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Outdated Domains To Meet Their End 173

Dr. Eggman writes "The little used .um internet domain is no more. The domain was used, or rather unused, for US minor outlying islands and the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute had grown tired of maintaining it. This announcement comes as last month ICANN began taking comments on deletion of outdated suffixes. Among the top of the list? .su, the internet domain of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union's .su may prove harder to remove however, as Google still lists 3 million .su sites."
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Outdated Domains To Meet Their End

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  • Russia (Score:5, Funny)

    by wooferhound ( 546132 ) <> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @11:16AM (#17813802) Homepage
    In Soviet Russia
    The Domain expires you . . .
  • by mfh ( 56 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @11:18AM (#17813824) Homepage Journal

    Among the top of the list? .su, the internet domain of the Soviet Union.
    Before we get unindated by a slew of "In Soviet Russia" troll posts, let's think about this domain deletion concept for a moment.

    Obi-Wan: I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.
    The destruction of a domain that is of no use, is nothing to be upset about. But what happens when this motion is repeated on a larger scale when not everyone is in agreement?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by parasonic ( 699907 )

      The destruction of a domain that is of no use, is nothing to be upset about.

      But how much effort does it take to maintain a database of three million Soviet Union TLD's? The time alone to register these domains alone would be twenty-eight and one-half man years at five minutes to register. Just to register them. How much time would it take to switch domain names? How much to try to update links? How much to one's clients trying to get to a site that can no longer exist? Tens of thousands of man years?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dr. Eggman ( 932300 )
      Then we should try to get as many people in agreement as possible. Maintain the domain until there are sufficiently few (.su's 3 million is too much for me, perhaps a quarter million or less?) and after that point sweep the remaining in to a generic tld like .mis or something else for a miscellaneous domain. I'm not sure how feasable something like that would be, but the least we can do is offer "endangered tld" holders some method to ease into newer or better maintained tlds. We could look at how servers a
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by sethstorm ( 512897 ) *

        But the Soviet Union? I thought you guys had disbanded?

        Ambassador:*chuckles* Yes, that's what we wanted you to think!

        Apparently Yukos (and some others) didn't get the memo.

        As for interesting domains- is already taken, for those who prefer things extra hot.
        • Economics, the only science where ethics and morality are thrown out the window.

          You might try reading Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments which is the humanist moral/ethical foundation upon which he based The Wealth of Nations.

    • by heroofhyr ( 777687 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @11:44AM (#17814248)
      I'm a little disappointed at the lack (currently I only see one) of "In Soviet Russia" posts under this article. Often they're lame, but once in awhile you see some that're actually funny. I was hoping when I clicked through to this discussion to find some, only to find a single one (modded down Redundant). Sure, they can be rather annoying in irrelevant conversations, but this article is practically an open invitation for people who post the same hackneyed phrases to every article to go wild. Maybe you don't care for them, but I for one welcome our Soviet Russian troll poster overlords. I'm currently checking Netcraft to verify whether or not "In Soviet Russia" posting is dying and will report confirmation later.
    • You want people to think before posting? Getoutahere! :D

      Oh, and before I forget...

      In Soviet Russia, the domain deletion concept thought about you! (For a moment)

      Good day!
    • by The_Wilschon ( 782534 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @12:31PM (#17814948) Homepage
      In America, you get inundated with bad jokes. In Soviet Russia, bad jokes get

      with YOU!
    • by deblau ( 68023 )

      The destruction of a domain that is of no use, is nothing to be upset about. But what happens when this motion is repeated on a larger scale when not everyone is in agreement?
      This [] happens.
  • So how do I get an email addy at one of those 3 million .su domains ?
    • Register a .su domain? Have a quick look on google; there's plenty of registrars that'll happily take your cash in exchange for a .su. Better be quick though! If it gets axed you won't be getting any emails.
      • by British ( 51765 )
        Register a .su domain? Have a quick look on google; there's plenty of registrars that'll happily take your cash in exchange for a .su.

        And knowing Russian hackers, any of those .su domained websites will be more than happy to take your credit card # as well. :)
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by kingred ( 305856 )
          No, you've got it all wrong. They already have your credit card number, so ordering is super easy!
  • really? (Score:1, Troll)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 )
    Never been to a .su domain before. Maybe it's because I don't speak Russian... That being said I have been to plenty of .ro, .jp, .cn, .de, etc domains and I don't any of their funny languages.


  • by pr0nbot ( 313417 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @11:21AM (#17813878)
    Suffixes (and host prefixes) were a mistake. We ought to get rid of them altogether.
    • by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @11:56AM (#17814430)
      ICANN uses new TLD registration to basically print money, they'll never give up the TLD concept.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      With a few exceptions, they have pretty much lost their meaning. Few countries seem to have restrictions on the use of their suffix (Faroe Islands being one).

      Suffixes still serve a valuable purpose. They allow us to identify hosts using DNS, pretty handy if you ask me. There may be a better way of doing it but I haven't seen one. and could be different servers and so prefixes are handy and reliable.

      The only suffixes that are no-brainers would be www and ftp if they're all
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cyclomedia ( 882859 )
      The mistake probably wasnt the suffix itself but the assumption that the country was the lowest common denominator between organisations. This is why we have and instead of and . Many companies do rearrange their websites to use this subdomaining system (as probably does MS) and it makes more sense in that respect.

      We've also had this discussion before about .tel because it seems obvious that telephony should either use an email-like syntax but with a d
      • .earth.sol may seem like a good idea

        I wouldn't worry about having a consistent interplanetary DNS hierarchy. The latency is too horrible for any sort of TCP based protocol, so interplanetary communication is going to need a bunch of new standards anyway.

        Beyond that, the whole question doesn't really become relevant until there are off-planet settlements, and at that point I don't see any special reason to bring along random legacy bureaucracy like ICANN.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
          However is does bring to mind the possible of an open DNS system that completely circumvents icann, after all they are just ip addresses and entries in a data base.

          Google DNS, Yahoo DNS, ASK DNS or even MSN DNS, there is nothing to stop them from adding a suitable extension to browsers, mirroring whatever they feel like and then selling their preferences, net neutrality vs DNS neutrality.

          With Linux taking over, there is something inherently desirable about an SU suffix (SUDO would just be too much to ty

          • most people at least in the west (i have heared that there is a competing system arround that is better suited to eastern languages but i don't know the details) have thier system set up to resolve ICANN tlds and ONLY ICANN tlds.

            so if you want your website visible to most people it has to be under an ICANN tld

            this is what prevents the success of the alternative roots
            • by rtb61 ( 674572 )
              ISPs are not websites, other companies are websites, as far as the ISP is concerned or alternative domain name servers, if your web site is visible or not is not skin off their nose. Same with throttling bandwidth, from the end users point of view, it is not the network that is slow, it is your crappy web site that is slow. So from the end users point of view it's your fault that you web site is not visible, not the ISP's etc. because other similar web sites are available.

              This is all about the balkanisati

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by WoLpH ( 699064 )
      I disagree, they do have a purpose and a use, however it's not used for the right purpose often enough. If I visit a site with the TLD from my country (.nl) I expect to see a dutch site, if I visit a website with a .fr TLD I expect a french site. TLDs like that have a purpose, however, they lose there purpose as soon as people start putting english site's on .nl domains and dutch sites on .com domains. That however, is a totally different issue.
      • If I visit a site with the TLD from my country (.nl) I expect to see a dutch site, if I visit a website with a .fr TLD I expect a french site.
        What would you expect on a .be site?
    • by rbanffy ( 584143 )
      It funny now people who don't understand something are very quick at dismissing it as a bad idea.
    • I think the problem was that the US decided that they should be exempt from using a ccTLD. If there had been a rule of only allowing a ccTLD to go to a person/corporation/establishment with an "address for service" in that country and requiring a document for proof of establishment as a trading operation for .co[m].cc then it could, in my opinion have worked.

      Of course this would mean that the domain registrars would have to do administration beyond thinking up new TLDs to cash in on.

      Just a little late now t
      • No one has to use ccTLDs at all, in any country. It's always been completely voluntary.

        Also, there are plenty of .us domains. It's new and trendy (ugh).
        • ccTLDs have been used it's just that the established norm is to have a .com not a or and so those that have a (etc.) also have a .com.

          Later on when choosing a domain you have to battle against the public assumption that any domain name is a dot-com and the technological assumptions in autocompletion systems which only add .com or .org (unless you hack them).

          The real objection is that you then need an .int for cross border entities like WIPO, CERN, UN, etc.. My response would have been
  • Okay, so they've been dropping some ccTLDs, but IANA has Procedures for Establishing ccTLDs []. So, when was the last time they created a new ccTLD?
  • .su (Score:5, Funny)

    by Arthur B. ( 806360 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @11:22AM (#17813900)
    The TLD for bearded Russian sysadmins.
  • by Paulrothrock ( 685079 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @11:24AM (#17813920) Homepage Journal

    There are tons of words that end in 'um' []. Why not sell domains there so people can get '' or ''? It would generate tons of revenue (just like .cx, .us, and .tv) and would free up some domain name space.

    For those who are wondering, there are only 8 words that end in 'su' []

    • And honestly they rule... where can I register ?!
    • All the -su words there are Japanese. There are more Japanese words that end with -su than that website lists. "Manatsu" being one. And there are probably tons of anime characters whose names end with -su.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by screaser ( 901255 )
      Because let's be honest...

      URLs like in.fini.ty,, etc are both extremely lame and annoying.

      Don't be that guy.
      • I think of it as a way to keep the rabble out. If MySpace was MySpa.ce it would keep a lot of the thirteen-year-old girls (who will be responsible for the demise of western society) out.
    • There are tons of words that end in 'um' []. Why not sell domains there so people can get '' or ''?

      The truth is, that this domain naming scheme does not work very well as a brand. You can have a domain named, but you just _have_ to have as a pair for it, or you'll lose a lot of visitors.

      I've seen this naming scheme used by many famous companies (subaru:, but they all had them as an aliases for 'proper' names

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Scarblac ( 122480 )

      For those who are wondering, there are only 8 words that end in 'su'

      ... in English. I think it's more common in French and Italian, and probably in loads of other languages I don't know anything about. And other languages do matter somewhat for this sort of thing (see Wikipedia [])

    • mm don't forget tiramisu [] :-)

      Now, did you mean there are only 8 words in all the world's languages that end in "su" or just English? I can't believe that there aren't a few more out there in different languages...
      • Now, did you mean there are only 8 words in all the world's languages that end in "su" or just English? I can't believe that there aren't a few more out there in different languages...

        Hai, arimasu :-)

    • And all the Romanians in the world
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by inselaffe ( 1057582 )
      And what will Putin use for his blog now he can't have
    • I found a few more []. Of course if you only want words without spaces, try this query [].

      Words ending in 'su' [] (without spaces []).

    • by Kelz ( 611260 )
      No need for a new .xxx suffix!!!

  • by adnonsense ( 826530 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @11:26AM (#17813942) Homepage Journal

    Why not reassign the .um TLD to the umming and aahing community? There are many ditherers and the like out there who'd love to have domains like "", "", "" etc.

    • by trongey ( 21550 )

      Why not reassign the .um TLD to the umming and aahing community?...
      So you're saying it should go to the politicians.
  • Bad journalism? (Score:5, Informative)

    by sczimme ( 603413 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @11:27AM (#17813954)
    From the linked article:

    The Soviet Union's ".su" is the leading candidate for deletion; that'll be harder to strike than ".um" -- a Google search produced more than 3 million ".su" sites.

    The Google results were vetted to ensure those were 3+ million unique domains, right?

    A Google search for sites from only the .su domain returned the following result:

    Results 1 - 10 of about 2,670,000 for (0.04 seconds)

    I don't know what folks will do without []...

  • ``The Soviet Union's .su may prove harder to remove however, as Google still lists 3 million .su sites.''

    Other people using a TLD hasn't stopped ICANN before. See, for example, the .biz TLD that was operated by Pacific Root, before ICANN decided it wanted .biz and simply introduced it. Now we have two of them, with different hosts in each.
    • That's not the same at all. You might as well get mad at them because you'd been using '.info' on the 192.168 network in your basement.
  • Miami fell apart in football and now the .um domain...

    Come to think of it, the University of Miami would have been the logical university to control the .um domain.

    I tried to find a website on .um. [] points to something. Seems like an exchange point domain. Keeps calling itself Except isn't up.
  • by fang2415 ( 987165 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @11:41AM (#17814196) Journal

    ".su" is the leading candidate for deletion

    Well, no big loss -- .sudo is a much better way of managing things anyway.

  • Not 3 000 000 .su (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jotii ( 932365 )

    as Google still lists 3 million .su sites
    Note that this is the number of .su pages listed -- not sites.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @12:52PM (#17815254) Homepage

    It's good to see ICANN doing some cleanup. For the past few years, they've been something of a trade group for domain registrars.

    A few more TLDs could go. .museum and .aero could be phased out due to lack of interest. The entire list for .museum is a few pages, the domains aren't the top-tier museums, and almost all of them are redirects anyway. .aero has an entry for every airport code (try LAX.AERO []), but those were put there by the domain registrar to give the illusion of activity and they're not the primary domain name for those sites. ("LAX.AERO" is really "WWW2.LAWA.ORG").

    .biz ought to go as slum clearance. .info probably wasn't worth creating.

  • in soviet russia, that which is operated on becomes the operator and that which operates becomes operated on. it's a well known fact in the slashdot community

    the slashdot community is also familiar with the concept of logical paradoxes, like: "i never tell the truth"... well if you aren't telling the truth about never telling the truth, then perhaps you do tell the truth, which contradicts your statement. the resulting lack of meaning renders the entire statement null and void

    now if we are to actually drop the .su domain, when the slashdot community knows full well that in soviet russia, the .su domain drops you, then won't the void created by this logical paradox create a rift in time and space and kill us all?

    good god for the sake of humanity, leave .su alone!

    because in .su, domain drops you!
  • 3 million sites? (Score:5, Informative)

    by helgy ( 653011 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:17PM (#17815616) Homepage
    Probably 3 million pages, not sites. According to Russians ( []) there were 7897 domain names registered in .su TLD by 11/26/2006. And looks like they aren't going to give it up for nothing - .su domain is $100/year.
  • by tetromino ( 807969 ) on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @01:18PM (#17815632)
    .su is designated as the TLD for companies and organizations that have a presence in many of the countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union. Basically, the same sort of role that .eu is supposed to play for Europe.

    IMHO, the constant attempts to get rid of .su are pure politics: "the Soviet Union was eeevil, so we must erase all traces of it from the DNS system". Blergh. These people are trying to steamroll over numerous legitimate users of .su.
    • The .eu ccTLD is for the European Union, not Europe. Thus the difference being in that .eu is a ccTLD for an existing political entity whereas the Soviet Union ceased to exist fifteen years ago, therefore the .su ccTLD has no associated relevant entity to it.

      But the .eu ccTLD is not entirely uncontroversial either. A ccTLD is used by countries or dependent territories. The EU is neither, it is a supranational/intergovernmental hybrid entity.

    • I happen to live in an ex-Soviet country, and one thing is known for sure - there is not one large company (or any other entity, like a university or an organization) that uses a .su domain to emphasize its presence on the entire ex-Soviet territory. A company with a leader who is not insane will most likely avoid having a .su site because it will associate their business with communism, and communism is a bad thing (tm).

      I don't know where you are from, but I'm pretty sure you won't be able to come up with
  • Um ... has anyone considered that the .um domain might be popular amongst Slashdotters? They have a tendency to start posts with those letters. Heck, I'll maintain it.
  • But that doesn't mean it's time to get rid of it. The current alternatives are worse.

    I don't see why removing the TLDs is even being considered at all.

    If some people have domains on it and keep paying to maintain them why get rid of it? Does anyone actually have a much better use for .su? If nobody uses the .su TLD, then uh what's the problem, even if it's still theoretically around, no servers would be needed to host the domains, there would be hardly any load.

    I really don't understand the reasoning.

    The IC
  • OK, but... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by the cleaner ( 1641 )
    ...has someone got a link to a list of the ccTLDs to be deleted? I'm just asking because I'm getting nervous, because I have my own site on a "dead" ccTLD, but it makes for a very geeky domain:

    (...and .io is the british indian ocean territories, before someone asks...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tverbeek ( 457094 ) *
      I doubt .IO is in danger, since it technically isn't part of the UK, and therefore couldn't be folded into .UK.
      • The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is a unique case. The BIOT was created in 1965 from parts of the Seychelles and Mauritius for military use (parts of the BIOT were returned to the Seychelles in 1976). In 1966, the US and UK signed an agreement to use the territory for a military base. As a result, the native population was expelled to make way for the base. (For more details, see here [] or google for "Diego Garcia"). As for the ccTLD...The lease the US and UK signed in 1966 expires in 2016. If the US
  • What about deleting other, "useless," domains, like .museum, .aero, and even .biz. .travel could probably be wiped as well. Talk about completely and utterly useless TLDs.
  • do not use .cs as your country's TLD if you don't want your country to split!
  • []

    Shouldn't obsolete TLDs just be mothballed with further registrations prohibited?

    It's not just a case of registering new domains for all those sites - think of the volume of inbound links that will break if a whole domain just vanishes overnight.
  • More about .um (Score:3, Informative)

    by welshsocialist ( 542986 ) <> on Tuesday January 30, 2007 @05:08PM (#17819226) Homepage
    This is a post for slashdotters confused over .um and the islands they stand for. .um was allocated for the "United States Minor Outlying Islands". The term "United States Minor Outlying Islands" is a catch all phrase that refers to nine islands around the world. Eight of these are in the Pacific Ocean, the other is in the Caribbean Sea. They are:
    • Baker Island
    • Howland Island
    • Jarvis Island
    • Kingman Reef
    • Johnston Atoll
    • Midway Islands
    • Palmyra Atoll
    • Wake Island
    • Navassa Island

    Baker and Howland islands were claimed in 1857. guano (aka bird shit) was mined on these islands during the 19th century. In 1935, an attempt to colonize these two islands was began; World War II forced an end to the project. Howland Island was Amelia Earhart's intended stop on her last flight. They both became National Wildlife Refuges in 1974.
    Jarvis Island was claimed by the US in 1858, but abandoned in 1879 after tons of guano were mined. The UK claimed the island in 1889 and the US claimed it back in 1935. A settlement was started here, but World War II ended those plans. Jarvis Island became a National Wildlife Refuge in 1974.
    Kingman Reef was claimed by the Guano Islands Act in 1856. It was annexed by the US in 1922. It was used a stopover by flying boats in the 1930's. Kingman Reef was transfered from the US Navy to the US Interior Dept in 2000; it became a National Wildlife Refuge a year later.
    Johnston Atoll was annexed by both Hawaii and the US in 1858. In 1936, it was placed under US Navy control. The US Air Force gained control in 1948. In the 1950's and 1960's, Johnston Atoll was used for Nuclear tests, and until 2000 the Atoll was used for chemical weapons storage and disposal. In 2005, the Atoll's cleanup process was finished.
    The Midway Islands were put under US possession in 1867. In the 1930's and 40's, the Islands were used a refueling stop. A key battle of World War II was fought here in 1942. Until 1993, Midway was a US Naval Station. They are also a National Wildlife Refuge.
    Palmyra Atoll was claimed by Hawaii in 1858. When the US annexed Hawaii in 1898, it was a part of the deal. When Hawaii became a state in 1959, Palmyra was excluded. Today, it is privately owned.
    Wake Island was annexed in 1899 for use as a cable station. In the 1940's, a Naval Base was built. Japan had control over the atoll from 1941-1945. Since then, Wake has been used as a refueling stop for trans pacific flights. Since 1974, the Island has been used by the military as an airstrip. In August 2006, a typhoon tore though Wake. Because of this, the island's future use is doubtful. Wake Island is claimed by the Marshall Islands.
    Navassa Island was claimed for Guano in 1857. Mining of the stuff took place here from 1865 to 1898. A lighthouse was built here in 1917; it was used by the US Coast Guard until 1996. In that year, the light was shut off and the island was transferred to the S Interior Dept. It became a National Wildlife Refuge in 1999. Navassa Island is claimed by Haiti and a private claim exists as well.

    For more about these islands, see the CIA World Factbook [] and Wikipedia [].
  • Just out of curiosity, what is involved in maintaining a little used tdl? I mean, they don't rust, do they?

A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two. -- Seneca