News and Updates

Photos & Highlights from Day 2 of the 2018 NamesCon Global Conference in Las Vegas Monday

DN Journal - Tue, 2018-01-30 23:14
Monday was quite a day and night at NamesCon with a real life rock star delivering the keynote speech and the annual Water Night fundraiser bringing in big money for the Water School.
Categories: News and Updates

How Do You Turn a Typesetting Language Into an Identifier System? (Not Easily)

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-01-30 22:07

Unicode's goal, which it meets quite well, is that whatever text you want to represent in whatever language, dead or alive, Unicode can represent the characters or symbols it uses. Any computer with a set of Unicode typefaces and suitable layout software can display that text. In effect, Unicode is primarily a typesetting language.

Over in the domain name system, we also use Unicode to represent non-ASCII identifiers. That turns out to be a problem because an identifier needs a unique form, something that doesn't matter for typesetting.

For a name in the DNS, and for most other kinds of identifiers, if a user sees an identifier in use somewhere, she needs to be able to type or otherwise enter that identifier so that what she typed produces the same bits as the stored identifier. In some cases (see mailboxes, below) the rule is slightly relaxed so that given two strings, the computer can decide whether they identify the same thing.

Unicode is full of homoglyphs, characters or groups of characters that look the same but have different internal forms. We (mostly meaning the Unicode consortium, IETF, and ICANN) have come up with three ways to minimize the homoglyph problem and try to limit Unicode internationalized domain names (IDNs) so that two IDNs that look the same actually are the same.

Homoglyphs are nothing new. Those of us old enough to remember manual typewriters remember that they often had only the digits 2 through 9, and we used lowercase letter l and uppercase O for 1 and 0. It didn't matter because the meaning was obvious from context. But when used as identifiers in the DNS, there's no context, and a name like "operator: is not the same as "0perator: or "0perat0r".

Normalization

In some cases Unicode offers multiple ways to write the exact same character, such as á which can be written as two glyphs, "a" followed by "combining acute accent", or as a single precomposed glyph "a with acute accent". Unicode defines several normalization forms, one of which consists of characters that are as composed as possible, known as Normalization Form C (NFC.) The IETF's Internationalized Domain Names for Applications (IDNA) requires that all IDNs be in NFC, and that input Unicode be converted to NFC before being used as a domain name. This only handles composition where the two forms appear exactly the same, not forms where the forms look similar but not identical.

Scripts

A related but different issue is different scripts. Unicode defines a script as a set of characters used to write one or more languages. Familiar scripts include Latin (used to write most European languages), Cyrillic, and Greek, and Arabic. Different scripts often have characters that look the same, e.g. the Latin letter "o", Cyrillic "o", and Greek omicron.

Most domain registries have a list of scripts in which they will accept registrations, and each registered name usually has to be in a single script. In some cases, names are restricted to a single language in a single script (e.g., French or Portuguese which use different accents), or a mixture of compatible scripts, notably Japanese names which allow Katakana, Hiragana, Han (Kanji ideographs), and Latin. This largely deters homograph attacks at the registration level other than some arcane examples where people have constructed what looks like English names entirely from homographs in Cyrillic or Greek.

All ICANN contracted registries are supposed to file their tables of permitted characters for each language in an IANA repository, and many have.

Registry script rules are generally only enforced for the name directly registered, and not for anything below it, so you can see names like <mixture>.something.com.

Language generation rules and bundling

The last level of confusion is among characters that don't necessarily look the same but in some sense mean the same thing. Examples include traditional and simplified Chinese characters, and in some European languages, vowels with and without accents. In script tables, one character can be listed as a variant of another, an registries have rules about them. Some forbid registration of names that differ only in characters that are variants, while others "bundle" names so that a registrant can get some or all variants of a name.

Variants have their limits; they can't express character sequences of different length such as the German ö and ß which are usually equivalent to "oe" or "ss", but they avoid a lot of problems particularly in Chinese and Japanese.

So who cares?

The reason I went through all this is twofold. One is related to the DNS: there are good reasons that the characters in Unicode DNS labels are limited, and you can't use, to revisit a recent argument, emoji. If you want to use emoji in text messages or other contexts that are like typesetting, that's fine. But they make dreadful identifiers since there are lots and lots of emoji that look almost the same, frequently deliberately so. For most emoji that look like people, you can add modifier glyphs for any of five skin tones, and male or female gender. You can make several emoji display as a super-emoji group, say man and heart and woman as 💑 which looks cute but is a challenge to type since it's a sequence of six glyphs that have to be entered in the right order: woman, combine, heart, alternate-version, combine, man.

If the emoji for slightly frowning face 🙁 and slightly frowning face with open mouth 😦 look nearly identical, it makes no difference in a text message, but it makes them terrible identifiers. Imagine you registered one, built a website around it, and then a competitor registered the other. How can you explain to your customers which is the real one?

To avoid this problem, in principle people could create an emoji script table that groups together similar-looking emoji as variants, and otherwise limits the allowable emoji to ones that look different enough that people could reliably recognize them if they saw them in an ad on the side of a bus. But nobody will. It's not worth anyone's time since emoji DNS names are at most a gimmick.

The other reason is that DNS labels are not the only place on the Internet where we have text identifiers. Two other familiar ones are the path in URLs, the part after the domain name, and the mailbox in an e-mail address. Mailboxes, in particular, are a challenge, since only the system hosting the mailbox knows the meaning of an address and although every mail system does some kind of fuzzy match, the fuzz varies a lot. For ASCII mailboxes, everyone does upper/lower case folding, some ignore dots, some trim off suffixes after hyphens or plus signs, some do other things, but it entirely depends on the mail system. Systems with Unicode addresses will do similar things, but it's a lot harder since the details of case folding are highly language specific (even among languages written in Latin characters), and there are a lot of things that might be considered to be like dots or hyphens.

