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Postage is Due for Companies Sending Email

Companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers. America Online and Yahoo, two of the world's largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a controversial system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered. The senders must contact only people who have agreed to receive their messages, or risk being blocked entirely. more»

ICANN Releases New .Com Contract

Internet overseeing body ICANN has released a revised contract for all dotcoms which it hopes will finally end a huge legal fight at the heart of the Internet.

Significant changes have been made to the deal - which will hand control of all dotcom domains to current owner VeriSign until 2012 - following widespread criticism from the Internet industry. more»

Microsoft Leverages IPv6 With Vista

Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) promises to deliver connectivity features in Windows Vista not possible with today's Internet protocol version 4 (IPv4).

Sinead O'Donovan, product unit manger for networking at Microsoft, said "When we looked at key applications such as MSN Messenger, we learned that developers needed to do too many tricks to get them to work over NAT." more»

Skype Affiliate Can Keep Skyp.com, Says WIPO

Crucially, Benjamin Decraene of Belgium registered the name before Skype had launched and long before eBay paid $2.6 billion for the company. Skype.com was registered in April 2003 and its net telephony service began four months later; but Decraene registered Skyp.com in May 2002.

Skype asked the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to remove the name from Decraene, who accepted that the names were confusingly similar. But Skype struggled to show that Decraene had no right to keep the name. more»

Domain Names for Newborns Becoming a Trend

Luke Seeley, 22 months, has two Web sites of his own, including lukeseeley.com, a domain his father purchased soon after an ultrasound showed that his first child was a boy, four months before the baby was born.

"It's like owning a piece of real estate online for him," said Seeley, 34, who lives in Vancouver, Wash., and specializes in Internet sales for an advertising firm. "By the time he's a teenager and he's really into the Internet, who knows what's going to be left in terms of domains?"  more»

Sex.com Sold for $14m

The infamous and controversial domain Sex.com has officially been sold to Boston-based Escom LLC for a reported $14 million, as reported by XBiz.

Prior to learning of the sale of Sex.com, numerous adult industry message board postings had already begun speculating on the sale after noticing the radical change in the appearance of the Sex.com website. On the homepage of the updated website, the new owners refer to the site as "the new Sex.com," and the appearance is radically different from the former site. The site is copyrighted by Escom.  more»

Internet's Universality Faces Threat

More than a decade after the Internet became available for commercial use, other countries and organizations are erecting rivals to it -- raising fears that global interconnectivity will be diminished.

German computer engineers are building an alternative to the Internet to make a political statement. A Dutch company has built one to make money. China has created three suffixes in Chinese characters substituting for .com and the like, resulting in Web sites and email addresses inaccessible to users outside of China. The 22-nation Arab League has begun a similar system using Arabic suffixes.

"The Internet is no longer the kind of thing where only six guys in the world can build it," says Paul Vixie, 42 years old, a key architect of the U.S.-supported Internet. "Now, you can write a couple of checks and get one of your own." To bring attention to the deepening fault lines, Mr. Vixie recently joined the German group's effort.

Full text also available here. more»

IETF is 20 Today

From a notorious striptease by Internet pioneer Vint Cerf to a fist-pumping, table-jumping brawl about cryptography policy, the Internet's premier standards-setting body has had its share of big moments. This week, the IETF celebrates another one when it turns 20. The IETF is an egalitarian, all-volunteer group consisting of network engineers from Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, AT&T and other leading vendors. It has created many of the underlying standards that make the Internet work, including fundamental routing, e-mail, directory services and telephony protocols. more»

China's .CN Domain Name Registrations Top 1 Million

The number of registered .cn domain names has topped 1 million for the first time, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), which oversees the administration of the top-level domain for China.

At the end of December, nearly 1.1 million domain names had been registered under the .cn top-level domain, CNNIC said in a statement. That represents an annual increase of 154 percent and makes the .cn top-level domain the largest in Asia and the sixth-largest in the world, it said. more»

UN to Take First Step Towards the New Internet Governance Forum

The United Nations will launch the first round of consultations next month on creating a new Internet governance body [IGF], as agreed by delegates attending the global Net summit in Tunis last year.

The U.N., which hosted the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in November, is welcoming all stakeholders to attend the consultations, which will take place in Geneva on Feb. 16-17, according to a statement published Jan. 11 by Swiss diplomat Markus Kummer, who had previously participated in the WSIS Working Group on Internet Governance. more»

Spammers Operating Anonymously via Whois Privacy

The amount of message board spam has been escalating dramatically since mid-2005, according to experts and a search of Google shows a number of frequently recurring domains are appearing in bogus comments on message boards all over the internet.

Domains such as 888.typo7.com, e-casinoroom.com, HobbyWorkshop.com, onlinepokerment.com, TopSitesRanking.com and g4h5.com all appear in bogus postings which reference online gaming. Many of the actual sites link through to more than one established poker site. more»

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Recommends IPv6 Transition

Faced with increasing demand for Internet protocol addresses, better quality of service and security, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today recommended a transition from the existing version of internet protocol (IPv4) to the next-generation IPv6 platform.

The regulator has proposed the setting up of a National Internet Registry (NIR) in the country, within the framework of the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), and the Regional Internet Registry, utilizing the existing set-up of National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). Currently all users in India buy their Internet protocol addresses from the APNIC. more»

NAF Issues Decision on George Foreman's Domain Name

The National Arbitration Forum announced today that a ruling has been issued in favor of heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist George Foreman regarding the rights to georgeforemanenterprises.com.

George Foreman Ventures LLC, represented by Jeanine L. Gibbs of Wargo & French LLP, filed a complaint electronically with the National Arbitration Forum on November 17, 2005, asserting legal rights to the domain name georgeforemanenterprises.com. The panel found that the Web address was registered by the Respondent, "zinnia c/o Zinnia Gonzalez," on August 18, 2005, and resolved to an "under construction" web page. more»

Domain Name Scammers Fined AU$2.3m

A pair of fraudsters who made millions using a domain registration scam have been ordered to pay AU$2.3m by an Australian court.

Brad Norrish and Chesley Rafferty conned victims into stumping up non-existent fees under the threat that they risked losing their domain names unless they paid up. The duo used data from domain name registrar Nominet to produce authentic-looking notices that lent credibility to the trick, the Australian reportsmore»

2005: The Year the US Government Undermined the Internet

2005 will be forever seen as the year in which the US government managed to keep unilateral control of the internet, despite widespread opposition by the rest of the world.

However, while this very public spat went on, everyone failed to notice a related change that will have far greater implications for everyday internet users and for the internet itself. That change will see greater state-controlled censorship on the internet, reduce people's ability to use the internet to communicate freely, and leave expansion of the internet in the hands of the people least capable of doing the job. more»

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