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Google Acquires Grandcentral… and Enters Further into the PSTN Side of Telecommunications

News breaking out today is that Google has acquired GrandCentral for something around $50 million. GrandCentral is a service that gives you one phone number that can ring multiple numbers, provide one common voicemail - and all sorts of the other features (see "howitworks" for a list of features)... So will we ultimately see voicemail inside of Gmail? One would assume that we will eventually see integration with GoogleTalk... more»

SIP, the Holy Grail of VoIP World

For many in the Voice over IP world, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the holy grail. Once it is accepted by every vendor and manufacturer, it will enable every IP-based device and application to communicate with one another. But for now it remains still a bit of an enigma that raises a large number of questions for everyone. TechTarget offers a VoIP SIP fundamentals guide discussing some of the basics of SIP -- its vulnerabilities, testing and hardware. more»

Aging the Internet Prematurely, One PDP at a Time

After blogging about ICANN's new gTLD policy or lack thereof [also featured on CircleID], I've had several people ask me why I care so much about ICANN and new top-level domains. Domain names barely matter in a world of search and hyperlinks, I'm told, and new domains would amount to little more than a cash transfer to new registries from those trying to protect their names and brands. While I agree that type-in site-location is less and less relevant, and we haven't yet seen much end-user focused innovation in the use of domain names, I'm not ready to throw in the towel. I think ICANN is still in a position to do affirmative harm to Internet innovation. more»

The Cold-War Fight Against Domaining Continues

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win!" quote by Gandhi pretty much summarizes the evolution of the domain name monetization and development business. I have watched this business come of age for more than half a decade... In the beginning nobody cared... then when people started talking about how great it was, 'smart people' and the "legitimate web" laughed. Then the trucks with money showed up... A significant double-digit percentage of global Internet traffic is now owned by domain holders with generic names. So the fight is on.  more»

The End of the (IPv4) World is Nigher!

Funny how some topics seem sit on a quiet back burner for years, and then all of a sudden become matters of relatively intense attention. Over the past few weeks we've seen a number of pronouncements on the imminent exhaustion of the IP version 4 address pools. Not only have some of the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and some national registry bodies made public statements on the topic, we've now seen ICANN also make its pronouncement on this topic... Why the sudden uptake of interest in this topic? I suspect that a small part of this may be my fault! more»

BMW Goes After BMW.cat

In one of the first (if not the first) UDRP cases for .cat, the auto giant BMW appears to have filed a WIPO case over the BMW.cat domain name. Other prospective new TLD operators have tried to suggest in ICANN meetings that these new TLDs do not cause problems with cybersquatting or defensive registrations... Obviously, given the above WIPO case, that statement is false. more»

TLDs or No TLDs for Cities? Berlin Senate Wants Out

A fight has begun over the virtual existence of Germany's capital: Does a .berlin address space have a right to exist beside the old standby berlin.de? The outcome of the fight could have a broader effect on the future of city names on the Internet. After a recent hearing at Berlin's City Parliament, Michael Donnermeyer, speaker of the Berlin Senate, said the right to the name Berlin belonged to the city and has to be protected. For the young company dotBerlin GmbH that is applying for a new city top level domain (TLD) with the ICANN, the Senate's blockade could kill a long-nurtured project and could set a bad example for other initiatives like .london, .paris or .nyc, sources said. more»

ICANN: Keep the Core Neutral, Stupid

ICANN's travelling circus is meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico this week. One of the main subjects of discussion has been the introduction of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), after a GNSO Report [PDF] proposed 19 "Recommendations" for criteria these new domain strings should meet -- including morality tests and "infringement" oppositions. ...It's important to keep ICANN from being a censor, or from straying beyond its narrow technical mandate. The thick process described in the GNSO report would be expensive, open to "hecklers' vetos," and deeply political... ICANN should aim for a "stupid core"... more»

Google Sued in Domainer Lawsuit: Vulcan Golf v. Google

Domainer litigation is heating up, and this lawsuit may be the most ambitious anti-domainer lawsuit to date. First, it is a putative class action lawsuit. Second, in addition to naming four leading domainer firms, the plaintiffs provocatively go after Google for providing ads to domainer sites. I believe this is the first lawsuit against Google for its domainer relationships. The complaint itself is a 121 page, 638 paragraph (with one paragraph enumerating 47 defined terms), 4.3MB behemoth alleging trademark infringement and dilution, ACPA violations, RICO and other claims. more»

Apple iPhone Promoting .com TLD?

One of the key features of the soon-to-launch iPhone is its advanced web browser capabilities. "The iPhone is the first smart phone we've tested with a real, computer-grade Web browser, a version of Apple's Safari," say the Wall Street Journal. To make the user's browsing experience even more efficient, the phone even comes with a top-level domain (TLD) button labeled ".com". Rather interesting given that today there are over two hundred TLDs in existence including .mobi... more»

Squeegee Domains

When I was growing up, one of the annoyances of life in New York City was squeegee men. When your car was stopped at a light, these guys would run up, make a few swipes at your windshield with a squeegee, then look menacing until you gave them a tip. It occurs to me that domain "monetizers'' are the Internet's squeegee men. If I make a minor typing error entering a domain name, they run up and offer to sell a link to the place I wanted to go (well, they sell the place I wanted to go a click from me, but close enough.) more»

CAN SPAM Applies Even Within a Single Provider

I recently came across a copy of a ruling in the bizarre case of MySpace vs. theglobe.com. Theglobe.com was the ultimate dot.com bubble company. It started up here in Ithaca, and went public at the peak of dot.com hysteria with one of the the greatest one-day price runups ever. Since then they bought and sold a variety of busineses, none of which ever made any money, including the Voiceglo VoIP service which appears to be what the spam was promoting. more»

Opt-In Permission for Mailing Lists: Is It Enough?

For some time now I have contended that Confirmed Opt-in, 'COI' is dead, or at the very least on life support. It certainly is not a major factor in the continued relation between sender and receiver; that relies far more heavily on the ongoing and historical reputation of the mailer and the mail stream. Proof of permission doesn't scale; end-users complain all the time, but it is rare if not impossible for a receiving site to request proof when an end-user complains, then the receiver complains to the sender, and the sender says that permission was actually in place. Much more commonly, the sender unsubscribes the address and moves on, permission or not, since the subscriber doesn't want the mail any more. But then, I recently had two eye-opening experiences... more»

First Square Mile is not the Last or First Mile: Discovery not Just Choices!

The term "last mile" highlights the fact that we are the consumers at the end of a broadband "pipe". Saying "first mile" is a little better but the Internet is not a pipe to or from somewhere else. It's about what we can do locally and then what we can do when we interconnect with other neighborhoods. It's better to describe our neighborhood as the first square mile. Telecom is about selling us services; the Internet is about what we can do ourselves locally and then interconnecting with others everywhere. In writing the First Square Mile - Our Neighborhood essay which I just posted I came to better understand the fundamental difference between the world of telecom which is about giving you choices and the Internet which provides opportunity to discover what we can't anticipate... more»

Google Explains What They Mean by "Net Neutrality"

Google has launched a new Public Policy Blog focused on U.S. government legislation and regulation -- reported in the media as part of Google's efforts in setting up focus on the U.S. government since early 2005. In an entry posted over the weekend on the blog by Richard Whitt, Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, key argument within the net neutrality debate is explained... more»

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