While both .rest (for restaurants) and .bar (for, well, bars) have been open for business since 2014, today, October 19 the special, exclusive .bar and .rest are opening up too.

We're talking of course about premium domains.

These are the exclusive .rest and .bar's that are in high-demand, with a steeper price of admission to go with it. Here's just a sample menu of available options:

airport.bar (for that pre-flight grog)
exotic.bar (for all the rum drinks you can stomach)
fight.bar (first rule is: don't talk about fight.bar)
american.bar (play this one again, Sam)
cajun.rest (jumbalaya and crawfish pies)
buenosaires.rest (probably a steak house with a good house Malbec. Tuesdays are Tango night)
detroit.rest (for good food and good music, we assume)

As you can see, it's mostly a mix between some nice generic names and more geographic names.

Open that .bar or .rest you always wanted?:


The South Asian diaspora of late has been gaining in visibility. The Office and Parks and Recreation introduced a mass audience in the US to Mindy Kaling and Aziz Ansari, who have now also gone on to headline their own shows The Mindy Project and Master of None, which challenge viewers to re-think assumptions about identity and how it is represented in media.

South Asians are often pigeon-holed as either doctors, math geeks and lawyers or as convenience store clerks, taxi drivers or call center employees. The reality, obviously, is more complex. And thankfully that complexity is finally breaking into mainstream public consciousness.

Enter .desi, the TLD for the South Asian community, whether born on the Indian subcontinent or far from it, .desi is for anyone who identifies with the South Asian identity.

And from October 16 until December 31, .desi is half-price. That means that a .desi name that's normally $23.14 per year at A rates will be just $11.57 per year*.

So this fall is a great time to celebrate Desi identity with a .desi domain.

Register a .desi?



*Prices in USD. See .desi price page for local prices (including INR).

This is a promo for anyone whoever wanted to be somebody.

The TLD .whoswho is a literal who's who of the internet. And the good news is, you can have your domain in this high-tech update of the old Who's Who catalogs from October 15 until January 31, 2017 at 4:00 PM PST for half price. That's all the prestige of being a who in the .whoswho for just $19.18 for the first year only (normally $38.35 at A rates)*. That applies for all domain creations. Even premium domains will be half-off their normal price.

So if you're a who and want whoever to know who you are, get your .whoswho for half-price while you can.

Choose whose .whoswho?


*Prices in USD. See the .whoswho price page for local prices.

At midnight on October 1 after the expiration of the US Department of Commerce's contract, IANA authority reverted directly back to ICANN, for the first time removing  nominal US government control over name and number delegation on the internet.

Back in March, we discussed the creation and development of the IANA function by Jon Postel and the mini-coup he effected in 1998 when he unilaterally instructed regional root nameserver operators to switch from Network Solutions's root server to IANA's root nameserver.

We noted that this action led directly to the creation of ICANN by the Clinton administration to take over the IANA function. What we didn't mention at that time, though, was the unique model that ICANN represented as an organization responsible, essentially, for internet governance. Nor did we directly bring up the impending deadline which happened at the end of last month: the expiration of the US Department of Commerce's contract for IANA functions.

The plan, ever since Jon Postel provoked the Clinton administration into creating ICANN, has been to devolve responsibility of IANA functions away from the US Department of Commerce's contract and transition to a "multi-stakeholder model," namely, the one created by ICANN.

Now, with the expiration of the Department of Commerce's contract on September 30, the transition away from any direct governmental control over IANA functions, even the nominal control by the Department of Commerce, is set to take place.

But not without some challenges. ICANN opponents sought to undermine the transition and wanted to renew the Department of Commerce contract.

We're going to get a little topical here. Not because we're trying to make a political statement but because delegating new domains is kind of our home turf, so we happen to know a little bit about this.

What are IANA functions?

If you want the history, see our Tech Fundamentals post on it, but real briefly, IANA is responsible for what are mundane but essential functions required for the internet, such as:

  •     delegating IP address blocks to regional Internet registries, which in turn delegate IP addresses to ISPs, which in turn delegate them, for example, to ISPs, who then delegate them to their customers
  •     administer the root nameservers, which return lists of authoritative name servers for TLDs
  •     administers protocol parameters like URI and character-encoding sets
  •     run the timezone database that is mirrored by computers and other devices on the internet

Or, to put it succinctly: the IANA functions aren't the "phonebook" as they have often been compared to in recent media, they tell you where to find the phonebook. They're at the top of the hierarchy for anytime you (or your computer) need to know how and where to find another device on the internet.

What's at stake?

The question posed by the IANA transition is the question of who gets to govern the internet. There are certain people who claimed that the Department of Commerce contract should have been renewed rather than have the IANA functions devolve directly to ICANN essentially because the US government should continue to govern the internet.

