The current state of the Internet, via crazy stats from today's ICANN reveal
A year ago, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced that it would expand the number of top-level domains that organize the Internet, ushering in "a new Internet age." In January, ICANN opened the application process for claiming one of those domains.
Today, ICANN revealed the results of that process, listing the nearly 2,000 proposed domains that people and companies have paid huge sums of money to apply for. An Internet currently dominated by dot-com and dot-gov and dot-edu is about to become an Internet full of dot ... -prettymuchanything. Industrious claim-stakers have applied for, among other domains, .tech, .web, .buy, .fyi, .how, .family, .mom, .love, .pizza, .meme, .sucks, and, because of course, .sex.
For the most part, though -- especially given the $185,000 application fee ICANN imposed on would-be stake-claimers -- it's been companies and collectives that have tried to register domains, mostly for brand-related suffixes. (Those domains could generate millions of dollars a year for winning bidders as they sell names ending in the approved suffixes.) So Google applied for, among many other domains, .google and .youtube. (It also, in a suggestion of its Internet-owning ambitions, applied for .docs and .lol and .wow.) Amazon applied for not only .amazon, but also .book, .fire, .music, and -- hmm -- .free. Microsoft applied for .azure, .hotmail, .skydrive, and .skype. Apple, true to minimalist form, applied for one domain: .apple.