Mommy, What’s a 404? Level3 Takes over Your DNS Lookup

An ancient hieroglyph of a Page Not Found error - 404
An ancient hieroglyph of a Page Not Found error – 404

One day, there will no longer be any unknown sites, addresses, or anything of the kind thanks to modern technological advances in how we look things up.  That little Address bar became the gateway to all sorts of inventive ideas of how to make our lives easier, simpler, more useful. Instead of remembering arcane website addresses, or before that, actual IP addresses, we’d have browser plugin helpers for our search engines to convert any text in that address bar to searchable terms for our favorite Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask, DuckDuckGo, whatever engine to look it up for us.

BuyThisDomainAndMakeMeRich.com
BuyThisDomainAndMakeMeRich.com

Enterprising (sort of) domain campers tried to out-think our mistakes and pre-register every variant of a misspelled or syntactically-incorrect website address out there and re-direct them to their own domain-for-sale pages to generate income.

Mozilla thought ahead and offered it’s version of simpler language “friendly” 404 pages to describe in regular words what happened.

Firefox's Can't Find an Address Page (a dressed up-404 screen)
There is nothing to see here. Move along.

Easier, and easier. Less to remember every day. Your mind is becoming a blank page, open to whatever creative thought you can imagine, unhampered by useless memorized facts and figures.   Just type in whatever words you can remember describing what it is you were looking for, and presto, your browser (or Siri, or Cordera, or whatever) provides you with a nice list of places you meant to actually visit.

Thanks to some more inventive programmers, and some back-channel deals with the global service providers that actually lookup and translate the addresses to physical computers out there in the Cloud, you won’t have to be bothered with those pesky 404- errors ever again (unless you actually try typing in an invalid public IP address, in which case your browser search engine will take over and try to look that up.)

searchguide.level3.com 404 name lookup
Welcome to searchguide.level3.com – no more 404’s ever. Even if you wanted them.

Presenting searchguide.level3.com (operated by Yahoo! no less) which has partnered with several of the global domain name service (DNS) providers to re-direct those disappointing address-not-available lookups to its own pages providing you with nice (we knew you were actually trying to lookup using a search engine, so here’s our nice results list, including sponsored advertising ala AdChoice.)

Now, even your worst mistakes in typing can generate income for someone else.  Who’d have thought? Yea, Skynet/Genisys!

While it’s probably a matter of time before 90% of the well-known DNS service companies monetize their DNS services, leaving it up to you to either re-configure manual resolv.conf files pointing to non- monetized lookups, or at least switching to Google’s Public DNS (which tracks you everywhere you click anyway – 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) or any of the ones that still remain https://vpsboard.com/topic/2542-level3-public-dns-servers-search-engine-redirect/

Eventually, we’ll probably see the AltInternet end up creating its own subterranean DNS similar to what Tor still does.

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