Clocks are set for a change this weekend, and so is the Internet as you know it.
The nonprofit group that controls domain codes for Internet addresses announced yesterday that as of November 16, it will begin a "Fast Track" process for approving web addresses ending in non-Latin characters for the first time since the Internet was created. Rod Beckstom, President and CEO of the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), hailed this development as "an historic move toward the internationalization of the Internet." We should see URLs with country codes in Cyrillic, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, and other scripts by the middle of next year.
Expansion beyond the Roman letters A-Z for characters after the "dot" is expected to dramatically increase the number of Internet users among people worldwide that never use Roman characters, help local businesses, and make the Internet a more valuable resource for millions, including children. For more about this development, see ICANN's video and press release, and today's New York Times article.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat
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