2015-10-31

Global Domain News Digest for Week Ending October 30, 2015

Global Domain News Digest: a selection of domain name news from around the world for the week ending October 30, 2015:

Facebook [facebook.com] reveals why it's forcing workers to swap iPhones for Android | ZDNet:  "... The move, according to Wired, is an entirely pragmatic decision that stems from the company's ambitions to grow its user base of 1.5 billion people. While smartphone penetration in the US and Europe has reached saturation point, handset adoption is accelerating in places like India, where users prefer low-cost Android devices..."

London, England, UK:
Roll Up Your Sleeves at a Finance Magnates London Summit Workshop | Finance Magnates: "In today’s technology driven world, one’s domain name is an increasingly significant factor in the success of their business. Sedo is a domain marketplace, one of the largest in the world. Solomon Amoako, an executive of this company [Sedo] that has over $6 million of transaction volume a month, will run the workshop called ‘Choosing A High-Impact Domain – Key to Success’. He will discuss just how important domains are, and how to find one that is appropriate for your business."

New Zealand:
Matt Huisman: How to have your own domain name with emails and a blog for $13 a year! "... Our DNS will be provided by CloudFlare. Our emails will be routed using MailGun to a free Gmail account; Our blog will be provided by Blogger..."

India:
GoDaddy launches web program for small businesses - Firstpost: "...“The launch of the program allows the company to build an ecosystem of web developers and designers to serve the needs of the SMB market in India,” said Rajiv Sodhi, vice president and managing director at GoDaddy India and Australia."

USA:
Chief Counsel Advice Discusses Acquired Domain Names - Forbes: "A recently released Chief Counsel Advice memorandum (“CCA”) discusses the tax consequences of acquired internet domain names from the secondary market. The CCA references “non-generic domain names” and “generic domain names.” ..."

IT Business Edge -The Web's Shadiest Neighborhoods: What You Need to Know: (slides) "... To avoid getting slimed, businesses and consumers need guidance to understand how safe, or how shady, these new TLDs may be considered for web security purposes..."

XYZ wins Verisign false-advertising lawsuit - L.A. Biz: "... XYZ claims legal bills in the seven-figure range and disclosed that Negari is short-selling Verisign stock in a bid to pay down some of those expenses."

Verisign Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks (VRSN): "Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN) was upgraded by Zacks from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, MarketBeat reports. The brokerage presently has a $91.00 target price on the stock. Zacks‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 12.48% from the company’s current price..."

Caveat Emptor! 

Enjoy Your Weekend!




DISCLAIMER

2015-10-30

The World's Most Valuable Startups All Use dot COM Domain Names

Infographic: The World's Most Valuable Startups | Statista
Source: Statista

Domain names of the world's 10 most valuable private companies backed by venture capital:
uber.com
xiaomi.com redirects to mi.com
airbnb.com
palantir.com
snapchat.com
xiaojukeji.com (Didi Kuaidi)
flipkart.com
spacex.com
pinterest.com
dropbox.com

Why do ALL of the world's most valuable startups use dot COM domain names and not another TLD (top-level domain)?
The problem with not having the .com of your name is that it signals weakness. Unless you're so big that your reputation precedes you, a marginal domain suggests you're a marginal company. Whereas (as Stripe shows) having x.com signals strength even if it has no relation to what you do. Even good founders can be in denial about this ... 100% of the top 20 YC companies by valuation have the .com of their name. 94% of the top 50 do." - Paul Graham, VC and co-founder of the Y Combinator seed capital firm
Caveat Emptor!



DISCLAIMER

Happy Birthday, Internet!

ARPANET logical map, March 1977
Above: ARPANET logical map, March 1977 (by ARPANET [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
ARPANET went LIVE between UCLA and Stanford Research Institute on this day in 1969:

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was an early packet switching network and the first network to implement the protocol suite TCP/IP. Both technologies became the technical foundation of the Internet. ARPANET was initially funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense. Packet switching was based on concepts and designs by Americans Leonard Kleinrock and Paul Baran, British scientist Donald Davies and Lawrence Roberts of the Lincoln Laboratory. The TCP/IP communications protocols were developed for ARPANET by computer scientists Robert Kahn and Vint Cerf, and incorporated concepts by Louis Pouzin for the French CYCLADES project. (Wikipedia)

ARPANET facts:



DISCLAIMER

2015-10-29

Neustar $NSR Will Lose $500 Million Annual Revenue, 80% Downside?

See also newer posts  on Domain MondoCaveat Emptor: Neustar MarketShare Acquisition, 2016 $NSR Guidance (10 Dec 2015); Investors Flee Neustar $NSR, Stock Down 19% in Five Trading Days (12 Nov 2015) and Nov 9, 2015: Neustar $NSR Shares Tanked Friday After Marketshare Announcement

(Editor's Note: This post's original title was: "LIVE Webcasts: Neustar, Web.com, Q3 2015, $NSR 80% Downside Risk?")

"Loss of the NPAC contracts on or after September 30, 2016 will have a material impact on our future operating results when compared to our current financial profile. We expect to lose approximately $500 million of annual revenue and this loss will adversely impact our income from operations and operating margin. Additionally, this loss may have a disproportionate material negative impact on our operating margin because of the largely fixed and shared cost structure that is designed to support all of our services. We are unable to quantify the impact on our income from operations and operating margin at this time because the end date of the NPAC contract is uncertain and due to our largely fixed and shared cost structure. Our disclosure will expand as we evaluate the cost structure that will be in place to support our ongoing business, as we approach September 30, 2016 or as we learn more about the timing of the NPAC contract termination." p. 27 Neustar 10-Q (emphasis added), filed with the SEC October 29, 2015

"Since our previous article detailing how NeuStar (NYSE:NSR) is unlikely to survive without its NPAC contract, management has strengthened the bear case once again by making a rather costly acquisition and increasing leverage significantly, while canceling its share repurchase scheme ... What slightly befuddles us is that management would take on so much leverage at a time when the survival of the company hangs in the balance. Clearly, the company is extremely cash strapped as they were forced to cancel their $150M share repurchase program after only spending ~$102M (or two thirds of the allocated amount). Recall that management announced this share repurchase programme on the same day that they confirmed the loss of the NPAC contract. (The termination of the share repurchase was only announced through a passing remark in the conference call. There was no press release)."--John Zhang, Seeking Alpha, Nov. 9, 2015 

3rd UPDATE 30 Oct 2015: Seeking Alpha has now picked up on the Neustar disclosure (see 2nd Update below): NeuStar: The Loss Of The NAPM Contract Sees New Disclosure - NeuStar, Inc. (NYSE:NSR) | Seeking Alpha. In addition the transcript from yesterday's call has been released by Seeking Alpha--excerpts--emphasis and links added:

"... with Bombora, we're the clear global leader in launching and operating TLDs. To-date, we have launched 122 new TLDs or Top Level Domains, including notable names like .nyc, .science, and .club. We have several hundred more to launch including over 150 brand TLDs, which present great opportunities for us to cross-sell other services ...

"... First question is on the recent filings or documents that we saw filed on the SEC at your website. The SEC is currently asking for more segments' margin disclosure. What is your plan to address this, because the documents that were filed so far really don't indicate what you're planning to take?

Paul S. Lalljie - Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President:
"... as you can see from the outline and in all of our public filings, we generally capture information at the consolidated level. As we get closer to an end date for the impact, we will revisit our disclosures. Unfortunately that date is not very specific at this point in time, and as you can see in our 10-Q page 27 of 151, we have disclosures about expecting to lose the $500 million of revenue, but we – it is uncertain at this point in time what the impact will be, although we believe the impact on operating margin will be disproportionate, meaning it's not a dollar-for-dollar impact...

Will V. Power - Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc. (Broker):
"... on the Bombora deal I think you said $2.8 million of revenue contribution. Did you all give the EBITDA contribution? I know it would be small, but be curious to know what that might have been. If you're able to disclose that?

Paul S. Lalljie - Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President:
"I don't think we gave the EBITDA contribution, but I think in our explanation of expenses, we did include $2.7 million of acquisition-related operating expense and that should be primarily Bombora."


Based on the above, it is clear that the expected (approximately) $500 million loss disclosed in the 10-Q (see above and below), will have a "disproportionate impact on operating margin"--meaning impact on EBITDA and profits. On the Bombora deal, it appears to be a low-margin business at present: $2.8M revenue less $2.7 (approx) expenses= $100,000 EBITDA contribution for the quarter--Caveat Emptor!

2nd UPDATE 29 Oct 2015: Neustar admits "annual revenue will decrease by approximately $500 million" upon termination of NPAC contracts. and "total revenue and profitability may be materially adversely affected" (see 10-Q excerpt below). Note that 2014 total annual revenue was only $964 million, of which John Zhang (see further below) has stated "NPAC contract accounts for over 100% of Neustar's EBITDA" (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortization):

Item 1A. Risk Factors (p.33-34, Form 10-Q) (emphasis added)
"In addition to the other information set forth in this Quarterly Report, you should carefully consider the risks discussed in Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for our fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, filed with the SEC on February 13, 2015. The risks discussed in this Quarterly Report and in our Annual Report on Form 10-K could materially affect our business, financial condition and future results. The risks set forth below and described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K are not the only risks facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial also may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or operating results.

"When our seven contracts with North American Portability Management LLC are terminated, the timing of which is uncertain, our revenue and profitability may be materially adversely affected.

"We cannot be certain whether our contracts to provide local number portability services will be extended beyond September 30, 2016.  Once the contracts terminate, our annual revenue will decrease by approximately $500 million.  As a result of the uncertain contract end date and due to our cost structure, which is organized by function, the impact of the termination of the contracts on our income from operations is not currently quantifiable.  At the time of termination, our revenue and profitability will be dependent upon the success of our remaining business.  If we are not able to replace this lost revenue and adjust our operating plans to support our remaining business, our total revenue and profitability may be materially adversely affected."

UPDATE: Neustar misses on revenue: NeuStar (NYSE:NSR): Q3 EPS of $1.29 beats by $0.17.
Revenue of $261.7M (+7.3% Y/Y) misses by $0.31M. Press Release. Neustar stock closed today DOWN 3.93% at $26.89 (price decrease $1.10 ).
Web.com (NASDAQ:WWWW): Q3 EPS of $0.62 beats by $0.02; Revenue $140.4M (-2.4% Y/Y) beats by $0.85M. Earnings Release.

Domain Name Registry operator Neustar (NYSE: NSR) and Domain Name Registrar Web.com Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: WWWW - Web.com, NetworkSolutions.com, Register.com) both report Q3 2015 earnings after the market close today and each will have live webcasts at 5 pm ET. Here are the links to Web.com's earnings and live webcast [Web.com Group (WWWW) David L. Brown on Q3 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha] BUT the more interesting story is Neustar:

Neustar 5-year stock chart as of Oct 28, 2015
Neustar 5-year stock chart as of Oct 28, 2015 (source: google.com)
Neustar, Inc., (NYSE: NSR) will report Q3 2015 results on Thursday, October 29, 2015, after the close of regular trading. The third quarter earnings release will be followed by a teleconference and webcast beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET. For the live or archived webcast via the Internet, go to the Investor Relations section of the Neustar website: http://www.neustar.biz/about-us/investor-relations (source: NSR press release).

To participate in the teleconference: 800-765-0709 (international callers: 913-312-0860) and enter PIN 447718 (a few minutes prior to the call in order to register). A replay of the call will be available through 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Thursday, November 5, 2015 by dialing 877-870-5176 (international callers should dial 858-384-5517) and entering PIN 447718.

