[DNS] domain name news - January 14

[DNS] domain name news - January 14

From: David Goldstein <goldstein_david§yahoo.com.au>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 22:10:38 -0800 (PST)
Don't forget to check out http://auda.org.au/domain-news/ for today's edition of the complete domain news, including an RSS feed - already online!

Headlines from the January 17 edition of the news include:
Domain Name Law and Regulation Seminar & Book Launch in Melbourne | Open consultation on the forthcoming launch of IDNs under the .eu TLD - Eurid survey | nz: InternetNZ paper on Liability of ISPs for Thid Party Content by Mauricio Freitas | Another Estonia Cyberattack | .ca domain name disputes on the rise | Report reveals two thirds top online retailers cybersquatted | Was Network Solutions front running, or just bad PR? | Network Solutions is getting better by Jay Westerdal

And see my website - http://technewsreview.com.au/ - for daily updates in between postings.


The domain name news is supported by auDA


Chairman of cyberspace has right stuff

ICANN Accountability and Transparency Document Released

ICANN: Global Policy Proposal for Remaining IPv4 Address Space ? Background Report

'Dashboard' Allows Window into ICANN Performance

Do you believe in Transition? by Paul Levins

One million .fr domain names

Domain-Name Disputes at an All-Time High

Expert: Alta. premier won't win web fight

us: Adding an 'e' before a trademark in a domain name is dilution

Domain Name Front Running Practice Criticized [AP]

Network Solutions may change controversial domain-name policy

Network Solutions amends Net registration process

Are Registries Aiding And Abetting Front Running?

After furor, Network Solutions stands by name policy [IDG]

Understanding Search Usability - Part 2

Internet Governance: The Issue, The Myths, The Problems, The Solutions by Veni Markovski
I have written a short paper on the topic of Internet Governance. Since it includes a number of resources, it would be easier for me to just point to a link with the document itself.

Will there really be a new Russian Internet? by Veni Markovski
There have been some reports in the past few days about possible ?division? of the Internet in Russia, tied in with speculation that the forthcoming Cyrillic domain names will be used to grant the Russian government more control over its citizens. The source of this speculation appears to be an article published in UK newspaper The Guardian. That article was then reproduced in a number of Russian news articles, most of them quoting a direct translation published by SecurityLab.

World wide web - for how much longer?
There has recently been some suggestion of governments attempting to control their citizens? access to the Internet. In Russia, the government is reportedly planning to create a web that operates in the Cyrillic alphabet and is independent from the rest of the Internet and the Japanese communications ministry is recommending that their government starts regulating the internet by 2010, in response to concerns over libellous flaming on forums.


Chairman of cyberspace has right stuff
Wellington lawyer Peter Dengate Thrush might seem an unlikely choice to head an international internet governance body. New Zealand, after all, is hardly a cyberspace superpower - we have yet to produce a Google, Amazon or MySpace.

Reforming the DisGrace Period by Larry Seltzer
Opinion: Another step has been taken on the long, plodding path to maybe addressing the problem of Domain Tasting. ICANN GNSO has been studying the problem of Domain Tasting for months now in their usual thorough manner. I wrote about the study several months ago and said I expected no prompt action. They have gotten to the point of issuing an initial report. This report discusses the input received by the GNSO during the study.

Internet to fight domain 'name tasting'
ICANN is taking a preliminary step toward combating domain name tasting - the online equivalent of buying expensive clothes on a charge card only to return them for a full refund after wearing them to a party.

The F Root Agreement: Formalized Informality by Milton Mueller
The root server agreement between ICANN and ISC was published yesterday. As "agreements" go, this is a good one -- by which we mean, it reflects a peer relationship between ICANN and the root server operator and does no harm to the status quo, which is flexible and distributed. The contract, labelled a "Mutual Responsibilities Agreement" (MRA), constitutes a massive concession to distributed authority over the root server system. ICANN's Board should support it.

NRO and ICANN Reaffirm Commitment to Relationship [news release]
In December 2007, the Number Resource Organization (NRO) and ICANN exchanged letters reaffirming their commitment to formalizing the legal relationship between the two organizations. The NRO letter, jointly-signed by the executives of the five Regional Internet Registries, stated the NRO's commitment to supporting ICANN, sought ICANN's acknowledgement of certain aspects of the role of the NRO, and committed to a deadline of one (1) year for formalizing the legal arrangements between the two organizations.

Web domains in Russian, Arabic, and Chinese to spring up?
At the moment, whatever language you speak, you have to enter a Web address in the English alphabet. An Internationalised Domain Name (or IDN) contains characters from non-Latin scripts like Russia's Cyrillic. It's a pilot project led by ICANN, a public-private partnership, which guides internet policy on web addresses.

ICANN Accountability and Transparency Document Released
ICANN released a final draft of a key accountability document that has been amended to incorporate additional community input, including that of the Governmental Advisory Committee. The Frameworks and Principles on Accountability and Transparency document has been in development since late 2006.

