Articles by date

08 March 2007

Why I left the ICANN At Large Advisory Committee (Circle ID)

John Levine writes "For about the last two years, I was a member of ICANN's At Large Advisory Commitee (ALAC), the group charged with representing the interests of ordinary Internet users within ICANN. In case anyone is wondering, here's why I'm not on the ALAC any more."

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UN outlines global e-waste goals (BBC)

The UN launches a global initiative to tackle the growing mountain of electrical and electronic waste.

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Microsoft: Google 'cavalier' on copyright (The Guardian)

Microsoft will today launch a blistering attack on Google, accusing the Silicon Valley giant of a "cavalier" attitude to copyright. In a prepared speech to the American Association of Publishers, senior Microsoft lawyer Tom Rubin is expected to hit out at Google for profiting from other people's work.

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au: Police fear outsiders started YouTube fights (Sydney Morning Herald)

Police are investigating whether intruders instigated three attacks at two Sydney high schools - one of which featured on YouTube with a rap soundtrack.

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07 March 2007

ICANN locks down at-risk Registerfly domains (Computer Business Review)

ICANN planned to sue Registerfly.com on 6 March according to Computer Business Review Online, “saying the company is putting its customers' estimated 2 million domain names at risk.” The article notes “in an unprecedented move, ICANN has persuaded the four major generic top-level domain registries to lock down all Registerfly's customers' domains for a month, so they cannot expire and then be hijacked by speculators or domain traffic monetization firms.” With a letter to Registerfly last Friday from ICANN noting “Registerfly is refusing to hand over data about its customers' domains, as required by its registrar accreditation agreement, and that it will enforce the contract in court by filing suit on Tuesday.” The article also notes that as ICANN has not been able to get its hands on the registration data, they have got VeriSign, NeuStar and Afilias “to lock all pending-expiration Registerfly domains into a ‘Server-Delete-Prohibited’ status.”

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VeriSign Domain Name Industry Brief Shows Continued Strong Internet Growth (VeriSign news release)

VeriSign released the VeriSign Domain Name Industry Brief for the fourth quarter of 2006. According to the report, which highlights key industry data for worldwide domain name activity, total domain name registrations reached 120 million, representing a 32 percent increase over the previous year, and an eight percent increase over the third quarter of 2006.

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China ban on new internet cafes (BBC)

China says it will not allow any more cybercafes to open this year, to cut down on "internet addiction".

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06 March 2007

400,000 .mobi Domain Names Now Registered (Circle ID)

dotMobi announced more than 400,000 .mobi domains have been registered in 104 countries since the domain's launch in October 2006.

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Of ICANN and the Registerfly meltdown: What needs to be done (The Register)

Burke Hansen, an attorney in San Francisco writes a commentary for The Register commenting on RegisterFly, noting that ICANN acknowledging it is "responsible for holding its accredited registrars to certain ethical standards" is "a start". Hansen is critical of ICANN taking around one year "repeatedly referring customers back to Registerfly, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of misconduct". Further, Hansen comments "For those ... whose domains were lost through either neglect or malfeasance on the part of Registerfly, and whose domains are now occupied by cybersquatters, the loss of a business or personal website formerly hosted by Registerfly still burns." The article also notes RegisterFly is not alone, and that ICANN needs to develop some procedures to deal with issues such as these, noting that this is what ICANN takes a cut of registration fees for. Hansen concludes "ICANN performs a function in cyberspace somewhat analogous to the hall of records in a local community, organizing and documenting property rights. If ICANN feels that enforcing certain ethical standards on its partners runs counter to its bureaucratic instincts, it could still subcontract out such enforcement to a third party security group, much as it subcontracts out domain registration to groups like Registerfly."

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Stiffening at last, ICANN threatens Registerfly with legal action (The Register)

In another article by Burke Hansen in The Register, claiming it looks like ICANN is ready to do battle with RegisterFly in court. With Hansen claiming RegisterFly is not the only troublesome Registrar, and "the action falls short of the establishment of a formal, transparent dispute mechanism to resolve these sorts of issues before they spiral out of control, ... ICANN's legal gambit provides a roadmap of sorts for future policy." Hansen concludes "The letter to Registerfly constitutes an admission of the feebleness of that approach" where "ICANN insisted that registration complaints of all sorts needed to be resolved at the registrar - domain holder level."

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British porn domain mastermind fights US Government (Out-Law)

"Stuart Lawley is fighting a court battle to retrieve the documents he says would prove his case" notes Out-Law.com in an article on the proposed .xxx TLD. In an interview on Out-Law radio that is available as a podcast, Lawley claims the "contractual wrangling is more about the conservative Bush administration's connections to the religious right than they are about the contract itself".

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Vint Cerf: Father Knows Best (Dark Reading)

This Dark Reading article profiling Vint Cerf highlights his role as "chief Internet evangelist at Google" quoting Vint saying "Having spent a good portion of my career on the infrastructure of the Internet, it's fun to work on new ways to use it." The article notes Vint's role includes "promoting Internet access to those who don't have it worldwide, Internet policy development, pollinating ideas among engineering groups in Google, and recruiting new Googlers and partners for the company." And security. The article also notes Vint continues as chair of ICANN and as well as his work on the Interplanetary Internet effort at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory". There is also a list of "Personality Bytes" including "Actor who would play Cerf in a movie: 'Well, how about that guy in 'Matrix' who played 'the Architect?'" and "Next career: 'I have five books I want to write.'"

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An Update on GoDaddy Whois Issue and Other Registrars’ Responses (Domain Name Wire)

GoDaddy will not return domain; other registrars say what they would do in the same situation. It's been just a few days since Domain Name Wire broke the story about GoDaddy deleting a domain registration due to an invalid e-mail address in whois. GoDaddy responded to the article but few people seem satisfied.

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Proposed .MUSEUM sTLD Registry Agreement Posted for Public Comment (ICANN)

The proposed .MUSEUM sTLD registry agreement is posted for public comment. The proposed .MUSEUM registry agreement substantially follows the format of other recent sTLD registry agreements negotiated by ICANN. The agreement is for a ten-year term.

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The State of the Industry January 2007: 15 Domain Experts Ponder What Happened in 2006 and Predict What’s Coming Next (Domain Name Journal)

Every January Domain News Journal kicks off the New Year with a survey of domain industry leaders who are perfectly positioned to identify the most important events and trends of the past year and to forecast what we are likely to see in the year ahead. If you don't put much stock in predictions, you might want to revisit our January 2005 and January 2006 State of the Industry reports to see just how remarkably accurate our panel of experts have been.

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Berners-Lee: Congress should consider net neutrality (InfoWorld)

Timothy Berners-Lee advocated that the U.S. Congress protect net neutrality and questioned the value of DRM (digital rights management) Thursday. Berners-Lee, speaking before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet in the U.S. House of Representatives, said it was "very, very important" for lawmakers to protect the ability of users to access the Web content they want regardless of their ISP.

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Berners-Lee pushes Congress on 'nondiscriminatory' Web (CNet)

World Wide Web father Tim Berners-Lee told politicians on Thursday that it's critical to shield his seminal innovation from control by a single company or country.

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Mobile Content Usage is Higher in Developing Countries (ClickZ)

Third World country mobile users are more content and feature focused than their counterparts in developed countries.

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Study: Violent video games don't make killer kids (Reuters) (USA Today)

Do video games kill? The jury is still out on whether violent video games lead to violent behavior in children, but a new study asserts that killer games do not make killer kids.

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On Advertising: BBC creeping toward commercialism (International Herald Tribune)

With its agreement with You-Tube, the BBC is moving away from its position as a publicly funded broadcaster.

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A packet filter placement problem with application to defense against spoofed denial of service attacks by Benjamin Armbruster, J. Cole Smith, and Kihong Park (Purdue University Department of Computer Science)

Abstract: This paper analyses a problem in computer network security, wherein packet filters are deployed to defend a network against spoofed denial of service attacks. Information on the Internet is transmitted by the exchange of IP packets, which must declare their origin and destination addresses. A route-based packet filter verifies whether the purported origin of a packet is correct with respect to the current route map. We examine the optimization problem of finding a minimum cardinality set of nodes to filter in the network such that no spoofed packet can reach its destination. We prove that this problem is NP-hard, and derive properties that explicitly relate the filter placement problem to the vertex cover problem. The paper identifies topologies and routing policies for which a polynomial-time solution to the minimum filter placement problem exists, and prove that under certain routing conditions a greedy heuristic for the filter placement problem yields an optimal solution.

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Mobile Commerce – consumer issues and policy challenges for a promising market (OECD)

Mobile commerce is a promising market both for consumers and businesses. However, consumer troubles and complaints are increasing and can sometimes become serious, including issues for minors. Member countries' experiences show that we should ensure that consumers benefit. In particular, countries may review their instruments with regard to a more effective scheme for information disclosure, liability protection over SIM and RFID cards, effective notice to excessive consumption, and the importance of consumer education. Businesses may also consider more effective consumer protection schemes.

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The 'agreement' that sparked a storm (American Bar Association)

At a recent legal presentation attended by prominent intellectual property lawyers and law professors, a loaded question was posed to the audience: "By a show of hands -- and be honest, now -- how many of you read the terms and conditions presented in an end-user license agreement?" Of the nearly 100 people in the auditorium, not a single hand was raised. Shocking? Only if such an admission is unexpected. It really isn't.

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The Net Neutrality Debate: Twenty Five Years After United States v. AT&T and 120 Years After the Act to Regulate Commerce by Bruce Owen (Stanford Law and Economics Online Working Paper)

Abstract: Net neutrality policies could only be implemented through detailed price regulation, an approach that has often failed, in the past, to improve consumer welfare relative to what might have been expected under an unregulated monopoly. Regulatory agencies often settle into a well-established pattern of subservience to politically influential economic interests. Consumers, would-be entrants and innovators are not likely to be among these influential groups. History thus counsels against adoption of most versions of net neutrality, at least in the absence of refractory monopoly power and strong evidence of anticompetitive behavior - extreme cases justifying dangerous, long shot remedies.

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Helping Hands: Design for Member-Maintained Online Communities (University of Minnesota/Computer Science and Engineering)

This thesis studies the design of member-maintained online communities, systems where many members help perform upkeep. A key design challenge is motivating members to contribute toward maintenance. Social science theories help to explain why people contribute to groups. We use these theories to design two general mechanisms for increasing people's motivation to contribute.

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