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ICANN gets test results on internationalised domains

Mao's model communist beta testers step it up

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ICANN made a serious public relations push about its long-standing attempts to implement Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) the week prior to the October ICANN meeting, and the initial public test results are in.

ICANN released preliminary statistics Monday covering the first public tests of the long awaited localised domains.

In truth, IDNs have been in the testing phase for years, but only in the weeks leading up to the latest ICANN meeting did ICANN allow the Joe Sixpacks of the non-English speaking world to test the system out, albeit in a very limited capacity. This correspondent was fortunate enough to get a personal walk-through of the system at the Los Angeles meeting courtesy of ICANN's IDN honcho Tina Dam.

The results are in, and the black helicopter compulsives can rejoice: the Chinese are indeed threat numero uno to western civilisation, if ICANN's numbers are to be believed. Chinese-literate internet enthusiasts accounted for a whopping 40 per cent of all beta testers, followed weakly by our other former cold war foil, the Russian-speaking crowd, at a relatively feeble 13 per cent.

Somewhat surprisingly, Opera, which at the time of the meeting was the only fully compatible IDN web browser, hasn't gained any traction whatsoever in the browser wars as result of its technological superiority, even among early adopters.

Full-fledged IDNs are still a bit away, but for those who want to pre-party and do a little beta testing themselves, the latest testing results and posted comments can be found here. ®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

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