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Sometimes, Microsoft is Right...

chrisd posted more than 12 years ago | from the headlines-you-never-thought-you'd-see-here dept.

The Internet 355

We've run a number of stories about RealNames over the years. To our credit, Slashdot readers and editors have mostly thought that RealNames was a foolish and pointless money wasting exercise to create an alternate DNS system that is neither, well, alternative or compatible with the DNS protocols. But recently, due to some shrewd marketing on the Part of Keith Teare, the RealNames CEO, they've gotten undeserved sympathy by painting themselves as victims of Microsoft. It is my intention to cut this off before it goes any further, to engage in some review of RealNames business and why it was a good thing that they went out of business. If you are interested in reading my thoughts about this, read on...A quick review: RealNames (then Centraal) first showed up on the Slashdot radar in 1998 when they inked a sales deal with Pre-verisign Network Solutions in which NSI would sell RealNames along with their other stable of internet "products." RealNames were very much pioneers in doing ethically troubling things for money on the Internet. Specifically, they were the first company to make a business model around manipulating search results for money. They also were trying to replace Network Solutions then-monopolistic control of domain names (a laudable goal) with a monopoly of their own (not so laudable), with their RealNames "augmenting" the DNS system in the Internet Explorer Browser and within search engines with which they had inked sales deals.

Now many many users of Slashdot have expressed their dislike for search services that order results based on cash, and many of us don't use IE, so the question comes up: why should we care about RealNames at all? Why does the failure of some poorly managed, ill-conceived company warrant any space on Slashdot? Alternative root servers make for a better story, no doubt. I'm the first to agree that RealNames deserves very little of your time, but the story of RealNames has recently taken a turn that is both annoying to me personally, and worrying to me as a long time participant in the open source scene.

Keith Teare, CEO of RealNames, has tried to make it seem like it was Microsoft's monopoly power that made RealNames go out of business. Lets review: RealNames had a deal with Microsoft to provide the RealNames service to MSN and Internet Explorer, for which they paid Microsoft a fee, and in return they got to derive revenue from selling the RealNames to companies, so basically Microsoft was likely RealNames' sole source of income. Keith and his coworkers were very happy to tie their horse to Microsoft while Microsoft was willing to pull them.

I don't need to explain to the Slashdot reader why RealNames was a poor idea. It is something you feel in your gut. I mean, in the end if you're going to accept the consensus reality that is the domain name system, are you going to stick with the somewhat broken NSI/ICANN/Pick-Your-Favorite-DNS company structure? Or are you going to go to a completly left field, poor, expensive excuse for NSI like RealNames? If you are a company trying to establish a web presence, do you choose the system that everyone has agreed on and publicize your url "http://www.bobstigerrentals.com" ? Or do you put: "RealName: Bob's Tiger Rentals" in your ads?

To illustrate further: Back in the day, I bought the linux.com domain name for the then-VA Research (Now VA Software) from Fred van Kempen (And there was much publicity, huzzah). Four or five months after doing this, I got a call from James Ash at RealNames trying to sell me the Linux RealName. This was not unusual, as I'd get any number of calls trying to sell me anything from containers full of stuffed penguins to whole companies (I was the wrong guy for those calls ...) What shocked me was the price he thought we'd pay. My mind remembers it as a horrible inverted Ron Popiel style sale, with none of the charm of Ron's products. How much would you pay to control the "Linux" RealName for four years? You'll be all over MSN and IE! $19.95? $29.95? $39.95? Try 1 million dollars.

It was a lot of money then, it's a lot of money now. It was a lot of money for any business. I told him we'd get back if we were interested. I didn't get back to him.

This is the innovation that Mr. Teare claims Microsoft squished, his right to overcharge for a dubious product. While Caveat Emptor certainly applied in the case of RealNames, his claim that Microsoft, somehow, has some duty to continue to provide the RealNames "service" to their browser client rings false. And that is the point of relating this bit of personal history.

I have little interest in engaging in schadenfreude over broken companies and laid off workers, but I do take issue with Keith Teare's attempt to jump on the anti-trust complainants bandwagon. If it is his hope that by crying foul on Microsoft now he can derive some sympathy or some other unknown gain, he'll have to look somewhere else than here on Slashdot, especially considering those that have a valid complaint against the software giant. Even considering recent developments I can't find any sympathy for him or his company, a company that, in my mind, belongs in the same class as LinuxONE (the California, not the Korean, company) and Digital Convergence.

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frist toast (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563438)

mofos!

eat it!

eat it raw!

rah rah rah!

guess the reference and win a monkey!

Re:frist toast (-1, Offtopic)

Lupin3 (322022) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563442)

You sir, can eat my baseballs.

You can eat my balloons.

You can eat my ball bearings.

You can eat my ball points.

But you can not eat my ball peen.

DENIED (-1)

Anonymous Cowrad (571322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563489)

Since you are AC scum, I claim this post for The Queen of Spain.

Haiku! (0)

Haiku_troll (580701) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563599)

Microsoft is right
Pigs fly, Amazon profits
Satan buys ice skates

Redundant article explains redundant story (-1, Troll)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563439)

When the primary subject of your article includes "I dont need to explain to the average Slashdot reader why", then why is it being explained, and more importantly why has it been posted?