Principal domain name: neustar.biz
Stock exchange and Symbol: NYSE: NSR

About Neustar, Inc.(source: Neustar): Neustar, Inc., is the first real-time provider of cloud-based information services, enabling marketing and IT security professionals to promote and protect their businesses. With a commitment to privacy and neutrality, Neustar operates complex data registries and uses its expertise to deliver actionable, data-driven insights that help clients make high-value business decisions in real time, one customer interaction at a time.

Neustar is also a domain name registry operator for top-level domains (TLDs) such as .biz, .us (ccTLD for the U.S.), .co (ccTLD for Colombia), and other TLDs, (.nyc, .travel) as well as providing services for other TLD registry operators.

Neustar insiders have been selling their shares in Neustar, generally a bearish sign. In a recent Seeking Alpha article: Neustar: 80%+ Downside Within 13 Months (Oct 14, 2015), John Zhang, a self-described contrarian value investor, concludes (emphasis added):
  • There is a highly probable 80%+ downside within the next 13 months, with a chance the NSR may face default in the next 3 years due to continued deterioration in the non-NPAC business combined with the large liabilities on the balance sheet;
  • The NPAC contract (FCC's Numbering Portability Administration Contract) accounts for over 100% of Neustar's EBITDA;.
  • "Neustar risks breaching debt covenants in 2016 and 2017, and is unlikely to be able to refinance $300M in Senior Notes maturing in 2018;"
But what about Neustar's well-known acquisitions in the domain name industry, including .CO
and ARI Registry Services? Zhang specifically mentions .CO:

"... in March 2014, Neustar acquired .CO Internet S.A.S., the exclusive operator of .CO domain names. However, management disclosed in the next few quarters that [acquisition] contributed to incremental expenses and lower-than-expected revenues ... non-NPAC growth is slowing and margins are deteriorating. Furthermore, Neustar had to take on incremental amounts of debt to fund these purchases, leading to high leverage over the past few years." (emphasis added)

See also on Domain Mondo:


Caveat Emptor!


IANA Transition, ICANN Accountability, New CCWG Proposal, New Timeline

New CCWG-Accountability Timeline
Above: New CCWG-Accountability Timeline

There will be a 3rd draft Report from the Cross Community Working Group on "Enhancing ICANN Accountability" (CCWG-Accountability) which will likely (hopefully) be the "Final draft Report" concluding a tortuous process for CCWG members, participants, and even observers! At this point, the IANA Transition process is waiting for the CCWG to conclude its work, e.g., the IANA Coordination Group (ICG) cannot conclude its work due to CWG-Stewardship (names community) dependency on the outcome of the CCWG-Accountability's work [UPDATE: see ICG Completes its Work and Awaits Conclusion of CCWG on Enhancing ICANN Accountability | IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG)]. Based on the timeline above, the ICANN Board may be able to deliver to NTIA the IANA transition proposal by late January, or early February, 2016. NTIA would then need to review and approve the proposal, and necessary implementation to occur, in order to avoid having to extend the current NTIA-ICANN IANA functions contract beyond its current expiration date of September 30, 2016. See further below:
  • Summary of CCWG key decisions and agreed-upon next steps;
  • Popular posts on Domain Mondo related to CCWG-Accountability; 
  • Domain Mondo's Favorite Quotes from the CCWG-Accountability process.


Video above: CCWG-Accountability Co-Chairs' statement read by Co-Chair Leon Sanchez at ICANN 54's Public Forum, October 22, 2015, Dublin, Ireland.

Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) Co-Chairs' Statement, Oct 22, 2015, at ICANN54: A summary of key decisions and agreed-upon next steps:

Sole Designator as Reference for Enforcement
The group reached broad agreement to move forward with the Sole Designator as the new reference enforcement model [instead of the 2nd draft  proposal's Single Member Model] for the next draft proposal. The group will next attempt to finalize "patching" the model to alleviate any outstanding concerns on their next draft proposal.

Decision-Making Model
The group begun defining a consensus based decision-making model, which includes a community consultation period. Discussions on the topic were informed by concerns raised in the Public Comment on the 2nd Draft Report [which proposed Single Member Model] about unintended concentrations of power.

Independent Review Process (IRP)
The group confirmed support for the proposed IRP enhancements, and is now moving into the implementation phase. To spearhead this phase, a drafting sub-group with expert support will be constructed to develop and draft bylaws and detailed operating procedures.

Community Power: Review/Reject Budget and Operating Plan
The group has identified a balanced process and approach for the One-Year Operating Plan and Budget, which was an outstanding item coming into Dublin.

Community Power: Recall Individual Board Directors
The group confirmed a decision method for removal of a director appointed by the Nominating Committee, and a separate decision method for removal of a director appointed by an Advisory Committee orSupporting Organization.

Mission and Core Values
The group confirmed its support for a clarification of the Mission Statement and articulation of the Commitments and Core Values. An example of a clarification includes ICANN's ability to enforce agreements with contracted parties, subject to reasonable checks and balances.

Human Rights
The group reached consensus to include a general human rights commitment into the Bylaws. However, further work is needed on language and has been tasked to the Human Rights Working Party.

Incorporation of the Affirmation of Commitments into the Bylaws
The group finalized outstanding details of the incorporation of the Affirmation of Commitments Review into the bylaws. There is high confidence that these bylaws are nearly ready for consideration in terms of implementation.

Work Stream 2
The group adopted a focused list of Work Stream 2 items, with an emphasis on transparency requirements. There was also broad agreement to bring some of these transparency requirements into Work Stream 1 in consideration of the discussions around the Sole Designator enforcement model.

