The plight of shortlinks

This morning, it turns out, t.co, twitter’s own URL shortner links were not working. The browser responded with ‘Lookup failed’, while wget said this:


Resolving t.co (t.co)... failed: nodename nor servname provided, or not known.
wget: unable to resolve host address `t.co'

So I tried to look into what was going on. This potentially meant that almost all of the millions of links being shared on twitter were rendered useless. Here’s what whois revealed:


Domain Name: T.CO
Domain ID: D740225-CO
Sponsoring Registrar: MELBOURNE IT LTD
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 13
Registrar URL (registration services): www.melbourneit.com.au
Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Domain Status: clientHold
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited
Domain Status: serverDeleteProhibited
Domain Status: serverTransferProhibited
Registrant ID: TWITTERREG2012
Registrant Name: Twitter, Inc.
Registrant Organization: Twitter, Inc.
Registrant Address1: 1355 Market Street
Registrant Address2: Suite 900
Registrant City: San Francisco
Registrant State/Province: CA
Registrant Postal Code: 94103
Registrant Country: United States
Registrant Country Code: US
Registrant Phone Number: +1.4152229670
Registrant Facsimile Number: +1.4152220922
Registrant Email: domains@twitter.com
Administrative Contact ID: TWITTERADMIN2012
Administrative Contact Name: Domain Admin
Administrative Contact Organization: Twitter, Inc.
Administrative Contact Address1: 1355 Market Street
Administrative Contact Address2: Suite 900
Administrative Contact City: San Francisco
Administrative Contact State/Province: CA
Administrative Contact Postal Code: 94103
Administrative Contact Country: United States
Administrative Contact Country Code: US
Administrative Contact Phone Number: +1.4152229670
Administrative Contact Facsimile Number: +1.4152220922
Administrative Contact Email: domains@twitter.com
Billing Contact ID: MIT_BILLING
Billing Contact Name: DBS Billing
Billing Contact Address1: 636 Ellis Street
Billing Contact City: Mountain View
Billing Contact State/Province: CA
Billing Contact Postal Code: 94043
Billing Contact Country: United States
Billing Contact Country Code: US
Billing Contact Phone Number: +1.8669073267
Billing Contact Facsimile Number: +1.6506182574
Billing Contact Email: billing@melbourneitdbs.com
Technical Contact ID: TWITTERTECH2012
Technical Contact Name: Tech Admin
Technical Contact Organization: Twitter, Inc.
Technical Contact Address1: 1355 Market Street
Technical Contact Address2: Suite 900
Technical Contact City: San Francisco
Technical Contact State/Province: CA
Technical Contact Postal Code: 94103
Technical Contact Country: United States
Technical Contact Country Code: US
Technical Contact Phone Number: +1.4152229670
Technical Contact Facsimile Number: +1.4152220922
Technical Contact Email: domains-tech@twitter.com
Name Server: NS1.P34.DYNECT.NET
Name Server: NS2.P34.DYNECT.NET
Name Server: NS3.P34.DYNECT.NET
Name Server: NS4.P34.DYNECT.NET
Created by Registrar: INJECTCSR
Last Updated by Registrar: MELBOURNE IT LTD
Last Transferred Date: Mon Mar 14 22:21:58 GMT 2011
Domain Registration Date: Mon Apr 26 07:50:40 GMT 2010
Domain Expiration Date: Thu Apr 25 23:59:59 GMT 2013
Domain Last Updated Date: Mon Oct 08 05:13:38 GMT 2012

>>>> Whois database was last updated on: Mon Oct 08 05:35:46 GMT 2012 <<<<

See the last line? I’m guessing somebody messed around with DNS settings.

Hopefully the nameservers around the world will pick it up sooner, than later.

But the question is: is there a need for more ’embedded’ URL shorteners, maybe baked into the browsers, kinda along the lines of Mozilla Persona for authentication?

[Update: Just noticed that TNW has already reported this and is trending on HN]

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2 thoughts on “The plight of shortlinks

  1. the last line does not mean the info was changed but only that it was the last time this info was verified. if you check today, you’ll find today’s date there. also, a lookup on whois has no value in this case because the data it gives you is not based on an nslookup.

    • You are probably right about the ‘last time this info was verified’ part. But if I check today, I get the last updated as
      Domain Last Updated Date: Tue Apr 16 13:53:26 GMT 2013
      I probably need to read up more on this.

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