flood gates for Chinese and Japanese IDNs for .BIZ. This has been my brainchild for the past half a year or so, and represents a significant step forward for our registry in terms of internationalization. As one might expect, no support for Chinese IDN is complete without bundling as specified in the JET guidelines and RFC4713.

The tricky part to supporting both Chinese and Japanese IDN within a single registry is that the two languages share a large repertoire of Han characters. While the concept of Simplified and Traditional Chinese is well-understood within the Chinese communities, Japanese generally do not use variants the same way. Two characters that may be considered variants by a Chinese user may be seen as distinct characters with different semantics from the Japanese’ point of view. To implement a registry that respects the culture and expectations of both language communities while offering a high degree of protection against homographic attack is a juggling act in itself. I dare say that NeuStar is the first unsponsored gTLD registry that Got It Right ™.

So, how does it work? Well, suppose you registered 電車.biz with the Chinese language tag, you will automatically get the simplified version of the domain, 电车.biz, placed into the DNS for you. No one can register any combination of variants of the domain, e.g. 电車.biz and 電车.biz.

What if you registered a mixed version 電车.biz, also with the Chinese tag? Well, you get that PLUS 電車.biz (traditional) and 电车.biz (simplified) giving you 3 domains in total! That is because we respect the registrant’s request, even if it looks like a mixed- traditional and simplified string. Whatever you asked for, if it doesn’t clash with another registered domain, will always be given to you.

If, however, the Japanese tag was used to register 電車.biz, that would be the only domain that you’d get. Once that is registered, other variations of the domain name in Chinese will not be allowed to register. This is a slight deviation from JPRS‘s appraoch, which treats them as distinct domains. We feel that this conservative approach offers better protection for the registrant.

So that was the skinny on our Chinese and Japanese Internationalized Domain Names offering. Is it me or do Han characters look very good with .BIZ? =)

Usual disclaimer about this being my personal opinion applies.

Virginia Tech Shootings

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

News broke today that at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), 4 hours away from where I am, a gunman shot 32 people before committing suicide.

Jason Easley on the Blogger News Network wrote:

I have a feeling that the tragedy that occurred today at VA Tech is going to lead to a reopening of the gun control debate in the United States.

Gun control isn’t a debate in my mind — it’s a no-brainer: guns should not be widely accessible. Period. Then again, I’m not American.

After laying out both sides of the debate by quoting various political figures, he went on to say:

The person who carried out this attack could have just as easily used a bomb as a gun. Because of the lack of campus security, this was a unique incident that should not be lumped in as part of the gun debate. I have always thought that if someone is intent on killing they will find a way. Removing all guns isn’t the answer, but I do think that we need to ask ourselves why does the U.S. have so many more violent incidents like this compared to the rest of the industrialized world. It isn’t an easy question to answer, and I don’t think the solution is as simple as taking away all the guns. I am far from what would be considered a “gun nut,” but to me it is clear banning guns, except assault weapons, isn’t the answer. I think our societal problem rests more in the hearts of the individuals that carry out such actions than in the instruments that they use to kill others.

Sounds like a vicious cycle to me.

1. Gun advocates defend their right to own guns in the name of self-defense. 1
2. But easy accessibility to guns leads to violent crimes. 2
3. Violent crimes makes people insecure, though insecurity is force-fed to the consumers in this fear-driven society.

The cycle continues…

This reminds me of a clip in Bowling for Columbine:

1 I find it hard to believe that anyone would walk out of the gun shop thinking “if someone breaks into my house, I’ll scare him away with my gun.” It’s more like “I’ll kill the bastard!”

2 One might argue that guns could not be linked to shootings. I think that’s objective BS that won’t hold up against the conscience.

Happiness is…

Monday, April 16th, 2007

Loot from Rockville

Domains are safe

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

Ever since I learned about the RegisterFly trouble, I’ve been frantically trying to transfer my domains out of that crook of a registrar.

Some of my domains registered with RegisterFly had Enom as the registrar of record because RegisterFly was an Enom reseller before “getting accredited” themselves. One of them was particularly problematic because the authorization code was not showing in RegisterFly’s control panel and I had to send a bunch of documentations to Enom to get the domain moved to an Enom account. I’ve been twisting my fingers for the past week and am relieved to finally have all my domains transferred to GoDaddy. The only thing I lost out on is some $15 worth of credit in the RegisterFly account, which I am dead sure will not see the light of day.

Now, as long as Bob Parson doesn’t start using the company funds to buy a private jet or some villa in the carribean I reckon I’ll be safe.

Few lessons learnt from this exercise:

  • Always keep your whois data up-to-date, particularly the email address
  • Renew early (at least 3 months before the expiry)
  • Select a reputable registrar – this one is hard as they all suck, just a question of which one sucks less, and a balance between price and reliability.