2016-05-31

Why Snapchat Is Worth Billions, Hottest Social Network Among US Teens

Infographic: Why Snapchat Is Worth Billions | Statista
Statista.com

According to a recent regulatory filing, Snapchat (domain name: snapchat.com ) raised an additional $1.81 billion in funding from various investors. Since 2011, the company behind the popular chat app has raised more than $2.6 billion and is currently valued at around $20 billion.

An app that generated just $59 million in revenue last year, Snapchat is extremely popular among young Americans. Having recently inherited the teenage social media crown from Instagram (domain name: instagram.com), it caters to a new generation of users for whom Facebook and Twitter are old news. Snapchat’s highly engaged user base is growing rapidly. According to an investor pitch deck that surfaced last week, the number of people using Snapchat every day grew by around 50 percent in each quarter last year. By the end of 2015, Snapchat had 110 million daily active users who combined to an impressive 10 billion video views per day.

Infographic: Snapchat Is the Hottest Social Network Among U.S. Teens | Statista
Statista.com

28 percent of the 6,500 teenagers polled this year named Snapchat as their most important social network, propelling the chat app past Instagram and Twitter, which both saw their popularity among America's youngsters decline over the past 12 months. Snapchat may have conquered the hearts of teenagers, but it has yet to win over advertisers. According to a recent report, the app trails its peers by a mile in terms of utilization in advertising campaigns.



See also on Domain MondoThe Biggest Apps, More Than A Billion Users Monthly, Timeline Chart:


feedback & comments via twitter @DomainMondo


DISCLAIMER

2016-05-30

The Biggest Apps, More Than A Billion Users Monthly, Timeline Chart

Courtesy of: VisualCapitalist.com

With approximately 3.3 billion people now using the internet, how hard is it to reach one billion of them each month? Harder than you might think. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are the only companies with apps of more than a billion active users.

Google alone has seven of them: Search, Gmail, Maps, YouTube, Android, Chrome, and Play.
The last to reach the one billion mark was Gmail, per Alphabet’s announcement a few weeks ago.

Facebook has the largest audience out of all of these apps, with 1.59 billion monthly active users on its Facebook app. WhatsApp, which Facebook bought for $22 billion in October 2014, recently announced it also surpassed the one billion user mark, which fulfills a promise Mark Zuckerberg made to Facebook shareholders at the deal’s outset.

UPDATE via Chris DixonThe Internet Economy | Medium.com"Web vs apps. The mobile web is arguably in decline: users are spending more time on mobile devices, and more time in apps instead of web browsers. Apple has joined the app side of this battle (e.g. allowing ad blockers in Safari, encouraging app install smart banners above websites). Facebook has also taken the app side (e.g. encouraging publishers to use Instant Articles instead of web views). Google of course needs a vibrant web for its search engine to remain useful, so has joined the web side of the battle (e.g. punishing websites that have interstitial app ads, developing technologies that reduce website loading times). The realistic danger isn’t that the web disappears, but that it gets marginalized, and that the bulk of monetizable internet activities happen in apps or other interfaces like voice or messaging bots. This shift could have a significant effect on web publishers who rely on older business models like non-native ads, and could make it harder for small startups to grow beyond niche use cases."

QuestionWith the mobile web in decline, what are the ramifications for the domain name industry, new gTLDs, and ICANN?

Infographic: Twice the Time - Same Number of Apps | Statista
Statista

In the fourth quarter of 2015, iPhone and Android smartphone users in the U.S. used an average of 27.1 apps per month, spending more than 40 hours with them. Interestingly, the amount of time people spend with apps continues to increase, whereas the number of apps they use pretty much stopped growing three years ago.

Tweets about apps



feedback & comments via twitter @DomainMondo


DISCLAIMER

2016-05-29

News Review: ​IANA Transition, What If The World Gives Up On ICANN?​

DomainMondoShiningLight ©2013domainmondo.com All Rights Reserved
Domain Mondo's review of the past week and look ahead [pdf]:

