Closed for Renovations. Sorry for the Inconvenience (the Internet)

If you’ve been following the progress of ICANN’s latest endeavor, then you know that soon, companies and individuals will be able to purchase custom web address endings. For instance, I”m thinking of registering www.mikebrown.utest. All I need is $185,000 and a good lawyer :)

Anyway, if you’ve been following this story, you’re probably also aware of the major security bug that exposed sensitive details of domain applicants and put a halt to what Reuters calls the “most ambitious expansion of the Internet so far.” Here’s Politico with the details of the bug:

Because of the glitch, as many as 50 applicants were potentially able to see information for about 105 applicants. The information is closely guarded by many applicants who do not want others to apply for similar words and bid up the price. ICANN is in the process of notifying applicants whose information may  have been revealed as well as those who may have looked at the information. At some point, it will reopen the application system for five days.

The Association of National Advertisers recently called for an independent investigation of the ICANN application system. Beckstrom said ICANN hadn’t responded to the request, which can be pursued through ICANN’s multi-stakeholder process.

The good news here is that we had enough security; we can see every user’s  keystroke, every turning of a page,” he said. “That’s going to discourage any parties from using information they might have seen.”

That was a few weeks ago. On Tuesday, the project reopened after more than 40 days, with ICANN apologizing for the inconvenience. The deadline for submission is now May 30th.

To close, I’ll leave you with a few thoughts and impressions from this story, as well as a classic South Park video:

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Non-Latin URLs – Are You Ready for Testing?

Up until last week, Internet domain names were a pretty mature business.  Then the folks at ICANN decided to shake things up by enabling non-Latin character ccTLDs (country code Top Level Domains – like .co.il and .co.uk ).  What does that mean for you?  Well, here’s a quick test.  Try visiting this URL: http://موقع.وزارة-الأتصالات.مصر/.

What you’re looking at is an Internationalized Domain Name, or IDN for short.  It doesn’t contain western or “Latin” letters, and chances are everything you know about URLs is about to get turned backwards (in this case, literally).  What’s worse is that different browsers handle this kind of domain name differently, and there’s no one right answer.

Are you a software tester?  Then your ship has come in because IDNs open up a whole new category of software bugs.  Let’s take a look at a few big trouble areas, but hang on tight because this gets goofy fast.

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Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing