Hall of Shame
Inappropriate TLDs |
Unnecessary Domains |
Indecision Department |
Named After Unowned Domains
This section highlights some sites that are making foolish or inappropriate
use of the domain name system. See my notes on domain
structure for more information on correct usage. Also see
the Hall of Fame for some examples of people who
got this right.
I'm almost starting to lose the will to keep adding to this "Hall of Shame"...
there are just too many examples of domain name system abuse
these days. Just turn on the TV, and you're constantly assaulted with
marketing-gimmick domains that ought to have been done as subdomains of
the company's main domain (buyatoyota.com, schwabwelcome.com,
domains in the wrong top-level domain (plannedparenthoodvotes.com,
which should properly be a .org, as well as properly belonging as
a subdomain of plannedparenthood.org), and other idiocies, outnumbering
the properly-used domains you're likely to encounter. This makes
it like shooting fish in a barrel to find more "Hall of Shame" entries
(but more challenging to find good uses to put in the
Hall of Fame),
meaning I'm likely only to add further examples here if they're particularly
On the subject of "stupid" vs. "smart", I used to have a few examples here
of sites run by various parts of Mensa, the high-IQ society, but I decided to
remove them... first of all, since I'm a Mensan myself, it isn't really nice
to publicly criticize my fellow Mensans; I should keep the criticism internal.
Also, Mensa does, to a large extent, follow a logical hierarchy within
mensa.org (as well as some similar domains within country codes for
various countries' chapters); it was just the occasional lapses from strict
logic I was criticizing, which are the exception rather than the rule. However,
listing a bunch of them does tend to give the mistaken impression that I'm
down on Mensa in general. And finally, I got rebuked in an email from somebody
at a foreign Mensa group that was among those I so criticized; I had said
that it was "dumb" to use mensa.com.[CountryCode] instead of
the "proper" mensa.org.[CountryCode]. The person first of all
thought that I was calling him (and the fellow Mensans of that country)
"dumb" -- my intent was to call the action dumb, not the person, and I
apologize if my wording gave another impression. Also, he pointed out that
the rules for .org.[CountryCode] domains in his country are highly
restrictive and that the provisional Mensa organization, just getting started,
hasn't yet qualified. That's certainly a mitigating circumstance here. Some
domain registries are overly restrictive in their qualifications, and while
they no doubt think they're upholding the consistent logic of the domain name system
by doing so, in fact excessive strictness for some of the parts of the namespace can
in fact cause the illogical outcome of driving many organizations into .com
(and the equivalent within country codes) inappropriately, on the grounds that that
domain is completely unrestricted. Anyway, such rules can put an organization that's just
trying to get organized between a rock and a hard place with regard to naming their site;
they can't get the domain that's logical for them, but want a memorable address. Nevertheless,
making "the wrong choice" in such cases contributes to the "dumbing-down" of the Internet whereby "newbie" users
expect to find everything in .com and are hard to ever educate out of that if people
keep pandering to this expectation.
NOTE: The inclusion of a site in my "Hall of Shame" links should not
be construed as any sort of personal attack on the site's creator, who may be a really great
person, or even an attack on the linked Web site as a whole, which may be a source of
really great information and/or entertainment. Rather, it is simply to highlight specific
features (intentional or accidental) which I regard as silly, unnecessary,
or contrary to the properly-understood structure of the system.
If you find one of your sites is linked here,
don't get offended; improve your Internet usage so that I'll have
to take down the link!
All too often, nonprofits turn their noses at their logical place in the namespace, like .org
or .org.uk, and go for inappropriate .com domains instead. Less often, but even
sillier, commercial outfits use .org domains. This section shines its spotlight on some
examples of such idiocy.
- Rate Your Music bills itself as a "free, noncommercial online community",
but still insists on using a .com address.
- The New Orleans AIDS Task Force is an unusual
case. They seem to have started out by registering the proper .org domain, as seen by comparing
the WHOIS registration information for
The organization contact information in the .org domain also seems more accurate; that of the .com domain
points at some individual of uncertain connection with the organization in question. Nevertheless, they're currently
using the inappropriate .com domain as their primary address, and the .org address merely redirects there.
- TsunamiRelief.com proclaims itself to be
a "non-profit website". It doesn't have an appropriate address for it, unlike
- Comfort Stand Recordings proclaims that
"We are not a business. We're not out to make a profit." But it still uses a TLD that implies that they are and
- The Earth Center proclaims themselves to be
a "non-profit and non-governmental organization", so why does their Internet address say otherwise?
- The Journal of Theoretics advertises in the
International Mensa Journal as "an international nonprofit science journal", but still has its
site in a .com address... dumb, dumb, dumb!!! (Once again, "dumb" here is referring to
the act of choosing that domain, not the people involved in that publication!)
- The Society for the Preservation of English Language and
Literature (SPELL) proclaims itself to be "strictly a nonprofit organization," and it is
dedicated to resisting abuse and misuse of the English language. It doesn't, however, seem to be
taking a similar stand against the abuse and misuse of the domain name system, as it has its site
at spellorg.com, a particularly bizarre choice given that the inclusion of "org" shows that
they know they want a domain name that indicates that they are an organization.
- Another "...org.com" domain is tigersafariorg.com,
which is the site of Tiger Safari, a nonprofit wildlife refuge in Tuttle, Oklahoma (the place where the
city manager had an infamous e-mail exchange
with open-source free Linux-based operating system distributor Centos). Since the more logical
tigersafari.org is taken by one of those sleazy pseudo-portal
operators that infest the domain namespace, one might think they perhaps picked that .com address due to the other
name being taken already, but the WHOIS seems to indicate that the .org name wasn't registered until later.
- A case of dumb and dumber... The Xeric Foundation, a nonprofit organization that
gives grants to self-publishing alternative cartoonists,
uses used a .com
domain for their site. That's dumb. What's dumber is that, in their ads underneath the URL,
they give their email address, which is not an address in their own domain, but
in (gag, vomit, retch) aol.com. So they're needlessly advertising that crappy proprietary
online service and locking themselves into staying on it, when they could have given themselves a
sensible email in their own domain. (Update: As of early 2008, they seem to finally be using a
proper .org Web address, but still a (gag, vomit, retch) AOL e-mail address.)
- The group of firefighters pictured in the famous photograph raising a flag over the
World Trade Center Ruins, true heroes, established a nonprofit fund in order, in their
own words, to "prevent profiteering from the picture." But even heroes do dumb things
sometimes; they set up the fund's Web site at thebravestfund.com,
an address that implies the sort of profiteering they're actually against. To be fair, they do
own the .org version of that domain as well, but that was registered as an afterthought,
months after the .com version, and the inappropriate commercial domain is still the one they
cite as their address, as in the Newsweek issue commemorating the anniversary of the
September 11th attack.
- A Blue Cross / Blue Shield affiliate, Excellus, refers to
themselves as "a nonprofit Independent Licensee", but they use a .com address. They used to have a "double
Hall of Shame" place on my sites, since they were also on the Dan's
Web Tips User Agent Page as one of the sites that cluelessly tells users of standards-compliant browsers like
Mozilla to "upgrade" to MSIE; however, they got off that list by stopping this.
- The state of Florida has put its state government site at myflorida.com.
This is really stupid... does the state really want people to think of it
as a commercial entity? The proper address for the state site is
www.state.fl.us, which presently just redirects to that .com
abomination. And now they're even forcing me to promote that silly address by putting the .com address on their
license plates, in contrast to Pennsylvania, whose licence plates bear the
logical .us address of the state site.
(This is just one of a whole heap of silly and inconsistent domain names used
by various branches of the Florida state government, spread across .com, .org, .gov, and
other TLDs. There are a few agencies still using logical .us domains, like
the Department of State.)
- Palm Beach County, which screwed up the 2000 presidential elections,
has long had its Web site at the proper
But they've picked up "dot-com-itus" too, and are now advertising their
address as the inappropriate www.pbcgov.com.
- The Boca Raton police department also seems to be under the delusion that it's a for-profit
business, given its use (advertised on the back of its cars) of bocapolice.com. (However,
the Web site at that address didn't resolve when I first tried it; at last try, though, it
redirects to a site more properly addressed in ci.boca-raton-fl.us.)
- Even fictional police departments fall prey to this idiocy; those with an eagle eye (and/or a pause
button) could spot that on a 2008 episode of Smallville, where Clark is looking up the Metropolis Police
Department online, the address shown in the browser is metropolispolice.com. (In the real world, that address
goes to a generic parking/link page as do a large number of undeveloped domains.)
- The state of Oklahoma has long held the logical state.ok.us domain, but that wasn't
sexy enough for the emptyheaded marketing types that even governmental entities are saddled with.
After forming a committee and going through great contortions to find a name that wasn't already
taken (apparently not even wanting to look anywhere other than the supremely inappropriate,
and hardest-to-find-good-names-in .com), they settled on
youroklahoma.com. So it's my Florida,
but it's your Oklahoma... and you can keep it! (However, this address has since
been changed to redirect to their new address, ok.gov.)
- Maryland's tax office gets the special honor of being on both my Hall of Shame and
Hall of Fame lists. First, they get the "shame" entry for using
a dot-com address -- do they want their citizens to
think they're skimming profits off of the tax dollars they take in??? But they also show up in
the Fame page for intelligent use of subdomains within that domain.
How can one agency be so clueful and so clueless all at once???
- The Tennessee District Attorneys
General Conference is yet another state governmental site that
inappropriately uses a commercial domain.
- Going for some bigger governmental fish, I've already mentioned elsewhere in
the site of how various arms of the Federal government insist on using illogical
.com domains even though they have .gov and .mil all
to themselves. These include usps.com,
goarmy.com, and airforce.com.
Since the U.S. government is technically still in charge of overseeing the domain name system,
due to the Internet being founded as a government research project, they really ought to be
setting a proper example for correct use of it themselves.
- Moving on to non-US governments, Computers For Schools
Ontario is a Canadian government program which uses a dumbass .com
domain as their advertised Web address in direct violation of the government
guidelines that say that government agencies should register .com, etc.,
domains to stop cybersquatters, but only advertise their proper
- The Human Rights Commission of New Zealand chose an
inappropriate .co.nz address (implying a commercial entity) rather than using a proper
- The College Board, which runs the SAT exam, is a nonprofit organization.
So "naturally", their Web site is at collegeboard.com.
- Verbix proclaims itself to be "an independent non-profit organization
that aims to promote and protect linguistic diversity". So why is their site a .com? They
didn't even register the .org version, which is still available last I checked.
- ChristiansVote.com bills
itself as a "non-partisan, non-profit organization." Then why
are they a .com instead of a .org? Stupid...
- The Center for Consumer Freedom is another
licensed, accredited nonprofit organization that stupidly puts its Web site in a .com
- Also in that vein, Debticated
bills itself as "A Non-Profit Organization" devoted to consumer debt
counseling, but also uses a .com address. Would you
trust your personal finances to an organization too stupid to know the
correct top-level domain to use?
- Similarly, E-Debt Consolidation
is another "nonprofit" .com in the debt counseling field. (But see
my Hall of Fame Page for another such organization
that did it right, with a .org address.)
- South Florida car dealer Gunther VW has two locations, and they decided to put the
Web site for one of them at gunthervw.com
and the other at gunthervw.net. I guess
they think the second branch is a network provider? (Actually, that second address
redirects to gunthervwofcoconutcreek.com, though the text on that page continues to
refer to the site as gunthervw.net, so they're also guilty of offenses in the
"Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names™" and "Indecision" categories. Logical subdomains
of gunthervw.com would have worked well as a way to give addresses to different
branches, though it might have been even better if Volkswagen gave subdomains of vw.com
to its various authorized dealers.)
- The decidedly nonprofit National Center for Missing & Exploited
Children inexplicably uses missingkids.com
as their address. Actually, missingkids.org goes to their site
too, and I think they've used that longer, but their current ads use
the improper commercial domain instead. Their staff has probably been
infested by brain-dead marketing types.
- If you get on the mailing list of Mother Jones's
Web site, you'll get occasional fundraising appeals that assert "MotherJones.com is a nonprofit."
Well, then, why does your site have .com in its address???
- The Libertarian
Victory Fund is yet another nonprofit that uses the dumbass .com
designation. I'm disappointed; Libertarians usually make an effort
to get things right instead of yielding to shallow and stupid
- The Rochester Flying Club proclaims
itself to be "a private, non-profit organization", but its webmaster apparently doesn't
know the proper TLD for such entities. This is particularly strange given that the webmaster
is a regular on the alt.sysadmin.recovery
newsgroup, a hangout for ultra-geeky types who love to rant about how clueless and ignorant
all the lusers and marketroids are.
- The Compassionate Use Project
is yet another nonprofit using a .com address. They formerly had
a page "explaining" why, with this explanation being based on an erroneous
conception that they had to be an IRS-recognized nonprofit to properly use
a .org address. This is completely false (though there was a brief
period when such restrictions were rumored to be upcoming). Anyway, the
project now does have recognized nonprofit status, but they're
still using the inappropriate commercial address.
- ...But this particular error, of organizations making a big deal
about their nonprofit status while stupidly using a .com address,
is really rampant everywhere. I even saw a poster advertising a
production of a local community playhouse, which pointed out that
they were a nonprofit organization immediately beneath the line giving
their Web address, which of corse ended in .com. Morons!
- For an international bad example, Bristol Community Sport uses
a .co.uk domain (for commercial entities in the United Kingdom) when a .org.uk domain would make
more sense for not-for-profit community organizations like this.
- LogoServer makes a point of saying
"This is not a commercial website." But it's still at a .com address.
- The Loughborough University student union, in the UK, originally had an address logically enough
within the academic domain of the university, at www-lsu.lboro.ac.uk. Then they changed it
to lborosu.org, less rigorously logical but still defensible since they're an organization.
However, they have since changed it yet again to lufbra.net; there's no logic at all in that, since
they're not a network provider. That university also has the inappropriate "commercial" domains
loughboroughsport.com, lufbraenterprises.co.uk and mediaservices-lboro.co.uk.
- Speaking of British education, Eton College (actually at high-school
level in American terms) is a "public school" in the British sense, which means it's actually what Americans would
call a "private school", but it has an endowment and is not run for profit by an owner; thus, it's a not-for-profit
organization. You wouldn't know this from the etoncollege.com domain they use, though.
- Both the antisemitic JewWatch and the
site protesting it (and calling for Google to stop indexing it), RemoveJewWatch,
are inappropriately using .com domains for their entirely noncommercial projects.
- On the other hand, webprinting.org looks commercial
to me, so it seems to be one of those rare domain abuses in the opposite direction.
- Another one: SmartProperties.org looks like a construction firm,
not a nonprofit organization. They even seem to be using the .org as part of their company name, imitating
the idiocy of the .com companies in an even less appropriate form.
While, in the most purist conception of the DNS namespace, even a vast conglomerate
ought to have only one domain name and use logical subdomains for all parts, even ones
with completely different names (aol.aoltimewarner.com, warnerbros.aoltimewarner.com,
dccomics.aoltimewarner.com, etc.), I don't go nearly this far in putting domain owners in
the "Hall Of Shame" doghouse. Parts of a company that are entities in their own right with completely
different names and identities understandably want distinct Internet addresses. However, what is much
less understandable, and "Hall Of Shame"worthy, is when companies want to "brand" a division
or product line as being part of the bigger entity, and hence to give them Internet addresses that
contain the parent name as a substring... but they don't do this the logical way, using subdomains.
Instead, they make up some longer name containing the parent name. If the company is named FooBar,
and its main Web site is at foobar.com, they set up other sites at the addresses foobarkids.com,
foobarsouth.com, foobarjobs.com, etc., for various functions, divisions, and demographics being
marketed to, instead of more logical names like kids.foobar.com, etc. That is the sort of behavior
I'm highlighting in this section.
- The game service Steam has most of its content in subdomains of its main domain steampowered.com (steam.com belongs
to somebody else). However, for no obvious reason, its community sections use the unnecessary domain
steamcommunity.com instead of another subdomain.
- When toll-paying transponder system SunPass did a swap to new, more compact devices, they
saw fit to add to their portfolio of Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names with
sunpastagswap.com, instead of using
a logical address in their main sunpass.com domain (which perhaps belonged more logically in
.org or .gov if they are noncommercial and/or governmental). That's not the first such unnecessary extra domain
they've used; at various times they've had different domains at various stages of the process of logging in and
checking your balance and usage history.
- Audible.com has taken to "sponsoring" lots of
podcasts, which now include messages like "This podcast is proudly sponsored by Audible.com;
you can get a free download from them by going to..." an address specific to the particular
podcast. However, those addresses are not in the domain Audible.com, despite that being
what's being promoted here; rather, they are using addresses within the Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name™
- FreeTripleScore.com uses some really annoying TV commercials
where people repeat their dot-com address a million zillion times; I had hoped that such things had gone out of
style with the dot-com bust years ago. However, the URL shown in writing on-screen is not the one
their actors are incessantly repeating; instead, they use domain names with appended numbers like
freetriplescore13.com. Presumably this is an attempt to track which ad people are responding to by
which address they use, but that would only work for customers who ignore the soundtrack of the commercial
and go by what they see instead. It's also vulnerable to cybersquatting once a number is reached
that they didn't bother to register; freetriplescore666.com is, at last check, still available if
Satan wants it.
- GasBuddy has a fairly sensible idea of letting
you click on your location on a map, and then show you the gasoline prices in that area.
However, they implement it in a senseless manner; once you get to a specific area, you
wind up in one of a whole bunch of Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names™ like
ShreveportGasPrices.com, instead of
using logical subdomains, which would seem to make sense for such a network of related
sites. BocaRatonGasPrices.com is not taken, when I checked, so somebody can
"cybersquat" on them over here if they want.
- The popular American Idol show, on the Fox network, uses this approach by having
its site at idolonfox.com, even though
the more logical idol.fox.com would actually be one character shorter.
The similar-concept Nashville Star show on the USA Network had more sense,
and put its site at nashvillestar.usanetwork.com.
- Even when governmental entities use the proper top level domain, they don't
always follow the proper structure. For instance, the Internet
Fraud Complaint Center, set up by the FBI, used ifccfbi.gov where
it would have been more logical to put a dot in the middle of it and
use the subdomain ifcc.fbi.gov. (Later it changed to the shorter, snappier ic3.gov.) Not so long ago, the .gov
registry was very strict about only giving separate domains to cabinet-level
agencies and requiring all subsidiary entities to use appropriate subdomains,
but they've weakened up a lot and are tolerating much in the way of "vanity"
.gov domains. To some extent, that's a good thing, if it encourages
the agencies to get their vanity domains in .gov instead of a completely
inappropriate .com address, but in cases where their desired URL
includes the parent agency as a substring, they ought to use properly logical
- The Continental Chess Association
seems to think every page of their site needs its
own domain -- they have ccaevents.com, ccaguide.com,
ccaresults.com, and more, all of which just redirect to pages in
their main chesstour.com site. This could have been done more
logically with subdomains like events.chesstour.com. At least, I think
the .com suffix is valid; though their name sounds like a
noncommercial organization, I believe they're actually a for-profit business
(though the status isn't unambiguously stated).
- Speaking of chess, the U.S. Chess Federation has
a few Stupid Unnecessary Domain Names™ too... though at least
they do use the proper .org TLD. uschesslive.org
goes to their live chess site, and shopuschess.org to
their online store. These things could have been done more logically with subdomains.
- The Foundation for Economic Education, a nonprofit that
properly and reasonably has its main Web site at fee.org, somehow felt the need to
announce their annual convention via the unnecessary separate domain
Why not use a logical subdomain like convention.fee.org? Well, at least they
didn't use a .com address...
- Another "Well, at least they didn't use a .com..." award goes to
Doctors Without Borders for
using the Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name™
for their online donation site, instead of a logical subdomain.
- And then there's redcrossstore.org, with a site logo
that identifies it as the "RedCross.org store"; if it's branded that way, why not have it actually in
the redcross.org domain?
- MP3.com, for some unknown reason,
put its artist sites in an "artists" subdomain, not of
mp3.com, but inexplicably, of mp3s.com. Why they needed
a domain with an extra "s" at the end to hold their artist sites, I
have no idea. These pages were all heavily "branded" with Mp3.com logos
and credits, but, technically speaking, they're not in
mp3.com! Cognitive dissonance, anybody? (With the 2003 sale of
its domain(s) to a different company, MP3.com is presently shut down, and I don't
know what use, if any, will be made of the variant domains if and when it resumes operations.)
- Disney had its online store at
disneystore.com (at least until they
moved it to yet another domain, disneydirect.com).
This, by itself, while it is an unnecessary domain (a logical subdomain would make more sense), is too
garden-variety to be crying out to be added to my Hall of Shame; I've got enough similar
examples here already. What did get me to mention Disney here was the fact that,
if you got on their mailing list, they embedded redirection URLs to their store in their
e-mails which use the completely unnecessary illogical domain go-disneystore.com.
Why not use a dot instead of the dash, and make it a logical subdomain???
All of the URLs in the Disney/ABC empire, incidentally, end up redirecting to a deep
hierarchy in go.com.
- DellRadio.com is not the Web site
of a radio station, network, or program operated by Dell. It's merely a (not particularly
intuitive) way into the Small Business section of the dell.com
site. The only radio-related thing about it is that it's advertised on the radio, which
might seem like a logical reason for the name... if you're a Marketing Type. Their commercial has
various office-worker types gushing about how great the DellRadio.com site is...
(better than just-plain Dell.com?)
- DebtFreeDirect.tv (and GetOutOfDebt.tv too)
actually redirect to addresses within debtfreedirect.co.uk. No, it's not in Tuvalu, and its only connection with
TV is that it's advertised there; it's another case similar to DellRadio.com.
- fedexfootball.com isn't another "DellRadio.com"-type site, even though
it's a FedEx site advertised during football games; the site content actually does relate to football (it's
a site done by FedEx in cooperation with the NFL). However, although the site is actually at the logical
subdomain football.fedex.com, they insist on advertising instead the Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name which merely
redirects to this address.
- Buy.com has registered a mind-boggling number of
domains containing the word "buy", like buyelectronics.com, buysportstickets.com,
buyplanetickets.com, ad nauseum. I haven't counted them, but a magazine article pegged the number at 2000.
If true, this means they spent $140,000 on domain name registration fees (given that the domains are
registered with Network Solutions, the most overpriced registrar), and will have
to pay $70,000 a year in renewal fees to keep all of these domains, which would be
totally unnecessary if they just used hierarchical domain structure for all their sites.
(And doesn't this whole heap of domains just dilute "branding" of their core buy.com
name, anyway?) I note that when you actually go to their site, all those other domains
(the ones that work at all, anyway; many of them aren't actually functional and are apparently
just registered for possible future use) redirect to addresses within buy.com, so
any bookmarks and search-engine indices of their site will ignore the other 1,999 domains
and just use that one anyway. The others seem to just be there as "launchpads" because
some marketing type thought it'd be neat to have them.
- However, ShopA-Z.Com has them beat,
with over 6000 domains of the form shopproduct.com, like
shopshoes.com. The idea, I
guess, is that they'll try to convince consumers to type shopwidgets.com
or shopwombats.com when they're seeking a widget or a wombat,
respectively. Right now, they won't find any, though; all of those sites
simply say that their content is "coming soon," so you just get some
press releases, investor information, and links to other sites in this
family of stores with empty shelves. Wouldn't it have made a lot more sense
for them to get one domain name and create 6000 subdomains for the
different product categories? Even if they had to pay ransom to some
speculator for a "good" name, like buyitnow.com, it would probably
be cheaper than the registration fee for 6000 domains, wouldn't incur
more renewal fees every year forever, would allow the creation of additional
sites any time they want, wouldn't carry a risk of a cybersquatter grabbing
some shopsomething.com domains they forgot and taking part of
their business, and, finally, would avoid the risk of having some of the
6000 domains taken away in a trademark-infringement arbitration decision.
The last is not just hypothetical; one of their domains, shopsandals.com,
got challenged successfully by the Sandals resorts
even though it appeared the domain was really intended for use in
selling that type of shoe, not resort vacations. So, in one corner, you had a resort company
that seemed to think it owns all permutations of a perfectly good English word
for a type of shoe; in the other corner, a "cyberzerk" e-commerce wannabe
with more cash than sense who's registered gazillions of completely unnecessary
domains. Here's a dispute where I wish both sides could have lost.
NOTE: Somebody connected with the Sandals marketing department has been pestering me
with (apparently automatically-generated) e-mails insisting I take down all links to their site
because they somehow harm their marketing due to a Google algorithm or something. No way; the point
of this page is to criticize their Internet marketing, not to help it.
- The owner of sucks.com
also registered a lot of "related" domains like MichaelBloombergSucks.com,
about which he recently won a dispute challenge
from the Bloomberg company trying to seize that domain. While I'm glad
he won -- it creates a good precedent for other "sucks"-style criticism
sites to keep their domains -- I find him to be foolish in his domain
use for registering names like that in the first place, paying lots
of registration fees and taking the risk of being challenged or sued for
each of them, when he could much more simply, cheaply, logically, and
legally safely, have simply used subdomains of his sucks.com
domain, which is a great "suffix domain" for subdomain use. He could
create MichaelBloomberg.sucks.com, Microsoft.sucks.com, etc.,
at no charge and without any ability of the targeted companies to challenge
this, since subdomains aren't under the dispute policy. In fact, he
could probably make some money selling subdomains of sucks.com
to critics of various companies and organizations. Whoever owns
sucks.org and sucks.net also have such an opportunity.
(If anybody does want to register some regular second-level
domains for "sucks" sites, remember that if they're noncommercial in
nature, .org would make more sense than .com!)
- West Palm Beach TV station WPBF had a Web site under the perfectly
logical domain WPBF.com. But they
redesigned the site, and some idiot in their marketing department
must have had the imbecilic idea that a redesign somehow necessitates
a new domain name, so they are now promoting the site under the
longer, more awkward address TheWPBFChannel.com.
If you forgot the "the" when you typed that, don't fear; they also registered it as
WPBFchannel.com. Why they
needed any of these addresses instead of the plain, "keep-it-simple-stupid"
call-letter domain (which still, fortunately, works and brings you
to the same site), I guess you need a degree in marketing (or a
frontal lobotomy; perhaps this is equivalent) to understand.
(Recently, they've "changed gears" yet again and started giving out their address
as yet another Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name™, wpbfnews.com.
This, however, just redirects to that silly TheWPBFChannel.com address. Just what they have
against using their simple, logical, four-letter domain corresponding to their actual call letters I have no idea.)
- While we're on the subject of TV stations and networks, just what
do the major networks have against using the simple and famous
three-letter domains they own which correspond to their actual names,
like nbc.com, abc.com, and cbs.com? NBC used to be the
worst offender in this regard, insisting on using nbci.com as
its main address, except in places where they promote other sites
like msnbc.com and cnbc.com, but never nbc.com. (They've
since did an "about face" and begun using their logical domain name... at least
when they're not coming up with still more stupid unnecessary ones like shopnbc.com.)
The other networks do sometimes use their "normal" domains,
but not always -- they all have a whole host of other domains that they
often prefer to plug rather than their logical one.
- For some inscrutable reason, although Bank United has the logical domain,
bankunited.com, they choose to
have their public site in the silly domain buexpress.com
- Intel, a rather "techie"-oriented
company, certainly should know the proper use of domains and
subdomains. But still, they registered the unnecessary and awkward
to promote their hiring in Austin, TX. I'd think the techno-savvy
people they're seeking to hire would understand the structure of
a logical subdomain like jobs.austin.intel.com.
- Yahoo has its images under a separate
domain name, yimg.com. While
the popularity and resulting heavy server load of Yahoo probably does make it desirable
to have the images on a separate server from other content, there doesn't appear to be a logical reason
they needed a different domain name for it; images.yahoo.com would have worked.
(I've received a few emails criticizing me for putting this on the "Hall
of Shame"; the writers have given a few reasons that justify this domain
use, basically to make the HTTP requests and responses shorter to save
network traffic. One reason was to keep the URLs short, but nobody has
really explained why, after getting this domain to shorten the URL, they
go and use image URLs like http://us.a1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/ww/m5v2.gif,
which certainly have parts other than the second-level domain that are
capable of being trimmed down. The other is that, by using a different
domain, they stop the browser from sending all the cookies that
yahoo.com sets, which aren't needed on the image server. That's
actually a reasonable one, which I hadn't thought of myself. I've cited
the inability to share cookies as a disadvantage of using
multiple domains, but hadn't thought that it's occasionally
- Yahoo also acquired EGroups, and now has its website
at the logical subdomain groups.yahoo.com, but for some reason
the email messages generated from it use the less logical yahoogroups.com
in the return address. And, for yet another unneccessary extra domain, files in the
Yahoo Groups file libraries are served from subdomains of yahoofs.com. (Just
what are "Yahoofs" anyway... something that Yahorses have???)
- Another one from those Yahoos at Yahoo: They also created yahoo-inc.com to use in their corporate e-mail
addresses after the rather questionable move of opening up their original yahoo.com
domain to users of their free e-mail address service, hence creating confusion about what
addresses are really Yahoo employees. (Somebody can cause lots of mischief by getting a
free yahoo.com address and sending mail from it claiming to represent Yahoo.)
It would have been much better to use a different
domain (or subdomain) for the free addresses and keep yahoo.com for the corporate
ones, but they don't seem to have been thinking straight.
- Actually, those blahblahblah-inc.com style domains for e-mail, from companies
whose main Web site is at blahblahblah.com, are becoming rampant enough
these days to be almost a cliché -- I've spotted epinions-inc.com
and fandom-inc.com, among others. What's the big problem with having
a company's e-mail addresses actually be within the company's
signature domain??? (The Epinions.com Notifier emails seem to keep changing their minds about
whether they should come from epinions.com or epinions-inc.com... they've gone back and
forth on this a few times.)
- Download.com, a site owned by CNet,
redirects you to the rather strange-looking address download.com.com -- no, you don't have
double vision, there really are two .coms there. But that's not why I'm listing them in the
"Hall of Shame" -- there actually is a sensible reason for their doing that, so that they can set
cookies across their whole family of sites, via subdomains of their com.com domain that closely
resemble the actual .com domains under which the sites are promoted. (But if they named their
sites as logical subdomains of cnet.com in the first place, instead of buying all those other
domains, they wouldn't have had the problem of dealing with multi-domain cookies to begin with!)
What gets them on this list, however, is the fact that if you register for download.com,
the response email comes with a reply address not in download.com, nor in
com.com, nor in cnet.com, nor in any logical subdomain of one of these... rather, they
use the completely superfluous domain cnetdownload.com for this purpose. I can see the wheels
turning in the minds of the marketing types at CNet... "I don't like the idea of the emails coming
from download.com... that's not "branded" as being connected with CNet, something we want
to hammer at the customer... I guess we could use download.cnet.com there, but
subdomains are for geeks... Real Marketroids always register new domains at the drop of every hat,
so let's use cnetdownload.com! Next week we'll use downloadcnet.com instead, and
next year we'll start going for versions with hyphens in them. When we forget to renew one of them
and it suddenly becomes a porn site, that'll give our lawyers something to do!"
- Google is usually pretty good about
using logical subdomains for all its sites, but their marketroids had to get
a Stupid Unneccessary Domain Name™,
googlestore.com, for their
- GoDaddy Software has its support
site at supportwebsite.com.
That's a rather silly name, since it gives no clue whose support
website it is. A logical subdomain like support.godaddy.com would
have better explained its purpose. In fact, GoDaddy sends some of its confirmation
emails, like those confirming successful registration or renewal of a domain name, with
"From" addresses in supportwebsite.com instead of godaddy.com, which can
be confusing, especially these days when there are lots of scams out there where entities
unaffiliated with your registrar will try to get you to send them money to "renew" your
domain -- this is a case where it's particularly important for registrars to clearly and
unambiguously indicate who they are in all correspondence so that you know you're not
- Marketing research firm NPD formerly used the domains
npd2.com and npd3.com in addresses they direct people to for various
marketing surveys. Why did they need separate domains for those? Couldn't
hostnames like survey1.npd.com work just as well, with the added benefit of
unambiguously indicating their affiliation with the same company (as it now stands,
any other joker could register npd4.com, still available last I checked, and
pretend to be affiliated with them. Or if that's taken by now, try
npd5.com or npd6483.com. Trying the strategy that some companies and
organizations do and registering every possible permutation and derivative of their
name to stop "enemies" from getting them is ultimately futile.) Since I posted this
example, they've switched to yet another needless domain, npdor.com for their
"Online Research" department. (npd2.com now redirects to this.) Why not just
use "or.npd.com" or "research.npd.com"? And why change the address at
all, after getting their survey subjects used to using npd2.com? They claimed
it was because they switched to a new server, but it's perfectly possible to repoint
an existing domain or hostname to a different server. I think some non-techies have
the superstitious belief that changing servers requires getting a new domain name.
- Another incomprehensible use of a number-suffixed domain is from
snopes.com, host of the famous
urban legends archives, which for no obviously sensible reason, redirects
to a second domain, snopes2.com. Even if some technical reason necessitated
multiple servers in different locations, this could have been done with hosts
or subdomains within one domain.
- When EProNet teamed with Carnegie Mellon University to offer job
seeking services to alumni, the site could have been implemented
as a proper subdomain of either cmu.edu or epronet.com,
but, no, they had to register Yet Another Stupid Unnecessary
Domain Name™, carnegiemellonepronet.com.
- InfoWorld has its Web site, logically enough, within the domain
infoworld.com. But a subscription
offer for "priority" individuals directed recipients to iwpriority.com.
This address, in turn, redirects the user's browser to a final resting place within
the domain iwsubscribe.com. So that's at
least two unnecessary domains they've registered in order to achieve less
memorable addresses than they could have had with logical subdomains of their
infoworld.com domain. I don't know about you, but I would remember subscribe.infoworld.com
better as an address to go to subscribe to InfoWorld than iwpriority.com. Or better
yet, just direct people to their main www.infoworld.com site, and put a prominent link
to the subscription page there. (There is one, presently, but it's buried way down
at the bottom of the page.) UPDATE: Both iwpriority.com and iwsubscribe.com fail to
resolve now, so any old links, bookmarks, or ad flyers referencing those addresses are now useless in drawing
new InfoWorld subscribers; a link to the plain old infoworld.com would keep drawing them in now.
- Cable company Adelphia has long used adelphia.com for
its main site, and adelphia.net for its Internet services
site (it is an ISP as well as a cable TV company). This makes some sense given that .net is
intended for networking-related entities. But you know how marketing types are... they're never satisfied
with any situation that has any degree of sense or logic to it... so they "rebranded" their Internet services
customer-service site so that they now direct customers to the silly domain adelphiapowerpage.com.
- For a country-code-based example, British supermarket Sainsburys uses sainsburys.co.uk, sainsburystoyou.co.uk,
sainsburysbank.co.uk, sainsburysbankloans.co.uk, sainsburyskitchenappliances.co.uk,
and sainsburysentertainyou.co.uk, as well as .com versions of these (which redirect to the .co.uk
version, except inexplicably for sainsburystoyou.com, where the redirect is the other way around). And that's not all...
they've also got sainsburysdiets.co.uk, sainsburys-live-well-for-less.co.uk, sainsburysrecipes.co.uk, and
- Am I Annoying has been "on-again, off-again" on this
page... first I added them for using amiannoyingornot.com for their main site but a subdomain
of amiannoying.com for their forum; after they spotted this listing somebody from that site e-mailed
me and convinced me to drop the link on the grounds that this was merely a transition from an old address
to a new one -- and in fact, they eventually used the shorter amiannoying.com all over. Fine.
But they're back on this list now, for moving their forum to an unnecessary extra
domain, annoyatorium.com. I say that's annoying!
- Get2Net has the logical domain name get2net.com. But for some reason
they don't actually have their Web site there; when you go to it, it redirects you to
get2netcorp.com. I can't fathom any logical
reason why that latter domain was needed; even if their "corporate site" is at a different
place from the rest of their network, it would have been a trivial task to point the
www.get2net.com hostname at the appropriate place. No extra (and uglier) new
domain was needed.
- Integrity Online is a nationally franchised
ISP that offers a "family-safe" Internet environment by filtering everything they think
is unwholesome. They make a big deal of how you can trust them. However, instead of assigning
their servers in various cities logical subdomains that prove they're all related, they
got all sorts of unneccesary domains like integrityonline16.com. Now, a scam artist
can "steal" the goodwill of their sites by registering a "similar" domain that's not yet
taken, like integrityonline99.com, and perhaps fill it with pornography. Logical
subdomains would give the customers more confidence that all such sites are safe places.
- ProBoards, a free message board hosting service,
does the same thing, using a whole heap of addresses like proboards78.com for its various
servers instead of logical subdomains.
- Domain registrar Stargate deserves a place on
this list. They started with their site at stargateinc.com, but later managed to get
the shorter, snappier stargate.com. Fine so far... hardly shameful, even though it resulted
in a duplicative two different domains going to the same site. Some of my own sites are in that
boat, too, as a result of getting a new, better name and still wanting the old one to work.
What gets them in the Hall of Shame, though, is how, once they got the better domain, they
proceeded to rename themselves "Stargate.com, Inc." -- didn't anyone tell them that sticking dot-com
on company names was so '90s? -- and, after doing that, they still use the old,
awkward stargateinc.com in all the URLs and e-mail addresses in such places as their e-mail
messages notifying you that a domain needs to be renewed, and in the HTML code used by affiliates
to link to them. (This has persisted even through a recent redesign, in which they made all the
affiliates change their links without even a grace period where the old versions worked too, despite
the fact that it would be fairly trivial to program a server redirect to accomplish this.)
So you've got the ridiculous situation of them telling you to reach
"Stargate.com, Inc." at the address stargateinc.com!
- Barnes & Noble's online site has a similar situation itself; it began its online
life at barnesandnoble.com, but later
got the easier-to-type bn.com. Now they market it as "Barnes & Noble.com" (silly, when
you think about it, because ampersands and spaces are not legal characters in domain names), tell
you to go to bn.com, and when you do this, you find that all the links there actually
go to pages in barnesandnoble.com. Very dissonant.
- Another such case is OptInRealBig.com, which
redirects to OptInBig.com, but the site at that address
refers to itself everywhere by the longer address that it redirected away from. Whether they're "real big"
or just "big", this company has gotten in legal trouble for involvement in spamming, so you probably shouldn't
opt in to them!
- And, a "generic" Hall of Shame goes to all of the sites forming the current profusion
of "MyWhatever.Com" addresses... while having a user-customizable version of a site is a
decent idea, it can be done with a subdomain like my.whatever.com (and is
done that way on a number of sites); there's no need for a separate mywhatever.com
domain, but lots of those sites seem to think they need one anyway.
- Another "generic" Hall of Shame goes to all the companies and organizations
that registered every derogatory combination of their name that they could
think of, like FooCorpSucks.com and IHateFooCorp.com. Whatsamatter,
can't bear to have critics gain a 'net presence? A futile gesture, as
determined opponents (perhaps getting the idea from this very action of
yours) can easily find another "nastygram" domain you forgot to register.
(Did you remember to register the .org version, too? That's the
more appropriate suffix for a noncommercial anti-corporate site,
- Yet another "generic" Hall of Shame for the domains of multinational
corporations taking the form [Company or Product Name][Country Name or
Abbreviation].com -- like FooCorpUSA.com, FooCorpFrance.com,
etc. Localized sites for different countries can be handled more logically
and elegantly in one of two ways -- as subdomains of the main domain,
like us.FooCorp.com, france.FooCorp.com, etc., or as sites
within the appropriate country codes like FooCorp.fr -- depending
on whether it's most important to communicate that the sites are all
part of FooCorp, or that the sites are local to each country.
- And one for the various foobar.com sites that decide to have a related online store -- and,
instead of using a logical subdomain like store.foobar.com, they go for the obligatory Stupid
Unnecessary Domain Name foobarstore.com.
in "honor" of those companies that can't seem to make up their mind what
domain name to use, passing you around to multiple domains in the course
of accessing the same function of the same department of the same company...
- JetBlue Airlines can't seem to remember their own domain. Some of their mailings have multiple reminders to whitelist their addresses so their
mail isn't marked as spam; a good suggestion, but you have to actually use the address the mailings are sent from. Their tries and fails include
a notice "For consistent delivery, add TrueBlueStatement.com to your address" (which is a domain name, not an e-mail address; e-mail addresses
need something with an at sign before the domain), and then follow later in the message with "Add email@example.com to your address
book to ensure delivery to your inbox." Well, that's an actual e-mail address, but unfortunately it's not the one the message was
sent from, and it wasn't sent from any address in the different domain cited in the first notice either; the actual From address is
firstname.lastname@example.org. That's actually a logical one, in a subdomain of their main domain of jetblue.com, but whoever's writing their message
body doesn't seem to know that.
- When you bring up a shipment tracking record from UPS Mail Innovations,
the links on the page, to various related pages and functions all run by UPS, go to mailinnovations.com, ups-mi.net,
ups-scs.com, upsmi.com, and ups.com. Somehow, this array of domains was still insufficient to provide a domain
for e-mail, since the contact address on that page is in ups-mi.com.
- United Airlines has their site at the sensible address of united.com.
(It would have been just as sensible as an address for several other companies, including United Van Lines, but the
airline is the one that has it.) However, doing some routine surfing through their site, including logging in and checking my
frequent flier mileage, led my browser through an astounding series of different domains: ua2go.com,
mymileageplus.com, itn.net, ual.com, and centrport.net were the ones I was able to note; I
suspect I'll find even more if I go more thoroughly through all the links of the site. Did any of these need
to be under separate domains from united.com? (Update: When they sent an electronic holiday greeting card
to their members, the e-mail came from a subdomain of united.com, with a Web link to a page in mymileageplus.com,
which in turn redirected to an address in unitedpromos.com.)
- Bell South sometimes sends e-mailed
notices of services that use links to addresses in the Stupid Unnecessary
Domain Name™ bellsouth-info.com, which in turn redirect to
addresses in bellsouth.com. Why not just link to bellsouth.com
in the first place? And if they had to have an unnecessary extra
domain with "info" in it (rather than a logical subdomain like info.bellsouth.com),
they could at least have used the new .info top-level domain instead of
yet another tired dot-com.
- The National Arbitration Forum,
one of the arbitration providers that adjudicates domain
conflicts under the ICANN UDRP, is currently using email addresses
in arb-forum.com and web addresses in arbitration-forum.com,
except on occasions when they do it the other way 'round just for the heck
of it. ICANN, however, links to them by the shorter and simpler address
arbforum.com, but for some unknown reason they don't seem to like
to use that themselves.
- ifeminists.com, which perhaps belongs in the first
category of this page as a site in an improper TLD (it seems to be a noncommercial community), actually
redirects to the address ifeminists.net, but the site nevertheless continues to identify itself
as ifeminists.com in its logo and throughout its text.
- Discover Card holders who elect to get e-mail notifications of their
bills and payments find that the messages come from a From address
in discoverfinancial.com, with a reply-to address in discovercard.com,
a message ID in the headers that shows it actually originated at novusservices.com,
and giving a Web address to see your statement that's in novusnet.com.
- When you apply for Citizen Card, you get an e-mail from
citizencard.net which asks you to send the response to an address in citizencard.com.
They also have citizencard.co.uk, but I'm not sure if they actually use it.
- A holiday greeting from the AIG insurance company to its customers in December, 2005 was e-mailed from
an aig.com address, but used a Web link in aigcorpebus.com which redirected to
aigonline.com, where there was a "splash page" linking in to the actual (non-religion-specific)
greeting card, which was
in home.aig.com, a subdomain of aig.com. Why all those other domains were needed at all is
- Often there seems to be a highly visible rift between the marketing types and the techies within
the same company, as shown by schizophrenic use of domain names; the actual links between the company's various
sites use logical subdomains, but the marketing blurbs, logos, and promos refer to Stupid Unnecessary
Domain Names™ instead. For instance, the professional version of the Internet
Movie Database is actually at pro.imdb.com, and the secure order page
for it is in the secure.imdb.com subdomain, but they insist on marketing it as IMDbPro.com.
Similarly, all of Kiplinger's investment-related stuff is within the
kiplinger.com domain, but they market some parts of it using other domains like KiplingerForecasts.com,
even though links to them actually lead into pages in the kiplinger.com domain.
- Such an internal conflict might be happening at Scott County, Iowa --
their site has a good essay about the usefulness of
local governments using properly structured domains in .us, but they still insist on "branding" their own
site with a stupid, inappropriate, illogical .com address. (Yes, the .us
address works too, but the .com address is what they put in their logo and in their contact e-mail address.)
to "honor" the persons, places, and things that have been named after
domain names which they don't own!
- A tech conference called "agiledotnet" doesn't have the agile.net domain you would expect from the name, but
- Singer Catherine Rodriguez had her Web site at onlycatherine.com (no
longer functional last I checked), but for no
obvious reason it said in it (only if you have Flash; the site didn't appear at all otherwise) that it's
"© 2007 Catherine Rodriguez.com". Unfortunately, the domain referenced there (once you strip out the space, which
is not allowed in domain names), was for sale and apparently did not belong
to the singer in question.
- The graphic program paint.net doesn't actually own the corresponding domain,
which belongs to Warren Paint & Color Co. They ended up having to use getpaint.net
instead. However, Warren Paint was nice enough to make paint.net into a gateway page linking both to their
own site and the software one.
- The orientation manual
for Victoria College at the University of Toronto adopted a theme in 2007 based on
Wikipedia, and used the cover caption
www.VIC-IPEDIA.org. They don't actually own this domain (it was unregistered when I last checked),
and the actual orientation info is at vicorientation.ca
(still a Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name, as the university is at utoronto.ca and could have used a logical
subdomain for this).
- The Web site of U Magazine "brands" itself
as U.com even though it's not actually at that address -- nobody's site is, since
single-letter domains are presently reserved by ICANN (other than a few "grandfathered" older
registrations). This rebranding seems to be part of a scheme to trademark the name U.com in order
to reverse-hijack it if and when ICANN opens such domains up for registration.
- startup.com may have the distinction of having had its name
used in vain the most often by people and companies not owning it. Here
are a few of the different places it's turned up:
None of these appear to have any connection to the real
which is a real business that acts as an incubator for startup companies,
and which has a "sm" (Service Mark) sign next to the domain name wherever
it appears in its Web site.
- A book
on starting Internet businesses.
- A movie documenting
the story of the rise and fall of one such business.
- A program
by Netegrity to help in the
delivery of customized e-business solutions (and a bunch of other buzzwords
- Sybase.startup.com --
the name of a database program designed for Internet startups, whose name
is ostensibly a (nonexistent) subdomain of startup.com.
- Suck magazine,
when writing about the above-mentioned startup.com movie, got "cute"
and titled its article "slowdown.com". Sorry, guys... that one's
taken too: it's for
- This article
is titled "Community.com", though that domain actually belongs to
- katie.com is
a book about a girl's online seduction by a pedophile. However,
the domain itself
belongs to somebody unrelated to the book, who's peeved that her domain
was referenced this way without her permission. (See the conflicts
section for more on this case.)
- The producers of the movie Fear Dot Com don't own the
namesake domain fear.com, which probably
got an increase in traffic due to the film and its advertising and promotion. The actual
official site of the film is at the redundant address feardotcom.com,
though the writers of that site couldn't seem to get the address straight -- some of the text
in the site at first referred to feardot.com, another domain name not owned by the movie's
- Then there's the Internet marketing newsletter "GrokDotCom", which doesn't own
the domain grok.com... actually, they're at
grokdotcom.com. Is this whole "SomethingDotCom.com"
business going to be the next silly trend among the Internet airheads?
- Tobacco.com and America.com were used
as the names of purported companies, apparently run by the same person
or group of people in Canada, which applied for trademarks (Canadian and
U.S.) on those names and then attempted unsucessfully to reverse-hijack
the domains from their actual owners. This scheme failed completely. (The former links to the sites
associated with those companies, not at their purported domains, no longer work.)
- email@example.com is
an album by Latina child singer/actress Daniela Lujan. If interpreted
as an e-mail address, this would be in zon.com,
which belongs to a label company in Philadelphia. If interpreted as
a domain in its entirety, you run into the problem that the @ sign isn't
a legal character in domains, but corazon.com
has a site about Boeing 747 accidents.
Neither domain seems to be connected in any way to Ms. Lujan.
- Fair.com?: An Examination of the Allegations of Systemic Unfairness in the ICANN UDRP
is an interesting academic report on the domain dispute process. Its author,
however, succumbed to the "cutesiness" of giving it a "dot-com" name that
represented a domain he didn't own.
- The .biz registry site once had an announcement on its home
page for a conference named comdex.biz, but the corresponding domain was not yet
actually reigstered. (Eventually it went to somebody in South Korea who doesn't seem to have
anything to do with COMDEX.)
- A fan site about the singer Aaliyah (which doesn't seem to be around any more)
called itself "A_Babygirl.com", which isn't even a valid domain name; underscores are not a
- The Northside Football site (of a high school football team)
uses a title that says "NSFB.com", but the site's actual address is northsidefootball.com. The
title-specified address goes to an unrelated "this domain for sale" page.
The football site belongs on many of my Hall of Shame lists other than this; for using a .com address for
a site that's not in any way commercial; and for annoying, gratuitous, and obstructionist use of frames, applets,
and other completely unnecessary junk that causes the site to take a long time to load and be inaccessible to users
in many situations (e.g., Java disabled), and more.
- This site calls itself
"meathelmet.com"; that domain actually goes to an X-rated site unconnected with the first site.
The person who reported this to me said that there is apparently a virus or trojan-horse program
embedded in the site at the named domain (not the site I linked to above) (I wouldn't notice, as I use the Mozilla
browser, which is mostly immune to the security weaknesses of Microsoftware), so you might want
to stay away from it.
- This MSN group of fans of the children's TV
show Lizzie McGuire calls itself LizzieMcGuire.com, but it isn't...
that address actually goes to the official Disney site about
the show, unrelated to the MSN group.
- jo.com is
the login name and online "handle" of a member of Epinions,
a prolific author on that consumer review site. Unfortunately, the
domain she's named after
belongs to some holding company that doesn't appear to have any connection
- coonassdotcom on Twitter is another "cutesy" username referring
to a domain apparently not owned by the user in question.
- A university residence hall once gave the girls there the opportunity to purchase "Rutherford
Angels" T-shirts, with cutesy names based on the theme of "angels". Stewart
Gordon reports that a friend of his has one, with the name www.angel.com/chat. As it turns
out, this is actually advertising the Web site of a phone system provider.
- The feedback form of jeffglover.com has a title that
claims it's connected to GLOVER.COM, though this is an entirely different site not apparently owned by the
- The 'About Us' page for thetrainline.com
sometimes refers to its company as "Trainline.com Ltd", although trainline.com
actually belongs to the band Train.
- However, arguably, the most arrogant use of a non-owned domain
probably belongs to Microsoft,
platform appears, by its very name, to claim control of an entire
top level domain!
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This page was first created 18 Mar 2001, and was last modified 26 June 2017.
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