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New Geographical Top-Level Domains and Auctions

I was surprised by ICANN's "Economic Case for Auctions in New gTLDs" paper especially with view to the latest presentation on the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) implementation process in Paris. That Paris presentation highlighted the protection of community interests such as religious organisations, geographically based communities or indigenous groups and suggested a preference of bona fide community-based applicants against pure generic applications for the same string. Contrary to this the only text passage in the current paper where ICANN considered the community-based applicants is "a 25% bidding credit could be offered to community-based bidders whose community is located primarily in least-developed countries". This reminds me of the discussion on discounts for HIV medicine... more»

Public Sharing and a New Strategy in Fighting Cyber Crime

A couple of years ago I started a mailing list where folks not necessarily involved with the vetted, trusted, closed and snobbish circles of cyber crime fighting (some founded by me) could share information and be informed of threats. In this post I explore some of the history behind information sharing online, and explain the concept behind the botnets mailing list... we may not be able to always share our resources, but it is time to change the tide of the cyber crime war, and strategize. One of the strategies we need to use, or at least try, is public information sharing of "lesser evils" already in the public domain. more»

ICANN Auctioning New Top-Level Domains: Serving Public Interest or Its Own?

ICANN has recently published a number of updates to the implementation program for new gTLDs. One of these updates is a paper by ICANN's "auction design consultant PowerAuctions LLC". The document makes a case for an auction to be held for the "resolution of contention among competing new gTLD applicants for identical or similar strings." In other words, two (or more) applicants for ".bank", or applicants for ".bank" and ".banks."... more»

Aircell vs. VoIP

Last week American Airlines launched their Aircell wireless Internet access on a limited number of flights. It didn't take long before a few folks tried to make voice and video calls (in violation of Aircell's terms-of-service according to their PR folks), and it didn't take long before someone figured a way around their voice/video blocking efforts. more»

IPv6's Long March

With the thousands of IPv6 controlled lights dimming over the 2008 Olympics, the long march on the road to IPv6 continues as the Olympic IPv6 Workout enters history. The early objective of full commercial deployment for 2008 proved elusive and more realistic goals were set and met with success. Not wasting any time, the starting shot toward commercial deployment followed on the heels of the closing ceremony with the august 25th announcement... more»

How Rise in Nationalism and Industry's Lack of Foresight Could Mean a Fragmented and Isolated Web

I have been thinking a lot lately on the topic of the free flow of information on the internet -- what kinds of tools are available now and in the future for governments (especially repressive ones) to control content, isolate their people and keep any contrary viewpoints censored. I had an interesting conversation with a Practice Lead from IFTF.org. The Institute for the Future (IFTF) is a California based independent, nonprofit research group with 40 years of experience in identifying emerging trends that will transform global society... Turns out they are quite concerned about the fragmentation and control of the Internet as well. But will it be an inevitability? more»

Thoughts on the Best Western Compromise

The Sunday Herald reported on Sunday that Best Western was struck by a trojan attack that lead to the possible compromise of about 8 million victims. There is some debate as to the extent of the breach and not a small amount of rumor going around. I'm not entirely disposed to trust corporate press releases for the facts, nor am I going to blindly accept claims of security researchers whose first call is to the PR team when discovering a problem. That said, here is what seems to be the agreed upon facts... more»

New gTLDs: Comments on the Unsigned "The Economic Case for Auctions"

When Kurt Pritz briefed the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council (and observers) in Los Angeles April 10th and 11th, the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) process model flows transition through an "auction" state in two of the three paths where two or more applications existed for the same (or similar) strings. At that time Kurt, speaking for Staff, was clear that the existence of a well-defined community was not dispositive, which surprised the Council members from the Intellectual Property Constituency... more»

Spam Fighters: Revenge is a Dish Best Left in the Freezer and Forgotten

There's no denying that the fight against spam attracts a lot of crazies, both pro- and anti-spam. One of the common attributes of the anti-spam kooks is that they often think in terms of somehow taking revenge against the spammers -- regardless of who else gets hurt along the way. In 2005, that revenge came in the form of BlueFrog, a service which purported to launch what can only be called denial of service attacks against spammers' web sites... This week, a company called SpamZa was hurriedly making a similar mistake... more»

Lies, Damn Lies, and Anti-Spam Vendor Press Releases

There's a lot of chatter about a recent study purporting to show that 29.1% of internet users has bought something from spam. As ITWire reported, "Marshal were not only interested in how many people were purchasing from a spam source, but also what goods and services they were buying. Perhaps less surprisingly this revealed that sex and drugs sell well online." But at downloadsquad, Lee Mathews discovered the shocking truth: "the survey only involved 600 people." more»

Will .cn Become the New .com?

I recently came across a chart of the most popular top-level domains (TLDs), compiled by Stephane Van Gelder. Although I keep track of country code TLD registrations for the Country Codes of the World map (see also related CircleID post), Stephane tracks all domains, including .com, .net., etc. And when I saw it I got to thinking... more»

WiMAX Will Be Successful, as a Fringe Technology

A recent Infonetics press release says "WiMAX has gained such momentum across so many regions that it is no longer sensible to suggest that WiMAX growth will be flattened by the emergence of LTE [Long Term Evolution] in the next few years." Probably true, but it's also clear WiMAX will never reach the scale of either mainstream wireless family, i.e., WiFi or GSM/3GSM. By comparison with these giants, WiMAX will be a fringe operation. The critical issue is volume, and what counts is the wireless technology brand, not the technology itself. more»

The McCain Campaign's "Technology" Message

I look at this as the ideas of Mike Powell and Meg Whitman, and a lot of unimportant wordsmithing. Before the Dublin (Erie) IETF I wrote one for one of the top three DCCC targeted races. You, or One, or I (isn't voice fun) tries for ideas that matter, and then try to connect the dots, for the semi-literate staff of a candidate who needs clue, e.g., to make effective calls to the DNC's major contributor lists for area codes 415, 408, 650 and 831. I mention Dublin because ages ago Scott Bradner's plan for Harvard, decent bandwidth everywhere and location transparency was, in just a few pages, a revolutionary policy document then, and now, and I was happy to see Scott again and let him know that two decades later I still remembered seeing policy stated with confidence and clarity. more»

McCain's Technology Non-Plan

The McCain technology plan is finally out. As expected, it's light on what most of us understand as "technology policy." There are many platitudes about the glories of lower taxes and private investment, but little understanding of just how profoundly communications and information technologies are changing our world. The good news, I suppose, is that McCain is finally talking about technology issues which he resolutely ignored for most of the campaign, and which his advisors dismissed as not worthy of Presidential attention. more»

McCain Tech Plan: The Only Vision is Backward-Looking

So I've spent more time with the McCain tech plan today. At a time when this country is suffering economically and looking for fundamental change, it looks as if Sen. McCain is in the back office having lunch with a bunch of accountants. The heavy emphasis in the policy on tax cuts seems designed to appeal to people who equate lower taxes with progress. Haven't we already had years of that kind of approach? more»

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