Extract, ICANN Announcement;
As the process for selecting new sponsored Top Level Domain (sTLDs) continues from a pool of ten applications, ICANN has now entered into commercial and technical negotiations with an additional candidate registry, ICM Registry, Inc, (.XXX).

ICANN recently announced the designation of two new sponsored Top-Level Domains (sTLDs), .JOBS and .TRAVEL at the 22nd ICANN International meeting in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

ICANN has also recently entered into commercial and technical negotiations with the following additional candidate registries, .CAT, .POST & .MOBI.

Luke O'Connell;

In our ever modernizing world, we note today the go ahead for a charming new top level domain (TLD), .XXX.

It would appear that in their insight, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has decided to further degrade and de-professionalize the TLD.

It seems only yesterday that ICANN introduced various new domains, some of a questionable nature perhaps, such as .BIZ , .INFO and the notoriously failing .NAME. However, we also saw the introduction of a much needed TLD, .US. This domain has proved hugely popular, and has begun to lift the common misconception that .COM was reserved for US corporations.

It should be noted at this point that .BIZ , .INFO are also experiencing grounding difficulties, and are mainly registered with porn sites, mass marketers and junk sites. Let us not also forget the professionals view when it came to the actual extensions themselves; although .NAME was on the whole acceptable, .BIZ and .INFO were considered by many to be symbolic of the illiteracy of our youth today, perhaps what may be referred to as synergy or indeed a new age.

I should, at this point, take the time to back up some of my thoughts with facts and figures. As of mid January this year (2005), 33 million .COMs were registered, according to Zooknic (www.zooknic.com). That compares to 3 million .INFOs and just 1 million .BIZs. Of course, .COMs are the standard, and we only have to look to .NET to find a trailing 5 million names, but it should be evident that their performance is comparably poor.

Indeed I should also point out, that .info domains are currently selling at around $2.88, compared to the industry standard of $8-10 (http://www.namecheap.com/domain-pricing.asp)

So one would have thought that ICANN, studying the data on these domains, would take great care before authorizing any additional non country specific TLDs, however you would have obviously been mistaken.

TLDs should be a sacred institution; they signify the very root of the Internet, the very highest structure; anything preceding the TLD is to be blunt, inconsequential. Companies like New Net have tried in the past to remove this restriction, this global system, by releasing a client, allowing you to access New Net registered domain extensions, such as .XXX.

Although one would imagine that New Net would be more of a fad, and not taken seriously at all, they continue to register new domains (for the want of a better word) daily. People, unfortunately, are attracted to that base pull, that new age mentality.

So what can we do? How can we prevent the TLD from dying an ugly and prolonged death? Nothing. ICANN met at a comfortable Argentinean hotel room and decided that we would have these domains, and the buck stops there.

Iím sure that Paul Mockapetris, the father of the Domain Name System, will I am sure, be disappointed. I write this perhaps to vent, but also to remember.

When the .XXX domain is released, the Internet will not stop, people will not stop registering domain names, people will not stop visiting their favorite sites, but the backbone of the Internet, the 22 year old governor of the world wide web, will be furthermore besmirched, and that will be a sad day.