ICANN: Global Policy Proposal for Remaining IPv4 Address Space ? Background Report
Introduction: The development of Global Internet Number Resource Policies is the subject of an MoU between ASO/NRO and ICANN. There are also specific ICANN Board Procedures for handling global policy proposals in this context. The Board procedures also state that the Board can request ICANN staff to undertake an ?early awareness? tracking of proposals for global policies under development in the addressing community. At its meeting on 20 November 2007, the Board resolved to request such tracking of the development of a global policy proposal for allocation of remaining IPv4 address space, currently being discussed in the Regional Internet Registries, or RIRs. The status overview presented below is compiled in response to this request and will be timely updated as developments proceed, for information to ICANN entities and the wider community.

'Dashboard' Allows Window into ICANN Performance
ICANN released the first version of a new 'Dashboard' that will offer measurements of ICANN's performance in numerous areas across the organization. "At this stage the ?Dashboard? has reports from Finance, IANA, and IETF request queue. We are looking for community feedback on this tool and will expand the reports available over time," said Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN's President and CEO.

Possible ?Next Steps? in Dispute Resolution - Document released by ICANN for Public Notice
Following the posting of the Frameworks and Principles for Accountability and Transparency, ICANN published a document that countenances some possible additional improvements in dispute resolution mechanisms.

Joint Project Agreement - ICANN's response
The Joint Project Agreement between the United States government and ICANN will have a mid-term review in March. As part of this review, the US government put out a Notice of Inquiry asking for comments on the continued transition to the private sector of the technical coordination and management of the Internet?s domain name and addressing system (DNS). ICANN has responded to this call with several documents: a section in our Annual Report; a letter of submission; and a table of achievements.

Do you believe in Transition? by Paul Levins
The ICANN Blog blog is one year old. What better way to celebrate that fact than by telling you about ICANN?s latest report card. Usually you get a report card when you transition from one grade or semester to another. This report card is all about transition too.

 - (cc)TLD NEWS
CENTR Roundup December 2007
CENTR have released their December 2007 round-up covering member ccTLD updates, CENTR surveys and domain statistics.

.cy (Cyprus) price reduction
.cy cc TLD announces new reduced fees for the license to use a domain name under .cy from 01/01/2008.

Spanish characters for .INFO
Registry Afilias adds Spanish characters to the list of localized character sets which can be registered in .INFO.

One million .fr domain names
France is the latest of the ccTLDs to reach the one million .fr registrations. The milestone was reached on January 11.

fr: France joins the millionaire club
The French extension is the latest country code Top Level Domain to reach one million domain names.

Luxembourg to Offer Investor-friendly Legal Environment for Domain Names by Patrick Vande Walle
EuroDNS, the Luxembourg registrar, used its well attended New Year party last Wednesday to invite the Minister of Telecoms, Jean-louis Schiltz to talk about a law voted at the end of December 2007. According to the Finance and Budget Commission Report on Draft Law 5801, Revenues generated from use of, or license to use, a Domain Name are exempted from Luxembourg corporate taxes up to 80%.

mobi postpones premium-auction re-run
.mobi logoToday .mobi announced on their blog that they are postponing the controversial auction re-run, originally scheduled for January 23rd, 2008. According to the registry the auction was postponed in order also collect further suggestions and comments, which are to be emailed to premium&#167;mtld.mobi.

Update on Sunrise Numerical .nl Domains [news release]
In the sunrise for numerical domain names the validation of the applications has started. With regard to the number of domain names for which we received more than one application the notary public will prior to the validation determine by lottery which application will be validated first.

Policy review of the NZ Domain Dispute Resolution Service
The .nz Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) has been in effect for about a year and a half now and over that time 90 valid complaints were received whereby 26 proceeded to an expert determination and 21 of those resulted in a decision to transfer or cancel the domain.

Keeping .nz running
So who are the parties responsible for keeping the .nz domain space up an running smoothly? InternetNZ owns the .nz domain name registry and manages the .nz domain name system through the Domain Name Commission.

pl: Domain names secondary market
An increasing proportion of almost 800,000 Internet names with the ?.pl? suffix is a part of the so called secondary market. Growth perspectives, possible threats and potential of the Polish domain market will be the topics discussed by participants of the first conference of this kind, entitled ?Domain Names Secondary Market in Poland?, to be held on January 25 in Warsaw.

.tr registration applications from abroad [news release]
We would like to inform all our users that based on the decision DNS Working Group determined at their latest meeting took place on December 13th, 2007 the policies and rules in regards to foreign applications are changed. In accordance with the modifications, ".tr" registration applications which are made based on the foreign originated documents by individuals or legal entities established abroad, applicants are requested to prove that the phrase/name/letter string chosen as the domain name is either used in Turkey by the rightful owner (or the authorized company/individual) or they are in business venture to do so.

