By the middle of next year, Internet surfers will be allowed to use Web addresses written completely in Chinese, Arabic, Korean and other languages using non-Latin alphabets, the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers - or Icann - announced Friday in a decision billed as one of the biggest changes in the Web's four-decade history.
"We just made the Internet much more accessible to millions of people in regions such as Asia, the Middle East and Russia," said Rod Beckstrom, Icann's president and chief executive. This change affects domain names - anything that comes after the dot, including .com, .cn or .jp. Domain names have been limited to 37 characters - 26 Latin letters, 10 digits and a hyphen. But starting next year, domain names can consist of characters in any language. Icann will begin accepting applications for non-Latin domain names Nov. 16. People will start seeing them in use around mid 2010.
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Dutch teen can't sail, court decides
A Dutch court ruled Friday that 14-year-old Laura Dekker was too inexperienced to be allowed to set off on her quest to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Judges placed Laura under the guardianship of child protection authorities until July to ensure that she cannot set off on her dream voyage. The ruling means Laura can continue living with her father but her parents must consult child protection authorities about major decisions in her life. Family spokeswoman Mariska Woertman said Laura was confident she can be ready to sail soon after July and still set the record as the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the globe.
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BY THE NUMBERS
Award a Sacramento jury rendered against Entercom Sacramento LLC in the wrongful death case of a 28-year-old woman who died of water intoxication in 2007 during a "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest put on by radio station KDND "The End."
According to Stephen Devlin, the chair of the math department at the University of San Francisco, the odds that the encoded profanity in California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto letter was a "wild coincidence," as the governor claimed Friday.