News and Updates

Catalan Government Claims Spanish Online Censorship Breaching EU Laws

Domain industry news - Sun, 2017-09-24 15:50

The Catalan government has written to the European Commission claiming that the Spanish government is in breach of EU law. In a letter from Jordi Puigneró Secretary of Telecommunications, Cybersecurity and the Digital Society at the Government of Catalonia addressed to Andrus Ansip, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, the Catalan government calls out the moves by the Madrid government as censorship.

Over the past ten days, the Spanish government has issued court orders to multiple entities including the .cat domain name registry, whose offices were also raided, as well as to Spanish ISPs. The goal being to block access to websites and other content related to the upcoming referendum in Catalonia.

The letter, refers to the court order the .cat registry received, which demanded that they block all .cat domain names that "could be about or point to any content related to the referendum". It also cites the worldwide media coverage of the raid on the .cat offices and the blocking of multiple websites (and domains) related to the referendum.

Apparently, the court orders being issued to the ISPs in Spain are very broad, as the letter refers to orders blocking access to "all websites publicised by any member of the Catalan government in any social network that has a direct or indirect relation with the referendum without any further court order".

How ISPs are meant to implement that kind of court order is beyond me, as it sounds incredibly vague and the judicial equivalent of using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.

Whether the European Commission will make any public comments in reaction to this letter or not is debatable, but the concerns being raised by Jordi Puigneró are ones that are shared by many observers from around the globe. The Spanish government's actions in Catalonia have received widespread criticism from many in civil society including ISOC and the EFF.

Written by Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions

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More under: Censorship, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation, Registry Services, Top-Level Domains

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What Does the Future Hold for the Internet?

Domain industry news - Fri, 2017-09-22 22:38

Explore the interactive 2017 Global Internet Report: Paths to Our Digital FutureThis is the fundamental question that the Internet Society is posing through the report just launched today, our 2017 Global Internet Report: Paths to Our Digital Future.

The report is a window into the diverse views and perspectives of a global community that cares deeply about how the Internet will evolve and impact humanity over the next 5-7 years. We couldn't know what we would find when we embarked on the journey to map what stakeholders believe could shape the future of the Internet, nor can we truly know what will happen to the Internet, but we do now have a sense of what we need to think about today to help shape the Internet of tomorrow. The report reflects the views and aspirations of our community as well as some of the most pressing challenges facing the future of this great innovation.

What have we learned? We've learned that our community remains confident that the core Internet values that gave rise to the Internet remain valid. We also heard very strong worries that the user-centric model of the Internet is under extraordinary pressure from governments, from technology giants, and even from the technology itself. There is a sense that there are forces beyond the users' control that may define the Internet's future. That the user may no longer be at the center of the Internet's path.

It is, perhaps, trite to say that the world is more connected today than ever before. Indeed, we are only beginning to understand the implications of a hyperconnected society that is dependent on the generation, collection and movement of data in ways that many do not fully understand. The Internet of the future will most certainly enable a host of products and services that could revolutionize our daily lives. At the same time, our dependence on the technology raises a myriad of challenges that society may be ill-equipped to address.

Clearly, the Internet is increasingly intertwined with a geopolitical environment that feels uncertain and even precarious. The Internet provides governments with both opportunities to better the lives of their people but also tools for surveillance and even control. This report highlights the serious choices we all must make about how to ensure that rights and freedoms prevail in the Internet of the future. The decisions we make will determine whether humanity remains in the drivers' seat of technology or not.

In short, the decisions we make about the Internet can no longer be seen as "separate", as "over there" — the implications of a globally interconnected world will be felt by all of us. And the decisions we make about the Internet will be felt far and wide. We are still just beginning to understand the implications of a globally connected society and what it will mean for individuals, business, government and society at large.

How we address the opportunities and challenges that today's forces of change are creating for the future is paramount, but one thing above all others is certain — the choices are ours alone to make, and the future we want is up to us to shape.

Explore the interactive 2017 Global Internet Report: Paths to Our Digital Future

Written by Sally Shipman Wentworth, VP of Global Policy Development, Internet Society

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More under: Broadband, Censorship, Cybersecurity, Internet Governance, Internet Protocol, Mobile Internet, Networks, Policy & Regulation, Privacy, Web

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Final Agenda Released for NamesCon's 1st Conference on the Chinese Mainland Oct. 12 in Shanghai

DN Journal - Fri, 2017-09-22 20:50
NamesCon is coming to China on October 12. We just got the final agenda and list of keynote speakers for the big event in Shanghai.
Categories: News and Updates

Google Global Cache Servers Go Online in Cuba, But App Engine Blocked

Domain industry news - Fri, 2017-09-22 19:28

I had hoped to get more information before publishing this post, but difficult Internet access in Cuba and now the hurricane got in the way — better late than never.

Cuban requests for Google services are being routed to GCC servers in Cuba, and all Google services that are available in Cuba are being cached — not just YouTube. That will cut latency significantly, but Cuban data rates remain painfully slow. My guess is that Cubans will notice the improved performance in interactive applications, but maybe not perceive much of a change when watching a streaming video.

Note the italics in the above paragraph — evidently, Google blocks access to their App Engine hosting and application development platform. Cuban developers cannot build App Engine applications, and Cubans cannot access applications like the Khan Academy or Google's G-Suite.

The last time I checked, Rackspace and Amazon allow access to their hosting platforms from Cuba, but IBM Softlayer and Google did not. President Obama clearly favored improved telecommunication for Cuba, in his Cuba Policy Changes, stating:

"I've authorized increased telecommunications connections between the United States and Cuba. Businesses will be able to sell goods that enable Cubans to communicate with the United States and other countries."

While Trump claimed that he was "canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba," he made few changes and has said nothing about restrictions on access to Internet services by Cubans.

I wonder why IBM and Google do not follow the lead of Amazon and Rackspace.

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation, Web

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NTI.com domain name saved in UDRP

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2017-09-22 15:53

Company tried to upgrade from .dk to .com.

Domain name attorney John Berryhill has successfully defended domain investor Sahar Sarid’s domain name NTI.com in a UDRP.

The complaint was brought by NTI Cad Center A/S, which uses the Danish country code domain name NTI.dk.

A three-member Czech Arbitration Court panel found that the complainant’s NTI did not have substantial notoriety and that there are lots of companies that use the initials NTI. It also noted there was no evidence that Sarid’s company (Ashanti) had the complainant in mind when it registered the domain name.

Ashanti asked for a finding of reverse domain name hijacking, but the panel said it saw no evidence of harassment or an attempt to mislead the panel.


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Domain inquiries could drop next month. Blame SSL.

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2017-09-22 13:41

Start filling out a form on for sale landers and you’ll see a “not secure” message.

Yesterday I wrote about how landing page companies are adding SSL support for domains on their platforms in order to meet Google’s deadline next month. Starting next month, domain names with any sort of user submission form that don’t have an SSL certificate will be marked as “not secure” in Google Chrome when people enter text in the form.

This is also going to be an issue for domain name for sale pages that have a contact form. A “not secure” message in the browser will surely lead to some drop in conversions. The message will only appear when someone starts typing in the form, but that will probably catch their eye. It would be much better to have the green secure padlock.

You might say “Hey, if they really want the domain, they’ll find a way to contact me”. But domain sales companies have worked tirelessly to improve the conversion rate of their sales forms, so dismissing this issue out of hand doesn’t make sense.

Most of my domains are parked with Afternic and Uniregistry, and both of these should be OK.

Afternic parked pages don’t have a form on the landing page. Instead, like many parking companies, they include a banner with a link to a form on a secure site.

Uniregistry is the same for standard parked pages. If you choose the sales form option, the domain forwards to a page on Uniregistry.com that has SSL. For example, go to Sweller.com and you’ll be forwarded to Uniregistry.com.

I also have a few domains at BrandBucket. These have a contact form and will be marked as “not secure” starting next month if someone starts typing inside the form. Ditto for domains at Efty.

SSL certificates can be obtained for free, so there’s a solution for these companies that will not require shelling out lots of money on SSL certs. However, it’s going to require some technical work to make this happen. I recommend domain sales companies get working on this. Fast.


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Why lower prices at NameJet might mean more money for everyone

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2017-09-21 18:46

A lower starting price is a bet on higher sell-through rates.

NameJet is lowering the starting bid prices on a number of direct-transfer expiring domain names. These are the domains that are registered at partner registrars and don’t go through the full pending delete cycle.

Domains from Tucows (which owns half of NameJet) will be first to have a starting price of $39 instead of $69.

Why would lower starting prices make sense for registrars and NameJet? It’s all about the sell-through rate.

Every day, domainers pass on lots of domains at NameJet because they don’t want to pay $69 for them. They’d rather acquire them in the pending delete drops at lower prices, or just pass on them.

NameJet and Tucows get nothing when that happens. $39 is better than nothing.

Plus, one backorder at $39 spurs attention from other domainers who can bid up the price.

There’s a reason that GoDaddy starts its bidding at $12. While plenty of domains sell for less than $69 (or even $39), the sell-through rate is higher and the overall revenue per expiring domain is probably higher than if the minimum bid was $69.

It will be interesting to see if Tucows selects certain domains to have the lower price or puts all of them in at the lower price. It will also be interesting to see how this price point works. If other partners jump on board, it’s safe to say that it worked.


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Categories: News and Updates

Networks Are Not Cars Nor Cell Phones

Domain industry news - Thu, 2017-09-21 17:24

The network engineering world has long emphasized the longevity of the hardware we buy; I have sat through many vendor presentations where the salesman says "this feature set makes our product future proof! You can buy with confidence knowing this product will not need to be replaced for another ten years..." Over at the Networking Nerd, Tom has an article posted supporting this view of networking equipment, entitled Network Longevity: Think Car, not iPhone.

It seems, to me, that these concepts of longevity have the entire situation precisely backward. These ideas of "car length longevity" and "future proof hardware" are looking at the network from the perspective of an appliance, rather than from the perspective as a set of services. Let me put this in a little bit of context by considering two specific examples.

In terms of cars, I have owned four in the last 31 years. I owned a Jeep Wrangler for 13 years, a second Jeep Wrangler for eight years, and a third Jeep Wrangler for nine years. I have recently switched to a Jeep Cherokee, which I've just about reached my first year driving.

What if I bought network equipment like I buy cars? What sort of router was available nine years ago? That is 2008. I was still working at Cisco, and my lab, if I remember right, was made up of 7200's and 2600's. Younger engineers probably look at those model numbers and see completely different equipment than what I actually had; I doubt many readers of this blog ever deployed 7200's of the kind I had in my lab in their networks. Do I really want to run a network today on 9-year-old hardware? I don't see how the answer to that question can be "yes." Why?

First, do you really know what hardware capacity you will need in ten years? Really? I doubt your business leaders can tell you what products they will be creating in ten years beyond a general description, nor can they tell you how large the company will be, who their competitors will be, or what shifts might occur in the competitive landscape.

Hardware vendors try to get around this by building big chassis boxes and selling blades that will slide into them. But does this model really work? The Cisco 7500 was the current chassis box 9 years ago, I think — even if you could get blades for it today, would it meet your needs? Would you really want to pay the power and cooling for an old 7500 for 9 years because you didn't know if you would need one or seven slots nine years ago?

Building a hardware platform for ten years of service in a world where two years is too far to predict is like rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. It's entertaining, perhaps, but it's pretty pointless entertainment.

Second, why are we not taking the lessons of the compute and storage worlds into our thinking, and learning to scale out, rather than scaling up? We treat our routers like the server folks of yore — add another blade slot and make it go faster. Scale up makes your network do this —

Do you see those grey areas? They are costing you money. Do you enjoy defenestrating money?

These are symptoms of looking at the network as a bunch of wires and appliances, as hardware with a little side of software thrown in.

What about the software? Well, it may be hard to believe, but pretty much every commercial operating system available for routers today is an updated version of software that was available ten years ago. Some, in fact, are more than twenty years old. We don't tend to see this because we deploy routers and switches as appliances, which means we treat the software as just another form of hardware. We might deploy ten to fifteen different operating systems in our network without thinking about it — something we would never do in our data centers, or on our desktop computers.

So what this appliance-based way of looking at things emphasizes is this: buy enough hardware to last you ten years, and treat the software a fungible — software is a second tier player that is a simple enabler for the expensive bits, the hardware. The problem with this view of things is it simply ignores reality. We need to reverse our thinking.

Software is the actual core of the network, not hardware.

If you look at the entire networking space from a software centric perspective, you can think a lot differently. It doesn't matter what hardware you buy; what matters is what software it runs. This is the revolutionizing observation of white box, bright box, and disaggregated networking. Hardware is cheap, software is expensive. Hardware is CAPEX, software is OPEX. Hardware only loosely interacts with business and operations; software interacts with both.

The appliance model, and the idea of buying big iron like a car, is hampering the growth and usefulness of networks in real businesses. It is going to take a change to realize that most of us care much less about hardware than software in our daily lives, and to transfer this thinking to the network engineering realm.

It is time for a new way of looking at the network. A router is not a car, nor it is a cell phone. It is a router, and it deserves its own way of looking at value. The value is in connecting the software to the business, and the hardware to the speeds and feeds. These are separate problems which the appliance model ties into a single "thing." This makes the appliance world bad for businesses, bad for network design, and bad for network engineers.

It's time to rethink the way we look at network engineering to build networks that are better for business, to adjust our idea of future proof to mean a software-based system that can be used across many generations of hardware, while hardware becomes a "just in time" component used and recycled as needs must.

Written by Russ White, Network Architect at LinkedIn

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More under: Networks

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SSL comes to landing page tools, but at a price

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2017-09-21 14:50

Services that make it easy to create landing pages across multiple domains need to implement SSL.

Next month is the deadline for most sites to move to https with an SSL certificate. At that point, Google’s Chrome browser will give a “not secure” warning when someone visits a page with any type of form. This includes a WordPress blog with comments or an email sign-up form.

This causes an issue for landing page services such as Instapage and LeadPages, which allow users to quickly create landing pages with lead capture forms across multiple domains. These types of pages will show the warning in Chrome, and that warning will reduce conversion rates.

Instapage has responded by offering SSL on all of its new plans, but these plans are significantly more expensive than the old plans. Right now I pay $39 per month. The cheapest new plan is $76 when paid monthly.

As for LeadPages, there’s nothing on its home page about SSL. A customer inquiry about SSL has a number of frantic comments from customers concerned about what will happen next month.

These companies can use free SSL certificate options, but there’s a bit of technical work in the background to make this work.


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Make sure your contact info is updated when you sell a domain

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2017-09-21 12:38

If you don’t, you could be on the receiving end of a UDRP.

Mike Mann just lost a UDRP. That’s what the record will show, anyway.

But he actually sold the domain in the UDRP, WashingtonJournal.com, for $75,000 earlier this year. The new owner didn’t update the Whois record. C-SPAN filed a complaint against the domain name. The new owner told the National Arbitration Forum that he was the correct owner of the domain, but the Forum decision also lists Mann.

The decision states that “when using GoDaddy’s account change process (discussed above), Mann could have chosen to have his contact information changed during the transfer to Rivero”.

I’m not sure if the panel came up with this on its own, but it doesn’t apply to this particular case. Mann transferred the domain from Enom to GoDaddy as part of the apparent sale. Only internal transfers at GoDaddy include this option.

Also, it appears the buyer added GoDaddy’s Whois proxy service after buying the domain, so Mann probably didn’t know the information wasn’t updated.

But the panel’s mention of GoDaddy’s transfer option is also a good reminder. If you have a domain at GoDaddy and sell it, be sure to check the box that says you want the Whois record to be updated to reflect the new owner.


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Millions of Dollars Worth of Previously Unreleased Uniregistry Domain Sales Supercharges the Charts

DN Journal - Thu, 2017-09-21 02:05
Uniregistry staged a takeover of our weekly domain sales charts after releasing millions of dollars worth of previously unreported sales this week.
Categories: News and Updates

What domains BMW and other end users bought last week

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2017-09-20 17:33

BMW, a gaming company, and a deals site bought domain names over the past week.

It was a frustrating week to uncover end user domain name sales at Sedo because many of the buyers are using Whois privacy. Still, I was able to figure out the (likely) buyer of WomenInc.com at $25,000 after sleuthing around.

Also note the €11,000 sale of Iliad.it and BitCasinos.com, which will be used to direct people to casinos that accept bitcoin.

Here’s the list I uncovered:

(You can view previous lists like this here.)

WomenInc.com $25,000- The domain has Whois privacy but the buyer is likely this group. You’ll note that they also have a trademark filing for The Music Channel and are using that template for the new site.

Iliad.it €11,000 – Iliad Holding S.p.A. Looks like a relatively new company. The site on the domain as of 9/19 is from the previous owner.

ActionGame.com €6,500 – Online gaming network and publisher Zygomatic.

Scortex.com $5,000 – Scoretex is a “smart visual imaging” company. They were smart to upgrade from the matching .io domain.

BitCasinos.com $4,600 – The buyer is using Whois privacy but is creating a site about casinos that accept bitcoin.

Alpharent.com $3,500 – BMW. BMW owns a company called Alphabet as well as Alphabet.com, which is why Google couldn’t get that domain when they named their new parent company.

Waug.com $3,495 – Waug Travel in South Korea uses the domain name Waug.co.kr.

Pepper.es €3,300 – Pepper.com is an online deals site with over a half billion pageviews per month.

LiveLife.net $2,868 – CSC bought this domain for one of its clients.

PrivateDetective.net $2,299 – Private investigation company International Counterintelligence Services (ICS).


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Categories: News and Updates

Spanish Police Raid the Offices of .cat gTLD Registry

Domain industry news - Wed, 2017-09-20 15:29

Photo posted by Fundació puntCAT‏ during the raid.The offices of the .cat gTLD registry Fundació puntCAT were raided by the Spanish police this morning. The company reported the incident via a series of tweets as the raid was being carried out. "Right now spanish police @guardiacivil is doing an intervention in our office @ICANN," was tweeted just about 4 hours ago followed by another tweet reporting that the police was headed to CTO's home. "We're wating for him to arrive to our office to start the intervention."

Michele Neylon writes: "The move comes a couple of days after a Spanish court ordered the domain registry to take down all .cat domain names being used by the upcoming Catalan referendum. The .cat domain registry currently has over 100 thousand active domain names, and in light of the actions taken by the Spanish government, it's unclear how the registry will continue to operate if their offices are effectively shutdown by the Spanish authorities. The seizure won't impact live domain names or general day to day operations by registrars, as the registry backend is run by CORE and leverages global DNS infrastructure. However, it is deeply worrying that the Spanish government's actions would spill over onto an entire namespace."

Update – 20 SEP 2017: puntCAT's head of IT, Pep Masoliver, has been arrested as part of a Spanish government crackdown on pushes for independence, reports Kevin Murphy in Domain Incite: "He's been charged with 'sedition' and is still in police custody this evening… His arrest coincided with the military police raid of puntCAT's office in Barcelona that started this morning, related to a forthcoming Catalan independence referendum."

Fundació puntCAT releases statement: "The Fundació puntCAT wants to express its utmost condemnation, indignation and reprobation for the actions that it has been suffering lately with successive judicial mandates, searches and finally the arrest of our Director of Innovation and Information Systems, Pep Masoliver. ... The show that we have experienced in our offices this morning has been shameful and degrading, unworthy of a civilized country. We feel helpless in the face of these immensely disproportionate facts. We demand the immediate release of our colleague and friend."

Update 21 Sep 2017: EFF issues press letter condemning the police raid: "We have deep concerns about the use of the domain name system to censor content in general, even when such seizures are authorized by a court, as happened here. And there are two particular factors that compound those concerns in this case. First, the content in question here is essentially political speech, which the European Court of Human Rights has ruled as deserving of a higher level of protection than some other forms of speech. Even though the speech concerns a referendum that has been ruled illegal, the speech does not in itself pose any imminent threat to life or limb. The second factor that especially concerns us here is that the seizure took place with only 10 days remaining until the scheduled referendum, making it unlikely that the legality of the domains' seizures could be judicially reviewed before the referendum is scheduled to take place."

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Man sentenced for hijacking company’s domain name and demanding $10,000

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2017-09-20 14:06

Man held former company’s name for ransom and redirected it to porn site.

An Arizona man has been sentenced for redirecting his former company’s domain name to a porn site.

Travis Tso worked for an IT company in Phoenix. In 2011 he renewed an account for the company with GoDaddy.

Fast forward to 2015, when the company decided to update its contact information with GoDaddy. The company reached out to Tso and asked for the account login info. According to the statement Tso made in a plea deal, Tso lied and told them he didn’t have it.

He then changed the contact info on the account several times and made changes to the account so the website was redirected and email didn’t work. He asked the company for $10,000 if they wanted the domain back. When they refused, he redirected the domain to a porn site.

Tso was sentenced Monday to four years of probation and will pay $9,000 restitution.

While someone at a company has to have registrar login credentials, it’s important to have security protocols in place to make sure this type of hijacking doesn’t happen. Also, the domain shouldn’t be registered in the name of an employee.


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Spanish police raid .Cat domain name registry offices

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2017-09-20 13:25

Raid is part of crackdown on Catalonia independence referendum.

As reported on DomainIncite and InternetNews.me overnight U.S. time, Spanish police have raided the offices of Fundació puntCAT, the registry operator for the .cat domain name.

.Cat is a domain name for the Catalonia region and people that speak Catalan.

Spanish authorities asked the registry to block domain names that were being used to spread information about an upcoming referendum for independence. puntCAT sent this letter to ICANN earlier this week to advise it about what was happening:

We have denounced to @ICANN the disproportionate action of the courts. Committed to freedom on the Internet. pic.twitter.com/NkvTMYJ79d

— Fundació puntCAT (@puntcat) September 17, 2017

Spanish authorities have raided the office and apparently taken some computers. According to InternetNews.me, they also arrested the group’s CTO. It’s unclear what arrested means in these circumstances.

There are over 100,000 .cat domain names registered. The ongoing operations should not be affected because puntCAT uses a third-party registry services provider, and because of the distributed nature of DNS. However, if certain domains are deleted or blocked, this could propagate across DNS.

It’s worth noting that .cat is not a country code domain name. It is a sponsored top level domain name.

Here are some pictures from the raid:

Right now spanish police @guardiacivil is doing an intervention in our office @ICANN pic.twitter.com/nh0b1lnrv7

— Fundació puntCAT (@puntcat) September 20, 2017

@diariARA @elmonarac1 la Guardia Civil a la porta de la @puntcat tres cotxes i molts efectius. pic.twitter.com/HSVOqK43QQ

— Guillem Fernandez (@guillemfg) September 20, 2017

Follow @puncat for updates.


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Memo From Merge! With Big Show in Orlando 24 Days Away Last Call for Low Cost Rooms

DN Journal - Tue, 2017-09-19 22:04
Merge! - the new multi-pronged mega show from Jothan Frakes and Ray Dillman Neu is almost here - but discounted rooms will be gone after Friday.
Categories: News and Updates

The Madness of Broadband Speed Tests

Domain industry news - Tue, 2017-09-19 18:55

The broadband industry has falsely sold its customers on "speed", so unsurprisingly "speed tests" have become an insane and destructive benchmark.

As a child, I would go to bed, and sometimes the garage door would swing open before I went to sleep. My father had come home early from the late shift, where he was a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer for British Airways. I would wait for him eagerly, and he would come upstairs, still smelling of kerosene and Swarfega, With me lying in bed, he would tell me tales of his work, and stories about the world.

Just don't break the wings off as you board!Funnily enough, he never told me about British Airways breaking the wings off its aircraft. You see, he was involved in major maintenance checks on Boeing 747s. He joined BOAC in 1970 and stayed with the company for 34 years until retirement. Not once did he even hint at any desire for destructive testing for aircraft.

Now, when a manufacturer makes a brand new airplane type, it does test them to destruction. Here's a picture I shamelessly nicked showing the Airbus A350 wing flex test.

I can assure you, they don't do this in the British Airways hangars TBJ and TBK at Hatton Cross maintenance base at Heathrow. Instead, they have non-destructive testing using ultrasound and X-rays to look for cracks and defects.

So what's this all got to do with broadband? Well, we're doing the equivalent of asking the customers to break the wings off every time they board. And even worse, our own engineers have adopted destructive testing over non-destructive testing!

Because marketing departments at ISPs refuse to define what experience that actually intends to deliver (and what is unreasonable to expect), the network engineers are left with a single and simple marketing requirement: "make it better than it was".

When you probe them on what this means, they shrug and tell you "well, we're selling all our products on peak speed, so we try to make the speed tests better".

This, my friends, is bonkers.

The first problem is that the end users are conducting a denial-of-service attack on themselves and their neighbours. A speed test deliberately saturates the network, placing it under maximum possible stress.

The second problem is that ISPs themselves have adopted speed tests internally, so they are driving mad levels of cost carrying useless traffic designed to over-stress their network elements.

Then to top it all, regulators are encouraging speed tests as a key metric, deploying huge numbers of boxes hammering the broadband infrastructure even in its most fragile peak hour. The proportion of traffic coming from speed tests is non-trivial.

So what's the alternative? Easy! Instead of destructive testing, do non-destructive testing.

We know how to X-ray a network, and the results are rather revealing. If you use the right metrics, you can also model the performance limits of any application from the measurements you take. Even a speed test! So you don't need to snap the wings off your broadband service every time you use it after all.

I think I'll tell my daughters at their next bedtime. It's good life guidance. Although I can imagine my 14 year old dismissing it as another embarrassing fatherly gesture and uninteresting piece of parental advice. Sometimes it takes a while to appreciate our inherited wisdom.

Written by Martin Geddes, Founder, Martin Geddes Consulting Ltd

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Telecom

Categories: News and Updates

Median sales price at Uniregistry stays steady as sales grow

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2017-09-19 16:14

Median price has dropped slightly so far this year.

Uniregistry issued a release this morning with sales data from the first eight months of 2017.

The total number of sales increased 24% to 3,617. The total value was $29 million (up from $25 million), or an average of $8,017 per domain.

The release noted that the average sales price was down from $9,110 last year.

But averages are misleading. I generally ignore them when marketplaces release them. They can be drastically affected by one or two big sales and don’t paint an accurate picture of what’s going on.

The median–the point at which half the sales are above and half are below–is a better measure for a marketplace. I reached out to Uniregistry to get this number.

The median price this year has been $4,000. Last year it was $4,200, so there was little movement on that front.

This median number is a good one for domain sellers to think about.


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EFF Resigns from World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) over EME Decision

Domain industry news - Tue, 2017-09-19 15:36

In an open letter to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced on Tuesday that it is resigning from World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in response to the organization publishing Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) as a standard. From the letter: "In 2013, EFF was disappointed to learn that the W3C had taken on the project of standardizing "Encrypted Media Extensions," an API whose sole function was to provide a first-class role for DRM within the Web browser ecosystem. By doing so, the organization offered the use of its patent pool, its staff support, and its moral authority to the idea that browsers can and should be designed to cede control over key aspects from users to remote parties. ... We believe they will regret that choice. Today, the W3C bequeaths an legally unauditable attack-surface to browsers used by billions of people. They give media companies the power to sue or intimidate away those who might re-purpose video for people with disabilities. They side against the archivists who are scrambling to preserve the public record of our era. The W3C process has been abused by companies that made their fortunes by upsetting the established order, and now, thanks to EME, they'll be able to ensure no one ever subjects them to the same innovative pressures."

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Lack of disclosure leads to Reverse Domain Name Hijacking finding

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2017-09-19 14:47

Mexican resort operator failed to disclose business relationship with domain owner.

Trouble in Paradise.

The operators of two Mexican resorts–Golden Parnassus Paradise of the Gods and Great Parnassus Paradise of the Gods–have been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH) in a recent cybersquatting complaint.

The resorts filed UDRPs against the domains GoldenParnassusCancun.com and GreatParnassusCancun.com. The domains are owned by a company in Florida that wholesales vacation packages to travel agencies.

The UDRP filings missed several critical details and failed to disclose a 10+ year relationship between the complainants and the domain owner. It turns out that the Florida company has a long-running business deal to wholesale vacation packages to the resorts. It has even received the resort owner’s approval for changes to websites on the domains at issue.

Although the domain owner didn’t ask for a finding of RDNH, the panel considered it anyway and determined that the filing was made in bad faith:

After reviewing all the evidence, the Panel has come to the conclusion that the Complainant has failed to disclose a number of material facts, including the existence of the long standing business relationship between the parties and the specific facts recited in this decision at paragraph 6.B, which were critical to the Panel’s finding that Respondent holds legitimate rights and interests in the disputed domain names, and which were obviously known to the Complainants before they began these proceedings. In these circumstances, the filing of the Complaint represents an abuse of process which the Panel finds entirely unacceptable. Accordingly, the Panel finds that the Complainants have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking.


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