Zombie domains

It used to be that when domains expired, they were either redirected to some scam product site or overpriced “you can buy this domain” page, depending on their pagerank.

Now they’re turned into ad sites that look exactly like the original site, graphics and all. So, for instance, what was once the promotional site for the US release of Kino’s Journey is now a bunch of links to online “pharmacies” hidden behind the original text and graphics, and the domain itself is now registered in Costa Rica by a Russian.

Lt. Smash’s blog went the same way a while ago. It looks like his old site, but it’s just spam, with the HTML and images scraped from some archive. I’ve run into others, enough that I’m now wary of all my old bookmarks that still seem to work.

(…and which Apple now uses for auto-completion when typing URLs in Safari 5, one more reason that’s a really stupid feature…)