Timeline and Next Steps [see graphic at top of this page]
The CCWG-Accountability has had intensive discussions on the group's work plan, anticipated progress and next steps towards finalization... The current timeline proposes posting a high-level overview of recommendations and a summary of changes from the 2nd Draft Proposal for a 35-day public comment on 15 November 2015. Alongside the 35-day public comment, the CCWG-Accountability will submit these resources to the Chartering Organizations for initial feedback. The CCWG-Accountability plans to issue a full detailed report, including annexes and in-depth documentation, mid-way into the public comment period for roughly 20 days of consultation. After synthesis of the comments received, and assuming no major changes, the group currently projects submission of Work Stream 1 Recommendations to the ICANN Board in late January 2016. (source: ICANN)

CCWG-Accountability Co-Chairs: Mathieu Weill; Thomas Rickert*; Leon Sanchez

Popular posts on Domain Mondo related to CCWG-Accountability:
Domain Mondo's Favorite Quotes from CCWG-Accountability members, participants, lawyers--sourced from public comments, public mail lists, public tweets, public transcripts, and quoted in Domain Mondo's posts listed above--in no particular order: 
  • "Finished reading 89 comments [to 2nd draft Report]. Mind blown. Some interesting, few fun. Thks to my fan @DomainMondo for shooting our report ;-)" - Mathieu Weill 
  • “... Having been a member or observer of many of these entities [ICANN stakeholder groups] I have found that they are often disorganized, ruled by a few strong personalities in a sea of apathy, and given to making up rules on the fly when needed. They do not even necessarily follow the rules they have agreed to in the charters, though some do, not all of them. And for the most part, though they are supposed to [be] transparent, most aren't. So what I fear is that they are accountable to none except the few strong personalities..." - Avri Doria
  • "... I agree that we have not explored the accountability of stakeholder entities ... it could be seen as a fundamental flaw in our entire plan…”- Greg Shatan
  • "Sole Member given reserved power under Bylaws to override Board decision directly, regardless of Board fiduciary duties." - Legal counsel for CCWG-Accountability
  • "Board members ... do not breach fiduciary duties in implementing a decision a [Single Member Model] member has made. This could be a rabbit hole ..." - Jordan Carter
  • "If we have the power to spill the board with relative ease, we can easily reconvene, flesh out the member model, submit it to the Board and spill them if they aren’t constructive. We don’t need to worry about deadlines, the Congress, NTIA, etc. the whole point of WS1 is to ensure the capability to do just this." - Jonathan Zuck 
  • Thomas Rickert: "Fadi … take the slide and send it to the list…" 
  • Fadi Chehade: "I'm not on the list … I'm not going to be steamrolled…" 
  • Kavouss Arasteh: "... some people were emotional today. We should respect the colleagues with full respect. We should not attack the people…”
  • "At the moment no one in their right mind would approve our second draft proposal because of the feedback that it has." - Jordan Carter
  • "... We decided, by a unanimous vote of the 14 ALAC members present (with 1 not present), to withdraw support for the Membership model [Single Member Model in 2nd draft Report]" - Alan Greenberg



DISCLAIMER

2015-10-28

Alternative Investments: Spectrum, Internet of Things, IoT (video)


(Allow video above to load after clicking play)
Alternative Investments: Spectrum Investing: Monetizing Internet of Things - Chris Pucillo, chief executive officer and chief investment officer at Solus Alternative Asset Management, talks about the money-making opportunities of investing in cellular phone spectrum due to Internet of Things (IoT) and explains why he is negative on commodities, and positive on Puerto Rico! He speaks on "Bloomberg ‹GO›." (Source: Bloomberg, October 28, 2015) (if video above does not play on your device go to link above)

Solus Alternative Asset Management: soluslp.com



DISCLAIMER

Contrarian, Long Twitter, Why $TWTR May Be Oversold (video)



The Growing Value of a Twitter User - Twitter forecast fourth-quarter sales that may miss estimates and reported a slowdown in user growth, adding to the challenges facing new Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey as he seeks to turn the company around. Bloomberg's Cory Johnson breaks down the numbers on "What'd You Miss?" Published on Oct 27, 2015

UPDATE Oct 28, 2015: From the after hours low of $27.36 last night (see below), TWTR opened at $28.15 and continued to rise today to close at $30.86 (from 27.36 to 30.86=1 day gain of 13%)

TWTR One-day Stock Chart (Left), One-year Stock Chart (Right)
TWTR One-day Stock Chart (Left), One-year Stock Chart (Right) (source: google.com)
Long Twitter Contrarian, $TWTR Oversold: Twitter - twitter.com - (NYSE: TWTR), closed down yesterday in after hours trading at $27.36, based on yesterday's Q3 2015 Earnings Conference Call (Webcast): Twitter beats estimates, but guides light; shares tumble | Seeking Alpha: Twitter Q3 EPS of $0.10 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $569.2M (+58% Y/Y) beats by $9.6M. Expects Q4 revenue of $695M-$710M, below a $739.7M consensus. Shares -10.3% after hours.


Twitter's (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey on Q3 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha:
Jack Dorsey - Chief Executive Officer: "... We continue to grow the number of people who use Twitter, now totaling 320 million monthly active and 307 million excluding SMS Fast Followers. Together with our logged out audience of over 500 million people, which is still growing sequentially, that’s over 800 million people who use Twitter owned and operated properties every single month, and that doesn't include the over 1 billion unique visits monthly to websites with embedded tweets. As we’ve said on our last earnings call, our focus is on three things, a more disciplined execution, simplifying our services and better communicating our value. We have made meaningful progress across all three. First, let's talk about our execution, we simplified our roadmap around a few big breaths across Twitter, Periscope and Vine that we believe represent our largest opportunities, assigned leads for each major project initiative and fully staffed those teams...." (emphasis added).
Every event we’ve seen is always better with Twitter. Baseball twitter is greater twitter. Election twitter is great twitter. So hope you follow on tonight with World Series--Anthony Noto, Twitter CFO
Caveat Emptor and see Disclaimer at link below, but really, would you bet against @Jack & Co?