Re:Redundant article explains redundant story (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563451)

Clearly the man likes to smell his own farts.

Re:Redundant article explains redundant story (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563459)

Because, really, "I don't need to explain to the average Slashdot reader why" is just a polite way of saying "I need to explain to the average Slashdot reader why".

Sometimes Microsoft is right!? (2, Funny)

Any Web Loco (555458) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563447)

Don't say that. Everytime you say that, somewhere an open-sourcer dies...

Re:Sometimes Microsoft is right!? (3, Funny)

vena (318873) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563507)

/me claps

don't die, open sourcer!

/me claps harder

don't die!

Re:Sometimes Microsoft is right!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563519)

Every time you Troll, god kills a kitten.
please... think of the kittens

Invest in space heaters! (4, Funny)

sheldon (2322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563452)

Hell must have just frozen over!

Re:Invest in space heaters! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563463)

I would, but I'm afraid to go outside what with the flying pigs circling my apartment building.

FUNNY! (-1)

Anonymous Cowrad (571322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563527)

If this were a Ziggy cartoon or that joke was being told to me by someone incredibly feeble, then it's definitely +1 Funny.

Since this is not in fact a Ziggy Cartoon, the conclusion is obvious.

Re:Invest in space heaters! (5, Funny)

Debillitatus (532722) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563558)

Let's see... hell froze over, and the first advice is, "invest in space heaters".

What does this say about where /.ers read from?

Heh.

To Understand Completely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563461)

Is to forgive completely

COMMON SLASHDOT MYTHS 2 (-1)

returnofthe_spork (552824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563464)

Myth: The second Amendment of the US Constitution gives all Americans the right to own guns, and it is our duty to keep ourselves well armed in case we need to fight against our own government.
Fact: 1996 gun murders in the US: 9390; in Great Britain: 30. If you support the fascist conservatives who oppose gun control, these deaths are on your head. Sleep tight. Also, we have a word for individuals who actively fight against the government - terrorists.

Myth: Hahaha, those jocks who used to pick on me in high school are now pumping my gas! HA.
Fact: Those "jocks" are probably mid or upper-level management, e.g. your bosses now. That is, if you're not unemployed, you dot-com open-source loser.They probably all have wives/girlfriends now too, do you?

Myth: The MPAA is using our own government against us, and taking away our freedoms!
Fact: Typical Slashdot weenie: "I can't wait 'til the new Star Wars movie comes out! Rock on!"

Myth: It's ok to download music because the RIAA only gives the artists $0.10 per CD anyway.
Fact: So you'd rather they get $0.00? You think that's a good way to solve the problem?

Myth: Microsoft is going to collapse under it's own weight any day now.
Fact: You've been saying that for 5 years now, and it hasn't happened yet. It won't happen any time soon. In fact, when you die, Microsoft will still be around producing most of the world's software. Will "open-source" still be around then?

Yes, sometimes the truth hurts.

Re:COMMON SLASHDOT MYTHS 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563521)

Thanks for telling it like it is.

Myth: Trolls are low lifes who hang out under bridges.
Fact: Trolls can also live in comfort in big ass ivory towers.

Re:COMMON SLASHDOT MYTHS 2 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563580)

Also, we have a word for individuals who actively fight against the government - terrorists.

BOSTON (AP) - Several Army National Guard units attempting to confiscate
a large arsenal of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed and
forced to retreat by elements of a para-military, anti-government,
right-wing extremist group early this morning. National Guard sources
report that there were a number of casualties on both sides of the
conflict, although exact figures are still unknown at the present time.

At a press conference immediately following the armed clash, the governor
indicated that the heavily-armed, right-wing extremist faction, made up
of local citizens, has known links to the anti-government tax protest
movement. Describing them as a "relatively unorganized mob of cowardly
right-wing extremist terrorists," he blamed the rebels for recent
incidents of vandalism directed against internal revenue offices in the
state.

The National Guard raid on the extremist arsenal followed a widespread
refusal by the local citizenry to turn over recently banned assault
weapons. Earlier this month, the governor met with federal law
enforcement officials, at which time he decided to issue an executive
order authorizing the forcible confiscation of any illegal firearms in
the state if citizens did not voluntarily turn them in.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one government official pointed out
that "nobody would have been hurt had the citizens of Massachusetts
simply obeyed the law and turned in their weapons voluntarily, instead
of listening to the anti-government, right-wing extremists. We must see
these dangerous, undemocratic radicals for what they really are. They
are an extremist mob of cowardly terrorists upon whom our justice must
be swift, certain and severe."

The guard units initially succeeded in confiscating a large supply of
illegal weapons and ammunition. However, other troops attempting to
seize firearms and ammunition nearby met with stiff opposition from a
relatively small mob of heavily-armed extremists who had been tipped
off about the raid by several alert anti-government dissidents.

At one point during the tense standoff, the National Guard commander,
Colonel Francis Smith, ordered the armed dissident group to surrender
their firearms and return to their homes peacefully. However, the impasse
was quickly broken by a single gunshot, allegedly fired by one of the
extremists. Eight civilians were killed in the fierce ensuing exchange of
gunfire.

