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They didn't see that coming

The internet is a strange place. Decisions are made flippantly that have serious repercussions down the road.

A few years ago, when the craze for URL shorteners took off, the most famous was bit.ly - largely because it was the official shortener of many Twitter clients for a long time. bit.ly started a crazy for '.ly' domains, and a host followed - owl.ly and chart.ly being two examples.

So where do you think these trendy domains were coming from? Well, most TLDs - top-level domains like .com or .ly - relate to one country or another. Montenegro and Tonga, for example, have both done very well out of .me and .to domains respectively.

So can you guess where .ly might be from? That's right: Libya.

The same Libya we're busily bombing back into the stone age.

See the problem?

Already one .ly service has had to change its name - from letter.ly to letterly.net. The website of the agency the site used to register its domain went down, and they were unable to renew it. 'it’s amazing that a physical war has affected our service in this way,' said the founders.

.ly sites don't actually have to be based in Libya, so unless they come up for renewal while the war is going on they shouldn't have to change. Here's hoping bit.ly have their paperwork in order...

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