Chairman of EDventure Holdings
Joined on June 14, 2003 – United States
Total Post Views: 49,977
Esther Dyson is an active investor in a variety of start-ups, none of them in the domain-name business. She sold her business, EDventure Holdings, to CNET Networks in early 2004, and left CNET late in 2006. Previously, she had co-owned EDventure and written/edited Release 1.0 since 1983. She now does business again under the name of EDventure, which she reclaimed when she left CNET.
Dyson focuses on emerging technologies, emerging companies and emerging markets. Her past investments include Flickr and del.icio.us (sold to Yahoo!), Medstory and Powerset (sold to Microsoft), Postini (sold to Google) and Brightmail (sold to Symantec). She currently sits on the boards of 23andMe, CVO Group, Eventful.com, Evernote, Meetup, NewspaperDirect, Voxiva, WPP Group and Yandex, and on the advisory boards of Choicestream, GridPoint, IBS Group and Keas. Her aerospace investments include Airship Ventures, Icon Aircraft, Space Adventures and XCOR Aerospace.
By 1994, she had already explored the impact of the Net on intellectual property (among other things, why many software products are now turning into online services). In 1997, she wrote a book on the impact of the Net on individuals' lives, "Release 2.0: A design for living in the digital age." It includes a number of chapters about today's hot topics such as security, privacy, anonymity and intellectual property.
Dyson is also an active player in discussions and policy-making concerning the Internet and society. From 1998 to 2000, she was founding chairman of ICANN (the organization responsible for overseeing the Domain Name System). A variety of government officials worldwide turn to her for advice on Internet policy issues.
Two weeks ago, the Federal Trade Commission held a summit on e-mail authentication in Washington, DC; the community of people who handle bulk mail came together and agreed on standards and processes that should help reduce the proliferation of spoofed mail and fraudulent offers. This was a big, collective step in the right direction. But e-mail sender authentication alone won't solve the Net's fraud and phishing problems - nor will any single thing. It requires a web of accountability among a broad range of players. Yet this week there's another meeting, in Cape Town, South Africa, that could make even more of a difference...but it probably won't. more»
I'm sitting here at the Inbox conference on e-mail, and listening to an encouraging, plays-nicely-with-other-children talk from Ryan Hamlin, GM of anti-spam technology and strategy at Microsoft. Over the past couple of months, with evidence abounding at this conference, a number of big industry players have been getting together to fight spam. Most significantly, Microsoft, Yahoo! and AOL - plus a bunch of (other) ISPs are getting together behind a single standard for "Sender ID " - (actually, server authentication) name not yet determined... more»
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»
I recently caused a stir in a small but passionate community. I was speaking about a topic I've discussed many times before: the need for more effective public input into the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit corporation that controls the Internet's protocols, addresses and domain name system. "We want public input into ICANN," I had said at a conference at Oxford University. Then, I referred to ICANN's new At-Large Advisory Committee, set up to foster public input and on which I sit: "We've got a mechanism where (the public) can have a seat on the task forces, liaisons to working groups, be part of the policy making process -- I see that in many ways as more important than having a seat on the board." more»