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Venture-Backed Company Sets Focus on Direct Navigation, Using Over 650,000 Domain Names

A venture-backed Waltham company that's quietly amassed more than 650,000 Internet domain names is stepping out of stealth mode today and unveiling its plans to build a substantial Boston-area Web 2.0 business around the emerging field of "direct navigation."

The company, called NameMedia, is being led by Kelly P. Conlin , 46, a veteran media executive who previously had been chief executive of International Data Corp. in Boston and Primemedia Inc. in New York. NameMedia has already hired 75 people in its office near Route 128 to buy, sell, and develop businesses around Internet domain names. more

Domain Name Price Hikes Under Fire in a Congressional Hearing

A dispute over the cost of Internet domain names has spilled over onto Capitol Hill, where allegations of monopolization and unreasonable price hikes surfaced in a congressional hearing on Wednesday.

The dispute arises out of a lawsuit settlement reached on March 1 in which the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) gave VeriSign the right to raise fees on .com domains by 7 percent annually. The settlement, approved by ICANN's board by a 9-5 vote, ended a legal spat that started with VeriSign's controversial move to take control of all unassigned .com and .net domain names in 2003. Those guaranteed price hikes struck some members of the House of Representatives' Small Business Committee as unreasonable. more

Bob Parsons via BusinessWeek: "Getting the Drop on Domain-Name Abuse"

Bob Parsons of Godaddy has a piece on BusinessWeek today discussing the "loophole in the process" of domain name registrations often referred to as "domain tasting":

This scheme is so lucrative that more companies are joining every day. It is affecting .net and .org, too. Unless the add/drop scheme is checked, the problem will assume gigantic proportions.

Writing about this won't win me many friends in the industry, but my primary concern is for the protection of legitimate Internet domain name registrations.  more

Cat Loses Domain to Morgan Stanley

Baroness Penelope Cat of Nash DCB, who is listed as the owner of mymorganstanleyplatinum.com and was given some assistance in the case by Michael Woods, lost control of the domain to Morgan Stanley.

A key part of the case rested on whether or not Baroness Penelope was truly the owner of the domain... "Respondent maintains that it is a cat, that is, a well-known carnivorous quadruped which has long been domesticated," summarised Richard Hill. "However, it is equally well-known that the common cat, whose scientific name is Felis domesticus, cannot speak or read or write." more

ICM Registry Appeals ICANN Decision Rejecting Proposal

Although ICANN rejected the proposal to create a ".xxx" domain for porn sites, the domain's chief sponsor, ICM Registry Inc., is appealing the decision and began taking reservations from adult sites this week.

Stuart Lawley, ICM's chairman, said the company already has hired the staff and built the system, and taking reservations now would mean a quicker rollout should the appeal succeed. ...Lawley acknowledged the ICANN appeal could be tough because the review panel is dominated by board members who had voted against the proposal. But "we've got deep pockets," he said. "We're very determined." more

Email Security an Ongoing Battle, Focus on Manageable Risk Instead

The IT industry will never eradicate security threats to email systems and organizations should take a holistic approach to securing their communication systems to the level where they believe risk is at a manageable state, according to panelists at this week's Inbox email conference in San Jose...

At a packed panel session on email accreditation and reputation, the panelist told audience members that reputation services have taken off rapidly. These services profile the sender's behavior to determine the likelihood that a message is legitimate or spam. The sender's reputation is determined based on multiple criteria then assigned to categories, or lists. more

Survey Finds VOIP User Satisfaction Despite Some Disconnect

With voice over IP consumer usage poised to become a mass market, existing users are fairly satisfied with their service, according to a new survey released on May 31 by SupportSoft.

Sixty one percent of the 100 VOIP users subscribing to a cable-based service surveyed said that they are satisfied with their service, despite the finding that 34 percent of them had to have a technician come out within 90 days of the initial service installation because of a problem, and that 16 percent had to have a technician come out two or more times due to service problems. more

Nominet Warns on Recent Jump in Whois Data Mining

Nominet has issued a warning about commercial companies that are swiping copyrighted information on domain name owners from its Whois database.

Several weeks ago, the UK internet registry owner noticed a sharp increase in the number of people accessing its Whois service, an online searchable database that provides ownership details for individual .uk internet addresses, including the name of the individual and sometimes their home address. more

Switzerland Wins Ownership of its Domain Name

Swiss authorities have won the rights to their country's name in cyberspace after a ruling by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the UN agency announced.

A WIPO arbitrator awarded the Swiss Confederation control of the Internet domain names schweiz.ch, suisse.ch and svizzera.ch -- "Switzerland" in the Alpine country's majority German, and minority French and Italian respectively. more

Forbes Discusses Domaining with Marc Ostrofsky

Ostrofsky's company, which recently received funding from Perot Investments and Starbucks boss Howard Schultz's firm Maveron, isn't the only company hoping to cash in on domain name traffic trends. Last month, startup Demand Media surfaced with 150,000 names and $120 million in investments led by Richard Rosenblatt. Rosenblatt was formerly the chairman of Intermix Media, the company that owned MySpace before it was acquired by News Corp. Ostrofsky and Internet REIT Chief Executive Bob Martin talked with Forbes.com about whether buying up Website names for the sole purpose of selling ad space is similar to investing in highway-adjacent land and filling it with billboards.

"If you go to Google and search for "E-Tickets" you're going to get a listing of ten ads. If you go to our site, Etickets.com, you're going to see that same listing, but presented in a slightly different way. Are people criticizing Google for the way they make money? It is the same way we make money. We're supplying some of that traffic to Google." more

dotMobi Could Spur Wireless Web

Surfing the Web on a cellphone can be as difficult as surfing the ocean on a tiny board. Now, a company founded by Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Vodafone Group PLC, Nokia Corp., and several other companies, aims to make it easier to browse the Internet on wireless devices such as cellphones or BlackBerries...

Many sites can't be displayed on tiny cellphone screens, and most would take a much longer time to download than on a PC. Mobile Top Level Domain aims to change that in part by setting up a new domain name specifically for wireless Internet Web sites called dot-mobi. more

U.S. Plans to Renew Contract with ICANN

The intention to give ICANN a sole-source contract, disclosed on a federal government contracting Web site Thursday, reflects the Commerce Department's belief that the group, based in Marina del Rey, Calif., is the only entity capable of the unglamorous but necessary responsibility of managing the Internet's basic plumbing.

"We continue to believe ICANN is uniquely qualified to perform the services," said Ranjit de Silva, a spokesman for the department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The decision may revive international debate about the Commerce Department's role overseeing ICANN's work. more

AOL to Let Email Address Customization Based On User Domain Names

AOL is testing a program to let its members customize their AOL Mail address by using a domain name of their choice instead of the default aol.com... The move is another attempt by AOL to increase the allure of the services it provides paying customers, who have been cancelling their AOL subscriptions at an alarming rate in the past several years.

Google has been conducting a similar test on its Gmail service. more

Americans Continue Buying Broadband at Record Pace

Americans continued to sign up for broadband -- both cable and DSL -- at record rates in the first quarter, according to a report from the Leichtman Research Group.

A total of 3.06 million net additional subscribers signed up for broadband in the quarter, bringing the total of high-speed Web subscribers to nearly 46 million. Nearly 25.8 million subscribers have cable, while DSL is used by about 20.2 million subscribers. more

Net Neutrality Further Complicated by Opposition from Hardware Firms

The political debate in Washington over the concept known as Net neutrality just became a lot more complicated. Some of the largest hardware makers in the world, including 3M, Cisco, Corning and Qualcomm, sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday firmly opposing new laws mandating Net neutrality -- the concept that broadband providers must never favor some Web sites or Internet services over others. more

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DNS Security

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Whois

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Cybercrime

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Cybersecurity

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Domain Names

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New TLDs

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IP Addressing

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