Why Most Eyeglasses Are So Expensive (video)

Why Glasses Are So Expensive

In 2017, Italian eyewear behemoth Luxottica announced a merger with Essilor, a French lenses manufacturer, a $49 billion merger that furthered Luxottica's entrance into all facets of eyewear, from design, to manufacturing, to retail. Though the merger was approved by several major international trade commissions, including the FTC, some antitrust experts question if the move will help consumers, or entrench the industry standard in which glasses cost hundreds of dollars. CNBC.com video above published May 16, 2019.

Domains: luxottica.com |  warbyparker.com  |  zennioptical.com

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Interview | Ruth Porat, CFO at Alphabet and Google $GOOG $GOOGL

Ruth Porat, CFO at Alphabet and Google

“You’re at the table because people want your voice. It’s easy to forget that. Don’t keep second guessing. If you have a point of view, the reason you were hired is because people want to hear it.”⁣

Ruth Porat, CFO at Alphabet and Google, was interviewed  for the final View from the Top for this academic year at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Failing to invest for the long term could be one of tech’s greatest vulnerabilities, she said, and advised students to keep thinking about investing for the long haul.

”What I’ve seen is that if you don’t invest in the long term, you’re sowing the seeds of your own destruction.”⁣ In the video, Porat discusses her experiences while at Morgan Stanley $MS (morganstanley.com) and later, Google $GOOGL, $GOOG (google.com). Stanford Graduate School of Business video above published May 21, 2019.


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How Fannie and Freddie Prop Up America's Favorite Mortgage (video)

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back about half of new mortgages in the U.S. Now, talks are heating up about reshaping or shrinking the two companies, a move that could impact millions of Americans. Wall Street Journal (WSJ.com) video above published Apr 29, 2019. See also $FNMA & $FMCC.

Domains: fanniemae.com and freddiemac.com

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Tour The First Tesla $TSLA Gigafactory (video)

A Tour Inside Tesla’s First Gigafactory

Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada is expected to be the largest building in the world by footprint once completed. CNBC.com’s Uptin Saiidi gets a rare look inside what Tesla founder Elon Musk calls, ‘the machine that builds the machine.’ CNBC International video above published May 2, 2019.

Tesla Is "Making Noise" in Europe

Fortune.com video above published 2 May 2019.

Also note: U.S. government to challenge China's electric-vehicle supply chain dominance--legislation introduced to streamline regulation and permitting requirements for the development of mines for lithium, graphite and other electric-vehicle supply chain minerals.

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News Review | Afilias vs ICANN, IRP UPDATE re: new gTLD .WEB

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2019-05-19) with analysis and opinion: Features • 1) Afilias vs ICANN, IRP UPDATE re: new gTLD .WEB,  2) a. Dying Domains - CENTRstats, b. Type-in Traffic? c.Domain Parking?  d..AMAZON, 3) ICYMI: ANTITRUST; 4) Other ICANN News: a. SSAC on WHOIS; b. ICANN GNSO EPDP meeting May 23, 14:00 UTC c. New Reg Data Policy; 5)Most Read.

1) Afilias vs ICANN, IRP UPDATE re: new gTLD .WEB 
Afilias Domains No. 3 Limited vs ICANN re: new gTLD .WEB -- Editor's note: another 'document dump' (with redactions) posted by ICANN.org:

Declaration of Procedures Officer 28 February 2019:

Request for New Procedures Officer  8 March – 9 April 2019:

Amended Request for Independent Review Process 21 March 2019--Editor's note: "DAA" refers to NDC’s Domain Acquisition Agreement with VeriSign. 

Relief requested (p.25):
Editor's note: short on time? Read the Amended IRP Request, Zittrain and Sadowsky, skip the rest.

