I was writing the June IP Corner article and needed to set up DNS servers within the lab. I used example.com as the domain name and decided to check what would happen if you'd visit the actual www.example.com web site (try it out). It politely referenced me to RFC 2606, which documents the reserved domain names you can use.
As a rule, you should use private IP addresses, AS numbers and domain names in all technical documentation you're producing (unless, of course, you're describing an actual network). If you're forced to use public addresses or AS numbers (for example, to illustrate how the neighbor remote-private-as command works), you should clearly state that the AS numbers are imaginary.