2015-01-31

How Shyp Simplifies the Shipping Process (video)

How Shyp Simplifies the Shipping Process:

How Shyp Simplifies the Shipping Process: Video - Bloomberg
(Video also at link above): Shyp Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Gibbon discusses the company’s mobile app shipping product. He speaks on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg 12/22)

domain name: shyp.com

Shyp is a mobile app for easy, on demand shipping worldwide.

 

2015-01-30

Sandberg, Schmidt, Nadella, Colao on Davos Digital Panel (video)

Sandberg, Schmidt, Nadella, Colao on Davos Digital Panel: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play or go to link above)

Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt, Vodafone Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Vittorio Colao and Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella participate in a panel discussion entitled "The Future of the Digital Economy" at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Former SAP SE Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe moderates. (Source: World Economic Forum)

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt: "The Internet Will Disappear" - The Hollywood Reporter: "... asked for his prediction on the future of the web. “I will answer very simply that the Internet will disappear,” Schmidt said. “There will be so many IP addresses…so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with that you won’t even sense it,” he explained. “It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room.” Concluded Schmidt: “A highly personalized, highly interactive and very, very interesting world emerges.”..." [starts @55:40 in video above]



2015-01-29

Virgin, Richard Branson, Internet via Satellites (video)

Virgin's Richard Branson on Internet via Satellites: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play or go to link above)

Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson shares his vision of how Virgin Galactic will launch satellites to help connect the three billion people in the world who don't have internet access. He speaks to Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos. (Source: Bloomberg)

2015-01-28

NTIA's Larry Strickling Questions IANA CWG-Stewardship Draft Proposal

Ass't Secretary Larry Strickling of the US Department of Commerce, NTIA, which oversees ICANN and is involved in the IANA transition, spoke at the State of the Net Conference, January 27th--his full remarks are reprinted on expvc.com--excerpt below:

"Today, I would like to answer some of the questions that have arisen in recent weeks about NTIA’s role in the transition and then, to pose some questions of our own for stakeholders to consider as they continue their work to develop the plan.  We do so in good faith and in appreciation of the hard work of the volunteer community engaged in these discussions... We will provide informal feedback where appropriate.  We are as aware as anyone that we should not do anything that interferes with an open and participatory multistakeholder process.  We support a process where all ideas are welcome and where participants are able to test fully all transition options.  Nonetheless, the community should proceed as if it has only one chance to get this right. *Everyone has the responsibility to participate as they deem appropriate.  If, by asking questions, we can ensure that the community develops a well-thought-out plan that answers all reasonable concerns, we will do so...  We have taken a look at the December 1 proposal and the ensuing comments and discussion it has engendered.  As the CWG on the naming-related functions continues its work to finalize its draft proposal, NTIA would like to offer the following questions for the stakeholders to consider:
  • The draft proposes the creation of three or four new entities to be involved in the naming related processes.  Could the creation of any new entity interfere with the security and stability of the DNS during and after the transition?  Given that the community will need to develop, implement and test new structures and processes prior to a final transition, can it get all this done in a timeframe consistent with the expectations of all stakeholders?
  • Does the proposal ensure a predictable and reliable process for customers of root zone management services?  Under the current system, registry operators can be confident of the timing of review and implementation of routine root zone updates.  If a new committee takes up what is currently a routine procedural check, how will the community protect against processing delays and the potential for politicization of the system?
  • In response to the December 1 draft, other suggestions have emerged.  Are all the options and proposals being adequately considered in a manner that is fair and transparent? 
  • How does the proposal avoid re-creating existing concerns in a new form or creating new concerns?  If the concern is the accountability of the existing system, does creating new committees and structures simply create a new set of accountability questions? 
All of these questions require resolution prior to approval of any transition plan..."

*Note: Editor of Domain Mondo, John Poole, is a "participant" in the IANA transition CWG-stewardship process.

2015-01-27

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade Showed Up in Davos for Secret Meeting at WEF

Apparently Domain Mondo's post last week about ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade and his NETmundial Initiative project being among those "missing" at the World Economic Forum, appears to have been wrong as it is now reported that the ICANN CEO did in fact show up in Davos, at least long enough for a secret meeting with the rich and powerful that was not exactly successful--

Hibernating NetMundial rattles internet governance world at Davos • The Register: "... Even though the Davos launch was dumped, Chehade is attending the elite conference and has already ruffled feathers by continuing to promote NetMundial at a closed meeting of bigwigs... according to a Reuters reporter who was present. His remarks reportedly were not popular and sparked concerns of an elite group taking charge..."  

I guess Fadi is finding out that his top-down vision of internet governance--the NETmundial Initiative, (reportedly funded a/k/a astroturfed, at least in part, by ICANN money)--is as hard to sell as ICANN's new gTLD domain names!

After all, when an elite gathering of the rich and powerful are alarmed that your idea sounds like an elite group taking charge of the internet, maybe it's time to stop and listen, and consider dropping the whole charade. But if the track record of ICANN ignoring sound and wise advice in its new gTLDs program is any guide, Fadi Chehade will continue to make a pest of himself at Davos, until Klaus Schwab says "enough!"

