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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories Editorial

Poison Pill

by Don Webb

“There is no story so truly bewildering as reality.” — BwS motto

“If you’ve ever wondered why we’re called Bewildering Stories, now you know.” — frequently quoted aphorism

In uniform resource identifiers or locators (URI’s and URL’s), domain names such as “bewilderingstories” are always followed by a “domain extension” or suffix, such as .com, known popularly as “dot-com.” In the early days of the Internet, the extensions were few, such as .com, .org, .edu, .gov.

Today, domain extensions have proliferated. You may register your website’s domain name and one extension. If you want more extensions, you have to register your website separately for each one. And that quickly adds up to big money.

You can see what that leads to: a kind of extortion scam. Anyone who wants to poach your website’s domain name can do so simply by adding a new extension. The correspondence recorded here explains why that might not be such a good idea in our case.

The names in the original message have been abbreviated to initials, except for “Mr. Jim,” which I doubt is his real name. The sender’s name is Chinese, and I can’t determine the gender.

Dear Sirs,

Our company based in chinese office, our company has submitted the “bewilderingstories” as CN/ASIA (.asia/.cn / / / domain name and Internet Keyword, we are waiting for Mr. Jim’s approval. We think this name is very important for our products in Chinese and Asia market. Even though Mr. Jim advises us to change another name, we will persist in this name.

Best regards

J. Z.

Dear Mr. or Ms. J.

Thank you for the compliment. I suppose it is an honour that the name “Bewildering Stories” might be used to sell products anywhere, let alone in China and in Asia generally.

Moreover, purchasing registration of such suffixes as .asia., cn,,, — not to mention many others — would incur an expense that a wealthy international company might undertake. And it is one that the website at cannot afford.

However, I must confess puzzlement. What “products” are you marketing? They must be literary works. Granted, literary works may attract attention. But it may be attention you do not want.

The name “Bewildering Stories” is semi-humorous and is understandable only to like-minded readers. However, government officials are not known for having a sense of humour.

You may find yourself someday confronted by two burly — but, of course, polite — officers in uniform. They will ask you, “Why do you own the domain name bewilderingstories? Some of the stories, articles and even book reviews published in Bewildering Stories are contrary to government policy. Please come with us.”

And that may be the last anyone hears of Mr. or Ms. J. Z. And that would be sad.

I wish you success in marketing your undoubtedly wholesome products. But I also counsel caution.

Yours truly,

Donald Webb
Managing Editor
Bewildering Stories

Copyright © 2015 by Don Webb
for Bewildering Stories

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