31 October 2014

Overcoming Sunk Cost Bias, When You Should Drop That Domain Name

Deciding to drop a domain name (or sell if possible) is sometimes a challenging decision, particularly with sunk cost bias at play on our mind and emotions, here's an easy rule to remember and apply:

"A formula for success in life and finance: never hold an investment that you would not be willing to purchase afresh today."

Source: TraderFeed: What Trading Teaches Us About Life

For more on sunk cost bias and how it affects (and subverts) our investment decisions:





30 October 2014

Web standards for the future, W3C video, HTML5, Open Web Platform



Web standards for the future from W3C
The W3C community works hard to create Web standards. In this video, learn why. Get involved at w3.org/participate

Steve Jobs (2010): "We have two platforms we support. One is completely open and uncontrolled, and that is HTML5. We support HTML5. We have the best support for HTML 5 of anyone in the world." "We then support a curated platform, which is the App Store," Jobs said, adding that "we've got a few rules." (source)

HTML5 Icon Open Web Platform Milestone Achieved with HTML5 Recommendation:
Next Generation Web Technologies Build on Stable Foundation

From the W3C Press Release:
"28 October 2014 — The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published a Recommendation of HTML5, the fifth major revision of the format used to build Web pages and applications, and the cornerstone of the Open Web Platform. For application developers and industry, HTML5 represents a set of features that people will be able to rely on for years to come. HTML5 is now supported on a wide variety of devices, lowering the cost of creating rich applications to reach users everywhere. "Today we think nothing of watching video and audio natively in the browser, and nothing of running a browser on a phone," said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director. "We expect to be able to share photos, shop, read the news, and look up information anywhere, on any device. Though they remain invisible to most users, HTML5 and the Open Web Platform are driving these growing user expectations." HTML5 brings to the Web video and audio tracks without needing plugins; programmatic access to a resolution-dependent bitmap canvas, which is useful for rendering graphs, game graphics, or other visual images on the fly; native support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) and math (MathML); annotations important for East Asian typography (Ruby); features to enable accessibility of rich applications; and much more...." Read more here.

Next up? See HTML 5.1 Nightly

About the World Wide Web Consortium:
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. The Open Web Platform is a current major focus. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, Keio University in Japan, and Beihang University in China, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/ In 2014 celebrate both W3C's 20th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of the invention of the Web by Tim Berners-Lee.




29 October 2014

Future of the Web, W3C20 Event LIVE, Tim Berners-Lee


W3C20 Anniversary Symposium "Future of the Web" LIVE from Santa Clara, California 
Wed 29 Oct 2014 3:00-6:00 PM PDT (US) Time Conversion

Program:
3:00–3:05 pm Welcome and Introductions: Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO

3:05–5:05 pm Featured Speakers:
Vint Cerf - A Long Term View of the World Wide Web
David-Michel Davies - Forging the Big and Beautiful Web
Anders Wahlquist - Stories Empower, and We Power Stories
Di-Ann Eisnor - Solving Problems Together: Beyond Crowdsourcing toward Mass Participation
Moh Haghighat - Bringing the Full Power of Modern Hardware to the Open Web Platform
Alex 'Sandy' Pentland - Toward A Sustainable Digital Ecology
Sue Gardner - Love the Mess: Keeping a Human Perspective on Massively Collaborative Systems
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel - Access for All

5:05–5:40 pm Panel and Discussion: “The Future of the Web and How it is Run”
Lee Rainie (Moderator)
Fadi Chehadé
Jun Murai
Darren Walker

5:40–6:00 pm Closing Talk: Tim Berners-Lee, Web Inventor and W3C Director




see also: webat25.org




28 October 2014

Independent ICANN Could Be Dangerous, Needs Continued Oversight, Says Former FTC Chairman

Daniel Burke, a special agent in the FDA’s cybercrime investigations unit, complains that ICANN “closes complaints, and they don’t say why, and the websites are still operating. It’s really quite frustrating.”....“This website killed my dad,” the man’s daughter wrote. Law-enforcement officials told ICANN that the website posed an immediate health risk. Less than 15 minutes later, ICANN responded in an email that the organization had “reviewed and closed your complaint.” (source infra)

A lengthy article in the Wall Street Journal over the failure of ICANN to properly supervise Domain Name Registries, Registrars, and Registrants, in connection with cybercrime, specifically, illegal drug sales, indicates a growing frustration with ICANN even among some current and former US government officials--

ICANN, Regulators Clash Over Illegal Internet Drug Sales - WSJ - WSJ: "... [ICANN] is under growing criticism that it doesn’t use its watchdog powers aggressively enough. Internal documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show that thousands of complaints about suspicious online pharmacies and other websites in 2012 weren’t reviewed for months because ICANN stopped maintaining one of its computer systems after an information-technology employee left... Axelle Lemaire, France’s secretary of state for digital affairs, says the “lack of transparency” at ICANN “is very worrying. When it comes to selling illegal drugs online, it’s the health of world-wide citizens at stake."... The friction comes at an awkward time for ICANN. In March, the Commerce Department said it would relinquish oversight of ICANN. The move was widely seen as a response to international concern about U.S. control over the Internet’s structure. The Obama administration has said it wants to hand control to an undefined, international, “multi-stakeholder” body. Top officials at ICANN say the organization deserves a chance to operate on its own. Former Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz says ICANN needs continued oversight, partly because of its small compliance staff. Just 22 of the agency’s 300 employees are devoted to policing websites. An independent ICANN could be “dangerous for stakeholders, and more importantly, consumers,” says Mr. Leibowitz..." (read more at the link above, emphasis added)

See also: Multi-Stakeholder Community Losing Faith In ICANN, Beginning of the End?
and
Cybercrime, Rogue Registrars: Is ICANN Unfit For Internet Governance? (expvc.com)
and
Most New gTLD Domain Names Are On Life-Support, Infecting Other gTLDs: "... the Obama administration wants to turn EVERYTHING over to ICANN to run with no oversight at all--ideas this bad can only come from Washington, D.C..."




Why Dilute Your Brand With A New gTLD Domain Name?

If you do not know what "brand dilution" is, start here.

Year 2011Advertisers rally behind trademarks to oppose ICANN – but is it too late? - Blog - World Trademark Review: "... the ANA, which represents more than 10,000 brands that spend over $250 billion in marketing each year. The association’s chief executive, Bob Liodice, recently wrote to ICANN to say: “By introducing confusion into the marketplace and increasing the likelihood of cybersquatting and other malicious conduct, the ICANN top-level domain programme diminishes the power of trademarks to serve as strong, accurate and reliable symbols of source and quality in the marketplace." In a statement that will resonate with the trademark counsel who have followed this policy for years, Liodice added: "Brand confusion, dilution and other abuses also pose risks of cyber predator harms, consumer privacy violations, identity theft and cyber security breaches."..." (emphasis added)

YEAR 2014Rush for ‘luxury’ domain names continues | New York Post is the headline in the puff piece -- here's the reality:

Total Domain Names registered under new gTLD .LUXURY -- (data source: RegistrarStats.com, Oct 25, 2014) --





That's no "rush" in my view, that's "pathetic." According to safenames.net, .LUXURY has been in "general availability" since April 21, 2014.

All the new gTLD "true believers" who believed the hype and are now stuck within the developing disaster known as ICANN's new gTLD domain names programforgot (or were completely ignorant of) the fact that brands do not want brand dilution. And yet, most new gTLD domain names are the ultimate in brand dilution! (See quote near the beginning above.) The implicit brand dilution inherent in most of the new gTLDs was part of the rationale used by the proponents for the whole program, and was also a reason why most trademark holders and brands were so opposed to it. With most of the new gTLDs, the intent was to make the TLD extension itself (that which appears to the right of the dot) part of the "branding." For example, new gTLD proponents argued that luxury goods retailers would want a .LUXURY domain name extension. But is that really true?

Luxury by another (domain) name (source: theage.com.au): "... But will brands that have become a byword for prestige, quality and exclusivity – the likes of Rolls-Royce, Rolex and Tiffany & Co – jump at the chance to associate themselves with the L-word? Several spoken to by Executive Style expressed reservations. “Why would we brand ourselves in such a way?” one asked. “Our product speaks for itself.” Hugo Boss Australia spokeswoman Chauntel Scarr agreed. “I would say that Hugo Boss would not feel the necessity to align to a luxury domain as we have spent years building our brand into the luxury realm,” she says. “To then brand it as luxury in a domain name seems unnecessary and forced. If it can be bought then it is usually not as it seems.”..."

So here we are in late 2014, and the market has spoken--among all (current and future) domain name TLD extensions, .COM is the best and most "trusted brand" for commercial enterprises, and .COM does not dilute the brand name to the left of the dot. This will continue to be true for the foreseeable future. Anyone who tries to tell you that a $488.88 annual registration fee for a new gTLD domain name is necessary to enhance your brand, is trying to separate you from your money by selling you, in my opinion, a mostly worthless domain name that may, in fact, be damaging to your brand name.

This is just one more reason, among many more, why most new gTLD domains are a #FAIL.

If you have already fallen for the new gTLD hype, there is still time to change your domain name extension to the "trusted brand"--

Brand Equity Dilution | MIT Sloan Management Review: "It is interesting to note that there is a silver lining to unsuccessful “market failure” brand extensions, those that fail because they are inadequately distributed or do not achieve sufficient awareness among consumers. Because consumers might not have even heard of the extension product or service, the parent brand is more likely to survive relatively unscathed."

Caveat Emptor!




27 October 2014

Will Ebola Crisis Cancel ICANN 52 Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco?

ICANN avoided the "E word" but it is clear the Ebola crisis caused ICANN to issue this statement:

Statement on ICANN 52 Meeting in Marrakech, Morocco - ICANN: "Following Morocco's recent request to postpone the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament because of possible African travel restrictions, ICANN is in active and ongoing discussions with our ICANN 52 Marrakech hosts. ICANN is considering postponing the meeting in Marrakech scheduled for 8-12 February, 2015 as the likelihood of travel restrictions being imposed on nationals from African countries would reduce participation in the meeting. ICANN's multistakeholder, bottom up model relies on the broad, active participation of communities across geography and society. ICANN staff is working closely with the ICANN Board and its Community representatives. No decision has been taken yet, however ICANN understands the importance of providing timely updates and path forward on the status and location of ICANN 52."

About Ebola (source: cdc.gov)-- Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with a strain of Ebola virus. The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. The risk of an Ebola outbreak affecting multiple people in the U.S. is very low. What you need to know: Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids of a person already showing symptoms of Ebola. Ebola is not spread through the air, water, food, or mosquitoes.

More information and current map of West Africa Ebola Outbreak:
http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/distribution-map.html

Also see: ICANN 52 Marrakech info and registration




Internet, ICANN, US Government, 7 Keys (video)



ICANN and the 7 Keys to the Internet | LeakSource: ".... Both the US Commerce Department and the [U.S.] Department of Homeland Security take a close interest, to differing degrees, in ICANN’s operations. In the wake of the ongoing revelations of NSA spying, and of undermined internet security, this does not sit well with many of ICANN’s overseas partners. Some, including Russia and Brazil – whose president has made such demands very public – are calling for a complete overhaul of how the internet is run, suggesting it should be put under UN auspices. The question of who put ICANN in charge is hotly contested... Eklund Löwinder, the Swedish keyholder who vacuumed the day before, puts it more bluntly. “Well, mainly, it was the US Department of Commerce,” she says. The European Commission wants changes to this system, though it still expresses its faith in ICANN; the EU recently called for a “clear timeline for the globalisation of ICANN”..."




26 October 2014

Who rules the Web? ITU vs ICANN (video)

Who rules the Web? : ITU vs. ICANN -

Kind of interesting--a video (above) published on Oct 31, 2011: "Since it was creating, the Internet has been governed by the United States. Although the Internet's governing body, ICANN, is coming under increased criticism for its close ties to the US government and now critics argue that it is time for an international body, such as the United Nations, to assume regulatory authority." 




25 October 2014

Bringing Billions Online, $100 Android One Smartphones, Crushing the Competition (video)

No wonder Apple has retreated to the luxury market--it cannot compete in low-price hardware (insufficient margins)--leaving the global market wide-open for Google and its Android OS:



India's $100 Android One Smartphone: Worth Buying?: "... its selling point is its price ... it's one hundred dollars which is about one fifth the price ... of the latest iPhone ... I've been using it  ... I can say it's as good as if not better than much more expensive smartphones ... there are still hundreds of millions of Indians that haven't upgraded to smartphones ...  Android One has many other features that appeal to developing world consumers ... important for the frugal phone users ... constantly switching phone service providers depending on the best deal out there is also the micro SD card ... a crucial piece of ... hardware in India ... people like to use these little chips ... like video and music ... camera ... the back facing camera is five megapixels and front facing camera ... two megapixels ... just enough... to capture the next ... billion smartphone users... just the right combination of software and hardware ... at an affordable price ... this phone comes with the latest version of Android automatically updates to the next ... bottom line ... this is a good option ... for a hundred dollars ..."




24 October 2014

Startup Making Money on 30 Billion Online Ads Each Day (video)



Online advertising is the bread and butter of the internet and New York-based startup Appnexus is serving as its middleman. CEO Brian O'Kelley discusses the business with Bloomberg's Alex Barinka at the company's Manhattan headquarters. (source: Bloomberg, Oct. 23, 2014)

Domain Name: appnexus.com

Blog: blog.appnexus.com

Tech Blog: techblog.appnexus.com

About AppNexus | AppNexus: "Advertising is the lifeblood of the Internet. It funds most of the great content we’re used to getting for free. It provides the means to innovate, investigate, and entertain. And it makes it possible to reach the largest audience possible. AppNexus technology powers the most innovative trading solutions and marketplaces for Internet advertising. It’s what the world’s most influential advertising and media companies build their businesses on, and what enables them to deliver the ads that deliver the content that people love. It’s a simple value exchange: advertisers get the most from their ads, creators get the most from their content, and consumers get the most out of the Internet. This is our collective purpose: to make the Internet all that it can be, must be, will be. All that the Internet was ever meant to be: All that you ever imagined."




Dot COM Still King! Verisign 3Q 2014, Highest 3Q on Record!

  • 8.7 Million New Name Registrations in Q3 ‘14 Compared with 8.3 Million in Q3 ‘13
  • Verisign Registry Services added 1.15 million net new names during the third quarter (highest on record of gross adds), ending with 130.0 million active domain names in the zone for .COM and .NET which represents a 3.3 percent increase over the zone at the end of the third quarter in 2013
  • 114.9 million .COM domain names at end of Q3
  • The final .COM and .NET renewal rate for the second quarter of 2014 was 71.8 percent compared with 72.7 percent for the same quarter in 2013 (past 5 years renewal rate has ranged from 70 to 74 percent)
  • .NET facing headwinds from new gTLDs [see: Most New gTLD Domain Names Are On Life-Support, Infecting Other gTLDs ]  Verisign says .NET more susceptible than .COM to "new gTLDs confusion"-- .COM is a "trusted brand" -- 30th anniversary in 2015!

Update from: VeriSign's (VRSN) CEO James Bidzos on Q3 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha (excerpts):

"We continue to protect the business by providing over 17 continuous years of 100% availability of the .COM DNS. "

"As of September 30, 2014, the company maintained total assets of $2.2 billion. These assets included $1.5 billion of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, of which, $599 million were held domestically with the remainder held internationally."

"As Jim (D. James Bidzos, Verisign Founder, Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President) mentioned, the net adds came in at 1.15 in the quarter, which was at the high end of our guidance. And gross registrations were really the reason that we got to the high end. 8.7 million was clearly up sequentially in both year-over-year. As Jim mentioned, it was the highest Q3 on record. And in gross registrations, we have really seen China continue to be a growth engine for us."--George E. Kilguss, Verisign CFO, Principal Accounting Officer and Senior Vice President

And, a great question from Fred Ziegel, Topeka Capital Markets Research Division:

QUESTION from Frederick D. Ziegel: As I understand, ICANN for their fiscal '15 budget was originally using something in excess of 30 million new gTLDs, that number, apparently, is now 15 million, and most people think that number is way too high. So does that all tie back to confusion, contracting? Are people deciding to just move back to .com? Or what dynamics are working there? 

ANSWER: Patrick S. Kane - Verisign Senior Vice President of Naming Services: Fred, this is Pat. What I will start off with, as far as the projections go, you're probably best off asking ICANN, or better yet, maybe the registrars that actually sell the domains as to what they're thinking. But as Jim mentioned earlier, it's quite possible. And we believe, and we've -- and I've certainly seen written many times, that there is additional confusion in the space, whether you have singles, plurals, who's going to buy what in terms of the different areas, what the communities look like, et cetera, and what still has to come out. So I think that there is some confusion. And I think, as Jim pointed out, with all these domain, the TLD that roll out every week, you'll see more and more confusion, I believe."

Verisign stock UP today--Oct 23 2014:
NASDAQ: VRSN - Market close: 56.34 up $1.15 (2.08%)


Earnings Results 472.0 KB pdf

Earnings Presentation 541.5 KB pdf

Quarterly VRSN Convertible Debenture Dilution Q3- 2014 86.3 KB pdf

Further reading: Verisign Reports Third Quarter 2014 Results - MarketWatch




23 October 2014

Multi-Stakeholder Community Losing Faith In ICANN, Beginning of the End?

The Beginning of the End for ICANN?

"Is the ICANN multi-stakeholder community losing faith in ICANN? It might be the case and someone in the cyclopean ICANN structure might have started to perceive it." -- LA Confidential – ICANN 51 meeting | CENTR (Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries) (read more at the link)

John Gilmore saw this coming over twelve years ago:

It’s time for ICANN to go - Salon.com--July 2, 2002 : "....Critics from across the political spectrum have claimed for years that ICANN is secretive, slow, inefficient and, worst of all, firmly in the pocket of special interests. But in recent weeks, the rhetoric has gone up a notch. Suddenly, ICANN is at a crossroads...."If we are lucky, the current ICANN will be scrapped as a failed experiment. Its assets and powers will be handed on to some new experiment, hopefully with transparency, openness, accountability and respect for human rights built in deeply, not only in its corporate structure but in the people who we elect and hire to run it."(John Gilmore)...." (read more at link above)

Recommended reading: CENTR report on ICANN 51: centr-report-icann51-20141017.pdf  Excerpt: "Staffan Jonson provided an update on the ITU plenipotentiary meeting in Busan. Staffan highlighted the draft resolution 102 as having the possibility to affect the naming and addressing community. Sam added that three proposals are problematic. Some proposal changed the resolutions from “ITU being an enabler to discuss naming issues” to “ITU being the platform for governments to discuss naming issues”. For an excellent update on accountability and the different groups that will be dealing with read Jordan Carter's (pdf). Martin Boyle gave a good of the work and plans of the ICG, including timelines (pdf)."

See also: The future health of the internet comes down to ONE simple question--Can ICANN be forced to agree to oversight of its decisions? by Kieren McCarthy, The Register




22 October 2014

Venture Capital, Startup Funding, 2014 Boom (video)

Venture Capital Startup Funding Spike Feeds 2014 Boom: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play or go to link above)

Venture Capital--"No Shortage of Deal Flow"--"Single Best Chart"-- Bloomberg's Olivia Sterns displays the expanding level of venture capital funding funneled to tech startups while speaking to Andrew Parker, Spark Capital General Partner.

sparkcapital.com




21 October 2014

The BEST Domain Names Have a .COM Extension

The Best Domain Names?

"The Best Domain Names are short, easy to remember and spell, don't contain hyphens or numbers, and have a .com extension."

The optimal length of a domain name – 8 characters*

Source: Ideal Length of Everything Online by Sumall and Buffer.

*What makes this length optimal? This is the most common domain name length for the Internet’s most popular websites.

See also: The 7 Characteristics of Good Domain Names and On Domain Names, Size and Quality DOES Matter!





Verisign, TRAFFIC Domain Name Conference, Miami Beach

Glad to hear that Verisign is the Premier Sponsor at TRAFFIC, the domain name conference being held October 30- November 2, at Miami Beach's iconic Fontainebleau Hotel. Kudos to Rick, Howard, et al on the 10th Anniversary Show! It will be a good time to reminisce while assessing the present and future of domain name investing and the industry as a whole.

As for Verisign, it's about time they started giving back to the domain name investors who have given so much to Verisign! As noted last week by TUCOWS (Hover) President and CEO Elliot Noss at the ICANN Public Forum, there's about a billion dollars (US$) of revenue built-in to Verisign's registry contract for .COM, and TUCOWS (among many others, I'm sure) would be willing to perform the contract for a lot less:

Regretfully, due to prior commitments, I can not be in Miami at TRAFFIC next week, however, for those of you lucky enough to be going, I have a few words of advice. A wise old man once told me: "First you learn to listen, then you listen to learn, then you learn who to listen to." The key advantage of going to TRAFFIC versus most other so-called "domain name conferences" is that there will be a lot more people there worth listening to.

