This year, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) received numerous complaints from native and immigrant Martians that over nine years after their planet started receiving Internet service, they still do not have their own top-level domain. In response, the ISO finally decided to assign .rp as the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for Mars. This decision, reported world-wide (on both worlds) this morning at 3:14 GMT, was met with spontaneous celebrations all over the Red Planet.
"I'm really glad they did this for us," said a native Martian blogger when we interviewed web users there. "Now I don't have to upload everything to some registry on the next planet over, waiting 20 minutes, or more, just to get some message at all."
Of course, not everyone was satisfied with the change. In particular, citizens of the Philippines were unhappy with the fact that this denied them the country code RP. According to one Filipino: "RP was our code, and they never should have given it away! Give it back, you â€”â€”â€” Martians!" A considerably less vehement Filipino citizen put it this way: "I don't see why Mars needs a domain in the first place. In any case, RP is supposed to stand for the 'Republic of the Philippines.' What'll they need it for?" The ISO spokesperson responded that they had the right to change the identity of codes. "Besides, the country code RP was already 'indeterminately reserved,' meaning it should have been removed eventually. We couldn't give the Martians any other codes, since .ma, .mr, and .ms were all taken. You could imagine .rp to stand for Red Planet, if you really need an acronym."
In the few hours since the decision was made public, dozens of foreign and domestic organizations have already begun switching to the new domain. Most conspicuously, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have already registered domain names at google.rp
, and bing.rp
, respectively, hoping to take advantage of the over 100 million Internet users on Mars.