ganley.org -> Writing -> Domain Names

Domain Names

There's probably been plenty written on this topic by now, but this domain name thing has gotten totally out of hand. I wrote a script to check all the three-letter .com domains (even though Network Solutions specifically prohibits this; shhh, don't tell). Of the 17,576 possibilities, there are 166 available. In other words, over 99% of them are taken, though this statistic is probably out of date as soon as I write it. A lot of the ones that are taken are held by cybersquatting companies like Unique Domains. Surprisingly, one two-letter domain is still available as well: zg.com. A friend of mine said he did a similar exercise with the words in /usr/dict/words on his Linux box, and most of those were taken too. I wonder if it's going to come down to companies taking meaningless three-letter acronyms like Canadian airports?

HP, of course, just split its measurement and test equipment division off into a separate company. They named this company Agilent. But the domain agilent.com is already taken by Agile Enterprises. I can't believe a company as big as HP would choose a name whose obvious domain name is already taken. If the current owner doesn't sell out, they're stuck with the super-lame agilent-tech.com. I hope he/she holds out for a boatload of money. (Update: Hey, guess what? agilent.com now points to The Company Formerly Known As HP. As I said, I hope Agile Enterprise got a bundle for that domain.)

By the way, in case you're wondering which domains were still available, here they are (all .com):

   efy eul ewj fin fto ftz gao geg gfh gkj jjo jqw juo juq kcy kht kkt kly
   knp lkb mhk msw mxc ncv pzt rhj rjv rmy rnw rrs ruw rvy rwq rxg ryj ryl
   ryy rzc ssf szb tgb tjf tjj tjq tjy tjz tmy tqf tqj tqo tqu tqv tqy tuj
   tuq tvy txb txw tyw tzb tzf tzh tzj tzl tzq tzr tzu tzx tzy tzz uaq uay
   ucz ufz ugq ugz uhq uij ujq ujv ujw ujx ujz ukq umz uoj uoq uqd uqe uuz
   uvj uvo uvq uvz uwh uwj uwk uwq uwu uwv uwy uxe uxf uxh uxj uxk uxm uxv
   uxw uxx uxz uyd uyf uyg uyj uyk uyq uyr uyv uyw uyz uzd uze uzh uzj uzl
   uzm uzn uzq uzr uzt uzu uzv uzw uzx uzz vaq vbl vej vfy vfz vgj vgk vgq
   vgy vgz vhj vhu vhz vnh vsw vtd wgc whq wtk wuv wvr xbt xjx yaw yeq zea
   zgv zou zsh zsm 
I was surprised to see a couple of words in there: fin and yaw. I'm sure they'll be gone soon.

Update 1/14/2000: An AP/San Jose Mercury-News article on this subject.

Update 4/18/2000: According to a New York Post article, as of last week all of the three-letter .com domains are gone.