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What ways are there of automatically purchasing gTLDs?

Specifically - some domains under the new gTLDs set to be released will be extremely popular, and ideally I would like to order some as close to the very second they are released.

What options are there to do this? Is it possible to do so programmatically? Are there any PHP scripts which could do it, for example?

From what I can tell, for example, as described here, companies offering pre-registration cannot guarantee you will get the domain you pre-register for. Why is this the case? Is it possible, in theory, or not?

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