2015-01-26

Forbes Examines Why New gTLD Domain Names Are A Big Flop

Roger Kay has written an insightful article on the failing new gTLDs (ICANN's new generic Top-Level Domains) in Forbes, entitled: Why, Even After A Year, There's Still No Land Grab For New Internet Domains which is worth taking the time to read for anyone in  the domain name industry, active in ICANN, or a domain name registrant--excerpt--

".... Since a year ago, more than 400 new gTLDs have been introduced, nearly doubling the number of extensions available to companies and individuals looking to stand out on the Internet. However, the reception to these new domains has been muted, and 2015 is kicking off with a notable lack of enthusiasm for their adoption, despite some registrars’ best efforts... And if consumers aren’t flocking to the new domains, commercial entities have their own reasons to be wary of them. A greatly expanded domain universe opens up a multitude of opportunities for cybersquatters... And as if that weren’t enough, the new domains can breed confusion through something as simple as the distinction between singular and plural names.... To make matters worse, Web surfers may not even be able to see some new domains, since they may be blocked for security reasons.... In contrast to the slippery territory of the new domains, the existing names are solidly established. The .com extension has been around for almost 30 years, and every Fortune 500 company has a .com registration. The top 50 global brands direct customers to a .com homepage... Not a single leading brand has switched its online identity to one of the new domains, despite all the hype surrounding their introduction a year ago... even supporters of the new names are not as sure as they once were about their prospects. Since February 2014, companies and individuals have registered approximately 3.3 million names in the more than 400 new domains. While that number may sound fairly large, to put it in perspective, .com had more than 8 million gross registrations in a single quarter last year... Buyers would do better not to bother and instead go after real estate on the more established, busier thoroughfares of the Internet — like .com, .net, and .orgwhere the traffic is." (emphasis added, read more here)

2015-01-25

.NET Pricing Increase, Namecheap Promotions, Move Your Domain Day

Domain Mondo recently received the following notices from Namecheap:

"This is an official notification regarding a cost increase for .NET domain names. VeriSign, the registry responsible for .net, is raising its costs for .net domain registrations, renewals, and transfers. As a result, we are forced to update our prices as well. On January 30th, 2015, the new price for .net domains will be $12.48/yr. + the ICANN fee. We will continue to offer multi-year registration and renewal discounts on our site. In reaction to this increase, we are having a Renewal Special on the 29th of January ($0.98 off your regular renewal rate). You will not need a coupon to take advantage of this deal. Just process your renewal and the price will automatically update in your cart. Mark the date, as it's coming up quickly. If you cannot join us on Friday, 29th January, we highly recommend that you renew any .net domains (for multiple years) prior to January 30, 2015, in order to take advantage of your current price and to save money in the long run."

In addition, Namecheap is having a special MoveYourDomainDay on January 27th"... we hosted the first official MoveYourDomainDay in 2012 as a call-to-action for those who opposed SOPA and wanted to leave service providers who supported SOPA and other such ill-conceived legislation. Every year, our lawmakers propose new laws restricting internet freedom. That's why we continue to fight on with our annual MYDD. To our loyal clients: Thank you for being part of this important work. Every year, as part of our MYDD effort, Namecheap donates a portion of the day’s sales to online freedom fighters the Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF is a donor-supported membership organization that works to protect fundamental rights regardless of technology and to educate the public about digital rights ..."

"MoveYourDomainDay will happen again on January 27, 2015. On that day, you can transfer your .com/.net/.org/.biz/.info for only $3.98 (plus applicable ICANN fees) with coupon code NC15MYDD, and you get an additional year on your domain name when you transfer. Shared hosting plans (Value, Professional, Ultimate) will all be 50% off with coupon code MYDDHOST15."
 
Namecheap: "The transfer coupon is limited to 50 domains and one usage per household/business. You keep any remaining time you have on the domain when you transfer, and the transfer process adds one more year. So if you have 1.5 years on the domain before you transfer, you’ll have 2.5 years afterward."

"For every domain transferred or hosting plan purchased, up to 10,000, Namecheap will donate $0.50 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The donation amount goes up to $1.00 per domain/hosting plan if we exceed 10,000. And if we exceed 20,000 domains transferred/hosting plans purchased, Namecheap will donate $1.50 for each transaction. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading non-profit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, they fight for online privacy rights, internet freedom, and anti-censorship. Visit them at www.eff.org."

Zenefits, Free Online HR Software (video)

Why Zenefits CEO Hired Tech Veteran David Sacks: Video - Bloomberg Zenefits CEO and Co-Founder Parker Conrad discusses the hiring of tech veteran and former Paypal COO David Sacks. They both speak on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg 12/10)
(Video at link above)

Zenefits: Free Online HR Software: "One platform. All your HR. Benefits, payroll, onboarding, time off, and more."

domain name: zenefits.com

From the zenefits website:

"Zenefits is Free. Really. Free.

So how do we keep the lights on?

If you choose to manage your benefits through Zenefits, we get paid by the benefits providers—for example, your health insurance carrier. Your current benefits pricing isn’t impacted in any way, shape, or form. Even if you choose not to add your benefits, Zenefits’ core features are absolutely free to every employer.

Why are we the only free service in town?

Unlike PEOs, HR outsourcers, and HR software providers, our technology enables us to operate profitably on the revenue share paid to us by the benefits providers on our system, which allows us to keep Zenefits free for you! No hidden fees, contracts, or surprises.

Are there any contracts or agreements?

