Satisfaction

Funny story about domain name

Not strictly on topic of this blog but I thought to share one of the funny situations that I found myself in after acquiring a new domain name for my image manipulation server. In search of a short and relevant name I have tried multiple combinations of TLDs and domain names, of course majority of good names have been taken long time ago and are used extensively throughout the interwebs.

Being stubborn as I am, I did not give up in my pursuit and it paid off. Searching for availability of .ms domain with the name relevant to imagery, on one of such attempts, when I was searching for pic.ms (which perfectly fits my naming requirements, i.e., “Picture Manipulation Server/Service” or pic.ms in short) by some dumb luck, I found it available. Not believing that it actually was mine until I was able to see it in my Domain Management console and was able to modify name server parameters.

Once all was settled and I was able to point name servers in the right direction, I observed substantial increase in request traffic to my server, the increase in tens of thousands of requests per day. As some of you may know, requests have a lot of information in them, which includes referer (URL that referred to this link), also, all of the requests that I examined were for images with variety of names that do not giveaway any specifics, referer is much more telly and will show exactly where “request” was linked from. Without going into any specifics, majority of the referrers were site of controversial nature, pr0n.

Trying to be a good citizen of internet, I promptly contacted one of the biggest referrers and notified them about the issue, I am yet to receive any answer. Also, in my attempt to fix at least some of the internet’s broken images, I temporarily setup redirect (http-302) to serve placeholder image with notification of a broken resource request. Nothing prevented me to have fun at the same time, and that I did. Here are three images that I am serving for any request that I do not have requested image resource:

404
404
404

Those fit just perfectly among other images and (IMHO) add to the linking site, fixing their broken images.

If you ever see one of those images on any of the site you visit, and I saw plenty of requests from sites of less questionable nature, you know where it came from. For now I am stuck with continues flow of requests from hundreds of internet sites, since I am not hopeful that majority of those broken images will ever get fixed.

Hope that you found this story as much fun as did I, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

P.S. If previous owners of pic.ms lost this domain by misfortune or bad luck, please contact me and I am sure we can come to some sensible agreement to return it to you, I will not keep it hostage.

Ian Matyssik is geek to the bone with love for art and nature. In a free time likes walking with his dog and taking pictures.
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