See also:

2) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. CENTRstats Global TLD Report Q1/2019: Download here; interactive online version of the report here. Highlights from the report:
  • The global TLD market is estimated at around 351 million domains [domain name registrations] across 1486 recorded TLDs. Total gTLD domain name registrations are 194 million of which 71% are under .COM.
  • The median domain growth of all TLDs has hit a record low of 3.4% year over year;
  • Only .COM is growing among the top 4 gTLDs -- the annual rates of +growth or -decline are as follows:  .com +5.2%.net -4.5%.org -1.9%.info - 24.2%.
  • As noted above, 71% of all gTLDs' domain name registrations are under .COM, which is also the world's largest TLD, with a 40% market share among all top-level domains (TLDs = ccTLDs + gTLDs);
  • 267 ccTLDs have a combined market share of 45% among all TLDs.
  • New gTLDs, "which include well over 1000 TLDs, have a little under 10% of the market and show no immediate sign of increasing that"... "gTLDs will face challenges in the coming months given other registration trends such as a declining create ratio, an increasing delete ratio and a relatively low renewal rate median of 64%."
Editor's note: the data and statistics compiled and reported by CENTR, an association of European ccTLD registries, is vastly superior to anything ever produced by incompetent ICANN.  Unlike ICANN, CENTR properly defines "registrant" [not "Registered Name Holder"]:
Registrant – "The individual or organisation that registers a specific domain name. A registrant holds the right to use that domain name for a specified period of time."
One possible future option for the global internet community is to have the world's ccTLDs run the IANA functions in view of the dysfunction at ICANN and its continuing debasement of the world's gTLDs.

b. Type-in Traffic? Chrome browser users who type characters into the address bar may notice the Google Chrome Browser prioritizes Google's search page over the intended destination (URL or  domain name)--ghacks.net. Example below:
Note: top line above is the user's entry into the Chrome address bar
c. Domain Parking? Multi-Million Dollar Domain Portfolio Owner says “Don’t Bother”--strategicrevenue.com. Editor's note: the Google & Facebook duopoly killed the advertising model.

On 15 May 2019,  the ICANN Board took action in accordance with the process established in the ICANN Board resolution adopted 10 March 2019, and in recognition of all input received, directing ICANN org to continue processing the .AMAZON applications toward delegation. The next step in the process is publication of the Public Interest Commitments (PICs), proposed by the the applicant, for a 30-day public comment period, per the established procedures of the New gTLD program. See 17 May 2019 Letter from ICANN CEO Göran Marby to Amb. Alexandra Moreira Lopez re: new gTLD .AMAZON.

3) ICYMI Internet Domain News: Antitrust
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
ANTITRUST: U.S. Supreme Court dealt Apple major setback in App Store antitrust case--the iPhone users argued that Apple’s 30% commission on sales through the App Store is an unfair use of monopoly power resulting in inflated prices passed on to consumers. Apple unsuccessfully argued that only app developers, not users, should be able to bring such a lawsuit. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the 5-4 majority opinion, joined in by the high court’s liberal justices. See also:
  • A New Google Antitrust Probe Could Spell Trouble for Its Auto Domination Plans--fortune.com.
  • ISP Antitrust: "Don’t Let California’s Legislature Extend Broadband Monopolies for Comcast and AT&T"--eff.org.
Editor's note: ICANN and its gTLD Registry Operators Next?

4) Other ICANN News
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a.  ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC)
SSAC 3 May 2019 letter to ICANN (pdf) excerpt: "WHOIS query statistics provided to ICANN by [gTLD] registry operators as part of their monthly reporting obligations are generally not reliable." (emphasis added).

b. ICANN GNSO EPDP Next Meeting May 23, 14:00 UTC (agenda, etc. at the link).
UPDATE: for the May 23rd meeting, see: Revised Draft Approach (pdf); RySG members feedback on proposed approach; comment of Alan Woods on access vs disclosure; comment of Milton Mueller on collaborating with ICANN Org, and his access/disclosure comment.

See also:
EPDP meeting recordings and transcripts (when available) are posted on the GNSO calendar. EPDP Links: wikipublic mail listGNSO mail list. See last week's News Review for more info, including the ICANN Board's rejection of two EPDP Phase 1 recommendations.

c. ICANN gTLD Registries and Registrars Required to Implement New Interim Registration Data Policy by 20 May 2019--ICANN.org.