An Inside Look at the Russian Business Network
A new white paper published by the nonprofit botnet-tracker Shadowserver Foundation sheds some light on one segment of activity on the Russian Business Network (RBN). Shadowserver released its findings on malware associated with the so-called AS40989 group of interconnected IP networks on the RBN. Shadowserver gathered nearly 3,000 sample pieces of malware -- including Gozi, Goldun, Hupigon, Nurech, Nuklus, Pinch, Sinowal, Tibs, Xorpix, as well as dialers, downloaders, worms, adware, page hijackers, and proxies -- that communicated with the AS40989 network via HTTP connections.

Domain-Name Disputes at an All-Time High
Any securitization lawyers out there looking for work? We?ve got a suggestion. Litigate domain-name disputes! We love domain-name disputes. You know, like when Nutrisystem files a complaint against some cybersquatter who registered www.nutrisystems.com? Or the when F. Hoffmann-La Roche, the maker of Valium, files a grievance against someone who registered www.prescriptionvalium.com? Or when The Donald goes after some dude who registered www.trumptajmahal.com?

Expert: Alta. premier won't win web fight
But according to Michael Geist, Carleton University's Canada Research Chair on Internet and E-Commerce Law, Canada defends critics who use the domain names of people they're criticizing. "We've seen other cases at the federal level: Don Boudria, David McGuinty, both found their domains registered by the Defend Marriage Coalition, an opponent of same-sex marriage, when they were in favour of it," Geist said.

ca: Expert expects preem to lose domain lawsuit
He's one of Canada's foremost experts and he says Premier Ed Stelmach is probably going to lose, big time, partly because he's not well known. No, he's not talking about Stelmach's prospects in an election; but Michael Geist does think Steady Eddie would be barking up the wrong blog if he takes on local writer David Cournoyer over the use of www.edstelmach.ca.

Fake Stelmach profile appears on Facebook
In the wake of this week's Ed Stelmach domain-name fiasco, a fictitious profile of the premier appeared on Facebook yesterday morning. 

Steady Eddie's website woes
An unregistered domain name was just the beginning of Ed Stelmach?s online woes this week. On Tuesday, University of Alberta student Dave Cournoyer announced that he had received a legal threat from the premier for registering the web domain EdStelmach.ca and using it for his political blog.

ca: A name is his domain, says Alberta premier [CBC News]
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is defending his decision to send lawyers after a young blogger who owns the domain name edstelmach.ca.

Alberta premier has no regrets about legal threats against young blogger [Canadian Press]
... Media commentators denounced the premier as being heavy-handed and other bloggers quickly offered messages of support.

us: Adding an 'e' before a trademark in a domain name is dilution
Defendant was using evisa.com. Visa International Service Association sued and won: Defendant?s use of the EVISA mark weakens the ability of the VISA mark to identify its respective goods and services because internet users who enter the domain name evisa.com are not brought to Plaintiff?s website.

Domain name dealer beats Maestro in dispute over maestro.co.uk
Payment card firm Maestro International has failed in its attempt to gain control of the domain name maestro.co.uk. The MasterCard subsidiary lost an appeal against a ruling in favour of a man who owns many other domain names that match famous brands.

Showdown Looms Over Pirated-Media Directory
... Rather than operate underground, The Pirate Bay's operators court publicity. Last year, they gained control of an Internet domain name used by the International Federation of Phonographic Industries, a music trade group that is essentially the international version of the Recording Industry Association of America. The site, www.ifpi.com, was redubbed the International Federation of Pirate Interests. The London-based IFPI got the domain name back last month.

Typosquatters ringing alarm bells
A growing number of websites are hoping you can't spell. According to a report released last month by McAfee, a US-based internet security company, more and more companies in the Middle East are trying to attract people to their websites by a tactic known as typo-squatting. It involves registering domain names with typographical errors, such as www.dubizzzle.com. The original website has only two 'z's.

us: Judge rules against highway patrol union
A judge says the union representing New Hampshire's highway patrol officers commitment trademark infringement when it registered Web site names similar to the one used by the New Hampshire Troopers Association.

us: False Web site may bring suit
A Web site registered to an Ellensburg man is posting phony information about Ellensburg?s National Art Show & Auction that may lead to a civil lawsuit.

A stolen domain highlights new web risks
As firms increasingly turn to the cloud for their computing needs, securing the desktop is no longer enough: The rise of hosted services is giving new opportunities to malware. Consider the case of blogger David Airey. Late last year he had an unpleasant surprise. His domain name had been transferred to a criminal without his knowledge. An email to the new owner resulted in a demand for money. In the meantime, his site had disappeared from the internet, and although he could start a new site, he had lost his Google search rank.

Domain Name Front Running Practice Criticized [AP]
Network Solutions is facing criticisms for holding some in reserve as a consumer-protection measure, a move that also prevents interested parties from shopping around for better prices.

Network Solutions stands by controversial name policy [IDG]
After testing the concept in December, the domain name registration company quietly began doing this over the past weekend. Potential customers who used the company's "Find a domain" search engine would suddenly find the domain names they had been searching for were registered to Network Solutions itself, making them temporarily unable to purchase the domain from another provider.

