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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

Antispam Effort Backfires Forcing Company to Shut Down

Anti-spam firm Blue Security is to scrap its spam-fighting effort after deciding its escalating conflict with a renegade spammer was placing the internet as a whole in jeopardy.

Blue Security established a 'Do Not Intrude Registry' (akin to the Do Not Call Registry for telemarketing) with around 450,000 members. Participants downloaded a small tool, called Blue Frog, which systematically floods the websites of spammers with opt-out messages. Depending on your point of view, this initiative can either be viewed as community action or vigilantism. more

Storing VoIP Conversation along with Email as Next Regulation

IT chiefs have been warned to prepare for the possibility of new corporate governance rules that would require them to keep records of voice-over-IP (VoIP) conversations alongside email, instant messaging and other forms of communication.

Speaking at the Symantec user event in San Francisco last week, Jeremy Burton, a senior vice-president at the security specialist, said, "Financial institutions in the US already need to keep voicemail because it is stored on disk. As soon as the regulators figure out that VoIP is a digital stream, they will probably try to force that to be kept as well." more

IPTV on Steady Rise with More Views and Channels

The number of viewers watching TV piped into homes over the internet is increasing as more broadcasters look to offer their content this way.

Research out today reveals the number of people downloading television content or watching it live online is growing rapidly in the UK. According to findings from Continental Research, 5.4 per cent of the UK population have watched IPTV. In total, 3.6 per cent have watched streamed live content and 3.3 per cent have watched a program that they have downloaded. more

ICM Now Considering It's Next Move Following .xxx Rejection

The company behind the failed .xxx domain proposal says it spent nearly $3m before ICANN rejected the bid -- a move that the company believes was the result of pressure from Washington.

He expressed his frustration at ICANN: "We've spent nearly six years and 3 million dollars on this. We have followed the rules and have been told that we've got through at various stages. The fact that this happened leaves a sour taste," he said. ICM Registry is now considering its next move. "There are a variety of routes for us to go down and we are considering all our options," said Lawley. more

ICANN Approves .TEL Top-Level Domain

ICANN unanimously approved the creation of the new .Tel Top Level Domain (TLD) and awarded the contract to Telnic Limited.

"The .Tel domain offers the first genuinely different use of domains since .com was first created. It will provide seamless integration of existing methods of communication with emerging technologies like Voice over IP (VoIP). This places the .Tel domain at the core of the next phase of Internet development," said Khashayar Mahdavi, CEO of Telnic. more

Challenge to US Control of Domain Names

Fed up with the lack of an international system for internet addresses using non-western scripts, many countries are joining China in creating their own.

These moves are seen as a direct challenge to the authority of the US-based body that runs the international domain name system and a potential threat to the universality of the worldwide web. more

European Commission Executive Slams "Interference" in .XXX Vote

The Internet governing body's decision to reject a new .xxx Internet domain for porn sites is a clear case of U.S. political interference in the Web's governance, the European Commission said on Thursday.

...The EU executive said the decision underscored the need to make ICANN independent quickly, following unsuccessful demands last year by a group of countries including the EU to make ICANN fully independent. more

ICANN Rejects Dot XXX Top-Level Domain Name Agreement

Faced with opposition from conservative groups and some pornography Web sites, the Internet's key oversight agency voted Wednesday to reject a proposal to create a red-light district on the Internet.

The decision from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers reverses its preliminary approval last June to create a ".xxx" domain name for voluntary use by the adult entertainment industry. Paul Twomey, ICANN'S chief executive, said the decision largely came down to whether by creating an "xxx" domain ICANN might be put in a position of having to enforce all of the world's laws governing pornography.

He said board members were aware of the controversy but "the heart of the decision today was not driven by a political consideration." more

Dot XXX: Will Someone Intervene at the Last Minute?

The matter, which could be voted on as early as today by the organization that governs domain names, has triggered a rancorous global debate involving freedom-of-speech advocates, child-protection groups, adult-content providers, foreign governments and conservative Christian groups.

Mr. Lawley's proposal also raises thorny issues for the U.S. government, which funded the creation of the Internet and has long played a behind-the-scenes role in running it. As the Internet grows as a place of business and a forum for exchanging ideas, some have argued that it shouldn't be dominated by any one country. more

Domain Names as Premium Web Real Estate on the Rise

"It's a long-term investment, like owning a home," says Lawrence Fischer, vice president of business development at SmartName.com, a company that owns and manages thousands of domain names, including Stockquotes.com. "But if a major brokerage firm came along with a big offer, I would be willing to listen."

Plenty have been willing to pay. Sales of 5,851 domain names generated $29 million in 2005, compared with the sale of 3,813 names for $15 million in 2004, market researcher Zetetic says. Venture-capital firms, too, are betting on domains. Last year, Highland Capital Partners plunked down more than $20 million on YesDirect, a holding company with 600,000 domain names. YesDirect is developing content for websites using the names, says Bob Davis, a managing general partner at Highland. more

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