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

-- John Poole, Editor  Domain Mondo 

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Tech Review | What the Uber IPO Says About Investors State of Mind

graphic "Tech Review" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Tech Review (TR 2019-05-18)--Domain Mondo's weekly review of tech investing news: Feature • 1) What the Uber IPO Says About Investors State of Mind, 2) Investing: The Week & Investor Notes: Macroview | EU Elections, 3) ICYMI Tech News:  Apple & Antitrust, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, China, and more.

1) What the Uber IPO Says About Investors State of Mind 

Financial Times (ft.com) U.S. managing editor Peter Spiegel and markets reporter Nicole Bullock discuss why Uber's stock traded below the $45 IPO price at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, May 10, 2019. Video above published May 11, 2019.

Stock Exchange & Symbol: NYSE: UBER:
See also:
  • Uber’s Future Looks Troubling: "Uber’s current $70 billion valuation seems difficult to justify. To reach profitability, both Uber and Lyft probably will be forced either to raise prices or to increase the cut they take from their drivers ... its core riding hailing business is faltering. Having faced a number of setbacks, Uber also is lagging in the longer term race to develop autonomous technology ..."
  • Uber’s "adjusted net revenue has started to decline.This points to a fundamental challenge with Uber’s business model that it has not yet figured out: How to keep prices low enough to attract riders while paying drivers enough to keep them from defecting — and still make a profit. Competition from Lyft, which is willing to suffer similar losses, makes this particularly hard."--cnbc.com.

2) Investing
graphic: "INVESTING"  ©2017 DomainMondo.com
The Week: NASDAQ Composite -1.3% | S&P 500 Index -0.8% | DJIA -0.7%
U.S. stocks bounced back from deep losses Friday but still closed lower as trade-related jitters overshadowed strong economic data--MarketWatch.com.
U.S. consumer sentiment rose to a 15-year high of 102.4 in May, well above the 97.1 expected by economists polled by MarketWatch.com and April’s reading of 97.2, according to the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index.
The Conference Board’s estimate of leading economic indicators for the U.S. (pdf) rose for the third straight month in April to 112.1, up 0.2% from March. The survey of economic conditions is a collection of forward-looking data that attempts to predict future economic growth.
"We think that China represents 15% of global GDP, yet less than 1% of all cross-border currency settlement is in their currency. It's important for us to realize that the joke is on us--if they were to open their capital account and let Chinese invest abroad--their [China's] currency would depreciate 40% in a day. I think we're making the right moves here in taking a little bit of market pain to maintain our national security in the long run. Just so you can hear from me, I don't have a vested interest in China's currency any more. It's such an important moment in time for US national security that most of my interest has been moving toward the political sphere. If you can get over the fact that there's no rule of law there, and they don't respect human rights ... then maybe you should invest money in China."--Kyle Bass
Shocked Traders Respond To Trade War--"The biggest problem is the huge disconnect with what markets have been hoping for and what is transpiring now. Markets had priced the best-case scenario and odds are shifting towards the worst-case scenario."--zerohedge.com May 13, 2019
Long View
Trendline (graphic) ©2018 DomainMondo.com
Investor Notes: Macroview | EU Elections (May 23-26):

Brexit Party Surges: after parting ways with the increasingly irrelevant UK Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage co-founded the Brexit Party [domain: thebrexitparty.org], which is now polling above the Labour and Conservative parties put together ahead of the European Parliamentary elections May 23rd:
source: statista.com
France: "The 'yellow vest' demonstrations against Macron are basically the demonstrators who, more or less, voted for Trump here [U.S.]. It’s people coming from small cities, from rural areas, lower-middle-class, saying, 'We have been left behind.' And, on the right, our conservative party is moving in the same direction as the Republicans are here."--Gérard Araud, French Ambassador to the U.S., from 2014 until retiring 19 Apr 2019.
European Elections 2019:
source: europarl.europa.eu
Editor's note: the Brexit Party also has Annunziata Rees-Mogg (twitter: @zatzi). Watch her in this YouTube video. She is the sister of well-known Conservative Party Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg. For the Conservative Party, the problem is Theresa May: "For the Conservatives to go into a General Election without having delivered Brexit and with Theresa May as leader would be electoral suicide."

