If you want to avoid searching your local domain for host entries, you can put an explicit period at the end of the hostname, like:
ping x.org.
The explicit period means it won't use your search path in /etc/resolv.conf (i.e. try to find x.org.haller.ws on my box). But, the funny thing is that lots of websites don't support explicit dot notation, like the following:
W: error 404 http://rss.slashdot.org./linux/ukra W: error 404 http://undeadly.org./cgi?action=rss W: error 404 http://metasploit.blogspot.com./atom.xml W: error 404 http://googleblog.blogspot.com./atom.xml
Which I find really funny, because they're all supposed to be, well, either smart or security-conscious or something. ;)