The Internet is about to get a lot more specific. The web's governing body is going to expand the finite universe of dot-whatevers.
According to new rules unanimously passed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, at its meeting here, any company, organization or country will soon be able to apply for a new Web address extension, called a top-level domain.
That could smooth the way for Web addresses that end in city names, brands and generic words. It could also sow confusion in the minds of Web users, create a host of new ways to exploit the Web addressing system and start a wave of legal skirmishes over applications to register trademarks — .coke, for example.
I'm registering ".tom" as a defensive measure, to keep it out of the hands of pornographers.