3) ICYMI Tech News:
graphic: "ICYMI Tech News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Apple $AAPL move downward accelerates after losing SCOTUS antitrust case:
Apple and tech-industry allies said before the ruling that a decision allowing the lawsuit could lead to expensive antitrust claims against other companies that run online marketplaces, potentially affecting Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc. See also: Apple Releases iOS 12.3 With New TV App and Channels Feature--macrumors.com.

Will Amazon Put UPS Out Of Business?--zerohedge.com. See also Amazon Butts in on Google-Facebook “Duopoly” in the Huge Business of Internet Advertising. Publishers Hung Out to Dy--wolfstreet.com.

Microsoft or Google? $MSFT "has a bigger share in my portfolio ... because of its dividends, growth in cloud, improving margins, visionary leadership, and the improving FCFs"--seekingalpha.com.

Oracle is shutting down its R&D arm in China, laying off 900+ employees--zdnet.com.

Online markets have grown 10X in the last two decades, more $1B-$10B+ software startups will exist, and startups can grow faster than ever--blog.eladgil.com.

  • Italy's watchdog investigates Google for alleged antitrust abuse;
  • Amazon backing for UK food app Deliveroo;
  • Samsung Electronics undecided on further investment in its China NAND plant.
  • German finance minister expects OECD deal on digital tax in 2020;
  • Consumer bodies seek to force Alibaba portal to honor EU shoppers' rights;
  • Baidu swings to net loss for first time since listing, shares fall;
  • Nvidia revenue forecast beats as demand for gaming chip rises

Personal Tech: Death by PowerPoint: the slide that killed seven people.

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo  

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The Big Business Behind Sports Betting (video)

The big business behind sports betting

The global sports betting business is booming. Last year, the total amount bet was more than $500 billion dollars. So what keeps people coming back for more and is it ever possible to beat the bookies? CNBC.com's  Tom Chitty and Adam Reed report. Video above published Apr 6, 2019.

U.S. Sports Betting Market
Domains referenced: bet365.com and fitzdares.com

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Regulating Big Tech: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google (video)

Regulating Big Tech

Calls to curb the power of big technology companies like Facebook $FB, Amazon $AMZN, Apple $AAPL, and Google $GOOG, $GOOGL, and protect personal data are growing louder. The FT explains some issues it thinks are reshaping the companies that dominate our daily lives. Financial Times (ft.com) video above published May 7, 2019.

Issues highlighted in the video: harmful content, election integrity, privacy, transparency, taxation, lack of competition (antitrust). 
Key player: Margrethe Vestager, "European Commissioner for Competition. Part of Team Europe."

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Streetwear Brand Supreme And Its War Against 'Legal Fakes' (video)

Supreme is under siege by imitators. Here's why it's legal

This CNN business video has been updated to clarify the language describing IBF's trademark status in China and the date of a quote. Streetwear brand Supreme is loved by celebrities and valued at $1 billion. But overseas it's waging war against "legal fakes" companies that are legally imitating the brand in countries from Spain to China.

@supremenewyork The official Twitter account of Supreme® EST 1994, NYC. All other accounts are fake.
Official domain: supremenewyork.com

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Discord Gaming Chat Platform Is Bigger Than Slack (video)

Discord - The Gaming Chat Platform That's Bigger Than Slack

Discord, a free chat app designed for gamers, has been rapidly growing since it launched in 2015,  with upwards of 250 million user accounts today, about the same as Fortnite, plus 14 million daily active users, which is more than business chat-app Slack. It allows users to chat privately in groups that cannot be discovered through searches. The company markets itself explicitly to gamers, but it has servers devoted to everything from stock trading to meme sharing and fantasy football. CNBC.com video above published Apr 11, 2019.
Domain: discordapp.com

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Silicon Valley's LTSE, Long-Term Stock Exchange, Gets SEC Approval

Eric Ries, Founder and CEO, The Long-Term Stock Exchange

Eric Ries, author, The Lean Startup; founder and CEO, The Long-Term Stock Exchange, in conversation with Leigh Gallagher, Fortune.com. Management teams are often pressured to make decisions based on short-term interests and not the long-term potential for their business. Can the public marketplace create better incentives to rid us of our need for fast results in favor of governance that benefits companies, investors, and our communities? Video above published Jun 27, 2018.

