back to article The amazing .uk domain: Less .co and loads more whalesong

If you're a Brit "at the forefront of the contemporary online landscape", then you've doubtless already eyed the .uk domain - the "short and sharp" dot thingy for "fearless, modern, digital natives", set to launch on 10 June. Make no mistake, this isn't just a cynical way of ditching the .co and charging you for the privilege …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

    Not at all. To me, the colour represents slavish and unthinking adherence to Microsoft aesthetic standards.

    1. Benchops

      Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

      s'funny. It screamed CYANOGENMOD booting up to me!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

        Fair point. Although I had a go at Microsoft, it's really the general push towards the use of washed-out pastel colours which has made UIs so boring and ineffective that I'm griping about. Whatever happened to standing out to get yourself noticed?

        1. Benchops

          Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

          To my mind this isn't a pastel colour -- looks like pure cyan to me (no I haven't been bothered to colour pick it!), which is a secondary colour (or primary colour of inks, no matter what your art teacher says)! Fully saturated. This would make it similar to the new styles of iOS7 and Windows 8, but the whole cyan circle is definitely cyanogenmod!

    2. Malcolm 1

      Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

      Microsoft have bright primary coloured branding (indeed, many complain vociferously about their Fisher-Price colour schemes). While "muted brights" are certainly a fashionable branding trend, I disagree that MS are in any way relevant to this criticism.

    3. G2
      Trollface

      Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

      is it my dyslexic imagination or am i the only one to see an "f" letter in the white space on the left side of the circle?.... that means the logo is saying "fuk". LOL

      /lol

      1. J. R. Hartley

        Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

        Looks like someome has stumbled upon this old gem...

        http://www.1728.org/buzzword.htm

        1. Swarthy

          @J.R.Hartley:

          Oww! those buzzwords hurt. Although, I think I may have a use for "Organic user-facing info-mediaries" in the near future.. mainly next time I have to deal with a Hell Desk.

      2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

        Its you.

    4. Euripides Pants
      Mushroom

      Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

      ITS JUST F*#&(NG BLUUUUUUE!!!!!!

      <puts tinfoil hat back on>

      ok, time to up the meds again.

    5. Martin Budden Bronze badge
      Boffin

      Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

      Blue is actually the best colour for any screen-based user interface because it is easier on the eye than any other colour. Green is a bit icky and a bit unprofessional, red is too tabloid*, purple is too medical, yellow and orange just look terrible, black with white text is difficult to read, and nobody could ever like brown. That's why Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and a million other companies use blue: it just looks best.

      *El Reg uses red as a deliberate parody of tabloids.

      Icon is blue.

  2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Protection racket

    "Say, that's a nice .co.uk* domain name you've got there. We've just launched .uk* domain names. It would be a real shame if someone unscrupulous were to register your domain name co.uk name...."

    *Replace domain names with any of the recent new TLDs.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Protection racket

      Yup, that's about the size of it.

  3. Ole Juul

    That settles that then

    I just looked at the paradigm-busting new .uk logo which appeals to a new, tech-savvy audience. I failed the test.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That settles that then

      Sounds like people with too much money and just busy finding things to do (to spend it). Perhaps spend on what the membership and registrants really care about.

  4. Frank Zuiderduin

    Finally catching up?

    Right. A single tld instead of those co or org additions. Like (most of) the rest of the world. Why the fuss?

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Finally catching up?

      Because of what A Non e-mouse said up above. It is going to cause trouble and grief for a lot of businesses who will need to buy a second domain, and perhaps not have it available.

      That said, yes the rest of the world has been using straight up tlds since the beginning. And yes, it is too bad that the .uk folks were too clever by half back then. It is also too bad that they are even less clever now.

      1. Lusty

        Re: Finally catching up?

        "And yes, it is too bad that the .uk folks were too clever by half back then. It is also too bad that they are even less clever now."

        Which "back then" are you talking about? The one where .uk domains were available, or the later one where they were not but people like police.uk still had them?

        1. Ole Juul

          Re: Finally catching up?

          @Lusty: Perhaps I'm showing my ignorance. Since as long as I can remember, all I've seen are .co.uk. I don't live in the UK, so I have rarely seen the government use like police.uk although I am aware of them. In any case, it seems odd that the registrar wouldn't allow .uk for anybody in the UK that wanted it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they make that decision near (or at) the beginning?

          I suppose I could search the net before I ask this, but what was the original thinking on this? Was it some kind of attempt to display a hierarchy? What did they hope to achieve?

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Finally catching up?

            what was the original thinking on this

            The US registrars chose TLDs like .edu, .com, .gov, leaving such "generic" names unavailable for wider use, so the UK had to go to second-level ones to get the same flexibility. For the three mentioned, for example, it uses .ac.uk (ACademic), .co.uk and .gov.uk. Some other countries follow a similar pattern.

            Personally I get irritated by the muppets in intermal IT, which in the company where I cirrently work have decided that that local office nets will be xxx.uk.company.com, xxx.us.company.com, xxx.fr.company.com, etc. which means that internal addresses which use .uk or .de etc always have to be fully qualified. If they'd picked things like ".france" or ".germany" it would have worked better.

            1. NogginTheNog
              Boffin

              Re: Finally catching up?

              Active Directory and DNS domain name design is something of an acquired skill (or subject to a LOT of best-practice reading online beforehand!) in order to make it work well in a large multi-domain environment.

              A suggestion to ease your need to fully-qualify hostnames: I think some careful use of DNS Search Lists on the clients might ease your problems. Adding "<localcc>.company.com" first will allow you to use single hostnames local to each country, and putting "company.com" might then allow you to use "xxx.cc" for any others?

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Finally catching up?

        the rest of the world has been using straight up tlds

        "rest of the world" as in USA, you mean? There are other countries with .country TLDs that are split into second-level domains. For example, .gouv.fr , com.br, etc.

        1. SW10
          Unhappy

          Re: Finally catching up?

          {second-level domains. For example, .gouv.fr }

          No, France doesn't use second-level domains.

          Yer actual government is at http://www.gouvernement.fr, their version of gov.uk (sorry, GOV.UK) is http://www.service-public.fr, whilst the country has it's very own website at http://www.france.fr.

          If you want to find out about luxury powerhouse Louis Vuitton.Moet Hennessy then that's here: http://www.lvmh.fr whilst soon-to-be-American Alstom is at http://www.alstom.fr (Yes I know, it redirects...)

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Finally catching up?

            No, France doesn't use second-level domains.

            it does, there are six main ones:

            .asso.fr, the equivalent of .org.uk

            .com.fr, equivalent to .co.uk

            .gouv.fr, equivalent to .gov.uk (for example, to pay your taxes, you go to http://www.impots.gouv.fr/ )

            .tm.fr, for trademarks

            and s0me less-used ones:

            .nom.fr

            .prd.fr

            .presse.fr

            and others that are used at local government level.

    2. Benchops

      Re: Finally catching up?

      We can now all be as cool and paradigm busting as the British Library! How did they get bl.uk ?

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Finally catching up?

        @Benchops: British Leyland went bust years ago, so there was no competition.

      2. /dev/null

        Re: Finally catching up?

        Because bl.uk started off many moons ago as the JANET NRS name UK.BL, back in the day when organisations that were considered to be neither commercial (UK.CO...) nor academic (UK.AC...) simply got NRS names of the form UK.<name>.

        Of course this was before org.uk or gov.uk (or even their short-lived predecessors orgn.uk or govt.uk) were invented...

  5. baz rowlingson
    Big Brother

    Meanwhile...

    ..all the cool kids are getting .io domain names, right?

    1. breakfast

      Re: Meanwhile...

      Small island off the damp corner or Europe or a Jovian moon. Surely anyone would choose .io in that scenario.

    2. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile...

      Nope. Thay're getting .innit names

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Coffee/keyboard

    Oh dear....

    ...just been a little bit sick.

    Come the revolution, marketeers and patent lawyers 1st.

  7. davidp231

    Backwards?

    Generally, anti-clockwise symbolises going backwards, so if according to them, they are starting from the dot....they are taking backwards steps in innovation etc?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ukumbaya.....ukumbaya....

    WoooOOooOoooOooooooo!

  9. Stumpy Silver badge

    Where's the 'B' Ark when you need it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sadly, the more useful stuff never gets the funding.

    2. Crazy Operations Guy
      Alien

      Where do you think our current governments came from?

      My theory is that the Roswell incident was just another B-Ark crashing to earth, and to cover it up, the government decided to give them all government and PR jobs since there is no better way of hiding evidence than placing a thousand bureaucrats in the way.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      um...

      I think we're on it, and I can't find my towel.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its a 'journey'

    If you have to deploy the 'J' word, you really are heading downhill fast...

    1. Vic
      Joke

      Re: Its a 'journey'

      > If you have to deploy the 'J' word, you really are heading downhill fast...

      "Life is a journey. End it".

      Vic.

  11. Cliff

    That video

    "Different domains with different personalities" FFS

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: That video

      "Different domains with different personalities"

      Yup, why pay once to have a site designed?

      You need mulitple sites -- not a single page with options.

      Is Martha Lane Fox involved in this?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    y.uk

  13. DropBear
    WTF?

    Ok, I see how different ".com" / ".org" / ".net" domains might have seemed like a good idea at the beginning, in the times of keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.usa - but by the time everyone else was getting on board, I just don't understand why anyone would insist on such an artificial distinction? Straight country-based TLDs are working wonderfully fine in my opinion - whether I'm looking for Coca-Cola or the Anvil Shooting Club of Bwlch, the last thing I want to do is wonder which one of the above TLDs they might use! How did this whole "co.uk only" malarkey come to pass? It's an honest question...

    1. JeeBee

      Because it seemed sensible at the time to create a hierarchical namespace for country code tlds, so split up the namespace by organisation type, and delegate responsibility for some second level domains like .sch.uk. The current mess is what happens when a system is not enforced (you're not a charity/non-profit/etc, so you can't have the .org.uk) and is allowed to evolve for twenty years.

      In hindsight we found out that people just registered their names in all namespaces to protect them. Nobody uses .ltd.uk or .plc.uk either. Nominet was stupid and didn't do geographical second level domains either (.ldn.uk, .man.uk, etc), and now we have .london because ICANN opened that can of worms up too.

      So ... designed in good faith by technical people who didn't take reality into account, not taken to the logical conclusion of said design by the entities managing the namespace, and then abused by marketing/sales/etc regardless.

      1. Dr Paul Taylor
        Thumb Down

        the intermediate level is useful

        In British system the usage is clear, for example www.birmingham.ac,uk and www.birmingham.gov.uk. Without the intermediate level you have to express the same information in an ad hoc way, for example

        www.tu-darmstadt.de and however they name their local authorities.

        It would be much better if we introduced new intermediate level domain names for each of the things for which there is some regulatory authority, eg lloyds.bank.uk or smithbrown.law.uk, to go with .ac.uk .gov.uk .nhs.uk .sch.uk etc.

        1. Cliff

          Re: the intermediate level is useful

          Lloyds.bank.uk and ilk - you're approaching this as an engineer, you forget the twats over in marketing are the ones running the show.

  14. PleebSmash

    Welcome to

    y.uk

  15. poohbear

    Just another American mess

    A long time ago I asked why the US domains did not end in .us like all the other countries in the world had their .cc extension. The answer was for the same reason that British stamps do not declare themselves to be British like all other countries stamps declare their country: because they invented it.

    So .com, .org made sense in the beginning because there was an implied (.us) at the end. When the net rolled out globally it made sense to launch the .cc domains to differentiate. Unfortunately Versign in their greed opened up the domains under their control to world+dog+spammer, resulting in a mess.

    Here in South Africa we have .co.za. .org.za etc, all nicely differentiated. No one is pressured to buy the matching .org.za for their .co.za because firstly it's not necessary and secondly would probably not be allowed if you were not a non-profit.

    The moves by ICANN and assorted stupid evil registrars around the world to increase chaos into the system by adding spaghetti naming schemes is as pointed out above, nothing but extortion similar to the Chinese scammers telling me someone wants to register mydomain.com.cn and do I want to buy it at an inflated price?

    We've got similar schemes running here (.africa, anyone?) which are just as ridiculous and confusing.

    I know some countries (notably Germany) did not initially nicely break up their name space, but I think they are moving in that direction now.

    I also think that the US should enforce the .us on all their domains. Clearly there are too many candidates globally for every business wanting .com to fit in.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Just another American mess

      There is a perfectly valid .us domain. The reason nobody uses it is, American companies are divided into two types: the kind that does business in as many countries as they possibly can, and the kind that doesn't acknowledge that any other country actually exists. Neither of these categories is likely to choose a '.us' domain, when '.com' is there for the taking.

      Thus, the '.us' domain has become a cybersquatter's ghetto. Domains like 'pepsi.us' and 'disney.us' are registered by the sorts of people I won't endanger my legal status by describing. And the companies you might expect to care - don't, because who's ever going to look at them anyway?

      Which gives us the best clue as to how to handle this idiocy: ignore it. If we all just carry on as we are, then nearly all companies - the exceptions being the richest, best-able-to-afford-it - can just ignore the new structure, continue advertising and using .co.uk, and we'll all be happy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just another American mess

        I wanted to buy a ".us" domain last year, the intention being to have "<familyname>.us" (as in us you-and-me, not USA), but I couldn't because the registrar claimed you needed an American address in order to register the domain. So I got a ".me.uk" domain instead.

  16. Steve Graham

    You only have ".uk" in the first place because the bloodymindedness of early British internet adopters, who insisted on using it instead of the "correct" ".gb".

    (Correctly, in my opinion, since I live in the part of the UK which isn't GB.)

    1. NogginTheNog

      .GB vs. .UK

      UK refers to the whole of the United Kingdom (including NI and the Channel Islands) whereas GB refers to the mainland only.

      So the question is do Northern Ireland, Jersey, and Guernsey have their own TLCCs?

      1. /dev/null

        Re: .GB vs. .UK

        No, yes (.je) and yes (.gg) respectively.

      2. Richard 26

        Re: .GB vs. .UK

        "UK refers to the whole of the United Kingdom (including NI and the Channel Islands) whereas GB refers to the mainland only."

        This isn't actually true. The GB is the two letter code for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Why is it that and not UK? Well, the ISO 3166 rules assume that countries change their system of government more frequently than their borders, so the bits of the name that refer to that aren't usually used.

        So (for example) if we became "the People's Republic of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, we could carry on using GB as the country code, whereas if we were using UK, we would have a problem. It's not that Northern Ireland has been forgotten about.

        There apparently is (according to Wikipedia) NIR for Northern Island, and GBN for Great Britain but the TLDs only use the two letter country codes, as far as I know.

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: .GB vs. .UK

          "Well, the ISO 3166 rules assume that countries change their system of government more frequently than their borders"

          By that argument Amercia should not be .us (united states), the old Soviet Union shouldn't have been .su, the Federated States of Micronesia shouldn't be .fm as they all refer to the system of government they just happen to be using right now.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: .GB vs. .UK

          "Well, the ISO 3166 rules assume that countries change their system of government more frequently than their borders, so the bits of the name that refer to that aren't usually used."

          ISO "rules" says whatever they've been paid to say by the highest bidder, so that would just change if needed.

        3. Ian 55

          Re: .GB vs. .UK

          It will be the People's Democratic Republic, comrade.

          Send him to the salt mines!

    2. No, I will not fix your computer

      .uk vs .gb

      @Steve Graham

      Do you mean Northern Ireland? I don't believe it has a TLD, so if there was a .gb then I assume a TLD would have to be created for it, .uk makes sense so at leats it has an address, unless of course you use .ie, which kind of makes sense unless you start talking about offices in NI which relate to the UK, like the Northern Ireland office , which sits under a .gov.uk, where .gov.gb wouldn't make sense (apart from the physical inconsistency, where's the governmental responsibility implied?).

      So, given a choice between .gb and .uk, .uk makes more sense, that said, no reason why there couldn't have been a .gb and a new .te TLD

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: .uk vs .gb

        .gb used to be used for x400 stuff, and some MOD sites.

        .gb is still assigned to JANET, but I think the only active domain now is dra.hmg.gb

  17. VinceH

    One new level, many more registrations to protect brands etc. - and, in the case of banks etc., customers.

  18. Timmay

    oh.f.uk

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jesus

    you can rubbish it all you care (and rightly so), but the sad fact is, that the wrapping for the pile of shite, lavishly quoted in the text - WILL work. Because there're enough home "sapiens" born every day to gobble it down, and pull out their wallets. But then, they're not necessarily idiots, as buying (and selling for a profit) a pile of shit is not necessarily a sign of weak mind. Plenty of people trade various forms of manure around the world. Some lose, some make profit, selling it to others. So it goes, a merry-go-round by the name of "digital economy".

    1. Ian 55

      Re: Jesus

      It will work for those selling temporary entries in a register - marginal cost over their existing business is as near nil as makes no difference.

      People buying them will lose. Those buying them for themselves will find they're less valuable than .com or the local national equivalent. Those buying them to squat will fine they have no buyers for the same reason.

      Where is the demand for the new ones? The vast bulk was from those wishing to sell them.

  20. Zombieman

    Having always "known" that .uk was one of the first "country code" top level domains it is interesting actually looking up the history (look up ".gb" on Wikipedia for some "fun" reading). This highlights the way the Internet at least historically used to work, whatever happened "first" tended to be unshakable even if something "more right" came along later, in this case standardising on using an ISO list of two-letter country codes.

    Personally I'm in awe of whoever chose names like "duckula" and "horde" within the UK government usage of the .gb domain.

    P.S. Guernsey and Jersey and ISO codes and thus do have their own ccTLDs (.gg and .je) as does the Isle of Man (.im)

  21. John G Imrie

    The meening of the logo

    The circle represents the uk's boarder. The gap is the bit where al the illegal immigrants get in and the dot is the illegal immigrant.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The meening of the logo

      Actually the gap represents the hole in UK tax law where corporate income is allowed to be moved offshore to a tax haven.

  22. Scroticus Canis
    Childcatcher

    If you turn the logo upside down it makes more sence

    The bloke on all fours is about to be 'disciplined' with a large pole and a pawn broker sign.

  23. Robert G Ward
    Joke

    what about Scotland?

    If Scotland get independance, will the folks north of the border be required to return their .UK domains and transition to .scot domains?

    This is toung in cheek (incase anyone does not get it) especially as i no longer live in the UK but still operate various .UK domains, which will remain as .co.uk without their love child offspring naked .UK variant.

    1. Craig "Spuddleziz" Smith

      Re: what about Scotland?

      This is an interesting point though, Scotland would need to be assigned a 2 letter country code. What would it be? sc is Seychelles. Ecosse could be a source for it but ec (Ecuador) and es (Spain) are both taken too.

      Wonder what they would pick?

      1. Robert G Ward
        Childcatcher

        Re: what about Scotland?

        they already have .scot - what more could they need?

        http://dotscot.net/

        1. Marcus Aurelius

          Re: what about Scotland?

          What more could the Scots need

          .freeeeedom !!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: what about Scotland?

            If Scotland leaves the United Kingdom it will no longer be a United Kingdom. The full title of the country is roughly 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comprising the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, the province of Northern Ireland, and the principality of Wales'. If Scotland leaves, there's only one Kingdom left, so pedantically speaking, the 'UK' would have to go as there'd be only one kingdom left. We could promote Wales to a kingdom, but that would leave Prince Charles out in the cold as he is currently Prince of Wales. Or we could promote Northern Ireland to a Kingdom - that should go down well.

            Or we could get rid of the whole monarchy nonsense and become the N.E.W republic (NI, England, Wales of course).

            Now that WOULD be a step forward............

            1. Vic

              Re: what about Scotland?

              The full title of the country is roughly 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comprising the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, the province of Northern Ireland, and the principality of Wales'.

              My passport claims it is the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northerm Ireland".

              "Great Britain" will need some redefinition, should Scotland cease to be part of it, but the UK is just the same.

              Vic.

      2. foo_bar_baz

        Re: what about Scotland?

        Not much to choose from in the S* range by the looks of it: SF, SP, SQ etc.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Wonder what they would pick?

        FU (england)

        ;) ;) ;)

  24. Anonymous C0ward

    fc.uk/this

    1. foo_bar_baz

      Got there before me

      Are any and all domains ending with "f" banned? Can I haz lazysundaymorningf.uk plz?

  25. Hob Bramble

    "Share Symbol"

    Anybody else notice that the "share symbol" is the ShareThis ( http://sharethis.com ) logo?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My

    My wanker sense is tingling, I detect yet another shitty domain purchase coming through from the useless wankers in marketing.

  27. Ian 55

    For more scammery

    Have a look at the prices for .london domains.

    They vary according to whether that name is in a dictionary (hundreds, or over a thousand if it's sexual) or not (a still ludicrous forty quid or so).

  28. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Ye fsking Gods

    Just had a few seconds of teh video - cheese on an industrial scale!

    Anyone notice that they have the Earth spinning the WRONG WAY in the first few seconds?

  29. YetAnotherLocksmith

    It's a joke. Surely.

    The .uk domain names can only be bought by the squatter already holding it for the next five years anyway, & have first refusal. So surely in 4.99 years there will be a few people buying their .uk to protect it, before protection lapses, then a few people who wanted the .co.uk will buy the .uk?

    Of course, in 5 years time, who can day what the state of the nation (literally) will be?

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