Dark Pools & High-Frequency Trading: Keith Ross, PDQ CEO Interview

Masters in Business interview of Keith Ross, Chief Executive Officer of PDQ Enterprises -- pdqats.com-- dark pool operator, and former CEO of high-frequency algorithmic trading company Getco.

Interviewer is Barry Ritholtz (ritholtz.com) who wrote:
In our conversation, we discuss what High Frequency and Algorithmic trading are, the changes in Market Structure over the past 30 years, and what the proper role of the Exchanges should be. It gets a bit wonky once the conversation whether HFTs are superior to Specialists, the plusses and minuses of Fragmentation. We also head a little deeper into the weeds on issues of Co-location, Packet-sniffing, Spoofing, Quote-stuffing and Walking away. I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up front running as well.
PDQ Enterprises is based outside Chicago in Glenview, Illinois, with offices in New York City and Westport, Connecticut. PDQ Enterprises pioneers new and efficient ways to participate in today’s complex electronic markets. A dark pool and ATS (Alternative Trading System) firm specializing in unique inverse auctions for institutional trading. Previously, Ross ran Getco, one of the largest HFT forms (Getco was sold to Knight Trading last year for $1.4B). See also: Alternative Trading System (ATS) Definition | Investopedia.

About PDQ:

    (Video published Dec 17, 2014)



Apple's First Revenue Decline in 13 Years (video) & Mobile Ate The World

Infographic: Apple's Revenue Declines for the First Time in 13 Years | Statista
source: Statista

A symbolic moment for Apple:

Video above: FT.com's Lex discussion on the significance of a fall in iPhone sales:  Apple has suffered its first quarterly revenue decline in 13 years. But does a fall in iPhone sales signal a Blackberry-style death spiral? Lex’s Robert Armstrong and Jonathan Eley discuss the company’s fortunes.

See also:

Mobile Is Eating the World (2016) from a16z.com

In this update of his past presentations on Mobile Eating the World — delivered most recently at The Guardian’s Changing Media Summit — a16z.com’s Benedict Evans takes us through how technology is universal through mobile. How mobile is not a subset of the internet anymore. And how mobile (and accompanying trends of cloud and AI) is also driving new productivity tools.

In fact, mobile — which encompasses everything from drones to cars — is everything.
  • Mobile Ate the World
  • Mobile is the New Tech Ecosystem
  • New Productivity
  • The Internet Moves to Mobile
  • On Mobile, the Internet is Different



Amazon $AMZN, Neustar $NSR, Verisign $VRSN, Q1 2016, April 28

Three important, but very different, companies, all of which offer domain name registry services, report Q1 2016 financial results after market close on Thursday, April 28, 2016; Earnings calls/webcasts: Amazon at 5 pm ET; and Neustar at 4:30 pm ET; and Verisign at 4:30 pm ET.

Amazon is the gorilla of the group (market capitalization $280.65B), with booming growth in its ecommerce (Prime, Amazon video, Amazon music, etc.) and technology (AWS a/k/a Amazon Web Services a/k/a Amazon Cloud) offerings. Neustar (market cap $1.35B) is trying to transform itself in view of its pending loss (2017?) of its profit-rich NPAC contracts, and finally, Verisign (market cap $9.66B) is transitioning along with ICANN--Verisign and ICANN are negotiating for a 10 year extension of its .COM registry agreement to run coincident with a new Root Zone Maintainer contract for Verisign (see notes after twitter feed below). After the brief profiles that follow, is a combined Twitter feed for all 3 stocks. This post will be updated as financial results information becomes available.

* * * * * * *
Amazon $AMZN - amazon.com - ecommerce, cloud, technology, TLD registry services
•  Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will hold a conference call to discuss its first quarter 2016 (Q1 2016) financial results on April 28, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. ET. Earnings Release.
•  The event will be webcast live, and the REPLAY audio and associated slides will be available for at least three months thereafter at www.amazon.com/ir.
•  Webcast Presentation: Click  here for webcast Thurday, April 28, 5:00 p.m. ET
•  Amazon.com Investor Relations: 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders: May 17, 2016 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Fremont Studios 155 N 35th St. Seattle, WA 98103 (source: Amazon.com Inc.)

Q1 2016 Results for Amazon.com Inc: Q1 EPS of $1.07 beats by $0.49. Revenue of $29.13B (+28.2% Y/Y) beats by $1.15B.  Guidance: AMZN expects Q2 revenue of $28B-$30.5B vs. a $28.33B consensus; expects Q2 operating income of $375M-$975M vs. $465M a year ago. Shares are UP +10% after hours. See: Amazon.com (AMZN) Q1 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha
* * * * * * *
Neustar $NSR - neustar.biz - technology and TLD registry services
•  Q1 2016 Neustar, Inc. Earnings Conference Call
•  Click here for webcast Thursday, April 28, 2016, 4:30 p.m. ET 
•  Webcast Presentation Event Details
•  Investor Relations neustar.biz/about-us/investor-relations  Earnings Release
•  Background - see on Domain Mondo
Q1 2016 Results for Neustar: Q1 EPS $1.06 misses by $0.12; Revenue of $287.29M (+14.3% Y/Y) misses by $1.22MTotal operating expense for the first quarter of 2016 increased 30% to $222.9 million from $171.9 million in the first quarter of 2015. This $51.0 million increase was attributable primarily to operational expenses associated with businesses acquired in 2015. Neustar updated its guidance to reflect a lower contribution from its recent acquisition of MarketShare, which was partially offset by stronger than expected organic Information Services revenue performance. All of the measures used by Neustar for guidance assume that it will remain the local number portability administrator for 2016. Shares are DOWN (11%) after hours. See: NeuStar (NSR) Lisa A. Hook on Q4 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha

* * * * * * *
Verisign $VRSN - verisign.com - TLD registry services, RZM, internet security services
• Verisign's Q1 2016 earnings call: Thursday, April 28, 2016, 4:30 p.m. ET.
• LIVE listen-only webcast of the earnings conference call https://investor.verisign.com.
• Audio archive of the call: https://investor.verisign.com/events.cfm.
• Verisign LIVE teleconference call accessible by direct dial at (888) 676-VRSN (U.S.) or (913) 312-1449 (international), conference ID: Verisign. The earnings news release distribution to the wire services at approximately 4:05 p.m., April 28, 2016, and available directly from the company's investor relations website: investor.verisign.com. On twitter: $VRSN / Verisign / @VERISIGN

Q1 2016 Results for Verisign: Q1 EPS $0.85 beats by $0.02; Revenue $281.87M (+9.1% Y/Y) beats by $3.37M. See: VeriSign (VRSN) D. James Bidzos on Q1 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha

Financial Highlights:
  • Verisign ended the first quarter with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.9 billion, a decrease of $20 million from year-end 2015.
  • Cash flow from operations was $144 million for the first quarter of 2016, compared with $133 million for the same quarter in 2015.
  • Deferred revenues on March 31, 2016, totaled $992 million, an increase of $31 million from year-end 2015.
  • During the first quarter, Verisign repurchased 1.8 million shares of its common stock for $150 million. At March 31, 2016, $916 million remained available and authorized under the current share repurchase program which has no expiration.
  • For purposes of calculating diluted EPS, the first quarter diluted share count included 21.1 million shares related to subordinated convertible debentures, compared with 15.8 million shares for the same quarter in 2015. These represent diluted shares and not shares that have been issued.
Business Highlights:
  • Verisign Registry Services added 2.65 million net new names during the first quarter, ending with 142.5 million .com and .net domain names in the domain name base, which represents a 7.1 percent increase over the base at the end of the first quarter in 2015.
  • In the first quarter, Verisign processed 10.0 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net, as compared to 8.7 million for the same quarter in 2015.
  • The final .com and .net renewal rate for the fourth quarter of 2015 was 73.3 percent compared with 72.5 percent for the same quarter in 2014. Renewal rates are not fully measurable until 45 days after the end of the quarter.

Tweets about $AMZN OR $NSR OR $VRSN:

More about Verisign
VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), is registry operator for .COM and .NET and other top-level domain names (TLDs), as well as Internet security services provider and Internet Root Zone Maintainer and Root Zone server operator. Verisign's Security Services include intelligence-driven Distributed Denial of Service Protection, iDefense Security Intelligence and Managed DNS. See also Zone Files For Top-Level Domains (TLDs) - Verisign:
.COM and .NET Domain Name Base, April 27, 2016:
.com 126,904,150*
.net     15,876,458
Total 142,780,608 *The active zone as of 04/27/2016 contains 125,937,371 .com domain names and 15,673,857 .net domains totaling 141,611,228 domain names. 
Root Zone Status - Verisign: "...In preparation for the implementation phase of NTIA’s announced intent to transition out of key Internet domain name functions, NTIA asked Verisign and ICANN to develop a proposal outlining a technical plan and testing regime for phasing out NTIA’s administrative role associated with root zone management in a manner that maintains the security, stability and resiliency of the DNS. In conjunction with that proposal, Verisign and ICANN are jointly testing and proving a new version of the RZMS that performs all of the same functions as the current RZMS, but uses a modified workflow which omits the NTIA authorization steps. The period of testing, referred to as "parallel operations”, will be used to prove that the new RZMS produces identical matching output for every zone produced by the current RZMS..." see on the Verisign blog: Network Infrastructure, Cyber Security and Domain News from Verisign | Between the Dots and on the ICANN blog: A Progress Update: Ensuring the Security, Stability and Resiliency of Root Zone Maintenance - ICANN"... One of the tasks that must be completed is for ICANN and Verisign to enter into a Root Zone Maintainer Agreement (RZMA). Another is to extend the .com Registry Agreement to run for the same term as the RZMA, which ICANN and Verisign believe enhances the security, stability and resiliency of the root zone infrastructure ..." (March 16, 2016)(emphasis added).

See also on Domain Mondo:



Facebook $FB Q1 2016 Financial Results, LIVE Webcast April 27 5pm ET

Facebook 1-yr Stock Chart $FB UP over 32% in 1 year (source: google.com)
Facebook, Inc.
Principal domain: facebook.com
Stock Exchange & Symbol: NASDAQ: FB
Facebook Investor Relations: investor.fb.com

Facebook First Quarter 2016 Results release after market close, Wednesday, April 27, 2016: Q1 2016 EPS of  $0.77 beat consensus estimates by $0.15. Q1 2016 Revenue $5.38B (+52.0% Y/Y) beat consensus by $120M.

"Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2016. "We had a great start to the year," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "We're focused on our 10 year roadmap to give everyone in the world the power to share anything they want with anyone." We also announced today that our board of directors has approved a proposal to amend and restate our existing certificate of incorporation to create a new class of non-voting capital stock, known as the Class C capital stock. If the proposal is approved, we intend to issue two shares of Class C capital stock as a one-time stock dividend in respect of each outstanding share of our Class A and Class B common stock. This proposal is designed to create a capital structure that will, among other things, allow us to remain focused on Mr. Zuckerberg's long-term vision for our company and encourage Mr. Zuckerberg to remain in an active leadership role at Facebook. The adoption of the proposal is subject to the approval of our stockholders at our 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on June 20, 2016, and the record date for the payment of the Class C stock dividend would be set by the board of directors at a later date. More information will be available on our Investor Relations site and in our forthcoming proxy statement to be filed today ..."

First Quarter 2016 Operational Highlights
  • Daily active users (DAUs) - DAUs were 1.09 billion on average for March 2016, an increase of 16% year-over-year.
  • Mobile DAUs - Mobile DAUs were 989 million on average for March 2016, an increase of 24% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) - MAUs were 1.65 billion as of March 31, 2016, an increase of 15% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs - Mobile MAUs were 1.51 billion as of March 31, 2016, an increase of 21% year-over-year.
First Quarter 2016 Other Financial Highlights
  • Mobile advertising revenue - Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 82% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2016, up from 73% of advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2015.
  • Capital expenditures - Capital expenditures for the first quarter of 2016 were $1.13 billion.
  • Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities - Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities were $20.62 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2016.
  • Free cash flow - Free cash flow for the first quarter of 2016 was $1.85 billion.
Webcast  |  Transcript
Earnings Release
Earnings Slides 2.8 MB
Balance Sheet 18.4 KB
Income Statement 16.6 KB

Facebook Conference Call & Webcast to discuss the Q1 2016 results: 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET, April 27, 2016 - Facebook Q1 2016 Earnings LIVE Webcast

The live webcast, the company's earnings press release, financial tables and slide presentation, can be accessed at the Facebook Investor Relations website at investor.fb.com. Following the call, a replay will be available at the same website. A telephonic replay will be available for one week following the conference call at 404.537.3406 or 855.859.2056, Conference ID: 77447218.

Disclosure Information: Facebook uses the investor.fb.com and newsroom.fb.com websites as well as Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook Page (facebook.com/zuck) as means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD.

About Facebook: Founded in 2004, Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them."
(Source: Facebook)

Facebook Companies - domains:
  • Atlas - atlassolutions.com
  • Facebook Payments Inc. - (facebook.com)
  • Instagram LLC - instagram.com 
  • LiveRail - liverail.com 
  • Moves - moves-app.com 
  • Oculus - oculus.com 
  • Onavo - onavo.com
  • Parse - parse.com 
  • WhatsApp Inc. - whatsapp.com
See also: Should You Buy Facebook (FB) Stock? 3 Pros, 3 Cons - NASDAQ.com

and  Facebook $FB Q4 & Year 2015 Earnings, LIVE Webcast Replay | DomainMondo.com


Apple $AAPL Q1 2016 Results, Used iPhones Resistance in India (video)

Apple Meets Resistance in India Over Used iPhones: 

Apple's latest bid to crack India's smartphone market is meeting fierce resistance. The company wants permission to import and sell second-hand iPhones because its previous campaigns have been hit by tight regulations and the relative expense of its devices due to low incomes. Bloomberg's Edwin Chan reports on "First Up." Published April 4, 2016

NoteApple's Push to Flood India With Used iPhones Ignites Backlash - Bloomberg"Apple now has less than 2 percent of an Indian market in which four-fifths of phones cost less than $150. Branded smartphones are available for as little as $35 in India. Western multinationals from car-makers to soda vendors use “India only” prices and cut-rate “India edition” products to woo customers. Apple can’t employ those strategies without tarnishing its marquee phone’s premium aura." UPDATE May 3, 2016: Bloomberg reporting India has rejected Apple Inc.’s request to import and sell refurbished iPhones to the world’s second largest mobile population.

Apple FYQ2 2016 (Calendar Q1 2016) earnings release | $AAPL FY 16 Second Quarter Results:
Tuesday, April 26, 2016--Listen to the audio webcast replay Transcript: Apple (AAPL) Tim Cook on Q2 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript | Seeking Alpha

FQ2 EPS of $1.90 miss by $0.10. Revenue $50.6B (-12.8% Y/Y) miss by $1.37B. Apple expects FQ3 revenue of $41B-$43B, below $47.32B consensus.
  • Apple Sees 1st Quarterly Revenue Drop in More Than Decade
  • Smartphone shipments slide 16% as fewer customers upgrade
  • China no longer a growth engine; regional revenue falls 26%
Apple - Press Info - Apple Reports Second Quarter Results (see graphic below):

Apple Forecasts Second Sales Drop as iPhone Woes Deepen - Bloomberg"Apple Inc.’s smartphone woes are deepening. The company posted its first quarterly revenue drop in more than a decade and forecast another decline in the current period, dragged down by waning demand for the iPhone as fewer users race to snap up the latest version of the device. Shares fell as much as 8.3 percent in extended trading. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said demand has fallen off since the debut of the larger-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which led customers to upgrade more quickly. “Last year we had a very strong iPhone upgrade cycle.”"

Principal domain: apple.com
Stock symbol: NASDAQ: AAPL
Investor relations: http://investor.apple.com/financials.cfm

This Is The Biggest Threat To Apple's iPhone - Forbes"... analyst, Walter Piecyk, cut his revenue and EPS estimates on the company last week due to concerns that the iPhone replacement cycle is lengthening. UBS analyst, Steve Milunovich, brought up the same concern in a March 14 report ... I believe that an elongation of the iPhone replacement cycle is the biggest threat to the iPhone’s financial returns." See alsoApple Stores See Shrinking Share of iPhone Sales - WSJ"More U.S. consumers are buying iPhones from third-party retailers instead of directly from Apple Inc., according to a new report, a shift that could cut into the tech giant’s wide profit margins. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners said 11% of U.S. iPhone buyers purchased phones directly from Apple in 2015, down from 16% two years earlier. Over the same period, the share of U.S. iPhones bought at stores and websites operated by wireless carriers rose to 76% from 65%. The remaining phones were purchased from other retailers, such as Best Buy Co. That shift is generally bad news for Apple ..."



Twitter $TWTR Q1 2016 Financial Results April 26, Gary Vaynerchuk Video

Gary Vaynerchuk on Twitter, its NFL Rights and flaws:

VaynerMedia (vaynermedia.com) Co-Founder & CEO Gary Vaynerchuk discusses Twitter, the importance of Twitter’s NFL rights, and its flaws, with Emily Chang on “Bloomberg West.” Published April 14, 2016

Principal domain: twitter.com
Stock Exchange & Symbol:  NYSE: TWTR
Investor Relations: investor.twitterinc.com

Q1 2016 Twitter financial results (earnings announcement) for Q1 2016 : Q1 EPS of $0.15 beats by $0.05. Revenue $594.5M (+36.4% Y/Y) misses by $13.34M.
Twitter Q1 2016 Shareholder Letter:

  • Conference Call to discuss Q1 2016 financial results: Tuesday, April 265:00 p.m. ET (US).
  • Twitter Inc. will be "following the conversation" about the earnings announcement on Twitter and Periscope. To have your questions considered during Q&A, Tweet your question to @TwitterIR using #TWTR or submit your question via Periscope. 
  • Watch a live broadcast of earnings on Periscope via @TwitterIR (embed below). 
  • Listen to a live audio webcast (or access same via investor.twitterinc.com). 
  • Regulation FD: "Twitter has used, and intends to continue to use, its Investor Relations website and the Twitter accounts of @jack, @twitter and @TwitterIR as means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD."
@TwitterIR Tweets:

$TWTR Tweets: 

About Twitter, Inc. (source: Twitter):
Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) is a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. By developing a fundamentally new way for people to consume, create, distribute, and discover content, Twitter enables any voice to echo around the world instantly and unfiltered. The service can be accessed at Twitter.com, on a variety of mobile devices, and via SMS. Available in more than 40 languages, Twitter reported 320 million monthly active users as of the quarter ended December 31, 2015. For more information, visit about.twitter.com or follow @twitter. For information on how to download the Twitter and Periscope apps, visit twitter.com/download and periscope.tv.



Conference on the Global Digital Content Market, Jaron Lanier Keynote

Highlights from Jaron Lanier Keynote at Digital Content Market Conference:

Writer, composer and tech futurist Jaron Lanier delivered the keynote address at the opening of the Conference on the Global Digital Content Market, April 20-22, 2016 at WIPO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Published April 21, 2016)

Above: video playlist from the Conference on the Global Digital Content Market, April 20-22, 2016, at WIPO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. First 3 videos:

1. Naja Nielsen, Chief Editor, DBC Radio: Naja Nielsen, Chief Editor of DBC Radio (Denmark), on "Best, worst of times."

2. Dima Khatib, Managing Director, AJ+Dima Khatib, Managing Director of AJ+ online news channel (Qatar), shares her views: "Everyone is copying us."

3. Ritu Kapur, CEO, Quintillion Media: Ritu Kapur, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Quintillion Media Pvt. Ltd.: Curation (without a link to the source) can be jargon for plagiarism.

WIPO Conference on the Global Digital Content Market: April 20 – 22, 2016, Geneva, Switzerland--"The creative content economy has seen radical change to access and business models for more than a decade. The tensions between increased access and a sustainable economic value chain are the essence of this conference, which explores: copyright in the digital age the impact of the digital environment on creators the role for publishers, producers and distribution platforms digital markets, access, and participation."



News Review: ICANN Bylaws, Comments, ICANN Chairman's Op-ed Flops

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

The implentation phase of the IANA Stewardship Transition Plan (including WS1 of Enhancing ICANN Accountability) is proceeding in accord with the tentative timeline:

IANA Stewardship Transition Tentative Timeline
IANA Stewardship Transition Tentative Timeline
ICANN's new proposed bylaws in connection with the IANA transition and ICANN accountability proposal, have been posted for public comment through May 21, 2016. Read more at: ICANN Posts Draft of New Bylaws For Public Comment Until May 21 | DomainMondo.com.

•  On April 19, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker, warning of terrible consequences if the U.S. government (NTIA) does not end its oversight of the IANA functions:
Broadening the Oversight of a Free and Open Internet - WSJ: "... If the U.S. does not transition its stewardship role to the global Internet community, then other governments may try to move control to organizations like the United Nations. There is also a risk that some governments may form their own national or regional networks. This disruptive splintering would damage the economy and weaken personal Internet use ..." (emphasis added)
Crocker, like others involved in the IANA transition process from the beginning, including NTIA's Larry Strickling on March 14, 2014, is being disingenuous by using the phrase "global internet community" when he really means ICANN, the California corporation. The IANA stewardship transition is only about transitioning, or privatizing, the U.S. government's stewardship role from the U.S. to ICANN, not the global Internet community. The global Internet community is hardly the same as ICANN or even ICANN's "community," a fact acknowledged by ICANN and the "ICANN community" in setting up the ground rules for participation in the CCWG-Accountability (Cross Community Working Group to Enhance ICANN Accountability):
Members & Participants - Enhancing ICANN Accountability: "Anyone interested can volunteer to join the CCWG as a "participant," regardless of whether they are members of the ICANN community." (emphasis added)
Unlike the global Internet community, ICANN has largely been captured by domain name industry and other special interests. As far as Crocker's comment about "splintering" [or fragmentation] of the internet is concerned, that is already happening, due, in large part, to distrust of ICANN, its programs, policies, processes, structures, and leadership, by the global Internet community.

Crocker apparently forgot he was addressing readers of the Wall Street Journal, not a gathering of the UN's Internet Governance Forum or WSIS. His message would have been much better received had he simply been honest about the IANA transition, rather than using the false narrative of a transition to the "global Internet community." In fact, the Wall Street crowd would have probably warmly embraced the idea of a transition from 'U.S. government control' to 'control by ICANN,' a California corporation, which functions largely as a captured agency controlled by lobbyists and lawyers representing special interests, known as 'stakeholders' in the institutional jargon of ICANN, with the U.S. government retaining veto power over interference by foreign governments.

But Crocker followed the script he had been given, false narratives and institutional secrets are inculcated in ICANN's sick organizational culture. Besides being a misleading reference, the phrase "global Internet community" sounds to denizens of Wall Street like a rallying cry of the Trotskyite wing of #FeelTheBern. The Wall Street Journal readers' comments to Crocker's op-ed (more than 70 at last count), confirm this. While interesting and entertaining to read, particularly if one wants to know what that part of the global Internet community--the part that comprises the affluent demographic that subscribes to the Wall Street Journal--thinks about the IANA stewardship transition, there is a jarring brutal honesty in the comments for those accustomed to the rarefied air of the "ICANN bubble"--here are a few excerpts--
This is a typical political sales pitch; it tells us nothing about the features that supposedly will produce the claimed benefits, ignores legitimate concerns and glosses over all problem areas. Mr. Crocker missed his calling as a telemarketer ...
This is a totally misguided transformation. Mr. Crocker's last sentence to "assure that the Internet of tomorrow is as free, open and resilient as the Internet of today" should give us all pause about even contemplating the changes he and others propose. His proposal reminds me of a mentally ill patient, who, after using medication to restore his mental health, goes off his meds because "he is cured". As soon as the Commerce Department steps away, it will be open season on that openness and freedom by some of the darkest elements around the world, both corporate and governmental. The only reason the internet is free, open and resilient is that the US Government stands behind it. 
This article does not include a single supported assertion. Speaking on behalf of "the Internet community—along with businesses, civil society and other interest groups," I voice my dissent.
Mr. Crocker's column is a nice example of a buffoon using all the right words (diverse, accountable, community) to blow smoke up our 4th point of contact. When you want a technical activity managed properly, you don't care about diversity - that is for non-technical people looking to grab control of something. Then there are the questions Mr. Crocker doesn't answer: Example: accountable to whom? He never says specifically, just yada yada yada about an international community. Been there; done that. It's called the UN. Letting Russia, China or the UN anywhere near controlling anything about the internet guarantees only censorship. Even the Europe Union, with its silly "right to be forgotten" can't be trusted ... 
... I have to ask who elects people to the Board of ICANN? This guy [Crocker] is really an embarrassment, and should be removed forthwith ...
Not exactly the reaction and response Crocker was looking for, I'm sure. I'll leave the rest of the comments for your reading enjoyment. [Note: if you're like one member of the ICANN Board of Directors and don't know how to access WSJ articles without a subscription, just click the WSJ  story link on this Google search results page.]

• Draft ICANN FY17 Operating Plan & Budget and Five-Year Operating Plan Update: Open for Public Comments--Close Date 30 Apr 2016 23:59 UTC.

•  ICANN FY16 Q3 (Quarter ending 31 March 2016) Stakeholder Call - 27 April 1500 UTC:  Pre-register online here to join the Quarterly Stakeholder Call online. The call will take place 27 April at 1500 UTC time converter. Joining instructions will be sent to those who register in advance of the call. A recording will be made available after the call here: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/quarterly-reports-2014-11-13-en.

• New gTLD? Use It OR Lose ItNew gTLD Program Delegation Deadlines - ICANN: "... To date, registry agreements are in place for more than 1,230 new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), and more than 950 of these new gTLDs have been delegated into the root zone ...  The New gTLD Registry Agreement defines a 12-month period after contract execution during which the registry operator must delegate its TLD. ICANN expects registry operators to honor this commitment, and most do. However, we've recently seen an uptick in registry operators who either haven't met their deadline or aren't on track to do so. There are about 200 TLDs with approaching delegation deadlines between now and the end of August 2016 ... If a registry operator does not meet its delegation deadline, ICANN has the option to terminate the registry agreement, as per Section 4.3(b) of the agreement ..."

DotConnectAfrica Trust vs ICANN and ZACR: ICANN's motion to dismiss scheduled for hearing April 25, in Los Angeles.

Earnings Season schedule this week on Domain Mondo's Earnings Calendar:
  • Twitter TWTR April 26
  • Apple AAPL April 26
  • Facebook FB April 27
  • Verisign VRSN April 28, 4:30 p.m. ET
  • Neustar NSR April 28
  • Amazon AMZN April 28 5pm ET

• This past week's five most popular posts on Domain Mondo (# of pageviews Sun-Sat):
Honorable mention: Jack Bogle, Founder of Vanguard Group, Creator of Index Funds, Interview | DomainMondo.com

New This Week: Other Reading Recommendations (with a little taste of the article or a little of my own commentary):

Have a great week!

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo



Jack Bogle, Founder of Vanguard Group, Creator of Index Funds, Interview

Who's Jack Bogle? Legendary investor, creator of the index fund, founder of the $3.5 trillion dollar Vanguard Group.
"Bogle tells the fascinating story of Vanguard’s origins ... he named the new management company company for the HMS Vanguard, flying Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson’s flag. Bogle discusses Wall Street’s initial response to index funds, explains why no one ever really decided to compete with Vanguard, and holds a master class on the proper way to invest ... you can hear me struggle for about 12 minutes trying to direct the interview before I give up, satisfied to merely have an amazing conversation with one of the most legendary personalities in all of finance."-- Barry Ritholtz, Interview With Jack Bogle: Masters in Business (Audio) by Bloomberg View.
See also: 



ICANN Posts Draft of New Bylaws For Public Comment Until May 21

Tentative Timeline for IANA Stewardship Transition:
Tentative Timeline for IANA Stewardship Transition (source: DomainMondo.com)
ICANN has posted a draft of its new bylaws for public comment until May 21, 2016, 23:59 UTC which is 7:59 P.M. ET (US), time converter here.

According to the ICANN posting:

• The Public Comment period seeks community input on the Draft New ICANN Bylaws developed to reflect the recommendations contained in the proposals by the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) and Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) as provided to the ICANN Board on 10 March 2016 and transmitted to NTIA. (See Resolutions 2016.03.10.12-15 and 2016.03.10.16-19);

• The new ICANN Bylaws have been drafted in collaboration by the ICANN legal team and the external counsels to the CCWG-Accountability and Cross Community Working Group Names (CWG-Stewardship), including review periods by all of the involved community groups and the ICANN Board. The legal teams support that the Draft New ICANN Bylaws are consistent with the community proposals relating to the IANA Stewardship Transition;

• The Draft New ICANN Bylaws public comment period from 21 April – 21 May 2016, allows any interested party to review and provide feedback on the Bylaws. This timeline allows for comments to be analyzed and incorporated in time for the ICANN Board to consider, prior to adoption of the New ICANN Bylaws on or about 27 May 2016. Once New the 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 (current expiration date is September 30, 2016).
Redline Comparison of Draft New ICANN Bylaws to Current Bylaws:

Below is a chart that maps the CCWG-Accountability Final Supplemental Proposal to the April 20, 2016 draft Bylaws, prepared by Counsel to the CCWG:



Alphabet $GOOG Q1 2016 Earnings, April 21 Webcast REPLAY

Alphabet Q1 2016 Earnings Call Replay:

The Alphabet Q1 2016 Earnings Call video above -- Transcript at SeekingAlpha.com

Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) 1-year stock chart (source: google.com) - Up over 40% in 1 yr.
Alphabet $GOOG, Q1 2016 Earnings Webcast, April 21 (Note: this post will be continuously updated as more information becomes available):

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG, GOOGL) will hold its quarterly conference call to discuss first quarter 2016 financial results on Thursday, April 21st at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time (4:30 p.m. Eastern Time). Consensus expecting $7.96 in EPS and $16.57b in revenue

The live webcast of the earnings conference call can be accessed here. A replay of the webcast will be available through the same link following the conference call. Visit the Investor Relations website at abc.xyz/investor on April 21, 2016 to view the earnings release prior to the conference call.

Alphabet Announces First Quarter 2016 Results - Investor Relations - Alphabet"Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG, GOOGL) today announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2016. “Our Q1 results represent a tremendous start to the year with 17% revenue growth year on year and 23% growth on a constant currency basis. We’re thoughtfully pursuing big bets and building exciting new technologies, in Google and our Other Bets, that position us well for long term growth,” said Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet ..." 

Alphabet Q1 EPS of $7.50 misses by $0.47. Revenue of $20.26B (+17.4% Y/Y) misses by $110M.
Google/Alphabet down strongly after Q1 miss; ad price declines weigh - Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) | Seeking Alpha: "Ad price declines pressured Alphabet/Google's (GOOG, GOOGL) Q1 results."

About Alphabet Inc. - Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google (google.com) in September 1998. Since then, the company has grown to more than 60,000 employees worldwide, with a wide range of popular products and platforms like Search, Maps, Ads, Gmail, Android, Chrome, and YouTube. In October 2015, Alphabet became the parent holding company of Google. You can read more about Alphabet’s mission here. (source: Alphabet Inc.)
"Google last year announced the creation of Alphabet, which would become Google’s parent company, in part to create more transparency for investors seeking to differentiate between the company’s lucrative core businesses and its moonshots. Alphabet houses the more experimental branches of the company, like Nest, Google Fiber, and Google’s self-driving-car project ... [then] news broke that Alphabet was putting Boston Dynamics, the maker of terrifyingly human-like robots, up for sale ... Google announced it will be shuttering its debit-card program, which it said had millions of customers. News broke that Nest, the company’s $3 billion smart-home-device division, has been under pressure to make money. “The fiscal discipline era has now descended upon everything,” Nest founder and C.E.O. Tony Fadell told the Information. This week, the penny-pinching hit Google Fiber, Alphabet’s high-speed Internet project, stopped its free Internet program in Kansas City ..." --Google’s Parent Company Is Doing Damage Control | Vanity Fair

Video above: EU Google Android dispute explained | FT Business - In 90 seconds the FT’s Murad Ahmed explains why the EU has widened its landmark antitrust battle against US technology group Google, which stands accused of abusing its dominance of the smartphone operating system Android. Published on Apr 20, 2016

EU Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Google on Android operating system and applications: Brussels, 20 April 2016: "The European Commission has informed Google of its preliminary view that the company has, in breach of EU antitrust rules, abused its dominant position by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators. The Commission's preliminary view is that Google has implemented a strategy on mobile devices to preserve and strengthen its dominance in general internet search. First, the practices mean that Google Search is pre-installed and set as the default, or exclusive, search service on most Android devices sold in Europe. Second, the practices appear to close off ways for rival search engines to access the market, via competing mobile browsers and operating systems. In addition, they also seem to harm consumers by stifling competition and restricting innovation in the wider mobile space. The Commission's concerns are outlined in a Statement of Objections addressed to Google and its parent company, Alphabet. Sending a Statement of Objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation ..." source: European Commission

Google’s Android Targeted by EU Over Mobile Search Curbs - Bloomberg: "... By sending a statement of objections, the EU is opening a new front in its antitrust battle with the Alphabet Inc. unit -- paving the way for potentially huge fines and radical changes to the way the company does business. It comes a year after the EU issued a formal complaint over Google’s comparison-shopping service ..."

•  Google Continues Ignoring Political Warning Signs - Alphabet Inc. | Seeking Alpha
•  Alphabet/Google pay: Schmidt drops to $8M; Pichai draws $100M | Seeking Alpha
•  Europe Tried to Rein In Google. It Backfired. | The New York Times



ICANN and the Global Public Interest, A Contradiction in Terms

ICANN--the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers--and the Global Public Interest, a Contradiction in Terms?

Efforts by some within ICANN to "define" (and thereby "restrict") the term "public interest" is a misguided, ill-advised, attempt to supplant the proper role of governments, and will most likely result in a definition favorable to the clients and employers of the lawyers-lobbyists-stakeholders who infest, and have largely captured, ICANN structures and processes, principally representing domain name industry and other special interests, all to the actual detriment of the global internet community and the global public interest.

Multistakeholderism, insofar as it applies to ICANN, is just another term for regulatory capture (Wikipedia):
"Regulatory capture is a form of political corruption that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating." (emphasis added)
A prime example of ICANN regulatory capture is ICANN's new gTLDs program, which was designed and implemented primarily for purposes of making money for ICANN (for exorbitant salaries, exploding budget, staff levels, etc.), and the domain name industry, principally, new gTLD registry operators, registry service providers, and registrars. The dramatic increase in costs to members of the global internet community to defend against what ICANN enabled by adding over a 1000 new gTLDs to the global DNS, from cybercrimes to trademark infringement a/k/a cybersquatting, matters little to ICANN. By the time legal processes have caught up with the offenders, ICANN, together with the registry operators and registrars, have all collected their respective fees from the abusive domain name registrations and do not have to pay one cent to the victims in the global internet community. ICANN and the new gTLD domain name industry, in effect, constitute a public nuisance, making money by enabling and providing the platforms by which global bad actors, from terrorists to cybercriminals to cybersquatters, profit by exploiting the global economy and the global internet community. It's all win-win, wink-wink, for ICANN and ICANN's partners (@5:35 and 33:06) a/k/a ICANN's customers, or at least, was supposed to be. Read more at ICANN's Boondoggle | MIT Technology Review, August 21, 2012 and ICANN Damaged a Competitive Domain Name Market With Its New gTLDs | DomainMondo.com. ICANN and its domain name industry 'partners' are engaging in rentier capitalism at its worst--"as the economy becomes more and more about information, the crucial ends of capital holders is to take things that could [and should] belong to the commons and instead appropriate them as property rights and sell them off..." 
"ICANN is an organization rooted in the private sector (including civil society) with governments in an advisory capacity. In the Affirmation of Commitments of 2009, ICANN committed itself to act in the global public interest. ICANN is a bottom-up organisation which has its origins in one country and is driven by a community that is dominated by the domain industry and other special interests ... a discussion has started in ICANN about how to better understand the notion of global public interest and how to improve its accountability mechanisms so that the global public interest is better reflected in its decisions ..."  -- Thomas Schneider, Swiss cyber-diplomat and the Chairman of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC); Geneva Digital Watch: Issue 5, November 2015 (pdf),(links and emphasis added).
Contrast ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker's letter below with ICANN's current denial in a U.S. District Court of any public interest in new gTLD applications and processes, i.e., the new gTLD guidebook, which resulted from ICANN policy-making! See News Review: dotAFRICA, Public Interest, Judge Holds ICANN Accountable | DomainMondo.com.

ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker's letter to GNSO Council Chair James Bladel, 12 April 2016 (emphasis added):

"... historically at ICANN, there has been no explicit definition of the term “global public interest,” the Board has understood the term within the context of Paragraph 3 of the [ICANN] Articles of Incorporation:
“In furtherance of the foregoing purposes, and in recognition of the fact that the Internet is an international network of networks, owned by no single nation, individual or organization, the Corporation [ICANN] shall, except as limited by Article 5 hereof, pursue the charitable and public purposes of lessening the burdens of government and promoting the global public interest in the operational stability of the Internet by (i) coordinating the assignment of Internet technical parameters as needed to maintain universal connectivity on the Internet; (ii) performing and overseeing functions related to the coordination of the Internet Protocol("IP") address space; (iii) performing and overseeing functions related to the coordination of the Internet domain name system ("DNS"), including the development of policies for determining the circumstances under which new top-level domains are added to the DNS root system; (iv) overseeing operation of the authoritative Internet DNS root server system; and (v) engaging in any other related lawful activity in furtherance of items (i) through (iv).” (emphasis added)
"... Future conversation and work on exploring the public interest within ICANN’s remit will require
global, multistakeholder, bottom-up discussion and I am glad to see the GNSO Council, along with other groups, is already taking a keen interest in these next steps."
--Letter embedded below (yellow highlighting added):

See also on Domain Mondo:

Below is the slide Presentation from ICANN 55, Marrakech, March 7, 2016, Exploring the "Public Interest" Within ICANN's Remit:

Session Overview: Discussions on the topic of the "public interest within ICANN's remit" and potential definitions of this term have been ongoing for years. In 2013-2014, the Strategy Panel on Public Responsibility Framework, led by Nii Quaynor, explored this topic. Based on community input at sessions and webinars, the Panel defined the global public interest in relation to the Internet as: "ensuring that the Internet becomes, and continues to be, stable, inclusive, and accessible across the globe so that all may enjoy the benefits of a single and open Internet. In addressing its public responsibility, ICANN must build trust in the Internet and its governance ecosystem." While some recommended the report, at individual and ICANN meetings, and at ICANN 52 in particular, it is evident there is a need and a desire to revisit this topic. Given limits on bandwidth for additional projects, and given the intense focus on other ongoing dialogues, a wikispace was established as a resource space for all to populate with background documents that will be useful in guiding this conversation forward. As set out in the ICANN Operating and Strategic Plans, ICANN will be facilitating a conversation in Financial Year 16 to explore the "public interest" within ICANN's mission and mandate, and this High Interest Session will form an important part of this work.

Archival Media of March 7, 2016, ICANN55 "Public Interest" Session: 
Exploring the "Public Interest" Within ICANN's Remit | Adobe Connect: Full [EN] Virtual Meeting Room Stream Archive English
Exploring the "Public Interest" Within ICANN's Remit | Livestream: Full [EN] Virtual Meeting Room Stream Archive English
Exploring the "Public Interest" Within ICANN's Remit | Audio: Full [AR] Audio Stream Archive العربية
Exploring the "Public Interest" Within ICANN's Remit | Audio: Full [EN] Audio Stream Archive English
Exploring the "Public Interest" Within ICANN's Remit | Audio: Full [ES] Audio Stream Archive Español
Exploring the "Public Interest" Within ICANN's Remit | Audio: Full [FR] Audio Stream Archive Français
Exploring the "Public Interest" Within ICANN's Remit | Audio: Full [PT] Audio Stream Archive Português
Exploring the "Public Interest" Within ICANN's Remit | Audio: Full [RU] Audio Stream Archive Русский
Exploring the "Public Interest" Within ICANN's Remit | Audio: Full [ZH] Audio Stream Archive 简体中文


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