Domains: longtermstockexchange.com and ltse.com

34-85828 May 10, 2019 Long Term Stock Exchange, Inc. (Findings, Opinion, and Order of the Commission)
File No.: 10-234
See Also: Notice of Filing of Application for Registration as a National Securities Exchange under Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
"We are building a market where companies are rewarded for choosing to innovate, to invest in their employees, and to seed future growth. And where companies can run their businesses with the stewardship that similarly aligned shareholders, stakeholders and society demand. Our vision is that companies in every industry will be able to go public while continuing to prioritize and pursue strategies for long-term success. That's a step forward for all of us."--Eric Ries, CEO and founder, LTSE 
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday approved the creation of the Long-Term Stock Exchange, or LTSE, a Silicon Valley-based national securities exchange, proposed to the SEC in November 2018, by technology entrepreneur, author and startup adviser Eric Ries, who has been working on the idea for years. He raised $19 million from venture capitalists including Marc Andreessen, to get the project off the ground, but regulatory approval was required to launch and give high-growth technology companies more options to list their shares outside of the traditional New York stock exchanges.

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News Review | Next ICANN EPDP Phase 2 Meeting Thursday May 16

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2019-05-12) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) Next ICANN EPDP Meeting Thursday May 16, 2)Other ICANN news: a. .BIZ Comments, b. New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation, c.RDS Roadmap, d. Webinar Invite, e. .AMAZON, f. .MERCK 3) Tucows $TCX Q1 2019 Financial Results, 4) ICYMI: What Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tesla, and the Internet Know About You, and more, 5) Most Read.

1)  ICANN & GDPR: GNSO EPDP Phase 2 Second Meeting, Thursday, May 16, 14:00 UTC
Next EPDP Team meeting Thursday, May 16, 2019, 14:00 to 15:30 UTC; meeting agenda, documents, audiocast info, etc., here. Recordings and transcript (when available) will be posted on the GNSO calendar. EPDP Links: wiki, public mail list, GNSO mail list. See last week's News Review for more info.

UPDATE May 16, 13:50 UTC: No Observers ALLOWED at May 16 EPDP meeting -- ICANN BOARD does NOT adopt two Phase 1 Recommendations:
Excerpt from ICANN Board Chair Letter (embed in full below) to GNSO Council Chair (highlighting added)
About 15 minutes before the May 16, 2019, EPDP meeting began the ICANN "EPDP support staff" posted the following to the public EPDP mail list:
"***BIG NOTE: Please note we are having technical issues with the audiocast for today's EPDP- Phase 2 Team meeting. It will not be available to listen 'live', but of course, the recordings will be posted immediately after the meeting. We will keep you posted if any changes."
Those "technical issues" may have something to do with the fact that the ICANN Board met in secret on May 15 (as is their usual custom) and only adopted some (pdf) (letter from ICANN Board Chair embed below) of the EPDP Phase 1 recommendations:

