Worst Idea Ever

An Australian company has launched a new service to replace URLs with numbers. They claim, in brazen defiance of both history and common sense, to be "first in the world to introduce a fully operational Internet number addressing system" is kind of a mind-blowing claim. Apparently, nobody has ever explained to the Australians about IP addresses.

Not only is making the Internet run on numbers an old idea, it's a spectacularly bad one. URLs made the Internet take off like a moon rocket because they made it possible to start out looking for content in a way surprisingly close to actual human language. In a huge shocker of a development, you could type in something close to "necco" into your computer and have a chance of getting back information about the New England Candy Company. URLs have technical meaning, sure, but they're comparatively transparent to human inspection. URLs are cuddly and fuzzy, unlike those horribly cold and mechanical strings of digits you need to cough up when you want to direct-dial someone's extension at a company in foreign country. Apparently nobody has ever explained to the Australians about putting your venture capital money in companies that might do something useful or make money.

I should note that Nascomms' religious ferver about the new number revolition doesn't extend to their own Internet presence. Look at the contacts page on their site: six mailto URLs and two http URls, but no numbers, phone or otherwise.