10 Interesting facts about domain names across the world

It is a well known fact that you won’t require to be domain expert to know that the internet is growing exponentially and with each and every second somebody is registering a domain somewhere around the world.

The internet provides a lot of information when it comes to finding out interesting and amazing facts about how to find a great domain name, but there are many little known facts. The .com domain is definitely the most popular choice for TLDs, but there are also many amazing about domain names that need mentioning:

1. The first .COM domain was registered in the year 1985

It was registered under the name of on March 15 1985. The Symbolics Computer Corporation bought purchased the domain name for their new computer development association.

2. Most domains cannot be larger than 63 characters

Domain extensions can have different rules and regulations but many TLDs ask that your domain name to have a maximum of 63 characters. This is considered to be the standard number of characters.

3. It still is possible to own a Soviet Union domain

Before disappearing, the Soviet Union has had a huge involvement in the dynamics of the internet therefore the .su domain names are still present on the web. What is amazing is that the number of .su domains registrations continues to grow fast even if the Soviet Union is no more.

5. Absolutely all of “A” .com domains are currently taken

This is probably the strangest fact but it seems that after a small research providers have noticed that absolutely all domain names containing the letter A under the form of www.1-63 A’ are taken so this means that nobody can own a domain name under the form of www.AAAAA … times 63 .com.

6. The world’s most expensive domain costs $35 million

In the year 2007 the domain was purchased by Mr. Brian Sharples for the price of $35 million USD for his online vacation rental business.

There have been some pretty amazing domain name prices but this is just top of the list.

7. Domain names usually have an average length of 11 characters

A short web analysis reveals that almost all domains have an average length of 11 characters and many of them begin with the letter S most probable because many English words start with and S.

8. At first it was supposed to be

The two main Google founders, Larry Page and Sean Anderson have announced that they initially wanted to call Google “Googol” but because of a small spelling error from “googol” they wrote Google and the rest is already history.

9. Most three-character names are taken

Across the internet there are well over 50,000 possible character combinations that someone can make for a three-character domain name and all of them are already registered. Three-character domain names are extremely good to own because extremely easy to remember.

10. A person registered almost 15,000 domains in just one day

Mike Mann has managed to set a new world record because he has managed to purchase almost 14,962 domains in just the span of 24 hours. When asked what was the purpose of it he simply replied that he is very greedy person and wants to own the entire world.

Final thought

In conclusion across the globe there are over 149,153,371 registered domains and the numbers are climbing very fast as a new domain is created every 10 seconds.

It is easy to say that the internet has many interesting and fascinating sides to it from interesting domain names to some mistakes we can easily say that this world is expanding fast.

Digressions Geek

Elias Wicked Ales opens a proper craft beer tap room in BF Homes with brewery behind it

Finally, a proper craft beer tap house right beside the Aguirre Ave gate.

The history of BF Homes’ drinking culture goes back a decade and a half with affordable bars like Central and Tides selling cheap cocktails and mixers by the tumbler (Blue Illusion for P120 for a tumbler — why not?!). Fast forward to the past couple of years, Metro Manila’s F&B scene has been undergoing a golden age with new food concepts popping up around Bonifacio Global City, Makati and of course, BF Homes in the south. I’ve written extensively about great finds in BF such as our very first 3rd wave coffee shop, Magnum Opus Fine Coffees and my hands-down favorite tantanmen at Mensakaba Geishu.

Local craft beers and hard ciders from Wednesday to Saturday starting 6PM

What the south seemed to be lacking though was a proper craft cocktail scene. Or if not that, perhaps a tap room that was serious about their beer. many bars have offered beer on tap as an option but none have gone fully committed towards the challenge, as craft beer is by nature more expensive.

Since Elias bought out the previous brewery, they’re selling Bel Ale;s remaining stock for only P300.00 for a 6 pack. This is authentic Belgian Beer folks, and I highly recommend taking this home after enjoying a few glasses of the local tap.

Enter Elias Wicked Ales — the name has been around for quite some time as a local beer player together with the likes of Pedro and Katipunan, but nothing spells dedication as to buying out Bel Ale’s complete paraphernalia, lock stock and barrel. For those who don’t know, Bel Ale was a south player I so wanted to succeed, but then I learned that their office by the BF gate was nothing more than, well, an office and not a proper tap room. Elias bought everything last year and today are still selling the remaining stock of beer (SO YES IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR REALLY GOOD BELGIAN BEER, PLEASE DROP BY AND BUY P300.00 FOR A 6 PACK WHICH IS A STEAL!)

Elias Wicked Ales is open from Wednesday to Saturday starting 6PM. They’re closed from Sunday to Tuesday because a lot of back of house brewing work happens on those days — it doesn’t get any fresher than that. Apart from craft beers, they also have a range of hard ciders (a moment of silence for Spiffy’s Grove in BF Homes — we miss you). The bartenders (BEER-tenders heh) tell me that since they don’t serve food, guests can opt to order from restaurants around the vicinity. Since they’re located right at the BF Homes Aguirre Gate (by China Bank, the BF Park and Pergola), choices for food as well as parking won’t be a problem.


Throwback Review: Siemens SX1

Note: This post originally appeared in PDA Buyer’s Guide in 2004. PDA Buyer’s Guide was a tech review site that had a technical slant to reviews, which were mostly above 1,000 words. This was a challenge I was willing to take since I was one of the first to handle this phone in South East Asia. Photos by Dario Tibay

Siemens SX1

Symbian Series 60 Platform Handheld

In a largely Nokia dominated market, the SX1 is unique for it is the first non-Nokia phone manufacturer to release a Symbian Series 60 phone in the Asian scene. It is also unique for being the first phone engineered to have an eccentric side keypad layout with the function buttons located at the phone’s dominant face. The Siemens SX1 inherits the candybar design and works on a GSM triband network (900/1800/1900) and should work in any country that supports GSM.

As a fully functioning PDA, the handset is equipped with basic PIM functions such as a contacts, to-do list, calendar, notes application, and built in voice recorder. Internet browsing through GPRS supports WAP 2.0/xHTML. Email clients supported are POP3, IMAP and SMTP.

As a multimedia device, the SX1 delivers much with a 640 x 480 integrated VGA camera. Video recording at 15 fps is also supported at 176 x 144 pixels (QCIF). The handset is also capable of sending multimedia messages (MMS) in pictures and video or through the image editor which comes bundled with the handset.

The SX1’s direct competitors are other Symbian S60 phones such as the Nokia 7650, 6600 and the 3650, the latter also sporting an eccentric circular keypad layout which is also found in Panasonic fashion phones. The SX1 is roughly the size and weight of the 6600 sharing a similar wide form factor for the hand to hold. The power of the S60 platform is further enhanced by the SX1, bundling several proprietary multimedia and PIM apps which usually have to be bought through third party developers.

What does it look like?
The SX1 is sure to give consumers a second look because of the way the function keys and numerical keypads are arranged. The seven function keys (menu, two soft keys, two dedicated call buttons, shift and cancel) are located on the front face of the phone together with the 5-way keypad. The twelve numerical keys are spread out evenly on the left and right sides of the phone. The prominent natural loudspeaker grill is located above the 176 x 220 pixel screen.

Flipping the phone to its right side, I will find two dedicated buttons for taking snapshots with the 0.3 mega pixel digital camera and for activating the voice recorder. The voice recorder button also doubles as the hands free activation when in a call. On its left side is the hot swap MMC bay that slides out conveniently. SD cards are not supported.

Flipped on its backside, I will find the 0.3 megapixel camera on the upper left side of the phone. The IR port is located opposite the camera on the top side of the phone.

Inside the Box
Upon opening the box, I was greeted with the SX1 handset, a Li-Polymer battery, the standard wall charger, user guide, marketing photos, and the CD with product demo, interactive help guide and additional applications.