While the DNS character rules can be a useful guide to designing rules for other applications, it's unlikely they can be applied directly (e.g., DNS names never ignore dots, mailboxes sometimes do.) We still have a lot to learn about what's a usable identifier in what contexts.

Written by John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker

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More under: DNS, Domain Names, Web

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Nationalizing the Imaginary 5G Network?

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-01-30 21:09

To put it bluntly, the proposal cited in Axios story on "Trump team considers nationalizing 5G network” doesn't make sense on a number of levels. The real danger comes if this indeed represents the NSC's failure to understand Internet style connectivity. The proposal may just be the work of an NSC staffer who accepted all the 5G hype as if it were real. (This story from Recode says just that).

I credit the Axios article for having some skepticism. For example, it asks what protecting a network or, more to the point, only the mobile network, has to do with the "AI algorithm battles." And hardening the network rather than making it more resilient only makes it brittle.

In fact, the whole idea of nationalizing the network presumes there is a well-defined network rather than today's generic connectivity that isn't confined to the telecommunications infrastructure. But then this is only about 5G and not even the bulk of the infrastructure which is wired. The threats are to applications and services that are at the endpoints and devices rather than inside a network.

If we really want to compete with China, we must learn from what they got right — assuring coverage everywhere. And we can do better by adopting an Internet native approach rather than yet another telecommunications network.

The real value of this story may be in forcing us to think about the contradictions in the 5G story which is framed in terms of legacy telecom vs. the more generic connectivity of the Internet. The idea of having a common infrastructure is very good.

The main Axios article and the related story "How 5G works” are useful in understanding the fallacies in the 5G hype including, but not limited to ...

  • The article cites the need for many additional transmitters [sic — transceivers] because the signals are easily blocked. That means there will be a lot of dead spots — which doesn't jibe with the idea that this is vital ubiquitous high-speed connectivity. And the telecom business model means that users extending the coverage are stealing Internet.
  • 5G is supposed to provide guarantees of low latency. That was the argument for the SS7 network reserving capacity for each connection because it was deemed absolutely necessary for voice. VoIP put a lie to that premise. And reserving capacity has side effects like creating scarcity by taking capacity off the table and creating the concept of a busy signal rather than graceful fallback. If you depend on the network for low latency your application is brittle and not safe for the very applications that require guarantees.
  • 5G is supposed to be necessary for self-driving (autonomous) cars. But that doesn't make sense since they have to be autonomous! And we can't guarantee coverage anyway. At CES there were attempts to show the power of constantly streaming video from cars, but the story fell apart as soon as you asked why. At least the article acknowledges that most IoT doesn't generate much traffic, so it doesn't need 5G at all.

The other example cited is VR which doesn't make sense. High-performance local links make sense but extending that experience across the world won't work the same way, and there is not a scintilla of evidence that there is any demand. Citing such examples contribute to my feeling that this was not a serious proposal but rather an attempt to take 5G as the answer and then find a problem that required it.

Networking is something we do with infrastructure rather than depending upon having a physical network which can be nationalized. Instead, as with highways we build the common infrastructure by interconnecting local systems and complement it with regional and national connectivity. This is possible because we don't rely on a provider who owns the entire intelligent network, so it can make promises by allocating channels. Instead we use the intelligence in our devices to assemble a whole out of the parts.

With the Internet approach we can mix and match technologies. Choosing a high-performance radio for a particular link should be an engineering choice. The idea that we need to deploy an entirely new technology everywhere along with a new business model harks back to the days when we had to replace the entire broadcast ecosystem just to add a new format like HDTV.

Perhaps 5G mania will force us to come to terms with the new landscape of best efforts connectivity and move beyond building a different intelligent network for each application.

For more on 5G see 5G (and Telecom) vs. The Internet

Written by Bob Frankston, Independent Internet Professional

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More under: Broadband, Networks, Telecom, Wireless

Categories: News and Updates

The Cuba Internet Task Force - a Win for Trump and Castro

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-01-30 19:10

President Obama began working on Cuban rapprochement during his 2009 presidential campaign. After over five years of thought and negotiation, the Whitehouse announced a major shift in Cuba policy, which included allowing telecommunications providers "to establish the necessary mechanisms, including infrastructure, in Cuba to provide commercial telecommunications and Internet services, which will improve telecommunications between the United States and Cuba."

When President Obama's trip to Cuba was announced, I speculated on possible Internet-related advances but was disappointed by the results. While in Cuba, the President held optimistic public meetings, and several Internet-related projects were announced, but, as far as I know, none of them materialized. Can we expect more from Trump?

Last summer, Trump said he would be changing our Cuba policy and I speculated on how it might affect the Internet, but could not think of anything reasonable. When he published his Cuba policy memorandum, one of its purposes was to restore Cuban's "right to speak freely, including through access to the Internet" and one of its goals was to "amplify efforts to support the Cuban people through the expansion of internet services."

Trump said he was "canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba," but his Internet policy sounded a lot like Obama's. The only concrete difference I saw was that Trump had ordered the State Department to convene a task force "to examine the technological challenges and opportunities for expanding internet access in Cuba."

Last week, the State Department issued a public invitation to attend the first meeting of that Cuba Internet Task Force on February 7th.

I called the State Department to ask whether the meeting would be streamed or archived and was told that it would not. I asked if they had any information on the meeting agenda, the charge of the task force and who the members were. They referred my questions to the Press office, but they did not answer.

We will hopefully learn more after the meeting, but what might Trump do? Will we see the laissez-faire Trump who promised Saudi Arabia that "America will not seek to impose our way of life on others" or some sort of digital Bay of Pigs like the failed smuggling of satellite equipment into Cuba, Zunzuneo or the Alan Gross affair?

My guess is that not much will happen — that this task force and the rest of Trump's Cuba policy is for domestic political consumption by anti-Castro politicians and voters. The Cuban government is also using the task force for domestic political consumption. Their reaction to its formation was predictable — saying that Cuba is being attacked by a powerful, hostile nation. Within a few days of the formation of the task force, many articles like this one were published by the Cuban government and allied publications like China's Xinhua and Russia's RT. (Perhaps rekindling the Cold War is part of making America great again).

Ironically, this task force is a political win for both Castro and Trump — autocracy thrives on fear and mistrust.

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

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Thoughts from NamesCon in Las Vegas

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2018-01-30 17:10

As NamesCon enters its third day, here are my thoughts from the conference.

NamesCon continues for its third day in Las Vegas today. There have been some cool events and sessions, and NamesCon is doing a great job recapping them on its website.

So instead of recaps, I’m going to talk about the mood…how people are thinking about domain names going forward.

There are a couple of recurring themes.

First, China is dead. That boom from a couple years ago has worked its way out of the system.

When you think about it, many of the Chinese domain name investors were treating domain names as cryptocurrencies. They were buying huge swathes of otherwise low-value domain names with the hopes that someone else would buy them for more money.

Now people are trading crytocurrencies with the same idea. The bet is that someone else will pay more money for the cryptocurrency at a later date.

The similarities are uncanny. You had lots of people in China pumping up domain names as an investment. There was even a coffee shop where you could learn how to get rich investing in domain names. People were telling other people how the value of these domains was going up and convinced them to buy so they wouldn’t be left out. Then some people gut stuck holding the bag.

At a bar last night, while having a conversation about cryptocurrency and blockchain, I overheard a conversation next to me. Some guy was telling his friend how he should get in on cryptocurrency.

Let’s see how that plays out.

The second overall theme is that the domain industry is stuck. How do we grow from here? What is there to get excited about?

I haven’t found that yet. It seems that we’re in a position of stable to slow growth. In fact, we might be in a short-term period of decline thanks to manufactured demand (e.g. penny domains) that is working its way out of the system.

From a domain investor perspective, I’m more optimistic. We don’t need overall registrations to grow. Investors just need to sell more of their domains. I’m hopeful that there are ways to do that, and it all comes down to making end users aware that they can buy domains that are already registered and helping them understand the value. That’s where companies like Afternic and Sedo are extremely important. Any company that makes people aware of the ability to buy domains and can help facilitate the transaction with minimum friction can help increase sales velocity.

Of course, you have to have good names to begin with if you want to sell them.


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The Rise of a Secondary Market for Domain Names (Part 2/4): Origins of the Competition

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-01-30 03:09

Before the Internet, the sole competition for strings of characters employable as marks was other businesses vying to use the same strings for their own products and services. National registries solved this competition by allowing businesses in different channels of commerce to register the same strings (Delta Airlines/Delta Faucets, Apple Computers/Apple Vacations, etc.) but prohibiting competitors in the same industries from using identical or confusingly similar marks on the grounds that they were likely (at best) to create confusion and (at worst) to deceive the public. Marks by which merchants, manufacturers, traders, and service providers are known are intended to be the exclusive names of the first users in commence, who have the legal right to seek to punish infringers.

However, the emergence of an investor class dedicated to acquiring addresses in cyberspace disrupted mark owners' privileged position by mining strings of lexical and numeric characters they thought had value separate from their value as marks (while not excluding the possibility that the strings also may be attractive to brands searching for marks). The domain business has grown from a niche into an industry which, like the real estate market (to which it has been analogized), has developed a range of secondary service providers (databases, brokers, escrow agents, etc.) established to perform due diligence, facilitate sales, mitigate risks, and assure smooth closings and transfers of property.

This secondary market in domain names matured over time to compete with businesses and mark owners in a way that could hardly have been imagined, and to some mark owners, continues to be bewildering. That there was tension between owners of trademarks and registrants of domain names became evident once the Internet began its ascendancy. This reached a point of urgency in 1998 with the publication of a United States Government White Paper analyzing the nature of the problem. [1] The White Paper led the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to convene panels of representatives from different constituencies and interests for a two-year study of issues arising from the intersection of trademarks and domain names. The consensus reached by these constituencies together with their reasoning and recommendations is contained in a Final Report published in 1999. [2]

The Final Report proposed a rights-protection mechanism for marks that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) implemented in the Fall of 1999 as the UDRP. In the same time frame, President Clinton signed into law an amendment to the Lanham Act, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), which created a statutory remedy for cybersquatting.

The Final Report, echoing the White Paper, found:

It has become apparent to all that a considerable amount of tension has unwittingly been created between, on the one hand, addresses on the Internet in a human-friendly form which carry the power of connotation and identification and, on the other hand, the recognized rights of identification in the real world. [3]

This tension, the Final Report continued, "has been exacerbated by a number of predatory and parasitical practices that have been adopted by some to exploit the lack of connection between the purposes for which the DNS was designed and those for which intellectual protection exists." [4] The intention (in the words of the Final Report) was "to find procedures that will avoid the unwitting diminution or frustration of agreed policies and rules for intellectual property protection." [5]

Important to bear in mind, however, is that there is a countervailing policy. WIPO also recognized that mark owners were not the only ones with rights:

[T]he goal of this WIPO Process is not to create new rights of intellectual property nor to accord greater protection to intellectual property in cyberspace than that which exists elsewhere. Rather, the goal is to give proper and adequate expression to the existing, multilaterally agreed standards of intellectual property protection in the context of the new, multijurisdictional and vitally important medium of the Internet...

There is nothing in the Final Report that specifically contemplates a secondary market in domain names. This point is underscored in a recent UDRP decision involving a combination of dictionary words "print" and "factory." A three-member Panel noted in denying an application for reverse domain name hijacking that "the domaining business was not an activity which was intended when the Domain Name System was created ... and trademark holders keep being surprised by speculative business models that are developed around the scarce resource that domain names are." [6] Although it was not intended, there was consensus that ownership of marks did not equate to a superior right to corresponding domain names absent proof of registration and use in bad faith.

In fact, the direction of domain name jurisprudence through dispute resolution under the UDRP has been to delineate and define the conflicting rights, and for marks, this delineation has turned out to be more confined than what some owners would have wished for — and from what had existed for hundreds of years before the Internet. This is apparent in a further statement in the Final Report, namely, that the emerging jurisprudence will be "concerned with defining the boundary between unfair and unjustified appropriation of another's intellectual creations or business identifiers." [7]

The situation I am describing mainly affects two types of complainants: owners of marks that are on the weak end of the spectrum and new businesses that are searching for the right mark or that may have already registered a mark but find that investors got there first by registering corresponding domain names that now are unavailable except at a market price. I do not include in my discussion owners of marks postdating the registration of corresponding domain names because they have no actionable claim for cybersquatting under the UDRP or the ACPA.

Endnotes:

[1] Statement of Policy on the Management of Internet Names and Addresses, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (June 5, 1998) (White Paper). The Policy is available on the Internet at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/1998/statement-policy-management-internet-names-and-addressesere.
[2] WIPO Final Report, supra note 3.
[3] Id. ¶ 22.
[4] Id. ¶ 23.
[5] Id. ¶ 34.
[6] Aurelon B.V. v. AbdulBasit Makrani, D2017-1679 (WIPO October 30, 2017).
[7] Id. ¶ 13.

Other parts in this series:

Part 1: A Tale of Competing Interests
Part 2: Origins of the Competition
Part 3: Domain Names as Virtual Real Estate
Part 4: Facilitating the Secondary Market

Originally published in Vol. 26, No. 3 of Bright Ideas (Winter 2017), a publication of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Written by Gerald M. Levine, Intellectual Property, Arbitrator/Mediator at Levine Samuel LLP

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More under: Domain Management, Domain Names

Categories: News and Updates

Opening Day Photos & Highlights from the 2018 NamesCon Global Conference in Las Vegas Sunday

DN Journal - Tue, 2018-01-30 00:01
The 2018 NamesCon Global conference got underway Sunday (January 28) at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. We have all of the opening day and night photos & highlights for you.
Categories: News and Updates

U.S. Gov: Whois info must remain available

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2018-01-29 21:25

New NTIA chief pushes back on effort to scale back Whois information.

David Redl, the new head of the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration, told an audience at State of the Net 2018 today that Whois data must remain available.

Speaking about efforts to obscure Whois information to comply with the EU’s new privacy law General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP), Redl said:

Here are the facts: the text of the GDPR balances the interests of cybersecurity, law enforcement, and consumer protection, and many European officials have noted that limited changes to the WHOIS would be necessary to achieve GDPR compliance. Still, there are some who are trying to take advantage of the situation by arguing that we should erect barriers to the quickly and easily accessible WHOIS information. Some have even argued that the service must go dark, and become a relic of the Internet’s history.

Today, I would like to be clear — the WHOIS service can, and should, retain its essential character while complying with national privacy laws, including the GDPR. It is in the interests of all Internet stakeholders that it does. And for anyone here in the U.S. who may be persuaded by arguments calling for drastic change, please know that the U.S. government expects this information to continue to be made easily available through the WHOIS service.

This seems to set up a battle with registrars and registries that have decided to reveal less information.

Also notable about the speech, Redl did not mention anything about “clawing back” the NTIA’s contractstate with ICANN that was relinquished under President Obama.

The full text of Redl’s comments is here.


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Wow, a U.S. Ministry of 5G

Domain industry news - Mon, 2018-01-29 19:16

This seemed to be the reaction this morning worldwide to the leaked alleged PowerPoint slides detailing the White House strategic options for a U.S. national 5G infrastructure. The gist of the slides has apparently been confirmed to Reuters by unnamed "Trump security team members."

The options apparently range between creating a U.S. Ministry of 5G resembling the old world of government Post, Telegraph and Telecommunication (PTT) agencies of bygone years, and sawing off the U.S. ICT infrastructures and services from the rest of the world. The pretext is China-phobia; and apparently, global multilateral venues of cooperation would be chucked for bilateral bullying arrangements.

Underlying this shocker revelation is a substantial degree of profound cluelessness about the real world, but that never stopped U.S. administrations from exhibiting their ignorance in the past; certainly not the current one. Washington has been content imbibing its own delusional internet Kool-Aid for the past 20 years, so why should Trump be any different. Just be a more delusional episode!

So the scoop here is that in the real world over the past five years, most of the world's major ICT companies have been busily working on a massive new global platform that enables the orchestration of network infrastructures on demand out of cloud data centres that goes by the unintelligible acronym NFV-SDN. The mobile radio access component is referred to as 5G.

Almost every company worldwide that matters has been engaged in virtually non-stop activities on a massive scale bringing about what is a development so compelling economically and as a collectively agreed global marketplace, that it has consumed significant resources of even the largest companies. The platform is poised to replace both the world's existing largest communication infrastructure — the commercial mobile networks — as well as cable networks, enterprise networks and a gaggle of other networks and services commonly referred to as "the internet."

So all of this has been occurring through constant large industry meetings all over the world within two principle umbrella bodies known as the NFV ISG (which coordinates about a dozen other bodies), and the 3GPP (which consists of 7 partner organizations and 20 component groups). Meanwhile, those intending to provide 5G access services have been busily negotiating spectrum licenses and allocation arrangements internationally via the ITU and domestically through regulatory bodies.

This massive effort also includes substantial activities in commercial company and institute R&D centres. The number of NFV related patents filed in every jurisdiction worldwide and scholarly published paper and conferences have all skyrocketed. Google Scholar finds 38,100 published NFV related papers. Google Patent finds 4,857 NFV related patents filed.

The national agencies of many countries have also been long participating in this work with varying levels of dedicated resources dealing with policies and national security. Needless to say, all of these activities have considerable arrays of "compliance obligation" activities embedded in the work, including cybersecurity, infrastructure protection, and supply chain management. Indeed, there are dedicated collaborative activities that in many cases meet almost weekly via international teleconferences. China and its major companies have wisely perceived the importance and scaled considerable resources to substantively participating across the entire spectrum of NFV-SDN/5G activities in almost every international industry body. China's experts work alongside companies, agencies, colleagues from other nations in these efforts.

The national government most prominently oblivious to all these developments is the United States. Anyone with simple assessments of publicly available meeting records or scans of agency websites for policy documents can see the obliviousness. Almost no one from a U.S. government agency attends or participates in the constant, large-scale dialogue on everything related to security, services, and architectures except in two very-minor areas: network forensics and emergency services. Even at the most recent ITU meetings to discuss needed new treaty provisions, the official U.S. position (with a straight face) is that there are no "new trends" as it eschews any multilateral cooperation on the subject.

The reasons for the U.S. government being "asleep at the helm" are largely due to Washington constantly living in its own delusional internet-centric world oblivious to the reality that that world has never existed and is now rapidly disappearing. "Give up U.S. oversight of the Internet?" Just how obtuse does one have to be to believe that assertion… much less that it somehow matters.

So now we see that the same Administration has just discovered that there is something called 5G and it is faced only with apocalyptic options because it does not have a clue about the subject matter and failed to collectively engage in what is plainly the biggest global networking development of all time. The U.S. might want to first find out a little more about the subject and look at how to best engage with the rest of the network world before disparaging other nations for doing for what it itself has failed to do and flailing about to create a walled network nation. There is still time to collaborate with the outside world, including its closest allies, and there is certainly a lot the U.S. government can contribute.

Written by Anthony Rutkowski, Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC

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More under: Networks, Policy & Regulation, Wireless

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Meet the man who spent $500k on Home.loans – DNW Podcast #171

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2018-01-29 16:30

Hear why Blake Janover paid $500k for home.loans.

Blake Janover just paid $500,000 to buy home.loans, a record price paid for a domain under new top level domain names. Is he crazy? Hear his story and listen to Blake explain his rationale for buying the domain name. Also: Crazy .club price, profitable domain company, UDRP fight, and GoDaddy goes to Austin.

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


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GoDaddy (finally) integrates Afternic into Domain Manager

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2018-01-29 15:18

Beta users can list and manage domain names from inside the GoDaddy Domain Manager.

GoDaddy has integrated the Afternic listing and management process into its domain manager.

It’s been a long time coming, but GoDaddy has finally integrated Afternic listings into the GoDaddy.com domain manager more than four years after the registrar bought Afternic.

Domain investors who pick up the unique domain appraisal system token at NamesCon will get access to the new beta Domain Manager that has the integration.

To begin the integration, users will enter their Afternic credentials to merge their Afternic account into GoDaddy. After this, all domain pricing and listing will take place from GoDaddy’s website.

This means that GoDaddy Premium Listings is on its way out. Premium Listings has been a bit redundant since GoDaddy acquired Afternic in 2013. But with GoDaddy’s 60 day lock and without a full Afternic integration, Premium Listings held on as a stopgap.

The old way of listing domains on Afternic that were just acquired at GoDaddy involved:

1. Log in and list at Afternic.
2. Domains that have transferred ownership at GoDaddy are locked for 60 days, so the Afternic fast transfer integration doesn’t go live yet. List on Premium Listings so the domain is active during the 60-day window.
3. After 60 days, get email from GoDaddy asking you to opt-in to fast transfer. Click and authentication required.

Now it will work like this:

1. Log in and list on GoDaddy.

That’s it. You will no longer have to click on a confirmation email. Domains will be added for sale on GoDaddy immediately and throughout the AfternicDLS network after 60 days.

There’s an additional benefit for domain owners. Many have been asking for for-sale only landers, and Afternic now offers them. Directly within the listing process, customers can choose to have the domain forward to an Afternic lander with an inquiry form and Afternic’s phone number.


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The post GoDaddy (finally) integrates Afternic into Domain Manager appeared first on Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News & Website Stuff.

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Categories: News and Updates

NamesCon Global Begins Today in Las Vegas But Early Birds From Around the World Settled in Saturday

DN Journal - Sun, 2018-01-28 14:47
The 5th annual NamesCon conference gets underway today in Las Vegas but the networking was already in full swing Saturday as early birds arrived throughout the day.
Categories: News and Updates

The Best Thing About Our Business Is the People: Braden Pollock Named Big Brother of the Year in Los Angeles

DN Journal - Fri, 2018-01-26 19:57
Braden Pollock has had a lot of success in the domain business but none of that is as gratifying to him as what has happened with his "little brother."
Categories: News and Updates

NamesCon Registration Prices go Up Tomorrorow

Domain Name News - Sat, 2013-11-30 18:57

What’s the perfect thing to do after celebrating Thanksgiving with your family? Get right back to work and plan for the new year. And to get into the domaining mood right in the new year, what’s better than a domain industry conference at a low price? Today’s the last day to get your NamesCon tickets for the event from January 13th to 15th in Las Vegas, NV for $199 + fees. Fees double tomorrow to $399.

Richard Lau, the organizer of the event told DNN: “We are at over 200 attendees already and expect to hit more than 400 at the conference. The opening party on Monday (6:30pm – 9pm) will be hosted by .XYZ at the Tropicana, and the Tuesday night party will be at the Havana Room at the Tropicana from 8pm-midnight.

With hotel prices as low of $79 a night +$10 resort fee at the Tropicana right on the strip this ‘no meal’ conference is shaping up to be the event for the industry in 2014.

The event has already attracted sponsors like:

Further sponsorships are available.

Keynote speakers are:

If you need another reason to attend – you even meet DomainNameNews in person there :)

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.DE Registry to add Redemption Grace Period (DENIC)

Domain Name News - Tue, 2013-11-26 19:49

As of December 3rd, 2013, DENIC, the operator of the .DE ccTLD will also introduce a Redemption Grace Period (RGP) that allows the original domain owner to recover their expired domain for up to 30 days after the expiry, the same as for gTLDs.

See the full press release after the jump.

Redemption Grace Period for .DE name space kicking off in early December

New cooling off phase to prevent unintentional domain loss

Effective 3 December 2013, the managing organization and central registry operator of the .DE top level domain, DENIC, will launch a dedicated cooling-off service (called Redemption Grace Period – RGP) which shall apply for all second-level domain names in the .DE name space. This procedure shall protect registrants against an unintentional loss of their domain(s), as a result of accidental deletion.

Under the RGP scheme, .DE domain names shall no longer be irretrievably lost, following deletion, but instead initially enter a subsequent 30-day cooling-off phase, during which they may solely be re- registered on behalf of their former registrant(s).

RGP cooling-off provisions shall allow former registrants to redeem registration of the subject domain names, by having recourse to the related Restore service, through a registrar. Only if no redemption is requested, during the 30-day RGP phase, the relevant domain names shall become available for registration by any interested party again. At the time being, similar regulations are applied by other top level domain registries already.

Registrars redeeming a deleted .DE domain name for the original registrant will have to pay a Restore fee and may pass on the related costings.

Deleted .DE domain names placed in cooling off, from RGP implementation, will be earmarked by a redemption period status in the DENIC lookup services (whois) accessible at www.denic.de.

As a consequence of the above measures, the current DENIC .DE domain guidelines shall be superseded by new, amended ones from the date of RGP launch, i.e. 3 December 2013, which shall then be permanently published at http://www.denic.de/en/domains/general-information/domain- guidelines.html.

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Categories: News and Updates

Andee Hill forms EscrowHill.com backed by Gregg McNair

Domain Name News - Mon, 2013-11-25 16:00

Andee Hill, who recently left Escrow.com where she was Director of Business Development, has created a new licensed escrow company, Escrow Hill Limited with he backing of entrepreneur Gregg McNair.

 

“When Andee told me she was thinking about forming her own escrow business I was immediately enthusiastic. I have a reputation of connecting some of the best people in our industry and Andee is at the top both professionally and as an amazing human being,” McNair said.

 

EscrowHill.com’s team includes Ryan Bogue as General Manager and Donald Hendrickson as Operations Manager. Both have worked in the business of online escrow under Hill’s direction for over fifteen years combined. Together with Hill’s experience the new team offers over thirty years of online escrow experience!

“During my fifteen years in this business, I have handled just about every aspect of online escrow. Regardless of my title, I have always known that understanding the client’s needs and providing excellent and secure service is invaluable. I have been fortunate to work with the industry innovator from day one. I have seen what works and what doesn’t. I have been even more fortunate to have created great relationships and trust with industry leaders. At EscrowHill.com I know I can do an even better job,” Hill said.

“Gregg has earned a strong reputation for honesty, integrity and for successfully making businesses work. He also has incredible enthusiasm and a heart for helping others. All are key factors in me wanting Gregg to support my endeavor at EscrowHill.com,” Hill continued.

McNair has assumed the non-operational role of Chairman, supporting Hill and her team with whatever it takes to build the best escrow business on the planet.

Marco Rinaudo, Founder and CEO of domain registrar Internet.bs, another one of Gregg McNairs investments,  has been appointed CTO of EscrowHill.com. Rinaudo, who has been a leader in the international hosting and registrar space since 1995, said, “EscrowHill.com is formed and supported by the very best people in the industry. Our team has built the most sophisticated on-line internet escrow platform, fully automated and with more advanced security features than any other.

See the full press release after the jump.

Andee Hill forms EscrowHill.com

AUCKLAND NZ: One aspect of the domain space that bridges the whole industry is that of escrow; and the one person better known than any other in that context is the former Director of Business Development at Escrow.com, Ms. Andee Hill.

Ms. Hill has established the licensed international escrow enterprise, Escrow Hill Limited with the backing of long time friend and industry entrepreneur, Gregg McNair.

“When Andee told me she was thinking about forming her own escrow business I was immediately enthusiastic. I have a reputation of connecting some of the best people in our industry and Andee is at the top both professionally and as an amazing human being,” McNair said.

EscrowHill.com’s dream team includes Ryan Bogue as General Manager and Donald Hendrickson as Operations Manager. Both have worked in the business of online escrow under Hill’s direction for over fifteen years combined. Together with Hill’s experience the new team offers over thirty years of online escrow experience!

The domain industry is undergoing incredible change and EscrowHill.com is positioned to provide secure, yet flexible, state of the art products and services. EscrowHill.com will be able to meet the needs of both past and future generations of domain buyers, brokers and sellers. Hill’s reputation as an honest, discreet and hard working professional will now aspire to a new level.

“During my fifteen years in this business, I have handled just about every aspect of online escrow. Regardless of my title, I have always known that understanding the client’s needs and providing excellent and secure service is invaluable. I have been fortunate to work with the industry innovator from day one. I have seen what works and what doesn’t. I have been even more fortunate to have created great relationships and trust with industry leaders. At EscrowHill.com I know I can do an even better job,” Hill said.

“Gregg has earned a strong reputation for honesty, integrity and for successfully making businesses work. He also has incredible enthusiasm and a heart for helping others. All are key factors in me wanting Gregg
to support my endeavor at EscrowHill.com,” Hill continued.

McNair has assumed the non-operational role of Chairman, supporting Hill and her team with whatever it takes to build the best escrow business on the planet.

Marco Rinaudo, Founder and CEO of Internet.bs has been appointed CTO of EscrowHill.com. Rinaudo, who has been a leader in the international hosting and registrar space since 1995, said, “EscrowHill.com is formed and supported by the very best people in the industry. Our team has built the most sophisticated on-line internet escrow platform, fully automated and with more advanced security features than any other.

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Categories: News and Updates

Inaugural Heritage Auctions Domain Event in New York City – Live Results

Domain Name News - Thu, 2013-11-21 23:55

We were will be live blogging the results of the inaugural Heritage Auctions Domain Event in New York City today. There are no guarantees that this list is correct or complete as this are not official or officially approved results.

The auction sold 26 out of the 68 domains for a total of $419,970. Domains that did not sell in the live auction will be available on Heritage Auction’s website for two weeks at their reserve price as a Buy it Now price.

The top 5 sales of this auction were:

  1. XZ.com for $138,000
  2. Animation.com for $112,125
  3. Hemisphere.com for $34,500
  4. AIE.com for $23,000, BusinessPhone.com for $23,000
  5. Numismatics.com for $17,250

Please note that all domains occur a 15% bidder premium, noted in our total and in the last column of the table below. See the full live blogged results after the jump.

 

Lot #Domain NameReserveSold?Sale PricePrice w/ Commission 87001DupontCircle.com$7,000SOLD$7,000$8,050.00 87002OJX.comno reserveSOLD$3,666$4,215.90 87003CoinCompany.comno reserveSOLD$1,600$1,840.00 87004DoctorateDegree.com$10,000SOLD$11,500.00 87005ChicagoWine.comno reservepass 87006Animation.com$95,000SOLD$97,500$112,125.00 87007KCY.com$7,000pass 87008FXTrading.com$25,000pass 87009SellShort.com$6,000SOLD$6,000$6,900.00 87010Dayton.com$95,000pass 87011Coins.ca$35,000pass 87012Comics.ca$20,000pass 87013AIE.com$20,000SOLD$20,000$23,000.00 87014ZQF.comno reserveSOLD$3750$4,312.50 87015EqualRights.com$15,000pass 87016DVDs.com$50,000pass 87017CommercialArt.com$3,888pass 87018Burbank.net$5,000pass 87019FFQ.com$3,500SOLD$5,000$5,750.00 87020Numismatics.com$15,000SOLD$15,000$17,250.00 87021Charge.me$3,000pass 87022BusinessPhones.com$20,000SOLD$20,000$23,000.00 87023AKU.com$20,000pass 87024Sociology.com$40,000pass 87025SellGoldCoins.com$2,000SOLD$2,600$2,990.00 87026KFX.com$8,000pass 87027Marilyn.com$30,000pass 87028NL.com$385,000pass 87029ExecriseGloves.com$1,500SOLD$1,500$1,725.00 87030Keynesian.com$30,000pass 87031CakeMix.com$10,000pass 87032NumismaticsBlog.com$500pass 87033MutualFunds.com$1,000,000pass 87034GIU.com$6,500SOLD$6,500$7,475.00 87035BulkDiapers.comno reserveSOLD$500$575.00 87036Hemisphere.com$30,000SOLD$30,000$34,500.00 87037Alexandria.com$200,000pass 87038Downline.com$10,000pass 87039ActiveStocks.comno reserveSOLD$850$977.50 87040TheCoinBlog.comno reserveSOLD$325$373.75 87041Bicycle.com$200,000pass 87042HJR.com$9,300pass 87043FootballUniforms.com$18,000pass 87044Suit.com$95,000pass 87045OJQ.com$4,500pass 87046GradedCards.com$1,500SOLD$1,500$1,725.00 87047BasketballMemorabilia.com$1,500pass 87048VJZ.com$4,500pass 87049SmartTVs.com$5,000SOLD$5,500$6,325.00 87050GolfLessons.com$75,000pass 87051JazzBlog.comno reservepass 87052MyCoinCollection.com$500SOLD$600$690.00 87053Tie.com$100,000pass 87054UncutDiamonds.com$3,000pass 87055QR.com$200,000pass 87056NewTees.comno reserveSOLD$250$287.50 87057WOJ.com$6,500pass 87058FootballlEquipment.com$2,500pass 87059ItalianSuits.com$10,000pass 87060LuxuryBags.com$40,000pass 87061KCJ.com$9,300pass 87062SwissChronograph.com & SwissChronographs.comno reserveSOLD$550$632.50 87063PX.net$10,000pass 87064CurrencyExchange.com$220,000pass 87065DiveSuits.comno reserveSOLD$500$575.00 87066OpalEarrings.com$3,500pass 87067XZ.com$120,000SOLD$120,000$138,000.00 87068PHQ.com$3,500SOLD$4,500$5,175.00 !ERROR! E2 does not contain a number or expression!ERROR! F2 does not contain a number or expression Auction Total$419,970

 

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Buenos Aires Airport closure leaves many ICANN 48 attendees stranded

Domain Name News - Fri, 2013-11-15 15:27

As the 48th ICANN meeting is set to start in Buenos Aires, many of the attendees were stranded today in Montevideo, Uruguay  and other South American airports due to an airport closure in Buenos Aires. An Austral Embraer ERJ-190 on behalf of Air Austral/Aerolineas Argentina coming from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), overrun the runway and only came to a halt after the nose of the machine had hit the localizer antenna about 220 meters/730 feet past the runway end at 5:45 local time this morning (UTC-3). None of the 96 passengers was injured and they were all taken to the terminal. According to reporting of the airport there was a cold front passing through the area at the time. The airline reports that the incident occurred due to a sudden change in wind direction and speed.

Flights into the aiport resumed again after about three hours, but some attendees will now only arrive tomorrow. DNN was not able to confirm if any ICANN 48 attendees were on the flight itself.

 

[via AVHerald and the ICANN Social Group on Facebook, picture posted on twitter by @JuanMCornejo]

 

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Demand Media to Spin Off Domain Registration Business into RightSide [Press Release]

Domain Name News - Tue, 2013-11-05 15:25

As already predicted by Andrew over at DNW:

Demand Media Announces Key Executives and Name for Proposed Domain Services Company

Company Will Lead Expansion of Generic Top Level Domains under Rightside Brand; Taryn Naidu Selected as Incoming CEO

November 05, 2013 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–()–Demand Media, Inc. (NYSE: DMD), a leading media and domain services company, today announced that Taryn Naidu, who currently serves as Demand Media’s Executive Vice President of Domain Services, will become the CEO and a Director of the newly formed domain services company that is proposed to be spun off from Demand Media. Demand Media also announced that it has selected the name Rightside Group, Ltd. (“Rightside”) for the spun off domain services business.

“It’s an exciting time for us, as new gTLDs start going live this year and our path to becoming an independent public company as a leader in our industry progresses.”

Rightside will be a Kirkland, WA based technology and services company for the Internet domain industry. The company will advance the way consumers and businesses define and present themselves online through a comprehensive technology platform making it possible to discover, register, develop, and monetize domain names. Rightside will play a leading role in the historic launch of new generic Top Level Domains, and the name represents a new way to navigate the Internet, while establishing the new company as the one to guide users in the right direction. It’s everything to the right of the dot – and beyond.

Taryn Naidu, who has led Demand Media’s domain services business since 2011 will become Chief Executive Officer of Rightside, upon completion of the separation. Additionally, Rightside executive management will include Wayne MacLaurin as Chief Technology Officer and Rick Danis as General Counsel. David Panos will be appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Shawn Colo, Demand Media’s Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, will be appointed as a Director of Rightside in connection with the separation.

“Establishing the leadership team and brand identity of the proposed new company marks an important milestone in achieving our plan to separate our business into two distinct market leaders,” said Demand Media Interim President and Chief Executive Offer Shawn Colo. “I am pleased to announce a very strong executive team led by Taryn. This team has a wealth of industry experience, has played an integral role in building the largest wholesale domain registrar and is driving the transformation of this business into one of the largest end-to-end domain name service providers in the world.”

“Rightside’s mission will be to help millions of businesses and consumers define and present themselves online. We’re able to deliver on this through our distribution network of more than 20,000 active partners, one of the leading domain services technology platforms, a large number of applications for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), and a deep bench of industry talent,” said Taryn Naidu, newly designated incoming Chief Executive Officer of Rightside. “It’s an exciting time for us, as new gTLDs start going live this year and our path to becoming an independent public company as a leader in our industry progresses.”

About Rightside

Rightside plans to inspire and deliver new possibilities for consumers and businesses to define and present themselves online. The company will be a leading provider of domain name services, offering one of the industry’s most comprehensive platforms for the discovery, registration, development, and monetization of domain names. This will include 15 million names under management, the most widely used domain name reseller platform, more than 20,000 distribution partners, an award-winning retail registrar, the leading domain name auction service and an interest in more than 100 new Top Level Domain applications. Rightside will be home to some of the most admired brands in the industry, including eNom, Name.com, United TLD and NameJet (in partnership with Web.com). Headquartered in Kirkland, WA, Rightside will have offices in North America and Europe. For more information please visit www.rightside.co.

About Demand Media

Demand Media, Inc. (NYSE: DMD) is a leading digital media and domain services company that informs and entertains one of the internet’s largest audiences, helps advertisers find innovative ways to engage with their customers and enables publishers, individuals and businesses to expand their online presence. Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, Demand Media has offices in North America, South America and Europe. For more information about Demand Media, please visit www.demandmedia.com

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