[DNS] domain name news - April 21

[DNS] domain name news - April 21

From: David Goldstein <goldstein_david§yahoo.com.au>
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 05:36:14 -0700 (PDT)
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 April 28 edition of the news include:
Stark warning for internet's future | The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain: The Sunday Times review | Spanish government's domain names held to ransom over water | Cybersquatters plague London's mayoral race | Seinfeld Isn?t Laughing about JerrySeinfeld.com

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


The domain name news is supported by auDA


ICANN GNSO Votes to Kill Domain Tasting

Where do the Swiss live who have registered the most domain names? [news release]

Campaigning for the launch of .eng

Hackers jack thousands of sites, including UN domains

Study finds hackers can exploit misspellings [AP]

Red Bull wins redbullsucks.com from energy drink rival

Microsoft sues over brand in Dutch programme curbing kids on Internet [AFP]

US court says IP addresses are private

FCC chief: No new Net safeguards [AP]
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin said Tuesday his agency has all the authority it needs to prevent Internet service providers from discriminating against Web surfers and that new legislation is unnecessary.

FCC Chief Says Comcast Blocked Traffic Even During Slow Times
It appears that cable TV giant Comcast blocked Internet traffic even when its network wasn't overloaded with traffic, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission told Congress on Tuesday.

FCC chairman says Comcast blocking was widespread [IDG]
Martin says blocking occurred even when there was no network congestion; Comcast says slowing of P2P traffic is limited

Comcast's P2P treatment blasted
The top US communications regulator say that an investigation of how Comcast manages its network had raised further concerns about tactics the company has used to restrict internet users who share movies and other material.

Net neutrality battle returns to the U.S. Senate
Net neutrality has returned to Capitol Hill. The saga of Comcast's throttling of BitTorrent file-sharing traffic--and intense interest from the Federal Communications Commission, including a hearing at Stanford University last week--has appended the topic onto at least some politicians' to-do list.

Perspectives on Internet Governance - What Might the Future Hold? by Richard C. Beaird, Senior Deputy Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy; American Bar Association Business Law Spring Meeting, Hilton Anatole, Dallas, Texas April 11, 2008
My remarks today focus on the key international developments that have formed the basis for the debate on Internet governance. The presentation will necessarily be selective in the examples and themes it discusses. In so doing, I understand that my presentation will satisfy some, and others will be disappointed that much was left out. Finally, the opinions and themes expressed here are my own.

NJ court requires subpoena for Internet subscriber records [AP]
Writers are pushing for legislation to guarantee the Internet's status as an open forum for communication. Partic Verrone, the president of the Writers Guild of America, West, is scheduled to appear today before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee at a hearing entitled "The Future of the Internet."


ICANN GNSO Votes to Kill Domain Tasting
Domain tasting is the disreputable practice of registering lots of domains, seeing how much traffic they get, and then using the five day Add Grace Period to refund the 99.9% of them that aren?t worth paying for. A related abuse is front running, registrars speculatively grabbing domains that people inquire about to prevent them from using a different registrar.

Request for Proposals (RFP) for an Independent Evaluator for the ICANN Board of Directors
ICANN is seeking to appoint an independent evaluator to undertake a review of the ICANN Board. The request for proposal can be found here.

ICANN Opens Comment Period on PIR's Proposed Implementation of DNSSEC
ICANN is today opening a comment period on Public Interest Registry (PIR)'s proposed implementation of DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) in .ORG. On 3 April 2008, ICANN posted the PIR proposal for public information. ICANN has made a preliminary determination that the PIR proposal requires further consideration by the Registry Services Technical Evaluation Panel (RSTEP) because the new service could raise significant Security or Stability issues.

 - ccTLD & gTLD NEWS
Where do the Swiss live who have registered the most domain names? [news release]
SWITCH now provides a visual display of its domain names on an interactive map of Switzerland. The map shows the distribution of domain names ending in .ch. An enquiry can be made for a specific municipality.