IANA transition: to delay or not? "In many ways, a soft interim role for the US Government, or a short delay would actually ensure that the transition details are gracefully accepted by the whole world," wrote one ICANN stakeholder from India on the CCWG-Accountability mail list, after last Tuesday's Congressional hearing on the IANA transition. He later wrote, ​"What if the [IANA] Transition goes through but causes the world to give up on ICANN?​ ... ​The promise is now in full view of the whole world, and the transition process is underway, so, why do we talk in terms of the promise being broken? ... Just because ICANN is to be asked to have a few more hours of conversation (so to speak) on its Accountability framework? ... Such a soft alternative path would in no way imply that the existing stability of the Internet identifier system is in anyway compromised ..." Unfortunately, harsh critics of the wise words above, inside the "ICANN community," such as IAB Chair Andrew Sullivan, and others, just 'don't get it.' The reservations regarding the IANA transition have nothing to do with the technical aspects of the transition, any more than they were the cause of the U.S. government threatening to pull the IANA contract away from ICANN in 2012, but instead, the concerns are all about ICANN's 'governance standards'--accountability, ethics, conflicts of interest, transparency, etc.,--and always have been. Heed the words above, and of others like Kieren McCarthy. You've been 'burned' before by ICANN corporate, and now you have been warned.
 It has been a very busy week in the IANA stewardship transition, summarized by noting several of this week's posts on Domain Mondo:
•  Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA-3) introduced Wednesday (May 25, 2016), H.R.5329 to require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to extend the IANA functions contract unless it certifies that the United States Government has secured sole ownership of the .gov and .mil top-level domains (TLDs), and for other purposes, referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Note: At least theoretically, TLDs aren't "owned"--see RFC 1591--although ICANN has been acting as if they are, "selling" new gTLDs for $185,000 down + annual fees, and even auctioning some off for millions of dollars (USD). The ICANN base registry agreement (pdf) provides for 10 years terms renewable for successive 10 year terms, apparently in perpetuity, but for material breach. But there isn't any registry agreement  for either .MIL or .GOV although there are for other legacy gTLDs such as .COM, .NET, and .ORG. This same issue was raised by Congress a year ago, but ICANN and its "ICANN community," via the IANA stewardship transition planning groups, 'dropped the ball' in their dysfunctional rush to meet 'deadlines:'  From the CWG-Stewardship mail list, May 14, 2015:
"I think Steve DelBianco suggested during one of the hearings that .mil and .gov could enter into a contract with ICANN. That would make them contracted parties and perhaps could be considered gTLD registries, but I expect that is some way off and considering them to be gTLDs would potentially be controversial
....
"A couple of the Representatives raised concerns that .gov and .mil​ would be vulnerable to a transfer away from the USG, and asked the witnesses if ownership (or perpetual control) of .gov and .mil by the US should be ensured in the transition. Several panelists answered in the affirmative and I don't believe any opposed. We have not really discussed this issue. I think it behooves us to deal with it. Given the historical and current use of these two domains I would not expect too much controversy. Although not mentioned, .edu falls into roughly the same category. We should consider if we should accord it similar treatment."
One easy solution to the above quandary, which most .COM domain name registrants would favor, would be to reclassify the legacy gTLDs (per RFC 1591) .COM, .NET, .ORG, .EDU, .GOV, .MIL as ccTLDs assigned to the U.S. (which historically, in practice (pdf), they always have been), with a mutual declaration by all parties, including the respective registry operators, U.S. government, and ICANN, that .COM, .NET, and .ORG will remain, in perpetuity, open ccTLDs for registration and use by the entire global internet community. In addition, the only other "legacy gTLD" per RFC 1591, .INT, should be assigned to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) [domain name: itu.int], an international UN agency, for TLD operation and administration, a role which ITU has been ready, willing and able to take on since at least 2003. ITU was involved in the founding of ICANN in 1998 and participates in ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Current registry operator of .INT is IANA, a department of ICANN, which is a blatant conflict of interest.

•  ICANN's new gTLDs Threaten Enterprise Computers warns U.S. government: "... In combination with the New generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) program’s incorporation of previously undelegated gTLDs for public registration, leaked WPAD queries could result in domain name collisions with internal network naming schemes. Collisions could be abused by opportunistic domain registrants to configure an external proxy for network traffic, allowing the potential for man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks across the Internet ..." --WPAD Name Collision Vulnerability | Alert (TA16-144A) | US-CERT.gov (May 23, 2016) Systems Affected: Windows, OS X, Linux systems, and web browsers with WPAD enabled. See also: US-CERT Alert: WPAD (Web Proxy Auto-Discovery) Name Collision Vulnerability | Verisign.com.

•  Over at ICANN.org, they appear to be ignorant of the above security risk ICANN has inflicted upon the global internet community, or more likely, don't even care, since ICANN has been busy celebrating all this week ICANN's willful pollution of the global internet DNS, declaring A "Grand" Milestone: New gTLD Program Reaches 1,000th Delegation | ICANN.org (by Akram Atallah, ICANN GDD President), as if that is some kind of "achievement." Pathetic.

•  Bottom-up or Top-down? About 40 American tech companies--including Amazon, Facebook, and Google--who collectively call themselves the "Internet Association," wrote an "open letter" to ICANN's new President and CEO Göran Marby (who has just started in that position) reminding him, who they were, including "We support the IANA transition," followed by "we recommend that ICANN adhere to several [of our] suggestions ..." What would the global multi-stakeholder community, and ICANN, do without U.S. private sector 'special interest' lobbyists-stakeholders directing ICANN management?

•  There are no open issues in which comments close this coming week at ICANN.

•  This week in tech: 

•  Five most popular posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this week on DomainMondo.com:
  1. IANA Transition, What's Next, Years of Litigation in U.S. Federal Courts?
  2. Enhancing ICANN Accountability, Much Work Left for Work Stream 2
  3. News Review [May 22]: ICANN, IANA Transition, Capitol Hill Reality Check
  4. New ICANN Bylaws and Amended, Restated Articles of Incorporation
  5. Google vs Apple, Round 2, Valuation, $GOOG vs $AAPL Market Cap (video)
 Other Reading Recommendations (emphasis added):
  1. Peter Thiel, Tech Billionaire, Reveals Secret War With Gawker | NYTimes.com“I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest.”--Peter Thiel. But see eBay founder backing Gawker’s appeal of Hulk sex tape verdict | NYPost.com"“First Look Media is looking into organizing amicus support for Gawker in its legal fight ... By filing the amicus briefs in support of Gawker, First Look could effectively elevate the trial into a First Amendment rights case by pitting Thiel against dozens of media organizations — many of which are owned by other billionaires." See also An Open Letter to Peter Thiel by Nick Denton | Gawker.com.
  2. Congress could soon make it much harder for police officers to take innocent people’s cash | WashingtonPost.com: "... Civil asset forfeiture is a controversial law enforcement tool that allows authorities to take cash and property from people without ever convicting a person with a crime ... In 2014, police took more property from people than burglars did ...A 2014 Washington Post investigation found that police had taken billions of dollars in cash from motorists without search warrants, and without charging them with a crime ..."
  3. The Do Not Call List Used to Be Magical. Now Robocalls Are Out of Control. What Happened? | Slate.com.
  4. Apple Is a Dead Money Stock | WolfStreet.com
  5. Traders’ Hopes Dim as Brazil Dream Team Faces Fiscal Nightmare | Bloomberg.com. I don't know if Dilma Rousseff committed any impeachable offenses, but fiscally, her management of Brazil was a disaster. Brazil is in its worst recession in a century.
  6. GoDaddy.com launches Flare app to give entrepreneurs feedback on ideas and build community | BetaKit.com
  7. Ultimate Market Timer Sam Zell: “Know What the Problem Is?” | WolfStreet.com 
  8. ​Chromebook + Android apps = Trouble for Windows PCs | ZDNet.comChromebooks are already outselling Macs. See also Why Apple Won't Sell Touchscreen Mac Computers | SeekingAlpha.com.
  9. Microsoft and Facebook to build an innovative new subsea cable across the Atlantic Ocean | PRnewswire.com.
  10. Avoid Alibaba And All Known Associates [Yahoo] | SeekingAlpha.com. See also The Yahoo Circus.
  11. Election 2016 UPDATEI'm For Bernie | Lefsetz.com"You just can’t trust Hillary. AND I’M A DEMOCRAT! I don’t like people who view systems as their plaything and ignore rules, and the e-mail server report illustrates that Clinton views herself as above the law, and that’s everything I hate about modern America ... I’m predicting Trump will win. Come on you holier-than-thou liberals attacking the man for being a flailing idiot with insane policies. Don’t you get it, people want CHANGE! On the right AND left! ... it’s Clinton and her ilk who everybody’s pissed at. The “Inside the Beltway” crowd with no clue how the rest of us live. They think the world is their plaything, and it bugs me to no end. This election is not about facts, but FEELINGS!"
  12. One More Thing--Election 2016 Media Mishaps--"By February 28th [2016], CNN called it [hashtag #NeverTrump] a movement, which ironically coincides with the moment that it declined being one on Twitter ... the frequency of posts peaked on the 27th [of Feb.] at 533,618, and was halved 282,906 the following day. #NeverTrump never again regained its early promise." --#WeCouldHaveSeenThemComing, Trump, Sanders, and the Undervalued Metrics of Twitter Followers and Engagement (pdf), George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, p. 14, emphasis added. (Hat Tip: @UnderMyPalmElection2016 | DomainMondo.com.)

Have a great week!

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo




DISCLAIMER

2016-05-28

Year Ahead in Global Tech Policy, Why It Matters, Google I/O 2016 Video

The year ahead in Global Tech Policy, and why it matters to you - Google I/O 2016:

All around the world, governments are poised to implement new laws and regulations that will shape the Internet and technology in general in huge ways. Whether you’re an independent developer, startup, or an established company, tech policy decisions made in places like Brussels or Washington D.C. actually have a big impact on what you do every day. Yet navigating these proposals can be confusing, time-consuming, and full of legalese. In this session hosted by Google’s Public Policy team, get a behind-the-scenes look at the year so far, and hear about what Google sees coming down the road in the world of technology law and regulation. Covered are some of the biggest issues making headlines, including internet of things, IoT, privacy, apps, app economy, machine learning, AI, VR, android fragmentation, and more. Also the resources Google has available to help developers learn more and get involved. Published May 27, 2016

See all the talks from Google I/O 2016 here: https://goo.gl/olw6kV
Watch more Android talks at I/O 2016 here: https://goo.gl/Uv3jls
Watch more Chrome talks at I/O 2016 here: https://goo.gl/JoMLpB
Watch more Firebase talks at I/O 2016 here: https://goo.gl/JTH9Fr
Subscribe to the Google Developers Channel: http://goo.gl/mQyv5L

Transcript embedded below:



feedback & comments via twitter @DomainMondo


DISCLAIMER

2016-05-27

New ICANN Bylaws and Amended, Restated Articles of Incorporation

UPDATE 22 July 2017Bylaws of ICANN | A California Nonprofit Public-Benefit Corporation | ICANN.org as amended 22 July 2017.