Ironically, the local citizenry blamed the guard troops rather than the
right-wing extremists for the civilian deaths. Before order could be
restored, armed citizens from neighboring areas had descended upon them.
Finding his forces overwhelmed by this armed and angry mob of radicals,
Colonel Smith ordered a hasty retreat.

The governor has called upon the citizens of Massachusetts to support
Army National Guard and federal law enforcement efforts to restore law
and order. The governor has also demanded the immediate arrest of those
responsible for planning and leading this cowardly terrorist ambush
attack against the guard troops. Law enforcement authorities have
released the names of the radical, right-wing extremist faction leaders.
These include the disloyal, unpatriotic, undemocratic, anti-government
rabble-rousers Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and John Hancock. These cowardly
anti-government terrorists still remain at large. The governor urges the
citizens of Massachusetts to remain loyal and patriotic, and to
immediately report any rebel troop movements to either federal or state
law enforcement authorities.

Wow. Hell, if it worked for them....... (-1, Troll)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563465)

Hey, CmdrTaco, how would you like to buy slashdot.cjb.net from me?

You'll be all over MSN!

Sorry for him, but... (4, Insightful)

Bogatyr (69476) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563468)

If he wanted to not have Microsoft control his coporate survival, he should have found someone else to be a customer. Depending on a single client as your sole revenue stream is a trap that has severely hurt at least one former employer of mine.

Re:Sorry for him, but... (1)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563537)

Uh? No.

The system was created to work for the general public. The general public uses Internet Explorer. Microsoft owns Internet Explorer.

-shrug-

Re:Sorry for him, but... (1)

mentin (202456) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563641)

The system was created to work for the general public. The general public uses Internet Explorer.

Goodle has managed to become largest search engine without Microsoft, although most seaches come from Internet Explorer too.

Re:Sorry for him, but... (2)

Bogatyr (69476) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563696)

Uh? Yes.
Depending on a single source of income is generally a bad business plan (there are of course exceptions out there). One possible example is if they'd designed themselves to hook into AOL in a way similar to the AOL keyword search strategy. If they had AOL as a customer, they would still have money after Microsoft decided to stop.

Thank you, thank you! (4, Interesting)

Da VinMan (7669) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563470)

I am sick to death of alarmist stories on /. that assume that the average /.er will believe in anything but Microsoft no matter what the story.

Hopefully, this is a sea change for /. and it's front page stories. Stories that are about so-and-so feeling screwed and wronged by Microsoft aren't automatically worthy of our attention. To me, that why the story of RealNames on /. is worthy of mention; because of /., not RealNames.

Thanks again....

Re:Thank you, thank you! (2, Insightful)

dangermouse (2242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563523)

How the hell is the parent offtopic? The story is about RealNames and the Slashdot reaction. So is the parent post.

Go ahead, burn your mod points on me. I can take one for the team.

Re:Thank you, thank you! (0, Redundant)

rmpotter (177221) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563524)

A sea change for /.? A little objectivity, perhaps? Ha! Slashdot's corporate masters will never permit it.

Why are you posting this? (-1, Flamebait)

wdr1 (31310) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563471)

chrisd,

Honest question: what exactly are you qualifications that put you in such a high and mighty position to lecture us?

I mean, really, wtf?

Is Slashdot just the editor's personal soapbox?

-Bill

Re:Why are you posting this? (1)

MacSlash (200029) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563493)

Uh, yes. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Re:Why are you posting this? (2)

zCyl (14362) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563503)

chrisd, Honest question: what exactly are you qualifications that put you in such a high and mighty position to lecture us?

The fact that you read the article.

Re:Why are you posting this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563510)

Is Slashdot just the editor's personal soapbox?

Hey, I've got an idea... why don't you write an editorial about this shocking new concept in your local newspaper!

Re:Why are you posting this? (3, Funny)

dangermouse (2242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563511)

Um, that's what editors do. It's why they call things like this "editorials".

Re:Why are you posting this? (4, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563513)


Is Slashdot just the editor's personal soapbox?

Um, yes. Slashot always has been (and I imagine it always will be) a site for Rob and friends to post stories they find interesting, review books and movies they think are worth reviewing, and just say shit they think is worth saying.

How on earth did you miss this, having a low 5 digit UIN?

And another thing.. No one was lecturing you. chrisd posted a story about a case where someone is attempting to victimize Microsoft, possibly to give a little spin to the standard Microsoft bashing. Just deal with it.

Re:Why are you posting this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563530)

Hmm did someone skip the class on primary and secondary sources? Slashdot has a bunch of summaries that are nearly all second hand... so why does it surprise you that this is a 'soapbox' story. If you want unbiased news go.... nowhere, cause you're not going to get unbiased news from anywhere. Everyone who writes about something expresses an opinion in one way or another, nothing you can do about it. Since you're just starting to realize that Slashdot isn't always right maybe you should try checking out other sources like CNN, the BBC, IndyMedia, Reuters, AP news, etc.

Microsoft right is, hmmm? (0, Offtopic)

Devil's BSD (562630) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563472)

Waves hand:
*Microsoft is good.*
*Penguins are evil creatures.*
*Linus Torvalds belongs in the trash.*
*Slashdot sucks.*
*Internet Explorer is the best web browser.*
Get my drift? There are some things money can't buy, and for everything else, Microsoft is never right.

Are they really now :) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563475)

Microsoft is making about a billion dollar a month just in interest rate, most open source businesses are draining their capital in a quite fast rate.

That means Microsoft is doing something right and those other companies is doing something wrong.

Re:Are they really now :) (1)

lunky (515084) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563568)

>That means Microsoft is doing something right and
>those other companies is doing something wrong.
That's right. Theys be crushing the little guys REAL good.

On Alternates To DNS/ICANN (4, Interesting)

xRizen (319121) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563479)

RealNames wasn't exactly the best idea, I think we can all agree. But can anyone think of a system that is *seriously* better at everything DNS does than DNS? Even if someone could, who's to say that it would be adopted? IMO, DNS is far too entrenched to be pushed away at this point. Switching to another system would most likely be even more difficult than the switch to IPv6.

Beyond RealNames and other DNS-alternatives, it seems like once every year or two, a bunch of tech geeks get up on an anti-ICANN fit. They go off and create an alternate NIC, but about a year later, it's been mostly abandoned. It seems to me that until a large portion of the geeks (preferably those who control some of the lower-tier DNS servers) really unite and get serious, we may be stuck with ICANN, as sad as that may seem.

Re:On Alternates To DNS/ICANN (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563529)

There were rumnblings a year or so ago that all the county code TLD's were going to switch to one of the alternate root providers because ICANN suddenly wanted to charge them mega $$$ for their TLD. It may still happen if ICAN don't get their act together so don't write off the alternate DNS providers (some of which have been around for years).

Re:On Alternates To DNS/ICANN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563554)

ICANN != DNS

organization (I use the term loosely) versus protocol

Re:On Alternates To DNS/ICANN (5, Interesting)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563651)

Somebody else said it first, but DNS was not supposed to be a keyword system.

But yet that's exactly how people have treated *.COM, and everytime we have a story about squatting or ICANN or CompanyReallySucks.com, slashdot gets up in arms and starts proposing reforms and reorgs and so on.

So some company comes along and tries to make a keyword system apart from DNS, and what's Slashdot's reaction. Well, they suck too, the leeching bastards. I don't get it.

Alternate NICs are not a solution the abuse of DNS -- they do nothing more than attempt to extend the misuse of the system.

Keywords and Search are the solution, and RealNames was not a bad idea. Lets put the stupid squatting and trademark junk in their database instead of our DNS system. Let them worry about the problem of how to find "Something" on the internet without resorting to "Something.com".

Having RealNames punted by MS is a good thing in this respect. Hopefully browser developers will come up with a system where you can plug in as many Keyword Systems as you'd like (just like you can with search engines). I wouldn't mind an automatic Google Are You Feeling Lucky? feature in my address bar.

Yes, but... (4, Funny)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563480)

This is the statistical anomaly that will never happen again. M$ used their one "get to be right for free" card on knocking down realnames, so it's safe to assume they'll *never* *ever* be right again.

Satisfying, in a way.

Re: Yes, but... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563600)


> This is the statistical anomaly that will never happen again. M$ used their one "get to be right for free" card on knocking down realnames, so it's safe to assume they'll *never* *ever* be right again.

Actually, Micorsoft goes through the deck pretty fast, so the card should come up again in 2006 or so.

Time to change our passwords... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563482)

Seriously, someone who can plant a story like this must be able to see them, right?

Nope (1)

chuckcolby (170019) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563484)

Nothing you can say will convince me Microsoft is right. Blatant troll.

;)

Re:Nope (1)

twiztidlojik (522383) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563567)

yeah, can you mod down ARTICLES?

Real Names sucks, 'cept for ALL of Asia (4, Insightful)

nicholas. (98928) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563486)

As much as we English loving types had no use for real names, it was a viable way for Asian countries to use their own characters for DNS entries. It had a chance of being a standard. Granted, a skewed results go to the hightest bidders standard, but it was probably better than entering and IP everytime you wanted to visit a site.

Re:Real Names sucks, 'cept for ALL of Asia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563545)

The solution to this problem, of course, is Unicode-based DNS.

Re:Real Names sucks, 'cept for ALL of Asia (1, Flamebait)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563566)

In my own ethnocentric way like the idea of the world having to learn Imperial English in order to get to use the Internet. Long live the hegemenoy of white men on islands!

Re:Real Names sucks, 'cept for ALL of Asia (4, Informative)

fungus (37425) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563571)

Unicode DNS exists.

Even Microsoft supports it [microsoft.com] .

Some internet draft [i-d-n.net] ...
another interesting one [ietf.org] .

Re:Real Names sucks, 'cept for ALL of Asia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563584)


Unicode DNS exists.

Even Microsoft supports it [microsoft.com].

Some internet draft [i-d-n.net]...


Grrrrr.. where are my moderator points when I need 'em.

