2016-02-29

Back to square one? US Economy Now Driving Global Growth (video)


Back to square one? | Authers' Note -John Authers reports on US GDP numbers that eased recession fears. (FT.com, Feb 26, 2016)




S&P 500 Index 3-month chart
S&P 500 Index 3-month chart (source: google.com)

Finally, ICYMI--Warren Buffett’s 50th annual letter to shareholders--BerkshireHathaway.com (pdf)

2016-02-28

News Review: ICANN Accountability, NETmundial Initiative, G20 & China

DomainMondoShiningLight ©2013domainmondo.com All Rights Reserved
Another busy week!--here's the Domain Mondo news review of the past week--

1. The ICANN CCWG-Accountability Final Report (WS1)--part of the IANA Transition--was approved for publication and distribution to the CCWG Chartering Organizations for their review and approval. Read more further below*.

2. The NETmundial Initiative Coordination Council had its face-to-face meeting in Madrid. Current funding by the founding partners--ICANN, World Economic Forum (WEF), CGI.br--ends June 30, 2016. ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade announced his resignation from the Council effective March 13, 2016. Read more at: DomainMondo.com: NETmundial Initiative, WEF and ICANN Withdrawal, Consequences

3. The global economic situation continued its precarious 2016 start with more concerns being raised about China's debt problems, and global monetary policies. Read more on Domain Mondo at: Will the Chinese Yuan Lose 30% of its Value? Investing in China (video) and G20 Meeting in China, Mohamed El-Erian Interview, Twitter Feeds.

*IANA Transition--what's next?
The Final Proposal for Enhancing ICANN Accountability (WS1) was (finally!) approved by the ICANN Cross-Community Working Group (CCWG-Accountability) and distributed to Chartering Organizations for their approval by March 9th at ICANN55 in Marrakech, which would allow the ICANN Board at its meeting on March 10th, to approve and send the entire IANA Stewardship Transition Plan to NTIA for its review. What happens after the IANA Plan gets to Washington, D.C., is no slam dunk. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology Subcommittee has already scheduled an IANA Transition Hearing for March 17, 2016. See also on Domain Mondo:  Is ICANN's IANA Stewardship Transition Plan DOA Washington DC? (video) and US Congressman Tells ICANN CEO To 'Abandon' IANA Transition and US Senators Cruz, Lankford & Lee Demand Answers From ICANN CEO.

Before the IANA Plan even gets to Washington, there are a couple of caveats:

(a) Not everyone on the CCWG-Accountability is happy about the way things went down at its last meeting on February 23rd, and five minority (dissenting) reports have been filed, including one representing 16 governments. Read more at: GAC Members Minority Statement on ICANN Accountability WS1 Proposal (post includes all 5 minority reports); and at IANA Stewardship Transition, New ICANN CCWG Accountability Timeline.

(b) There's a chance a further glitch may occur at ICANN55. Here's what the CCWG charter says about this phase of the process:


There are several nightmare scenarios that could play out at ICANN55 in Marrakech. Keep an eye on the GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee) deliberations at ICANN55.

Most popular articles on DomainMondo.com this past week (highest number of pageviews):
  1. NETmundial Initiative, WEF and ICANN Withdrawal, Consequences
  2. Verisign Form 10-K for 2015, Domain Name Industry 'Must Read'
  3. News Review: ISIS at Marrakech, ICANN Plan Delayed, Verisign 10-K
  4. ICANN Damaged a Competitive Domain Name Market With Its New gTLDs
  5. US Senators Cruz, Lankford & Lee Demand Answers From ICANN CEO
Looking ahead to this coming week on Domain Mondo:
  • Super Tuesday is March 1st, when several U.S. states hold their U.S. Presidential primary elections. Right now Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the front-runners to become the respective Democrat and Republican candidates for U.S President. More information on Domain Mondo's Election2016 page.
  • ICANN55 in Marrakech will officially begin this coming Saturday, March 5th. Domain Mondo will post a page with ICANN55 info, links, and twitter feeds, prior to the start of ICANN55. Hot topics, as discussed above, will include IANA transition and ICANN accountability issues. It will also be the final meeting of current ICANN President & CEO Fadi Chehade.
  • ICANN's selection of Meeting locations has been problematic in 2016. On February 5th, ICANN announced that due to the severity of the Zika Virus outbreak in the Latin America region, ICANN56 would be relocated from Panama (alternate location still TBD). ICANN55 has had to contend with security issues, see ICANN 55, Marrakech, Morocco: Travel Warnings, Threat of Terrorist Acts. If you are traveling to Marrakech, you may want to read An Informed Traveler Is a Safer Traveler - The New York Times.

Final Note: Don't miss Domain Mondo's earlier post this week Klarna [klarna.com]: Buy Things With Just Email and Zip Code (video).

Have a great week!

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo




DISCLAIMER

2016-02-27

G20 Meeting in China, Mohamed El-Erian Interview, Twitter Feeds

G20 meeting in China, February 26-27, 2016, at Shanghai, where differences of opinion have broken out among the members, see Clashes over policy at Shanghai G20 meeting - FT.com and Laid Bare in Shanghai: G-20 Tensions Over How to Spur Growth - Bloomberg Business: "... Calls for increased government spending to lift demand, which have emanated from the U.S. and China, ran into opposition from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who said using debt to fund growth just leads to “zombifying” economies. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney voiced skepticism over negative interest rates, which have now been adopted in continental Europe and Japan, and the head of the International Monetary Fund also warned about diminishing effectiveness of monetary policies...."

About the G20:
G-20 major economies - (Wikipedia): "The Group of Twenty (also known as the G-20 or G20) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies. The members include 19 individual countries—Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States—along with the European Union (EU). The EU is represented by the European Commission and by the European Central Bank. The G-20 was founded in 1999 with the aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability."

Domain: g20.org



Interview With Mohamed El-Erian - Masters in Business (Audio) by Bloomberg View (45 minutes, published Feb 13, 2016): Mohammed El-Erian of Allianz (also former CEO and co-chief investment officer of Pimco, owned by Allianz), interviewed by Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg View's Masters in Business series.

Background of El-Erian:
Mohamed A. El-Erian on Twitter: @elerianm




DISCLAIMER

2016-02-26

NETmundial Initiative, WEF and ICANN Withdrawal, Consequences

UPDATE: Comments of Larry Strickling (US Department of Commerce, NTIA) at the NETmundial Initiative meeting in Madrid (as reported by Samantha Dickinson):
UPDATE: The NETmundial Initiative (NMI) meeting in Madrid has concluded, and a Communique issued which includes the following points:
  • Funding by the founding 'partners' ICANN, World Economic Forum (WEF), and CGI.br ends June 30, 2016 [ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade announced at the meeting that the new ICANN CEO and the ICANN Board will determine at a later date whether to continue any funding beyond June 30th. Chehade also announced his resignation from the NMI Coordination Council effective March 13, 2016].
  • The Council considered and accepted a proposal for CGI.br to provide an institutional home for the ongoing initiative, subject to approval by CGI.br’s Board.  
  • The Council discussed the possibility of changing its current structure following a broad community consultation. 
  • The current open request for nominations to the Coordination Council is withdrawn. Once the public consultation is complete, a new nomination process will begin.  
  • Two activities were proposed for 2016, sponsorship for which has already been secured: (1) Document a set of good practices for national multistakeholder Internet governance structures and mechanisms; (2) Pilot the application of such practices in sub-Saharan Africa, including a conference to share learnings from pilot participants.
  • A follow-up meeting of the Coordination Council will be held in Brussels, Belgium, on 8 June 2016. 
[--end of UPDATE--]

NETmundial Initiative: "Council members are currently considering the future direction of the NETmundial Initiative, and will make decisions at the Council's face-to-face meeting in Madrid, Spain, on 26 February 2016. In the meanwhile the nomination process for a new Council announced previously is on hold pending the outcome of that meeting."

NETmundial Initiative Coordination Council2nd Face to Face Meeting, Madrid, Spain
Date: 26 Feb 2016 - Remote Participation: Adobe Connect Room.

AGENDA - times shown below are UTC:

08:00 - 08:30 Welcoming Remarks from Host, Co-Chairs Overview of Achievements.
Moderator: Eileen Donahoe

08:30 - 10:00 WEF [World Economic Forum] & ICANN Withdrawal: Financial & Political Consequences; Looking Forward - A quick reality check; value of NETmundial; order of magnitude of costs; potential new partners, etc. This session is meant to inform the next sessions.
Moderator: Jean-Jacques Subrenat
10:00 - 10:15 | Break

10:15 - 12:00 Moving Forward - Share and explore feasibility of ideas presented in the non-paper and subsequent CGI.br position paper; relationship with the IGF.
Moderator: Wolfgang Kleinwächter
12:00 - 13:30 | Lunch

Afternoon Agenda TBD - to be determined based on work of morning sessions
13:30 - 14:30
14:30 - 14:45 | Break
14:45 - 15:30
15:30 - 16:00 NMI Roadmap Post June 2016
Moderator: Marilia Maciel
16:00 - 16:15 | Approval of Communique

Background:
The NETmundial Initiative (NMI) was one of  ICANN President and CEO Fadi Chehade's personal pet projects while on "ICANN's dime" (Fadi is Co-Chair, as is Jack Ma and others), reportedly funded (in part) by ICANN, though NMI has never received wide support from either the global internet community, nor the "ICANN community"--see NETmundial Initiative Lacks Backing, and ICANN Should Not Lead and other sources below. See also this ICANN Documentary Information Disclosure Policy Request (pdf) and Response (pdf).

See on Domain Mondo:
NetMundial Initiative (NMI) - (Wikipedia): "The NMI was launched in on 6 November 2014 in a
partnership between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br) and the World Economic Forum (WEF). Its Inaugural Coordination Council consisted of 23 members ... Leading up to and following the initial scoping meeting of NMI in Geneva, Switzerland in August 2014, several actors in the broader Internet governance ecosystem expressed concerns over NMI's proposed organization and activities. Concerns intensified following the official launch in November of that year. ISOC, the IAB and ICC BASIS published statements outlining their concerns ... According to Julia Pohle in the Global Policy Journal, there were three main controversial issues surrounding NMI raised by civil society and the technical community: permanent seats on the NMI Council, potential interference with the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and concern over disproportionate involvement in decision-making by economic and political elite. NMI retracted the notion of permanent seats on the Council, committed to supporting the efforts of the IGF and generated Internet Governance Process Principles to comprehensively address concerns regarding adherence to bottom-up, multistakeholder consensus-driven governance."

#netmundial



DISCLAIMER

2016-02-25

Is ICANN's IANA Stewardship Transition Plan DOA Washington DC? (video)

Is the IANA Stewardship Transition Plan DOA [Dead on Arrival] in Washington? On Tuesday, February 23, 2016, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (NTIA is an agency of the Commerce Department) testified in a budget hearing before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, and was asked specifically, by Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson, if she understood Congress had prohibited any effort towards an IANA stewardship transition--watch the relevant portion of that testimony below (27:20-32:53)--


Video above starts at 27:20, and ends at 32:53. Hearing: Department of Commerce Budget - The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science holds a hearing to review the FY 2017 budget request for the U.S. Department of Commerce. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker testifies. (Streamed live Feb 23, 2016) (EventID=104476).

Excerpt:

Chairman John Culberson: "You recognize we've prohibited any effort to move to such a [IANA stewardship] transition?"

Secretary Pritzker: "I understand the language which has been put in appropriations, and so what we are going to do is receive a plan and then we will talk to you about it."

It is now expected that the ICANN Board of Directors will deliver, in March, 2016, to NTIA, the IANA Stewardship Transition Plan developed in response to the NTIA, March, 2014, announcement.

For background and further information see on Domain Mondo:




DISCLAIMER

2016-02-24

Klarna: Buy Things With Just Email and Zip Code (video)



Klarna: Buy Things With Just Email and Zip Code? - What if you could buy products online using only your email and a zip code? Klarna, a mobile payment company, has found success in Europe and is now aiming to lure in American customers. Klarna's North Americas CEO Brian Billingsley interviewed by WSJ.com's Tanya Rivero to discuss. (Published on Feb 17, 2016)

Domain name: klarna.com

Start Selling Online with Klarna's payment gateway - Klarna"Most checkout carts don't become orders. 66% of laptop shoppers leave without checking out and on smartphones, as many as 82% of shoppers don’t bother with the fuss of checking out. That’s why it pays to have the easiest checkout possible."

Klarna - About Us"Founded in Stockholm in 2005, Klarna is one of Europe's fastest growing companies, and offers safe and easy-to-use payment solutions to e-stores. At the core of Klarna's services is the concept of after delivery payment, which lets buyers receive ordered goods before any payment is due. At the same time, Klarna assumes the credit and fraud risk so that retailers can rest assured they will receive their money. Klarna Group has more than 1,400 employees and is active on 18 markets. We serve 45 million consumers and work with 65,000 merchants, attracting major international clients such as Spotify, Disney, Samsung, Wish and ASOS. Our goal is to become the world’s favorite way to buy."

Tweets by @klarnaUS & Tweets about klarna





DISCLAIMER

2016-02-23

Will the Chinese Yuan Lose 30% of its Value? Investing in China (video)

Shanghai Composite Index
Shanghai Composite Index (source: google.com) 
UPDATE Feb 25, 2016: Lunar New Year post-holiday blues for the Shanghai Composite: the index dropped today 6.4% (see chart above), extending its decline this year to 22%. According to Seeking Alpha: surging money-market rates signal tighter liquidity and the offshore yuan has weakened for a fifth day, while China's vice finance minister warned of pressure on exports, and world leaders gather for a G20 meeting in Shanghai. Current market turmoil and a global economic slowdown are expected to be key topics of discussion.
    
Above: Real Trade Weighted U.S. Dollar Index: Major Currencies (source: stlouisfed.org)

Cash is King! Except when it isn't. The U.S. Dollar (USD) -- the "least dirty shirt" -- has a 38.5% gain in relation to other major currencies since 2011 (see chart above). The decline in the prices of commodities such as oil (which is priced in USD per barrel on major markets), has to be considered in context of the rise in the USD indexed against other major currencies.

How about the Chinese Yuan? China has a major bad-debt problem: "The debt problem in China has already reached the proportions of the U.S. subprime mortgage debacle." --China's Subprime Crisis Is Here - Bloomberg Gadfly (Feb 16, 2016).

Of Two Minds - The Chart of Doom: When Private Credit Stops Expanding... (Feb 5, 2016)"... the sole prop under the global "recovery" since 2008-09 has been private credit growth in China. From $4 trillion to over $21 trillion in seven years--no wonder bubbles have been inflated globally. Combine this expansion of private credit in China with the expansion of local government and other state-sector debt (state-owned enterprises, SOEs, etc.) and you have the makings of a global bubble machine."

"... From roughly 1989 to 2014--25 years--the "sure bet" in the global economy was to invest in China by moving production to China. This flood of capital into China only gained momentum as the yuan appreciated in value against the USD once Chinese authorities loosened the peg from 8.3 to 6.6 and then all the way down to 6 to the dollar. Every dollar transferred to China and converted to yuan gained as much as 25% over the years of yuan appreciation. Those hefty returns on cash sitting in yuan sparked a veritable tsunami of capital into China. Now that the tide of capital has reversed, nobody wants yuan: not foreign firms, not FX punters and not the Chinese holding massive quantities of depreciating yuan. This is why "housewives" from China are buying homes in Vancouver B.C. for $3 million. That $3 million could fall to $2 million as the yuan devalues to the old peg around 8.3 to the USD ... But that doesn't mean the devaluation of the yuan has to stop at 8.3: just as the dollar's recent strength is simply Stage One of a multi-stage liftoff, the yuan's devaluation to 8 to the USD is only the first stage of a multi-year devaluation."--Of Two Minds -Feb 17, 2016- Why the Chinese Yuan Will Lose 30% of its Value:

Meanwhile here's a video from Barron's--"Eric Chow on Investing in the Year of the Monkey" (Feb 3, 2016)--

Value Partners' hedge fund manager Eric Chow discusses with Barron's Asia Isabella Zhong his outlook for China's economy and why a Hong Kong property developer is one of his favorite picks. (2/3/2016)

Value Partners domain name: valuepartners.com.hk

Caveat Emptor!




DISCLAIMER

2016-02-22

Mobile World Congress, Mobile World LIVE, 22-25 Feb 2016 (videos)


The Internet of Things (IOT) at Mobile World Congress 2016 - Your essential guide to the Internet of Things at Mobile World Congress 2016 provided by Andrew Parker, GSMA Connected Living Programme -- see: Connected Living: Mobilising the Internet of Things

Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest (attendance 93,000+ in 2015) gathering for the mobile industry, organised by the GSMA, and held in Barcelona, 22-25 February 2016.



MMIX 2016 (themmix.com) Preview #MMIX - MMIX 2016 kicks-off with an overview of the global landscape for mobile media & entertainment, including latest trends, forecasts and analysis for the sector by the industry’s foremost industry commentators and researchers. Covering key insights on music, film, TV, video, games and media, including the ongoing transformation of customer behavior fueling the surge of mobile devices for entertainment; the shift from fixed internet, linear TV, games and consoles to multiscreen experiences especially among youth audiences who are also pushing demand for video to the limits, and the long term outlook (who will be the ultimate winners and losers?). (Published on Feb 16, 2016) see also: The MMIX Summit | Mobile World Congress

Another issue (of many) at MWC 2016:
Telcos in emerging markets complain Facebook and WhatsApp (and other messaging apps) are siphoning off text and voice revenue--as Mark Zuckerberg prepares to return to Barcelona for this year’s MWC on Feb. 22, phone executives say his company looks more like a competitor than a partner. Last year, WhatsApp introduced free voice calls—something Facebook already offered ... these "over-the-top services" cut into mobile carriers’ voice and texting revenue because they’re offered over the Internet. Some phone companies say Facebook and its ilk are freeloaders that rely on carriers’ network infrastructure ... “What carriers resent is investing heavily and having others piggyback on their investments.”says John Delaney, an analyst at researcher IDC." Why Carriers Want to Delete WhatsApp - Bloomberg Business

Domains / Links:





DISCLAIMER

2016-02-21

News Review: ISIS at Marrakech, ICANN Plan Delayed, Verisign 10-K

DomainMondoShiningLight ©2013domainmondo.com All Rights Reserved
Busy week!--here's the Domain Mondo news review of the past week--

More ISIS (Daesh) terrorist cells discovered inside Morocco this week, in addition to the cell of seven suspected jihadists active in Marrakech, Laayoune and Boujdour, uncovered earlier this month. Marrakech is the location of ICANN55 which meets March 5-10, 2016. Morroco now claims to have dismantled 152 militant cells since 2002, including 31 since 2013 that were linked to armed terrorist groups fighting in Syria and Iraq. Read more, including updates, at: DomainMondo.com: ICANN 55, Marrakech, Morocco: Travel Warnings, Threat of Terrorist Acts.

ICANN Accountability WS1 Proposal (part of the IANA stewardship transition) delayed. The CCWG-Accountability Final Report was scheduled to be published and distributed to the Chartering Organizations on Friday, but has been delayed due to "concerns" of the ICANN Board of Directors expressed by its Chairman, Steve Crocker, in a posting to the CCWG-Accountability mail list on Friday--read more (including updates) at DomainMondo.com: IANA Stewardship Transition, New ICANN CCWG Accountability Timeline.

The Q4 2015 financial reporting period concluded this week with results reported by:
  • Rightside $NAME on February 16th
  • GoDaddy $GDDY on February 17th
Find links to all this season's Q4 2015 reports on Domain Mondo at the Stock Links page.

Most popular articles at DomainMondo.com this past week (highest number of pageviews):
  1. ICANN Damaged a Competitive Domain Name Market With Its New gTLDs (includes Web.com $WEB Q4 2015 results)
  2. IANA Stewardship Transition, New ICANN CCWG Accountability Timeline
  3. ICANN 55, Marrakech, Morocco: Travel Warnings, Threat of Terrorist Acts
  4. Rightside $NAME Q4 2015 Financial Results, LIVE Webcast Replay
  5. GoDaddy $GDDY Q4 2015 Financial Results, LIVE Webcast Replay
Looking ahead to this coming week on Domain Mondo:
  • Will the ICANN Board's "concerns" with the CCWG's ICANN Accountability WS1 Final Proposal be resolved? 
  • Mobile World Congress--MWC2016--(90,000+ expected attendance) meets this week in Barcelona, 22-25 Feb 2016 (Mobile World LIVE videos).
  • Investing in China? Will the Chinese Yuan Lose 30% of its Value? 

Final Note: Don't miss Domain Mondo's earlier post today: Verisign Form 10-K for 2015, Domain Name Industry 'Must Read'.

Have a great week!

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo




DISCLAIMER

Verisign Form 10-K for 2015, Domain Name Industry 'Must Read'

VeriSign, Inc. (verisign.com), domain name registry operator (.COM, .NET, and other TLDs), and Internet Root Zone Maintainer, has filed its 2015 annual report (Form 10-K) required by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It is a annual 'must read' for VeriSign investors (NASDAQ:VRSN), and the domain name industry. The entire report, including exhibits, can be accessed via the SEC's EDGAR here, or via the Verisign Investor Relations website.

Excerpts from the VeriSign, Inc., 2015 Form 10-K (emphasis added) embedded below:



Takeaways:
  • Verisign Registry Services operates the authoritative directory of all .com, .net, .cc, .tv, and .name domain names, among others and the back-end systems for all .gov , .jobs, and .edu domain names, among others... 
  • Verisign also administers and operate two of the 13 root zone servers that contain authoritative data for the very top of the DNS hierarchy. Our domain name servers provide the associated authoritative name servers and IP addresses for every .com and .net domain name on the Internet and a large number of other TLD queries, resulting in an average of over 120 billion transactions per day. These name servers are located in resolution sites which are in a controlled and monitored environment, incorporating security and system maintenance features. This network of name servers is one of the cornerstones of the Internet’s DNS infrastructure... 
  • Verisign faces competition in the domain name registry space from other gTLD and ccTLD registries that are competing for the business of entities and individuals that are seeking to obtain a domain name registration and/or establish a Web presence .... there are over 840 other operational gTLD registries, over 250 Latin script ccTLD registries and more than 40 IDN ccTLD registries ...
  • Under Verisign's agreements with ICANN, Verisign is subject to certain restrictions in the operation of .com , .net and .name on pricing, bundling, marketing, methods of distribution, the introduction of new registry services and use of registrars that do not apply to ccTLDs and other gTLDs and therefore may create a competitive disadvantage ...
  • We also face competition from service providers that offer outsourced domain name registration, resolution and other DNS services to organizations that require a reliable and scalable infrastructure. Among the competitors are Neustar, Inc.Afilias plc, Donuts Inc., RightSide Group, Ltd., and CentralNic Ltd... 
  • In addition, to the extent end-users navigate using search engines or social media, as opposed to direct navigation, we may face competition from search engine operators such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo!, operators of social networks such as Facebook, and operators of microblogging tools such as Twitter. In addition, we may face competition from these social media businesses to the extent they are used to establish an online presence by end users instead of through the use of a domain name. Furthermore, to the extent end-users increase the use of web and phone applications to locate and access content, we may face competition from providers of such web and mobile applications ... 
  • .com Registry Agreement: On November 29, 2012, we renewed our Registry Agreement with ICANN for the .com gTLD (the “ .com Registry Agreement”). The .com Registry Agreement provides that we will continue to be the sole registry operator for domain names in the .com gTLD through November 30, 2018. The .com Registry Agreement includes pricing restrictions for .com domain name registrations consistent with the terms of the Cooperative Agreement [with the US government which ends November 30, 2018, unless sooner terminated or extended]... Verisign pays $0.25 to ICANN for each annual increment of a domain name registered or renewed during such quarter. 
  • ICANN and Verisign are in the final stages of drafting the new Root Zone Maintainer agreement ... to ensure that root operations continue to perform at the same high level during the expected 10-year term of the Root Zone Maintainer agreement, ICANN and Verisign are in discussions to extend the term of the .com Registry Agreement to coincide with the expected 10-year term of the Root Zone.
  • One customer [GoDaddy?] accounted for approximately 31% of revenues in 2015 and 2014, and 30% in 2013. VeriSign does not believe that the loss of this customer would have a material adverse effect on VeriSign's business because, in that event, end-users of this customer would transfer to Verisign's other existing customers. 
Risk Factors:
  1. Risks arising from our agreements governing our Registry Services business could limit our ability to maintain or grow our business.
  2. Governmental regulation and the application of new and existing laws in the U.S. and overseas may slow business growth, increase our costs of doing business, create potential liability and have an adverse effect on our business.
  3. Undetected or unknown defects in our service, security breaches, and large-scale DDoS attacks could expose us to liability and harm our business and reputation.
  4. Changes to the present multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance could materially and adversely impact our business.
  5. 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.
  6. The evolution of Internet practices and behaviors and the adoption of substitute technologies may impact the demand for domain names.
  7. Many of our target markets are evolving, and if these markets fail to develop or if our products and services are not widely accepted in these markets, our business could be harmed.
  8. We may face operational and other risks from the introduction of new gTLDs by ICANN and our provision of back-end registry services.
  9. The business environment is highly competitive and, if we do not compete effectively, we may suffer lower demand for our products, price reductions, reduced gross margins and loss of market share.
  10. We must establish and maintain strong relationships with registrars and their resellers to maintain their focus on marketing our products and services otherwise our Registry Service business could be harmed.
  11. If we encounter system interruptions or failures, we could be exposed to liability and our reputation and business could suffer.
  12. Our operating results may be adversely affected as a result of unfavorable market, economic, social and political conditions.
  13. Our international operations subject our business to additional economic and political risks that could have an adverse impact on our revenues and business.
  14. We rely on our intellectual property rights to protect our proprietary assets, and any failure by us to protect or enforce, or any misappropriation of, our intellectual property could harm our business.
  15. We could become subject to claims of infringement of intellectual property of others, which could be costly to defend and could harm our business.
  16. We could become involved in claims, lawsuits or investigations that may result in adverse outcomes.
  17. We continue to explore new strategic initiatives, the pursuit of any of which may pose significant risks and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
  18. We depend on key employees to manage our business effectively, and we may face difficulty attracting and retaining qualified leaders.
  19. Changes in, or interpretations of, tax rules and regulations or our tax positions may adversely affect our effective tax rates.
  20. Our foreign earnings, which are indefinitely reinvested offshore, constitute a majority of our cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, and there is a high cost associated with a change in our indefinite reinvestment assertion or a repatriation of those funds to the U.S.
  21. Our marketable securities portfolio could experience a decline in market value, which could materially and adversely affect our financial results.
  22. We are subject to the risks of owning real property.
  23. We have anti-takeover protections that may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control that could benefit our stockholders.
  24. We have a considerable number of common shares subject to future issuance.
  25. Our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected if we do not effectively manage our indebtedness.
source: Feb 19, 2016, VeriSign, Inc. 2015 Form 10-K / Annual Report

See also on Domain Mondo:



DISCLAIMER

2016-02-20

Shipping Industry Has a Warning for the World Economy (video)



Perfect Storm? The Shipping Industry Has a Warning for the World Economy - Published Feb 11, 2016 -  If the Baltic Dry Index is any guide for the global economy, the picture is looking stormy. It's plunged to historic lows since the start of the year. Bloomberg looks at why, and what it could tell us about future growth.

Baltic Dry Index - (Wikipedia): "The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is an economic indicator issued daily by the London-based Baltic Exchange. Not restricted to Baltic Sea countries, the index provides "an assessment of the price of moving the major raw materials by sea. Taking in 23 shipping routes measured on a timecharter basis, the index covers Handysize, Supramax, Panamax, and Capesize dry bulk carriers carrying a range of commodities including coal, iron ore and grain."

The Baltic Exchangebalticexchange.com


Video above: Baltic Exchange 2015 - An overview of the Baltic Exchange, the world's only independent source of maritime market information. Interview with the chief executive Jeremy Penn and members of the Exchange. Published on Jun 29, 2015
BDIY Quote - Baltic Dry Index - Bloomberg Markets

Tweets about Baltic Dry Index





DISCLAIMER

2016-02-19

Why T-Mobile $TMUS 'Crushed It' Last Quarter (video)



T-Mobile CEO John Legere discusses the company's growth, earnings and performance. He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets" on Feb 17, 2016.

Domain: t-mobile.com

Stock exchange:symbol -- NASDAQ: TMUS

T-Mobile 5-year stock chart
T-Mobile 5-year stock chart (source: google.com). $TMUS is down from its 12 month high.
See also:



DISCLAIMER

Monetary Policy, Return to Normal? Senator Toomey vs Fed Chair (video)



Senator to Yellen: Forget stock drop, normalize (CNBC - 11 Feb 2016): Sen. Pat Toomey [(R) Pennsylvania] said the Federal Reserve should continue moving monetary policy back to normal, despite the swings in the financial markets. "I'm going to try to be a voice for encouraging a normalization," Toomey told CNBC's "Squawk Box." The Pennsylvania Republican is member of Senate Banking Committee, where Fed Chair Janet Yellen appeared before the Committee in the second part of her semiannual testimony on the economy.

In testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services, Yellen kept her options open to further hike interest rates while acknowledging the financial market turmoil and concerns about China. "We shouldn't be shocked that some asset prices have a little bit of a rough ride along the way," Toomey said.

"We've got a Fed that's just been winging it by the seat of their pants … in one direction right, this unbelievable accommodative policy, this unprecedented policy, which I think is very dangerous," Toomey said. He contended that the Fed's stated goal was to boost asset prices with easy money, so it stands to reason that tighter policy could reverse things a bit.

Tweets about monetary policy





DISCLAIMER

GAC Members Minority Statement on ICANN Accountability WS1 Proposal

UPDATE February 26, 2016: Updated Minority Statements--Following the publication of the CCWG-Accountability Final Report and its distribution to the Chartering Organizations, those five members of CCWG who had submitted minority statements [available separately here] were given the opportunity to submit revise minority statements. All minority statements are now in Appendix A  (pdf)--embedded below–"Documenting Process of Building Consensus" of the Final Report, including that of GAC member Olga Cavalli, whose minority statement is now supported by 16 governments:
Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Chile, Commonwealth of Dominica, France, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Russian Federation, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Uruguay, Venezuela:



--end of update--
"Does this [the GAC members' minority statement below] constitute an objectionMy understanding is that only objections can be accompanied by a minority opinion. As the GAC works by consensus, I assume it means the GAC objects. Given Ms Gross Minority statement, it follows she objects. I have objected formally as well and have sent a Minority StatementCan the Co-Chairs please declare non-consensus so we can all get on with our lives? Not only would it be cost saving..." --Dr Eberhard W Lisse, Thu Feb 18 19:35:55 UTC 2016, CCWG member (emphasis and link added)
A few CCWG-Accountability members have filed minority statements in dissent to the CCWG-Accountability Work Stream 1 final proposal now scheduled for final approval at ICANN55 in Marrakech, March 5-10, including a CCWG member appointed by GAC, who filed a minority statement on behalf of nine governments:

[CCWG-ACCT] Updated Minority Statement for the CCWG-Accountability Supplemental Final Proposal on Work Stream 1 Recommendations Thu Feb 18 16:39:44 UTC 2016:

"As a member of the CCWG on Accountability appointed by the GAC [Governmental Advisory Committee], and on behalf of the governments of:
Argentina
Brazil
Chile
France
Paraguay
Peru
Portugal
Uruguay
Venezuela

"I am submitting an updated verision of the Minority Statement which I sent yesterday..."
 [revised text of minority statement in embed below and here (pdf)]

Best regards
Olga Cavalli
Argentina GAC Representative
GAC Vicechair



Others also filing minority statements:

UPDATE: Minority statement also filed by ALAC Member Tijani Ben Jemaa: a) "I would like to express my strong opposition to removing the entire board by a decision taken by only 3 SO/ACs under any circumstance ..." (pdf) and b)  "I would like to make this minority statement regarding
Recommendation 6 (Human Rights) - I express my opposition to replacing “within its mission” in the beginning of the proposed text by “within its core value”..." (pdf)

[CCWG-ACCT] Minority Statement of Individual Member Robin Gross (pdf): ".... "The CCWG-Accountability proposal includes a number of important and long over-due accountability reforms including improvements to ICANN’s Independent Review Process (IRP), Reconsideration Request process, board removal rights, and a noteworthy bylaws commitment to respect human rights in ICANN’s operation, among other truly laudable accountability reform measures. However, the long-term harm to a free and open Internet from the proposal’s shifting the traditional balance of power over ICANN in favor of governments and away from the Supporting Organizations and the private sector is a monumental mistake."

[CCWG-ACCT] Appendix H - ASO Minority Statement: "... ASO, we would like to make a minority statement below, not on the recommendations but on "Appendix H: Bylaws Drafting Process & Implementation Timeline". Our statement is related to bylaws drafting process & implementation timeline, and not directly related to contents of the recommendations ..."

*Note: only appointed members (not participants) were permitted to file minority statements. All filed minority statements are in Appendix A (pdf) to the final proposal.

The members of the CCWG-Accountability:

ALAC
Sebastien Bachollet (Europe)
Tijani Ben Jemaa (Africa)
Alan Greenberg (North America)
Cheryl Langdon-Orr (Asia/Asia Pacific)
León Sanchez (Latin America) – Co-Chair

ASO
Fiona Asonga
Athina Fragkouli
Izumi Okutani
Jorge Villa

ccNSO
Jordan Carter (.NZ, AP Region)
Eberhard Lisse (.NA, African Region)
Roelof Meijer (.NL, European Region)
Giovanni Seppia (.EU, European Region)
Mathieu Weill (.FR, European Region) – Co-Chair

GAC
Par Brumark (Niue)
Olga Cavalli (Agentina)
Alice Munyua (African Union Commission)
Suzanne Radell (USA)
Julia Wolman (Denmark)

GNSO
James Bladel (RrSG, North America Region)
Becky Burr (RySG, North America Region)
Steve DelBianco (CSG, North America Region)
Robin Gross (NCSG, North America Region)
Thomas Rickert (GNSO Council, Europe Region) – Co-Chair

SSAC
Lyman Chapin
Julie Hammer

Others
Bruce Tonkin (ICANN Board Liaison)
Samantha Eisner (ICANN Staff Representative)

For more information on CCWG-Accountability WS1 final proposal, see Domain Mondo: IANA Stewardship Transition, New ICANN CCWG Accountability Timeline.




DISCLAIMER

2016-02-18

Apple vs US Government: Terrorism, Security, Privacy, Freedom, Liberty



Apple to Oppose Judge's Order to Unlock iPhone - Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company will oppose a federal judge's order to help the Justice Department unlock a phone used by a suspect in the San Bernardino attack, which killed 14 people. Video published on Feb 17, 2016

UPDATE: Apple Gains Silicon Valley's Backing in Government Fight - Bloomberg Business: “This is a classic legislative function, the courts aren’t really equipped to weigh the policies in the forum of a democratic society -- what’s more important, protection against terrorists or protections against your privacy?”--Robert Cattanach, a lawyer at Dorsey & Whitney who practices in areas of regulatory litigation including cybersecurity.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has written a customer letter in response to, and opposing, a US District Court Order (embedded below) requiring Apple help the FBI break into the iPhone 5C used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. Federal Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym said that Apple must provide "reasonable technical assistance" to the FBI, which would require Apple:
"Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession." -- Apple Customer Letter, infra
Customer Letter - Apple: (February 16, 2016)--excerpt (read the full letter at the foregoing link)-- ".... A Dangerous Precedent - Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority. The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by “brute force,” trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

"The implications of the government’s demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

"Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government. We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

"While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect."
--Tim Cook, Apple CEO (emphasis added)

Embedded below is the US District Court Order Apple is challenging:



The following is from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF):
EFF to Support Apple in Encryption Battle | Electronic Frontier Foundation:  Electronic Frontier Foundation
FEBRUARY 16, 2016 | BY KURT OPSAHL
EFF to Support Apple in Encryption Battle

"We learned on Tuesday evening that a U.S. federal magistrate judge ordered Apple to backdoor an iPhone that was used by one of the perpetrators of the San Bernardino shootings in December. Apple is fighting the order which would compromise the security of all its users around the world.

"We are supporting Apple here because the government is doing more than simply asking for Apple’s assistance. For the first time, the government is requesting Apple write brand new code that eliminates key features of iPhone security—security features that protect us all. Essentially, the government is asking Apple to create a master key so that it can open a single phone. And once that master key is created, we're certain that our government will ask for it again and again, for other phones, and turn this power against any software or device that has the audacity to offer strong security.

"The U.S. government wants us to trust that it won't misuse this power. But we can all imagine the myriad ways this new authority could be abused. Even if you trust the U.S. government, once this master key is created, governments around the world will surely demand that Apple undermine the security of their citizens as well.

"EFF applauds Apple for standing up for real security and the rights of its customers. We have been fighting to protect encryption, and stop backdoors, for over 20 years. That's why EFF plans to file an amicus brief in support of Apple's position." (emphasis added)




DISCLAIMER

2016-02-17

GoDaddy $GDDY Q4 2015 Financial Results, LIVE Webcast Replay

1- year Chart of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
1- year Chart of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) (source: google.com)
Amazon shares are DOWN 21% from its 12-month High on Dec 16, 2015 (as of Feb 16, 2016)
Domain name registrar GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), which bills itself as "the world's largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses," -- financial results release for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2015, Wednesday, February 17, 2016, after the stock market closes.

GoDaddy management will host a conference call and LIVE webcast at 5:00 p.m. ET on February 17, 2016
  • Conference Call: dial (877) 201-0168 in the United States or (647) 788-4901 from international locations, with passcode 21399236.
  • LIVE webcast of the call-- Listen to the Webcast via GoDaddy's investor relations website at https://investors.godaddy.net
Following completion of the call, a recorded replay will be available on the GoDaddy investor relations website - Listen to the Webcast

Godaddy's (GDDY) CEO Blake Irving on Q4 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha: "... just yesterday I noticed another timely proof point that reinforces the incredible importance of owning one's personal identity and presence online. I would encourage you all to check out what's presented when you type jebbush.com into your browser. Whether you are a presidential candidate, a small business or even a sellside analyst, I think we can all agree that with the increasing importance that the Internet plays on our daily lives, claiming and owning your digital identity just continues to become more and more important ..."

UPDATE from GoDaddy press release: GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY): Q4 Revenue of $425.4M (+14.4% Y/Y) beats by $1.93M. Net LOSS for all of 2015: (120.4); 2014 Net Loss was (143.3).

Fourth Quarter Financial Highlights
  • Revenue of $425.4 million, up 14.4% year over year, or approximately 16.7% on a constant currency basis.
  • Total Bookings of $464.0 million, up 13.3% year over year, or approximately 16.7% on a constant currency basis.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $73.5 million, up 30.3% year over year.
  • Unlevered free cash flow of $52.3 million, up 146.7% year over year.
  • Customers were 13.8 million at December 31, 2015, up 8.7% year over year.
  • Annual ARPU of $121, up 6.3% year over year.
Fourth Quarter Operating Highlights
  • Domains revenue of $218.1 million, up 9.5% year over year.
  • Hosting and Presence revenue of $155.5 million, up 12.7% year over year.
  • Business Applications revenue of $51.8 million, up 50.1% year over year.
  • International revenue of $110.6 million, up 16.9% year over year, or approximately 25.3% on a constant currency basis.
  • GoDaddy launched localized websites, product offerings and customer care across Asia in January. GoDaddy now operates in 10 languages and 14 markets in Asia and 26 languages and 53 markets globally.
  • GoDaddy now has 62 million domains under management, representing over 20% of the global total.
Balance Sheet
At December 31, 2015, total cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments were $352.5 million, total long-term debt outstanding, including current portion, was $1,044.0 million, gross debt was $1,083.5 million and net debt was $731.0 million.

Business Outlook
  • For the first quarter ending March 31, 2016, the Company expects revenues in the range of $428 - $432 million and adjusted EBITDA in the range of $111 - $114 million.
  • For the full year ending December 31, 2016, the Company expects revenues in the range of $1,820 - $1,845 million and adjusted EBITDA in the range of $400 - $410 million.

About GoDaddy: "GoDaddy's mission is to radically shift the global economy toward small businesses by empowering people to easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their own ventures. With more than 13 million customers worldwide and more than 61 million domain names under management, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business." (source: GoDaddy)

GoDaddy - Wikipedia: "In June 2014, GoDaddy once again filed a 100 million dollar IPO with the [Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)] ... The filing gave an inside look into GoDaddy's finances and showed that the company has not made a profit since 2009 and since 2012 has experienced a total loss of $531 million."

SEC: EDGAR Search Results for GoDaddy

Domain name: GoDaddy.com

Tweets $GDDY:


See also:




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