Israeli launches his new surname into cyberspace
By Deborah Camiel, Reuters, 04/10/01
JERUSALEM -- An Israeli computer programmer has certainly made a name for himself by changing his own from Tomer Krissi to Tomer.com.
Israeli authorities had reluctantly issued him a passport and identification card changing his surname to .com, the 25-year-old programmer said Tuesday.
The .com suffix is known throughout the world as part of millions of address of Internet sites.
"I think the idea is simply more functional. I see surnames, which have meaning as archeological artifacts, and I wanted to give mine some significance for myself in the year 2001," he told Reuters by telephone.
"The Internet opened my mind ... . Now my site, which is my name, has become my calling card for the whole world. It's enough for someone to know my name to know that I have a site."
.com, from Ramat Gan in central Israel, said he was a recovering Internet addict who at one time spent about 12 hours a day on the Web.
He already has his own Web site, http://www.tomer.com, which lists his favorite bands and other personal details, and hopes his name change will improve his life.
"Say I meet a girl, for instance, and I don't get her number. That could have been a missed opportunity, but now it won't be because she'll always know where to find me," said .com.
.com, who works for a high-tech company, said he had spent his military service in an intelligence unit specializing in electronics.
He received his documents with his new name about two weeks ago but his mother only learned of the name change by reading the popular Maariv newspaper Tuesday.
"She was thrilled. My father has known about it for a while, but he didn't really understand what was behind the idea, though he was cool about it."
He said he believed he was the first man with the surname but that he would not mind if others followed his example.
.com also said the Interior Ministry had at first opposed his request, and told him it was forbidden to have punctuation marks in a name, but he and a friend studying law had found there was nothing to prevent him changing his name to .com.