NSI's New Domain Search 'Reserve' Policy Continues to Evolve
After 5 days of controversy, sniping, public relations statements and damage control, Network Solutions (NSI) has attempted to address the growing firestorm over allegations of Domain Name Front Running (DNFR). To be sure, there will still be debate about whether NSI was ever really motivated to protect consumers by reserving searched domains for 4 of the 5 day grace period. Certainly, NSI was also protecting itself against the prospect that consumers would use their domain availability search service and then register available domains with less expense registrar (no doubt a common occurrence).

Network Solutions may change controversial domain-name policy
Domain-name registrar Network Solutions Inc. may back off its controversial new policy of automatically reserving a domain name once it has been the subject of a search on its Web site. ... "We're making refinements to the protection measure and there are discussions about giving people the option [of letting us hold the domain name], but right now we're holding it for four days," said Network Solutions spokeswoman Susan Wade. 

Network Solutions amends Net registration process
Network Solutions ... has stepped back from some controversial elements of a new registration process. Network Solutions had implemented some changes in an attempt to curtail "front-running," a process in which a company registers a domain name as soon as somebody searches to see if it's available; front-running can turn a registrar into the exclusive holder of a domain and therefore potentially charge more for it than locked-out competing registrars.

Are Registries Aiding And Abetting Front Running?
... Respectfully, this is spin. As many of those up in arms about this have pointed out, Network Solutions is effectively saying ?we?re pre-emptively front running to help prevent others from front running?. My guess is most people would say ?thanks but no thanks?. I?m concerned however about an aspect of Susan Wade?s statement that others haven?t made much of, namely that registries are involved in Front Running.

NetSol Domain Registration Practice Criticized [AP]
In October, ICANN launched a probe into domain name front running and likened it to a stock broker buying or selling shares ahead of a client's trade, in anticipation of a movement in price. That is what Network Solutions is accused of doing with a new registration service that registers a domain for four days following a customer's search.

Network Solutions Slammed for New Domain Policy
Many are saying that Network Solutions is "front running" -- a scheme used by domain-name scammers to register domain names only to sell them later for higher prices than the initial fees. A Network Solutions spokesperson denied that its new policy is equivalent to front running because the company is not trying to profit from the resale of names.

InfoWorld Daily Podcast
Networks Solutions stands firm on practice of automatically generating domain names that have been searched for, EU drops antitrust probe into Apple, former OLPC CTO looks to create $75 laptop, and more listen LISTEN!

Watching the registrars
... First, how could NSI management condone such obviously unethical and dubious business practices? Perhaps they just can't help themselves; there's a long and ugly corporate history of registry service mismanagement, which includes not preventing domain name piracy, frequently making serious administrative mistakes that cost users insane amounts of time and money . . . it goes on and on. Second, why doesn't ICANN do something about NSI? Why is it that ICANN is so ridiculously wimpy about reining in the mismanagement and abuse of registry services that NSI seems to indulge in regularly?

Network Solutions defends frontrunning?to stop frontrunners
Domain registrar Network Solutions has come under fire this week for what some believe is "domain name frontrunning." The practice resulted in Network Solutions registering a previously-unregistered domain to itself immediately after someone searched for it, then holding the domain for four days before it could be purchased by someone else or at another registrar. But the company claims that it's merely trying to protect customers from others doing exactly that. Until there is more regulation over frontrunning from ICANN, this is the best it can come up with.

Network Solutions games net domain biz
Network Solutions is front running domain name registrations, temporarily preventing competitors from selling domains that web users show interest in. But the popular registrar insists this is merely a way of preventing others from front running.

After furor, Network Solutions stands by name policy [IDG]
Network Solutions is standing by its controversial policy of automatically registering some domain names that are the subject of searches on the company's Web site.

Tucows CEO on Network Solutions, Front Running
It?s been a few days since news first broke about Network Solutions? new practice of reserving any domain searched for on its site. A lot of industry observers have weighed in on the practice, but most registrars have been relatively quiet.

Domain registrations peak in new year rush
Sales of new domain names have spiked for the third year in a row this January, as businesses rush to register their company name in the new year. Domain name registration company Amenworld.com said it had seen a consistent rise in domain name sales in January and February since 2005, as people starting businesses as new year?s resolutions register their company?s online presence.

Prominent Nigeria bank domain expires
I have had to blog a few times about domain names of important Nigerian institutions expiring. I never imagined that a day would come when I would blog about a bank not renewing its domain name on time.

Athens Olympic Games website lost for a pittance
Internet users wishing to find information on the Athens 2004 Olympic Games are no longer able to access its official website after the government failed to renew the rights to the domain name.