Zurich registers most .ch domain names - registrar [reg req'd]

CNNIC: Domain Name Owners Can Change Registration Information For Free
In response to domain name owners' complaints on the difficulty in transferring domain names, China Internet Network Information Center has issued a circular to each of the major domain name registration service providers, in which it reiterates that domain name owners can freely alter their registration information so long as their initial registration was more than 60 days ago and it is 15 days in advance of the expiration of their domain name.

Campaigning for the launch of .eng
Patriotic John Sewell is launching a one-man campaign to ensure a corner of the internet remains forever English.

New campaign for "English" domain names
An English man has launched a campaign to ensure a corner of the internet remains "forever English".

.ME Domains On Sale May 6th
Anyone possessing a trademark will be eligible to apply for names between May 6 and May 20.

Philippines .ph domains the Economical Domain
The .ph domain is being registered when (in many cases), the equivalent .com/.net domains are unavailable. There are no local residency requirements for registering a ph-domain. You can register .ph-domains, .com.ph-domains, .net.ph-domains,.org.ph-domains and the new i.ph-domains.

USSR stirs sentiments: Soviet Internet domain name proves resilient By Mansur Mirovalev
The Soviet Union may be in the dustbin of history, but there's one place the socialist utopia lives on: cyberspace. Sixteen years after the superpower's collapse, Web sites ending in the Soviet ".su" domain name have been rising - registrations increased 45 percent this year alone. Bloggers, entrepreneurs and die-hard communists are all part of a small but growing online community resisting repeated efforts to extinguish the online Soviet outpost.

UK net registry battles coup d'etat
Nominet is facing an attempted coup by a group of members who want to force its bosses to hand back millions of pounds in surplus fees.

Hackers jack thousands of sites, including UN domains
Large numbers of legitimate Web sites, including government sites in the U.K. and some operated by the United Nations, have been hacked and are serving up malware, a security researcher said today as massive JavaScript attacks last detected in March resume.

Australia attacked: What happened at Cyber Storm II
Communication between the private sector and government has been identified as the key lesson learned from the recent simulated cyberwar, Cyber Storm II. In March, some 50 private Australian companies were invited to join Federal government agencies to test their IT systems against cyber-warfare attacks.

Cybercrime and Politics: The Dangers of the Internet in Elections: This chapter is from the book Crimeware: Understanding New Attacks and Defenses
This chapter focuses on the 2008 presidential election to demonstrate the risks involved in using the Internet in campaigning. It analyzes the attack vectors that would be most likely to have an immediate and material effect on an election, affecting voters, candidates, or campaign officials.

uk: Web infection attacks more than 100,000 pages
Hackers have injected malicious code into hundreds of thousands of reputable web pages, turning them into launchpads for attacks that silently install malware on the machines of those who visit them. The UK's Civil Service and the United Nations were among those who had been hacked.

Expert: Domain Name Redirects Open Door for Hackers
Internet service providers that serve advertising when a user requests a Web page that doesn't exist are exposing their users to a giant security breach, according to security researcher Dan Kaminsky.

Research: Security gaps open when ISPs hire third parties [AP]
When Internet providers hire third-party companies to serve up advertisements on unused Web pages, that creative attempt to make money can open major security vulnerabilities they can't control, a researcher has found.

Researchers Infiltrate and 'Pollute' Storm Botnet
Sophisticated peer-to-peer (P2P) botnets like Storm that have no centralized command and control architecture have frustrated researchers because they're tough to dismantle. But a group of European researchers has come up with a way to disrupt these stealthy botnets -- by ?polluting? them.

China continues to face severe botnet problem; But number drops significantly from previous year
China continues to face a severe problem with botnets, networks of computers infected with software that allows them to be controlled remotely for denial-of-service attacks and to send spam, according to a report by China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT).

China Faced With Growing Botnet Problem [IDG]
China faces a growing threat from botnets, networks of computers infected with software that allows them to be controlled remotely for denial-of-service attacks and to send spam, according to a report issued by China's National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT).

China worries hackers will strike during Beijing Olympics [IDG]
While CNN recently faced distributed denial-of-service attacks from Chinese hackers angry about the television network's coverage of a recent Chinese crackdown in Tibet, Chinese security officials remain worried hackers will strike while the Olympic Games are being held in Beijing.

Report: China's botnet problems grows
Computers infected by Trojan horse programs and bot software are the greatest threat to China's portion of the Internet, with compromises growing more than 20-fold in the past year, the nation's Computer Emergency Response Team (CN-CERT) stated in its 2007 annual report released last week.

CNN.Com, Politically Motivated DDoS, and Asymmetric Warfare by Jose Nazario 
Once again I find myself thinking about the nature of the asymmetric warfare threat posed by politically motivated DDoS (Estonia in 07, Korea in 02, and now China vs. CNN in 08). I keep thinking about it in terms of asymmetric warfare, a class of warfare where one side is a traditional, centrally managed military with superior uniformed numbers, weaponry, and skill. On the other we have smaller numbers, usually untrained fighters with meager weapons, and usually a smaller force. Historical examples include the North Vietnamese in the 20th century and even the American Revolution in the 18th century.

Microsoft data show Web attacks on the rise - Tactics changed in the latter half of '07
Criminals changed tactics in the last six months of 2007, dropping malicious e-mail in favor of Web-based attacks, according to data reported to Microsoft by Windows users.

Web criminals fuel big rise in "trojans"
Cyber-criminals are behind a dramatic rise in stealthy programs called "trojans" that infect computers to sell rogue software, send unwanted email or steal personal data, a study has found.

Red Bull wins redbullsucks.com from energy drink rival
A man who owned the domain name redbullsucks.com has been ordered to hand it over to Red Bull, the energy drink company. The man had claimed his was a protest site warning of the dangers of energy drinks but was found to be publishing a site at the address promoting a rival drink.

Microsoft files lawsuit against mother, creator of MSNLOCK
Unicaresoft Corporation was started by Carola Eppink, a 46 year-old mother of three who wanted to restrict her children's use of the Internet. She had the idea of creating a program that helped parents limit Internet use, including cutting down on time spent using instant messaging clients, giving parents the option to check websites their children were visiting, and filtering out e-mails based on chosen keywords.

Microsoft sues over brand in Dutch programme curbing kids on Internet [AFP]
Software company Microsoft said Monday it is suing a company run by a Dutch mother because it had started using a Microsoft domain title in computer programmes aimed at curbing children's use of the Internet.

Microsoft sues Dutch internet lock firm
Software giant Microsoft is suing a Dutch company in a dispute over the use of the letters MSN in the marketing of its software aimed at curbing the use of the internet by children.

US court says IP addresses are private
A US court has ruled that users have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in their internet surfing records and that police must obtain warrants from higher than usual courts in order to force ISPs to hand over records.

Google WHOIS OneBox
Google shows a special OneBox when you search for "whois", followed by a domain name: for example, [whois google.com]. The OneBox shows the date when a certain domain was created and date when it will expire. It seems that the only provider of information for this OneBox is Domain Tools.

The Indispensable Domain
Forget the bricks and mortar for a minute, and just dream of owning a universal domain name identity in cyberspace, along the likes of priceline.com, food.com, creditcards.com or cheapflights.com, as such identities are valued in the tens of millions and continue to double in price every year. The entire domain name industry has advanced to a more mature level, which now fully recognizes the super value of having a generic globally recognizable domain identity as a true cyber-real-estate asset. But the name game in this current race must be played under the correct laws, as most of these assets sometimes simply evaporate into thin air.

Cyber estate prices hit rock bottom
Though India's real estate prices have skyrocketed over the last 3-4 years, the country is witnessing the opposite trend in cyberspace, where prices of India (.in) domain names has fallen from a nominal Rs 500 in 2007 to Rs 100 in March 2008, reported Business Standard.

