Golden Gobblers. Biggest Dimbulbs in Tech for 2012

Monitoring the “digital archery contest” for ICAAN

Cringley gives out Golden Gobbler awards to the “Angry birdbrains of tech” of 2012. Be sure to read all twelve.

My favorite is ICAAN.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers earns a special collective Golden Gobbler this year. Not only did ICANN open the floodgates to possibly hundreds of new top-level domains (sowing the seeds of massive future confusion while making a tidy $350 million on application fees), it introduced, then abandoned a series of laughably inept schemes to ensure that all 1,930 applications would be considered fairly. My favorite: the digital archery contest, which measured how accurately applicants logged into ICANN’s website at a predetermined time, give or take a few milliseconds.

These guys make the Keystone Kops look like Navy Seal Team 6.

Digital archery contest?

No, it wasn’t one of those spammy banner ads that ask you to shoot a flying duck with your mouse to enter a drawing for an iPad. That might have actually made some sense. In ICANN’s scheme, applicants had to name a day and time they wanted their application to be considered, then log into ICANN’s system at exactly that moment. The difference between the time they asked for and the time they logged in would determine when their applications got processed. The first 500 to come closest to their target would be processed first, then the next 500, and so on.

No, seriously, I’m not making that up.

This becomes geneuinely scary when you realize that ICAAN “is responsible for the coordination of the global Internet’s systems of unique identifiers and, in particular, ensuring its stable and secure operation.”

Rumors that ICAAN staffers are responsible for Team Romney’s catastrophic and laughable attempt at vote tracking software are probably erroneous.

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