Not True (5, Informative)

waldoj (8229) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563575)

As much as we English loving types had no use for real names, it was a viable way for Asian countries to use their own characters for DNS entries. It had a chance of being a standard.

Speaking of standards...

The IETF Internationalized Domain Names Working Group [i-d-n.net]
IBM On Unicode Domain Names [ibm.com]
Slashdot: Why Unicode will Work on the Internet [slashdot.org]
Verisign's Internationalized Domain Name Testbed [verisign-grs.com]

-Waldo Jaquith

RealNames, Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563487)

Unless you don't use ASCII...
Then, well your now fucked, as DNS does not support none-ascii.

Hey, chrisd..... (2, Funny)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563488)

I guess you wouldn't mind if I got the rights to the Linux RealName then, eh?

;)

Rats! They've gotten to Google already (1)

Spaceman Spiff II (552149) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563492)

A search for "RealNames" puts them right at the top...

Oh gosh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563502)

I hope M$ doesn't buy it up!

They already did... (0)

MattCohn.com (555899) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563653)

They wouldn't even have to. It's the software on THEIR END doing all the work right now anyway, so it would be quite easy for them to just switch the whole thing over to themselves anyway. Just pop up a new web site, accept applications, and replace all the people currently using real names. It's actualy a brilliant yet evil idea.

Let another company do all the hard work...
Have them pay you to do it...
Use your monopoly to keep up your end of the deal...
After a couple of years, cut them out 100%, and take over their incomes.

Now why didn't I think of THAT?

Fact vs. Fact (-1, Offtopic)

rantou (138299) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563506)

First of all, where did DNS come from? Unix.
Secondly, what did RealNames depend on? Windows.
Thirdly, who caused all of the DNS problems today? Microsoft.

Why are all the problems to be blamed on Microsoft? Because they don't know how to port Unix software.

Why is it that the *nix version always works better than the Win32 version? Because *nix programmers actually know how to port stuff.

Nuff said.

Bad Idea from the start (2, Interesting)

al_d (472085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563508)

I remember reading about the 'success story' of RealNames soon after it had started; how this entrepreneur was 'revolutionising' the internet. What a leap backword, to go from heirachical domain names, to the equivalent of the AOL Keyword (nowadays they would have patented it of course...).

It seemed like such a bad idea from the start; a similar effect easily achievable (although not necessarily of any use) in the browser itself, like that thoroughly annoying MSN Search junk that appears if you misspell a URL in Internet Explorer (Obviously both this and opennic are slightly different to RealNames, but I still don't feel that RealNames was any more useful).

Be glad (1)

Indras (515472) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563512)

"...attempt to jump on the anti-trust complainants bandwagon..."

Well, it could have been worse, he could have blamed it on the terrorists.

Blaming it on Terrorists (1)

BakaMark (531548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563591)

Well, it could have been worse, he could have blamed it on the terrorists.

He could of, and some people who read into their business model would have realised that he meant Microsoft anyway.

It has becoming kind of boring for the past few months about the number of bussinesses shutting down and claiming that they are totally screwed over because of the FUD resulting from the events of 11th Sept 2001.

Unless there was something in contract with Microsoft preventing them from looking for alternative avenues, they should have started looking at other means (technical/whatever), rather than setting up their business to rely solely on the money that they were going to get from Microsoft.

From the writings of Chris, it appears that they had an "interesting" way of doing business. They probably did not consider that there could be a market outside of the states (a fault of some US based companies).

There were several postings about realnames on slashdot, telling us about the fact that the contract was going to expire, then the screaming from the former CEO that he was shafted by Microsoft. And now this.

I would say that we now have a nice picture of what this was all about, why it died. Can we put this one to rest now ?

*BSD: We Hardly Knew Ye (-1)

returnofthe_spork (552824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563516)

After consulting with top IT industry pundits [zdnet.com] , it has become all too clear: *BSD is dying.

The project has faced numerous setbacks in recent years, leading to waning developer interest and participation, a user-base migrating to Linux, Windows XP and Mac OS X, and no financial support whatsoever.

How did it happen? Well, these were the main events. First, *BSD split into 3 incompatible projects - FreeBSD, which focused on 386 and 486 machines; NetBSD, which focused on little-used architectures like Sparc and PPC; and OpenBSD, which focused on minimal functionality and poor performance. This split divided the already-small community and served to set up bitter rivalries. Then, Linux came along and stole all of *BSD's press, funding, and much of it's thunder with its better performance, functionality and ease-of-use. As if that weren't enough, OS X later took nearly all of the desktop *BSD users. And finally, in what has all but spelled out the demise of *BSD, two core developers have quit the project. First, Jordan Hubbard quit *BSD to get an actual paying job at Apple [slashdot.org] . He made this move citing OS X's superiority, *BSD's imminent demise, and his inability to feed his family with the broken promises of an SMP-enabled kernel. Shortly after that, Michael Smith left [slashdot.org] , saying simply, "It's true, *BSD is dying."

Where does all this leave the IT industry at large? Fortunately, the IT world is now healthier than ever. The death of *BSD is simply natural selection at work, as companies leave the shoddily written *BSD behind and move ahead with Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux.

RIP *BSD.

Re:*BSD: We Hardly Knew Ye (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563612)

Did you know about my t0t4lly h4rd c0x0r?? I bet you wanna go fishing with it?

Internet Evolution at it's finest. (1)

eyegor (148503) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563517)

The whole RealNames thing is basically an extension of AOL's Keyword idea.

The problem is that there are only so many "good" names to go around and soon the whole scheme becomes pretty much worthless since the RealNames are quickly snapped up by companies with deep pockets (assuming they didn't realize the obvious before it was too late). I found just as much value with AOL keywords (I didn't wanna use it... they MADE me!!).

necessity is the mother of invention..... (2, Insightful)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563522)

Why RealNames failed:

1) "Necessity is the mother of invention" - nobody NEEDED a little shortcut for their domain names.

2) Hardly anyone KNEW about the RealNames thing. The ones who knew were the most tech savvy, and they could probably have just made an aliases file to have "linux" go to linux.com or something....

3) it wasn't widely-spread. only a handful of keywords worked.

4) costed WAY TOO MUCH!

"It is my intention to cut this off before ... " (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563532)

Hmm..
Yeah. way to put your foot down, chrisd.

I sure am glad that the slashdot editors chose to step in and take decisive action before the RealNames people could bully the slashdot-reading populace any further.

We won't be pushed around with our vigilant editors here to be strong for us!

10 Headlines You Thought You'd Never See on /. (5, Funny)

zaius (147422) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563536)

10. Natalie Portman tops worlds ugliest people list.

9. Beowulf clusters aren't so useful after all

8. IIS beats Apache in recent security audits

7. JonKatz reviews _______ in less than 1000 words

6. [Lucent | IBM | Intel] [invents | patents] [single molecule | [carbon | other element] nanotube | really small] [transistor | hard drive | computer] (wait... maybe we have seen that one before...)

5. CowboyNeal read this (marry me)!

4. 133t k1dd13z h4x0r3d /.

3. BeOS returns, outperforms Linux

2. Sometimes, Microsoft is right...

1. Bill Gates buys U.S. Supreme court, clears M$ of all charges.

Re:10 Headlines You Thought You'd Never See on /. (1)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563577)

Actually, we'd probably see all of them on April Fools day.

=P

Re:10 Headlines You Thought You'd Never See on /. (1)

*xpenguin* (306001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563640)

Who would write 10. Natalie Portman tops worlds ugliest people list. ?

Re:10 Headlines You Thought You'd Never See on /. (1)

Kiwi (5214) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563595)

4. 133t k1dd13z h4x0r3d /.

Actually, people have broken in to Slashdot and made changes to the front page at least twice. The first time, they replaced the front page with a picture from "The Princess Bride"; the second time, they posted a stoy on the front page saying, basically "We broke in and posted this story".

- Sam

Re:10 Headlines You Thought You'd Never See on /. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563658)

Solaris saved you in your workplace, and yet you treated it like garbage.
And that's what you are, the King of Refuse. So bow down to SlashDot if you want. Bow to it. Bow to the King of Slime, the King of Filth, the King of putrescence!

Boo !

Boo !

Rubbish! Filth! Slime! Muck! BOO! BOO! BOO!

Re:10 Headlines You Thought You'd Never See on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563668)

If I remember rightly the 2nd time was just sloppy. They had installed another copy of Slashcode on the same machine as slashdot and left it with default passwords. Someone noticed and pointed the 2nd copy to the 1st copy's database, and submitted a story.

What happened the first time?

Re:10 Headlines You Thought You'd Never See on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563657)

Watch it pal, BeOS may indeed come back and outperform Linux.

http://www.openbeos.org

Re:10 Headlines You Thought You'd Never See on /. (3, Funny)

hendridm (302246) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563661)

On any other article, this would be modded as Troll, but oh so funny and true here.

> 1. Bill Gates buys U.S. Supreme court, clears M$ of all charges.

Not so unvelievable. Add a teaspoon of Slashdot drama with a dash of overreaction and sprinkle with a story about Microsoft using campaign contributions and you've got your headline!

Stating the obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563549)

Why was this story posted? All of the posts to the previous Slashdot story said all of this and more... and they said it better.

I don't know who this chrisd is, and kudos to him for expressing some of his feelings, but I don't think he's yet the expert that he hopes he is.

It is great to see someone who is reasonable here (0, Troll)

i_luv_linux (569860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563565)

I was always wondering, why so many people are bashing Microsoft without looking the facts.

It was good to know that there is at least one person out there who doesn't necessarily bash Microsoft without reason.

Obviously, this anti-trust issue created lots of trouble for Microsoft, but it seems that many people are trying to take advantage of it, and when they do take advantage of it, the consumers will loose, the open source will loose, but nobody notices this unfortunately.

Almost no company is fighting with Microsoft for consumers, or for fair competition, or for the open source. For the fair competition, yes there are some legitimate claims, but most of them are for big corporates.

Regarding the Realnames, I couldn't agree more with the author. He perfectly talks about the issue, and it was very evident from the homepage that the founder of the realnames was trying to take advantage of a situation and making fool of people. Since there is a mob out there who hates from Microsoft, for whatever reason, he thought that he can use it, and he did.

Live by the sword, die by the sword, or by MS (5, Insightful)

Seth Finkelstein (90154) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563573)

In one line, RealName's business model was to leverage Microsoft's desktop monopoly, into being a DNS monopoly. To be melodramatic, the problem is that when you act as a henchman for someone who is trying to Rule The World, never forget that the would-be world-ruler has no loyalty to you. Only to how you fit into the world-ruling strategy. It's a complicated and difficult task to attempt to Rule The World. When strategies change, the specialists recruited to implement the former strategies, will be gone. And so came to pass with RealNames.

They attempted to live by the Microsoft monopoly-sword, and now they die by the Microsoft monopoly-sword.

This is not, though, Microsoft necessarily being "right", so much as having failed in one Rule The World gambit, and rationally, cut its losses. That's not the same thing at all.

Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

RETURN from the timeout corner!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563574)

Ouch my butt hurts...
Hurts my butt does...

Attack of the Clones rules! Anyone who sez otherwise...well, that's cool too...

Respect your opinion I do...

yes, my butthole does indeed hurt...I'm bleeding out my ass!

umm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563576)

it is my intention to cut this off before it goes any further

Umm, no offense but that's a little on the arrogant side I think...

Realnames closure is hurting in asia.... (5, Insightful)

os2fan (254461) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563583)

If the Register is anything to go by. the closure of Realnames is hurting people who rely on it to surf the net in their own languages (eg Japan, China). But the post is relatively silent on this matter.

I mean, Google is a good idea in the west, but in the east, it's still an english-language tool. And it's not just google: realnames was using the address line, so that {asian glyphs} were substutuded with {european letters}.

Re:Realnames closure is hurting in asia.... (1)

mentin (202456) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563709)

I search Google for Russian pages, and it works just fine.

Just look at the list of languages [google.com]

and in the darkness... BIND them... (0)

jeanicinq (535767) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563587)

An alternative domain name system should have the potential to provide for the existing internetwork name maps plus allow for decentralization of the network rooted servers. The maps worked without rooted servers until newer software happened to leave out support for particular older protocols.

Know of mail addresses of the format "mailto:the.user@desertt!azama!nib!nedal!busch.arp a.mil"?

The company RealNames had an innovatation layer that could be another dimension to the internet maps. No matter how companies push one way or another on how to implement another layer; we still have the older protocols to be of full implementation again.

You know what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563597)

I'm totally fuckin' st0n3d!

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563609)

420 dude!

And Attack of the Clones rulez!

Re:You know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563621)

Fuck yeah! H0t Gr1tz 4 LIF3, M0th4fuck4!!!!!

Feature-Writing 101: Don't Insult the Readers (4, Insightful)

guttentag (313541) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563604)

I don't need to explain to the Slashdot reader why RealNames was a poor idea. It is something you feel in your gut.

To our credit, Slashdot readers and editors have mostly thought that RealNames was a foolish and pointless money wasting exercise...

This is the journalistic equivalent of beginning your presentation with the phrase, "if you don't agree with me, you're a moron."

Even lazy reporters aren't rarely so brazen. They try to make up for their lack of research/interest by inserting the word "clearly" at the beginning of a sentence. They think it absolves them of their responsibility to inform -- I call it "intellectual bullying."

I'm not picking on your writing or trolling about your opinion. I happen to agree with your assessment of RealNames, but if you can't present your argument without the bullying your argument doesn't deserve a forum. Slashdot editors, please consider this before accepting/writing features.

MS is omnivorous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563611)

It eats good and bad guys.

You are dead on.

Real Names was a parisitical idea that could be the
posterchild to the disturbing trend to commercialize everything.

If something happens like you blow a dandylion
and because it _wasn't_ genetically engineered to
have the seeds secured with different strengths
so it spells out some companies name... well then
money is being wasted.

These guys were like squuege kids or the towel
attendants in NYC niteclubs who want to shake you
down for handing you a towel.

It's not needed.

Good Riddance to Real Names.

west coast (4, Funny)

Satai (111172) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563619)

Sometimes, Microsoft is Right...

Uh, Chris, did you forget again that the west coast viewers haven't seen the show yet?

Mulder: Dana, the cigarette smoking man told me something... Something important.
Scully: Fox, what is it?
Mulder: Microsoft was right.

Re:west coast (0)

insta (267245) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563649)

Mulder.. that isn't a hideous space alien. That's Richard M. Stallman!

Bandwagon Jumping... (2, Insightful)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563620)

While I am no fan of Microsoft, and never really considered "RealNames" a viable business, I think that RealNames jumping onto the anti-Microsoft bandwagon is about as sensible as if Borland were to have done the same thing.

My problem with the RealNames model is that there are litterally dozens of instances of some names. In the work that I do, the Acronym ATM has two distinct meanings. In the past five years I have run into two instances where SME did not stand for Subject Matter Expert.

Kraft has one meaning at the moment, however Craft has two distinct meanings (ability to shape things, and vehicle).

My own website's name can have two different meanings, and I am moving from one to another.

My feeling is that "RealNames" was in the auction dns buisness. They would sell "names" to the highest bidder, and the price could go up every time the name came up for renewal.

If that is a "viable" buisness model that they presented to their ventur capitalists, I can see why the money dried up. The VCs would wise up once they figured out the problem with the model.

To blame this on Microsoft is inviting the wrath of your customers. You were attempting to hold a proverbial gun to their heads.

This does not make Microsoft "right" any more than the village drunk blaming the village idiot for the village drunk's drinking, absolves the village idiot of any idiocy.

-Rusty

Even _I_ Agree With This One... (2)

PRickard (16563) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563625)

I'm the uber anti-Microsoft guy and even I agree. RealNames just had a retarded idea and it naturally did what all companies based on bad logic eventually do - go under. Microsoft's investment in the company was stupid but had nothing to do with their failure.

Missing the point (5, Interesting)

kteare (416210) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563634)

Chris you are missing the point. Any reading of my WebLog at teare.com [teare.com] must lead you to the conclusion that the inability of DNS to support multi-lingual characters requires fixing, and that right now ONLY RealNames fixes this natively in the browser that is on 90% + desktops. Microsoft are now about to hard code the browser to Microsoft's OWN middleware - the MSN Search Engine. If you type "IBM Thinkpad" into the browser you will get an MSN Search result. Even if you do not like RealNames (its a free world) you have to acknowledge that ending up on the ThinkPad page at ibm.com is the right outcome. How you can support Microsoft tying the browser to exclusively Microsoft controlled middleware - and by so doing disable every language except English (7 bit ASCII actually) is baffling to me. Incidentally the business model you describe was abandoned many years ago. Keywords were $50 per year flat fee or $500 if it was a top brand with high traffic. Keith Teare Former CEO RealNames Corporation

Re:Missing the point (1)

gerardrj (207690) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563683)

I dissagree. Perhaps I typed in "IBM thinkpad" to find a used unit, find people griping about or cheering about some problem/feature of the thing, or perhaps was looking for a local user's group. All of those things would NOT be found on the IBM thinkpad's site.

Re:Missing the point (1)

jest3r (458429) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563698)

Hasn't Netscape been doing this (adding middleware) this since the beginning of time?? If you type in a keyword the browser takes you to the Netscape.com Search page .. While this may not be the best answer I believe it beats going to a 'Realname' .. Why? .. Because you can only have ONE Realname for any given word, going to search results page at least gives you 10 or so choices instead of something you never wanted to go to .. even if all 10 are paying for that top spot it's better than ONE.

mixed metaphors (5, Funny)

kyras (472503) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563636)

Keith and his coworkers were very happy to tie their horse to Microsoft while Microsoft was willing to pull them.

Perhaps their first mistake was tying their horse to something in the hopes that it would get pulled...

He is missing the whole point (4, Insightful)

rveno1 (470619) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563637)

Ok So RealNames picked an idea that was somewhat obvious. They are allowed to do that (Its a free market).
What everyone is missing is WHAT IF MICROSOFT STARTS DOING THE SAME THING IN HOUSE?. Than what will we say?.

I see this becoming an issue when someone will be typing " web browser" in the adress bar and Microsoft redirecting them to IE (or pick your own example where microsoft decides where you will end up)
Remember That ALL Default settings in Microsoft's Browser points to thier own in jouse web sites. )and to change that setting you have to be a little tech savvy.

Link to RealNames CEO account has changed (4, Informative)

Seth Finkelstein (90154) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563639)

By the way, Keith Teare's story has moved off his site's front page [teare.com] , which is the link given in the Slashdot link above in the story RealNames CEO Talks Back [slashdot.org]

It's now an unobvious deep-link into the archives [teare.com]

Also available elsewhere [userland.com]

Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

So and uhh. . . . (2)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563650)

How exactly are these real names supposed to be used?

Does ANYBODY actualy have one?

I use IE every day, have for 3 or so years now, err;

They are integrated into IE? Really? Heh.

Could've fooled me. . . .

poetic justice (5, Insightful)

g4dget (579145) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563664)

The CEO of RealNames is experiencing just what people have been complaining about in the anti-trust lawsuit: because of Microsoft's monopoly, Microsoft gets to pick the winners and loser in the market. As long as Microsoft picked RealNames as a winner, this was really swell for them. Teare even went so far as to publically say that Microsoft was not a monopoly and that there were no problems with competition. Now that Microsoft has made them losers, he is whining about it.

This should be a warning to any company that bets their business on being Microsoft's favorites rather than on innovating and competing independently. The lesson is actually quite independent of Microsoft: it is a fundamental mistake to build your business on a relationship with a single corporate partner. It just happens to be the case that in the software space, in some areas, there is no other partner around besides Microsoft.

Keith Teare's Weblog... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3563666)

...is located at http://www.teare.com/ [teare.com]

Interesting perspective from the man. Perhaps you guys could tell him your comments directly instead of chattering at each other.

And there i was, (1)

ProofOfConcept (567087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3563707)

thinking the enemy of my enemy was my friend.
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