100 Three Letter .Mobi Domain Names Listed on eBay
A portfolio of three LLL.mobi domains is listed on eBay with no reserve.

Survey: Domainers Still Bullish on Domain Name Parking
Despite all of the bad news about domain parking lately, the domain industry as a whole is still very bullish on domain parking. 75% of respondents in Domain Name Wire?s Third Annual domain name survey think earnings will be at least as good in 2008 as 2007. 45% think RPM rates (revenue per thousand views) will increase in 2008.

Yahoo's profit bolsters takeover defence
First quarter results from Yahoo came in better than Wall Street expected last night, thanks in part to the internet company's international operations, but it is understood it will remain in talks with News Corp and AOL to see off the threat of a hostile takeover from Microsoft.

DOJ Looking At Google/Yahoo Ad Partnership [Reuters]
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible antitrust implications of Google's two-week test with Yahoo to combine some of their Web search and advertising business, a source informed about the matter told Reuters Wednesday.

Inquiry into Yahoo! link-up with Google
Jerry Yang, co-founder and chief executive of Yahoo!, yesterday suffered a potential setback in his bid to fend off advances from Microsoft after Washington?s Justice Department launched an investigation into a trial tie-up with Google. It is thought that the Justice Department was concerned at talks between the two internet searchers over a two-week test to combine some web search and advertising business.

Google Sued Over Ambiguity Of Blank AdWords Input Box
A lawsuit filed against Google on Tuesday alleges that Google has been defrauding its AdWords customers by charging them for ads they don't want.

Google Again the World's Most Powerful Brand
Google has been ranked the world's most powerful brand for the second straight year in the third BrandZ annual ranking from Millward Brown, which surveyed more than 1 million consumers about 50,000 brands. GE was ranked second with Microsoft third. Nokia was the top European brand at ninth.

Google, the world's most powerful brand [Bloomberg]
Google ranked as the world's most powerful brand for the second straight year, as the company capitalized on its name to sell advertising globally, according to a study by a consulting company.

'Google generation' lack basic research skills
In real life, Sheila Webber is a senior lecturer in information studies at Sheffield University. In Second Life, she is Sheila Yoshikawa, blue-haired babe and cultivator of a Japanese garden - Webber's avatar in the online virtual world populated by millions. "I see her as a digital extension of me. I do some teaching, some professional networking and some shopping. I have a huge wardrobe and I'm much thinner."

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?
Some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail. They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

China becomes world's largest Internet population
China has surpassed the United States to become the world's largest Internet-using population, reaching 221 million by the end of February, state media said on Thursday.

China ties US for most Web users at 221 million people
China's fast-growing population of Internet users has soared to 221 million, tying the United States for the largest number of people online, according to government data reported Thursday.

Australia's Reserve Bank could scuttle eBay's plans
eBay's plan to force all of its users on to PayPal faces opposition from the Reserve Bank, which is considering weighing in to the issue. The Central Bank has long called for buyers and sellers to have as much choice as possible in what payment systems they use and strongly opposes any moves that reduce competition in the market.

Oz broadband gets faster
Internet connections in Australia are getting faster, new figures released by the country's chief statistician have revealed.

Internet Activity in Australia [news release]

Web 2.0 is set for spending boom
Web 2.0 is set to be embraced by Enterprise 2.0 as businesses prepare to spend nearly $5 billion by 2013 on social networking tools. Over half of the companies in North America and Europe see Web 2.0 as a priority for next year, a report says.

Rural Europe Left Behind on the Net
Out of the half a billion EU citizens, more than 250 million regularly use the internet, according to newly released figures. A European Commission report on the results so far for i2010, the EU's digital-led strategy for growth and jobs, further showed that of this number, 80 percent have access to some form of broadband connection.

UK Broadband providers ordered to come clean in adverts
ISPs have just a few weeks to sign up to a voluntary code on the promotion of broadband speeds or the industry will face mandatory regulation, the communications watchdog has warned.

