Vanity Redux

Guest post by Chris Neale, originally posted at : http://chrs.nl/w/8k7fm 30th January 2010

The Idea

Last Saturday, I woke up with a seemingly brilliant idea, a dot-st domain name for use by my online postage half-site Print My Postage. mypo.st was subsequently registered. However, this isn’t about that; I was on skype telling Brian (King) about this and mused that bri.ks would be a good vanity shortener for briks.si, his Mozilla Software Development Collective. Unfortunately, Kosovo’s dot-ks doesn’t actually exist; fortunately Kazakhstan’s dot-kz does. I proposed that Brian and briks.si should have their own shortener under bri.kz, with briks.si/! as the install location; why use one of the virtual servers of the hosting account purely for bri.kz, when it’s all the same server.

How Not To Register a dot-kz Domain

The fun really started after YOURLS was installed to handle the shortener system, first question: “where to register bri.kz?”, I went down the list of registrars at KazNIC (nic.kz) trying to find one with English as a language option (Cyrillic is bewildering), I settled on http://www.regtime.net/ (.kz 550 rubels per year roughly $20 in Jan 2010), although their https certificate turned out to be webnames.ru (Firefox mismatch warning good for your sanity).

Find your own dot-kz domain(s):

www.

It turned out, that to pay the registration fee to webnames.ru I needed to use a web currency; I chose WebMoney’s WMZ [USD equivalent], signed up for an account (wmtransfer.com) only to find that I needed another account elsewhere to fund the WMZ purse at WebMoney from my credit card.

Note: this is past midnight, so now early Sunday morning.

Off to savechange.ru, signup, login, fill in WMZ purse number.

Liqpay, using Ukrainian bank with MasterCard SecureCode whatsit for verification still wanted to verify me, with pending micropayments from card. This was not good, since the card only tracked in GBP what with Liqpay wanting USD. So I talked to Liqpay who eventually talked to my card bank, Liqpay authorised payment, savechange converted it from USD to WMZ and I was able to pay the webnames invoice.

Technical

root .htaccess sends bri.kz traffic to briks.si/! which sends it to YOURLS to handle

/.htaccess, mod_rewrite [P] no good all referrers briks.si itself; basic redirect, again no good, no referrers at all; solution [E ..] set environment variable between redirects.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^bri\.kz$
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.*) http://briks.si/!/$1 [E=HTTP_REFERER:%{HTTP_REFERER}]

Conclusions

YOURLS is a good vanity shortener.

When registering a [very] foreign domain name, investigate payment methods and wait for any web currency purses to have funds before visiting the registrar.

Don’t do any of the above when half-asleep.

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One Response to “Vanity Redux”

  1. Chris Neale 2-Oct-2011 at 15:41 #

    Since this international adventure, Webnames.ru has started accepted pre-payment by card; meaning as long as you’re well ahead of domain expiry, you can pay in a straight forward way without internet currency wrangling.

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