ICANN, the international organization responsible for coordinating the Domain structure of the Internet, just voted to allow generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) to be created. This means that instead of being stuck with .com, .net. .org, etc…organizations can request and be granted the ability to oversee their own TLD. A group of automakers could band together and register .car, for example, and you could have ford.car, honda.car, and so on. On the other hand, Ford could theoretically register .car, and prevent other companies from using it. The methodology that ICANN is going to use to prevent this sort of meta-cybersquatting isn’t really apparent at this time. The Draft version of the application guidebook is now available, and among the details is the application fee. It will cost $185,000 to apply for a new gTLD…a fee which ICANN will keep, even if your application is denied. Even with that, I think that serious thought should be given by ALA and IFLA to a joint application for a top level domain of .lib or .library (I did not know that there was already a TLD for .museum). Given the relative failure of the use of non-standard TLDs, I’m not sure a .library TLD would be used. But it’s far better that ALA and IFLA control it than Microsoft or Google. 

ICANN approves custom Top Level Domains

Fascinating read from the Internet Archive, who has decided to begin maintaining physical copies in archival storage of any book they have digitally. From the blog post:
Internet Archive is building a physical archive for the long term preservation of one copy of every book, record, and movie we are able to attract or acquire.  Because we expect day-to-day access to these materials to occur through digital means, the our physical archive is designed for long-term preservation of materials with only occasional, collection-scale retrieval. Because of this, we can create optimized environments for physical preservation and organizational structures that facilitate appropriate access. A seed bank might be conceptually closest to what we have in mind: storing important objects in safe ways to be used for redundancy, authority, and in case of catastrophe.
Really, really interesting…the Internet Archive is quickly becoming just The Archive. Their answer to storage is brilliant as well:
Based on this technical literature and specifications from depositories around the world, Tom McCarty, the engineer who designed the Internet Archive’s Scribe book-scanning system, began to design, build, and test a modular storage system in Oakland California. This system uses the infrastructure developed around the most used storage design of the 20th century, the shipping container. Rows of stacked shipping containers are used like 40′ deep shelving units. In this configuration, a single shipping container can hold around 40,000 books, about the same as a standard branch library, and a small building can hold millions of books.
Is it wrong that I want to work for Brewster? Such interesting, amazing projects that the Archive maintains…

The New Physical Archive of the Internet Archive

Along with announcements about Lion (the next incarnation of OSX) and iOS 5, Apple will announce details of their upcoming cloud services offering on June 6th during the WWDC Keynote. Speculation is rampant about what iCloud means, but almost assured is some form of cloud music service to compete with the recent Google and Amazon products. Other possibilities include a more robust syncing service (a la dropbox), network-based wireless syncing of your iOS devices, and a potential new API service for app developers to use for data synchronization between Apple devices.  We’ll see what Apple has up it’s sleeves in less than a week!

Apple to announce iCloud June 6th