News and Updates and Sold for the Same Price. Which One Was the Better Buy & Why?

DN Journal - Mon, 2019-03-18 19:57
Two very different domain names may sell for exactly the same price. Examining why may show what attributes domain buyers currently value the most.
Categories: News and Updates

5 little-known tools for finding great domains

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2019-03-18 19:36

These linguistic tools will help you brainstorm good domain names.

Last week I interviewed Anthony Shore of Operative Words to understand how he comes up with names for his clients. He mentioned many tools he uses. I call these little-known because they aren’t domain name tools; they are powerful linguistic and dictionary tools that will help you brainstorm names.

I recommend listening to the full podcast to understand how Anthony uses each tool, but here’s a rundown.

Sketch Engine – This is a very powerful tool but has a learning curve, especially if you don’t have a linguistic background. It’s inexpensive and there’s a free trial so you can try it before you buy it. – Great thesaurus capabilities and wildcarding.

RhymeZone – Find rhyming words, synonyms, adjectives and other words.

MRC Psycholinguistic Database – Good for substitutions, wildcarding, etc. (Listen to an example in the podcast.)

GoldenDict – A dictionary lookup program that allows you to search multiple dictionaries.

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Categories: News and Updates

A Short History of DNS Over HTTP (So Far)

Domain industry news - Mon, 2019-03-18 19:21

The IETF is in the midst of a vigorous debate about DNS over HTTP or DNS over HTTPS, abbreviated as DoH. How did we get there, and where do we go from here?

(This is somewhat simplified, but I think the essential chronology is right.)

Javascript code running in a web browser can't do DNS lookups, other than with browser.dns.resolv() to fetch an A record, or implicitly by fetching a URL which looks up a DNS A or AAAA record for the domain in the URL.

It is my recollection that the initial impetus for DoH was to let Javascript do other kinds of DNS lookups, such as SRV or URI or NAPTR records which indirectly refer to URLs that the Javascript can fetch or TXT records for various kinds of security applications. (Publish a TXT record with a given string to prove you own a domain, for example.) The design of DoH is quite simple and well suited for this. The application takes the literal bits of the DNS request, and sends them as an HTTP query to a web server, in this case probably the same one that the Javascript code came from. That server does the DNS query and sends the literal bits of answer as a DNS response. This usage was and remains largely uncontroversial.

About the same time someone observed that if the DoH requests used HTTPS rather than HTTP to wrap DNS requests, the same HTTPS security that prevents intermediate systems from snooping on web requests and responses would prevent snooping on DoH. This was an easy upgrade since browsers and web servers already know how to do HTTPS, so why not? Since DoH prevents snooping on the DNS requests, a browser could use it for all of its DNS requests to protect the A and AAAA requests as well, and send the requests to any DoH server they want, not just one provided by the local network.

This is where things get hairy. If the goal were just to prevent snooping, there is a service called DNS over TLS or DoT, which uses the same security layer that HTTPS uses, but without HTTP. A key difference is that even though snooping systems can't tell what's inside either a DoT or a DoH transaction, they can tell that DoT is DNS, while there's no way to tell DoH from any other web request, unless it happens to be sent to a server that is known to do only DoH.

Mozilla did a small-scale experiment where the DNS requests for some of their beta users went to Cloudflare's DNS service, with an offhand comment that maybe they'd do it more widely later.

On the one hand, some people believe that the DNS service provided by their network censors material, either by government mandate or for the ISP's own commercial purposes. If they use DoH, they can see stuff without being censored.

On the other hand, some people believe that the DNS service blocks access to harmful material, ranging from malware control hosts to intrusive ad networks (mine blocks those so my users see a blue box rather than the ad) to child pornography. If they use DoH, they can see stuff that they would rather not have seen. This is doubly true when the thing making the request is not a person, but malware secretly running on a user's computer or phone, or an insecure IoT device.

The problem is that both of those are true, and there is a complete lack of agreement about which is more important, and even which is more common. While it is easy for a network to block traffic to off-network DNS or DoT servers, to make its users use its DNS or DoT servers, it is much harder to block traffic to DoH servers, at least without blocking traffic to a lot of web servers, too. This puts network operators in a tough spot, particularly ones that are required to block some material (notably child pornography) or business networks that want to limit the use of the networks unrelated to the business, or networks that just want to keep malware and broken IoT devices under some control.

At this point, the two sides are largely talking past each other, and I can't predict how if at all, the situation will be resolved.

Written by John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker

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More under: Cybersecurity, DNS, Internet Protocol

Categories: News and Updates

WIPO Reports Cybersquatting Cases Grew by 12% Reaching New Records in 2018

Domain industry news - Mon, 2019-03-18 18:58

According to a report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), trademark owners filed a record 3,447 cases under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) with WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center in 2018.

"WIPO’s 2018 caseload covered 5,655 domain names in total." Disputes involving domain names registered in new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) accounted for some 13% of the total, with disputes most commonly found in .ONLINE, .LIFE, and .APP. Representing 73% of the gTLD caseload, .COM demonstrated the continuing popularity of the legacy gTLDs.

The top three sectors of complainant activity were banking and finance (12% of all cases), biotechnology and pharmaceuticals (11%), and Internet and IT (11%).

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More under: Domain Management, Domain Names, Intellectual Property, UDRP

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7Up and March Madness – DNW Podcast #228

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2019-03-18 15:30

Hear the story of’s launch in March Madness 1996.

My guest on today’s program created the original website when he was in his early 20s working at an advertising agency. Archie Smart was fresh out of school when he pitched the soda maker on a campaign to drive people to during March Madness 1996. He talked them into printing the domain name on the side of soda cans, on the basketball court and using it in a major media buy.

Then, just days before March Madness, they ran into a problem.

Also: A true-crime thriller with a domain name angle, Radix’s revenue, and SyFy

Mentioned on this episode: the spinning 7Up can

This week’s sponsor: DNAcademy. Use code DNW for $50 off.

Subscribe via iTunes to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, view on Google Play Music, or click play above or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)

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Categories: News and Updates

Samsung tries to hijack domain name

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2019-03-18 13:34

Samsung files abusive cybersquatting complaint in an effort to get domain name.

Samsung renamed its app store Galaxy Store but doesn’t have the matching domain name.

Samsung has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name

The electronics company changed the name of Galaxy Apps to Galaxy Store earlier this year and wanted the domain name. However, the owner of registered the domain name in 2004, at least five years before Samsung adopted the name Galaxy for its smartphones and tablets.

In other words, there’s no way the domain registrant registered the domain name with Samsung in mind. Nevertheless, Samsung filed a cybersquatting complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) at Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre.

Because the domain registration pre-dated Samsung’s use of the Galaxy brand, the case was dead on arrival.

The domain owner’s counsel, Zak Muscovitch, warned Samsung’s counsel at Bae, Kim & Lee LLC IP Group about this critical fact and invited Samsung to withdraw the case. It didn’t, and the three-person UDRP panel found (pdf) Samsung to have filed the case in abuse of the policy, aka reverse domain name hijacking.



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Categories: News and Updates

ICANN Terminates AlpNames

Domain industry news - Fri, 2019-03-15 22:23

AlpNames has been sent a notice of termination by ICANN. Unlike many termination notices that specify a future date, the one they were sent has an immediate effect.

As reported in multiple fora over the last few days AlpNames had gone offline, and at time of writing still is. They've also become unresponsive. It's on the basis of this that ICANN decided to terminate their contract straight away.

What this means is that AlpNames has lost their "license" to sell domains from ICANN. The existing domains will have to be moved to another registrar, though it's unclear who will take over the domain portfolio. The registrar's back-office operations are with LogicBoxes, so it's fairly safe to assume that the data has been escrowed and will be available to the new registrar.

So what happened?

The Gibraltar based registrar was sent multiple notices by ICANN since the beginning of March but did not respond. Also, they owe ICANN fees.

As a registrar, their track record with abuse was far from stellar. Spamhaus has been listing them as one of the worst registrars for DNS abuse on the planet for a long time. ICANN's report on "competition, consumer trust and consumer choice" calls out AlpNames:

Alpnames Ltd., based in Gibraltar, was associated with a high volume of abuse from the .science and .top domain names. The Study notes that this registrar used price promotions that offered domain name registrations for USD $1 or sometimes even free. Moreover, Alpnames permitted registrants to randomly generate and register 2,000 domain names in 27 new gTLDs in a single registration process. Registering domain names in bulk using domain generation algorithms are commonly associated with cybercrime. However, there is currently no contractual prohibition or safeguard against the bulk registration of domains.

Historically AlpNames was linked to Famous Four Media, which changed ownership in the last few months.

AlpNames has about 700 thousand names in new gTLDs. I'm not sure how big they were in legacy gTLDs or if there were any ccTLD domains under management.

Written by Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions

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More under: Domain Management, Domain Names, ICANN

Categories: News and Updates

How to get your domains out of Alpnames – Fast!

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2019-03-15 16:48

Customers can access their account through LogicBoxes.

Domain name registrar Alpnames has imploded, leaving hundreds of thousands of domain names temporarily stuck in purgatory. Thankfully, there is a solution for customers that want to access their accounts and move domains to another registrar.

Alpnames used the registrar platform LogicBoxes to manage its domains and you can still log into LogicBoxes’ system to access your domains.

The Alpnames Logic Boxes control panel is at Choose “customer” from the dropdown box and enter your Alpnames credentials.

A new registrar will eventually take over Alpnames accounts, but it’s worth transferring at least your best domains for safe keeping.

It should give Alpnames customers some relief to know that a third party was managing Alpnames’ backend.

Thanks to InfoClicks for the tip.

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Categories: News and Updates

ICANN shuts down Alpnames domain name registrar

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2019-03-15 02:36

ICANN takes emergency action after Alpnames seemingly shutters.

This is all that’s left of Alpnames.

Domain name overseer ICANN has shut down registrar Alpnames after the registrar seemingly went dark.

I received an email from a customer about a week ago complaining about not being able to log in to his account. Kevin Murphy at DomainIncite has done a good job tracking the situation at Alpnames.

The termination will be a good test of the mechanisms ICANN put in place after RegisterFly was shuttered many years ago. Yes, other registrars have been terminated, but Alpnames is fairly large in terms of domains under management. It is the ninth-largest registrar for new top level domain names. At one point it had some common ownership with Famous Four Media, which offered its domains at cut-rate prices.

It was also shut down without warning.

Let’s hope that Alpnames was properly escrowing its domain ownership data.

Just last year in February, the company put out a press release stating that “Iain Roache has increased his ownership of AlpNames a leading domain registrar and web hosting company by acquiring a further 20% of the Company’s share capital for a consideration (including combined costs) of £3.9 million with a view to growing the business into a Tier 1 registrar.”

That didn’t work out.

The demise of Alpnames is another reminder to choose a domain name registrar you trust to be in it for the long haul.

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Categories: News and Updates

The Mastermind created his own domain registrar to run his criminal enterprise

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2019-03-14 15:58

Paul Le Roux found a workaround to domain name suspensions: create his own ICANN-accredited domain name registrar.

I just finished reading Evan Ratliff’s book The Mastermind about Paul Le Roux. Le Roux ran a lot of unsavory and illegal businesses starting with an online pharmacy business called RX Limited.

Le Roux used a lot of domain names to sell pills online to U.S. consumers. In addition to operating an illegal service, many of the sites were promoted with spam. He knew that domain registrars would terminate his domain names for doing this so he found a workaround: create his own ICANN-accredited domain name registrar.

Le Roux created domain name registrar ABSystems using someone else’s identity and registered his domains through the registrar.

ICANN terminated the registrar in 2013. ICANN works with another registrar to transfer domains when it shuts down a registrar. Registrars look at this as a way to grow their business; in this case, EnCirca got stuck holding a bag of bad domains.

The detectives who chased Le Roux used Whois and DomainTools to connect the dots.

The Mastermind is a fascinating book in which domain names play a large role.

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Categories: News and Updates

15 end user domain name sales up to $70K

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2019-03-14 13:51

A German clothing brand, a link shortener and the SyFy network all bought domain names last week.

The top sale on Sedo this past week seems like a great deal for the buyer. Not only is a great brandable name, but it means boat in German. The top ccTLD sale also made the end user list, at €12,750. And these weren’t the only 5-figure sales, there were several that made the list this week.

Let’s take a look at some of the end user sales on Sedo. You can view previous lists like this here. $70,000 – Boot is German for boat. The domain forwards to, which looks like a trade show for the boating world. It’s worth noting they also use for a program. This was a great deal for the buyer! $43,000 – Universal Studios acquired the domain name and it now redirects to, the popular science fiction television network. It has applied for trademarks for TZGZ It Comes after Syfy, suggesting this might be the new name for the network. €15,000 – It’s now owned by a German software company specializing in privacy and data protection. €12,750 – Forwards to, an online network to find pool service providers. $10,000 – This domain was purchased by Hilltop Advisors, which provides professional services to financial services companies with special focus on lenders of all types, loan service providers and more. This indicates that this domain could be for a financial services company of some sort. €8,000 – What a fun name for this new link shortener. €7,500 – Forwards to which is a service that assists companies in the areas of marketing, e-commerce, technology and infrastructure. $5,000 – The main site for Öztiryakiler, a Turkish kitchen equipment manufacturer established in 1958 which makes it one of the first manufacturing companies of Turkey in this sector. €5,000 – Forwards to the quite choppy domain of, a German clothing brand. €4,000 – The domain forwards to, which is the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative. I can’t figure out what this name has to do with the group, but it must be some sort of acronym. $3,995 – Forwards to, a wholesaler of nutritional health products from around the globe based in the UK. $3,750 – Identity management company Ping Identity bought this domain for “A Community of Ping advocates”. $2,500 – The site, which specializes in the resale of sports championship rings. $2,500 – An online learning and educational platform for students in Africa. €2,000 – A new crypto news aggregator, powered by “artificial intelligence and advanced text processing algorithms”. The site processes data from 50,000+ news sources, 4 social media networks and over 100 crypto trading blogs.

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Categories: News and Updates

Five 6-Figure Domain Sales Hit This Week's Chart as NameJet/ROTD Report Closed Sales

DN Journal - Thu, 2019-03-14 00:28
NameJet & spent much of February closing sales from their live auction at NamesCon. The results put some big numbers on this week's sales chart.
Categories: News and Updates

Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name

Domain industry news - Wed, 2019-03-13 18:57

Irregularities surrounding O.COM RSEP reveal coloring outside the lines.

Let's take some crayons and draw a picture of the current state of affairs regarding single-character domain names (SCDNs), and specifically O.COM.

During the public comment period for the current O.COM RSEP, ICANN's own Intellectual Property and Business constituencies recommended implementation of rights protections mechanisms (RPMs) for intellectual property, including Sunrise and Priority Access periods. It is curious that such hard-won protections are being so easily set aside by Verisign and ICANN.

No matter, however, because this isn't just about trademarks. This is also a simple issue of internationalized domain names (IDNs). We can forego the finer points of trademark law, because Verisign has, since at least July 2013, been unequivocal in the commitments it has made numerous times in correspondence with ICANN, in response to questions raised by financial analysts during quarterly earnings calls, and which can still be found — in living color — on their website blog today:

Use Case No. 2: John Doe does not have a registration for an second-level domain name. John Doe registers a second-level domain name in our Thai transliteration of .com but in no other TLD. That second-level domain name will be unavailable in all other transliterations of .com IDN TLDs and in the .com registry unless and until John Doe (and only John Doe) registers it in another .com IDN TLD or in the .com registry.

The blog goes on to helpfully explain that VeriSign's objective with this strategy is to avoid cost and confusion and will benefit the community by creating "a ubiquitous user experience." Ubiquity appears to have a different meaning here.

Just for fun, let's apply Use Case No. 2 to the facts at hand regarding the single-character "O", replacing John Doe with First Place Internet and substituting Hebrew for Thai.

First Place Internet does not have a registration for second-level domain name. First Place Internet registers O in the Hebrew transliteration of .com but in no other TLD. O will be unavailable in all other transliterations of .com IDN TLDs and in the .com registry unless and until First Place Internet (and only First Place Internet) registers it in another .com IDN TLD or in the .com registry.

Since it seems that there might be a number of different ways to look at this predicament, let me break it down, super-simple style:

Want this to be a trademark issue? Then First Place Internet owns USPTO Registration Number 1102618 which is active and, having been registered in 1978, is older than I am.

Want this to be an IDN.IDN issue? Then, at precisely 2018-07-31 T14:29:51Z, employing its validated Trademark Clearinghouse SMD file for its U.S. Trademark # 1102618, First Place successfully registered VeriSign's Hebrew o.קום (o.xn--9dbq2a) IDN domain name in VeriSign's Sunrise Period.

Want this to be about an open and transparent DNS? Read VeriSign's words and then get acquainted with the United States Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

We have rules in America that intend to ensure a level playing field — that seek to even things out between a rich, powerful and dominant industry player and its competitors and consumers. First among these is something my grandfather taught me when I was a little boy (still younger than USPTO Reg. No. 1102618): a person lives up to their commitments. Years of mandatory annual compliance training provided by the publicly-traded corporations that I've had the privilege to work for reinforces the significance of commitments made publicly in correspondence to a so-called regulator, to investors and analysts during quarterly earnings calls, and to an unsuspecting public in policy stated on the corporate website.

Over the years, I've learned — sometimes the hard way — that this rule means having to do something I didn't want to when I misspoke and then had to make it right.

If this auction proceeds and Verisign is permitted to color outside the lines by welching on commitments it has made and that can still be found on their website today, then multi-stakeholder governance will have failed — not to mention any sense of fair play — and the image of an open and equitable DNS dies by the auctioneer's gavel.

Maybe it's appropriate and relevant to ask: Is Verisign's trademark — USPTO Registration Number 3060761 for "It's a Trust Thing" — dead from discontinued use?

Written by Greg Thomas, Managing Director of The Viking Group LLC

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More under: Domain Names, ICANN, Intellectual Property, Internet Governance, Law, Policy & Regulation, Registry Services, New TLDs

Categories: News and Updates

SyFy might be rebranding as TZGZ

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2019-03-13 18:46

Company gets trademarks and domain name.

As I was working on this week’s end user domain name list, I discovered that SyFy, the television network owned by Universal Studios, might be rebranding.

The company paid $43,000 for the domain name The domain now forwards to

I searched for trademarks on TZGZ and found that Universal Studios just obtained four trademark registrations for TZGZ yesterday. Two of them are for TZGZ as a word mark and two are for a logo TZGZ It Comes After SyFy (pictured above).

The goods and services are related to entertainment, broadcasting, etc.

Would SyFy rebrand? It’s possible; SyFy badly fails the radio test. TZGZ is a mouthful and I wonder if it is pronounced another way.

TZGZ could just be a show, podcast or something else for the network, but the logo branding and trademark applications make it seem like a big deal.

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Categories: News and Updates

ICANN Chair Elections Test Its Institutional Integrity

Domain industry news - Wed, 2019-03-13 17:05

The ICANN Board will soon be considering candidates for election to the position of ICANN Chairperson and Vice Chair, which compels me to remind both the Board and the ICANN community of the fact that one of the members pursuing the Chairmanship is the subject of an on-going Australian Freedom of Information Act, which was initiated by the irregularities that brought about this individuals dismissal from the .au Domain Administration. In pursuit of bringing the facts of the matter to light for all concerned, following receipt of the initial declination to release the requested information, on 07 March 2019 the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has "...concluded that aspects of the Department's decision to refuse access to the documents requested are incorrect. Consequently, [the Information Commissioner has] invited the Department to issue a revised decision pursuant to [section] 55G of the FOI Act or final submissions if it disagrees with [the Information Commissioner's] view by 14 March 2019."

Coupled with this notice from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is the fact that there is also an on-going police investigation into this matter, which in fact was the catalyst for the initiation of the Freedom of Information Act request in the first place.

Recently, I brought the ICANN Board's attention to something that the Board Governance Chair had been derelict in his duties, i.e., vetting all Board members through background checks, in the same manner as all Nominating Committee Board appointees, to ensure that the ICANN Board meets basic governance standards. To Chairman Chalaby's credit, the Board took swift action to ensure those Board members who had not been, were indeed properly vetted within the very week of that ICANN meeting.

In the same way — to protect the institution of ICANN — to ensure that ICANN is kept separate and apart from what may or may not prove to be a serious, avoidable, self-inflicted wound for an institution that so many have tirelessly dedicated countless hours and effort to establish — I call on the Chair and ICANN Board to ensure that no candidate who may be standing under a cloud of any type be considered for the highest position and authority within ICANN.

As we move forward to when the ICANN Board will vote on the next Board Chair and Vice Chair, I urge the members of the Board to respect the importance of having the utmost integrity within itself, and to respect the fact that the impact of any shadow — no matter how large or small — will impact the larger volunteer community that is ICANN.

Thus, for all candidates for Vice Chair and Chair, I ask that the Board ensure such individuals are held to the highest standards of integrity; anything less is unacceptable if ICANN is to be a true steward of the Internet. In today's world, perceptions matter.

When one is a leader at the Board level within ICANN, it is not only that the ICANN Community must have their faith and trust in our leaders be returned, but that trust must be validated. Any deleterious halo effect has a decidedly negative reflection on all of the hundreds of volunteers, and ultimately on the organization as a whole.

So I caution the Board that a mistake made here will dramatically harm the global perception of our (ICANN's) institutional integrity.

Written by Ronald N. Andruff, President & CEO, dotSport LLC

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More under: ICANN, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation

Categories: News and Updates

Some recent domain name observations

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2019-03-13 15:23

These three domain names caught my attention in and around Austin.

Earlier this week I wrote about a bakery in Austin that uses an internationalized domain name so it can have an accent in its domain name. Here are a few other domains I’ve observed in the wild recently.

A four-letter, three-hyphen domain name

I’ve never seen so many hyphens crammed into such a short domain name before. While it looks OK, imagine telling someone to email you at n dash o dash v dash a dot com.

.Church on a truck

Here’s a bumper sticker for a local church that uses for its domain name. .Church will never be a runaway moneymaker, but it’s a solid winner for Donuts. It has about 25,000 names in the zone.

A flyer with a .Church

Here’s yet another church using a .church domain name. I received this flyer in the mail.

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Categories: News and Updates

Lawsuit alleges domain name is stolen (again?)

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2019-03-13 14:46

This might be the second time was stolen, and someone might have paid a lot of money for hot merchandise.

A lawsuit (pdf) alleges that the domain name, along with,,, and, are stolen domain names.

While researching the case, I found posts saying that was stolen previously but returned to its owner in 2017.

The lawsuit alleges it was stolen last year. So taken at face value, this means that this is the second time that has been stolen.

Here’s another wrinkle: sold for $147,000 on NameJet in November of last year, after the domain name was allegedly stolen again. The domain transferred to Enom shortly after the sale, a requirement for third-party sales on NameJet. I really hope the current owner didn’t buy a stolen domain.

I would personally be very careful about buying a short numeric or letter domain name that has bounced around between multiple registrars or owners. It’s frankly getting harder to track the “title” of a domain thanks to GDPR, but buyers need to do their due diligence. When in doubt, pass on any domain with a suspect ownership history.

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Categories: News and Updates

4G Mobile Trials Have Begun in Cuba - What Is Their 3/4/5G Strategy?

Domain industry news - Wed, 2019-03-13 03:01

Early 4G speed test (Source)During the first month of 3G mobile service, Cuban Internet use increased substantially. At the end of January, ETECSA had 5.4 million mobile users, 35% of which use the Internet and they are adding 5,000 new data customers per day. According to Eliecer Samada, head of ETECSA's wireless access group, the company is now at 160% of the expected capacity.

As a result of that unexpected demand and damage due to the tornado that hit Havana in January, both data and phone service have been slow and unreliable.

To alleviate these problems, ETECSA announced last week that they were accelerating 4G mobile trials along the north coast from Mariel through Havana to Varadero. That is a distance of about 100 miles with 44 4G base stations. The trial will be open to about 10,000 high-volume users who have 4G-compatible phones and have been using at least 2.5 GB of 3G mobile data per month in that area. (ETECSA reports that 7% of 3G network users account for 52% of the traffic).

Andy García ran a speed test using his neighbor's account and recorded a download speed of 5.52 Mbps, upload speed of 1.18 Mbps and a 24.17 ms latency, but a few days later, he observed slower rates and Armando Camacho recently recently reported a speed of 3.2 Mbps download and 5.8 Mbps upload and he has posted the locations of 21 base stations in Havana. We can't draw conclusions about the post-trial speeds from a few tests, but they will surely be faster than current 3G speeds and considerably slower than the US LTE speeds reported last month by Tom's Guide.

Current US 4G speeds (Source)ETECSA expects this trial to divert enough traffic to improve 3G and voice service. If that is the case, it seems the current congestion is at the base stations rather than in backhaul from them. Regardless, I expect that backhaul capacity from faster 4G base stations will constrain 4G rollout in this and other regions.

I don't know what ETECSA's mobile deployment strategy is — what the balance will be between 3 and 4G capacity and pricing — but I have suggested that they will gain trained, demanding users if they focus on bringing the cost down as quickly as possible. That would argue for cheap or even free 3G service.

The average price of 1 GB of mobile data in Cuba is higher than that in 184 of 230 nations. (The price in ten of the 28 Caribbean nations is higher than in Cuba and India is the lowest-price nation). The source does not indicate the speeds of these services and it would be interesting to see them normalized for per-capita income as an indication of affordability, but there seems to be room for price cutting in Cuba.

Regardless of the deployment and pricing of 3 and 4G mobile Internet access in Cuba, both should be regarded as stopgap measures and plans should be made for 5G deployment.

Update Mar 21, 2019

ETECSA initially restricted 4G access to those with 2.5 GB per month data plans. 14Ymedio reports that they have now opened 4G up to those with 1.5 GB per month plans in spite of having temporarily run out of the USIM cards that are required for 4G access. (USIM cards obsoleted SIM cards, which were used in 2G phones and could be used, with the loss of some features, in 3G phones).

The article also states that they are adding 50,000 new mobile accounts per month, as opposed to the 5,000 per day reported above. They say that 40% of those users generate some sort of data traffic — for Nauta email, MMS messages or Web browsing.

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

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More under: Access Providers, Mobile Internet, Wireless

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ICANN Postpones Amazon Domain Decision, Crusade Continues Between Amazon Nations and Amazon Inc.

Domain industry news - Tue, 2019-03-12 23:22

ICANN on Monday extended the deadline to April for Amazon basin nations to reach a deal with the tech giant Amazon Inc in their seven-year battle over the .amazon domain name. Reuters reports: "[ICANN] meeting this week in Kobe, Japan, decided to put off a decision that was expected to favor use of the domain by the world's largest online retailer. Amazon basin countries Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname have fought the domain request since it was made in 2012, arguing that the name refers to their geographic region and thus belongs to them."

Amazon nations remain "firmly opposed" to Amazon Inc gaining exclusive control of the domain name, says Brazil's foreign ministry. He adds: "Brazil and its seven Amazon partners will continue to negotiate in good faith with to try to reach a 'mutually acceptable solution' to the domain dispute."

Supporting .Amazon domain strengthens global internet cooperation, says Christian Dawson of i2Coalition: "Though we should all be sympathetic to the position of the governments of Brazil and Peru, we should also be impressed with the extensive efforts that Amazon has undertaken in order to assuage as many of those concerns as possible. They have made formal signed commitments to not use the TLDs in a confusing manner. They have promised to support future gTLD applications to represent the region using the geographic terms of the regions, including .AMAZONIA, .AMAZONICA or .AMAZONAS. They also offered to reserve for the relevant governments certain domain names that could cause confusion or touch on national sensitivities.

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Radix Reports a 30% Rise in Revenue That Pushed the Registry Operator's 2018 Profit Up 45%

DN Journal - Tue, 2019-03-12 21:37
Radix, one of the world’s largest new TLD portfolio registries, announced that it grossed $16.95 million in total revenue in 2018, a 30% rise over 2017.
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