Internet set for major change

2009-10-26 11:19

kalahari.com

Seoul - The internet is set to undergo one of the biggest changes in its four-decade history with the expected approval this week of international domain names - or addresses - that can be written in languages other than English, an official said on Monday.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann - the non-profit group that oversees domain names - is holding a meeting this week in Seoul.

Domain names are the monikers behind every website, e-mail address and Twitter post, such as ".com" and other suffixes.

One of the key issues to be taken up by Icann's board at this week's gathering is whether to allow for the first time entire internet addresses to be in scripts that are not based on Latin letters.

That could potentially open up the web to more people around the world as addresses could be in characters as diverse as Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Greek, Hindi and Cyrillic - in which Russian is written.

'Complicated technical feature'

"This is the biggest change technically to the internet since it was invented 40 years ago," Peter Dengate Thrush, chairperson of the Icann board, told reporters, calling it a "fantastically complicated technical feature".

He said he expects the board to grant approval on Friday, the conference's final day.

The internet's roots are traced to experiments at a US university in 1969 but it wasn't until the early 1990s that its use began expanding beyond academia and research institutions to the public.

Rod Beckstrom, Icann's new president and CEO, said that if the change is approved, Icann would begin accepting applications for non-English domain names and that the first entries into the system would likely come sometime in mid 2010.

Enabling the change, Thrush said, is the creation of a translation system that allows multiple scripts to be converted to the right address.

"We're confident that it works because we've been testing it now for a couple of years," he said. "And so we're really ready to start rolling it out."

'Necessary change'

Of the 1.6 billion internet users worldwide, Beckstrom - a former chief of US cybersecurity - said that more than half use languages that have scripts based on alphabets other than Latin.

"So this change is very much necessary for not only half the world's internet users today, but more than half of probably the future users as the use of the internet continues to spread," he said.

Beckstrom, in earlier remarks to conference participants, recalled that many people had said just three to five years ago that using non-Latin scripts for domain names would be impossible to achieve.

"But you the community and the policy groups and staff and board have worked through them, which is absolutely incredible," he said.

Icann is headquartered in the United States in Marina del Rey, California.

- SAPA

Read more on:    icann  |  internet
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

An uncomfortable election

The latter few weeks of election 2014, have seen South Africans reeling from an assault on their comfort zone when it comes to voting, writes Daniel Silke

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.