Thursday, July 17, 1997 by Dave Winer.
A domain name is something like "mail.yourserver.com". When I send mail to you, that name must be converted into an IP address, something like 126.96.36.199.
My computer asks another computer, a domain name server, to convert the string into the number sequence. If it doesn't know how to do it, it asks another computer, its parent. The request percolates up until it gets to a final authority, the "top-level domain zone". This computer is run by Network Solutions, Inc, and it's called InterNIC.
It's a beautiful system, as long as it's working... Last night, according to David Holtzman, firstname.lastname@example.org, a Senior VP at Network Solutions, "An Ingres database failure resulted in corrupt .com and .net zone files. Despite alarms raised by Network Solutions' quality assurance schemes, at approximately 2:30 AM Eastern, a system administrator released the zone file without regenerating the file and verifying its integrity."
I'm not exactly sure what this means, but to me it meant that more than half of this morning's DaveNet pieces bounced! Ohhhh. Some days it's probably better not to get out of bed. When you see the piece you'll know why...
Anyway, it's likely that you didn't receive today's essay. If so, it's on the web at:
Lots of mail on this one at:
I've been emailing with lots of people this morning. An emotional storm here and out there. My anger, even rage is aroused. I'm going to go for a walk, I'll go swimming, and then to a party tonight with some friends that I am close to.
I'm wanting the spam stuff to settle down. Check the mail page and see if your point of view is represented. If you have something to add, and remain respectful, no speaking on behalf of other people, no personal attacks, no huge inferences without providing new information or perspectives; I'll post your mail.
And at some point I'll cut it off, and we'll move on.
To people who have said that DaveNet has turned into a negative experience, it used to be so positive, they say -- I've realized that some of the loops that got me into the essay writing business have closed.
Bill Gates is back in charge, FUD rules the software world. Apple is not the force it used to be with developers, so it doesn't matter as much if they're working with us or not. The Communications Decency Act was overturned and our right to free speech has been reaffirmed.
Loops close. Others open for sure. For example I'm really psyched about Macromedia Flash or something like it. Excite's "NewsTracker" is wonderful! And any week now we're going to release the first alphas of Frontier 5.0 for Mac and Windows; and you bet I'm psyched about that!
And finally the web is still wonderful. It's hard sometimes to remember that, when you're in the middle of a controversy. When the dust settles I think something new will have happened here. As often has been the case in innovative web stuff, Mac users are leading the way. Why not?
Finally I'm learning and growing a lot.
This is a very productive period for me.
And don't forget, it's realllly important, let's have fun!
PS: From John Perry Barlow, email@example.com, try this sometime in a crowded elevator: "Wrinkle your nose and smell the air repeatedly. Sniff at your neighbor suspiciously, give a disgusted frown, and take a step away."
PPS: The right to encrypt is the next front in the battle to keep the Internet free.