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ICANN Draws Ire Over Batching For Dot.word Domains 63

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the punch-the-monkey dept.
angry tapir writes "ICANN has been subjected to more criticism over the process of creating new 'dot.word' generic top-level domains. Registry services companies have criticised ICANN for processing the 1900 or so applications for new gTLDs in batches, which means that it will take significantly longer for some new domains to go live than others. The real kicker is the process for choosing who goes in which batch: 'Digital archery' — essentially an applicant nominates a particular time then tries to click a button in a browser as close to that time as possible. I should have taken advantage of all those 'punch the monkey' ads in the good ol' days."
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ICANN Draws Ire Over Batching For Dot.word Domains

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  • Archery (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@woCURIErld3.net minus physicist> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:16AM (#40293301) Homepage

    Brings a whole new meaning to domain sniping - TLD sniping!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:19AM (#40293315)
  • by neokushan (932374) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:20AM (#40293319)

    Can you be bothered with all that fuss, all that trouble? Having to click an arbitrary button at an arbitrary time. Can you really be bothered?

    ICANN.

    • by azalin (67640) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:39AM (#40293393)
      This officially answers the question if icann are out of their minds. How does anyone even remotely sober come up with such an utterly stupid idea? IF this would be for some gaming site handing out free beta keys it would OK, even fun. But if you are talking about business in the 6 figure range something a little more sophisticated should be used. Unless of course you want to look like a bunch of script kiddies far out of their league.
      • by c0lo (1497653)

        But if you are talking about business in the 6 figure range something a little more sophisticated should be used. Unless of course you want to look like a bunch of script kiddies far out of their league.

        1. (Hey! I'm just kidding here) why would engineers try to abstain making fun of "businesses in the 6 figure range"?

        2. I'm developing now a "Resource scheduler" for a dept that have more booking request than resources to allocate.
        After going-back-an-forth in the search for a "fair solution" in establishing the priorities, the management decided that the only way to make it "fair" is to record all the booking request and, at the end of the week, run a "lottery" for the allocation schedule the next week.

        My po

        • by azalin (67640) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @07:16AM (#40293671)
          There are three options that come to mind:
          1) First come, first serve (though this requires that you don't mess up the registration process) (fair, if done right)
          2) Highest Bidder (profitable)
          3) Lottery / Random process (fair)
          The third requires an audit/verification process to prove it was truly random, but it's not that difficult to do. If done right, this is the fairest option.
          What you don't want to do, is leave the impression that this is just a joke for you and let your customers play (rather silly) games for it (like ican did).
          • by c0lo (1497653)

            There are three options that come to mind:
            1) First come, first serve (though this requires that you don't mess up the registration process) (fair, if done right)

            Not different from "archery", just at an earlier stage: assuming that you want to be absolutely fair, you advertise the "T-zero for application lodging" and it's up to the applicants to hit as close as possible that moment (even harder than the current approach, since any application lodged before T0 should be discarded).

            2) Highest Bidder (profitable)

            3. This Corporation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person. [icann.org]

            3) Lottery / Random process (fair)
            The third requires an audit/verification process to prove it was truly random, but it's not that difficult to do. If done right, this is the fairest option.

            Why develop a "random generator system" that need to be audited, inst

            • by kasperd (592156)

              This Corporation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation and is not organized for the private gain of any person.

              There is plenty of nonprofit organizations that could use the money. Each bidder should bid as much money as they would want to pay plus specify which nonprofit organization would receive the money. Before the actual bidding starts each bidder would submit a list of suggested nonprofit organizations that are allowed, an independent body would need to validate the suggested organizations before

          • by c0lo (1497653)

            What you don't want to do, is leave the impression that this is just a joke for you and let your customers play (rather silly) games for it (like ican did).

            Ah, BTW, this wasn't new and shouldn't take the applicants by surprise: visit the "Batching information" [icann.org] page, scroll to the bottom and read the date for the "Update on New gTLD Batching"
            (spoiler: it reads "Mar 30 2012". If you follow the link, you'll discover that a video was made available early April this year).

            How was that silly again?

          • by kasperd (592156)

            Lottery / Random process (fair)

            Sounds fair until you realize that it would be possible to set up multiple corporations just to get multiple tickets in the draw. If you try to defeat this by requiring a payment in order to apply for a domain, then you turn it into an auction.

        • by DarkOx (621550)

          My point: sometimes the only fair allocation/prioritization algorithm is to let the chance decide - if it's good for (sport) championships, why wouldn't it be good for deciding what processing batch the TDL will be included?

          Nothing wrong with that, and frankly nothing wrong with what ICANN is doing with regard to the batching. Sometime there are necessary reasons behind a policy technical or otherwise that some people won't like. When it comes to name registrations people signing up for names tend to want it yesterday, if you can't process requests instantly there will be some frustration.

          People will accept that to a degree, as "well that is just how it works" provided it seems for a lack of a better word professional. If

          • by bmo (77928)

            The person in the post above you listed the fair ways to get this done: first come, first served, lottery, and highest bidder - all of these can be audited.

            A javascript game cannot be audited, as the results are dependent on network, lan, and workstation lag, or lack thereof and less dependent on actual user input. Because as ICANN should know, packet switched networks are not real-time and cannot possibly be real-time or fair in this case.

            This, I believe, is a way to let ICANN's politically connected budd

            • A javascript game cannot be audited, as the results are dependent on network, lan, and workstation lag, or lack thereof and less dependent on actual user input.

              Actually, that's a feature. Without such unpredictable factors, it would be the cheaters who win, i.e. those guys that "click" the button on the nanosecond via script, rather than manually.

              With network latency, manual clickers do have a chance.

              • by bmo (77928)

                >network and machine latency introduces randomness.