EuroDNS Applauds the Consequences of the Law of 21 December 2007 on the Domain Name Industry [news release]
A key player in the Domain Name market for more than five years, EuroDNS is proud to operate from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, first European Member State to offer an investor-friendly legal environment for Domain Names

All-Star Lineup Headlines DOMAINfest Global Agenda
DomainSponsor, the domain monetization business of Oversee.net and organizing party of DOMAINfest Global, a premier conference for the domain industry, today announced the final DOMAINfest agenda, which features global experts who will cover all aspects of the domain industry. The event takes place at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, California from January 21-23, 2008. The agenda and speaker information are available on the event website at www.domainfest.com.

Understanding Search Usability - Part 2
In part 1 of Understanding Search Usability, Shari Thurow looked at search usability and the wide variety of search behaviors it addresses. SEO professionals tend to focus on query-related behavior, and web site usability professionals tend to focus on browsing behaviors. When both groups open their eyes and realize that all of these search behaviors are related, then real progress can be made toward creating and maintaining a search-friendly, user-friendly web site that converts visitors into buyers, subscribers, attendees, students, or [insert desired target user group].

Domain Name Selection for SEO
The Registration of domain names is a thriving business on the Internet today - this is evident by the high bids that companies are willing to pay in Per-Per-Click (PPC) engines to attract potential customers for domain name registration.

Building brands with the perfect domain names [reg req'd]
When Gregg Weiss wanted to create a customer-focused Web site for those looking to build pools, he considered the ideal domain names that would logically draw traffic. The result is FreePoolQuotes.com. Launched in December 2006, the URL steers visitors to a site that provides information, links and forms that people can fill out to find a local pool contractor.

Long Island Domain Name, LongIsland.info Up for Sale on Ebay
What could be Long Island?s most precious piece of net real estate left is up for sale on the world commerce site Ebay. LongIsland.info, a domain name and web site with clear appeal to any business or person located on Long Island is currently being offered up for sale buy it?s owners on the popular auction site with bidding opening up at just $1,000.00.

'Ilovemusiccity.com' domain name rights will go to highest bidder
The Internet domain name "ilovemusiccity.com" is up for grabs. Nashville's Ashley Hayes has owned the domain since 1999 and says she doesn't have the time to give it the attention it deserves to reach its full potential.

DomainTools Auction Sells $30,000 in Domains
DomainTools' January auction has concluded with lackluster results. Based on sales completed during the live portion of the auction, I calculate $31,800 in sales with a median price of $1,000. Domains are still available for purchase, however, and the number will increase before everything is said in done. Already a couple late bids have been received.

Porn.fr sells for ?30,000
The domain name porn.fr sold recently for ?30,000 through Sedo according to a report in G?n?ration-NT.com (in French). The article notes there is still a large gap between .com and .fr with the prices paid for domain names, but Sedo suggest there are good bargains to be had in the .fr ccTLD.

Valuable French domains
Porn.fr has just been sold for 30 000 euros, making it the most expensive .FR in documented history.

Web 2.0 and User-Generated Content: legal challenges in the new frontier by Dr Carlisle George & Dr Jackie Scerri [Warwick University Journal of Information, Law & Technology]
Abstract: The advent of Web 2.0 has enabled a host of new services and possibilities on the Internet. Among many new possibilities, users can easily upload online content that can be accessed, viewed and downloaded by other users around the globe. This has resulted in an explosive growth of User-Generated Content (UGC) which although creating exciting opportunities for users, presents many challenges, especially related to law and regulation. This paper discusses Web 2.0, UGC and the legal /regulatory challenges that have arisen in this new ?frontier? characterised by having a liberating democratic ethos (on one hand) but also sometimes tainted with illegal activity and disregard for accepted norms. Citing various researched case studies and legal cases, the paper highlights possible ?dangers? where traditional legal rules may be inadequate to address certain types of online activity, and discusses many of the legal challenges which this new
 frontier brings. These challenges are widespread and relate to intellectual property, liability, defamation, pornography, hate speech, privacy, confidentiality and jurisdiction among others. The paper also discusses the role of intermediaries (web hosts and service providers) and whether they can aid in effectively policing the new Web 2.0 frontier. Finally the paper attempts to discuss possible solutions for the way forward.

Porn companies challenged by Internet sites [Reuters]
After years of booming sales supported by videotapes, DVDs, and the Internet, the adult film industry is being challenged by easy video-sharing Web sites offering explicit content for free. "We're dealing with rampant piracy, tons of free content," said Steven Hirsch, co-founder of privately held Vivid, among the best-known studios making sex films.

The book is dead. Long live Facebook! by Mark Booth, publishing director of Century, an imprint of Random House
The first printed book in the middle of the 15th century illumined human consciousness like no other technological innovation. Knowledge would no longer be available only to a churchy elite. Freedom of thought, freedom of opinion and creative imagination would evade any attempt to control it. If people had once drifted away on clouds of incense, they were now liberated by the smell of ink. The evidence in 2008, however, suggests that book reading is in decline. I have worked in publishing for some 25 years and have also recently published a book of my own, conscious that it may be one of the last books. I think some people in the business don't want to admit that it's happening. To them it seems a betrayal of skills and standards that generations worked hard to maintain. They see apathy, short attention spans, illiteracy ? what Auberon Waugh called the "proletarianisation" of Britain.

