The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Top Level Domain Names

This supposedly stands for "commercial," but some of the earliest .coms I ran into were Santa Cruz geek houses, so obviously people are paying no more attention to that guideline than to the one that suggests you only use Q-tips to wash around the outside of your ear. Even now, being told your .com of choice is unavailable and being offered a .org or .net instead is like going to the movies and finding out the air conditioning is busted. C

As time goes on, the pointlessness of the .net TLD approaches infinity. By definition, any agency which is applying for a domain name either has or is attempting to establish an online presence, making this domain something like having a special pilot's license for those who actually want to go up in the air. This has become nothing more than a second-choice domain, so let's say "net" stands for "Nuts! Everything's Taken" and move on. C-

A TLD with a proud and honorable history, housing such inimitable sites as and Both of these recently stopped being non-profit organizations and are now commercial, though, underscoring the problems of trying to establish definitions in this topsy-turvy, helter-skelter, willy-nilly, artsy-fartsy, champaign-urbana, ralston-purina world. B+

At long last, a domain name with some standards! Only four-year accredited American universities can hook one of these puppies. As much as I appreciate knowing what to expect, the waste of namespace makes me wonder whether we shouldn't open it up to community colleges, vocational schools, karate dojos and that one art school where you have to draw a pirate to get in. A-

If I were a government leader in any country other than the US, I'd be peeved and grumpy. In Internet terms, the USA is not just a gov, but the gov? Is this some sort of hint? A shadow of the future global hegemony that fundamentalists and eco-terrorists keep going off about? Or -- and this is my guess -- a reflection of the fact that you have to punch Americans in the arm just to get them to remember that other countries exist? D+

Same problem as with .gov, only more disturbing. I vote that we fold this into .gov and free the .mil TLD up for persons and organizations having to do with milk. Wouldn't that be fun? D

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