Nope! Because we don’t rely on admin fees to be profitable, we’re happy to work with you for as long as you like. With Zenefits, cancelling your account is as simple as clicking a button. (Not that you’d ever want to.)"

2015-01-24

Citi Mobile Challenge, Latin America (video)

Citi: Citi Mobile Challenge - Latin America -

Citi Mobile Challenge is a groundbreaking global initiative that invites technology developers to reimagine digital banking and fuel innovation in the industry. Participants in Latin America presented mobile banking solutions for Consumers and B2B in two demo day events in Bogota, Colombia and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The winning concepts, as chosen by Citi executives and technology influencers, were selected to go to market with Citi customers. (Published on Nov 18, 2014)

http://www.citimobilechallenge.com

2015-01-23

Author Bill Janeway on The Hottest Domain in Tech (video)

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Tech Company?: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play or go to link above)

“Doing Capitalism” Author Bill Janeway discusses the tech sector, startups and his investment ideas on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg)



2015-01-21

World Economic Forum, Annual Meeting 2015, NETmundial Initiative

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 21 - 24 January 2015 - Who's missing? Fadi Chehade and the NETmundial Initiative, but ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade explains why in the first video below.


Fadi Chehadé speaks about ISOC, WEF, and the NetMundial Initiative
During a meeting with the NYC community at Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office on November 24 2014, ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehadé, answers a question - noting ISOC dissent to the process about the nature of the NetMundial Initiative and its relation to the World Economic Forum. Published on Nov 24, 2014

Below--video embed of this year's WEF Annual Meeting videos (scroll down):

Programme | World Economic Forum - Annual Meeting 2015 Programme

Noteworthy session: The Future of the Digital Economy | World Economic Forum: Thursday 22nd January 2015 - 5:45pm - 6:45pm Davos Time -- 11:45 am EST (US)
What is needed to ensure a thriving, open and secure digital economy?
Speakers: Klaus Schwab, Eric Schmidt, Vittorio Colao, Sheryl Sandberg, Jim Hagemann Snabe, Satya Nadella

Welcome Message by the WEF Executive Chairman -
Welcoming remarks by World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab (Published on Jan 20, 2015)

2015-01-20

ICANN CTO comments on "Stark-Raving-Greedy" Verisign

IANA Stewardship Transition Will "Impact on the Internet" says ICANN CTO:

On Monday, January 19, 2014, ICANN CTO Dave Conrad, speaking only for himself, dropped a bombshell comment on the public ICANN CWG-Stewardship mailing (email) list--excerpt below:

".... In all the discussions I've seen on the transition of the stewardship of the IANA Functions contract related to the Root Zone Management function, there has been precious little discussion of the actual root zone management processes despite the fact that, given NTIA will no longer be involved, those processes MUST change and those changes will have DIRECT operational impact on the Internet. I'll admit to a bit of surprise about this... I'll admit to not following the ICANN Accountability stuff all that closely, I'm just a technical person (or try to be) so much of that discussion is beyond me. However, my understanding (which is probably wrong) is that ultimately, Verisign, being a for-profit company incorporated in a state that is (perhaps unfairly) known to have the least stringent corporate responsibility requirements, has a fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders to make a profit. ICANN, being a California public benefit not-for-profit, has a fiduciary responsibility to serve the public interest as interpreted by the State of California. While a for-profit like Verisign being "stark-raving-greedy" is arguably appropriate (at least according to
the laws of the state of Delaware), I have some skepticism that State of California would see an ICANN that was "stark-raving-greedy" as being in the public interest... "--Dave Conrad, ICANN CTO, "but speaking only for" himself, (emphasis added)


Domain Mondo has no idea what Mr. Conrad's reference to Verisign being "stark-raving-greedy" has to do with the IANA Functions or Internet Root Zone Management since it is well known that Verisign receives no fee for performing its services as Root Zone Maintainer. Is he implying that Verisign has started demanding "stark-raving-greedy" fees for performing its services as the Root Zone Maintainer now, or in the future? Also, the Chief Technology Officer of ICANN, speaking only for himself, did not elaborate on exactly how the Internet root zone management processes "MUST change" nor how those changes will have DIRECT operational impact on the Internet. Stay tuned--things are getting interesting in the IANA Stewardship Transition process!

2015-01-19

Same O' ICANN: Lack of Accountability, Transparency, Failure to Protect the Public Interest

While CCWG-Accountability meets for two days starting today (Monday, January 19, 2015) in Frankfurt, Germany, trying to solve ICANN's lack of accountability--which may not even be fixable due to systemic issues, including its organizational form, Domain Mondo came across this sad reminder of how dysfunctional ICANN is, and always has been (excerpt follows, link below):

14 July 2010: "... ICANN is run too much like a large corporation and not enough like a genuine public interest organization. Besides the "corporate culture", the legal corporate governance structure of ICANN is a significant part of the problem in the organization's lack of accountability and transparency. California law requires the ICANN Board of Directors to be the ultimate decision makers for ICANN policy and governance matters. This is inherently at adds with providing an independent mechanism to check that decision making process, which is required for good public governance. Under California law, which governs ICANN, the organization's board of directors is ultimately responsible and has the final say on decisions; but the reality is that the workload required to understand all the issues is unrealistic for a volunteer board. The result is that staff "briefs" the board according to the staff's desires, ultimately managing the process that an over-extended board cannot. The problem of "staff capture" creates a significant and growing problem for ICANN's accountability and transparency (particularly given the exploding budget and overpaid staff & consultants). The staff's practice of providing secret briefing papers to the board on matters of key policy or governance dramatically undermines their claims of transparency and openness. There must also be more openness and transparency in viewing board deliberations at ICANN. Board decisions are made in secret without the community having an understanding of the reasoning behind the policy decisions and the specific positions taken by those chosen to represent them. The board should be less concerned with demonstrating a unified public front on policy decisions - a practice that encourages secretly negotiating unanimous votes with no public airing of the various views of the board. The board owes -- and community needs to witness -- a substantive dialectic at the board level on public policy issues. Each board member's individual vote should be recorded and published, as is done for legitimate public governance institutions in the interests of transparency and good governance..." (read more at: 
FW: Lack of Accountability to Non-Commercial Users Remains Problematic for ICANN's Promise to Protect the Public Interest by Robin Gross, IP Justice Executive Director)

For more information on the CCWG-Accountability meeting in Frankfurt, including the link to view the meeting online go to expvc.com.

2015-01-18

Google to FCC: Open 3.5 GHz Spectrum for Cheap Internet Bandwidth

The Wall Street Journal has reported that "... [Google] is lobbying U.S. regulators to free up vast amounts of low-cost, mostly vacant spectrum that could serve as an alternative to the big carriers’ services. The plan that Google and others are backing would open up as much as 150 megahertz of spectrum around the 3.5 gigahertz band, pushing to make it usable by all comers without a license while still leaving some of it available for companies to use exclusively. The 3.5 gigahertz airwaves aren’t much use to wireless carriers, because they aren’t good at carrying signals for long distances. But they are useful for delivering heavy loads of data in cities, which could make them viable for a lot of typical wireless needs—the way Wi-Fi is now, but potentially broader and more available. The spectrum would enable startups funded by venture capitalists, for instance, to build speedy wireless networks in parks, buildings or public areas relatively inexpensively, thus making it cheaper for consumers to access the Internet ..."

Google FCC Wavelength Bid Airwaves - Business Insider: "... In a filing with the FCC, [Google] executives said they were "helping to make Internet bandwidth more abundant ... The broadband ecosystem will be well-served by a policy environment that removes barriers to investment, discourages monetization of scarcity, and empowers consumers."... an ongoing auction for a portion of the spectrum bids are approaching $45 billion.

In recent years, Google has been moving increasingly beyond its purely online roots and into the network sphere. The search giant has been slowly rolling out its ultra-fast broadband connection Google Fiber in various US cities since its launch in 2011, challenging established internet providers like Comcast and AT&T.

Google is also experimenting with Project Loon — an attempt to bring the internet to developing countries, rural areas, and disaster zones using high-altitude balloons."



2015-01-17

Anna Lee Saxenian, Regional Advantage, Silicon Valley's Success (audio)



Anna Lee Saxenian, author of the classic book "Regional Advantage," still thinks the Silicon Valley area's future is bright.

source: Harvard Business Review hbr.org




2015-01-16

How IP Addresses Are Distributed Worldwide

The following correlates with Domain Mondo post: Domain Name Registrations and the Global Internet Population: ".... if you are in the domain name industry, the ideal market environment has good internet connectivity, internet freedom, and high GNI per capita."--

Internet Use per person heaviest in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea:
How IP addresses are distributed worldwide
Washington Post (see below)










2015-01-15

Addition of TLD .COM Can Make Trademark Distinctive says French Court

Addition of TLD .COM can make trademark distinctive says French Court--

"In B v Pressimmo On Line (October 14 2014), the Paris Court of Appeal has ruled that, while the term ‘se loger’ (meaning ‘to find somewhere to live’) on its own was descriptive in relation to real estate, it was distinctive when combined with the top-level domain (TLD) ‘.com’. The claimant was a group of companies (Pressimmo On Line and Se Loger.com)..." read more at: worldtrademarkreview.com (subscription)

Note the difference between descriptive and distinctive marks: Trademark distinctiveness - Wikipedia: "Trademark distinctiveness is an important concept in the law governing trademarks and service marks. A trademark may be eligible for registration, or registrable, if it performs the essential trademark function, and has distinctive character. Registrability can be understood as a continuum, with "inherently distinctive" marks at one end, "generic" and "descriptive" marks with no distinctive character at the other end, and "suggestive" and "arbitrary" marks lying between these two points. "Descriptive" marks must acquire distinctiveness through secondary meaning - consumers have come to recognize the mark as a source indicator - to be protectable. "Generic" terms are used to refer to the product or service itself and cannot be used as trademarks...."

See also the search results here and the following:

Showing Common-Law Trademark Rights in a UDRP: "... the UDRP is only designed to be used by a complainant who owns the rights to a trademark that has been infringed upon by a domain name. Typically, trademark rights are proven in UDRP complaints by showing the copy of a registration certificate in some country. Merely having a pending trademark application is not enough. However, it may be possible to meet this proof by showing evidence of common-law trademark rights, which arise from actual use rather than from a formal registration...."

2015-01-14

IANA Stewardship Transition: More Time, Work, and Legal Advice Needed

IANA Stewardship Transition, Cross Community Working Group (CWG) on Naming Related Functions--Chairs’ Statement (pdf)–Lise Fuhr & Jonathan Robinson--after Weekend Sessions 10-11 Jan 2015--Excerpts:

"... The CWG is fully aware of the value of the contribution provided by the comprehensive and thoughtful public comments it received... When originally scheduled, the work weekend was envisaged as a time to finalize the basis of the CWG proposal in order for the proposal to be prepared for submission to the five chartering organizations (ALAC, ccNSO, GAC, GNSO, and SSAC) and thereafter, to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) as part of the overall IANA Stewardship Transition process. However, considering the diversity of comments received during the public comment period on the draft proposal, it became apparent to the CWG that more work was needed to review and refine the proposal on the back of these. As such, the weekend’s focus was on further processing of the public comment input and identifying areas of commonality within the CWG, using tools such as polls and surveys.... Looking Ahead--In striving to develop a consensus proposal, the CWG will now need to consider and integrate the outcome of the weekend sessions as well as focus on the critical next steps required. Key next steps include; obtaining legal advice on relevant elements of the proposal and further engagement with the CCWG-Accountability, as well as informing and preparing to seek support from the Chartering Organizations, all of which we recognize will affect the current timeline ..."(emphasis added)

One member's comment to the above: Response to Chairs' Statement - Weekend Sessions 10 & 11 January 2015: "Thank you Jonathan and Lise - I found the week-end to be productive (if not hard to follow at some points) but do fear we are risking making the proposal VERY complicated. May I suggest we return to a simple, efficient and responsive IANA proposal... I also would like to suggest we make very clear to the ICG that their proposed timetable is far too optimistic and that more time will be needed by the Naming Community to develop a proposal that meets "the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services"" (emphasis added)--from a Member of the Cross Working Group on IANA Stewardship Transition- Naming Functions

Sounds a lot like someone read the comments submitted by the editor of Domain Mondo to the CWG draft proposal. Sounds like, at the very least, the CWG is not rushing anymore to meet the ICG's faux timetable deadline.

2015-01-13

Has Google Fallen Out Of Love With ICANN's New gTLDs?

Are ICANN's new gTLDs (new generic top-level domains) just another passing fad or a defunct idea now destined for the great trash bin in cyberspace, at least as far as Google is concerned?

Google is notorious for abandoning products and services, almost on a whim--remember Google Reader, Google Buzz, Google Orkut, Google Desktop, Google Labs, Google Health, iGoogle, and many, many more?

While most Silicon Valley companies rejected, scoffed at, and even laughed derisively at ICANN's money-grab a/k/a the new gTLDs program--Google jumped in with both feet at the beginning, applying for more than 100 new gTLDs, through its own Google Registry as well as setting up its own branded Google Registrar.

But somewhere along the way, reality has trumped delusionary new gTLDs enthusiasm in Mountain View:
  1. While Google has immense resources and could outbid any other new gTLD applicant, it has increasingly withdrawn from pursuing its applications for contested new gTLD domains;
  2. Google's new gTLDs in general availability (see registrations for .SOY) have, like most other new gTLDsvery disappointing registration numbers, and receive little marketing support from Google;
  3. The claim by new gTLD proponents that participation by Google in the new gTLDs program would ensure its success, has proven to be just another false claim by new gTLD hucksters;
  4. Google continues to use (as it always has) google.com and redirects .google to .COM
  5. The Google Registrar--Google Domains--has been in beta (by invitation only) since at least June 2014, and shows no signs of going into "live" general availability anytime soon; UPDATE: NOW LIVE in the US --no invitation needed -- although still marked "BETA" (note: Domain Mondo takes no credit for getting Google off its butt!)
  6. At the ongoing new gTLDs "love fest" in Las Vegas, a/k/a NamesCon, Google is conspicuously absent, either as sponsor or participant;
  7. Google has gone out of its way recently to reiterate that new gTLDs do not, and will not, receive any SEO boost over .COM or other domain extensions, proving once again that you cannot believe anything that comes from the new gTLD proponents. In fact, as current trends of cybersquatting and other illegal uses of new gTLDs continue, who knows what effect future algorithmic changes in the great Google bot will have on new gTLDs?
So what does this all mean for the future of new gTLDs in Googleland? Maybe this domaining blogger has it right--

What do Amazon and Google domain name losses mean for new TLDs? | Domain Name Wire: "I’ve also heard that one of Google’s new TLD executive champions left the company. Often, an executive suite champion is needed to see a project to fruition. Having worked at a Fortune 500 company, I’ve seen plenty of initiatives (even those with lots of sunk cost) get shelved for political and monetary reasons. And “just because”. Regardless of how big a deal new TLDs are to new TLD companies, these things are just a spec on the wall at Google and Amazon." (emphasis added)

2015-01-12

Keeping Track of the Web: the HTTP Archive, and the Internet Archive

Most people have heard of the Internet Archive, but do you know about the HTTP Archive?

The Internet Archive (a/k/a the "Wayback Machine") keeps track of Web Content over time, while the HTTP Archive keeps track of how digital content is contructed and served on the Web over time.

About the HTTP Archive: "... In 1996 Brewster Kahle realized the cultural significance of the Internet and the need to record its history. As a result he founded the Internet Archive which collects and permanently stores the Web's digitized content. In addition to the content of web pages, it's important to record how this digitized content is constructed and served. The HTTP Archive provides this record. It is a permanent repository of web performance information such as size of pages, failed requests, and technologies utilized. This performance information allows us to see trends in how the Web is built and provides a common data set from which to conduct web performance research... "

Average Page Weight Increases 15% in 2014 - (sitepoint.com): "... The latest figures indicate that average page weight has increased by 15% in one year to reach 1,953Kb — a little under 2Mb — and comprises 95 individual HTTP requests. While this is smaller than the 32% increase in 2013, it remains cause for concern. The report analyzes publicly-accessible content and shopping web sites rather than complex web applications and provides a breakdown of the technologies used: HTML; CSS; JavaScript; Images; Flash; Other...."

The Internet Archive and the HTTP Archive are both useful sources and tools for web developers, designers, creators, publishers, and domain name registrants, or anyone in the domain name industry or involved with internet governance.



2015-01-11

Linda Rottenberg, Crazy Is a Compliment, What It Takes To Start a Business




Myths About Entrepreneurship

Linda Rottenberg, author of "Crazy Is a Compliment," on what it really takes to start a business.

source: Harvard Business Review hbr.org



2015-01-10

Cuban Bloggers, Internet Freedom (video)



Cuba’s bloggers have staked out a middle ground between the hard-line criticism of dissidents and the propaganda of state-run media. How much freedom will their government give them? (source: December 23, 2014--New York Times, by Alexandra Garcia, Ernesto Londono, and Andrew Blackwell) video link

14ymedio.com/blogs/generacion_y/ Yoani Sanchez

chiringadecuba.com Carlos Alberto Pérez

Related:  Article: Cuba’s Promising New Online Voices: "... In December 2010, nearly three years after he took power from his ailing brother Fidel, Raúl Castro called on Cubans to be critical of the system, acknowledging that the Communist Party had failed its citizens in myriad ways. Cuba’s diverse and growing community of bloggers and independent journalists have done just that, becoming a powerful alternative to the official press, which for decades has delivered hyperbolic and dull content, but little substantive journalism... "


2015-01-09

A True Story about Domain Names, Domain Investing, and Brand Protection (podcast)

Interesting podcast embedded below which relates the story of the owners of longform.org seeking to buy the domain name longform.com. At one point they thought  they were being deceived by well-known domain name investor Mike Berkens of The Domains--but subsequently found out they were completely wrong, and in the process, received an insight into the world of domain name investing and brand protection. (Michael Berkens' interview is toward the end of the podcast.) Enjoy!

Domain Name Industry individuals/companies mentioned in the podcast: 
Dave HigginsAfternicMichael Berkens, Esq., The DomainsMark Monitor





2015-01-08

Internet Freedom, Best and Worst Nations, 2014

Infographic: Where Internet Freedom Is (Far From) Reality | Statista
This charts shows the countries with the highest and the lowest degree of Internet freedom according to Freedom House's latest Freedom on the Net report. You will find more statistics at Statista



2015-01-07

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Charlie - charliehebdo.fr - January 7, 2014
Je Suis Charlie: charliehebdo.fr

“France is in a state of shock after this terrorist attack,” said French President Francois Hollande. “An act of exceptional barbarity has been perpetrated against a newspaper, against liberty of expression, against journalists.”

Video: French President described shooting as barbaric attack: At least 11 people were killed when gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs and a rocket-launcher opened fire in the offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday. Duration: 01:20 (Published on Jan 7, 2015; source: AFP news agency/youtube.com)

Is ICANN Sabotaging the Accountability and IANA Transition Processes?

ICANN website screenshot
Hard to find: CWG / IANA transition info is on "Dashboard" under "GNSO" tab (yellow circle) but "Dashboard" is called "Community Wiki" on ICANN homepage (see top) and "Dashboard" link is a dead page


"... This [CWG] breakneck quest is being undertaken to meet a target submission deadline of January 15th for delivering a final proposal to the ICG. In one striking development, ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker has weighed in with multiple e-mails questioning the survey's statistical validity and the core elements of the proposal it is seeking to refine, resulting in turn in some CWG members questioning whether such intervention constitutes an attempt at undue influence.... Good people and intentions are being undermined by a badly flawed process. ICANN's Board wants to see the IANA transition take place by September 2015 and to avoid any extension of the current contract's term by the NTIA, and it is actively communicating to (and some would say seeking to unduly influence) the CWG to revise its current plan and steer it in the direction of the "internal solution" that awards it the IANA functions permanently without any counterparty or contract rebid potential..." (emphasis added) source: Haste Makes Waste: Comments on ICANN CWG IANA Transition Proposal Indicate Serious Process Problems by Philip S. Corwin

Quick, can anybody explain the difference between the CWG and CCWG, and what do either have to do with ICANN accountability or the IANA stewardship transition processes?

Don't go looking on icann.org for a clear, current, directory to all of the on-going processes at ICANN about "accountability" (at least 3 different processes are ongoing simultaneously on "accountability") or the "IANA stewardship transition"--if you go to the "calendar" it looks completely empty and yet there are on-going meetings and activities (if you know where to look). In other words, the ICANN accountability and IANA stewardship transition processes probably look FUBAR to the general public--maybe everybody at ICANN has been too busy working on the new website of another internet organization--the NETmundial Initiative (astroturfed with ICANN money)--to be bothered with updating the ICANN website with current and easily found information concerning the future governance of the Internet DNS. Anyway, here's a rough directory of sorts to ICANN accountability and IANA transition processes--no promises as to accuracy or completeness--but hopefully it will lead you in the right direction:

ICANN Dashboard--this is where a "lot of stuff" at ICANN is "buried"--no "quicklink" from the ICANN homepage--in fact, the link in the footer at the bottom of ICANN's homepage which says "Dashboard" will lead you to a dead page of something else altogether. However if you find "Community Wiki" on the ICANN homepage, click it and you will go to the page called "Dashboard" (see screenshot above). Then go to the "GNSO tab" to find (if you are lucky) info re: the CWG and its documents, e.g., a survey (pdf) being taken of CWG "members and participants:"
"This survey is based on suggestions from the public comments, as well as additional, related questions. The goal is to get a high level sense of the views of CWG participants (i.e., Members and Participants) regarding these suggestions prior to the intensive work weekend on 10-­11 January. To the extent possible, Members should make choices that they believe reflect the views of the group they represent; when that is not possible, they should express their personal opinion. (We assume that Members may not have time to go back to their respective groups in a timely fashion; there will be an opportunity for that later, as [meaning "after"?] we develop the final proposal.)..." 
It's pretty clear from the above that the CWG is succumbing to "deadline dysfunctionality" imposed by ICANN and the ICG, increasing the chances for a very poor result from the overall IANA stewardship transition process. Ironically, ICANN's intention for a short deadline in order to get the result it preferred, may have in fact backfired into the complex solution proposed in the CWG draft proposal.

If you have any further interest in following the IANA transition or ICANN accountability processes, here are some other links that may be helpful:

Cross-Community Working Group on Internet Governance (CCWG-IG)

CCWG on Enhancing ICANN Accountability - Enhancing ICANN Accountability 

IANA Stewardship Transition
ICG handed off "the work" to a) naming, b) protocols and c) numbers
Resources - ICANN
CWG Naming: CWG to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions - CWG on Stewardship Transition - Confluence

see also: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/accountability-2012-02-25-en

2015-01-06

Why New gTLD Domain Names Fail To Work Across the Internet

Every Day More Problems Are Coming To Light With ICANN's New gTLDs (Generic Top-Level Domains):

ICANN was warned, repeatedly--even by one of their own "insiders" [see article excerpt below by Ram Mohan, Executive Vice President and CTO, Afilias, and also a member of the ICANN Board of Directors since 2008]--but ICANN arrogantly ignored the warnings and public interest issues such as the universal acceptance failure of new gTLD domains, as well as issues of Internet stability and security in its money-grab a/k/a the new gTLDs program--

More Problems Crop Up With Universal Acceptance of Top Level Domains (by Ram Mohan): "... George Santayana quote, "Those that cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it" ...[is] an apt warning for what is currently happening — again — with the hundreds of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) that are launching... and failing to work as expected on the Internet... [I]n the early 2000s, seven new gTLDs were launched: .AERO, .BIZ, .COOP, .INFO, .MUSEUM, .NAME and .PRO...  Any TLDs that were more than three characters long promptly ran into usability issues. I know this from first-hand experience with .INFO, for which my company, Afilias, is the registry operator... I spent a good part of my time, in the first five years after .INFO launched, working with vendors to get their systems to accept .INFO email addresses and .INFO domain names as valid. Now, 13 years later, it's still possible to find systems that reject .INFO addresses. From that experience, I developed my three rules of TLD acceptance.

"Mohan's Three Rules of TLD Acceptance:
  1. An old TLD [e.g., .COM, .NET, .ORG] will be accepted more often than a new TLD.
  2. An ASCII-only TLD will be accepted more than an IDN TLD.
  3. A two or three letter TLD will be accepted more often than a longer ccTLD or gTLD.
"Web browsers... have varying rules for how to deal with a website address in a top-level domain that the browser does not recognize...  many applications and apps that use the Internet still refer to a locally held (and quickly outdated) list of "valid" TLD names, rather than using the DNS to determine domain name validity... the issue of universal acceptance never really got solved, the topic takes on heightened importance due to the creation of hundreds of new top-level domains on the Internet... in the current crop of new TLDs, even three character strings get caught in the mix. What was previously considered primarily an infrastructure-level issue is now poised to become a major user-level issue, with negative impact on both the regular Internet user and inside corporations... " (emphasis added, read more here)

But I guess the money ICANN was collecting from new gTLD applicants was too hard to resist--particularly when you look and see who benefits from ICANN's exploding revenue--the exorbitant compensation, benefits, and "expense reimbursements" for ICANN directors, officers and staff, expanding offices and overhead, excessive payments to ICANN-favored third parties etc., for contractor "services."

Question: "Is it a deceptive, unfair or fraudulent business practice to "sell" or "offer for registration" domain names that do not work across the Internet?"

UPDATE: see ICANN 52, Universal Acceptance, New gTLD Domain Names "break stuff"

see also: ICANN, New gTLD Domain Names, Universal Acceptance Another #FAIL - 14 October 2014

Caveat Emptor!

2015-01-05

Fastacash: Using Social Networks to Transfer Money (video)

Fastacash: Using Social Networks to Transfer Money: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play or go to link above)

Fastacash Chairman and CEO Vince Tallent discusses the company's business model and growth drivers with Bloomberg's Rishaad Salamat on "On The Move Asia." (Source: Bloomberg 12/23)

domain name: fastacash.com



2015-01-04

Xiaomi Soars by Tapping Into Young Culture in China (video)

Xiaomi Soars by Tapping Into Young Culture in China: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play or go to link above)

Bloomberg Intelligence’s John Butler discusses Xiaomi’s valuation and the company’s business model. He speaks on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg 12/22)

domain names: xiaomi.com and mi.com

2015-01-02

ICANN's New gTLD Domains Are Failing Badly, 2015 May Be Even Worse

CentralNic ... - Finance News - London South East: "... the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers [ICANN] to downgrade their demand projections to 15 million domain registrations under the new top level domains by June 2015 from 33 million...."
If you want just an "opinion" about ICANN's new gTLDs (new generic Top-Level Domains), you can find plenty of hucksters hawking their hokem on countless "domaining blogs" and elsewhere on the internet, as well as at numerous "domain name conferences," but for now, let's just look at the facts--the actual registration numbers as reported by ntldstats.com (*data capture as of January 2, 2014 @ 10:33 am EST):

Chart of New gTLD domain name registrations by month FY15

So how badly are ICANN's new gTLDs failing? Well, ICANN originally predicted 33 million new gTLD domain name registrations in FY15 (Fiscal Year 2015: July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015), then "lowered the bar" by more than half in the adopted ICANN FY15 budget to just 15 million new gTLD domain name registrations in FY15. So where are we at the end of the first half of FY15 (December 31, 2014)?

According to ntldstats.com* there were 1,418,338 new gTLD registrations at the end of FY14 (June 30, 2014). If you subtract that from 3,715,143 total new gTLD registrations at the end of calendar year 2014,* then there were only 2,296,805 new gTLD registrations in the first-half of FY15 (including the hundreds of  thousands of new gTLD registrations given away for free!) --meaning ICANN and "whomever ICANN listens to," were "delusional" about the demand for new gTLDs. Of course this shouldn't surprise anyone--ICANN made monumental mistakes in its new gTLDs program, including not considering "registrant demand for new gTLDs" as a "relevant factor" in deciding whether to even authorize any new gTLDs. Instead ICANN decided to just flood the Internet Domain Name System (DNS) with hundreds of unwanted, unneeded domain extensions because there were fools willing and able to pay ICANN $185,000 per new gTLD for the right to do so, or to participate in ICANN's auctioning off of the Internet DNS to the highest bidders. Remember, for ICANN, itself a monopoly, "It's all about the money" and to heck with the public interest and Internet security and stability.

Based on the trends thus far (see chart below), new gTLD registrations for all of FY15 will not only fall far short of the ICANN budgetary estimate of 15,000,000, but in fact will be "lucky" to total even a third of that (5,000,000). And that is without even taking into consideration that renewals of new gTLD registrations will begin in 2015 for the first time--how many domain name registrants who received those hundreds of thousands of "free" new gTLD domain name registrations in 2014, will actually pay to renew those mostly worthless new gTLD domain names in 2015?

Chart of ICANN estimate and actual new gTLD registrations FY15
ICANN estimated 15 million new gTLD registrations for FY15, actual registrations are falling far short




Caveat Emptor!



2015-01-01

New gTLDs, ICANN Boondoggle, MIT Technology Review

Now that we know ICANN knowingly compromised Internet stability and security just to make money off its new gTLDs--time for a look to the recent past and some of the warnings ICANN had before it made the worst decision in its 16+ year history--

ICANN's Boondoggle | MIT Technology Review: (August 21, 2012) "... It’s [new gTLDs expansion] happening because the body in charge of these things—the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN—thought it would be fun and profitable. That may sound flip, but it’s the simplest explanation for the coming chaos... ICANN is itself a monopoly... There is no general shortage of Web addresses. If there were, we might have seen businesses flocking to other new domains ICANN has already introduced over the past decade [.INFO, .BIZ, .MOBI, etc.]. ICANN says it’s opening up these domains to promote competition and choice in the domain-name industry. But confusion and profiteering are the more likely results... there’s a lot of money to be made now, starting with the fees that marketers, lawyers, and consultants familiar with the domain-name business have already begun to extract from big brands... Through all this, ICANN could also cash in... $357 million in application fees that the Los Angeles–based organization has already collected... What amazing new benefits will all this spending bring to consumers? None whatsoever, at least in the eyes of venture investor Esther Dyson, who served as chair of ICANN from its inception in 1998 until 2000. Dyson once supported the idea of allowing companies to create arbitrary top-level domains, but she says she came to believe that the change would be unnecessary and confusing for the public. “I don’t think it’s illegal, but it’s wasteful,” she says. “One version of the future is: a lot of people spend a lot of money marketing [new gTLD domain names], and a lot of new consultancies are created, and a lot of lawyers are very busy protecting and enforcing property rights, and there is no net benefit to anybody.”... Who gave ICANN the power to make this mess? The U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the ultimate keeper of the root zone file... Thus was born a financial conflict of interest that continues to this day: ICANN subsists on the very industry it purports to govern. Dyson says she “lost any faith, over time,” in ICANN’s ability to regulate the domain-name business..." (emphasis added, read more here)

Welcome to ICANN's Depraved.New.World --



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