Canon Becomes The Online Equivalent Of Madonna Or Prince, Becoming The First Single Word Domain Holder

from the no-.com-needed dept

It's been a while now since ICANN announced plans to open up the top level domain space. While we've questioned for many years the utility of still requiring limited TLDs, ICANN's plan to open up top level domains appeared to be more of a moneygrab than any real attempt at openness. That's because to get your own vanity TLD, it was going to cost somewhere between $100,000 and $500,000. Who would pay that? Apparently consumer electronics firm Canon.

Dark Helmet alerts us to the news that Canon is the first company to get its own TLD, appropriately: .canon. And, no, this doesn't mean that you'll now need to go to http://canon.canon -- but just to http://canon (that is, once it's launched, which won't be until at least late 2011). Oh, and apparently the cost has now solidified at $185,000. This really does seem like a pure vanity play. It's not like anyone was having any trouble finding Canon before, and most browsers (the vast majority of those that are actually used) will often automatically add the .com if you leave it off anyway.

There might be an argument for some sites, such as social networking sites to go down this road, so that you can set up profile pages like YourName.Facebook or whatever -- but it's hard to see the value for companies like Canon.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:12am

    I wish...

    I wish when I worked for Canon, doing tech support, they had this.

    You would not believe the difficulty of getting the average end user to a webpage to download a driver for their printer/scanner/camera/whatever.

    Too bad they didn't buy "cannon" as well - spelling was also a rather difficult concept for the average user.

     

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      KevinJ (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:56am

      Re: I wish...

      "You would not believe the difficulty of getting the average end user to a webpage to download a driver for their printer/scanner/camera/whatever."

      Being in tech support myself, I do understand the difficulty. I remember hearing this bit of a support call a coworker handled:

      "Okay, now click on the start button...the start button...the button that says start....the button down in the corner that says start..."

       

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        Vic B (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 9:12am

        Re: Re: I wish...

        While you guys were bred on computers, the great majority of people, particularly those 60 and above, have either never or rarely used a computer. You may be dumbfounded by their ignorance but ultimately you're just showing your low tolerance. Maybe you should get another job, one where your youthful peers can challenge your own skills?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 9:36am

          Re: Re: Re: I wish...

          Sorry, inexperience is not an excuse for lacking basic comprehension skills or logic or deductive reasoning.

           

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          VX, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 10:46am

          Re: Re: Re: I wish...

          Actually, if you know how to read and can see the screen you should be able to find the word "Start". This has nothing to do with tolerance. If you demonstrate that you are too slow/ignorant/gumpish to fly a plane they don't let you fly, unfortunately this is not true for computers. COMPUTERS ARE FOR EVERYONE! The problem is, simply saying something doesn't make it true.

           

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            TheStupidOne, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 11:13am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I wish...

            What if he wasn't using windows??

            The guy could have had his grandson build him a computer and the grandson might have put Ubuntu on it since it is free and very user friendly. So since he isn't using windows he has no idea what the start button is

             

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          The Mighty Buzzard, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 11:28am

          Re: Re: Re: I wish...

          I've actually found it's middle-aged people with non-office jobs who have the most problems. After 60, if someone's willing to alter their lifestyle as much as a computer does, they tend to be serious enough about it to put at least some effort into figuring things out. That or they have a family member teach them what they need to know and deal with any problems. Either is better than not knowing what the hell they're doing and then getting mad about it.

           

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      chris (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:59am

      Re: I wish...

      You would not believe the difficulty of getting the average end user to a webpage to download a driver for their printer/scanner/camera/whatever.

      i have a similar problem getting corporate users to connect to our remote support website so i can take over their PC's.

      about 20% of them can't tell the difference between outlook and internet explorer, and probably another 20% don't understand that you can type a URL into an address bar. they just search MSN or yahoo or whatever the start page is for their browser, and since our site isn't the first search result, it can take some time to walk them through finding the address bar and typing the URL in.

       

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        Jeff, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 8:42am

        Re: Re: I wish...

        I work in IT, and once was at the call center watching one of the guys taking a call and trying to get the person on the other end to a website, and it was going nowhere.

        So what does he do. Logs into his facebook page, add a link to the url he was trying to get the user to. Then he gets back on the phone and tells the user to go to facebook and look him up. After about 30 seconds, he says ok now look at the favorite sites and see the one for "XXX," click it!. Then he got the guy fixed up and done.

        Amazing how you can try and try to get someone to type a url, or search for it in google, yahoo, etc... and go nowhere. Then tell them to go to facebook or twitter and the guy is a genious and can find anything.

        It's a sad day on the web when the only thing anyone knows how to do is update their facebook or twitter pages, but have no clue how to do or get to anything else!!

         

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:27am

    My question was...

    ...how long before one religious group or another suggests that .canon would confuse consumers into believing that Canon's printers were endorsed by Sweet Baby Jesus?

    "Visit the Canon Domain. God gave man domain over all things on Earth, and at Canon, we used that to give ourselves domain over .canon. However, we heard of an impending disaster at .canon, so we have begun gathering our bits in pairings and putting them on this USB drive, which we've nicknamed Ark. Everything should work out fine. After all, .canon domain from Canon is in our domain, as noted by the scripture, which is canon.

    ..........canon."

     

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    Hulser (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:28am

    How would this affect the whole debate around .xxx? If all you have to do is pony up 200 grand to buy your own TLD, why wouldn't some enterprising pornographer just buy .xxx? Fine, it's obviously now their policy to sell private TLDs so if ICANN doesn't want .xxx to be a public TLD, then what logical reason would they have for not selling it as a private TLD?

     

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    Seth, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:49am

    Money Well Spent

    I realize $185K is pocket change to Canon, but I can currently type http://canon and my browser will bring me to http://canon.com. This was a stupid purchase in that regard, but it has gotten their name in the news.

     

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      Haywood (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:17am

      I'm just glad I gave up on them

      I was a Canon advocate, at one time, their approach just made sense. When others were including a print head on each new cartridge, Canon offered ink tanks. I'm totally disillusioned, though, their approach was all hype. A replacement print head, if you could find one, cost 1/2 to 3/4 the price of a printer, the ink tanks became less and less dependable. The new ones with the chip on them were the last straw, I threw my Pixma in the dumpster and bought HP. I'm glad my money won't be fueling this.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:50am

        Re: I'm just glad I gave up on them

        "and bought HP. I'm glad my money won't be fueling this."

        Are you sure about that?

         

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        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 12:08pm

        Re: I'm just glad I gave up on them

        "bought HP. I'm glad my money won't be fueling this."

        I don't remember the specifics on inkjets, but many of HP's laser printer cartridges are made by Canon at a manufacturing plant in Hampton, Virginia.

        I no longer work for Canon, but those printheads are expensive for a reason, and are where most of the cost of the printer is. The "shell" of the printer is decades old technology and built only to get the paper and printhead into the right position. The printhead is where all the work is done, spraying millions of exceedingly tiny drops of ink on the paper (it was 2 pico-liter drops a few years ago when I left). Sorry for sounding like a marketing droid.

         

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      greg.fenton (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:20am

      Re: Money Well Spent

      What happens when you type in "camera.canon"? Or "canon/camera"?

      And there might be an interesting play here when you think about internet-capable devices.

      I'm not sure about the security and authentication w.r.t. TLDs, but wonder if by owning the top-level if they can some how push out "trust" to devices they create when accessing a namespace that they "own".

       

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    Chunky Vomit, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:06am

    Isn't it possible that this will help with typo squatting?

    Expensive custom TLDs will prevent a lot of people from getting into the game.

     

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    hmm, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:17am

    in IE if you press F6 the focus jumps to the address bar, highlights it so all the user has to do is press any key and the contents of the bar are gone!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    Wouldn't this also mean that you could just type in "canon" in the browser (not "http://canon") and it would resolve to the website?

    Currently most browsers will send you to a search results page if you try that. So that seems kinda cool.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 8:32am

      Re:

      If you type in http://com it returns cnet.

       

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        redwall_hp (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 1:27pm

        Re: Re:

        That's because they own "com.com." I'm guessing the browser is just inserting the ".com" when you type "http://com" in.

        In related news, Yahoo ranks #1 in Google for "com," making it the I'm Feeling Luck result if you just type "com" into the address bar.

         

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    Kacela (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    Becoming irrelevant

    As search engines become more and more efficient, along with ease of keyword search (i.e. Google Chromes "superbar",) and bit.ly - type URL shorteners, domain names will soon be irrelevant and nothing more than a vanity plate for marketing material.

     

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    Michial Thompson, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Probably not a good idea

    Single word domains is going to have some serious unintended consequences when those prices drop.

    Domain registration has already been ruined by the bulk registrars that latch onto millions of domains and then try holding them ransom.

    ICANN should concentrate more on dealing with existing issues in the domain name records rather than publicity stunts like this one that will ultimately be a problem down the road.

     

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      The Mighty Buzzard, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 11:39am

      Re: Probably not a good idea

      It's also going to have serious consequences in trying to tell someone a web address in conversation or in advertising. People have become accustomed to associating "dot com", "dot net", "dot whatever" as being a web address. The "dot" clues them in that they're hearing a web address. How are you going to vocally delineate "canon" as a web address?

       

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        redwall_hp (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

        Re: Re: Probably not a good idea

        "http://" or "www." work well for that. They're associated with the internet every bit as much as ".com" is.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    Canon ... aren't they funded by ... HP?

     

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    ReallyEvilCanine, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:49am

    Canon was smart, the idea is dumb

    Canon is getting at least a thousand times the publicity that 200 large would normally buy them (less than the total cost of a full-page ad in a decent photo mag).

    The TLD crap? A whole new pile of real and imagined slights and insults which lawyers will cash in on. So will this site as it reports the newest trademark claim stupidity, starting with http://{$random_fruit}.

     

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    hegemon13, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:52am

    It is now

    It's worth it for the media exposure they're getting. Really, it's just a very expensive "First!" but it is likely to work, since they really are first.

     

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    tracker1 (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    I'd be happy to see a couple new TLDs

    Firstly, why they didn't add .art over .museum a few years back is beyond me. I also wouldn't mind seeing a .bbs TLD, since there are a few of us left out here running them. :) Not enough to pay $200k for either though.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Just throwing this out there...

    But in firefox if you type in http://canon it automatically redirects you to canon.com

     

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      Yakko Warner, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 11:30am

      Re: Just throwing this out there...

      True, most browsers do this.

      However, it's a feature designed to help a lazy user who forgets to add the .com, and it's only added after the browser initially searches the local network for a machine named "canon".

      It wouldn't surprise me if Firefox (or any other browser) doesn't even think to do an internet lookup on the name "canon" as if it were a TLD. One-word names are typically interpreted as local network machine names rather than internet names.

      Now, if you *do* have a local system with some given name, and it happens to match the new TLD of some corporation that has a one-word name, and your local machine goes down, will your attempts to connect to that machine get rerouted to the corporation's new machine? Seems more confusing than before...

       

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    Jamie, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 8:16am

    Um, They're getting a ton of press for

     

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      Jamie, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 8:21am

      Re:

      Wow - using a less-than sign strips the rest of the comment out here. Mike, you might think about joining the 21st century. It isn't hard to change ASCII 74 to ampersand-lt-semicolon.

      The rest of my comment:

      Um, They're getting a ton of press for less than 200K. How much was their last ad campaign?

      Don't confuse technical sillyness for a press play.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 8:30am

    It shouldn't be hard for someone to start their own DNS server and put whatever top level domains they want and allow others to freely register with it. Under DNS server I wish to use I can simply type in that persons private DNS server.

     

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    hank mitchell, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    what if you had a local machine named "canon" running a web server but you were trying to go to the canon site?

     

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    PRMan, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 8:59am

    Just wondering...

    I'm just wondering what's going to happen when some company gets a URL that some company is already using as an internal server name.

    For instance, what if a company has a server named "HP" which stands for "Health Processing" which monitors the health of all their servers. Now, HP gets the domain name "HP". It's going to be very difficult for company X's employees to get to http://HP, because it already has a meaning.

    I think I'm going to pay $185,000 for the domain name "localhost"...

     

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      Cynyr (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 9:55am

      Re: Just wondering...

      I would hope that any company that does something like that has it's own internal DNS server that will resolve internal hosts first. The problem would be more likely when the employee wants to get to Hewlet Packards website and not the internal HP site.

       

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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    "It shouldn't be hard for someone to start their own DNS server"

    "Private" DNS servers have been around forever. I was registered to a Hack0r(sic) one back in 2000. All it did was (allegedly) to add their own "Warez" sites under a .warez TLD, but as it transpired they were happily redirecting all the major banking websites to early phishing scams.

    Stick to Google (8.8.8.8) or OpenDNS. (208.67.222.222)

     

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    2gravey, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Extortion

    My guess is that Canon did not actually want the TLD nor will the other corporations that eventually buy them, but rather felt obligated to keep someone else from getting it. This is really big money extortion on the part of ICANN.

     

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      Constantine Roussos (.music) (profile), Mar 20th, 2010 @ 3:43pm

      Re: Extortion

      There is no extortion by ICANN. I am not sure where everyone is getting their information about the ICANN process but most bloggers and people have their information wrong.

      Firstly, there are 4 categories of TLDs: Geographic, community, open and brands. There are stringent trademark mechanisms in place for the new TLDs, tougher than the ones existing now. For example, Rapid Suspension and an IP ClearingHouse.

      Also, there is a misconception that TLDs are like commodity items that you buy. The application is $185,000 but by no stretch of the imagination does that mean ICANN approves it without fulfilling all requirements including technical, technology and legal. So do you think it is free to create a registry such as Verisign (.com, .net) and Afilias (.org, .info)? That is additional.

      I am launching .music and you are getting it from the source. ICANN is not extorting anyone.

      Constantine Roussos
      .music

       

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    Anonymous, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    From resolv.conf(5):

    ndots:n
    sets a threshold for the number of dots which must appear
    in a name given to res_query(3) (see resolver(3)) before
    an initial absolute query will be made. The default for
    n is 1, meaning that if there are any dots in a name, the
    name will be tried first as an absolute name before any
    search list elements are appended to it.

    This shows that it is not a good idea to have a name like http://canon/. If my search list is example.com, it will first look for canon.example.com (which probably points to a Canon printer on my local network), and only if it fails will it look at the root.

     

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    Dave (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 9:14am

    The biggest beneficiaries

    Wouldn't the biggest beneficiaries of this be the domain dealers like GoDaddy, who could drop $500,000 on a TLD like .music, then find a million people willing to buy a .music domain for $29.95/year?

     

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      Constantine Roussos (.music) (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 4:30pm

      Re: The biggest beneficiaries

      Hey Dave,

      I am launching .music by the way and it has been in the works for 5 years now. The ICANN lobbying has been quite an undertaking. Not sure where you came up with $500,000 but that just covers the ICANN application and to registry set-up. Unless you are vying to run a small registry such as .aero and .museum that exists, your costs will be in the millions of dollars.

      I suggest you look at the ICANN guidebook. There is a $185,000 application fee for ICANN just to consider you. However it does not mean you get a TLD. I think there is a misconception about the process by many. You are factually incorrect about Godaddy too. ICANN has rejected the possibility of vertical integration of Registry-Registrar, so the separation will still exist of Registries (Verisign, Afilias, Neustar) and Registrars (Godaddy, Network Solutions, Enom). In other words Registrars can not get their own TLD and operate them.

      Constantine Roussos
      .music

       

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    Chris M. Vail, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 9:51am

    Because not every Canon user is in the US

    Canon's press release http://bit.ly/9kzUhG states that they are looking to create a single Web entry point for all Canon users worldwide, avoiding the redundancy of county-specific TLDs. For a truly global company like Canon, this makes perfect sense and their IT savings will probably exceed the cost of the gTLD very quickly (and those savings will compound over time).

    For all those criticizing Canon because your browser already auto-resolves to canon.com, please consider that not every Canon user is in the US.

     

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    Allen (profile), Mar 19th, 2010 @ 6:48pm

    I don't know, think of what they would have to pay for to get cannon.com from someone today. Now think of what they would have to pay to buy tld cannon from someone in a couple of years. I think it's a good investment.

     

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    Fentex, Mar 19th, 2010 @ 7:49pm

    The attention from being first to do it will easily be worth $185,000 in P.R. and advertising.

     

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    Hollerith Kard, Mar 20th, 2010 @ 8:27am

    Start? Damn puter is ALREADY running...

    This Win computer has nothing on the screen that says START. Nope. It's a production HP right out of the box. No "start" just a stupid looking pinwheel thingy there that looks much like the active task icons next to it. We used to LOAD a program and RUN it, now it's "START"? Wait, many of the apps are all ready "started" before you give them active focus. Heck, this one has 72 tasks in RAM right now.

    People should not need to know operating system specifics to get tech support, UNLESS you warned them prior to purchase that this product is only for experienced computer users. Oh. That would get rid of 75% of the PC related industry. Let's not do that. The goal was to expand the computer market by selling PC's at Walmart, so there is a price. When I started dinking with desktop computers, there were no monitors, no mice, no internet, and you needed to know quite a bit about how it runs to do even the simplest of tasks. Mice (aka digitizer tables) were used only for CAD applications at first, not as a replacement for basic typing skills as it is today.

    I agree that selling the TLD's for large bucks is dishonest. But dishonesty is a large part of what the internet is all about today. Not the majority, just a large segment that grows each day.

    If things work out like they have in the past, these TLD's will come down in price, but only after the bigbuck guys get the names they want. I'm good with that. I hate typing in the name of a large company and getting a websquatter phishing site instead. It costs me nothing, and helps me find sites easier.

     

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    Carl Cravens (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 9:18am

    Cite?

    Can someone point me to a resource that says the gTLDs will allow for single-word urls? I can't find anything on the ICANN site regarding this.

    Opening up the TLD space to allow creation of arbitrary TLDs is a completely separate issue from making a TLD resolve to an IP. The number of systems that assume domain names always have a dot in them (Firefox, spam filters, address validators) is vast and would require a considerable reprogramming effort if that assumption becomes wrong.

    (Does ICANN even have the authority to dictate how DNS functions on a technical level? IETF RFCs dictate how DNS functions.)

     

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    Mr Peanut, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Is Mr. Nissan reading this?

    He better get to business and register http://nissan before the automobile company does.

     

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    Nikon D90 Body (profile), Apr 24th, 2010 @ 5:34pm

    Crazy

    That is crazy. I really dont see the point though. although just typing canon might be pretty cool

     

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    puppy potty training, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 7:31am

    mad

    Surely you would gamble $185,000 on something like that without knowing your getting the domain? Imagine what debt solutions or a term like that would go for. Or someting to do with more adult themes if you know what I mean!

     

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    Free, Aug 25th, 2010 @ 4:07am

    Hello

    Isn't price known as The Artist again? This is crazy stuff.

     

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    COnquer ONline Hack, Oct 10th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Thanks

    It's funny how I landed to this page since I was searching for something that is totally different. I enjoyed reading this post, and I'm going to follow your future posts as well. Thanks a bunch. Cheerios

     

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    stop puppies from chewing, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 1:08am

    This is ridiculous

    If it's so hard to get people to visit the site, then shouldn't they spend that money towards providing better support to consumers. 185k for a TLD is ridiculous.

     

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