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FON and BT: Wifi Today; Mobile Tomorrow?

A deal announced today between British Telecom and upstart FON allows BT's Internet customers to share their own broadband connections via WiFi and, in turn, be able to access WiFi free at "thousands" (doesn't say how many) of FON hotspots around the world operated by other Foneros... When you buy home Internet access from BT and opt into this plan, you are also buying roaming access at no extra charge. The technology is supposed to assure that the part of the connection which you share is segregated from your own access so that there are no security problems caused by the sharing. more»

Local ".city" TLDs as an Opportunity for City Portals

One of the most frequently asked question when it comes to the discussion about a city top-level domain ".city" (such as .london, .berlin or .nyc) is what .city means to the already established official city portal (such as London.gov.uk, Berlin.de, NYC.gov or in general City.com). This article contributes to the most important topics in this discussion... The choices at the top-level available to individuals, companies and regional communities is today limited to country codes (such as .de or .fr) and a very few generic endings (such as .com or .info). Individuals and companies in cities can't really identify with Internet addressing and look for ways to circumvent it. For instance, the term "hamburg" is already used in about 50,000 domains such as www.habour-hamburg.de demonstrably showing that they belong to the Hamburg community. The synonym "nyc" can be found in almost 300,000 domains... more»

Short Domain Names Threatened by Proposed Policy on IGO Dispute Resolution Procedure

ICANN staff has published a draft report on dispute resolution procedures for IGO (inter-governmental organization) domain names. This proposal has deep flaws and should be rejected by the community, as it does not have the balance and protection of registrant rights present in the existing UDRP. Initially, the proposed policy would apply to new Top-Level Domains (TLDs), but via a Policy Development Process (PDP) it could be extended to existing TLDs. more»

New Map Illustrates All 245 Country Code Top-Level Domains

Byte Level Research has published a map that illustrates not only all 245 country codes but the size of each country and territory. The map is quite up to date and comprehensive including country codes for such places as Svalbard (.sj), Southern Georgia (.gs), and Bouvet Island (.bv), which is uninhabited. "Today, companies must register as many as a hundred country codes to be competitive globally -- and protect their intellectual property. This map helps professionals keep track of all these country codes -- and see where the Internet is headed. For example, China is on pace to have the most popular country code on the planet by 2012," said Yunker," said John Yunker, president of Byte Level Research and developer of the map. more»

Every Domainer Is Subsidizing Tasting… Abolish Registration Grace Period

One issue that a large number of domainers agree on is that domain tasting under the current ICANN-approved policy is bad for the industry. For one thing, a healthy portion of the practice involves trademark use that not only is illegal but also destroys value. Of course, particular segments of the domain name ecosystem can suffer value destruction because of tasting that doesn't infringe trademarks. But most criticism is directed, and rightly so, at tasting that raises trademark issues. Litigation over the trademark issues has done little to stop the practice and destroys value for trademark holders and domainers alike... more»

Walks Like a Telco, Yalks Like a Telco… Must be a Telco

Vonage's latest woes are written up by Om Malik in Vonage: How Low Can You Go. More interesting than Om's reportage (Sprint wins case, Vonage ordered to pay damages, stock drops to $1.30) is the commentary afterward, in which one reader takes Om to task for the "gleeful" way in which he reports the demise of the VoIP companies... Boosters made the argument that VoIP was fundamentally cheaper than the TDM systems that phone companies deploy, and so therefore they enjoyed a price advantage in the market place. Anyone in the business of supplying telecom equipment, however, will tell you that the argument is flawed... more»

Telephony is Disrupted Because Voice No Longer Matters… (As Much)

Does "voice" communication really matter as much today in business communications? Think about it. When you need to reach someone today, what do you do? Do you call them on the phone? Or do you send them email? Or a text message? or IM? I know personally that my normal communication flow usually goes something like this: Instant Messaging; I check first to see if I can reach the person on some form of IM... SMS; if the matter is relatively important... E-mail/Facebook/Twitter/other; Previously that would have just been email, but these days I find myself very often sending messages via Facebook or Twitter... more»

A Consociational Bureau for the Internet Governance Forum

The principle that Internet governance "is a joint effort which requires cooperation and partnership among all stakeholders" (Geneva Declaration of Principles, para 20) has become axiomatic since it was first agreed at WSIS, and is fundamental to the IGF as a "new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue" (Tunis Agenda, para 72). However at the same time as this principle has been universally embraced, some of its implications, that would require the four stakeholder groups identified in the Tunis Agenda to collaborate on the development of joint policy recommendations (Tunis Agenda para 72(g)) have met with resistance. That the strongest resistance has come from those stakeholders with the greatest investment in the existing Internet governance regime... more»

Developing Internet Standards: How Can the Engineering Community and the Users Meet?

There is currently a discussion going on between Milton Mueller and Patrik Fältström over the deployment of DNSSEC on the root servers. I think the discussion exemplifies the difficult relation between those who develop standards and those who use them. On the one hand, Milton points out that the way the signing of the root zone will be done will have a great influence on the subjective trust people and nation states will have towards the system. On the other hand, Patrik states that "DNSSEC is just digital signatures on records in this database". Both are right, of course, but they do not speak the same language... more»

Ameritrade Leaks User Information Yet Again, Blames Hacker X

OK, you know things are getting bad when Ameritrade leaks its customer information yet again, and I don't even bother to report it because it's not news anymore. Well, recent updates to the story have prompted me to correct that omission. Yes, it happened again. Roughly a month ago, correspondents began to receive pump-n-dump spam to tagged email addresses which they had given only to Ameritrade... This now marks the third major confirmed leak of customer information from Ameritrade. In addition, the Inquirer reported the loss of 200,000 Ameritrade client files in February 2005. One correspondent informs me that this has happened to him on four or five previous occasions. more»

Enterprise or Public Sector Investment in National Lambda Rail Presents a Unique Opportunity

Sometimes in our worries about the Duopoly, we fail to recognize that some extraordinary wealth of opportunity sits right underneath our noses. National Lambda Rail (NLR) is one such case. About six months ago I wrote in some detail about NLR and what made this entity different from previous attempts at research networks in the US... NLR runs on a philosophy of a user owned and administered research network. Intrernet2 (I2), during the ten years of its existence, has run on the basis of first a Qwest donated backbone known as Abilene and since November 2006 on the basis of a seven year managed services contract with Level 3 Communications. more»

Wireless Net Neutrality

To date, most of the discussion on net neutrality has dealt with the behaviour of conventional wireline ISPs. RCR Wireless News is carrying an opinion piece called "Paying for the bandwidth we consume" by Mark Desautels, VP -- Wireless Internet Development for CTIA -- the trade association for the US wireless industry. His article follows up on reports of Comcast cable moving to discontinue internet access service to so-called "bandwidth hogs"... more»

Where are DNS Root Servers? See them on Google Maps

DNS root servers function as part of the Internet backbone, as explained in Wikipedia, and have come under attack a number of times in the past -- although none of the attacks have ever been serious enough to severely hamper the performance of the Internet. In response to some of the common misconceptions about the physical location and total number of DNS root servers in the world, Patrik Faltstrom has put together a visual map on Google, pin-pointing the approximate location of each server around the world. more»

Radio Interview Discusses Domainers and Domaining

Damien Allen of VTalk Radio recently interviewed Professor Eric Goldman of the Santa Clara University School of Law on the topic of "Domaining". The interview covers the nature of domaining as a business and how it differs from cybersquatting. From the interview: "Often times the domainers are not particularly interested in profitable resale and, in fact, in my experience many times when domainers get complaints about domains, they'll just hand the domain name back, no questions asked and no money charged. They're not looking to make money from the resale of the domain names..." more»

Microsoft Files Three More Cybersquatting Cases

Microsoft has filed 3 cybersquatting cases at the beginning of September 2007, as reported in an Inside Indiana Business article. I took the liberty of accessing the cases via the PACER system, and posted the major documents... It looks like they're stepping up efforts to defend their trademarks, and seeking big damages in court, rather than go the way of the UDRP. These cases demonstrate that new TLDs should not be a priority with ICANN until the problems in existing TLDs are addressed. more»

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