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ICANN Draws Ire Over Batching For Dot.word Domains

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the punch-the-monkey dept.

The Internet 63

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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It's gonna' be close! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293279)

Finer than a red cunt hair, to be precise.

Archery (5, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293301)

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

Re:Archery (3, Insightful)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293363)

or "gaming the system"

Re:Archery (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40296855)

i want to register for ".tld"

Re:Archery (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40297269)

".txt"
".doc"
".odt"
".exe"
".bat"
".h"
".c"
".cpp"
".java"
".py"
Hey, why not, right?

The truth about ICANN (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293315)

Can you be bothered? (4, Funny)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can you be bothered? (4, Insightful)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293615)

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 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?
How would you decide (and avoid without doubt any conflict of interest) which of the "6 figure range company" to give priority in regards with the processing moment of the "TDL request"?

Re:Can you be bothered? (3, Insightful)

azalin (67640) | more than 2 years ago | (#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).

Re:Can you be bothered? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293815)

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, instead of putting "the faith of their application into the applicants' own hands" (by "digital archery")?

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).

Why does this appear to you as "silly"? (because it was you to rally on the "rather silly... as ican did" accusation).

I remember that, when generating a private/public key pair, some applications asked me to type something/anything at the keyboard: doesn't matter what, only the key-press timing info was used in seeding the RandGen. Now, maybe because I'm closer to an engineer mindset, but I didn't consider the request as "silly"... on the contrary.

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

kasperd (592156) | more than 2 years ago | (#40299007)

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 actual bidding starts. Make the bidding a second price auction, because that is generally a sensible thing to do, and moves less money around.

Why develop a "random generator system" that need to be audited, instead of putting "the faith of their application into the applicants' own hands" (by "digital archery")?

You don't think that needs to be audited? A random generator system is easier to audit. Each bidder submit a random string. All random strings submitted before the deadline are then hashed together to choose randomly between those parties submitting before the deadline. Alternatively the input data for the hash could include the opening price of some stock index from a date after the deadline. As long as the method is published beforehand and all input is public, it is easy for anybody to validate the result.

There is still some fine details about the deadline. In practice that is a lot easier to deal with than this so called archery.

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293863)

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?

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

kasperd (592156) | more than 2 years ago | (#40299147)

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.

Re:Can you be bothered? (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293685)

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 ICANN had simply used a random number generator on the back end to assign requests to a batch, I bet there would have been little fuss.

Putting this "game" on the website on the other hand makes people feel like the delay's are stupid and arbitrary.

Re:Can you be bothered? (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293755)

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 buddies get preferential treatment and to hide it under the "well, you just didn't click fast enough" excuse.

--
BMO

Re:Can you be bothered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40295995)

Not to mention it might not work correctly in all browsers.

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#40296103)

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.

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40297077)

>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

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#40297209)

They did it probably just because "digital archery" is such a funny phrase...

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 2 years ago | (#40299707)

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.

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#40306195)

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...

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 2 years ago | (#40307663)

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.

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | more than 2 years ago | (#40332507)

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, say, creating tiered applications fees with the highest fee payers getting preferential consideration, thus making them look dumb rather than greedy. They get to reward the folks with more resources, who can (already have?) reward them right back. Perhaps they even rent rack space right next to the time-recording servers to their special friends?

Then again, when it comes to humanity, stupidity is generally the odds-on favorite.

Re:Can you be bothered? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293655)

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

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294819)

I like the way you think! Someone get this man a baby!

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293705)

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.

Re:Can you be bothered? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294687)

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... (5, Insightful)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#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).

Re:This will work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293891)

The developer who synchronizes with NIST and compensates for lag wins.

Re:This will work... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294393)

The developer that finds out what the judging system is synchronized to is even MORE likely to win!

Re:This will work... (1)

elp (45629) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294667)

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.

Re:This will work... (1)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294917)

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.

Re:This will work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40302125)

Only if you are too stupid to realise that mouse clicks can be simulated.

Somebody batched the title (4, Funny)

Gearoid_Murphy (976819) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293349)

Surely they mean botched?

Re:Somebody batched the title (-1)

Jello B. (950817) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293439)

You botched your comment dumbass.

Re:Somebody batched the title (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293539)

Woosh

Irrelevent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293417)

So we write it all off as noise, understand that these '.word' domains are useless, vulgar and irrelevant, and carry on with making efficient systems.

The important question... (5, Funny)

alexhs (877055) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293431)

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

Re:The important question... (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293481)

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/)

Re:The important question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293689)

(http://slash.dot/) would be better then (http://slashdot.slashdot/) since we try to avoid dupes!

Re:The important question... (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294101)

since we try to avoid dupes!

You must be new here.

Re:The important question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293541)

Always related.

Slash dot Dash [youtube.com]

Oh how I love at (2)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293563)

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

3.32am for example

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

Re:Oh how I love at (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293607)

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 factor to if I or the competition succeed, to be dumb luck. I especially don't want to find out that someone gamed the system, because the server time was 1 minute 32.08 seconds off, and that was told to one of their friends to hit it at the skewed time instead of the correct time.

You can, of course, assume that the folks at ICAAN have no friends, so there is little risk of that happening. :)

Re:Oh how I love at (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293947)

I will assume that the submission cut on time will be anywhere between 1 and 10 minutes before they say it will so that their corporate masters can win whatever name they want.

Re:Oh how I love at (1)

elp (45629) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294707)

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.

Re:Oh how I love at (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40296823)

10 seconds beforehand, start firing off about 10000 HTTP requests per second?

Re:Oh how I love at (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40297221)

...thus essentially DDoSing the server so they can't tell who got in at the right time and forcing them to realize their mistake and switch to a better solution! Brilliant!

Sometimes the only way to be fair is by chance (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#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"?

Re:Sometimes the only way to be fair is by chance (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293719)

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:Sometimes the only way to be fair is by chance (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40294007)

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

Re:Sometimes the only way to be fair is by chance (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293907)

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.

Re:Sometimes the only way to be fair is by chance (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294743)

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.

Re:Sometimes the only way to be fair is by chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40296641)

Supposedly this is being done to get around California lottery laws. Or so I've read; I don't have any concrete information backing that statement.

California Lottery Laws (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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]

Re:California Lottery Laws (0)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294331)

This should be modded (+6, TFA is wrong and sensationalist).

Look, you're not paying nearly the market value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293731)

If we wanted to do this fairly, you'd have to bid on each and every one of these domains, and they would cost a whole lot more than you're paying now. It's a landgrab, and like every landgrab, it's not going to be pretty. At least have the decency not to complain too much about it.

Dot word is botched (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293859)

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 does the IETF have on this circuis?

FREECANN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293899)

How about we start a new democratic FREE-CANN instead of the current corrupt system? Those usinc the increasingly censored ICANN can dump it and go with uncensored FREECANN DNS servers instead!

Hire progamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40294785)

They could hire FPS progamers, they would be better with click aiming!

ebay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40294901)

put them all up on ebay. let the world decide what they're worth, and have an opportunity to get them. consider the application fee the cost to get one listed.

fu3k!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40295127)

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