As for the venue, the hotel and the locationit really doesn't get any better than this (anywhere in the world!). Back in the 1990s, when I was doing a lot of blue-water offshore sailing, I sailed into Government Cut and docked a Beneteau Oceanis at the Miami Beach Marina for a few days while awaiting delivery of some needed parts for repairs. I took advantage of that opportunity to walk around most of South Beach (southern part of Miami Beach), was seduced by the place and have been in love with it ever since. So if you have never been there, you have a treat awaiting you! While the Fontainebleu, which is located in the Mid-Beach area, has a lot on site, try to see at least a little of South Beach and beyond, if you have the time. My short-list recommendations:

Shopping: Lincoln RoadCollins Avenue/Ocean Drive district; also check out Espanola Way.
Sightseeing: of course, #1 is the Beach itself--my favorite part is from about 22nd Street to South Pointe; and see the rest of Miami Beach; beyond the Beach: Shark Valley in the Everglades, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Little Havana, and the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
Dining: too many to list! Look here and here. Among my personal favorites: YardbirdKhong River House (and above it Patpong Road); Prime 112 (and Prime ItalianPrime FishBig Pink); and of course, the classic, Joe's Stone Crab; and beyond the Beach: Perricone's.

By the way, don't try to do any of this "on the cheap"--you'll just be cheating yourself.

Enjoy!

-- John Poole, Domain Mondo



20 October 2014

Resignation of ICANN Board Member Raises Questions (video)

ITU SOUNDBITES @ WRC-12: OLGA MADRUGA - FORTI, AR-SAT, Argentina -

Olga Madruga-Forti, an Attorney from Argentina, resigned from the ICANN Board of Directors last week. Above is a video of  Olga Madruga-Forti at an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2012 event, WRC-12.

Ms. Madruga-Forti resigned from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Board of Directors after serving in that position for two years. Why did Ms. Madruga-Forti resign from the ICANN Board? No reason was given in the ICANN announcement but see: "Another ICANN Board member resigns" by Kieren McCarthy,The Register.

ICANN has announced that Wolfgang Kleinwächter will take up Seat No. 2 on the ICANN Board of Directors vacated by Ms. Madruga-Forti, and will serve for the remainder of the term. He previously served on the Board in Seat No. 8 after Judith Vazquez resigned from the ICANN Board in 2013.




19 October 2014

History of Computers, Internet, World Wide Web (ITU videos)

ITU (International Telecommunication Union) traces its history to 1865 when the International Telegraph Union was founded. In 1947 the ITU, under an agreement with the newly created United Nations, became the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, is being held in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 20 October - 7 November 2014. More information at expvc.com: ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014. Below are three videos produced by the ITU.



Lord Byron wasn't the only incredible writer in his family--his daughter Ava Lovelace actually wrote the algorithm that would become known as the world's first computer program. This is just one of many interesting facts that come to the forefront in this video about the first hundred years of computing. Below: ITU videos about the Internet and the World Wide Web.


 A video about the history of the Internet.


This short video provides the perfect introduction to the history of the World Wide Web and explains how it got to the stage it is at today.




17 October 2014

Remembering Jon Postel, Best Thing That Happened at ICANN 51

"The root of system is unnamed. There are a set of what are called "top-level domain names" (TLDs). These are the generic TLDs (EDU, COM, NET, ORG, GOV, MIL, and INT), and the two letter country codes from ISO-3166. It is extremely unlikely that any other TLDs will be created." -- Jon Postel, 1994.
The Best Thing that happened at ICANN 51 -- Steve Crocker remembering Jon Postel at the Public Forum:

ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker: LET ME TURN TO ANOTHER -- ENTIRELY DIFFERENT KIND OF TOPIC. TODAY, THIS VERY DAY, OCTOBER 16th, 16 YEARS AGO, 1998, JON POSTEL PASSED AWAY. FOR THOSE OF US WHO WERE CLOSE TO HIM, WE CAN -- IT SITS AS ONE OF THE DAYS AMONG THE HANDFUL WHERE ONE REMEMBERS WHERE ONE WAS. I WAS ACTUALLY DRIVING STREETS OF OAKLAND ON THE WAY BACK TO SAN FRANCISCO, AND I GOT A CALL FROM VINT CERF WHO INFORMED ME. AND I WAS QUITE MOVED. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF WORKING WITH JON FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. WE WERE PART OF THE SAME TEAM OF GRADUATE STUDENTS AT UCLA IN THE LATE '60s, '68, '69, '70 WHEN THIS TANGENTIAL SIDE PROJECT WAS -- CAME ALONG ABOUT CONNECTING A FEW COMPUTERS TOGETHER. AND A HANDFUL OF US GRAVITATED INTO THE MIDDLE OF THAT.

I HAVE TOLD MANY TIMES THE STORY OF MY OWN INVOLVEMENT WITH THE CREATION OF THE REQUEST FOR COMMENT SERIES IN WHICH I ADMINISTERED IN A VERY, VERY LIGHT AND INCIDENTAL WAY FOR YEARS AND THEN I WENT OFF TO WASHINGTON. AND AS I WAS LEAVING THE GROUP PRIOR TO COMPLETING MY GRADUATE STUDIES AS KIND OF AN INTERRUPTION, I INITIALLY TURNED OVER MY SHOULDER AND SAID TO JON, WOULD YOU TAKE THIS OVER? HE SAID "OH, SURE."

AT THAT POINT, THE TASK OF ADMINISTERING THE RFC SERIES WAS REALLY QUITE A SMALL THING, HAND OUT NUMBERS AND MAKE SURE THE MAILING LIST IS UP TO DATE. BUT OVER TIME, PARTLY BECAUSE JON WAS, INDEED, A SERIOUS RESEARCHER AND WAS VERY MUCH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LONG-TERM PLANNING AND THOUGHTFULNESS ABOUT THE NETWORK AND PARTLY BECAUSE OF HIS OWN PERSONALITY WHICH WAS RARE AMONG THE BUNCH OF US WHO WERE INVOLVED IN THAT, HE WAS A THOUGHTFUL AND DEEP THINKER BUT DID NOT INSIST THAT HE HAD TO BE THE ONLY ONE SPEAKING OR IN CHARGE OF ANYTHING. IT WAS A KIND OF ALMOST RETICENT IN A WAY. HE WAS -- HAD A VERY HIGH DEGREE OF ACCEPTANCE. HE WASN'T ELBOWING OTHER PEOPLE OUT OF THE WAY.

AND WHAT WASN'T APPRECIATED FOR A LONG TIME BUT WHICH BECAME EXTREMELY HELPFUL IS THAT HE WAS ACTUALLY VERY ORGANIZED. I MEAN, YOU SEE HIM HERE WITH A PICTURE OF A SCRUFFY BEARD AND SO FORTH BUT THAT DID NOT SIGNAL THE ORDERLINESS OF HIS MIND AND HIS ABILITY TO CARE FOR DETAIL AND TO SORT OUT WHEN DETAIL WAS IMPORTANT AND WHEN A LITTLE BIT OF LATITUDE AND FITTING IN SMOOTHLY WITH LARGER IDEAS WAS IMPORTANT.

SO IT HAPPENED IN A VERY ORGANIC, VERY NATURAL WAY THAT THE NEXT TIME AND THE NEXT TIME AND THE NEXT TIME THAT THERE NEEDED TO BE SOMETHING OF ESSENTIALLY A CLERICAL NATURE, LET JON DO IT. HE WAS DOING A GOOD JOB. THAT CREATED OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. THAT ACCUMULATED AND EVENTUALLY BECAME THE IANA FUNCTION THAT WE SEE TODAY.

AND IN PARTICULAR, JON WAS AT THE CENTER ALONG WITH PAUL MOCKAPETRIS WHEN THEY WERE BOTH AT THE INFORMATION SCIENCE INSTITUTE, USC INFORMATION SCIENCE INSTITUTE WAS CREATING THE DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM WHICH GREW OUT OF TRYING TO GET OTHER -- EXPAND THE INTERNET AND ENABLE OTHER GROUPS. JON PERSONALLY TRAVELED QUITE A BIT AND FOUND PIONEERS, THOUGHT LEADERS, FIRST MOVERS IN A SENSE BUT NOT IN A COMMERCIAL SENSE AROUND THE WORLD AND HANDED OUT TOP-LEVEL DOMAINS, AS IT WERE, TO GET THINGS STARTED AND WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN HELPING SET THE DIRECTION OF INDEPENDENT INITIATIVES IN ANY COUNTRY THAT WERE ROOTED IN THOSE COUNTRIES SO THAT LOCAL COMMUNITY SPONSORSHIP WAS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND TO TRY TO -- IN A VERY LIGHT HANDED WAY BUT IN A VERY DEFINITE WAY, TRY TO BE AS EMBRACING AS POSSIBLE.

ICANN WAS -- HE WAS SO SUCCESSFUL AT THE WAY HE DID THINGS THAT THE NATURAL EVOLUTION, THE EVOLUTION THAT SHOULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE FAR EARLIER, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE CREATION OF ICANN IN 1998 FOR ADMINISTERING THE DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM AND THE OTHER IDENTIFIERS THAT HAD GROWN VERY LARGE AND IMPORTANT OVER ALMOST A TWO-DECADE PERIOD, THAT TRANSITION IN OTHER SETTINGS MIGHT HAVE TAKEN PLACE A DECADE EARLIER OR EVEN MUCH EARLIER. SO IN THE LINGO THAT I LIKE TO USE, HE WAS A SUCCESS DISASTER. IT GREW BEYOND THE NORMAL BOUNDS THAT ONE MIGHT EXPECT AND EVENTUALLY REQUIRED A LARGE-SCALE SOLUTION.

SO, JON, WITH THE HELP OF A COUPLE ABLE ASSISTANTS WAS RUNNING THE TOP-LEVEL DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM AND THE RESOURCE ALLOCATION, THE WHOLE IANA FUNCTION. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON WHEN SOMEBODY IS OVERWORKED IN A JOB AND THEY LEAVE AND THEY LOOK BACK AND THEY FIND THEY HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY THREE PEOPLE. IN THIS CASE, JON DEPARTED IF HE WERE LOOKING BACK NOW, HE WOULD SEE REPLACED BY 300 PEOPLE WHO ARE GETTING PAID AND ANOTHER 3,000 PEOPLE WHO ARE VOLUNTEERING. IT IS AN ENORMOUS LEGACY HE LEAVES BEHIND.

ONE OF HIS GENTLE BUT VERY INSIGHTFUL PIECES OF ADVICE TO -- PRINCIPALLY IN THE TECHNICAL COMMUNITY, THE IMPLEMENTATION OF PROTOCOLS WHERE YOU HAVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE IMPLEMENTING EACH SIDE OF A COMMUNICATION SYSTEM, SO YOU HAVE, FOR EXAMPLE, NOW THE WEB, YOU HAVE A BROWSER THAT HAS TO INTERACT WITH A WEB SITE. BOTH SIDES HAVE TO SPEAK RELATED PARTS OF THE PROTOCOL. THE SLOGAN THAT EMERGED OUT OF THIS WAS BE CONSERVATIVE IN WHAT YOU SEND AND BE LIBERAL IN WHAT YOU RECEIVE BECAUSE IN A LOT OF CASES THE COMMUNICATION WAS NOT QUITE PERFECT. THERE WOULD BE AMBIGUITY IN HOW RULES WERE INTERPRETED. SO HIS COUNSEL WAS TRY TO BUILD YOUR SIDE OF THE IMPLEMENTATION IN A WAY THAT IS GENTLE WITH RESPECT TO WHAT IT DEMANDS OF THE OTHER SIDE AND ALSO VERY TOLERANT OF WHAT IT IS WILLING TO ACCEPT FROM THE OTHER SIDE. IT'S BEEN AN INSIGHTFUL PIECE OF ADVICE. IT IS ONE OF THE COMMON PIECES OF WISDOM IN THE TECHNICAL COMMUNITY AND MIGHT ACTUALLY APPLY IN OTHER PLACES AS WELL.

SO WITH THAT, I AM PLEASED TO BRING TO OUR ATTENTION THE CONTRIBUTION THAT JON HAS MADE OVER THE YEARS. I SUSPECT I'M OFF SCRIPT BECAUSE I CAN SAY THESE THINGS FROM PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT HAVING THE HELP. BUT I THINK WE HAVE ANOTHER SLIDE THAT WE HAVE TO PROJECT HERE.

THIS RATHER HOKEY SLIDE, [a photo of Crocker, Postel and Cerf] PICTURE WAS CREATED IN THE SUMMER OF 1994 AS PART OF A COMMEMORATION OF THE 25th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARPANET, SO THE FIRST NODES ON THE ARPANET WENT IN THE SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER OF 1969. AND (SAYING NAME) PUT A LOT OF ENERGY INTO TRYING TO BRING ATTENTION TO ALL OF THAT 25 YEARS LATER.

AS IT TURNED OUT, VINT AND JON AND I WERE ALL IN A MEETING IN TORONTO AND "NEWSWEEK" WAS GOING TO WRITE A FEATURE ARTICLE. AND SO WE SPENT AN EXTRAORDINARY AMOUNT OF TIME PUTTING THIS PICTURE TOGETHER. ALTHOUGH I CHEATED. I WAS THERE FOR THE PREBREAKFAST, EARLY MORNING ORGANIZATION. I DISAPPEARED, CAME BACK UNTIL ABOUT 3:00 A.M. ACTUALLY.

MEANWHILE, VINT AND JON HAD GONE OFF AND BOUGHT A BUNCH OF VEGETABLES TO STRING UP AND CONNECT THEM TO TIN CANS. A LOT HAS BEEN SAID ABOUT THIS NETWORK DOESN'T REALLY WORK AND SORT OF THE PERSONALITIES OF THE VARIOUS PEOPLE INVOLVED, IT WAS -- AS I SAID, IT WAS IN 1994 JON PASSED AWAY. FOUR YEARS LATER WOULD EVER GUESS THAT WE WOULD LOSE HIM THEN.

VINT SAID SHORTLY AFTER HIS PASSING, HIS MEMORY WILL NOT FADE FROM OUR COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS. WHAT WOULD JON HAVE DONE IS A QUESTION THAT GETS ASKED FREQUENTLY IF ONE IS TRYING TO ORIENT A CONVERSATION AND GET IT BACK ON TRACK. AND WE WILL THINK ABOUT THAT AS WE WRESTLE IN DAYS AHEAD WITH THE PROBLEMS JON GOT SO WELL TAMED FOR SO MANY YEARS.

JON, YOU WILL NOT, CANNOT EVER BE FORGOTTEN. SO LET ME ASK YOU FOR A ROUND OF APPLAUSE IN MEMORY OF JON POSTEL. [APPLAUSE ]


Jon Postel - Wikipedia: "Jonathan Bruce Postel (August 6, 1943 – October 16, 1998) was an American computer scientist who made many significant contributions to the development of the Internet, particularly with respect to standards. He is known principally for being the Editor of the Request for Comment (RFC) document series, and for administering the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) until his death. In his lifetime he was known as the God[2] of the Internet for his comprehensive influence on the medium. The Internet Society's Postel Award is named in his honor, as is the Postel Center at Information Sciences Institute. His obituary was written by Vint Cerf and published as RFC 2468 in remembrance of Postel and his work. In 2012, Postel was inducted into theInternet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.[3]...."




16 October 2014

Separating IANA Functions From ICANN, My Question To ICG

Ethics Fight Over Domain Names Intensifies - NYTimes.com: March 18, 2012 ".... the United States government is also dissatisfied with ICANN. The Commerce Department said it had canceled a request for proposals to run the so-called Internet Assigned Numbers Authority [IANA] because none of the bids met its requirements: “the need for structural separation of policy-making from implementation, a robust companywide conflict of interest policy, provisions reflecting heightened respect for local country laws and a series of consultation and reporting requirements to increase transparency and accountability to the international community.”..."

Jordan Carter, Chief Executive, InternetNZ, October 15, 2014, at ICANN 51:
"A thought that has been bubbling away here at ICANN LA this week for me: If we are going to have a successful [IANA functions] transition, it's really important for the numbers and protocols folks to understand that:
a) they have superior accountability situations to the names people today
b) the names people cannot copy number/protocol accountability mechanisms because they aren't organised outside ICANN
c) it isn't possible for names to organise outside ICANN in the way numbers/protocol people do
d) there may need to be structural changes or new bodies to provide a workable settlement for names
e) without a workable settlement for names, there isn't going to be a transition.
I raise this now because both for numbers and protocols there's a clear direction to try and rule out any institutional changesI strongly caution against any part of the community being dogmatic about any of these, because it will a) attract some attention that'll risk the whole transition process failing (esp. from governments), and b) means that a negotiated outcome is harder to achieve, also risking failure...." (emphasis added)

GAC Discussion with IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group [ICG], 15 October 2014 from 10:30-11:30 PDT at ICANN51 | Los Angeles in the Santa Monica room:

Question to ICG from John Poole, Domain Mondo (via chat window): "Your process assumes that ICANN continues to exist as it is presently structured—a California corporation with no membership, etc. Yesterday [Tuesday, Oct 14], ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade told GAC that in regard to the Accountability Process, “everything is in Scope” and “nothing is out of Scope” which by implication includes the possibility that ICANN may be replaced or restructured. Without knowing the future organizational structure and accountability structure/controls of ICANN or its successor, how can the IANA transition planning proceed and be expected to produce a competent and relevant proposal for Stewardship of the IANA Functions unless your Proposal provides for the complete structural separation of IANA functions from ICANN?"

Response: Thank you for your question.  Only the questions from GAC members will be read out. 

UPDATE: Question asked at Community Discussion with the IANA Stewardship (ICG) and answered by ICG member Milton Mueller below:

MILTON MUELLER: "NOTHING IN OUR PROCESS PRESUMES THAT YOU CANNOT MAKE STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN ANY OF THE OPERATIONAL COMMUNITIES RELATIONSHIP TO ICANN OR TO IANA. I THINK IT'S JUST A MATTER OF WHAT THESE COMMUNITIES WILL AGREE TO DO OR WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. SO I THINK THE DOOR IS OPEN TO ANY CHANGE THAT LOOKS LIKE IT PROVIDES A CONSENSUAL IMPROVEMENT IN THE RELATIONSHIP THAT RESPONDS IN A WAY TO THE ABSENCE OF THE NTIA THAT MAKES THINGS ACCOUNTABLE AND SECURE AND OPERATIONAL. OR WHICHEVER BODY THAT MAY TAKE OVER. DOES ICG NEGOTIATING THAT PROPOSAL WITH ICANN BEFORE SUBMITTING TO NTIA OR DURING THE NTIA PROCESS." (emphasis added)




15 October 2014

ICANN 51: GAC Actions Show Global Internet Community Ready

ICANN 51, Los Angeles, October 14, 2014: The global internet community was given two hopeful signs for the future of internet governance today thanks to actions by member nations of the GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee):

1. The GAC elected as its next Chair, Thomas Schneider--"GAC Chair election results are in: 37 votes for Imad Hoballah of Lebanon, and 61 votes to Thomas Schneider of Switzerland"--this is great news! Mr. Schneider has impressive credentials:

Internet Governance Forum: "Thomas Schneider is the deputy head of the international affairs service and the international information society coordinator at the Swiss Federal Office of Communication (OFCOM) in the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). He is an expert in internet governance and in the governance of the information society, in particular media/new media regulation, human rights and consumer protection. He is coordinating the Swiss activities with regard to the implementation and follow-up of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and is representing Switzerland in a number of international fora (UN, ITU, ICANN/GAC, Council of Europe, OSCE, UNESCO, etc.)... He is representing Switzerland in the ITU Council Working Group on WSIS (since 2005) and has been co-chairing the ITU Council Working Group on Stakeholder Participation in ITU's activities related to WSIS (2006-2010). From 2003-2005, he was coordinating all Swiss activities in both phases of WSI (Geneva 2003 and Tunis 2005) ... including the Swiss hosting of the first phase of WSIS in Geneva. He was representing Switzerland in the Bureau of the WSIS for the second phase of WSIS (Tunis 2005)...."

2. The ICANN Board of Directors also met with the GAC on Tuesday and member nations indicated that the global Internet community was not necessarily bound by the ICANN Board nor preconditions of the U.S. Government in determining the future governance of the global Internet DNS by the global Internet community:

Excerpts from the transcript of the Joint Meeting of the GAC & ICANN Board | ICANN51 | Los Angeles: Date: Tue, 14 October 2014 - 17:00 to 18:30 PDT

CHAIR DRYDEN: NEXT.
CHINA: ... I WOULD LIKE TO SAY BRAZILIAN AND INDIAN REPRESENTATIVES HAVE RAISED THE QUESTION. WE THINK THIS QUESTION IS VERY IMPORTANT. WE ARE ALSO PAYING A LOT OF ATTENTION TO IT. OUR QUESTION IS ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL GOVERNANCE OF ICANN.... 

IRAN: ....WE NEED ... TO CONCENTRATE MORE ON THE ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS.... THE WAY THAT THE ISSUE OF ACCOUNTABILITY ALONG THE LINE OF WHAT WAS SAID BY BRAZIL AND IN PARTICULAR ALSO THE ISSUE RAISED BY PORTUGAL ...ACCOUNTABILITY WHICH IS THE ISSUE RAISED BY BRAZIL AND PARTLY BY INDONESIA AND PORTUGAL AND OTHER COLLEAGUES.... WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE ACCOUNTABILITY, WHICH RELATES TO THE ACTIVITY OF THE ICANN SHOULD BE GIVEN THE ICANN. SHOULD BE ANOTHER ENTITY WHO DEALS WITH THAT AND ICANN SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE TO THAT ENTITY WHATEVER THAT ENTITY SHOULD BE. FOR THE TIME BEING THAT ISSUE IS NOT CLEAR AND WE DON'T KNOW HOW THE MATTER IS GOING TO BE DONE. THEREFORE, WE BELIEVE THAT THE REVIEW OF THE WHOLE PROCESS THAT NOW ANNOUNCED BY ICANN THREE DAYS AGO NEEDS TO BE FURTHER TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT ALL OF THE COMMENTS THAT HAS BEEN MENTIONED AT THIS MEETING BY VARIOUS COLLEAGUES AND TRY TO HAVE AN APPROACH WHICH WORKS AND WHICH HAS SOME RESULTS. OTHERWISE, I DON'T THINK THAT WE WILL HAVE A PROPER ACTIVITIES ON ACCOUNTABILITY. THIS IS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE ACTIVITY OF THE TRANSITION OF IANA FUNCTION. ACCOUNTABILITY IS THE CORE ACTION, IS THE HEART OF THE BUSINESS AND NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED. AND UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE MENTIONED SEVERAL TIMES IT SEEMS THAT THERE IS SOME SORT OF RELUCTANCY NOT TO LISTEN TO WHAT WE ARE SAYING. NOT LISTEN TO WHAT WE EXPRESS AS A CONCERN AND WE HOPE THIS TIME THAT WE WILL BE HEARD AND WE WILL BE -- OUR POINT OF VIEW WILL BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. THANK YOU.

CHAIR DRYDEN: THANK YOU, IRAN. IN RESPONSE TO CHINA'S INTERVENTION, I BELIEVE [ICANN CEO] FADI CHEHADE WOULD LIKE TO PROVIDE A REPLY.

FADI CHEHADE: ...LET ME START WITH THE ACCOUNTABILITY... I THINK IT'S EXTREMELY CLEAR FROM THE NEW DOCUMENT THAT WE ISSUED A FEW DAYS AGO ON THE ACCOUNTABILITY THAT EVERYTHING IS IN SCOPE. SO LET'S BE VERY CLEAR. THERE IS NOTHING OUT OF SCOPE... IN ISTANBUL ASSISTANT SECRETARY STRICKLING WAS ONCE AGAIN CRYSTAL CLEAR. HE WILL NOT ACCEPT A PROPOSAL OF TRANSITION WITHOUT COMMUNITY CONSENSUS ON ACCOUNTABILITY RELATING TO THE TRANSITION. HE LINKED THEM COMPLETELY... INDONESIA, I THINK YOU MEANT THEIR [Verisign's] ROLE AS THE ROOT ZONE MAINTAINER....WE'RE NOT GOING TO MOVE UNTIL THE COMMUNITY TELLS US WHAT IS THE MODEL OF THE FUTURE.... CHINA ASKED ABOUT NETmundial. WHAT IS NEXT... THE COMMUNITY IS STILL DISCUSSING THESE THINGS.... TO IRAN... THE GENTLEMAN WAS SAYING, WE NEED TO BE ACCOUNTABLE TO ANOTHER ENTITY. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WAS VERY CLEAR THAT OUR ACCOUNTABILITY IS TO THE MULTISTAKEHOLDER COMMUNITY. IT IS NOT GOING TO BE TO A GOVERNMENT. IT IS NOT GOING TO BE TO AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT. THESE ARE THE CONDITIONS THAT THE AMERICANS HAVE SET. THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. SO IF WE'RE GOING TO CREATE ANOTHER ENTITY, IT CANNOT BE AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL ENTITY. AND AS SOME PEOPLE HAVE SUGGESTED ...

BRAZIL: THANK YOU, CHAIR. AND I'D LIKE TO THANK FADI FOR HIS COMMENTS. BUT I THINK IN HIS COMMENTS HE HAS JUST MADE CLEAR THE DIFFERENCES WE HAVE IN APPROACH TO THIS BECAUSE WE CAN SEE AND UNDERSTAND THIS TRANSITION PROCESS AS YOU HAVE SPELLED OUT THAT THE PROPOSAL BY SEPTEMBER 15 WILL INCLUDE ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES IN REGARD TO THE IANA TRANSITION. AND YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS THE APPROACH WE WILL TAKE AND SECRETARY STRICKLING HAS PROPOSED, BUT WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO YOUR APPROACH AND TO THE U.S. APPROACH, THE APPROACH THAT MY GOVERNMENT WANTS TO TAKE BEGS TO DIFFER AND TO SAY THAT WE THINK ACCOUNTABILITY SHOULD BE MORE ENCOMPASSING THAN THAT. THAT SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE OTHER MEASURES THAT WOULD ALSO CHANGE THE NATURE OF THIS EXERCISE... SO WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT THOSE PROCESSES CONVERGE... WE, IN PRINCIPLE, DO NOT THINK IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO HAVE A VERY NARROWLY FOCUSED UNDERSTANDING THAT ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES WILL BE INCLUDED BY SEPTEMBER 15 WILL BE LIMITED TO THE IANA FUNCTIONS. WE THINK THAT WOULD BE -- INSUFFICIENT. INSUFFICIENT. AND IN REGARD TO THE SEPTEMBER 2015 DEADLINE, WE ARE FULLY COMMITTED TO THIS. WE -- SOMETIMES WE SAY WE SET ARTIFICIAL DEADLINE BUT I DON'T THINK THIS IS AN ARTIFICIAL DEADLINE. IT IS SOMETHING LINKED TO A VERY CONCRETE THING. BUT WE WOULD PREFER TO HAVE A GOOD AGREEMENT THAN A BAD AGREEMENT JUST TO COMPLY WITH THE DEADLINE. SO WE ARE FULLY BEHIND AND FULLY ENGAGED BUT WE WOULD LIKE REALLY TO GO AN EXTRA MILE IN MAKING ALL THE EFFORTS WE CAN TO ADDRESS IN LINE WITH WHAT NETmundial SAID. THE (INDISCERNIBLE) THAT ADDRESSES THE BOTH INTERNAL AND THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY INCLUDING GOVERNMENTS. THANK YOU.

CHAIR DRYDEN: THANK YOU, BRAZIL.

My reading of all this: The global internet community is starting to reach consensus--

1) Neither the US government nor the ICANN Board can control nor predetermine the outcome of these processes. Nobody elected Larry Strickling (nor anyone else) the world's dictator over how the global internet, including DNS, is to be governed. Frankly, the arrogance and presumption of the US government and its progeny (ICANN) is becoming obnoxious.  ICANN (including its IANA and accountability groups) may not be the proper fora to continue or conclude this work;

2) Accountability is the most important issue and should be dealt with first--it will determine "the model for the future" as Chehade described it, and from that, how the IANA functions (including root zone) stewardship should be structured;

3) US government representative Larry Strickling's suggested two track accountability process is a trap set by incumbents (US government, ICANN Board, etc.) to maintain the status quo;

4) The idea that ICANN can be accountable to itself is increasingly ludicrous to the vast majority of the world--a California corporation, with no membership, and a self-selected Board of Directors, accountable only to itself, in control of the global Internet DNS, including the Internet Root Zone? The US government needs to change its attitude and approach, or it will become increasingly isolated in the world. See: ICANN, IANA, US Government, Internet Stewardship

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo




14 October 2014

ICANN, New gTLD Domain Names, Universal Acceptance Another #FAIL


How would you like to buy a domain name that a browser, network, or application doesn't recognize as a domain name--and as a result no one can find your website online? What if you paid $185,000+ for that unique "brand gTLD" that the "domain name consultant" told you to get and now you discover you have that problem. Surprised? Anyone who did any "due diligence" knew that many of these new gTLDs (new generic Top-Level Domains) were not going to be recognized by browsers, software, applications, or networks.

Even ICANN knew--but hey, "it's all about the money," so who cares about the poor schmo who buys one of these mostly worthless new gTLD domain names?

"….The issue of the Universal Acceptance of TLDs (Top‐Level Domains) is not new. The introduction of new gTLDs, especially those that are longer than 3 characters exposed this Universal Acceptance issue in the 2000 experimental expansion round, and was continued to be felt through the 2004 sTLD extension round. The introduction of IDN ccTLDs through the IDN ccTLD fast track in 2010 further exposed the issue and also made this into an issue of common interest between ccTLDs and gTLDs. In August 2003, during the public comment forum for consideration of the opening of the sTLD extension round, the SSAC (Security and Stability Advisory Committee) submitted a report on "Support Of New Top‐Level Domains By Internet Infrastructure Operators And Application Providers" (http://forum.icann.org/mtg‐cmts/stld‐rfp‐comments/general/doc00004.doc), the report discussed compatibility problems found with the installed base of software used by Internet infrastructure operators about the introduction of new TLDs…" -- JIG Final Report, Nov 2013 pdf

So here we are in the middle of launching over 1300 new gTLDs and at ICANN 51 right now one of the hot issues is "what is ICANN going to do about the fact that these new gTLDs are not recognized in many browsers, etc.?" Well, unfortunately for the new gTLDs, there is not a lot that ICANN can do in that department--

Resources - ICANN: "Universal Acceptance Initiative--An Abridged Roadmap--Introduction to the Roadmap: This is the Universal Acceptance Initiative Roadmap originally published on September 11, 2014. Setting the Scene--The Universal Acceptance initiative is an effort to address potential user issues and obstacles observed in the use of new Top Level Domains, issues and obstacles rooted primarily in assumptions based on the TLD. This abridged roadmap, an outcome of the JIG Final Report on Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs [PDF, 185 KB] plus other work, presents a proposal, based on community input including public comment, as to how ICANN's energy, resources, and actions should be applied as part of the initiative. The abridged roadmap emphasizes ICANN's multi-stakeholder model by limiting its scope to ICANN's role and possible actions. Identifying and addressing the issues and obstacles require work and collaboration among many stakeholder groups who have documented their activity independently. ICANN views its primary role as one of active coordination and facilitation, acting as a catalyst in connecting relevant stakeholders with each other and with parties who are in a position to remove these obstacles. The vision includes implementing a 'corporate memory' as a central information depository of progress...." (emphasis added)

Uh, good luck with that "vision" part--don't you just love the ICANN bureaucratese? So, unfortunately, dear new gTLD registries, registrars, and registrants, many of the "parties who are in a position to remove these obstacles" are long gone (they designed the network, software, browser, or application years ago), or, being intelligent IT professionals, they scoff at the morons involved in ICANN's new gTLDs money-grab, or otherwise have no incentive "to remove these obstacles." 

So new gTLD domain name registrants, looks like you'll just have to suck it up.




see also: Why ICANN's New gTLD Domains Are A #FAIL, Reason #1
and Reason #2 Why New gTLD Domains Are a #FAIL


13 October 2014

ICANN 51, Opening Ceremony video replay



EVENT Starts at 32:20 (forward the video)
Opening Ceremony and Welcome Session for ICANN's 51st public meeting in Los Angeles on 13 October 2014

ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker, US Dept of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade




ICANN 51, Money, Sponsors, Conflicts of Interest, Multistakeholderism

ICANN Sponsorship Opportunities | Meetings: "... Your company will receive unsurpassed recognition by our attendees as a Diamond level sponsor, with continuous brand exposure during the week of the meeting and beyond..."
screenshot of ICANN 51 sponsors
screenshot of  ICANN 51 sponsors (source: icann.org)
How would you feel if your national legislative assembly (e.g., Congress, Parliament, etc.) was commercially "sponsored" by the very same corporations seeking favorable treatment, favorable outcomes, and special prerogatives, rights, and privileges from that very same "governing body"--see any problem with that, any conflicts of interest?

This is SOP (standard operating procedure) in the wonderful world of multi-stakeholder governance of the global Internet DNS as practiced within ICANN where the lobbyists are the legislators [see screenshot at left--ICANN 51 "sponsors" as indicated on the ICANN 51 website].  In this case a picture is worth a thousand words.

Granted, that for all practical purposes, ICANN is often little more than a glorified Industry Trade Association organized for promotion of the Domain Name Industry which dominates its decision-making structure and its Board of Directors (ICANN has no membership--just a self-selected, and otherwise unaccountable, Board of Directors).

Domain Mondo hopes everyone is enjoying ICANN 51--especially the sponsors--and that everyone in LA is getting their money's worth!

Of course, you will never hear ICANN acknowledge at one of its public meetings how much the Domain Name Registrants' fees support ICANN as a percentage of its operating budget--heck, Domain Name Registrants don't even have a seat at the table! (Don't go looking for a Domain Name Registrants Interest Group at ICANN--it doesn't exist!). And look at the ICANN Budget Revenues (pdf)--there is no information as to how much of the income shown as sourced from Registry/Registrars is actually paid by domain name registrants--this is to keep up the illusion that it is the domain name industry that is supporting ICANN when it is actually the domain name registrants!

For more on how ICANN has largely been captured by the Domain Name Industry see:



Domain Mondo posts: