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Convergence: ENUM is a Big Deal

Convergence as a technology concept has been around for decades. Many have predicted the convergence of electronics and entertainment, of PC's and TV's, and more recently of WiFi and cellular. All of these areas are in fact undergoing various degrees of convergence but there is another area that many are not as familiar with. It is called ENUM...The idea can be extremely useful when you consider that most telephones are limited to twelve keys on a keypad. Ever tried to enter your alphanumeric login ID and password to a web site on a cell phone or Personal Digital Assistant? It is next to impossible! The biggest impact of ENUM will probably be for Voice Over IP (VoIP). In fact, it could be the tipping point. ENUM is a really big deal. more

In Memory of Jon Postel

Jonathan B. Postel, one of the Founding Fathers of the Internet passed away on October 16, 1998. Jon had a great deal of influence over how the Internet works and how it was designed. The following is a letter written by Vinton G. Cerf on October 17, 1998 in honor of Jon's death. The letter was called "I Remember IANA".

"If Jon were here, I am sure he would urge us not to mourn his passing but to celebrate his life and his contributions. He would remind us that there is still much work to be done and that we now have the responsibility and the opportunity to do our part. I doubt that anyone could possibly duplicate his record, but it stands as a measure of one man's astonishing contribution to a community he knew and loved." more

Is Industry Underestimating the Ending Dot?

According to RFC1034, "cnn.com" and "cnn.com." should be the same domain names. However, it doesn't appear that programmers always understand that trailing dots can be added to domain names. Web servers also can't seem to agree what to do with a period at the end of a host name. IIS, thttp, and Akamai's Web server all get confused while Apache doesn't seem to care. How much other software behaves incorrectly because of a trailing period on a domain name? Can spam-filtering software be bypassed with dotted email addresses? Here is a situation when bad things can happen -- "WebShield SMTP infinite loop DoS Attack"... more

UK's DNS Open to Prying Eyes

Network Penetration conducted a survey at the start of 2003 to check the status of the UK's DNS infrastructure. The second scan of the year has just been completed and the results are much more positive. There are however still some serious holes in major areas...Here is a look at what was tested, the results, some sample zone transfers and recommendations.  more

The .Name Domain Disrupted by Site Finder Patch

The "delegation-only" patch to BIND that was released for Internet Service Providers and others who wanted to block Site Finder service is reported to be disrupting emails to .name emails (that look like 'firstname@lastname.name'). As a result, the Global Name Registry has submitted a letter to ICANN stating... more

ICANN and the Almost Invisible New TLD Evaluation Process

There is a worldwide interest in the extension of the namespace to include new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) and select new registries to run them. If these New TLDs are to be selected objectively, and without partisan favours to insiders, then there is a clear need for criteria and careful evaluation of lessons gained from previous TLD launches. This was the principle behind the "Proof of Concept" approach, promised by ICANN, and yet ICANN appears to have retreated to a lightweight in-house evaluation, carried out obscurely, in the hands of selected individual under a 6-month contract 4 months ago. What have we learned about Sunrise, about Landrush, about abuse of process, about implementation and enforcement of agreements, about registrars who game the system to warehouse names for themselves, about proposed marketing budgets which evaporate into thin air? more

New TLDs, Swiftly: This Is No Beauty Contest!

In response to ICANN's request for proposal (RFP) for the selection of new sponsored Top-Level Domains, Wendy Seltzer for the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) urges ICANN to move quickly beyond "testing" to more open addition of a full range of new gTLDs in the near future and offers some general principles to guide that expansion. more

The Beginning of the End of the Internet?

Discrimination, Closed Networks and the Future of Cyberspace... Just over a month ago, Karl Auerbach asked, "Is the Internet Dying?". Today, Commissioner Michael J. Copps, of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a speech at the New America Foundation, is asking the very same question, "Is The Internet As We Know It Dying?" and warning about FCC policies that damaged media now threatening the Internet. more

SECSAC Special Meeting on Site Finder: A Technical Analysis

After attending the afternoon ICANN Security & Stability Committee meeting, I realized that the issues involved fall into several related but independent dimensions. Shy person that I am *Cough*, I have opinions in all, but I think it's worthwhile simply to be able to explain the Big Picture to media and other folks that aren't immersed in our field. In these notes, I'm trying to maintain neutrality about the issues. I do have strong opinions about most, but I'll post those separately, often dealing with one issue at a time. more

EDUCAUSE Prepares Mass Purge of .EDU Domains

EDUCAUSE, the exclusive registry operator and registrar of .edu domain names under a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, is preparing a mass purge of .edu domain names. The organization says it is part of the final phase in a year long project to improve the accuracy of the WHOIS database for the .edu space. more

The Aftermath: How ISPs Responded to Site Finder Around the World

During the 2+ weeks for which Site Finder was operational, a number of ISPs took steps to disable the service. A study just released reveals details and analysis, including specific networks disabling Site Finder during its operational period. For example, China blocked the traffic at its backbone, and Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom and Korea's DACOM also disabled the service. US ISPs seem to have been slower to act, in general -- but US ISP Adelphia disabled the service September 20-22 before re-enabling it on September 23. more

Status After 'Hurricane SiteFinder': Is It Over?

After roughly 19 days of its introduction, VeriSign's Site Finder service was finally shutdown on October 4, 2003 following a "Formal Deadline" issued by ICANN (previously reported here). With the plug pulled, the Internet appears to be returning to its regular status ending a historic event that can be best described as a 'Hurricane' -- a Cyber-Hurricane. What follows is a collection of commentaries and questions raised around the Net in response to this event during and after the final hours of VeriSign's deadline... more

Reaction to VeriSign's New 36-Hour Deadline

ICANN today has made a formal demand stating: "Given the magnitude of the issues that have been raised, and their potential impact on the security and stability of the Internet, the DNS and the .com and .net top level domains, VeriSign must suspend the changes to the .com and .net top-level domains introduced on 15 September 2003 by 6:00 PM PDT on 4 October 2003. Failure to comply with this demand by that time will leave ICANN with no choice but to seek promptly to enforce VeriSign's contractual obligations." What follows is a collection of commentaries made around the net and by experts in response to today's announcement...
 more

Can VeriSign Sue You Over SiteFinder?

Attention so far has been focusing on the ethics of the move (positively satanic), its effects on DNS and non-Web applications (Considered Harmful), and on possible technical responses (Software Aimed at Blocking VeriSign's Search Program). On the legal side of the fence, though, we're not just talking about a can of worms. We're talking about an oil drum of Arcturan Flesh-Eating Tapeworms. more

Online Registries: The DNS and Beyond

As the world grows more connected and more complicated, we all need ways of defining, identifying and keeping track of things and cross-referencing them with their owners. The simplest way to do that is with registries -- everything from the Domesday Book, a medieval registry of land, property and people; to current-day auto registries on the one hand and the worldwide Domain Name System on the other...But now, companies and organizations have to keep track of ever more things and people, not just inside their walls but across extended organizational boundaries. Call this new wrinkle an "external registry". Finally, they may want to interact with things and people, rather than just look them up, via an "active registry".  more

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