                Then dispense with the pretence and have a random drawing. There are companies that specialize in this like GTECH and it can be on the up-and-up.

                But no, it has to be this nonsense.

                --
                BMO

              • With network latency, manual clickers do have a chance.

                any skilled programmer would have taken the average latency into account with their script. and probably also keep a moving average of the latency to the server on the day of the contest.

                • keep a moving average of the latency to the server on the day of the contest.

                  The latency would probably be much higher the second of the contest, due to all the cheaters' request trundling it at once...

                  • i believe they are staggering these sniping contests to avoid the servers being overloaded so at most there are probably only a few dozen "contestants" at once. anyway the price tag for these domains is high enough that not just anyone can afford them.

                    i wouldn't really call them "cheaters" as this is how the game needs to be played if you want to win.

      • This officially answers the question if icann are out of their minds. How does anyone even remotely sober come up with such an utterly stupid idea? IF this would be for some gaming site handing out free beta keys it would OK, even fun. But if you are talking about business in the 6 figure range something a little more sophisticated should be used. Unless of course you want to look like a bunch of script kiddies far out of their league.

        Despite the moronic way they went about playing their game [wikipedia.org] it does inject at least two areas of uncertainty into the equation: The pseudo-randomness (not so random -- those with lowest latency and most precise automation tools win) of the arbitrarily timed click, and the unknown amount of time, financial resources, focus and/or too much time on their hands used to prepare themselves.

        This slants the field toward those with more resources, which was probably the point anyway. This farce isn't so blatant as,

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      all the applicants should have enough money to throw a coder to do a script to do it exactly on time..

    • Think how many users get to popular sites by just typing 'facebook' into the browser address bar. They don't understand that the browser is actually detecting this as not-a-URL, assuming it as a query and passing it to the default search engine. But to control where those millions of users end up? Some of those idiot-friendly one-word domains could be worth billions of dollars over a ten-year period. So yes, people can be bothered.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      As if any human will do this! Much easier (and more accurate) to just build a small script to "press" that button for you!

  • This will work... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sqr(twg) (2126054) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:24AM (#40293335)

    ...but only because anyone who's dumb enough to pay US$185,000 for a gTLD won't realize he can hire a programmer for five minutes and get a greasemonkey script that clicks the "submit" button at exactly the right time (minus network lag).

    • by elp (45629)

      You have to do this through by clicking on the button in IE on their half baked treacle slow citrix desktop application so you can't game it that way.

      • by Sqr(twg) (2126054)

        Even if they built the world's most tamper-proof application, I could still circumvent it by opening up an old mouse and soldering a $5 relay switch to the button.

  • by Gearoid_Murphy (976819) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:29AM (#40293349)
    Surely they mean botched?
  • by alexhs (877055) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:50AM (#40293431) Homepage Journal

    Did slashdot apply for the ".dot" domain ? h t t p colon slash slash slashdot dot dot ...

    • Take it one step further, slashdot should get its own domain: http colon slash slash slash dot dot slash dot slash :P (http://slashdot.slashdot/)
  • by djsmiley (752149) <djsmiley2k@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @06:44AM (#40293563) Homepage Journal

    So you propose a time no one else will go for...

    3.32am for example

    1. at 0332 curl
    2. ???
    3. Profit?

    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      Sure they will. And plenty of people will do exactly like you.

      Cron isn't precise enough. I've noticed variation of a few seconds for some reason. So you'd want to keep your clock set as precisely as possible (assuming they do too). Calculate the network latency and time to submit, and right at the same moment, you and everyone else will hit.. It still ranks with dumb luck to who gets in closest.

      I'm sorry, if I'm dropping 6 figures and planning on running a business with it, I don't want the deciding

      • by elp (45629)

        Don't forget that the docs say they will only sync the time once at the start of the window so yes the skewed clock for mates is EXACTLY what is going to happen.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @07:08AM (#40293647)

    If a coin toss at the start of a game (make if finale) in a championship is good enough to decide which of the teams/players will start, why would not "digital archery" be good enough in this case as well?

    How else ICANN could be appear (and actually be) impartial/non-biased? Even more so because it does rely on the actual "players" to "toss their own coin", thus eliminating any doubt about "rigged equipment" from establishing "random winners"?

    • by mjr167 (2477430)
      I find it odd that people seem to think that a nmulti-billion dollar buisness should be run the same way as a football game... Not the way the teams are managed, but the game itself. I propose we apply games to other buisness matters. We can draw straws or throw darts or have sack races to see who gets promoted! That will make it so much more fun and proffessional!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Oddly enough, football IS a multi-million dollar business.

    • by c0lo (1497653)
      Update - the TFS seems like a piece meant for "sensationalism" rather than journalism.

      If the "drawing ire over batching by punch the monkey" is real, it should have happened as early as March 30 [icann.org] this year, when the notification about "digital archery" was made public by ICANN.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Indeed. If they must do it in batches, then to it randomly. But why then all this effort in this "game"? Lotteries are on the order fo the day in most parts of the world, and we know perfectly well how they are performed and audited to be fair and impartial. Just make it a simple lottery, and get over it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @07:27AM (#40293711)

    I used to work for a company that prepared applications for New gTLDs, and left right after the submission deadline. I prepared several myself. The reason why they are going with this "digital archery" technique is to get around California lottery laws. ICANN did not want the New gTLDs to go through the same mess that ".biz" did:

    Official ICANN Link [icann.org]

  • I think the whole concept of of dot word domains is botched. It doesn't really solve any problems and causes a whole bunch of new ones. In reality they will simply end up behaving as the .com domains without the .com suffix. Additional issues include being subject to the FBI's jurisdiction (just like the .com TLD) and confusing company names with country suffixes - for example what country is .hp? In reality this is a money grab by an organization that should not be making money its primary goal.

    What take d

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