This blog talks about the domain tasting scheme. Basically, ICANN allows refunds on domain registrations that are dropped within 5 days. This is cool, cause sometimes you make a mistake, a misspelling or something when registering a domain name.
BUT, what has happened is that people have decided to scam this, by registering thousands of domain names, putting up ad sites, dropping the domain before the 5 days, and keeping the ad revenue.
And what happens now, is that groups of people are rotating domain names and using serious computing power to do this. So if I look up a domain on a registrar's site that participates in this, and don't register it right away, I may come back in a hour or 2 and realise that the name is gone. If I check, it'll be an ad site. And of course, I can't keep checking to see exactly when it's released to be able to register it, so that's it for me and my domain name. However, they can cycle among themselves...
And of course, when I am just searching online for something, often the first page of results is full of these ad or link farms. So, I waste time and bandwidth to find what I want.
Joi Ito has a nice blog entry on this with some cool links. He's an ICANN Board member. I'm an ALAC member, and ALAC is looking into the impact of this on the Internet User Community.
More on this in the future