"is there any doubt that if another country had "invented" the Internet--say the Russians--that we'd all have had to learn to type Cyrillic characters by now? Moreover, do you think they or the Chinese or Japanese would have changed the Internet just to suit English-speakers."
The US invented the Internet. It achieved a massive advantage in doing so. The cultural and monetary advantage was immense and generated tremendous opportunity for millions everywhere on the planet. The entry ticket for all was the English language, the common tongue of Planet Earth. The US gave that up for nothing. Nothing. Absolutely, nothing.
Like every other self-loathing cultural idiocy that has become part of modern Anglo-American cultural necrophilia, such cultural and economic dominance is anathema to the cowering cultural-DNA challenged on the Left. ICANN gave up, for nothing, repeat, nothing, the Internet requirement that the dot domain names be in Latin characters. That advantage has now been turned over, for free, to the Arabs, Chinese, Iranians and Russians.
We are told daily by our rulers and masters that America blood and treasure needs be bled to grow democracy across the planet. Democracy, you see is a big deal to the Anglo-Americans and is not exactly a Chinese, a Russian or Arab thingy bit. They don't do democracy. They are the un-cola at the democracy koolaid party.
We just gave away a trillion dollar advantage and allowed the veil to come down on one little way that actually helped foster democracy without one ounce of blood being shed or one penny being spent.
We really are one stupid collective of Mike Foxtrots.
David Coursey | Friday, October 30, 2009 3:03 PM PDT
ICANN Approves Domain Names We Can't Type
Friday, October 30, 2009
This is a bad day for the English language, after ICANN approved non-Latin characters for use in Internet domain names. Having invented the Internet--40 years ago yesterday--the U.S. has given away whatever advantage it offers English-speakers.
This was bound to happen after the U.S. recently recanted on its "ownership" of the Internet in a new agreement with ICANN, the Internet's primary governing body. At one level, I am happy that Internet users around the world will soon have domain names in their own character sets.
"The coming introduction of non-Latin characters represents the biggest technical change to the Internet since it was created four decades ago," ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush said in a statement.
"Right now Internet address endings are limited to Latin characters--A to Z. But the Fast Track Process is the first step in bringing the 100,000 characters of the languages of the world online for domain names."
The first phase of the Internationalized Domain Names program begins Nov. 16 when countries can apply to ICANN for country codes, such as .us for the United States and .ru for Russia, in their own character sets.
Over time, expect to see other domains, such as .com, .org, and .net, become available in other character sets, as well as domain names themselves.
"This is a culmination of years of work, tests, study and discussion by the ICANN community," Thrush said. "To see this finally start to unfold is to see the beginning of an historic change in the Internet and who uses it."
Is this a change for the better?
Perhaps, but is there any doubt that if another country had "invented" the Internet--say the Russians--that we'd all have had to learn to type Cyrillic characters by now? Moreover, do you think they or the Chinese or Japanese would have changed the Internet just to suit English-speakers.
Indeed, had the Internet been developed around a non-Latin character set, would it even exist today? Has the success of the Internet not been linked to the role of English as the global language of business and popular culture?
On another level, I also am concerned about all the potential for duplicated domains that will be created as non-Latin characters roll out across the Internet. How many new domains will be needed to protect international brands?
Will cybercriminals some how be able to take advantage of this change? Will there be hidden domains that cannot be displayed on some computers or typed on many keyboards?
Practically, I am not looking forward to perhaps someday having to learn how to type potentially 100,000 non-Latin characters that ICANN has embraced. Is there an easy way to do this? How many keys will keyboards need to have?
I am guessing this is a problem Google will help solve, but still have concerns.
It also worries me that the Internet, which once brought people together, may start to fracture along character-set lines.
Like I said, this is a bad day for the English language, but a good day for the billions of people who do not speak my mother tongue. They have rights, too, even if I am not always happy about what that means.
David Coursey tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web site.