IN THE Internet's brief but astounding life, users have come up with only three "killer apps," or breakthrough applications: e-mail, search engines and accessing pornography. The Internet is lousy with porn, the largest online industry, with annual revenues approaching $13 billion. Two in five Internet users visited a porn site in April, according to one media survey.
Would the other three in five - uninterested in or disturbed by porn - be better off if there was a virtual red-light district? The body regulating Internet domain names (such as .com, .org, and more than 200 country domains) was to create just that, by setting up a .xxx domain for voluntary use by sex sites. But it decided Tuesday to hold off for a month - after an unusual request to wait from the U.S. Commerce Department, which holds veto power.