Australians have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new .AU web domain.
Earlier this year, a panel of stakeholders (the "2015 Names Policy Panel") was set up to review if the current policies for Australian websites are still relevant, and if change was something the people actively wanted. The panel invited comment from the public on questions including if .au should be open to "direct registrations", if there should be any policy rules, and what those rules might need to be.
Majority favour of a new option
According to the panel's draft recommendations, 63% of respondents voted in favour of "direct registration" - that is, to be able to register a web address as just .au instead of having to be .org.au or .com.au. However, the panel notes that out of the majority who were in favour of a new option, a further 27% felt there should be conditions: such as customers with an existing .com.au name being given priority rights to the matching .au name.
In the article A change in Australia’s web rules would open up the .au space Derek Whitehead, chair of the 2015 Names Panel and adjunct professor at Swinburne University of Technology, commented on why the panel were in favour of the change. He said the main reason was that direct registrations "would create more options" and .au names would be "shorter, more appealing, and more memorable" as well as "making the domain name system simpler and easier to use."
Further to this, Whitehead said the proposed change would give "a wide range of new choices for registrants," since they would still be able to register the existing options like net.au.
The proposal has been "influenced by events outside Australia" including New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Whitehead says, who have already adopted direct registrations.
Not everyone is in favour of the change, however, with the panel accepting that it has considered suggestions "that the change would be confusing for users, disrupting the logical hierarchy of names in the Australian DNS."
Want to have your say?
The panel are taking comments and suggestions until September 30th. Jo Lim, Chief Operations and Policy Officer, auDA can be emailed at email@example.com. Alternatively, you can complete the online survey here.
Watch this space - .au could be coming to you soon!
|Yeamake / Shutterstock.com|
Google is now part of Alphabet
By now, the whole world has heard about Google - and their new place in a larger parent company known as Alphabet. You read the news in places like Mashable, Wired and heaps of other websites written by smart and well-informed people. Many of us have been scratching our heads in confusion and surprise at the unexpected announcement, while trying to find out what this separation of interests from Google's core business means for the new parent company as a whole.
The simple answer is that the obvious things that we know as Google - things like the search engine, and the Android operating system - will technically be a separate company from stuff like Boston Dynamics, and the various crazy projects the tech giant is working on, while still being "owned" by Alphabet. There's good corporate reasons for doing this, that you can read in more in depth on business websites.
What hasn't been making the top headline news is the catchy web address for Alphabet: abc.XYZ.
Google are no strangers to using top-level domains, having pranked the world on April 1st this year with their backwards search engine com.google, that made use of their own .GOOGLE web domain. But this is even clearer. With one stroke of the pen - or click of a mouse - with Alphabet, the company have again put new domain names in the public eye. Want to know if new domains are going to catch on, if there is any relevance to your business or any advantage over the .com? Alphabet have answered all of these questions and more with just three letters and one web domain.
What's the advantage of a not-com domain name? How about the opportunity for a unique and memorable address. Google have been internet pioneers for decades, now Alphabet are showing the world that a unique company deserves a unique web address.
Can't get the .com address for your business? Think outside the box. Rather than make their web address long or complicated, just to get a .com ending, Alphabet found another option with .xyz.
With the likes of .tech and .site also now available for registration, be like Alphabet and get your business ahead of the curve with an .xyz of your own from $1.99USD at crazydomains.xyz. You don't even need to give up your old web domain if you're very attached to it -- ask one of our friendly team about how you can redirect your URL.
The story doesn't end there: because the global search superstar is already teaching us lessons about brand protection. Within minutes of the Alphabet news breaking, it was pointed out that the address abc.WTF doesn't go to Alphabet - instead it redirects to Bing, Microsoft's rival search product. While it's not likely to have been a deliberate move by Microsoft, the takeaway lesson remains the same.
If your business has a com.au web address, what's to stop a competitor from registering the .net.au equivalent and redirecting to their own site? Taylor Swift made the news earlier this year by doing the smart thing and taking reputation management into her own hands and registering TaylorSwift.PORN and .ADULT.
There's often options and avenues open to you if someone is impersonating or defaming you online - but why take that risk? While the door to getting a clever new domain for trolling or parodying Alphabet is likely to have been firmly closed now (there's rules against trading on someone else's good name), you might not have the weight or profile of the Googles of this world. It's better to be proactive and protect your brand.
What happens next?
Questions about if Alphabet will be paying the appropriate taxes and if Google's "Don't be evil" motto will apply to Alphabet as a whole are being asked, and clear answers will probably be as elusive as they were yesterday when they were asked about Google. But, for most of us, the creation of Alphabet won't affect our lives.
Google search and YouTube and Android will all continue to function for the end user in exactly the same way, development on self-driving cars and Google Fiber will likely advance without needing to be part of the company that is still called "Google", and how Alphabet reports its earnings and profits will make little difference in our day-to-day lives.
Just the same, Google (or Alphabet) has reinforced some important lessons about protecting your brand online, while also telling the world that they see the value in the new generic domain names.
|Twin Design / Shutterstock.com|
Frightening details have been released of a serious vulnerability on Google's Android OS. All a hacker needs to take over an Android phone is to send you one message - and you don't even need to open it.
Android is currently the most popular mobile operating system in the world, with double the market share of Apple - meaning that hundreds of millions of people with a smartphone running Android 2.2 or newer are at risk.
The dangerous vulnerability allows an attacker to send a media file over a MMS message which targets the device's media playback engine, Stagefright, which is responsible for processing several popular media formats - for things like photos or videos. Attackers can steal data from infected phones, as well as hijacking the microphone and camera.
Scariest of all, mobile security experts Zimperium report that "A fully weaponized successful attack could even delete the message before you see it. You will only see the notification...Unlike spear-phishing, where the victim needs to open a PDF file or a link sent by the attacker, this vulnerability can be triggered while you sleep. Before you wake up, the attacker will remove any signs of the device being compromised and you will continue your day as usual – with a trojaned phone." Hackers would be able to delete the offending message - leaving you unaware that your security had been compromised.
What can you do?
Security software and hardware vendor Sophos report that Google has already prepared patches for the bug, and that Google Nexus users are probably "already safe". Unfortunately, they go on to say "we can't be sure which other device vendors have already patched, unless they choose to say so, because Zimperium is keeping the exploits under wraps" until the Black Hat USA conference on August 5.
Fortunately, one of the first steps to protect your phone is to disable auto-download of MMS messages, found in the SMS settings. This should be done in your phone’s messaging app, and through Google Hangouts. However, this will not stop infection if you click a link through to a malicious file and Android users should consider blocking all messages from unknown senders.
When is your update coming?
Sophos also recommend asking your device vendor whether a patch is available already - and if it isn't, finding out when to expect it. Meanwhile, NPR report that while Google gives its latest version of the Android OS to the manufacturers of smartphones and tablets, it's up to the manufacturers to "tweak it as they please" - meaning they don't all update at the same time. While Silent Circle report their Blackphone was patched "weeks ago" other manufacturers are still to release updates.
Crazy Domains has teamed up with FFV to support football clubs in Victoria
The game's afoot: Crazy Domains has taken to the field in a team up with Football Federation Victoria (FFV), to provide all of FFV's soccer clubs with exclusive benefits for their digital marketing activities.
As part of the partnership, FFV clubs will be given the chance to get in the game with .CLUB domain names, as well as getting access to many other special offers and competitions over the course of the next 12 months.
As a company, we're Crazy about football. Partnering with FFV is such a natural fit for us, and we're excited to help Victorian football clubs adopt compelling web addresses so they can be more readily found and remembered, particularly during important marketing and recruitment periods.
The opportunity for a business to completely own a category online with its website - such as www.victory.club - doesn't come along often. With a .CLUB domain, clubs everywhere can set themselves apart from the crowd.
Many clubs and businesses don't have websites of their own because they think it's complicated or expensive, but we're sending those misconceptions for an early bath. It's not the '90s any more –- it's incredibly affordable to get online, and you can have your own website up and running in minutes.
FFV will be providing all clubs with more information on the partnership via 'Club HQ' communication channels in the near future.
Win a Real Madrid jersey
In Australia, Soccer is now more popular than AFL - with nearly three times as many playing the sport.
There's a whole pile of new domain names open and available for you to register this week, with some fresh and seasonal sporting names standing out, so take a look with me at what's new in this week's Crazy Domains "Weekipedia".