Internet-based technologies spark growth, improvement in emerging countries, according to Economist Intelligence Unit report [news release]
Internet-based technologies are serving as a catalyst for economic growth and social advancement in the world?s developing economies, according to a paper released today by the Economist Intelligence Unit. These technologies reduce computing costs, improve transparency in government, make countries more competitive, and provide new ways to reach under-served consumers. Emerging countries that take advantage of the benefits of Internet-based technologies are more likely to help their citizens become richer, healthier, and better educated.

comScore and Google U.K. Reveal Importance of Search Engines
Google U.K. and comScore announced the results of a study into online consumer behaviour in the travel sector, finding that consumers are using search engines in more sophisticated ways to research and purchase travel in the UK. The Internet is rapidly becoming the number one resource for the travel consumer. The study revealed that 20 million people in the U.K. utilized search engines for travel information in the first quarter of 2007. Key findings include: On average, consumers take nearly a month to go from their first search to a purchase; On average travelers visit the purchase website 2.5 times; and Generic search terms play a significant role in the consumer journey to purchase.

uk: 'The Sun' is on the wane and it can't all be blamed on the internet
On Wednesday, Rebekah Wade, editor of The Sun, will give evidence to the House of Lords communications committee as part of its enquiry into media ownership. According to a press release from that august body, Ms Wade will be asked about the declining sales of "red tops", including her own. Perhaps it will also take an interest in the declining standards of Page Three girls.

Traffic to YouTube, other video sites doubled in 2007
Online traffic to YouTube and other online video sites doubled last year compared with 2006, as almost half of adult online users say they visited such sites, according to a research report released Wednesday.

Telecommuting not so great for those left in office [Reuters]
Telecommuting may boost morale, and cut stress, but it can have the opposite effect on those left behind in the office, according to a new study.

3.5G driving rapid mobile broadband growth
The wireless network technology known as 3.5G is driving mobile broadband growth around the globe, accompanied by rollouts of an increasing number of commercial networks using the 3.5G transmission protocol.

au: A$200m cable brings 'faster and cheaper broadband' [AAP]
A new undersea internet cable would break open Australia's broadband market, bringing faster download times and lower prices, federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said today.

iiNet, Pipe in undersea cable deal
iiNet, Australia's third largest ISP, said it would switch between 40 and 50 per cent of international bandwidth capacity onto the cable when it goes live in 18 months. The switch is part of a 15 year international bandwidth supply agreement between Pipe and iiNet.

Pipe plan for cable to Guam
Brisbane telco Pipe Networks is poised to unveil a $200 million submarine cable link to the US island of Guam, designed to capitalise on booming internet traffic and cut broadband costs for Australians.

Virtual world cracks down on cowboy banks
There's a banking meltdown in Second Life, too. It seems even this escapist virtual world whose inhabitants fly around and dress up as angels or animals can't escape the global financial crisis. The world's creator, Linden Lab, has announced it will regulate the virtual banks strictly in Second Life from now on, after one collapsed amid a credit crunch that Linden said posed "unique and substantial risks to Second Life ... likely to lead to destabilisation of the virtual economy".

The Afterlife of Cellphones
Americans threw out just shy of three million tons of household electronics in 2006. This so-called e-waste is the fastest-growing part of the municipal waste stream and, depending on your outlook, either an enormous problem or a bonanza. E-waste generally contains substances that, though safely sequestered during each product?s use, can become hazardous if not handled properly when disposed. Those products also hold bits of precious metals like silver, copper, platinum and gold.

Spammers Abuse Online Storage, File-Sharing Services
Spammers love free hosting, so it's no surprise that they continue to hammer free online storage and file-sharing services -- these sites are attractive to spammers because they have legitimate URLs and are typically immune to blacklisting. Microsoft's Windows Live SkyDrive Beta was the latest such service to be victimized by spammers. Earlier this week, McAfee Avert Labs captured thousands of spam messages that contained links to SkyDrive. The links redirected you to an online pharmacy service. McAfee estimates that the spammers uploaded tens of thousands of files to the site.

Spammers Hijack Microsoft's SkyDrive Service
Microsoft's Windows Live SkyDrive, an online storage service for sharing files and links it launched in beta this past August, became a repository for spammers to host links to their electronic junk mail.

A little green computing machine that made Intel see red
An interesting package arrived in my household the other day: a small bright green-and-white laptop with a built-in carrying handle. It looks as if it has been designed by Fisher-Price, an impression reinforced by two little 'ears' which, when unclipped, double as wi-fi antennae. The 7.5in screen rotates and folds back on itself to form a kind of tablet, rather like those pricey Toshiba laptops only Microsoft salespeople can afford. The keyboard is rubberised, so that it can survive spillages. The machine has no moving parts, and can (so I'm told) be dropped from five feet without significant damage.

