Visitors to the website of the hugely popular software development tool, Ruby on Rails may be be a little surprised to be greeted by a striking blonde offering them a selection of sponsored links and other advertising rather than the web site they were expecting.
Initially puzzled by this change in content I was looking for evidence that the site had been compromised, but sometimes the simplest explanations are the right ones.
A quick look at the domain registration information reveals an update date of today, 20th April 2010 hinting that it may no longer be under the control of its former owners. It seems that either someone forgot their renewal date or some other snafu occurred at the registrar.
David Heinemeier Hansson tweeted
“Getting f**ked over on the Rails domain again this year by buydomains.dk. But shame is on me for not moving it last year :(“
The former owner of the domain name also says that he is in the process of reclaiming his digital property.
Failing to renew a domain name can be a costly mistake, as of course it disrupts all traffic to that domain, not least e-mail, as organisations such as the Washington Post and retailer Hamleys have previously discovered.