Original post:
EPDP Phase 2 work plan / draft approach:
Dear EPDP Team,
Following last week’s meeting, the leadership team and staff support have worked together on developing a draft approach for tackling phase 2. We hope this strikes a balance between the different views expressed and will form the basis for a detailed work plan with concrete milestones and deliverables. You will find attached [embed below] a couple of slides that outline our current thinking in further detail, but here are some points I want to emphasize:
This is a draft approach for discussion and review. Based on your input prior and our discussion during next week’s meeting, we will further iterate and detail our approach, the proposed work plan and accompanying timeline. This draft is for discussion that, hopefully, will lead to a consensual agreement.
For the purpose of our exercise it is important to use definitions and terminology with the same understanding. We propose to develop and use working definitions without prejudice to consensual outcome. Final definitions can only be developed once the Team has finalized its work and agreed on its recommendations.
Based on the Team’s feedback in relation to the request to form a small team to engage with ICANN Org, I suggest to keep a plenary setting which will avoid creating a separate structure and ensure that everyone is part of discussion. Nevertheless, as this work on obtaining legal certainty is ongoing, I would propose that we deal with the charter questions and list of issues identified on slide 5 in an agnostic manner. In other words, we should refrain at the outset to deliberate on whether or not a System for Standardized Disclosure should be centralized or not, but rather we should focus on the commonalities and where needed identify that differentiation may be required depending on which model is ultimately determined to be legally compliant with GDPR and workable. I also expect that this approach would help inform the engagement of ICANN org and DPAs.
I appreciate that some of you may consider the timeline ambitious, but I’ve heard from almost everyone that the work on a System for Standardized Disclosure is a priority and as such I am committed to setting a target date for us to work towards. This will require your support and dedication. I am pretty confident I can count on that.
I look forward to receiving your feedback and would like to encourage you to focus your input on what, why and how things could or should be done differently, instead of simply saying that something cannot be acceptable or should not be done.--EPDP Chair Janis Karklins 8 May 2019.
EPDP Phase 2 draft approach / work plan (pdf) embed below:

From the EPDP public mail list:
Re: proposed response to ICANN CEO Göran Marby: 
Matt Serlin (RrSG): I agree from Goran’s letter the mandate of the small team is clear…what isn’t quite clear is how that mandate fits into the overall work plan for the broader group and how these two efforts ultimately will merge. Personally speaking I am very concerned that before we have really started our Phase 2 work at all, we are already looking to break off a certain group to work with ICANN [Org] on a critically important piece of the puzzle to our success. And let’s not forget our old friend Phase 1 which, to date, has not been approved by the Board and even when it is will still need to be implemented. (emphasis and link added)
Milton Mueller (NCSG): "I agree with Matt here. While I understand the motivation, the TSG itself was always a rather poorly conceived effort to jump the gun on the issues related to disclosure of redacted Whois data. We were told that its only purpose was to assess technical feasibility and make our work go faster, but in fact it opened up a parallel process raising all kinds of questions about how our work intersects with it.  Now we seem to be compounding the problem.  Let’s put a stop to it and get things in order before pushing out into yet another problematic direction ..."  (emphasis added)
Stephanie Perrin (NCSG): It [TSG] was a useful demonstration of RDAP capability.  Given the lack of legal/policy parameters and the assumptions on which it was based, we cannot rely on it as anything but that demonstration of technical possibilities. (emphasis added)
May 10, 2019, letter sent to Marby by Janis Karklins, EPDP Team Phase 2 Chair, excerpt:
"... before being able to respond to your request, the EPDP Team would like to ask you for some further information in relation to your expectations regarding, amongst others:
  *   What is the expected scope of work of the small group and could examples of the types of questions / issues the group is expected to work on be provided?
  *   Size of the group when you refer to ‘a small number’, factoring in that the EPDP Team has a representative composition, as well as desired expertise;
  *   Expected mode of operation for this work with ICANN Org, what does collaboration look like? – from the EPDP Team’s side there is an expectation that there would be full transparency around these discussions as well as engagement with the European Commission and Data Protection Authorities;
  *   Time commitment and duration – what is the expected time commitment for this collaboration and is there any indication of when this work is expected to conclude?
"... As the EPDP Team is eager to move forward with its planning for phase 2, we hope that you can provide us with a response in time for further consideration during the EPDP Team’s next meeting which is scheduled for Thursday 16 May ..." (emphasis added)

EPDP Related06 May 2019 Letter (pdf) from ICANN Board Chair Cherine Chalaby to GNSO Chair Keith Drazek, & Vice Chairs Rafik Dammak, and Pam Little,  re: Resource Support for Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Phase 2, excerpt:
"... supplemental budget from ICANN org’s FY19 operations will be made available immediately to support the GNSO Council’s request for the following resources that were identified and prioritized by the EPDP Team:
• Continued support for telecom services and transcriptions (estimated at $7,000);
• Professional mediation services to support the EPDP Team’s deliberations at
ICANN65 in Marrakech (estimated at $40,000);
• Continued availability of legal counsel, following the same process and approach in
phase 1, i.e., all proposed legal questions are vetted through the EPDP Team’s legal
committee (estimated at $50,000);
• ICANN65 travel support to be made available for EPDP Team members who would
otherwise not be able to attend and where no alternate is able to step in (estimated
at $28,000) ..."

2) Other ICANN News
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. ICANN's Proposals for Unlimited Price Gouging of .ORG, .INFO, .ASIA, and .BIZ domain name registrants:
Public Comments close on .BIZ May 14. All .BIZ comments may be read here. My .BIZ comment is here.and embed below.

b. New gTLD .AFRICA Litigation 
 .AFRICA Litigation
Case Status: "On the Court's own motion, the Trial Setting Conference scheduled for 04/04/2019, and NonJury Trial On Phase I (Estoppel) scheduled for 04/04/2019 are continued to 05/21/19 at 10:00 AM in Department 53 at Stanley Mosk Courthouse."--Judge: Honorable Robert B. Broadbelt

c. Registration Directory Service (RDS) Roadmap Update | ICANN.org: "... ICANN org has notified registries and registrars that they must implement a Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) service by 26 August 2019. RDAP enables users to access registration data and has several advantages over the current protocol (WHOIS), including more secure and differentiated access to registration data. ICANN.org worked with a discussion group of gTLD registries and registrars to develop an RDAP profile that provides technical instructions to how to implement an RDAP service in a consistent way ..."

d.  Webinar Invitation: Evolving ICANN’s Multistakeholder Model | ICANN.org: "... the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) invites the community to continue an ongoing conversation about evolving ICANN's multistakeholder model of governance. Please join one of two webinars on 14 May 2019 at 1600 UTC or 15 May at 2300 UTC ..." More info here.
Webinar Details & How to Attend--dates and times:

07 May 2019 Letter from Director, Department of Technological Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Achilles Zaluar to ICANN Board Chair Cherine Chalaby re: new gTLD applications for .AMAZON, excerpt:
"... I sincerely hope that the decision of the ICANN Board on the .amazon applications will take into account the public interest represented by the eight Amazon countries, and that it will strengthen the legitimacy of ICANN as an entity with significant responsibilities for the management of Internet’s critical resources for the entire world." (emphasis added)
See also: 29 April 2019 Letter (pdf) from Hartmut Glaser, Executive Secretary to the Board, The Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br) to ICANN Board Chair Cherine Chalaby re: new gTLD applications for .AMAZON, excerpts:
"The Brazilian Internet Steering Committee – CGI.br, in the exercise of its prerogatives under the Presidential Decree no. 4,829/2003, REAFFIRMING the positions already expressed in resolution CGI.br/RES/2013/011 on April 26, 2013, resolution CGI.br/RES/2013/022 on June 28, 2013, and in the PUBLIC NOTE of August 8, 2017 regarding the request for the “.AMAZON” top-level domain; CONSIDERING that the top-level domain name “.AMAZON” refers to, and is inextricably intertwined with, the identity of the Amazon communities and the Amazon region .... HEREBY REITERATES the support of all sectors of the Brazilian society represented in the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee – CGI.br (third sector, scientific and technological community, business sector, and government) for the rejection of the delegation of the top-level domain name “.AMAZON” exclusively to a private interest, to be operated as a closed brand top-level domain and in a manner that is inconsistent with the public interest, which would lead to the confiscation of the entire name space that is inextricably associated with the region, the countries and the peoples of the Amazon, contributing to the disappearance of the link between the term “Amazon” and the region, the countries and the peoples of the Amazon, their natural and cultural heritage and their identity on the Internet." (emphasis added)
Editor's note: as I've said beforefirst, know that ICANN continuously misidentifies the applicant as "Amazon Corporation." The new gTLD .AMAZON applicant is Amazon EU S.à.r.l., a European legal entity owned, controlled, and formed by Amazon.com, Inc., primarily to dodge taxes.
"Amazon EU S.à.r.l. ... was incorporated in 2004 and is based in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. Amazon EU S.à.r.l. operates as a subsidiary of Amazon.com Inc."--source.
Second, as I've said before, "the idea of having private .BRAND gTLDs was a mistake from the beginning, a corruption of the concept of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) as set forth in RFC 1591 written by Jon Postel, which predates the formation of ICANN and its "Californication" of the internet and global DNS. I'm with the South American countries. ICANN should do the "right thing" for once and end the .BRAND gTLD program, refund the application fees, and "undelegate" all .BRAND gTLDs from the internet "root," while allowing every owner of a distinctive trademark to block use of that mark as a gTLD in the future. End the ICANN extortion racket -- see .PING testimony."

A "brand" or "trademark" is neither a "monopolynor "generic." ICANN's .BRAND new gTLDs program is both ill-conceived and corrupt.

f. .MERCK: ditto the above
ICANN's Response To Claimant Merck KGaA’s Request For Independent Review Process, p.1
"Like .COM"? LOL!
The fight over .BRAND new gTLD .MERCK is set for "ICANN last resort auction" 17 July 2019:

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
Tucows Inc. (NASDAQ: TCX) (brands include registrars eNom, Hover, OpenSRS, and ISP Ting), posted first quarter (Q1) 2019 financial results on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, after the market close.
Until Tuesday, May 14, shareholders, analysts and prospective investors can submit questions to Tucows’ management at ir@tucows.com. Management will post responses to questions of general interest to the Company’s website on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at approximately 4:00 p.m. EDT.  All questions will receive a response, however, questions of a more specific nature may be responded to directly. See also Earnings Call Transcript, Tucows Inc. CEO Elliot Noss on Q1 2019 Results. Tucows is the second largest domain name registrar in the world with about 25 million domain names under management. See also Good Luck, Tucows Bulls | seekingalpha.com.

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
What Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tesla, and the Internet Know About YouSee also Consumer Data Privacy Advocates to US Senate Committee: Here's How to Protect Consumers--eff.org and
Google Assistant is 10x faster and knows where your mom lives, "after three years, the voice-activated helper gets its biggest update yet. And it shows just how much Google already knows about you"--cnet.com.
The End of Cyberspace--internet theorists and companies once declared themselves free of nations and governance, but that’s all over now.--theatlantic.comHow ‘Cybersovereignty’ Splits the Once World Wide Web--bloomberg.com.

Europe Is Reining In Tech Giants. But Some Say It’s Going Too Far.--NYTimes.com.

How Tech Culture Has Changed Since The GDPR--forbes.com. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which became enforceable 25 May 2018, requires companies to disclose when they’ve been hacked. But greater acknowledgment of cyberattacks may lead to bigger premiums for cyberpolicies, and some policies written before "cybercrime became rampant" have outdated terms, leaving companies exposed--bloomberg.com.

China's Mass Surveillance App Hacked; "Code Reveals Specific Criteria For Illegal Oppression"--zerohedge.comSee also"How Mass Surveillance Works in Xinjiang, China"--‘Reverse Engineering’ Police App Reveals Profiling and Monitoring Strategies--hrw.org; and Chinese Fund backed by Hunter Biden (Joe Biden's son) invested in tech to surveil Muslims--zerohedge.com.

Russia: Putin signs Russian internet isolation bill into law, move will tighten government control over information.--engadget.com.

David Redl resigned May 9, 2019, as US Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary and NTIA Administrator, a position he had held since November 2017. Diane Rinaldo is now Acting Assistant Secretary and NTIA Administrator.

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