Many of us have had the misfortune of dealing with domain resellers.

Let’s say you’re ready to register your personal domain name. You open up chrome and type out your personal url — only to find out that it’s been taken by

You inquire about how to buy the domain name and find out that the value is…


Unfortunately, this same scenario has happened to many of us (and that price is on the lower end!).

Resellers like these are notorious for holding names that might be worth something one day — many of them personal names of you and me.

They scour public records of individuals and register those names that are available — banking on the fact that at some point you’re going to want to buy it from them.

I was the victim of this situation. But after nearly 9 years of waiting, I finally got my personal domain back.

Photo by Jan Prokes from Pexels

In 2010, my domain dropped.

It was the first domain name I had ever purchased. I wasn’t all that technically savvy at the time — mostly due to being young and inexperienced.

As a result, I had forgotten to renew it and it was immediately picked up by a domain reseller.

I tried to purchase it back but their starting price was absurd. Even with negotiations, I couldn’t get it down to a reasonable amount.

Without many options left, I decided I could only wait it out.

From the research I had done, resellers tend to give a period of years until a domain name becomes unprofitable to them.

They gauge the interest from buyers by monitoring inquiries and whois requests from certain partner websites.

Note: I don’t have any proof on whois monitoring, but it’s what I’ve gleaned from various forums discussing the issue.

I never used a whois tool that I couldn’t confirm was independent. For those interested, ICANN’s whois tool is a pretty reliable one.

ICANN whois tool.

I had given up hope of ever retrieving my personal domain name.

Then, a few months ago, I got really lucky.

The expiration date arrives

Expiration dates are usually meaningless to domain resellers.

They either renew the domain or it’s passed off to a partner website (usually an auction host).

That is what happened in my case. It went from a reseller to a popular domain auction where it sat waiting to be bid on.

Generally, these auctions will drive up the price by bidding on their own domains to get you to pay more.

For me, I felt that it was a good idea to avoid bidding all together. I didn’t want to encourage price gouging, so I decided to wait on the domain to make it look undesirable.

Fortunately, my gamble paid off.

The domain actually went into expiration and then finally into the coveted “Pending Delete” mode. If you’re waiting on a domain, this is the point where you need to start actively monitoring when it drops.

At this moment I decided to setup a simple python script that would check the whois every 10 minutes.

If the whois string contained a certain term of “unknown domain”, I would know it had expired and was ready to be purchased.

My script was setup to send a text message via Twilio once the domain opened up.

I had also initially setup the script to auto-purchase the domain, but that failed due to Namecheap not recognizing the domain availability in time.

Fortunately, the moment it dropped, I had received the SMS message and registered the domain.

I ended up using Google domains since Namecheap wasn’t able to register the domain when it became available.

So after 9 years, was the wait worth it?

I believe waiting for the domain to drop was indeed a good decision. I should mention that I’m not famous or well-known, so my personal brand name wasn’t all that important.

Even then, it does feel great to own my own personal name.

As for the future, I believe owning your domain name will become increasingly important and that experiences like mine will become more commonplace.

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“There’s no justice in air travel,” an airline industry insider once told me. A third of passengers on planes get stuck with a middle seat, getting smushed for hours at a time in a chair that costs exactly the same ticket price as a window or aisle. That just stinks.

But what if we could rethink the middle seat to be more comfortable? In 2017, we wrote about a landmark airplane seat called the S1. Its design is unique in that it staggers the typical three-seat arrangement, so that middle-seat passengers sit slightly behind others in their row. Last month, the S1 received FAA approval to be installed on planes; an undisclosed U.S .airline will be putting them on 50 planes by the end of 2020.

[Photo: courtesy Molon Labe Seating]

The S1 has been in development for five years, and the team behind it at Molon Labe Seating is a mere six people, including sales and operations staff. Designed for commuter flights of only a few hours max, the S1 moves the middle seat a few inches lower than, and back from, the aisle and window seat. It also widens the seat by about three inches. This allows your arms, shoulders, thighs, and elbows to spread just a bit more than they otherwise could, without giving the seat more legroom or reducing a plane’s seating capacity (which translates to profit margins for airlines).

“We have discovered that what looks like a small stagger actually makes a huge difference. The trick is to actually sit in the seat. In fact our main sales tool is to ship seats to airlines so they can sit in them,” says Molon Labe founder Hank Scott. “I have watched this several times—airline executives see the seat, nod their head and then say they get it. Then we ask them to actually sit down, next to a big fella like our head sales guy Thomas [6-foot-6, 250 pounds]. Within a few seconds they [really] get it—they stop being an airline executive and switch into passenger modes.”

[Photo: courtesy Molon Labe Seating]

The seat pairs this staggering effect with a two-level armrest design to eliminate the inevitable elbow fights that happen when six arms battle over four armrests. This approach works better in visuals than explained, but basically, the aisle and window passengers end up using the front ledge of the rest, and the middle passenger uses the rear portion.

As for the S1’s final design, it is missing one big feature that we’d reported on before. Molon Labe developed a “Side-Slip” technology that actually slides the aisle seat over the middle seat for loading and unloading the plane, in order to widen the aisle so passengers could get on and off quicker. Despite successful crash tests and durability trials, the company opted to make it optional rather than a standard part of the design.

“We decided two years ago to focus on getting the S1 flying as it is . . . then once an airline is flying and happy with our seats and support, we will offer to upsell some Side-Slip Seats,” says Scott. “It’s such a risk-averse industry that it made more sense to offer a nonmoving seat to start with.”

Aside from the S1, the company is working on similarly staggered S2 and S3 models, which are built for long-haul flights and could be out in the coming years. With any luck, the approach is as comfortable as it sounds. And while there will still be no justice in flying, at least getting stuck with a middle seat can stink a little bit less.