Casinos are big business - whether you're the hottest place in town or running the biggest betting site, show your customers that you are cutting edge and up to date with the latest technologies and win big with your own .casino domain.
People like to talk - but even more than that, they love to chat. From internet chat rooms to chat apps, and from ICQ to Snapchat, with your own .chat web address you will really set tongues wagging. Be the talk of the town with your new .chat web address here.
Online dating sites and apps have made it easier than ever to find true love - or a date for this Friday night - without leaving the comfort of your couch. If you want to set your website apart from your competitors, a .date domain is your perfect match.
Faiths of every denomination can have a web address to call home. Whether you want a personal website for your beliefs or a professional page for your place of worship or you can keep the .faith with your web address.
Many football fans will agree that the sport isn't just a game but a whole way of life. What football fans can't agree on, however, is exactly what game they are talking about - but whatever sport you call football, you can get a web address to cheer for with a new .football domain name.
All that glitters is not gold - and that applies to getting the most valuable web address. If gold and jewellery are your trade, .gold is a sound investment for your website.
Mark Twain once called golf "a good walk spoiled" - no matter if you're a small local golf club or an international competition, don't spoil your web address with a generic domain nobody can remember. Finish under par instead with a .golf name.
If you write reviews, you don't need to be published in a newspaper or magazine: the internet gives a voice to anyone with a connection to the web. Want to get your film, theatre, game or book reviews found online? The new .review domain will get 5 stars from you.
Be cool: stay in school. If your school is cool enough to have its own website, it goes without saying that it shouldn't be stuck in the last decade with generic domains, Latin textbooks and computers that take floppy disks. Get educated with the .SCHOOL domain, and to to the head of the class.
Looking stylish is very important: and a great-looking website is no exception. But what's better than a website that looks good? A website that can be found easily. If you're a stylist, fashion blogger, or just committed to the latest styles, a new .style will put you on the best-dressed lists, and help potential visitors find you.
It's that time of year when everyone's eye is on the ball, and one of the world's most well known sporting efforts. While the major players battle it out at Wimbledon, are you wondering how the website for your tennis lessons, club or sporting goods store? Smash it with a .tennis domain - and your visitors will never again have to struggle with a had-to-remember web address.
Join us again for another "Weekipedia" update soon, and if you're looking for more to read, check out the archives!
Is this the craziest Australian?
If you had to name the craziest Australian right now - good crazy, that is - then Cody Hudson would definitely make the list, placing him high in the running for craziest worldwide.
Over the course of four years Cody is summiting the seven highest mountains in the world. Yes, that includes Everest. And yes, it also includes Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica. Why would someone do such crazy things? So he can raise a quarter of a million dollars for Save the Children, going towards children's education in Nepal.
Cody's lust for life and taste for adventurer comes from his late grandfather, whom Cody describes as "an avid hunter, trekker and mountain lover, often volunteering on rescue teams operating on Mount Cook: New Zealand’s highest and deadliest mountain." While his grandfather wasn't able to realise his dreams of scaling peaks around the globe, he did pass on his passion for the great outdoors.
Crazy Domains is honoured to be helping Cody with his summits - after all, how could we not get behind something so crazy, and from one so charismatic as Cody? Helping make it crazy easy for him to get online, Crazy Domains has sorted Cody out with a domain name, web hosting, website design and a logo - as well as contributing towards costs for several of the summits so far.
Summit 1: Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa
Cody's 7 Summits Project began last December, with Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The highest freestanding mountain in the world, in true Cody style he describes it as "without a doubt the most popular, and probably the easiest, of the Seven Summits - bar Australia’s own Mount Kosciuszko." Despite this, the effects of altitude on a climber make it far from certain that even seasoned travellers will make it the summit of the roof of Africa. For Cody, the journey to the snow-capped peak on summit day was a mere seven hour hike.
Summit 2: Mount Kosciuszko, Australia
Hot on the heels of the snowy peak Kili was the tallest of the Australian Alps, Kosciuszko ("Kosi" to its mates) in New South Wales. Cody notes on his blog that there is a lot of debate since around whether Kosi should be included among the 7 Summits. He notes that it was included in Dick Bass original list of the 7 Summits in 1985, but the controversy centres around whether Australia is a continent.