Intel suffers bad issues of trust
Last month, a saleswoman from Intel tried to pull a fast one on the children of Peru. It may prove a costly mistake for the tech giant. Intel?s latest woes stem from its on-off relationship with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) educational computing group. Set up by Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, OLPC caught the world?s imagination with the idea of providing $100 (?67) laptops to the world?s poorest children.

What Led to the OLPC-Intel Split?
In mid-December, in the hip, Frank Gehry-designed IAC building in New York, Intel held a small gathering for a dozen or so journalists to preview the corporation's planned showcase at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Curiously missing: any mention of a much-anticipated, low-cost laptop, called the "XO," for children in developing countries.

New York's Intel probe may start new IT antitrust battle
With its launching of an antitrust investigation of Intel Corp., New York's state government is once again taking a leading role in challenging a titan of the technology industry. The state played a key role in the antitrust case against Microsoft Corp., which was settled five years ago, and by its action today opens up the possibility of another landmark legal battle against a powerful and influential IT vendor.

New York A.G. launches antitrust investigation of Intel [IDG]
New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has launched an antitrust investigation of Intel Corp., and on Thursday, his office served the company a wide-ranging subpoena. Cuomo said in a news release that his office is investigating whether Intel violated state and federal antitrust laws by coercing customers to exclude its main rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., from the worldwide market for PC CPUs.

Cuomo Subpoenas Intel Over Antitrust Accusations
The New York State attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, issued a wide-ranging subpoena to the Intel Corporation on Thursday as part of an investigation into whether the company violated federal or state antitrust laws in the way that it priced and sold microprocessors.

New York AG Joins Intel Antitrust Chorus
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating Intel for possible illegal business practices meant to keep rival Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) Latest News about AMD at bay -- the latest development in an ongoing antitrust entanglement for the leading chipmaker.

uk: Warning over fake drugs on the internet
More than 2 million people in Britain regularly buy prescription drugs such as Prozac and Viagra on the internet, in spite of the risk that they could be sold fakes, research revealed yesterday. The extent of Britain's online pill habit was exposed in a survey commissioned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, which warned that millions of Britons could be playing russian roulette with their health because up to 50% of all drugs seized prove to be counterfeit.

Warning on stealthy Windows virus
Security experts are warning about a stealthy Windows virus that steals login details for online bank accounts. In the last month, the malicious program has racked up about 5,000 victims - most of whom are in Europe.

Canadian blogger publishes privacy manifesto
In the wake of the recent spotlight on online privacy regulations -- stemming from an incident earlier this month where Facebook Inc. banned a user for trying to export his data from the social networking giant onto a rival site -- a Canadian tech blogger has created a new set of guidelines which aims to bring established privacy principles to online companies.

us: Blog Takes Failed Marriage Into Fight Over Free Speech
Normally, Garrido v. Krasnansky, a divorce case playing out in Vermont family court, would be of little interest to anyone but the couple involved. But the court has ordered the husband to stop posting blog items about his wife and their crumbled marriage, possibly turning an ordinary divorce into a much broader battle over free speech on the Internet.

China cracks down on sex-drug Web sites [Reuters]
China is shutting down about 200 Web sites for carrying illegal sex-drug advertisements, state media said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of measures to clean up the Internet.

us: MySpace Is Said to Draw Subpoena in Hoax Case
A federal grand jury here issued subpoenas to MySpace and others last week in connection with the suicide of a 13-year-old Missouri girl after she received cruel messages from people posing as a teenage boy on the site, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Legal Focus Shifts to Fraud in MySpace Suicide Case
The bizarre and controversial case of a Missouri teenager who killed herself after being bullied through MySpace Latest News about MySpace, allegedly by the parent of a peer, has reportedly shifted to California, where the social networking site is based.

us: A Deadly Web of Deceit: A Teen's Online 'Friend' Proved False, And Cyber-Vigilantes Are Avenging Her
Megan Meier was buried in the polka-dot dress she planned to wear for her 14th birthday. She had handed out the invitations to her party the day she died. Her eighth-grade classmates attended her funeral, instead, heads bowed and hands clasped as her casket was loaded into the hearse.

Privacy, Free Speech and Anonymity on the Internet: Part 2 of Discussion
Daniel J. Solove, associate law professor at George Washington University and author of "The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet," will be online Friday, Jan. 11 at Noon ET to resume his discussion about the Megan Meier-MySpace suicide case and the growing concern over the "Google Generation."

au: Schools give lessons to combat cyber bullies
Schools are being forced to give students special lessons on how to treat each other with respect when communicating online amid an explosion of cyber bullying among teenagers. The "cyber citizenship" courses based on an American idea aim to promote more harmonious relationships between high school students in class and at home.

Australian government targets ID theft, child porn
The Australian Federal Police is overstretched by its foreign commitments and has been "skimming" officers from domestic duties to strengthen its overseas deployments. The Rudd Government said yesterday the AFP must refocus on tackling domestic crimes, such as drug importation, counter-terrorism, identity theft and child pornography.

AFP cybercrime fight derailed by overseas officers
Efforts to fight high-tech crime are suffering as a result of overseas deployments which drain both the manpower and resources of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), a senior police figure has revealed.

au: Why government internet filtering won?t work
Broadband minister Stephen Conroy proposes to clean up the internet. It won?t work. But Senator Conroy has framed this as ?fighting child p-rn-graphy?, so rational debate is unlikely. If this was only about ?prohibited content?, the emotive rhetoric from Child Wise would be bearable. Indeed, if such magic devices as ?filters that would prevent access to child p-rn-graphy? existed I?d buy three. I?d also buy a perpetual motion machine and an elixir of eternal youth.

Great wall of Australia: Industry rejects sanitized Internet
ISPs, IT managers and the Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) have slammed the federal government's national content filtering scheme and dubbed it a technically impossible token gesture. The opt-out plan, announced this month by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, requires all ISPs to filter "objectionable material" from Internet traffic according to a blacklist defined by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

au: Child Wise CEO calls for government re-think on ISP filtering
Child Wise CEO Bernadette McMenamin has clarified her position on the Federal government's plan to implement mandatory Internet filtering at the ISP level, stating that all she wants blocked are child pornography Web sites, and nothing else.

The Australian ?clean feed?
As the world was celebrating New Year?s, the Australian government planned to mandate ISP filtering. The idea is that the Australian Communications and Media Authority would draft up a list of ?unsuitable sites,? and ISPs would have to block them. Australians who want an unfiltered internet will have to call up and demand it.

Kontroverse um angeblich 30 Millionen Kinderporno-Sites
Heftig umstritten sind die Webfilterpl?ne in Australien: Provider sollen landesweit "illegale Pornografie" ausfiltern. An sich nichts neues, w?re da nicht die omin?se Zahl von "bis zu 30 Millionen Kinderpornografie-Websites", die gefiltert geh?ren. Der aktuelle Plan sieht die Sperrung von 1000 Sites vor.

uk: MPs reject online touting ban but urge protection for consumers
MPs will today reject calls for an outright ban on online ticket touts, calling instead for websites and promoters to work together to protect consumers.

de: Data retention: ISPs rely on constitutional appeals and exception rules
German Internet providers have reacted in many different ways to the data retention requirement, which they must comply with by 2009 at the latest. Whilst many are hoping that the regulations will be overturned by the German Federal Constitutional Court, others believe that they might be able to take advantage of exception rules. Only a small number are prepared to actively campaign against data retention.

Showdown Looms Over Pirated-Media Directory
One of Hollywood's biggest foes is about to be called on the carpet. After years of steering Web surfers to free entertainment, the organizers of a massive directory of pirated movies, music and software in Sweden could finally face serious legal repercussions. Based on evidence collected in a 2006 raid on the offices of The Pirate Bay, Swedish prosecutors say that by the end of January they expect to charge the individuals who operate the file-sharing service with conspiracy to breach copyrights.

UK Government piles file-sharing pressure on UK ISPs
The government turned up the heat on internet providers today, warning that laws to force disconnection of illegal filesharers are already being drafted for a parliamentary debut in November.

The People Vs. Comcast
Brian Roberts excels at turning power over his customers into profits for his shareholders. Now that power is slipping from his grasp. When Ralph Roberts ran his first cable television system, in tiny Tupelo, Miss., he became something of a local hero. In 1963 the birth of HBO was still a decade off, but for Tupelites, frustrated by having over-the-air episodes of the The Jack Benny Program and Gunsmoke ruined by static, Roberts' service was a godsend. Would-be subscribers chased his installers' trucks down the street, begging for the chance to pay $5 a month for a clear, reliable picture.

Google's Wireless World
All eyes are on Google. The wireless industry is sure to get a big boost of adrenaline if the Internet giant wins a coveted slice of wireless spectrum that will go up for sale later this month. Analysts say new services and devices would get to market faster if Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) controls the spectrum than if a phone company or mobile operator manages it. "If Google wins, there's a sense that the mobile Internet is really going to happen now," says IDC analyst Scott Ellison. Indeed, Google convinced the Federal Communications Commission, which will begin auctioning the 700MHz spectrum Jan. 24, to open up this portion of the airwaves to all hardware and software developers--not just those that have exclusive agreements with the carriers.

"Swirly-face" paedophile suspect pleads innocent [Reuters]
"Swirly-face" Canadian paedophile suspect Christopher Neil pleaded not guilty on Friday in a pre-trial court hearing to charges of molesting under-age children in Thailand, a court official said on Friday.

au: German tourist arrested with child porn
A German tourist is expected to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday after child pornography was allegedly found on his portable hard drive.


(c) David Goldstein 2008

David Goldstein
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Received on Thu Jan 17 2008 - 06:10:38 UTC

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