Bundled Applications
It is important to note that all Symbian Series 60 phones have the standard set of applications bundled with the OS. The calendar, to-do list, contacts, video recorder, and BT, IrDA and connectivity functions are all found in the Nokia 3650/7650 and 6600. The same applications are found in the Siemens SX1 since they were able to acquire the S60 platform from Nokia, with slight modifications and additions:

PIM Apps
Today – A summary of the list of tasks, messages and appointments is given on screen. It is very similar to the Today screen of Windows Mobile devices. Some users would want to customize the main function buttons to display the Today screen. From there you can view the day’s summary of appointments and tasks as well as compose messages.

World Clock – Very similar to the ‘world time’ of the popular World Mate application for Palm, Pocket PC, and Symbian which displays four different time zones apart from the home time.

File Manager – A file directory browser which usually has to be bought separately for the Symbian OS. This proprietary version allows users to move files, create directories and transfer specific items via Bluetooth, IrDA or through E-mail via GPRS.

Multimedia Apps
MP3 Jukebox – The MP3 jukebox searches for MP3 files stored in internal memory and in the removable MMC card. Playing MP3 files using the phone’s natural loudspeaker delivers a powerful audio experience. Bitrates of 64kbps play satisfactory especially with the headset. Siemens has their own proprietary connector for the headset which is sold separately. This means you can’t use universal headsets sold elsewhere.

Radio – The FM radio can be configured manually or for frequency auto search. The frequency range is from 87.5 – 108 MHz with six customizable station keys. The radio will only work with the handsfree provided by Siemens which also doubles as an antenna. This accessory is sold separately.

Snap Shot – This is the camera application which allows for standard shots, small portrait shots and landscape view. Images taken can be saved into the memory card or in the phone’s internal memory and can be edited using the Image Fun application. The quality of images is a lot better than the early Nokia counterparts since the presence of the bluish haze has been remedied. Images taken aren’t very crisp but are colorful. The built in camera can take shots with resolutions from 160×120 to 640×480 in standard mode. The camera has a light sensitivity of > 30 lux and focuses from 30 cm to infinity. It has a 24 bit color depth.

Image Fun – After taking photos from the built in camera, the Image Fun application allows image editing to add distortions, haze as well as borders and text which can be sent wirelessly through Bluetooth, MMS and IrDA. Edited images are saved as a separate file so users can always go back to the original pictures taken if they wish to edit them again.

Other Applications – The SX1 comes with several games and the ability to run J2ME applications.. The most innovative game I have seen bundled with the SX1 makes use of the camera function as the gaming screen where animated mosquitoes are rendered flying around the view screen. The objective is to move the camera about and shoot the insects when you position them on the target reticule.

Wireless Voice, Data and Connectivity
The SX1 is a world phone, capable of handling a GSM tri-band network compatible with US, Europe and the rest of Asia except Japan. The natural loudspeaker delivers a powerful and clear audio which can be adjusted to fit the desired hearing volume.

For data connectivity, the SX1 has an internal modem capable of speeds up to 53.6 kbps. It sports GPRS class 10 and class 2 fax services.

Connectivity options are open through Bluetooth and IrDA where file sending can be a breeze thanks to the simplicity of the Symbian 60 platform.

Power and Expansion
The SX1 is powered by an OMAP processor at 130MHz. This is the fastest S60 smart phone with a 0.3MP VGA camera. The increase in processing power is mainly attributed to the loud and crisp MP3 playback feature, which matches the Tanager E200 which runs on MS Smartphone 2003. It is good to note that the Nokia smartphones on the other side of the fence are powered by ARM processors, albeit with 109MHz of processing power. The volatile 4MB of internal memory can be increased through MMC expansion and be used to save images, video, contacts, multimedia messages and short messages.

With a Li-Polymer 1000mAh user replaceable battery, charging time from empty to full takes less than three hours. Talk time with the standard battery is less than 240 minutes and standby time less than 200 hours. Actual practice shows that with moderate usage, battery life lasts a day and a half. Heavy usage however drains the battery in eight to twelve hours.

The SX1 is the first Symbian phone to apply the hot swap memory card bay found in most Palm OS and Pocket PC devices. The slot is only compatible with MMC cards, although at first glance the slot houses enough space to fit in an SD card so don’t make this mistake. The OS actually places a warning message when you swap cards saying that to prevent data loss, you must first disable running applications that are reading the card. The phone does this for you when you choose this option from the settings menu.

After connecting the SX1 to my desktop computer and installing the PC Suite, I noticed that synchronization of contacts and appointments was rather slow despite the USB connection. An alternative is to try to synchronize using Bluetooth which I did via the Billionton BT USB Adapter. What’s great about the sync software is that it allows you to easily organize multimedia files, which was a pain to do in the older versions of the desktop software.

What I like about the SX1
Bundled software is always a plus for me. For the record, all Nokia Series 60 phone models do not come with a file explorer, mp3 jukebox, radio application and an enhanced organizer with Today screen. The front speaker is also very audible and the camera set at 640×480 still delivers colorful images, unlike the 3650 which has a bluish haze in the images. The hot-swap MMC bay also adds a tinge of convenience since you don’t need to open the unit, remove the battery and replace the expansion card from there, as with the Nokias.

What needs to be improved with the SX1
Obviously the overall design turns me off. Having the keypads on both sides of the phone doesn’t allow you to make use of it with one hand. Battery life need some work. Even though it runs at 1000mAh, it still slacks by a bit compared to the Nokias. The camera has no night mode. It is also a bit overpriced at almost $600, a hundred bucks more expensive than the 6600. It is only available in one color, “Ice Blue.”

Bottom line
If you are looking for a phone that runs on the Series 60 platform that is already packed with features and don’t care much about the design, then this is the phone for you. Though battery life is on the losing side, a rich multimedia experience is the way Siemens compensates through booming audio and a good camera that rivals other smartphones in the market.

Specs Summary

Display: Hi Res 16 Bit 64k Colors at 176 x 220 pixels

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable and user replaceable at 1000 mAh.

Performance: TI OMAP 310 at 130MHz with 4MB of volatile memory

Connectivity: Bluetooth 1.1, IrDA, Actual processor speed undisclosed by manufacturer.

Dimensions: 109 x 56 x 19 mm, 116 grams.

Mobile Phone: GSM triband world phone (900/1800/1900MHz). GPRS class 10.

Audio: Built in speaker with digital voice recorder. Music player supports MP3 format. FM Radio built in with frequency range from 20Hz – 20 kHz. Power output at 2 x 7.5 mW.

Camera: Camera resolution at VGA 0.3 megapixels at 640 x 480 and 160 x 120 resolution with 24bit color depth.

Video: Real Player bundled with phone. Formats supported are MPEG4, H.263, Real Audio, Real Video and AMR. Video capture resolution at 176 x 144 at 15 fps.

Software and Compatibility: Symbian Series 60 OS. Java support. WAP browsers, Messaging application for email, Organizer functions with Today screen, Synchronization with MS Outlook 97, 98, 2000. Synchronization with PC via Bluetooth, IrDA and SyncML 1.0.1

Expansion: hot swap MMC bay (Multimedia card slot).

Best of Geek

Startup Nation: how Israel is rebranding itself as the friendliest nation for technology

There’s a special place in the world for startups and we aren’t talking about Silicon Valley.

Viber. Wix. ICQ. Waze. What do all of these companies have in common? These popular apps all have their roots in Israel, a melting pot of culture, religion and yes we aren’t sugar coating it — conflict. But in the same way that the last decade has been good to the Philippines, lifting itself up from being the “sick man of Asia” to an overperforming infrastructure and GDP growth hub, Israel has been making waves in research and development. The startup scene is vibrant in Israel — namely in key cities Tel Aviv and Jerusalem because of a few key factors that make this small country unique.

For one week I immersed myself into the startup culture of Jerusalem. I toured startups, accelerators, VC’s, co-working spaces. For those who need a step back, a startup is an entrepreneurial venture that is set up to meet a certain demand. But what makes this type of company particularly interesting is that it is designed to be lean and agile — meaning it needs to scale very quickly. As to how quick, some may say that these companies need to grow around 5% every week — whether it be sign ups, page views, or the holy grail of metrics — revenue.

Instagram, Uber, Waze, Facebook, Twitter — these were all startups once and have since exited or become acquired by bigger fish (in the case of Instagram and WhatsApp being bought by Facebook and Waze (formerly called FreeMap Israel — being bought by Google). Silicon Valley painted the perfect picture of a startup ecosystem as the location was nourishing to the tech community in general. But rising real estate costs and other factors made it harder for startups to cut costs – a major impediment to being agile.

Enter Israel, ‘the land of milk and honey’ and now the Promised Land for technology entrepreneurs. From my immersion, I’ve gathered that startups thrive in Israel because of three key situations that are unique to the geography:

Israel needs to innovate because of their geopolitical situation
With negative immigration, scarcity of resources and conflict in neighboring countries, Israel has needed to fend for itself. They invented drip irrigation, engineered crops (the cherry tomato was invented in Israel), built the iron dome missile defense system (the technology which they also repurposed to combat agricultural pests) and made such huge advancements in medical technology and automation. “Adapt or die” is a common catchphrase in the startup world and this has been inculcated into their culture. The scarcity of resources encourages “thinking inside the box” to immediately address needs.

Israel has a unique military
Speaking of culture, the military plays an active role during the formative years of every citizen. By law, all men and women are required to serve in the military — 3 years for men and 2 years for women once they turn 18. Service is considered a rite of passage and since conscription is mandatory, strong bonds are forged which become vital in civilian life as well as employment.

Unlike in the Philippines where the most training a civilian received was with the ROTC, military service in Israel throws you in the middle of a hot bed – military intelligence, tank and chopper pilot, artillery. For many women , they may opt to do what is the equivalent of the NSTP in the Philippines which involves a lot of community work, which helps open doors to being great tour guides and public relations specialists.

It has become such that in one way or another, the military had influenced the careers of these tech entrepreneurs in one way or another: Hanan Lipskin, an entrepreneur who develops an anti cyber-bullying app for children called ‘Keepers’ used to work in military intelligence. Another tech entrepreneur Zeev Farman, CEO of Lightricks (makers of the ever-popular app Enlight) says that although he didn’t benefit directly from military service, he did meet his co-founder while in service.

An Israeli startup immediately needs to go global in order to survive
The total population of Israel is a bit over 8 million people — which by comparison is way below the total population of Metro Manila with about 10% living in Jerusalem and half of that in Tel-Aviv. In other words, you could fit the entire population of Israel inside Metro Manila and it still would not be as crowded as it is now in the city.

That being said, there are over 5,500 startups in Israel, which if you think about it. brings a huge disparity in supply vs demand for tech services. As such, due to their small population an israeli startup always sets itself up to be acquired – such as how Waze was acquired by Google and just recently, Mobileye was acquired by Intel.

5,500 startups in Israel
500+ in Jerusalem
USD $1B in funding from Jerusalem-based companies
70 VC funds active today
USD $100M funding from government
4.3% of GDP invested in R&D
2nd largest number of companies on NASDAQ next to China

Failure is an option in the startup community, so much so that the culture of failure is not frowned upon, even by the Israeli government. With about USD $100 million in the bank reserved solely for entrepreneurs the government takes an active role as both VC fund and accelerator. Any Israeli citizen can pitch their concept to the government and after undergoing a rigorous vetting system, they receive seed capital. If their venture succeeds, the seed money is returned. If a venture fails, the government calls it a learning experience and the doors are left open to try again in the future.

In his book, Startup Nation, Saul Singer has branded Israel as the new Promised Land for research and development. It is a welcome label backed by astounding facts — Israel has the second largest number of companies on NASDAQ next to China, with more than 4% of GDP invested in research and development.

Israeli Startup Rundown

Dubbed as the food crawl app that doesn’t need a tour guide, bitemojo helps foodies and tourists build custom food tours by availing any of their curated packages. In our stay, we took the Jerusalem Market food tour, one of the most popular destinations in Jerusalem. Husband and wife tandem Michael and Yale Weiss developed the app to help tourists discover the city through food, with everything curated by locals. Since everything is pre-paid, tourists do not need to second-guess prices and potentially be ripped off by tourist traps.

OrCam Assistive Technology for the Visually Impaired
This is the world’s most advanced assistive technology to help the visually impaired. Resembling a camera that attaches to your glasses frame, OrCam makes use of a highly accurate text-to-speech recognition using the camera and hand gestures. OrCam also does facial recognition as well as brand logo recognition and can translate up to 20 languages as of this writing.

Imagine the “Uber for family dinners.” Enter EatWith, a “social eating” experience that allows you to book dinner with a family in Israel. During our stay we were graced into the home of Chef Aliza, a Cordon Bleau trained chef who migrated to Jerusalem. She acts as EatWith’s ambassador, creating dishes that speak about the cosmopolitan influences of Israel. As a tourist, EatWith is one of the best ways to experience Israeli hospitality.

Hanan Lipskin is passionate about keeping children safe from the perils of the Internet — especially with cyber-bullying. With background in the Israeli military intelligence, he developed Keepers, an app that protects children from cyberbullying on their social media platforms and chat by alerting parents if conversations are leading towards harassment.

Nava brief Fried had a career in PR before she founded ModLi, the “first and only modest fashion platform.” Whether due to religion or simply fashion sense, ModLi takes into account cultural and religious nuances into the fashion world. Since launch she has gone global, realizing that the demand for modest clothing went beyond Asia and the Middle East.

This startup darling is the recent poster child of what every Israeli startup wants to achieve: being fully acquired by a bigger fish, in this case, a USD $15B acquisition by Intel for their vehicle automation technology. Although self-driving cars are still in development (and Mobileye is the world leader), current technology includes super advanced dash cameras that can predict accidents and help driver navigation, “turning back the clock 3 seconds” to help drivers make better decisions on the road.

Although more of an accelerator and less of a startup, the ALYN Hospital for Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Center has its own R&D center inside the hospital. Whereas in other countries, startups are usually “outside looking in” out of the box solutions, in this case, the startup is located inside the hospital to find “inside the box” solutions for their patients. One of their projects is the Wheelchairs of Hope, which aims to mass produce the most affordable wheelchair into the market at only USD $100.00 per seat.

This article originally appeared in the technology section of The Manila Bulletin.


How to Restore Deleted Data from Hard Drive

Not everybody has the same opinion about the importance of data backup. Keeping the exact same data in two or more different devices is a form redundancy indeed, but a necessary one. In this case, redundancy is more than being superfluous because it does serve a useful purpose. A computer, or more specifically a hard drive, is not invulnerable to damages. The operating system can also crash anytime, preventing you from accessing files or data. The same thing can happen to a tablet, smartphone, and even digital camera; basically any device which utilizes some sort memory card such as hard drive, flash drive, microSD, and miniSD requires data backup as precautionary measure in the event the system malfunction or the device simply breaks.

Losing data from your computer is a terrifying stipulation. Regardless of your professions, chances are you keep important pieces of information in the device; even students make and save assignments on laptops. Some of the most common causes of losing data are accidental deletion and errors in the operating system. Assuming you have a backup, either in the cloud or another computer, there is nothing to worry about since you can still access the data anytime. Without a backup, you need recovery software.

There is a good number of free data recovery software available for download, but some of them are older versions incompatible with newer operating systems. Pay attention to the details of the software before you download and install. Once installed and opened, the software will ask what files you want to restore such as documents, images, videos, photos, programs, and so on. It probably also allows you to choose specific hard drive partition or original location of the deleted data.

If you have never been in this kind of situation before, you may want to try data recovery software free version first instead of spending money on premium version. Even with a free version, you will most likely find all the options you need for examples file types, destination folder, quick scan, deep scan, and preview. As long as you follow the instructions and there is no mechanical damage to the hard drive, the software should find the data. Another thing to mention is that it is not recommended to restore the files to the original folder/directory.

A crash in the operating system requires more complicated procedures. Because the operating system does not allow you to install new software, you cannot recover files using the aforementioned method. The easiest solution is to remove the hard drive and connect it to another computer. You can also try to repair the system by doing fresh install or insert bootable disc; if you are working on a Mac, it is possible to connect two computers with firewire cable.