It turns out that there is no one hard-and-fast definition of what a continent is, how many continents there are, or what the continents are.
Some sources will list six continents, each starting and ending with the same letter for ease of memory. These are Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Antarctica and Australasia. Others will tell you there's seven continents, counting North and South America as separate continents. While agreeing on seven continents, there's further debate about whether Australia is a continent, or whether it is Australasia or Oceania.
It might sound unimportant, but these distinctions matter: because it means the difference between the 2,228 metres of Mount Kosciuszko, the smallest of the summits, or all 4,884m of Papua New Guinea's Carstensz Pyramid.
Cody describes himself as "a circumstantial patriot" who considers Australia a continent, and Bass' original list to be definitive - so he crossed Kosciuszko off the list in March.
All Work and no Play
What does an adventurer like Cody do between summiting mountains? Easy: he trains. It's no surprise that Cody's craziness doesn't begin and end with just the summits. While you'd expect the usual training, like running, or swimming (which Cody swears by, for helping with lung capacity), or rock climbing, Cody goes all out: on any one day you can expect to find him scaling the 30 steps of Jacob’s Ladder in Perth's picturesque King's Park 50 times in one day, or going running along the Kokoda trail: while carrying a 17kg pack on his back.
Summit 3: Mount Elbrus, Europe
This month you'll find Cody on the slopes of Europe's Mount Elbrus. The Russian giant rises 5,642 metres into the air, and is a long-dormant volcano - and is Cody's home for the eight days it takes to reach the top.
Aside from training hard, another important activity for the 7 Summits Project is fundraising, and raising awareness of the project. It's with both of these in mind that Cody will be climbing the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest this August, without even leaving Perth.
At the University of Western Australia's annual book sale event for Save the Children, Cody will spend over 15 hours on a treadmill, spread over two days. Anyone is welcome to drop in and join Cody for part of his journey: there will be a second treadmill alongside the crazy climber.
Now it's your turn to get involved. Follow the 7 Summits Project blog, on Facebook, or Instagram - and most importantly donate to help raise vital funds for the children of Nepal. The country has been hit with two devastating earthquakes this year alone, so your help is needed more than ever.
Live across Australia is the brand new creative campaign from Crazy Domains "Crazy Easy for the Crazy Busy". Highlighting just how easy and affordable it is to get your business online.
Rhys Darby: Brand Ambassador and New Face of Crazy Domains
Crazy Domains has teamed up with the internationally loved actor and comedian Rhys Darby. The Kiwi-born, flame-haired LA-resident starred as band manager Murray Hewitt in the award-winning sitcom Flight of the Conchords, as well as many films -- including as a werewolf (not a swear-wolf) in the recent comedy What We Do in the Shadows, and in Yes Man with Jim Carrey.
Together, with the talented Mr Darby and director Taika Waititi, Crazy Domains is bringing you some fresh and funny new advertising, currently turning heads all around Australia.
Rhys' crazy busy memorable new characters include a passionate taxidermist with an odd approach to his work, the professional masseuse and hand-model Greta, and Kev - a man of all trades in a small town, juggling three businesses at the same time. If you're in Australia, you can follow the links to visit each character's website, and find out more about how Crazy Domains helped these "crazy busy" individuals get their businesses online.
Watch the ads here!
If you haven't seen the ads yet, or if you would just like to enjoy them all over again, you can view them in glorious high definition here:
Coming Soon: New Tutorials
In addition to new help contents on our redesigned website, we have some brand new video tutorials coming your way very soon. Taking up his characters from our popular ads, Rhys will appearing in step-by-step video guides that are as entertaining as they are practical and educational. Keep an eye on our social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter, to catch them when they are released.
Not Just for TV
Crazy Easy for the Crazy Busy isn't just for Australia's TV audiences, either. Listeners of commercial radio in Perth will be able to recognise Rhys' sultry tones in a selection of specially-produced ads (if you're outside Western Australia and want to check out our radio ads, you can hear them all here), and in major cities across this lucky country you will see our Crazy Busy characters gracing billboards, bus shelters and tram stops. Don't forget to share your pics if you see any of them and tag them with #crazybusy.