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Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Israel's Mr .com shows off his new passport
Tomer says the internet changed his life
An Israeli computer programmer has made a name for himself by changing his surname to ".com".

The former Tomer Krissi, 25, who works for a hi-tech company, now has the same name as his website -

Israeli authorities have reluctantly issued him a passport and identification card.

The Interior Ministry at first rejected his name-change application, claiming a name could not include punctuation marks.

But Mr .com and a lawyer friend studied the law and found there was no such provision, so the officials backed down.

'Calling card'

Mr .com, a self-confessed internet addict who used to spend 12 hours a day surfing the net, told Reuters his new name simply made more sense than the old.

People who don't use the internet think what I have done is just a gimmick, but the internet changed my life
"I see surnames, which have meaning as archaeological artefacts, and I wanted to give mine some significance for myself in the year 2001," he said.

"The internet opened my mind ... now my site, which is my name, has become my calling card for the whole world."

It may even improve his love life, he said.

"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," he said.

Mr .com, from Ramat Gan in central Israel, 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 on Tuesday.

"She was thrilled," he said. "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."

"I'm sure the idea will catch on and cross international borders," he told the newspaper. "People who don't use the internet think what I have done is just a gimmick, but the internet changed my life.

"It opened up my head."

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