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ICANN passes domain name expansion, ele.vation and wolf.pack ready to assault your browser

Darren Murph

It may be Sunday where you are, but it's bright-and-early on Monday in Singapore. That's where a monumental vote is about to go down, with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (or ICANN, for short) set to vote on expansion plans for domain names. If you'll recall, the organization approved seven additional domains in 2004, with another round from 2004 leading to a separate seven joining the herd. It's expected to approve something far more substantial this week, however, with a new system enabling just about anything to trail the crux of the domain. In other words, .com may soon be replaced by .Canon (for cameras), .eco (for green sites) or even .programming (for, you know, programming sites).

As you can likely imagine, the options here are pretty well endless, but it'll cost a wee bit more than $6.95 per year to register one. The application fee alone is clocked in at $185,000, and winners will have to pony up $25,000 annually after that. It's entirely likely that a new wave of legal spats will crop up with regard to trademarks -- we're guessing lawyers in Mountain View won't be too fond of Google.phones falling into non-corporate hands -- but hey, that's half the fun from the sidelines. We'll be keeping an eye out for a final decision, and we'll be sure to let you know if ICANN fesses up to what it'll be doing with those stratospheric new fees.

Update: It sailed through, as expected. The first of the new wave are expected to go online within a year, and yeah, we're curious as well to find out which one becomes first out of the gate.

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