UPDATE May 27, 2016: The ICANN Board of Directors today adopted by Resolution 2016.05.27.01, the New ICANN Bylaws as revised on 26 May 2016 [PDF, 1.41 MB]. The Board further resolved (2016.05.27.02), "the New ICANN Bylaws will be deemed effective upon the expiration the IANA Functions Contract between ICANN and NTIA."  Also "Resolved (2015.05.27.05), the ICANN Board approves the posting of the draft Restated Articles of Incorporation for public comment on the ICANN website as soon as reasonably practicable." Read more here: New ICANN Bylaws - ICANN blog and  Approved Board Resolutions | Special Meeting of the ICANN Board 27 May 2016. New Restated Articles now posted for comment. [--end of UPDATE--]

The ICANN Board of Directors is scheduled to consider adoption of new ICANN Bylaws "on or about May 27, 2016."
"Once New ICANN Bylaws have been adopted, ICANN will notify NTIA. NTIA has stated that it needs to see that changes to the Bylaws have been adopted sufficient to implement the Transition Proposals before NTIA can complete its review of the Transition Proposals. Once adopted, the Bylaws are expected to [go] into effect in the event NTIA approves of the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal and the IANA Functions Contract expires."--ICANN (emphasis and link added)
Embedded below is May 25, 2016, draft (redline) of new ICANN Bylaws:


Embedded below is the 25 May 2016 draft (redline) of ICANN's Amended and Restated Articles:


Here are the links to the current (May 26, 2016) ICANN Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation.



DISCLAIMER

2016-05-26

Enhancing ICANN Accountability, Much Work Left for Work Stream 2

While NTIA is still considering the IANA stewardship transition proposal (which includes WS1), the WS2 phase of work for the ICANN Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) is moving forward. CCWG-Accountability intentionally broke its work into 2 phases:
  1. Work Stream 1 (WS1) which is part of the IANA transition proposal currently being reviewed by NTIA, and 
  2. Work Stream 2 (WS2) work just beginning (target completion date: June 2017--see slide 4 in the last embed below):
10 WS2 Topics:
• Diversity
Human Rights (this issue has been noted by some as potentially allowing ICANN to regulate "content" on the internet)
Jurisdiction (U.S./California or Switzerland or ???)
• SO/AC Accountability [ICANN's supporting organizations' and advisory committees' accountability to the global multi-stakeholder community]
• Ombudsman
Transparency
• ICANN Staff Accountability
• Guidelines for standards of conduct presumed to be in good faith associated with exercising removal of individual ICANN Board Directors
• Reviewing the CEP [Cooperative Engagement Process (pdf)] (as set forth in Section 4.3 of the new bylaws (pdf)--not yet adopted as of May 26 )
• IRP [Independent Review Process] “phase 2” (additional topic carried over from WS1)

Below are slide presentations in preparation for the WS2 meeting at ICANN56 in Helsinki, Finland, on June 26, 2016, which indicate the breadth of work in Work Stream 2:




See also on Domain MondoIANA Transition, What's Next, Years of Litigation in U.S. Federal Courts? and Senate Commerce Hearing on ICANN & IANA Transition, Tuesday, May 24




DISCLAIMER

2016-05-25

IANA Transition, What's Next, Years of Litigation in U.S. Federal Courts?

Excerpt from IANA Functions Contract between ICANN and US government (p. 31, July 2, 2012) (pdf)
After Tuesday's Senate Commerce Hearing, it appears the movement to extend the IANA functions contract (currently due to expire September 30, 2016), "for the next two years until the new structure proves itself and the details of Work Stream 2 are fully developed and their implications understood" (see prepared testimony of  Brett Schaefer), has increasing support on Capitol Hill.

As the Obama Administration and NTIA have stated, the "community" has only one chance to get this right (though still unclear which community is being referred to: "ICANN community" or global internet community a/k/a global multi-stakeholder community?).

Several U.S. Senators, including Senator Ted Cruz, have already requested NTIA extend the IANA functions contract with ICANN, and Senator Marco Rubio (with other Senators) has also sent a letter requesting delay (pdf), and may also be gathering more signatures requesting same, based upon his remarks at the Senate Commerce Hearing. Even one ICANN community stakeholder from India stated following the hearing on Tuesday: "... In many ways, a soft interim role for the US Government, or a short delay would actually ensure that the transition details are gracefully accepted by the whole world."

But the issues are even deeper than those aired at the hearing, and include future jurisdiction of ICANN, federal property issues, and probably most troubling, antitrust issues as raised in the prepared testimony of Richard Manning at the Senate Commerce Hearing (embedded in full further below):
"That [40 U.S.C. 559 (b)(1)] is a huge liability for ICANN, and potentially for anyone involved at the agency if the provision of the contract stating “All deliverables under this contract become the property of the U.S. Government” was deliberately ignored. No more so than because 15 U.S.C. Section 2 prohibits and makes a felony any attempt “to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations.” 15 U.S.C. Sections 13 and 14 forbid any business practice where the effect “may be to substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly in any line of commerce.” Antitrust law challenges to IANA functions administrator were anticipated in the 1998 statement ... Yet, to date, the White House has failed to produce the legal basis for transferring the IANA functions without Congress, despite numerous requests ..." (Manning, infra, pp. 6-7, emphasis added)
Prepared testimony of Richard Manning (highlighting added) at Senate Commerce Hearing:


It's not hard to see where this could all be headed. If the Obama administration and NTIA refuse to extend the IANA functions contract, then ensuing federal court litigation, with restraining orders and injunctions, could be filed before September 30, 2016. The irony is that in such case, final determination of the issues in U.S. courts will likely exceed the 2-year time extension being requested.

The common sense approach would be to extend the contract to September 30, 2018, and perhaps even ask for Congressional approval of the IANA transition, to avoid litigation. But the ICANN-IANA transition proponents who testified at the Senate Commerce Hearing, appear to have hardened their positions. Which is why we have a federal judicial branch of government. The lawyers are waiting.

See also on Domain Mondo:



DISCLAIMER

2016-05-24

Google vs Apple, Round 2, Valuation, $GOOG vs $AAPL Market Cap (video)

Google vs Apple, Round 2 | Authers' Note:

FT.com's John Authers - "Apple’s ‘most valuable’ crown at risk"
Read more at on.ft.com/1X6Ud9K (Published May 12, 2016)

Apple shares $AAPL DOWN over 28% in 1 year (source: google.com)
Alphabet shares $GOOG UP over 31% in 1 year (source: google.com)

Picking apart Buffett's Apple stake | Lex:

The FT.com’s Robert Armstrong questions the significance of Berkshire Hathaway's stake in Apple and how it fits with the company's strategy of investing in value stocks. Published on May 22, 2016

See also:



DISCLAIMER

2016-05-23

Comments from China and India on Draft New ICANN Bylaws

The public comment period on Draft New ICANN Bylaws closed Saturday, May 21, 2016, at 23:59 UTC. A total of 31 comments were received (as published on ICANN's website).

On Friday, May 27, 2016, the ICANN Board of Directors is expected to approve and adopt a revised final draft of the bylaws, after taking into consideration the comments received, and forward same to NTIA, which is currently considering the IANA stewardship transition proposal forwarded by the ICANN Board to NTIA in March, 2016. The changes to ICANN's Bylaws are a necessary component of the implementation of the IANA transition.

While most of the comments submitted are worth taking the time to read, the following two comments, submitted from China and India, respectively, merit careful reading (emphasis added):

Institute of Internet Governance Research (IGR)(CNNIC)(China), comment below:


Centre for Internet and Society (India) comment below:





DISCLAIMER

2016-05-22

News Review: ICANN, IANA Transition, Capitol Hill Reality Check

DomainMondoShiningLight ©2013domainmondo.com All Rights Reserved
Domain Mondo's review of the past week and look ahead [pdf here]:

In the IANA stewardship transition:

May 16, 2016: "... NTIA received the stewardship transition proposal on March 10 and has set a target of 90 days to complete its review ... The ICANN Board is expected to vote on whether these draft Bylaws adequately represent the recommendations of the proposal on or around May 27. In addition, ICANN has stated that in the event of NTIA’s approval of the stewardship transition proposal, ICANN would produce an implementation report by August 15, certifying that it is prepared for contract expiry on September 30, 2016. NTIA maintains the flexibility to extend its contract with ICANN if necessary. NTIA recognizes that Congress has a strong interest in this proposal, and we expect Congress to closely monitor and review the proposal, as well as our evaluation of the plan. NTIA will continue to provide timely updates to Congress in addition to quarterly written reports ..." - Sixth Quarterly Report on the IANA Transition (pdf) from NTIA (emphasis added).

May 18, 2016: "U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, has announced a full committee hearing titled “Examining the Multistakeholder Plan for Transitioning the Internet Assigned Number Authority” on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. ET in the Senate Russell Building 253, Washington, D.C." Read more here.

Section of the U.S. House Appropriations bill barring use of funds for IANA transition (pdf) (highlighting added)
May 18, 2016:  "A House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday advanced a funding bill for Commerce, Justice and Science that included a provision barring the government from using funds to make the [IANA] transition through 2017 [see graphic above] ... On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) appears to be circulating a letter to colleagues pressing the head of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA) to delay the handoff amid concerns." --TheHill.com (emphasis added)

• May 19, 2016: "... we respectfully request that you extend NTIA's IANA functions contract with ICANN." Letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and NTIA's Larry Strickling from U.S. Senators Cruz, Lankford and Lee (read more here) (emphasis added).

May 19, 2016: Former ICANN staff member, Kieren McCarthy, writing in theregister.co.uk:
"... the concern over whether the reforms to ICANN will prove sufficient are all too real. ICANN has been through no less than eight reviews into its lack of accountability and transparency in the past decade ... in every case, the same corporate culture has managed to re-impose itself and undermine the very changes that were designed to cause a turnaround in its behavior. If Marco Rubio is asking for a delay until this latest set of reforms can be seen to be working, he's not acting irrationally, he's simply noting history."
* * * * * * *
ICANN's Interlocutory Appeal of .AFRICA Preliminary Injunction
•  New gTLD .AFRICA: In the DotConnectAfrica Trust case (see above graphic), ICANN has filed an unopposed motion (pdf) for extension of time through June 29, 2016, to file its appellant's brief in view of the June 6th hearing in U.S. District Court on co-defendant ZACR's "motion to reconsider the preliminary injunction order from which this appeal is taken." More on .AFRICA.

•  More from ICANN FY15 Form 990: In FY15 (ending June 30, 2015) ICANN contributed over $200,000 to the World Economic Forum (WEF).  ICANN's President & CEO at that time, Fadi Chehade, is now senior advisor to the Executive Chairman of WEF (hat tip: @EyeOnICANN).

•  Comments close this coming week at ICANN on only one issue: Proposal for Khmer Script Root Zone‬ Label Generation Rules (LGR) - comments close 28 May 2016 23:59 UTC.

•  ICANN finally "Enhancing Openness and Transparency – Board Deliberations" and it only took 18 years! See also The ICANN Chairman's Blog: An Update From the May 2016 Board Workshop in Amsterdam. It's a start but every ICANN Board meeting should be open to observers via Adobe Connect (except executive sessions to discuss confidential matters such as personnel, litigation, etc.).

•  More of ICANN's 'shady' new gTLDs anyone?--Paul Vixie on the glibc bug, Internet crime and more | techtarget.com: "... [the internet] has, unfortunately, also put the world's wealth more at risk to criminals than it has ever been in the history of humanity." See also SEC warns cybersecurity is biggest threat to financial system | theregister.co.uk and The Internet Is Broken - MIT Technology Review | technologyreview.com.

•  A Culture of Hype and Spin - Silicon Valley is becoming like ICANN"I get lied to by entrepreneurs every day," says Bob Kocher, a venture capitalist who specializes in health IT ... "If you sell me a dreamyou’ll have to be stuck with this upset crazy person who doesn’t trust you for a decade," says Kocher. But far more concerning is when startups begin to believe their own hype and start making short-cuts to ramp up faster than the market typically allows ... We’re likely to see many more examples of companies like Theranos and Zenefits unless the startup world makes a big shift to a whole lot more honesty, transparency ...  Inside Silicon Valley's Culture of Spin | Fast Company.com.

•  This week in tech
  • The BIG news out of Google I/O 2016Google Home. Remember when Google used to copy Apple? Well, "Amazon is the new Apple" --My Echo | Lefsetz.com"Google Home not avail until later this yr. Meanwhile, Echo continues to add features & connect w/products. Is Amazon's head start too big?" asks @KatieBoehret; The BEST news was Google adding Android apps and Play Store to Chrome OS (Chromebooks).
  • FinTech Disaster--in spite of all the right "connections" and "funding"-- How Wall Street Led LendingClub.com Into Crisis | Bloomberg.com"“Many people expected the wheels to come off at some point,” said Robert Wardrop, executive director of the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, which studies funding systems that don’t depend on regulated banks and capital markets. “The big surprise, clearly, was that this was an event that happened at a top performer.”"
•  Q1 2016 Earnings Season postscript"... In Q1, according to FactSet.com, the companies in the DJIA that “adjusted” their earnings inflated them on average by 28.9% over their earnings under GAAP ... we doubt that the media and Wall Street analysts will “self-correct.” They’re the main perpetrators in the propagation of these fairy tales. If they’d wanted to, they could have stopped long ago featuring these fairy tales in their headlines and reports, but no way, that might have tripped up stock prices ..." - WolfStreet.com

•  Five most popular posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this week on DomainMondo.com:
 Other Reading Recommendations (some with a tease of content or my commentary):
  1. Now Available Globally: Fast.com, a New Tool to Check Your Internet Speed | netflix.com: go to fast.com on any device and check your internet connection speed wherever you are.
  2. GoDaddy to buy FreedomVoice for up to $47M | SeekingAlpha.com (Tucows & Ting)
  3. Yahoo's Fire Sale - Deal Could Still Derail | SeekingAlpha.com"The core business is failing, the company's stake in Alibaba can be questioned ... and like everything else under her regime, we don't expect a shareholder friendly deal to get done with [Marissa] Mayer involved."
  4. Now you can embed Reddit posts on other websites | TechCrunch.com"If you’re an online writer or publisher, that means you can start including live Reddit content in your stories. If you’re a reader, that means you might start to see more Reddit posts on other sites, the same way you can see embedded tweets and YouTube videos."
  5. Stop Faxing | JDSupra.com"... In addition to the many reasons faxes are antiquated and annoying, the SEC has just provided us another reason to avoid them: they encourage violations of Reg. S-P ..."
  6. Do You Love Music? Silicon Valley Doesn’t | NYTimes.com"YouTube, which is owned by Google, is now the world’s dominant audio streaming platform, dwarfing Spotify and virtually every other service." Actually, the best music service right now, based solely on my own personal experience, is Amazon.com Prime Music.
  7. Russia Frets about Risk of “Recession” in China | WolfStreet.com"... a slowdown in China from super-hot growth to just-hot growth, which is the official story coming out of China ... risk of an actual contraction, the risk of a recession, which would slam China’s demand for oil and other commodities. And that sort of economic development would not only send shock waves through Russia but the global economy ... There are already repercussions ... Money from Chinese investors “has dried up,” a real-estate broker in San Francisco said ..."
  8. Election 2016 UPDATE: Trump Now Leads Clinton by 5 - RasmussenReports.com"Trump earns 42% support to Clinton’s 37% when 'Likely U.S. Voters' are asked whom they would vote for if the presidential election were held today. But Rasmussen Reports’ latest national telephone survey finds that 13% prefer some other candidate, while seven percent (7%) are undecided." Gender gap? "Clinton appears to have a bigger problem with men than Trump does with women. Trump leads by 22 points among men, compared to Clinton’s 11-point advantage among women." Watch out for Bernie: see How Bernie Sanders WILL Win the Democratic Nomination and Sanders delegates brace for Philadelphia convention fight (Hat tip: @UnderMyPalm | Election2016).
Have a great week!

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo




DISCLAIMER

2016-05-21

INTA Annual Meeting 2016, Orlando, May 21-25

International Trademark Association INTA Annual Meeting 2016, Orlando 21-25 May:

Highlighted sessions:

Tuesday, May 24, 10:15-11:30: CT03 Making Money on .Generic Domain Names "Sure, the business model for .brands is self-evident, a safe secure ecosystem designed to protect consumers from confusion and a platform for innovative interactions between brands and their customers. But haven’t you wondered how new gTLD registries with .generic terms will make money?  It’s not like we were all clamoring for more domain names and it’s not as if .info and .biz really hit it out of the ballpark. Well, we have invited some of the best and brightest of the business folks running new .generic gTLD registries to come to the Annual Meeting and clue us in on how they plan to turn these registries into money makers."
Moderators: Paul McGrady, Winston & Strawn LLP (United States); Stacey King, Amazon Inc. (United States)
Speakers:
Benjamin Crawford, CentralNic Plc (United Kingdom)
Frank Schilling, Uniregistry (Cayman Islands)
Daniel Schindler, Donuts (United States)

Monday, May 23, 11:45 am–1:00 pm: IM20 Internet/E-Commerce Industry Breakout: Beyond Trademarks—The Latest Challenges for Trademark Lawyers in Dealing with ICANN, New gTLDs, and the New Internet Landscape "The new online landscape is one in which mobile is king, a proliferation of apps compete with thousands of new domain names for traffic, and where the central organization governing the Internet is undergoing a significant transition away from US government oversight. This brave new world need not be intimidating, however. Our expert panel of Internet lawyers will guide us through a number of topics, including: 
  • Opportunities and enforcement challenges presented by new gTLDs/ccTLDs.
  • Defensive domain registration strategies.
  • Involvement in ICANN for TM lawyers.
  • Role of governments in Internet governance and e-commerce.
  • Implications of an increasingly mobile-centric Internet." 
Moderator: Ellen B. Shankman, Ellen Shankman & Associates (Israel)
Speakers:
Andrew Abrams, Google (United States)
Sheri Falco, ICM Registry LLC (United States)
Stacey King, Amazon.com, Inc. (United States)
Michele Neylon, Blacknight Internet Solutions Ltd (Ireland)
Nick Wood, Com Laude (United Kingdom)

Sunday 11:30 am–12:45 pm: China Trademark Association Panel "... updates on Chinese trademark office practices from Chinese government officials and association leaders."

Sunday, May 22, 2:30 pm–3:45 pm: Free Speech and Trademark Law:  A Survey of Recent and Relevant Cases from United States, Japan and Norway Concerning Speech, Expression and Trademark Protection  "... recent trademark decisions, future trends, and their most important and news-worthy decisions of the past year concerning free speech rights, property rights in trademarks, political and commercial speech." 

Monday, May 23, 10:15 am–11:30 am: CM03 Nontraditional Trademarks, Innovation, and Competition: Friends or Foes? "In addition to words, names, logos, and product packaging, governments around the world are increasingly allowing registration and protection of nontraditional trademarks (also known as trade dress) such as product configurations, colors, scents, sounds, tastes, textures and motions. As these signs can identify and distinguish goods and services, brands can benefit from registering and enforcing rights in such innovative types of trademarks. Yet protection of nontraditional trademarks may also significantly hinder competition and communication in the marketplace ..."



See also:



DISCLAIMER

2016-05-20

IANA & ICANN: Cruz, Lankford & Lee Letter to Pritzker & Strickling

Senate Commerce Hearing on ICANN & IANA Transition, LIVE, Tuesday, May 24 at 10am ET

Embedded below is U.S. Senators Cruz, Lankford & Lee's May 19th letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and NTIA's Larry Strickling concerning the IANA Stewardship Transition proposal currently under review by NTIA.

The letter touches on several hot-button issues, including:
  • endangerment of internet freedom;
  • power of foreign governments over the internet under the proposal;
  • opening the door to regulation of internet content;
  • transfer of U.S. government property issues;
  • ICANN's U.S. jurisdiction subject to change after the transition;
  • an unaccountable ICANN Board of Directors;
  • ICANN ex-CEO Fadi Chehade's failure to respond to specific questions about his involvement with the Chinese government's World Internet Conference;
  • other issues unaddressed by the proposal, including future of .mil and .gov TLDs, ICANN's antitrust status, ICANN's potential to "impose global taxes" without U.S. government oversight;
and the letter concludes: "In light of all these concerns and the magnitude of the potential consequences, we respectfully request that you extend NTIA's IANA functions contract with ICANN."



See also on Domain Mondo:




DISCLAIMER

Q1 2016 Earnings Scorecard, Wall Street's Tech Earnings Verdict

The chart below sums up Wall Street’s verdict on major tech companies' first quarter results: Infographic: Wall Street's Verdict on This Season's Tech Earnings | Statista
Source: Statista

The chart shows stock price changes on the day after the latest earnings reports by public technology companies. Publicly traded companies in the U.S. have certain obligations, chief among them is to keep shareholders informed about the state of their business by filing periodic reports with the SEC. These quarterly reports are often investors’ best information on how a company is doing, and therefore Wall Street’s reaction to these earnings releases is a good indicator of how content shareholders are with a company’s performance. For Q1 2016, the results are mixed. Both Amazon and Facebook saw share prices climb significantly on the day after they reported their results, Twitter and Netflix faced declines as a result of reporting disappointing numbers or offering weak guidance.

Below is the Editor's scorecard for stocks covered on the Q1 2016 DomainMondo.com Earnings CalendarA-F grading scale, go to each link below for more info:






DISCLAIMER

2016-05-19

Senate Commerce Hearing on ICANN & IANA Transition, Tuesday, May 24

UPDATE May 25, 2016:  IANA Transition, What's Next, Years of Litigation in U.S. Federal Courts?
and May 26, 2016 Enhancing ICANN Accountability, Much Work Left for Work Stream 2.

U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced a full committee hearing titled “Examining the Multistakeholder Plan for Transitioning the Internet Assigned Number Authority,” Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. ET in the Senate Russell Building 253, Washington, D.C. Witness testimony, opening statements, and video livestream will be available on the Senate Commerce Committee website.

[UPDATE] Witnesses:
  • Mr. Michael Beckerman, President and CEO, The Internet Association
  • Mr. Steve DelBianco, Executive Director, NetChoice
  • The Honorable David A. Gross, former U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, U.S. State Department
  • Mr. Rick Manning, President, Americans for Limited Government
  • Mr. Brett Schaefer, Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs, Heritage Foundation
  • Mr. Andrew Sullivan, Chair, Internet Architecture Board
According to the announcement: "The hearing will examine the proposed transition of oversight of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a department of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that allocates Internet IP addresses and domain names, to the global multistakeholder community. Two years ago, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced its intention to transition IANA functions. On March 10, 2016, ICANN forwarded to the NTIA a transition proposal developed by the international community of Internet stakeholders. The NTIA set a target of 90 days to complete its review. Witnesses will testify on advantages and disadvantages of the proposed transition of IANA functions to the global multistakeholder community." (emphasis added)

Prepared Testimony of Brett Schaefer (highlighting added): 


TheHill.com also reports Republican members of Congress are again moving to block the Obama administration's plan to hand off oversight of the internet domain name system. "A House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday advanced a funding bill for Commerce, Justice and Science that included a provision barring the government from using funds to make the transition through 2017 ... Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) appears to be circulating a letter to colleagues pressing the head of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA) to delay the handoff amid concerns." (TheHill, supra, emphasis added).

Members of the Committee:

Majority Members:

Chairman John Thune South Dakota

Minority Members:

Ranking Member Bill Nelson Florida

See also on Domain Mondo:




DISCLAIMER

Domain Mondo posts: