Tencent Holdings Q2 2018 Earnings, LIVE Webcast, Aug 15, 8am EDT

Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Hong Kong Stock Exchange: HKG: 0700
Tencent Holdings Ltd: HKG: 0700
Principal domain: tencent.com
Investor Relations: tencent.com/en-us/investor.html

UPDATE: Q2 2018 Earnings Release (pdf) excerpts:
  • Total revenues were RMB147,203 million (USD22,248 million1 ), an increase of 39% over the first half of 2017 (“YoY”). 
  • Operating profit was RMB52,499 million (USD7,934 million), an increase of 25% YoY. Operating margin decreased to 36% from 39% last year. 
  • Profit for the period was RMB42,553 million (USD6,431 million), an increase of 30% YoY. Net margin decreased to 29% from 31% last year. 
  • Profit attributable to equity holders of the Company for the period was RMB41,157 million (USD6,220 million), an increase of 26% YoY. 
  • Basic earnings per share were RMB4.363. Diluted earnings per share were RMB4.303
See also: "Tencent's earnings disappointment, which sent the stock plunging and dragged EM futures lower..."--Tech Stocks Slammed After Tencent Shocker | ZeroHedge.com 15 Aug 2018.

Tencent Holdings Limited's release of 2018 Second Quarter and Interim Results: Wednesday, August 15, 2018. Mr. Ma Huateng, Chairman & CEO, Mr. Martin Lau, President, Mr. James Mitchell, CSO and Mr. John Lo, CFO, will host a conference call to review the Company’s business and financial performance and discuss the Company’s future plans. A live webcast of this conference call will be available on the Company’s website as follows: time: 8:00 p.m. HKT/ 8:00 a.m. EDT Webcast Access: http://www.tencent.com/webcasting/2Q18. PowerPoint slides will be presented during the live webcast. Archived webcast will be available at the same link above.

Dial-in numbers: US Toll Free: 184 4760 0770; UK: +44 20371 35084; China (Landline): 80087 00532; China (mobile): 40062 40407; International: +65 6713 5330; HK: +852 3018 8307; Passcode for Participants: 267 9428. A replay of the conference call can be reached at 185 5452 5696 (US Toll Free), or +61 2 9003 4211 (International). Conference ID number is 267 9428.

Tencent Holdings Limited is a Chinese multinational investment holding conglomerate founded in 1998, with subsidiaries specialize in various internet-related services and products, entertainment,  artificial intelligence and technology both in China and globally. 

Headquarters: Its twin-skyscrapers headquarters Tencent Seafront Towers (also known as Tencent Binhai Mansion) are based in Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China.

According to its Wikipedia.org profile: "Tencent is the world's biggest investment corporation, one of the largest internet and technology companies, one of the biggest venture capital firms, and the largest and most valuable gaming (Tencent Games) and social media company. Its many services include social network, music, web portals, e-commerce, mobile games, internet services, payment systems, smartphones, and multiplayer online games, which are all among the world's biggest and most successful in their respective categories. Offerings in China include the well-known instant messenger Tencent QQ and one of the largest web portals, QQ.com. Its mobile chat service WeChat has helped bolster Tencent's continued expansion into smartphone services, and has been credited as one of the world's most powerful apps. It also owns the majority of China's music services (Tencent Music Entertainment), with more than 700 million active users and 120 million paying subscribers, the world's largest and most profitable."
  • Revenue: 237.8 billion CNY (2017)
  • Subsidiaries: Epic Games, Tencent Games, Riot Games, Supercell, WeChat and more.
  • Founders: Ma Huateng a/k/a Pony Ma, Chen Yidan, Zhang Zhidong, Xu Chenye, Zeng Liqing
See also: Government of China blocks Tencent fantasy game days after launch--chinaeconomicreview.com 14 Aug 2018.

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Coworking Space Startup WeWork and Asia's Coworking Boom (video)

Asia's coworking boom: 'We're still in the starting out phase'

CNBC Life video above published Aug 9, 2018: Turochas Fuad, WeWork managing director for Southeast Asia, talks about the coworking space start-up's expansion plans in the region.

WeWork is a U.S.-headquartered company that provides shared workspaces, technology startup subculture communities, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, small businesses and large enterprises.
  • Founded: 2010, SoHo, Manhattan, New York City, NY
  • Founders: Adam Neumann, Miguel McKelvey
  • Headquarters: New York City, NY
  • Domain: wework.com

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RegTech Startup Exate Technology, GDPR Data Privacy Solution (video)

Tech Talk: interview with Sonal Rattan, Exate Technology

TheBanker.com video above published Aug 6, 2018: Sonal Rattan, co-founder and chief technology officer, Exate Technology, a regtech start-up that won Innovate Finance’s Pitch360 competition in March, talks to Joy Macknight about data protection in the context of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Exate Technology

Exate Technology video above published Jun 22, 2018: Responsible Risk video for PwC.

Exate Technology
Headquarters: London, England, UK
Domain: exatetechnology.com

Exate Technology | London | GDPR Data Privacy Solution
 Exate Technology
"#RegTech enabling compliance with #GDPR & Cross Border Data Transfers. Our solution allows clients to easily & effectively control how #data is accessed."

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News Review: GDPR, ICANN & WHOIS Data, EPDP Dysfunction

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2018-08-11) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) GDPR, ICANN & WHOIS Data, EPDP Dysfunction2) Other ICANN news: a. Odd Correspondence, b. .ISLAM, .HALAL, c. Contract Compliance, and more, 3) Names, Domains & TMs: a. Another ICANN new gTLD .BRAND #FAIL, and more, 4) ICYMI, 5) Most Read.

1) GDPR, ICANN & WHOIS Data, EPDP Dysfunction
EPDP Team Meetings this week:

  • EPDP Team Meeting #5 Thursday, August 16 at 13:00 UTC 9am EDT. Meeting agenda, background documents including slides, and chat transcript when available posted here.
Non-members of the EPDP Teamobservers and alternates not replacing members, may listen LIVE via audio cast:
EPDP Team wiki, mail list, GNSO Calendar (links to meeting transcripts), Temporary Specification.

Editor's note: I do not recommend the audio cast as the quality is poor--there appears to be no attempt at volume modulation (one speaker may be LOUD, the next one soft)--also it is difficult to know who is talking, and you have no idea what is going on in the "Chat" or what slide is being shown to the group. I recommend just watching the Adobe Connect replay at your convenience. Links to the Adobe Connect replay, and meeting transcript, will be posted above in connection with each meeting this coming week, when available.

Meetings August 7 and August 9, 2018, notes:
"Triage" summary above--"Initial indications are that the level of consensus is low."--Kurt Pritz, EPDP Chair
EPDP Team meeting August 7, 2018, excerpts (emphasis added):
“… the third takeaway was given the lack of consensus I think we should get over this triage section right away. I think I had a fond dream that there would be some minor differences on some points and we’d, you know, we’d discuss them, find a resolution so we tick another box where there’s consensus but given - I don't think that’s possible so I think it’s important for us to make a triage report to the GNSO and then get into the heavy lifting work right away.”—EPDP Chair Kurt Pritz, 7 Aug 2018 transcript, pp. 5-6 of 46.
"... the clause that says, you know, if there’s a conflict between the temporary spec and other portions of the agreement, the temporary spec will prevail and then it goes onto say, “Unless ICANN determines in its reasonable discretion that this temporary specification shall not control,” is problematic. So many found that clause to be problematic ..." --EPDP Chair Kurt Pritz, 7 Aug 2018 transcript, supra, p. 10.
Milton Mueller (NCSG): "... What matters here is the actual purpose of ICANN, not us specifying other uses of third parties. That we have to get the rationale first ... our purpose is a limited one consistent with ICANN's mission." 7 Aug 2018 transcript, supra, p. 19. 
Milton Mueller (NCSG): "... that question reveals the misunderstanding that is causing about - I’d say about 50% of the disagreement here. First of all you’re always - to have a domain name registration, you're always going to be collecting a significant amount of personal information, you need to know who’s registered the name, who owns it ... how they [can] be contacted ... law enforcement will always be able to request that data under their law for legitimate purposes ... I assume none of us want ICANN to be collecting our social security numbers as Americans or our national identity cards in a number - or (ADHAR) number, if you're an Indian citizen. I think we’d all view that as kind of creepy, wouldn’t we? I hope. But that in fact would greatly facilitate law enforcement, if they did that, right? So it’s a very simple line ... ICANN will collect ... data for its own purposes. Law enforcement will issue subpoenas or have some kind of access mechanism that when they have a legitimate purpose gives them access to it. But ICANN’s purpose is not to be law enforcement on the internet; that’s not the reason it collects the data it collects. To me this is very obvious and simple and I don't think it should be construed as me or anyone saying that law enforcement will never have access to data that they need to solve crimes." 7 Aug 2018 transcript, supra, pp.24-25.
Milton Mueller (NCSG): "... the reason we greatly dislike [Temporary Specification] 4.4.2 and anything like it is it seems to say that we’re just opening the door to anybody who wants the data to get it as long as it’s some kind of a legitimate interest not outweighed by the fundamental rights of relevant data subjects. So essentially you're begging the entire question here. You're saying we’ll provide access to anything and everything as long as it’s legal but again, ICANN is in no position to determine what is legal; it’s the GDPR and other privacy laws that determine what’s legal. So why is this [4.4.2 of the Temporary Spec] even in here?" 7 Aug 2018 transcript, supra, p. 33.
Milton Mueller (NCSG): "... there is no public interest definition in ICANN's maintenance of the directory service in its core mission and - as somebody who has 30 years of experience in telecommunications regulation under a public interest standard, I think you really got to move away from that claim as fast as you can." 7 Aug 2018 transcript, supra, p. 36.
Chat transcript Aug 7, 2018 excerpts:
  • Stephanie Perrin (NCSG): "The entire temp spec starts with the assumption that WHOIS should be maintained to the maximum extent possible. This is not necessary, today, given the possibilities RDAP brings. A de novo approach is required."
  • Milton Mueller (NCSG): "The only collection issue that has been contested under GDPR is Admin and Tech contact."
  • Milton Mueller (NCSG): "so really, is that all we are debating here - whether Admin and Tech contact should be collected?"
  • Benedict Addis (SSAC): "... I've never seen a case where LE [Law Enforcement] needed Admin or Tech contacts." [Addis is a former Law Enforcement Officer]
  • Milton Mueller (NCSG): "right, Benedict, so there's not much of a collection issue here is there?"
  • Benedict Addis (SSAC): "Yep, I agree - as long as there’s no mission creep!"
  • Benedict Addis (SSAC): "And can we get rid of fax numbers whilst we’re at it ..."

Editor's note: since ICANN's incompetent management team, which wrote the Temporary Specification, obviously neither understands the domain name industry nor ICANN's own mission and purpose, a little historical review may be helpful. Where does this Admin and Tech contacts requirement originally come from? RFC1591 (1994) which deals with top-level domains (e.g., .COM, .NET, .ORG, and ccTLDs): 
"1) The key requirement is that for each [top-level] domain there be a designated manager [registry operator] for supervising that domain's name space. In the case of top-level domains that are country codes [ccTLDs] this means that there is a manager that supervises the domain names and operates the domain name system in that country. The manager must, of course, be on the Internet. There must be Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity to the nameservers and email connectivity to the management and staff of the manager. There must be an administrative contact and a technical contact ... the administrative contact must reside in the country involved."
It's way past time for ICANN to stop being "stuck on stupid." As I have noted before, the only registration data (re: the "registrant") necessary for the ICANN RDS and/or WHOIS is the name, address, phone number, and email address, of the legal entity or person registering (i.e., the "registrant") the domain name, also referred to as the legal and lawful "domain name holder" a/k/a the "responsible entity or person" for the police to contact about a domain name. A registrar may have much more information about one of its registrants (billing, credit cards, other contact info, etc.) but NONE of that additional information about a registrant, or the registrant's organization, is necessary for ICANN's purposes and mission. My registrars may have all kinds of information about me and my companies, none of which is ICANN's business beyond the name, address, phone number, and email address of the registrant of each gTLD domain name. Requirements for an "admin contact" and "tech contact" for each domain name, in addition to the domain name registrant's contact information, are unnecessary, and in most cases redundant and duplicative, as Tucows CEO Elliot Noss talked about at ICANN62, as well as problematic in view of GDPR requirements.  

Frankly, ICANN (and much of the "ICANN community") is clueless because ICANN excludes most Registrants from participating in the "ICANN community"--there is no Registrants Stakeholder Group nor any other group within ICANN that primarily represents the millions of entrepreneurs that comprise the vast majority of domain name registrants globally (the ICANN Business Constituency is essentially just another branch of the IP Constituency--big corporations and their lawyers and lobbyists interested in enforcing "Intellectual Property Rights"). That is a major reason why ICANN is failing the global internet community generally, and the needs of millions of domain name registrants worldwide.

See also: ICANN Chairman's letter re: EPDP costs (pdf), and Answers to the questions posed to ICANN Org from the Tuesday, 7 August 2018 EPDP Team meeting. More info in last week's News Review

 ICANN's GDPR Train Wreck
  • ICANN loses injunction bid in dispute over WHOIS data in Germany | out-law.com (Legal news and guidance from Pinsent Masons law firm): The EDPB [European Data Protection Board] guidance effectively requires ICANN to "go back to the drawing board to make its rules around the collection and use of WHOIS data compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)"--Karen Gallagher of Pinsent Masons, an expert in data protection and IP law.
  • "Internet overseer ICANN loses a THIRD time in Whois GDPR legal war - US org told by German court its delusional claims in privacy rules battle are not credible"--Kieren McCarthy, theregister.co.uk.

2) Other ICANN News
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a.  Odd Correspondence published by ICANN 10 August 2018:
 Marby Letter re ICANN Brussels regional office activities
9 Aug 2018 Letter from ICANN CEO Göran Marby to Willem Debeuckelaere (pdf), re: "activities of the Brussels Branch Office" in reply to 16 July 2018 Letter from Willem Debeuckelaere to Jean-Jacques Sahel (pdf). Editor's note: see Brussels Branch Manager and Legal Representative ICANN Resolutions 2017.06.24.12 – 2017.06.24.15.

b. New gTLDs .ISLAM and .HALAL: 1 Aug 2018 Letter from Attorney Mike Rodenbaugh to ICANN Outside Legal Counsel Eric P. Enson (pdf), embed below:

See also:

c. WHOIS & GDPR--ICANN Contract Compliance--3 August 2018 Letter from ICANN (Maguy Serad) to Ben Milam re ICANN WHOIS Enforcement Process. See also 13 July 2018 Letter from Ben Milam to Maguy Serad.

d. Overtasked: GNSO Project List (pdf)

e. ICANN Board Committees Reports (Jan-Jun 2018)

f. 9 Aug 2018 Letter from GAC (pdf) to GNSO re IGO Curative PDP Final Report.

g. New gTLDs .INC, .LLC, .LLP: Correspondence and Resolution (pdf) to ICANN from the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).

h. 8 Aug 2018 Letter from ICANN to NTIA (pdf) re: NTIA's letter of 16 April 2018 regarding Port 43 access and modifications to DNS Resource Records.

i. ICANN Global Domains Division (GDD) General Operations Handbook for Registrars (pdf).

Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. Another ICANN new gTLD .BRAND Extortion Racket #FAIL: 
Editor's Note: The Friday, July 13, 2018 Letter at the end reads like a termination notice to ICANN CEO Goran Marby
b. Yes, ICANN is a Public Menace--IDN or Internationalized Domain Name homograph attack, also known by the names “homoglyph” and “script spoofing,” attackers are able to register lookalike domain names by exploiting the similar appearance of certain characters in English, Chinese, Latin and Greek or other scripts--securityboulevard.com.

c. Famous Four Media, GRS Domains, Domain Venture Partners et al--insider battles, changes in ownership and/or control and/or management, of 16 high-volume new gTLDS--a total of 5,370,991  (as of Aug 10, 2018) domain names, being 21.67% of all new gTLD domain names registered, of which many, if not most, may drop over the next 12-24 months under the new pricing policy--read more at domainincite.com. Editor's note: Add another chapter to the continuing saga of incompetent ICANN and its new gTLD registry operator "partners." 

d.  Cryptocurrency Handshake (handshake.org) is aiming to be a "wholly democratic and decentralized certificate authority and naming system," and has raised $10.2 million to replace the current digital entities maintaining internet infrastructure.--linuxjournal.com. See also the project's GitHub page: https://github.com/handshake-org. Editor's note: Replace ICANN? Sounds too good to be true!

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
  • China is "now exporting its model of a censored internet to other countries, including Vietnam, Tanzania and Ethiopia"--NYTimes.com.
  • US: Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans For Government Takeover Of The Internet--reason.com.
  • Uganda: A social media tax, freedom of speech and Uganda--ft.com
  • China: "Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China ... thanks to that subversive dissident Winnie the Pooh"--theregister.co.uk
  • US: "Facebook, Twitter, Google are killing free speech--lifesitenews.com. Krieger: "Stop Complaining And Just Delete Facebook"--zerohedge.com.

5) Most Read this past week on DomainMondo.com:
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

Editor's note: this edition of News Review was published early this weekend to accommodate summer vacation schedules.

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Tech Review: Is Google $GOOGL Courting Trouble In China? (video)

graphic "Tech Review" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Tech Review (TR 2018-08-11)--Domain Mondo's weekly review of tech investing news with commentary, analysis and opinion: Features • 1) Is Google $GOOG $GOOGL Courting Trouble In China?, 2) How Apple $AAPL Reached $1Trillion Market Cap, 3) Investing: The Week, "Escape Velocity" | Investing Notes: China, Brexit, Eurozone4) ICYMI Tech News.

1) Is Google $GOOG $GOOGL Courting Trouble In China?

Google staff awoke on August 1st to surprising news: their company is working on a search app tailored, and censored, for China. BloombergQuint.com video above first published Aug 3, 2018.

How Google is building its censored search engine for China, codenamed Dragonfly, using subsidiary 265.com to compile a list of sites China is blocking--theintercept.com.

source: Statista.com
2) How Apple $AAPL Reached $1Trillion Market Cap 

Apple's Journey to a $1 Trillion Company: WSJ.com's Spencer Jakab takes a look at how Apple $AAPL got to $1Trillion in market cap value. Video first published Aug 3, 2018.
source: Statista.com
3) Investing
graphic: "INVESTING"  ©2017 DomainMondo.com
The Week: NASDAQ Composite +0.4% | S&P 500 Index -0.3% | DJIA -0.6%.  U.S. stocks closed lower on Friday, joining a global equity market selloff, as a mounting currency crisis in Turkey raised alarms about possible contagion into other markets, particularly Europe due to the European banks' exposure to Turkey. Nevertheless ...
Mohammed El-Erian has declared that the U.S. alone has escaped the "new normal," a concept he used in 2009 to predict slow growth for post-financial crisis economies, and now that the U.S. has reached "escape velocity" and people are returning to the labor market, the Fed can keep on raising rates.
So-called bond king Gross has been ‘wrong and wrong badly,’ his boss at Janus says--Marketwatch.com: "About three years ago, he predicted the end of the rip-roaring bull market. However, the current stock bull market is entering its 10th year and approaching a record not seen since 2000."
Wall Street's Charging Bull
graphic of Charging Bull | DomainMondo.com
Investing Notes:

China: Market pressure on China's renminbi would leave Chinese policymakers three choices according to JP Morgan:
  • intervene in currency markets to offset market pressures risking a new wave of reserve depletion;
  • raise interest rates to defend the currency causing monetary tightening and risking economic weakness; or
  • let the currency depreciate beyond the above critical levels along with market pressures risking capital outflows and a more abrupt move.
See also Look beyond the trade war to explain China’s tech stock tumble | chinaeconomicreview.com.

Brexit: UK trade minister Fox says EU is pushing Britain to no-deal Brexit--reuters.com. See also Brexit – Will The EU Collapse Anyway?--truepublica.org.uk.

  • ‘Let the Whorehouse Burn’--The euro and the damage it wrought--weeklystandard.com.
  • Eurozone GDP slows again in Q2 2018--The loss of momentum in 2018 contrasts with the U.S., where growth accelerated during the second quarter and the Eurozone-U.S. growth differential was the widest since the second half of 2014--marketwatch.com.
  • Eurozone Economy Slows Further as Exports Sputter--Business confidence has weakened on worries about future relations with the bloc’s largest trading partners--wsj.com.
  • Stiglitz Advocates A Dual Currency System In Italy But Why Not For The Whole Eurozone?--socialeurope.eu.

4) ICYMI Tech News:
graphic: "ICYMI Tech News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
  • MAGA? FT.com's West Coast editor Richard Waters has suggested that "MAGA" (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon) replace "FAANG" to denote the market's current tech leadership.
  • Tesla $TSLA shares fall 5 percent on Wall Street skepticism, SEC probe reports--reuters.com 9 Aug 2018.
  • Maersk, IBM say 94 organizations have joined blockchain trade platform--reuters.com.
  • India regulator, who took on Facebook, Apple, to stay on for two more years--reuters.com.
  • Qualcomm settles with Taiwan antitrust regulator for US$89 million--reuters.com.
  • Amazon HQ2: Cities’ Offers for Amazon Base Are Secrets Even to Many City Leaders--NYTimes.com.
  • Computer Virus Cripples Taiwan's IPhone Chipmaker TSMC Plants--bloomberg.com.
  • Google: Control government-backed attack alerts in G Suite--googleblog.com.

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo  

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Behavioral Biometrics Cybersecurity Startup Callsign (video)

Tech Talk: interview with Daniel Grimes, Callsign

Daniel Grimes, vice-president, commercial strategy¸ at Callsign (domain: callsign.com), a behavioral biometrics cybersecurity startup, talks to Joy Macknight about using biometrics for intelligence-driven authentication and why such a solution is of interest to banks such as Lloyds Banking Group and Deutsche Bank. "Callsign: Friction-free Identification and Authentication." TheBanker.com video above first published June 13, 2018.

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How Intel Made Its World Record-Breaking Drone Show (video)

How Intel Made Its World Record-Breaking Drone Show

In the early morning on Sunday, July 15, 2018 Intel broke the Guinness World Record for simultaneously flying the most unmanned aerial vehicles with more than 2,000 drones. The previous record was held by China's Xi'an City Wall with drones made by EHang, which was set in April, 2018, with 1,374 drones.

50 Years of Record Breaking Innovation | Drone Light Show | Intel

To celebrate Intel’s 50th anniversary, the Intel drone team broke a world record, flying thousands of Shooting Star™ drones to create the biggest and brightest synchronized drone light show on earth. Intel video above first published Jul 23, 2018.

Experience the Team in Flight at PyeongChang 2018 | Intel

Intel video above first published Feb 9, 2018: The setting? PyeongChang, South Korea in freezing cold temperatures. The goal? Fly over 1200 Intel Shooting Star drones for a record-breaking performance. Follow the drone team’s journey to the Opening Ceremony and the first flight of its kind.

For more info on the tech:

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Black Hat USA Aug 8-9 & DEF CON Aug 9-12, Las Vegas

Now in its 21st year, Black Hat USA is the world's leading information security event, providing attendees with the very latest in research, development and trends. Black Hat USA 2018 opens with four days of technical Trainings (August 4 – 7) followed by the two-day main conference (August 8 – 9) featuring Briefings, Arsenal, Business Hall, and more.--blackhat.com.

See also EFF at Black Hat Briefings USA 2018 | EFF.org:
  • Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 1:00 PM--Five Things Security Researchers Need to Know about Computer Crime Law
  • Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 2:45 PM--What's Going on in D.C. and What Does it Mean for InfoSec?
Def Con Hacking Conference, August 9-12, 2018--defcon.org.

BlackHat and DefCon Twitter feeds:

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Alphabet $GOOGL Balloons & Drones, Projects Loon & Wing Graduate

Loon and Wing: the story of two moonshots

X, the moonshot factory: Captain of Moonshots, Astro Teller, looks back at Loon and Wing's journeys while at X. Video above published Jul 11, 2018.

Google parent company Alphabet has spun its drone delivery project (Wing) and internet-bearing balloon efforts (Loon) into independent businesses. These are the fourth and fifth companies to "graduate" from its X research division.

Projects Loon, Wing Now Companies Under Alphabet

Fortune Magazine video above published Jul 11, 2018: Alphabet’s ($GOOGL $GOOG) Project Loon and Project Wing “graduated” to become fully-fledged companies under the Alphabet umbrella.
"Today, unlike when they started as X projects, Loon and Wing seem a long way from crazy — and thanks to their years of hard work and relentless testing in the real world, they’re now graduating from X to become two new independent businesses within Alphabet: Loon and Wing."--blog.x.company
Domains: loon.co and x.company/wing

See also:

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Apple to Toutiao: World's 20 Largest Tech Giants (infographic)

Apple to Toutiao: World's 20 Largest Tech Giants are based either in the U.S. or China (valuations are as of early July 2018):
Courtesy of VisualCapitalist.com -- the rankings use updated market caps for all public companies as of early July 2018. Editor's note: on August 2, 2018, Apple became the first company in history to reach a market capitalization of US$1Trillion. 

At the valuations listed above, added together, the above companies are worth $5.9 trillion, with a 75% / 25% split in terms of USA / China. Besides the USA-China duality, the list of the world’s largest tech giants is a divide between top-tier companies and those further down the list--there is not a single company with a valuation between $200 billion and $450 billion.

FT.com's West Coast editor Richard Waters has recently suggested that "MAGA" (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon) replace "FAANG" to denote the market's current tech leadership.

The top seven companies on the list account for 81% of the total value of the list, and they are all above the $450B mark--these include Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, and Facebook as well as China's Alibaba and Tencent. The bottom 14 companies together are just 19% of the total list value – a fact that underlines how hard it is to vault a tech company into the upper echelon of the market.

Source notes:
*In Mary Meeker’s chart, eBay-Paypal are listed together as one entity, whereas the above is based on the 2015 spinoff.
**Xiaomi’s valuation was in question ahead of its July 9 IPO in Hong Kong, and the valuation estimate of $54 billion was used in the list above.

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News Review | ICANN Loses Appeal in Germany vs EPAG (Tucows)

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2018-08-04) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) ICANN Loses Appeal in Germany vs EPAG (Tucows),  2) Other ICANN news: a. GDPR & WHOIS: EPDP meetingsb. ICANN New gTLD Auction Schedule, c. new gTLDs .ISLAM, .HALAL, and more, 3) Names, Domains & TMs: Tucows Q2 2018 Earnings, 4) ICYMI Internet Domain News, 5) Most Read.

GDPR & WHOIS UPDATES re: ICANN EPDP Team Meetings Aug 7 & 9 (Tue. & Thu.)
EPDP Team Meeting #3 Thursday, August 9starting at 13:00 UTC 9am EDT, substantive discussion of Temporary Specification (beginning with Section 4.4.6 – 4.4.13, 4.5 and Appendix A - Registration Data Directory Services) – see updated spreadsheet

August 9th agenda and slides (pdf), chat transcriptAdobe recording, MP3, and transcript (pdf). High level notes and action items here. Below is excerpt from the EPDP team meeting chat transcript Aug 9, 2018, about 90 minutes into the meeting:
Excerpt from Chat transcript - EPDP team meeting Aug 9, 2018
Editor's note: nothing of import was said or happened at the August 9th EPDP Team meeting. The "Triage" exercise is a HUGE waste of time, hardening differing positions before substantive discussions have even begun. The EPDP Team Chair, Kurt Pritz, is obviously struggling (anyone surprised?) with both process and substantive issues. The meeting eventually devolved into periods of silence in the Adobe Connect room until the EPDP Chair ended the meeting early. The 'smartest guy usually in the room' (Professor Milton Mueller) wisely absented himself from Thursday's exercise in group dysfunction.

EPDP Team Meeting #2 Tuesday, August 7Links: Agenda, Adobe Connect Recording and transcript (pdf) and Chat transcript (pdf). Editor's note: it takes several seconds before the Adobe Connect Recording starts (after clicking the link). MP3 audio here. High level notes and action items here.

Pre-meeting message from EPDP Chair Kurt Pritz with Tuesday's meeting slides (updated)(pdf) (embed below), and xslx file [Editor's note: converted for easy viewing online, for original go to Pritz's message at link above]. More EPDP Team information at 2)a. below.

"Initial indications are that the level of consensus is low."--Kurt Pritz, EPDP Chair

The EPDP Chair's "Six Realizations" as of August 7, 2018:

Original Post:
1) ICANN Loses Appeal in Germany vs EPAG (Tucows affiliate). ICANN has failed in its attempt to enforce terms of its Registrar Agreement which German domain name registrar EPAG maintains violate provisions of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enacted in April, 2016 (published 4 May 2016), and which became enforceable May 25, 2018.
ICANN v. EPAG Domainservices, GmbH
"The Applicant's [ICANN's] immediate appeal of 13 June 2018 against the order of the Regional Court of Bonn of 29 May 2018 (10 O 171/18), in the version of the non-remedy order of 16 July 2018, is rejected .... The Senate was under no obligation to refer the case to the ECJ [European Court of Justice] pursuant to Art. 267 TFEU, because the interpretation of provisions of the GDPR was not material to the decision ..."--Higher Regional Court of Cologne (pdf in German--English translation of German original above, emphasis added). 
English Translation of Order from the Higher Regional Court of Cologne, Germany Regarding ICANN’s Immediate Appeal (pdf) full embed below (personal identifiable information redacted by ICANN):

ICANN's response to the appellate court's ruling:
"ICANN is considering its next steps, including possible additional filings before the German courts, as part of its public interest role in coordinating a decentralized global WHOIS for the generic top-level domain system and will provide additional information in the coming days."
2) Other ICANN News
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. GDPR & WHOIS: EPDP next meetings Tuesday, August 7, and Thursday, August 9, starting at 13:00 UTC 9am EDT, each day. Non-members of the EPDP Team, observers and alternates not replacing members, may listen via live audio cast:
Following the first EPDP Team meeting on August 1, 2018, Milton Mueller, NCSG (non-commercial stakeholder group) member of the EPDP Team, sent the following via the EPDP mail list:
As noted in the call, and in keeping with the charter, NCSG will refrain from addressing any access issues until the gating questions have been answered by consensus. We urge other stakeholder groups and ACs to do the same. We regret that the [ICANN] staff has disregarded the charter and has continued with what Berry [Cobb, ICANN staff] and Kurt [Pritz, EPDP Team Chair] admitted was “a mistake.”--Dr. Milton L Mueller, Professor School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology (emphasis added).
Mueller was responding to a prior email from ICANN staff:
In order to facilitate the triage of the Temporary Specification as outlined in the EPDP Team Charter as the first deliverable, please work with your appointing organization team members to complete the below surveys. Please find the relevant survey links and accompanying deadlines below: 
1. Part 1, due Monday, 6 August 2018 by 23:59 UTC: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CC6F9F8
2. Part 2, due Wednesday, 8 August by 2018 23:59 UTC: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7BMRCNS
3. Part 3, due Monday, 13 August 2018 by 23:59 UTC: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7PWQPP7
4. Part 4, due Sunday, 19 August 2018 by 23:59 UTC: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9KD5K79
Later, ICANN staff member Marika Konings responded to Mueller's email above, on the EPDP mail list:
"Milton, please note that per the discussion during yesterday’s meeting, the question specific to the Annex was removed from Part 4 of the survey. Instead, a comment box was added that allows those that want to provide further input, including on the annex to do so, but per the charter, any deliberations on the topics outlined in the annex will only commence after the gating questions have been answered. As such, any input provided in relation the annex will be parked until the moment that the gating questions have been addressed. I hope that addresses your concern."
High level summary and action items from last week's first meeting here. EPDP mail list here. EPDP Charter (pdf) adopted 19 July 2018. More information about the EPDP Team, and its first meeting, on last week's News Review.

b. ICANN New gTLD Auction Schedule dated 30 July 2018 (pdf) excerpts below:

c. ICYMI: ICANN holds new gTLDs .ISLAM, .HALAL in limbo--theregister.co.uk. For more information read the correspondence:
19 July 2018 letter from Eric P. Enson to Mike Rodenbaugh re: .Islam and .halal new gTLD applications in response to 21 February 2018 letter from Mike Rodenbaugh to Cherine Chalaby [published by ICANN 6 March 2018].

d. Release of Geographic Names in the Domain Name System (DNS)
1 August 2018 Letter from ICANN Chairman Cherine Chalaby to Sanjay Kumar Rakesh (Government of India) re: Two-Character Country Codes, responding to Letter from Sanjay Kumar Rakesh to Cherine Chalaby dated 22 November 2017.

Editor's note: see ISO.org (ISO 3166) and RFC 1591 (J. Postel, March, 1994).

e. 27 July 2018 Letter (pdf) embed below, from Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations Secretariat to ICANN Board of Directors (published by ICANN 1 Aug 2018) re: IGO-INGO Access to Curative Rights Protection Mechanisms (pdf):

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Tucows $TCX Q2 2018 earnings release at tucows.com/investors/financials on Wednesday, Aug 8, 2018 5:05pm EDT: Revenue of $81.09M (-3.7% Y/Y) missed consensus estimate by $0.91M. Net income for the second quarter of 2018 was $3.6 million, or $0.34 per share, down from $5.2 million, or $0.50 per share, for the second quarter of 2017. More information: News ReleaseFinancial Statement (pdf); XBRL Files, Q2 2018; and 10-Q (pdf), and Q2 2018 earnings call replay.
Note from Tucows Investor Relations: "Beginning this quarter, Tucows is evolving the format of its quarterly conference calls.  Concurrent with the dissemination of this news release, management’s pre-recorded remarks discussing the quarter and outlook for the Company have been posted to the Company’s web site at http://www.tucows.com/investors/financials. In lieu of the usual question and answer period on past calls, for the next seven days (until Wednesday, August 15), shareholders and analysts can submit questions to Tucows’ management at ir@tucows.com. Management will post responses to questions of general interest to the Company’s web site .... [tucows.com] on Wednesday, August 22 at 9:00 a.m. ET.  Questions that are more specific will be responded to directly. All questions will receive a response."
Earnings Call Transcript | SeekingAlpha.com and Form 8-K | SEC.gov. 

Tucows is the world's second largest domain name registrar. Tucows brands include eNom, OpenSRS, Hover and wireless and internet services provider Ting.

In May, ICANN filed a legal action in Germany requesting an injunction against a Tucows affiliate, domain name registrar EPAG, in Germany, but ICANN's request was rejected twice by the original court as well as by the appellate court in Germany (see first feature story above) on August 1, 2018.

Also note that the world's largest domain name registrar, GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) reported Q2 2018 earnings this past Thursday, more info here.

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. Move over GDPR: U.S. President Trump's administration now working on a consumer data privacy policy--reuters.com.

b. India: Facebook's WhatsApp blamed for the spread of 'fake news' in India which resulted in a mob lynching--reuters.com.

c. Cybercrime: Here are the costs of different cybercrime services, according to Positive Technologies (domain: ptsecurity.com) via TechRepublic.com:
  • Hacking email: $40
  • DDoS attack: $50
  • Hacking website: $150
  • Stealing payment data $270
  • Infecting with Trojan for mining: $300
  • Infecting with ransomware Trojan: $750
  • Stealing from ATM: $1,500
  • Targeted attack: $4,500

d. The first rule of copyright reform: Don’t mess with free speech and net neutrality--theglobeandmail.com.

e. Domain fronting: new rift between tech companies and U.S. lawmakers--sfgate.com.

f. Pakistan: Access denied: Ebb and flow of internet freedom over 2008-18--tribune.com.pk

g. China & Internet Censorship: 
  • Apple has recently come under fire from several Chinese state media outlets for allegedly failing to effectively counter prohibited content in iMessages--wsj.com
  • Google plans to debut a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist sites, filter results; CEO Pichai has spearheaded the effort, according to TheIntercept.com.

5) Most Read Posts this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

Editor's note: this edition of News Review was published early this weekend to accommodate summer vacation schedules.

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