The reason Jon Postel's 1998 redelegation is significant is precisely because it demonstrated that US government control over IANA was symbolic at best. Postel's authority was more important as was the informal consensus among root nameserver operators to comply with Postel's authority.

There is the argument out there, though, that world governments should have equal authority to regulate IANA functions. Various international efforts have been made to move the IANA functions under the purview of some international body, usually part of the United Nations. Many of these proposals are colored with language referring to concepts like "cyber-sovereignty."

Cyber-sovereignty movements seek to formalize a regional control model subservient to local governments, specifically for those critical root nameserver and IP delegation functions. In a sense, to Balkanize them.

At best that would mean the status quo in many places, but it's worth noting the US government has historically exerted little control over IANA functions.

The choice, then, was between two options:

  1. Allow ICANN to formally take over and end the Department of Commerce contract
  2. Renew the contract and thereby open a new round of discussions internationally about how IANA functions should be governed

To be clear: (most) everyone agrees that what isn't broke shouldn't be fixed. The main question was whether the nominal regulatory authority of the US government should be removed entirely or if it should be replaced by regional or intergovernmental authorities.

What's so great about ICANN

It's not so hard to find fault with ICANN and its apparent inefficacy in the face of your pet problem, or its poor record on privacy issues. Or you can characterize its meetings as dry and tedious, but ICANN is a unique proposition.

We haven't extensively covered ICANN's structure, nor will we here (maybe later).

They call it a "multi-stakeholder model." A lot of times this is construed as being controlled by businesses and other private interests, but the reality is that ICANN is a step closer to an open and "democratic" model.

ICANN at least aims for a few core values, chief among them openness and inclusiveness. Despite being headquartered in Los Angeles, ICANN meetings are held at sites around the world, rotating between continents. June 2015, ICANN 53 was held in Buenos Aires, ICANN 54 last October was held in Dublin, then ICANN 55 in Marrakech in March, ICANN 56 in June in Helsinki and ICANN 57 coming in November to Hyderabad.

ICANN meetings are free and open to all, with public forum sessions and live streaming for remote audiences who can even chime in through a chat. ICANN also takes public comments on their website and blog commenting.

ICANN makes decisions through consensus and aims for a "bottom up" agenda.

These are all baked into ICANN's bylaws and they'd need consensus to be changed.

And the important part of the present debate is what role governments play in this process. They obviously do have a seat at the table since world governments are obviously stakeholders. Governments have direct input through the Government Advisory Committee, or GAC for short (like the sound you make when you think about wading chin-deep into ICANN's organization structure).

The GAC advises ICANN on the legal aspects of ICANN policy, especially as it relates to national laws and international agreements. But they are not a decision-making body. The ICANN board has to pay special attention to GAC advice but they don't have to abide by it.

.xxx and nGTLDs

There are two primary instances in which ICANN's multi-stakeholder model has been challenged to date and, in both cases, they involved going against the wishes of a government.

The first was in regards to the sponsored TLD .xxx, which was created by and for the adult entertainment industry.

Despite strong objections to the creation of the .xxx TLD, most especially from world governments and the GAC, ICANN proceeded with its decision to delegate the TLD.

Foreign governments, among which apparently was the European Commission, lobbied the US government not to allow .xxx to be added to the root.

The IANA contract would have allowed the US to unilaterally block .xxx from being delegated, but they did not do so.

The second is in regards to new gTLDs.

Ardent followers of this page are no doubt intimately familiar with the comings and goings of new gTLDs, but on the eve of its introduction, ICANN was awash with criticism, primarily from copyright and trademark protection firms,  who managed to lobby the US Senate and the House of Representatives to take up the issue in a series of hearings. The US Congress then asked the Department of Commerce to intervene to slow down the new gTLD program, going so far as to request ICANN's contract be reviewed.

In the end, though, none of the objections were founded, though the DoC did find fault with ICANN for not communicating better and educating the public more on the almost seven years of work that went into creating a new gTLD program that would have consumer protections and trademark violation mitigation processes baked in.

Both for objections raised regarding .xxx and for objections to the new TLD program, the final appeal came down to the US Department of Commerce and both times the DoC refused to intervene. In other words, when governments, whether the US government or other world governments seek to intervene in ICANN's decision-making process, it is precisely to the DoC and the power to revoke ICANN's contract that they make their appeals.

And now it is exactly this contract which is set to expire and devolve directly to ICANN in a matter of days.

Whatever the outcome, Jon Postel already demonstrated in 1998 that authority over IANA functions does not rest with the US Department of Commerce contract but in the internet community itself. ICANN is the best attempt so far at capturing all the voices of that community and to rule by its founding principle: practical, common-sense, consensus-based decision-making.

However, it's clear in the two highest-profile challenges to the authority of ICANN's multi-stakeholder model that ICANN is most susceptible, for better or for worse, to influence from world governments through its contract with the US Department of Commerce.

How many anime crushes do you have? How large is your J-Pop playlist? How many times have you felt a burning desire to poses a stuffed animal from a video game or an anime t-shirt?

If you answered "more than one" to any of the above, you might be otaku.

And if so, we have good news for you. The TLD just for otaku culture, .moe, is half-price from October 10 through 16, meaning it will be available for just $11.57 per year*. This only lasts one week, so better get one now!

Moe for a .moe?



*Prices in USD. Check the .moe price page for local prices.

For vloggers and voyuers and photography enthusiasts, a new TLD is now entering the Sunrise phase. Starting on October 5 at 5:00 PM PDT, .cam enters the Sunrise phase, when it will be available for $281.62 per year at A rates*.

Otherwise, from December 12 until December 14, .cam will be available in the Landrush phase for $571.66 per year at A rates*.

And finally, .cam enters the GoLive phase on December 14 at 2:00 AM PST, when it will be available for just $40.25 per year at A rates*.

Get your .cam?


*Prices in USD. See .cam price page for local prices.

The things we do for other people ...

It's a little too easy to find fault with the narcissism of the new internet celebrities, whether they're spending hours to achieve the perfect selfie then filtering it to death or obsessively Periscoping every minute of their lives.

The thing is, even the measliest web presence means having an audience. The downside is the supposed narcissism of the "me" generation. The upside is how it creates communities around common interests, sometimes ones shared by millions, other times small and niche. And offers unprecedented interaction. Like a Reddit AMA on the grand scale or comments on your vacation photos on social media on the other end. Your presence online isn't so different from a small-scale stage, now, a space in which you interact with your audience.

From October 1 through December 31 at 4:00 PM PST, three TLDs that can help you shape your online space are on sale at half parice: .live, .studio and  .video. Meaning that instead of the the usual $15.57, or $14.41 for .video, per year at A rates*, .live and .studio will be just $7.79 per year and .video will be $7.21 per year*.

So make your online .studio and broadcast your .video. You only .live once. But don't do it for us. Or your audience. This one's for you.

Register a domain under one of these TLDs?:


*Prices in USD. See the .live, .studio and  .video price pages for local prices.

Fall is a time for bold new colors, a time for fresh, stiff breezes to stir through the trees and produce a thousand permutations of color and shape in the leaves as they strain in the wind and twirl to the ground.

All that changes can get you to see the world around you in a fresh, new way, just like an original design. Fall is a great time to design something new.

And this fall in particular is the perfect time to .design something, whatever it might be, because from October 1 through November 30 at 4:00 PM PST, .design domains will be on sale for just $10 per year (normally these domains are $62.36 at A rates)*.

Or if you're stumped for ideas and in the neighborhood, come drop by the Taipei World Design Capital exhibition at the Songshan Cultural Park in Taipei between October 13 and 30. If the change in season doesn't have you rethinking things, this is a world-class exhibition with free admission (open between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM local time) and Gandi will be there, so come find us to talk about web design, designing a web presence or .design ideas in general.

Whether or not the change in sesaons has you feeling particularly creative, if you're design-minded, you won't want to miss out. But still, give it some thought, come up with just the right .design for just the right purpose.

Get your .design started?



*Prices in USD. Check the .design price page for your local prices.

In the old jetset days, you had to be a millionaire to fly to far-off and exotic locales. But, thanks in part to online deal finders, today travel is open to all.

Similarly, when .travel debuted back in 2005, you had to actually be in the travel industry in order to obtain one.

As of now, the jet set age of .travel is over: .travel domains are now open to anyone providing services, products or content of, by or for the travel industry. Especially travel startups and travel writers.

You do still have to become a .travel "member" before you can get a .travel domain, though, and getting a Member Number or UIN is still required. You can get that automatically on the travel.travel website.

Otherwise, once you have a UIN, .travel domains are available for $90.00 per year at A rates*. Happy .travel's!

Register a .travel?



* Price in USD. See the .travel price page for local prices.

Quick quiz for students of the Chinese language:

Q. How do you say "website" in Chinese?
A. .网站 !

As of September 26, TMCH registrants could get theirs in the Sunrise phase for just $150.60 per year*. The Sunrise phase will last until October 26 before .网站 passes into the Landrush phase on November 1, during which domains will be registered for $138.59 per year* until it enters the GoLive phase on November 2 at 3:00 PM PST, when domains will be available for $19.35 per year at A rates*.

Register a .网站?



*Prices in USD. See .网站 for local prices. 

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