Twitter Investor Relations: investor.twitterinc.com

DISCLAIMER


Unicorn, Magic Leap, Replicating the Light Field, Visual Reality (video)



A New Way to Interact With Machines - Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz describes how his company will change the way people interact with computers and media at the WSJDLive 2015 conference in Laguna Beach, California. Published on Oct 21, 2015.

Replicating the Light Field, Visual Reality

Domain Name: magicleap.com

Magic Leap"We created something new. We call it a Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal™ (you can call it a Digital Lightfield™). It is biomimetic, meaning it respects how we function naturally as humans (we are humans after all, not machines). In time, we began adding a number of other technologies to our Digital Lightfield: hardware, software, sensors, core processors, and a few things that just need to remain a mystery. The result of this combination enabled our technology to deliver experiences that are so unique, so unexpected, so never-been-seen-before, they can only be described as magical."

"Magic Leap was founded by Rony Abovitz in 2010. In October 2014, when the company was still operating in stealth mode (but already reported to be working on projects relating to augmented reality and computer vision), it had raised more than $540 million of venture funding from Google, Qualcomm, Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins, among other investors. Richard Taylor of special effects company Weta Workshop is involved in Magic Leap alongside Abovitz. Science fiction author Neal Stephenson joined the company in December 2014. Graeme Devine is their Chief Creative Officer & Senior VP Games, Apps and Creative Experiences"- Wikipedia

Magic Leap | CrunchBase: "Augmented Reality, Video, Hardware + Software, Technology, Wearables"

Magic Leap is a Unicorn and on its way to Decacorn status: Magic Leap close to raising $1 billion - South Florida Business Journal: "Dania Beach [Florida] startup Magic Leap is close to inking a $1 billion financing round, two sources close to the deal told the South Florida Business Journal.The transaction will value the company at over $4.5 billion, the sources said. That valuation is more than twice what the company tipped the scales at in its last financing round."

Magic Leap, Inc.
@magicleap




DISCLAIMER

2015-10-27

Alibaba, Apple, Twitter, Q3 2015 Earnings, LIVE Webcasts Oct 27

UPDATE 27 Oct 2015: Apple reports iPhone, Apple Watch & App Store Drive Revenue Growth of 22%

CUPERTINO, California, Earnings Press Release, October 27, 2015: Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended September 26, 2015. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.1 billion, or $1.96 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $42.1 billion and net profit of $8.5 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 38 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

The growth was fueled by record fourth quarter sales of iPhone®, the expanded availability of Apple Watch®, and all-time records for Mac® sales and revenue from services.

“Fiscal 2015 was Apple’s most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28% to nearly $234 billion. This continued success is the result of our commitment to making the best, most innovative products on earth, and it’s a testament to the tremendous execution by our teams,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are heading into the holidays with our strongest product lineup yet, including iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch with an expanded lineup of cases and bands, the new iPad Pro and the all-new Apple TV which begins shipping this week.”

“Apple’s record September quarter results drove earnings per share growth of 38% and operating cash flow of $13.5 billion,” said Luca Maestri, Apple’s CFO. “We returned $17 billion to our investors during the quarter through share repurchases and dividends, and we have now completed over $143 billion of our $200 billion capital return program.”

Apple is providing the following guidance for its fiscal 2016 first quarter:
revenue between $75.5 billion and $77.5 billion
gross margin between 39 percent and 40 percent
operating expenses between $6.3 billion and $6.4 billion
other income/(expense) of $400 million
tax rate of 26.2 percent

Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $.52 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable on November 12, 2015, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 9, 2015.

Apple will provide live streaming of its Q4 2015 financial results conference call beginning at 2:00 p.m. PDT on October 27, 2015 at www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/earningsq415. This webcast will also be available for replay for approximately two weeks thereafter.



Video above - Apple Earnings: 4 Things to Watch For:
Sales of the latest iPhone 6S are not the only things on Wall Street's radar when Apple reports earnings Tuesday. WSJ 'Heard on the Street' columnist Dan Gallagher explains what else investors will be parsing.

Alibaba, Apple, Twitter--BABA, AAPL, TWTR--Q3 2015 Earnings, LIVE Webcasts, Tuesday, October 27, 2015:

Alibaba:
UPDATE: Q3 EPS of RMB3.63 beats by RMB0.21.
Revenue of RMB22.17B (+31.7% Y/Y) beats by RMB850M.
NYSE: BABA (stock UP pre-market Oct 27, 2015 after earnings release)
alibabagroup.com
alibaba.com
Alibaba Group:
September Quarter 2015 Earnings Press Release
Alibaba Group’s Earnings Conference Call for September Quarter 2015
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 7:30 AM ET (U.S. Eastern Time) 
Listen to the Webcast
Details of the conference call are as follows:
International: +65 6713 5090
U.S.: +1 845 675 0437
U.K.: +44 203 059 8139
Hong Kong: +852 3018 6771
China: 400 620 8038 or 800 819 0121
Conference ID: 52573326
$BABA


Apple:
NASDAQ: AAPL
apple.com
Apple - Investor Relations: FY 15 Fourth Quarter Results (fourth fiscal quarter results)
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 PM ET.
Listen to the audio webcast (Live streaming uses Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology. HLS requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later, a Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later, or a PC with Edge on Windows 10.)
$AAPL


Twitter:
NYSE: TWTR
twitter.com
Investor relations | AboutTwitter Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call
October 27, 2015 at 2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET
Listen to webcast
Watch on Periscope

Twitter Reports Third Quarter 2015 Results (pdf): Twitter, Inc.has announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2015.
• Q3 revenue of $569 million, up 58% year-over-year, and above the previously forecast range of $545 million to $560 million. Excluding the impact of year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates, revenue would have increased 64%
• Q3 GAAP net loss of $132 million and non-GAAP net income of $67 million
• Q3 GAAP EPS of ($0.20) and non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.10
• Q3 adjusted EBITDA of $142 million, up 108% year-over-year, and above the previously forecast range of $110 million to $115 million, representing an adjusted EBITDA margin of 25%

$TWTR


BABA, AAPL, TWTR - Company Comparison - Google Finance
Posts on Domain Mondo:



DISCLAIMER

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg At Tsinghua University, Beijing (video)



Video above: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg At Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, this past weekend.

Facebook is blocked in China, nevertheless Zuckerberg has learned to speak fluent Mandarin as indicated in the video, and joined the board of Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management a year ago. He was participating in a student dialogue with board members according to the Los Angeles Times, which also reported:
"Zuckerberg's relentless China charm offensive has also included hosting China’s Internet czar at Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters last year, and leaving a copy of Xi's [Chinese President Xi Jinping] collected writings in prominent view. A state-run news outlet in China later reported that Zuckerberg told the official, Lu Wei, about the book: "I want my colleagues to understand socialism with Chinese characteristics." (That's Communist party-speak for China's blend of capitalism and authoritarianism.)"
Zuckerberg posted on Facebook: “This was also my first real speech in any language sharing how I started thinking about Facebook's mission, what has kept me going through challenging times and what our mission means now looking ahead for our community of 1.5 billion people.” 

Facebook - stock exchange:symbol - NASDAQ: FB

Principal domain name: facebook.com   [fb.com redirects to facebook.com]

Facebook's Investor Relations website: investor.fb.com 



DISCLAIMER

2015-10-26

Verisign, ICANN, Internet Root Zone, Risk Factors to the Root Domain

UPDATE: "... I don't see any way that ICANN itself is held accountable for the consequences of its policy decisions (e.g. creating large numbers of unnecessary gTLDs for no discernible motive except money) ... I've been concerned since 1998 that unchecked expansion of the number of gTLDs will eventually take us into uncharted territory from a technical resilience point of view. I see no technical and operational feedback mechanism to protect us against this operational risk in the proposal. I would like to see a multistakeholder DNS Operations Committee with a clear role in identifying DNS-wide technical issues and pressing for their resolution ... (As an IETF contributor I am an IANA customer.) ..." -- Brian Carpenter, August 1, 2015, Public Comments (pdf), IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal
"... In the Domain Name System (DNS) naming of computers there is a hierarchy of names. 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, March 1994, RFC 1591 (emphasis added)
"... The requirement for uniqueness within a domain further implies that there be some mechanism to prevent name conflicts within a domain. In DNS this is accomplished by assigning a single owner or maintainer to every domain, including the root domain ... This is a technical requirement, not a policy choice ... There is one specific technical respect in which the root zone differs from all other DNS zones: the addresses of the name servers for the root zone come primarily from out-of-band information. This out-of-band information is often poorly maintained and, unlike all other data in the DNS, the out-of-band information has no automatic timeout mechanism. It is not uncommon for this information to be years out of date at many sites. Like any other zone, the root zone contains a set of "name server" resource records listing its servers, but a resolver with no valid addresses for the current set of root servers will never be able to obtain these records. More insidiously, a resolver that has a mixed set of partially valid and partially stale out-of-band configuration information will not be able to tell which are the "real" root servers if it gets back conflicting answers; thus, it is very difficult to revoke the status of a malicious root server, or even to route around a buggy root server. In effect, every full-service resolver in the world "delegates" the root of the public tree to the public root server(s) of its choice. As a direct consequence, any change to the list of IP addresses that specify the public root zone is significantly more difficult than changing any other aspect of the DNS delegation chain. Thus, stability of the system calls for extremely conservative and cautious management of the public root zone: the frequency of updates to the root zone must be kept low, and the servers for the root zone must be closely coordinated. These problems can be ameliorated to some extent by the DNS Security Extensions [DNSSEC], but a similar out-of-band configuration problem exists for the cryptographic signature key to the root zone, so the root zone still requires tight coupling and coordinated management even in the presence of DNSSEC. ..." --Internet Architecture Board, IAB Technical Comment on the Unique DNS Root, May, 2000, RFC 2826  (emphasis added)


From Verisign's Form 10-Q filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on October 22, 2015, for the reporting period ending September 30, 2015 (emphasis and links added):

"We operate two root zone servers and are contracted to perform the Root Zone Maintainer function. Under ICANN’s new gTLD program, we face increased risk from these operations.

"We administer and operate two of the 13 root zone servers. Root zone servers are name servers that contain authoritative data for the very top of the DNS hierarchy. These servers have the software and DNS configuration data necessary to locate name servers that contain authoritative data for the TLDs. These root zone servers are critical to the functioning of the Internet. Under the Cooperative Agreement with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) of the DOC [U.S. Department of Commerce], we play a key operational role in support of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (“IANA”) function as the Root Zone Maintainer [see: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/legacy/DNS/CurrentProcessFlow.pdf ]. In this role, we provision and publish the authoritative data for the root zone itself multiple times daily and distribute it to all root server operators.

"Under its new gTLD program, ICANN has recommended delegations into the root zone of a large number of new gTLDs. In view of our role as the Root Zone Maintainer, and as a root server operator, we face increased risks should ICANN’s delegation of these new gTLDs, which represent unprecedented changes to the root zone in volume and frequency, cause security and stability problems within the DNS and/or for parties who rely on the DNS. Such risks include potential instability of the DNS including potential fragmentation of the DNS should ICANN’s delegations create sufficient instability, and potential claims based on our role in the root zone provisioning and delegation process. These risks, alone or in the aggregate, have the potential to cause serious harm to our Registry Services business. Further, our business could also be harmed through security, stability and resiliency degradation if the delegation of new gTLDs into the root zone causes problems to certain components of the DNS ecosystem or other aspects of the global DNS, or other relying parties are negatively impacted as a result of domain name collisions or other new gTLD security issues, such as exposure or other leakage of private or sensitive information.

"Additionally, DNS Security Extensions (“DNSSEC”) enabled in the root zone and at other levels of the DNS require new preventative maintenance functions and operational practices that did not exist prior to the introduction of DNSSEC. Any failure by Verisign or the IANA functions operator to comply with stated practices, such as those outlined in relevant DNSSEC Practice Statements, introduces risk to DNSSEC relying parties and other Internet users and consumers of the DNS, which could have a material adverse impact on our business.

"On March 14, 2014, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions potentially impacting our Root Zone Maintainer function.

"On March 14, 2014, NTIA announced its intent to transition its oversight of the IANA function to the global multi-stakeholder community. NTIA asked ICANN to convene global stakeholders to develop a proposal to transition the current role played by NTIA in the coordination of the DNS. The NTIA is also coordinating a related and parallel transition of related root zone management functions. These related root zone management functions involve our role as Root Zone Maintainer under the Cooperative Agreement. At NTIA’s request, we submitted a proposal with ICANN to NTIA as how best to remove NTIA’s administrative role associated with root zone management in a manner that maintains the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet’s domain name system. We have performed the Root Zone Maintainer functions as a community service spanning three decades without compensation at the request of the Department of Commerce under the Cooperative Agreement. While it is uncertain how the transition of oversight of the IANA function and related root zone management functions will affect our role as Root Zone Maintainer, it is anticipated that performance of the root zone management function would be conducted by us under a new root zone management agreement with ICANN once the root zone management function obligations under the Cooperative Agreement are completed. Although our Root Zone Maintainer function is separate from our Registry Services business, and the NTIA announcement does not affect our operation of the . com, .net and . name or other registries, including the root zone, there can be no assurance that the transition of the IANA function, the transition of the related root zone management functions and associated transition processes will not negatively impact our business...."

Caveat Emptor!

Additional info:



DISCLAIMER

Coley Andrews: What it Takes to be a Search Fund Entrepreneur (video)



Video above: Coley Andrews: What it Takes to be a Search Fund Entrepreneur - (Published September 23, 2015) - Takeaways from the Stanford Graduate School of Business Entrepreneur Symposium 2015

Pacific Lake Partners, Boston, MA, @PacificLake
Domain Name: pacificlake.com

Coley Andrews | Pacific Lake Partners"Coley Andrews is a Co-Founder and Managing Member of Pacific Lake Partners. Since co-founding the firm with Jim Southern in 2009, Coley has worked with over 50 Search Funds. He currently serves as a Director at Inspired eLearning, Aquavita, dESCO, and Data Fusion Technologies and as a Board Visitor at AlphaCredit, Raptor Technologies, Scottish American, Arizona College, and Vector Disease Control International."

What's a Search Fund | Pacific Lake PartnersThe Search Fund model is a proven, viable path for entrepreneurs who want to own and build a company. The Search Fund model offers relatively inexperienced, recent MBA graduates with limited capital resources a quick path to owning, managing, and growing a company, or  "Entrepreneurship through Acquisition."

Pacific Lake Uses ‘Very Obscure’ Strategy To Help Entrepreneurs - Venture Capital Dispatch - WSJDec 30, 2009 "Pacific Lake Partners is raising $35 million, but not for your run-of-the-mill venture fund – it’s for a rare breed of fund that provides capital for young entrepreneurs to search for a potential buyout opportunity. The investment strategy, known as a search fund, is “very obscure,” Pacific Lake Partner Jim Southern said. But it’s one informed by Southern’s own business experience."




DISCLAIMER

2015-10-25

ICANN Chairman Steve Crocker, CEO Fadi Chehadé, Final ICANN54 Video



ICANN54 Final Video Interview with Steve Crocker and Fadi Chehadé, interviewed by ICANN's Head of Communications for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Luna Madi. The interview of ICANN Board Chair Steve Crocker and President and CEO Fadi Chehadé occurred at the close of ICANN54 in Dublin. Video above published by ICANN on Oct 23, 2015.

See other Domain Mondo posts related to ICANN 54 in Posts archive below (web page) and via Google Search results

and ICANN Lobbying, Conflicts, Ethics, Transparency, Accountability, Disclosure Oct 23, 2015




DISCLAIMER

2015-10-24

ICANN 54: New gTLDs Still Beg For Money, Claim Severe 'Implications'

UPDATE 27 Oct 27 2015: On Sunday, Internet Hall of Famer Paul Vixie unloaded on ICANN and its new gTLDs (new generic top-level domains), calling the new gTLDs "all commercial failures" and ICANN a corrupt, industry-captured corporation that does not serve the public interest--as reported by ZDNet (emphasis added)--
  • "I think it [ICANN's new gTLDs] is a money grab. My own view is that ICANN functions as a regulator, and that as a regulator it has been captured by the industry that they are regulating. I think that there was no end-user demand whatsoever for more so-called DNS extensions, [or] global generic top-level domains (gTLDs).”
  • The demand for the new domains came from "the people who have the budget to send a lot of people to every ICANN meeting, and participate in every debate", that is, the domain name registrars who simply want more names to sell, so they can make more money. But these new domains don't seem to be working. "They're gradually rolling out, and they are all commercial failures."
  • "I'm sure that there will be another 2,000 of them sold, because $185,000 to pay the application fee for each one [is] chump change to the companies who want to make money doing this."
  • Creating the new domains goes against ICANN's purpose--"ICANN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity [under the California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law], and their [ICANN's] job is to serve the public, not to serve the companies... I think that until they can come up with an actual public benefit reason they should be creating more of these, they've got no cause to act;" "there should be no price at which you can buy .microsoft, but there is, and that's a mistake. That indicates corruption, as far as I'm concerned."
_______

ICANN 54: The same tired refrain was heard yet again at another ICANN meeting, from the failing new gTLDs lobbyists, if only slightly more desperate this time--

"Good afternoon, Christa Taylor from dot TBA in Canada. I just have a couple comments for consideration for the Board and community. I understand the use of auction funds is open for comments and I would ask that they be used to strategically and financially benefit the new gtld ecosphere. Registration revenues have not reached the tipping point and implications could be severe if they're [the ICANN auction proceeds] utilized in some other manner..." (emphasis added) (ICANN 54 Public Forum, October 22, 2015)

Translated: Many new gTLDs (new generic top-level domains) are failing, and we (the new gTLDs lobby) want ICANN (and the global internet community) to financially support us and 'save us' from the consequences of our failing to do proper 'due diligence' before applying for unwanted, unneeded new gTLD(s), for which nobody, including ICANN, guaranteed 'success,' and now we want YOU to give us YOUR money.

Have these people (new gTLDs lobbyists) no shame?

Actually, Ms. Taylor apparently was not listening--it was announced at the beginning of the Forum that this was not the time nor place to make comments about issues for which there are, or would be, ongoing ICANN processes open for public comments--see: New gTLD Auction Proceeds Discussion Paper Open for Public Comments until 8 Nov 2015 23:59 UTC.

Unsurprisingly, Ms. Taylor's 'comment' was appropriately 'dealt' with (i.e., brushed off):

Wolfgang Kleinwachter: ... Cherine will take the first part of your question.

[ICANN Board Member] Cherine Chalaby: Regarding the -- what to do with the auction money, I think this is -- we are committed that this is going to be a community decision, and the Board is not going to direct where this money is going to be. So you got to give your input. I think the GNSO is going to you know, undertake the work there and make a recommendation on this issue. And they use the community input as a whole in that. So that's an important thing. Thank you very much.

We have heard this same refrain from the new gTLDs lobby, over and over again, at other ICANN Public Forums--see: ICANN is NOT a new gTLDs Marketing Agency: ICANN 53 Review, Part 3 (June 29, 2015).

Anyone wanting more background on this should read:
Or just listen to a new gTLDs registry operator, Frank Schilling (Uniregistry):
"I do think that Donuts’ approach of having a large portfolio [hundreds] of [new gTLDs] names is the right model. There is not enough cash flow to sustain a business otherwise. We at Uniregistry are just big enough but I expect that some registries will soon be people operating out of their bedrooms. Many of the new names just don’t work."--Frank Schilling (June, 2015)(emphasis added)

Caveat Emptor!

See also on Domain Mondo




DISCLAIMER

Former GNSO Chair Jonathan Robinson Interview from ICANN54 (video)

"

An ICANN interview of Jonathan Robinson at ICANN 54 in Dublin. Robinson is now former Chair of ICANN's GNSO Council--note: GNSO failed to elect a Chair to replace Robinson at ICANN 54, so the GNSO's Vice Chairs are presently doing the Chair's duties--
Transcript of video above:
I'm here at the ICANN 54 meeting in Dublin with Jonathan Robinson the Chair of the GNSO Council. Jonathan ... your time will come to an end in Dublin, what are you thoughts of the GNSO and the state its in at the moment? I think we're in a good state in many ways. I mean we we've done a lot of work to make sure that things operate smoothly and that we work in an effective way and that that goes through many different layers, that's in terms of the personal relationships with, between the councillors through to our understanding of each other's constituencies and stakeholder groups, knowledge of processes and procedures, effective working with staff, so feels to me that we're in pretty good shape and I feel proud to be handing over the chair of a critical organ in the ICANN infrastructure to a successor Chair, so I think we're in good shape. Over the past three years changes have taken place ... I think the overarching theme we tried to put in place at three years ago was to look at a process of continuous improvement and in doing so we looked at a number of different areas it was was in terms of the underlying processes what we with within the operating procedures of the way in which the council manages the policy, how we could do any of those things more efficiently and more effectively. For example when we now do the preparation of an issue report with a draft charter in there that the council is not obliged to accept that has the opportunity to accept if the council accepts that we end up with a more efficient start to the PDP process ...  we've concentrated on a number of different areas we concentrate on where we can improve those processes and we can get greater throughput. We've concentrated on how we might best rely on the staff that support the council and staff were able to take on significant amount of work provided we trust and had an effective working relationship with the staff . We need to have good interpersonal relationships between those Councillors because we're often dealing with quite contentious matters and so one of the things we've done is concentrate on making sure when we know and understand one another from both a constituency and stakeholder group level. We try to understand the way in which the different groups work, in which they come to decisions in which in which they empower the councillors to work, but also we spent some time out of council meetings getting to know one another in making sure we know and understand each other as individuals. What are your thoughts for the incoming Chair? I feel like I'm handing over something in good shape, but that doesn't mean there isn't lots of work to be done. And I think one of the one of the key areas that might help will be to start to think of the work of the Council as being managed and handled by not only the Chair alone, but the Vice Chairs and a competent policy staff. So I think the critical thing to do, because one of the key challenges is dealing with a high and increasing volume of work is to pull together with the Vice Chairs and support staff and see that as the team through which that increased throughput is generated. Thank you very much for your time and good luck for the future. Thank you very much.

GNSO - Generic Names Supporting Organizationhttp://gnso.icann.org/en/
GNSO Wiki: https://community.icann.org/category/gnso
On Twitter: @ICANN_GNSO

About the GNSO | Generic Names Supporting Organization"The Generic Names Supporting Organization fashions (and over time, recommends changes to) policies for generic Top-Level Domains (e.g., .com, .org, .biz). The GNSO strives to keep gTLDs operating in a fair, orderly fashion across one global Internet, while promoting innovation and competition. Sample GNSO issues: When you register a domain name, what services must the registrar provide? If you forget to renew your domain name, and it expires, can you get it back? What happens if someone registers a domain name that is confusingly similar to yours? Resources posted here will help you learn more about the GNSO and its policy development process."

The GNSO is comprised of Stakeholder Groups--"constituency" is a technical term referring to a group of Internet users united around a particular common interest or perspective, formally recognized by the GNSO Council.



DISCLAIMER

Domain Mondo posts: