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'Historic' day as first non-Latin web addresses go live

Arab nations are leading a "historic" charge to make the world wide web live up to its name.

Net regulator Icann has switched on a system that allows full web addresses that contain no Latin characters.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries to have so-called "country codes" written in Arabic scripts.

The move is the first step to allow web addresses in many scripts including Chinese, Thai and Tamil.

More than 20 countries have requested approval for international domains from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann).

It said the new domains were "available for use now" although it admitted there was still some work to do before they worked correctly for everyone. However, it said these were "mostly formalities". More...

05-09-2010 16:04