ICANN Testing Domain Names In Chinese, Cyrillic, Arabic and Other Alphabets

ICANN, the governing body of domain names, says it will test out web addresses using Arabic, Persian, Russian, Hindi, Greek, Korean, Hebrew, Japanese, Tamil and both simplified and traditional Chinese. I guess this means that the inevitable collapse of all language into a bloated English hodgepodge is on hold. While it's nice for people to get domain names they can actually read, it pisses me off, because I like navigating non-English sites by their forced use of Roman-alphabet tags. Ironically, as machine translation gets better, the use of more and more languages and alphabets on the web might not really detract from its universality. But I can't help thinking there's something scary in this decision, scary, that is, for monolingual America. [Yahoo/AFP]