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Internet Governance: An Antispam Perspective

All those Internet Governance pundits who track ICANN the way paparazzi track Paris Hilton are barking up the wrong tree. They've mistaken the Department of Street Signs for the whole of the state. The real action involves words like rbldnsd, content filtering, and webs of trust. Welcome to the Internet! What's on the menu today? Spam, with some phish on the side! We've got email spam, Usenet spam, IRC spam, IM spam, Jabber spam, Web spam, blogs spam, and spam splogs. And next week we'll have some brand new VoIP spam for you. Now that we're a few years into the Cambrian explosion of messaging protocols, I'd like to present a few observations around a theme and offer some suggestions. more»

Google's Top-10 Search Terms Dominated By Trademarks

According to Google's 2006 Year-End Review, dubbed Zeitgeist, or the cultural climate of an era, a majority of the top-ten search terms for 2006 were trademarks. Topping the list is the registered BEBO mark which is held by Bebo.com LLC, a California company that runs a social networking website. Second on the list was MYSPACE, the registered mark associated with Newscorp's $580 million social-networking giant. Next, as a result of a majority of the world catching soccer fever over the summer, "world cup" ranked as the third most searched term... more»

Permissionless Innovation: Why It Matters

We live in a world of information abundance and the proliferation of ideas. Through mobile devices, tablets, laptops and computers we can access and create any sort of data in a ubiquitous way. But, it was not always like that. Before the Internet information was limited and was travelling slow. Our ancestors depended on channels of information that were often subjected to various policy and regulatory restrictions. The Internet changed all that. more»

Google Sued for Trademark Infringement Based on Third-Level Subdomain

It's no surprise that Google has been sued again for trademark infringement, but the basis of this lawsuit is surprising. Rather than another lawsuit over the sale of trademarked keywords to deliver ads (along the lines of the GEICO, American Blinds, Rescuecom and JTH Tax cases, or the dozens of international lawsuits), this lawsuit is based on a Blogspot blog URL. Because of its comparative novelty, this lawsuit raises some complex and unsettled legal issues. more»

Live Nude Domain Names

ICANN announced recently that it has begun negotiations with an applicant for another 'sponsored' (non-open) top level domain, .XXX. There has been a fair amount of coverage, for and against. My initial reaction is (with the proviso that the public information to assess these things is always insufficient): .XXX seems plausible for what it is but it isn't what many probably think it is. ...that's the key to understanding this. This TLD is intended to be a trade association and is not a form of regulation. 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»

Search Engine Optimization: Static IP vs. Dynamic IP Addresses

This is a hotly debated topic. Some Search Engine Optimizers (SEOs) claim that sites with a static IP address rank higher while other SEOs claim that shared hosting is just fine... that it would be stupid for search engines to penalize shared hosting since we are running out of IP addresses and so many sites are currently using name based hosting. ...I decided to run it through our statistical analysis engine to get the facts. Here is the methodology I used to answer this question. more»

Google AdSense Asks Publishers to Change Their Websites' Privacy Policy

I received an e-mail from Google Adsense about its new interest-based advertising feature. The latest feature of Google AdSense allows Google to track the behavior of users who click on ads on their AdSense network. It also allows Google users to 'select' their interests — this way they would view advertisements based on their category of interest…

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Google Buzzkill

The launch of Google Buzz, the new social networking service tied to GMail, was a fiasco to say the least. Its default settings exposed people's e-mail contacts in frightening ways with serious privacy and human rights implications. Evgeny Morozov, who specializes in analyzing how authoritarian regimes use the Internet, put it bluntly last Friday in a blog post... more»

10 Things Google Could Do as a Domain Name Registrar

In the absence of any formal announcements, news of Google being accredited by ICANN as a domain name registrar, spread fast in the media today after it was first reported by Bret Fausett on Lextext -- see Google is a Registrar. The company has since mentioned that "Google became a domain name registrar to learn more about the Internet's domain name system," and that it has no plans to sell any domain names at the moment. However, speculations on what Google could do as an accredited registrar are far and wide. Here are ten, listed in no particular order... more»

Why the Opus Codec Matters - Even if You Don't Care About Audio

What makes the Opus codec so interesting? Why is there such a buzz about Opus right now? If you are not in telecom or doing anything with audio, why should you even remotely care about Opus? In a word... Innovation! And because Opus has the potential to let us communicate with each other across the Internet with a richer and more natural sound. You will be able to hear people or music or presenters with much more clarity and more like you are right there with them. more»

The SocialDNS Project… and Why DNS is Not the Phone Book of the Internet

In this article I will explain the motivations behind the SocialDNS Project. I will justify why the DNS system is NOT the phone book of the Internet. More concretely, DNS is not a public directory nor enables search mechanisms over meta-information related to domains. In this line, I will present the advantages of SocialDNS, a naming and directory system that aims to become the phone book of the Web. SocialDNS is NOT another alternative DNS root nor aims to replace the current DNS for resolving domain names. It complements the existing DNS to offer advanced services that are beyond the scope of the existing infrastructure for Web settings. more»

The Problem With HTTPS SSL Runs Deeper Than MD5

The recent research highlighting the alarming practice of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate Authority (CA) vendors using the MD5 hashing algorithm (which was known to be broken since 2005) has shown a major crack in the foundation of the Web. While the latest research has shown that fake SSL certificates with MD5 hashes can be forged to perfection when the CA (such as VeriSign's RapidSSL) uses predictable certificate fields, the bigger problem is that the web has fundamentally botched secure authentication. more»

Will DNS Rescue the Future of Search?

Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China have started work on a project based on a distributed information retrieval system that promises to address future search engine scalability issues that are believed to be inevitable as the Internet continues to expand: "With the rapid increase of web pages, the coverage of search engines will become poorer and the update intervals will be much longer. If the current architecture of search engines is still in use, it will be an impossible mission to find the precise and comprehensive information in the future. This problem will be more serious when IPv6 technology is widely implemented in communication networks. The problem of 'Too much information means no information' may become a disaster with information explosion." more»

Study Finds 75% of Malicious Websites from Legitimate, Trusted Sources

New report released today finds 75 percent of malicious websites are from legitimate, trusted sources with "Good" reputation scores. According to the report, 60 percent of the top 100 most popular websites either hosted malicious content or contained a masked redirect to lure unsuspecting victims from legitimate sites to malicious sites. more»