back to article In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web

On February 8, 2000, the US government signed a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to run the so-called "IANA functions" – which glue together the internet as we know it. Ever since that day, people have been trying to end that contract. This time next year, it will finally happen. …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    And on November 28th....

    They'll be arguing over who sits where at the conference table. Given the way these types of groups seem to work, the Internet will be dead and buried before they make any useful decisions. I'm skeptical as hell that they pull this one off.

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: And on November 28th....

      But first they've got to decide on the *shape* of the table...

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

        Re: And on November 28th....

        No, any fool knows it is colour first!

        1. ainsley

          Re: And on November 28th....

          No No No.

          Its quite clear that the first discussion must center around deciding what components of the table must be decided on first, but even before that they must decide on the naming convention for these components.

          1. i like crisps

            Re: And on November 28th....

            you're wrong. All the best boardroom decisions are made on chairs that 'swivel'. No swivel, no deal!

            1. Graham Marsden

              Re: And on November 28th....

              Don't forget the colour and pattern on the carpet...

      2. Preston Munchensonton

        Re: And on November 28th....

        "But first they've got to decide on the *shape* of the table..."

        Beware that it not look like a rectangle with rounded corners. That's patented now...

      3. Cipher

        Re: And on November 28th....

        Showing yor age Marsden

  2. Nuno trancoso

    Replace politicians with engineers under a strong leadership and you'll be done in a weekend.

    Decisions by committee, the best way to never get anything (properly) done.

    1. getHandle

      Re: Replace politicians with engineers

      Start on a Wednesday and you'll be done _by_ the weekend!

    2. frank ly

      Are you thinking (Linus Torvalds) what I'm thinking?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A committee of engineers?

      They'd still be arguing over standards a thousand years from now.

      As to strong leadership, it would have to be dictatorial with the threat of death for showing dissent to get anything done.

      A committee is just that, a bag of air that gets nothing done through disagreement.


      A group that has to make a compromise watering down what needs to be done so most of it isn't done.


      A group that needs to be seen to be doing something then rushes blindly forward and does it without realising the consequences.


      A group of head nodders that agree to everything the biggest gob tells them, the biggest gob incidentally is usually the one who knows the least.

      1. Cliff

        Engineers dictatorship

        Dictatorships work. They're extremely efficient. Make it benevolent, so you don't get an overthrow/power struggle and job done. Pretty much what happened 14 years ago...

    4. phil dude

      perhaps there's a pattern....

      I believe the meeting productivity follow the mathematical relationship of:

      P ~ 1/K2-n,

      where P is the productivity, K is the length of meeting time (hours) and n is the number of people involved.

      Clearly for all values of n>2, and K>60 mins there is a decrease in productivity for all parties.


  3. graeme leggett

    a thought

    "...27 November is Thanksgiving, the largest public holiday in the United States. Bigger than Christmas"

    Is this possibly an illustration of how the US is different from the rest of the world that celebrates Christmas where though national/foundation holidays are important they generally take second place.

    1. Hud Dunlap

      Re: a thought

      It is because a large segment of the population isn't Christian.

      1. hplasm

        Re: a thought

        "It is because a large segment of the population isn't Christian."

        But neither are they related to Pilgrims...

        1. phil dude

          Re: a thought

          in fact Thanksgiving is exactly what it means.

          Can you imagine a world without chilis, peppers,potatoes, chocolate, turkey, cranberries, corn or tomatoes?


          1. qwertyuiop

            Re: a thought

            Wow! The Pilgrims had chocolate?!?

          2. Fungus Bob

            Re: a thought


            I just imagined a world without chilis, peppers,potatoes, chocolate, turkey, cranberries, corn and tomatoes...

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: a thought

          But neither are they related to Pilgrims...

          And neither is Thanksgiving. Next?

      2. Tom 13

        Re: a thought

        What a thoroughly asinine and uneducated thing to say.

        When Abraham Lincoln announced the first official holiday to he held November 26, 1863 he proclaimed it a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." Thus has it been ever since. Even if Macy's does try to overshadow it with their commercialized Christmas day parade.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: a thought

      It's because christmas is now an annoying "commercial holiday" where you mostly just spend lots of money. The only people that really enjoy it are probably the young children. It's pushed and pushed AND PUSHED. People are now very irritated that christmas crap is showing up in the stores before Halloween is even here. I know quite a few folks that have said "screw it" and abandoned christmas almost entirely. No gifts, no tree, maybe dinner with a couple people if that.

      On the other hand, Thanksgiving is a time to get with your favorite friends and family, have a good time, and eat lots of really good food. It's got the "happiness quotient" that Christmas used to have.

      Edit: actually everybody I know has abandoned christmas. We buy some small gifts for the kids because we enjoyed that as kids, but that's it. There's no cards or anything else.

      1. Fatman

        Re: a thought

        I know quite a few folks that have said "screw it" and abandoned christmas almost entirely. No gifts, no tree, maybe dinner with a couple people if that.

        So, in that regard, I am not alone. Good!!

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: a thought

        The only people that really enjoy it are probably the young children

        Not so. Around here we still celebrate "Christmas" (our non-Christian status notwithstanding), and we enjoy the hell out of it. Family, friends, food, decorations, gifts, cards, inane holiday music, more decorations, stockings hung by the chimney with care, hilariously tacky outdoor decorations, a fire in the grate and snow drifting down outside1, real fucking Christmas tree2, more gifts, Rankin-Bass and A Christmas Story, good god who bought all these freaking gifts, hey some more friends just dropped by style of Christmas, is what I'm saying.

        Perhaps my anecdote doesn't beat your anecdote, but it's certainly not true that "the only people that really enjoy it are ... the young children". In a little more than a month I'll be hauling that tree home and standing it up in the living room, and it'll be five weeks3 of peace at home and goodwill to everyone within range.

        And you know what? Every damn year the sun comes back. I'm not 100% certain it's because we do right by the solstice, but it can't hurt.

        1Snowfall amounts may vary. We've had decent luck most years, though.

        2Frasier fir, cut down by my own hand, naturally. Don't settle for less.

        3Or thereabouts; we leave the tree decorated and up through Twelfth Night. Longer than that seems gratuitous.

  4. William Donelson


    A committee is an animal with four back legs.

    ~John le Carré, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

  5. Chris Miller

    Also sprach Douglas:

    Well all right mister wise guy, if you’re so clever you tell us what colour it should be!

    1. Barbarian At the Gates

      Re: Also sprach Douglas:

      Transparent. Then it can be whatever colour you imagine it to be.

  6. sisk

    Bigger than Christmas

    It's not in most of the nation, but it is a very close second. Then again that's partially because so many Americans celebrate Hanukwanzmastis* instead.

    *Yes, I'm making up words.

  7. batfastad

    dot whatever

    At least ICANN won't go short of money after all those applicants for sponsored TLDs each paid $250k!

  8. southpacificpom

    100 "people" will decide the future of the web

    For people read, NSA, FBI, CIA, Hollywood etc...

  9. Anonymous Coward

    So many Thanksgiving-related analogies...I don't know where to start!!

    Please choose the best from among these (admittedly very snarky) options:

    A) By the end of the 27th, internet enthusiasts are going to think Thanksgiving turkeys got off easy...

    B) On the 27th, families will finish this year's Thanksgiving dinner, while the CWG will start eating next year's...

    C) Chances of the CWG being named as something to be thankful for during Thanksgiving 2015--nil

    D) The CWG finishes its work on the 27th, and announces the results on the 28th--which by the way is known as "Black Friday" in the U.S.

    E) CWG meetings--all the arguing of a family Thanksgiving, and probably with larger dinner and booze bills!!

    F) The CWG--sure to serve up this Thanksgiving's biggest turkey!!

  10. Yes Me Silver badge

    Could I be serious for a moment?

    1) Kieran wrote: "This time next year, it will finally happen." No, this time next year it *might* finally happen. If the US Govt doesn't like the proposals that are made, or if certain Congressional factions get their way, the Government contract with ICANN will just be extended again.

    2) The process for preparing proposals is by no means limited to 100 people. The IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) has solicited proposals from the naming (DNS), numbering (regional Internet registries) and protocol parameters (IETF) communities and several gazillion people, including the usual loonies, have been part of the multiple resulting discussions.

    Kieran was referring to only one of the inputs to the ICG.

    All about the ICG:

    Its charter:

  11. Tim Bates

    My vote...

    I dont' really care too much where this all goes, as long as they stop with the dumbass idea of more gTLDs. Nothing looks more disorganized than the latest release of new ones.

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: My vote...

      gTLDs can be explained in two words: Free Money.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021