Facebook under fire for 'cyber bullying' application
Facebook has been accused of encouraging online bullying by allowing users to post anonymous comments about other members of the site. By installing the Honesty Box application, members of the social-networking site can send and receive untraceable messages to other users.

Microsoft Reveals a Web-Based Software System
Microsoft is preparing to take its most ambitious step yet in transforming its personal computer business into one tied more closely to software running in remote data centers.

Microsoft unveils its web vision
Microsoft has lifted the lid on a new web service called Live Mesh, designed to connect a multiplicity of devices and applications online.

Developers question Mesh openness
Developers have questioned the commitment to openness in Microsoft's Live Mesh service, which is designed to bridge the offline and online worlds.

Microsoft to begin trials of web-based Office
Microsoft is poised to cast off a decades-old model of installing programs such as Word and Excel on computers prior to shipping and instead charge consumers to access them on a monthly basis.

Cloud Computing Gains Steam With New I.B.M. Gear
I.B.M. is entering the market for Internet-focused data centers with computer systems designed to reduce power consumption sharply and take up less floor space. The move by I.B.M., which the company planned to announce on Wednesday, is the most recent sign that the major computer makers are beginning to compete aggressively to supply Internet companies and others with the specialized hardware needed for so-called cloud computing. In the cloud model, data centers with vast stores of information and processing resources can be tapped from afar through a personal computer, cellphone or other device.

In Afghanistan, insurgents attacking cellphone network
Afghans tend to be stoic in the face of poverty, hardship and seemingly endless warfare. But mess with their cellphones, and the response is one of undiluted outrage.

Proposed Californian Anti-Spam Law Would Make Lawsuits Easier
California is mulling new anti-spam legislation that would strengthen state law by making it easier for private citizens to sue some e-mail marketers.

FBI wants widespread monitoring of 'illegal' Internet activity
The FBI on Wednesday called for new legislation that would allow federal police to monitor the Internet for "illegal activity." The suggestion from FBI Director Robert Mueller, which came during a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing, appears to go beyond a current plan to monitor traffic on federal-government networks. Mueller seemed to suggest that the bureau should have a broad "omnibus" authority to conduct monitoring and surveillance of private-sector networks as well.

Executives harpooned by online 'whalers'
Corporate bosses have become the latest target of cyber-criminals, after a string of attacks in which senior management have been singled out to receive fraudulent e-mails.

UK net card fraud 'underestimated'
UK credit and debit card fraud on the internet is much greater than previous estimates, new figures suggest.

UK Internet fraud 'up to ?500m a year' [PA]
UK credit card and debit card fraud on the internet is much greater than previous estimates, findings published today have suggested.

eBay files governance lawsuit against Craigslist [IDG]
eBay has filed a lawsuit alleging that some changes made by Craigslist's board of directors have diluted eBay's investment in the online classified site.

EBay sues Craigslist ad website
The online auction giant eBay is suing the popular internet community ad site Craigslist to "safeguard its four-year financial investment". In a statement, eBay claimed that in January, Craigslist executives took actions that "unfairly diluted eBay's economic interest by more than 10%".

EBay files suit against Craigslist
All is not well in eBay's extended family. EBay, based in San Jose, California, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in the state of Delaware against Craigslist, the online classified advertising company in which it owns a minority interest.

EBay claims Craigslist unfairly diluted eBay's stake in it [AP]
In a move that pits two of the Internet's most popular sites against each other, EBay Inc. sued Craigslist on Tuesday, alleging the classifieds company unfairly tried to dilute the online auctioneer's stake in it. EBay purchased a 28 percent stake in privately held Craigslist in 2004.

Craigslist fires back, blasts eBay actions as unethical [AP]
Craigslist is firing back at its rival and minority owner eBay, scolding the online auctioneer's actions as unethical and smelling of a hostile takeover.

Google puts kybosh on 'eco' search engine
A new Australian green search engine seeking to capitalise on web surfers' eco-guilt has been barred by Google from using its search technology and advertising platform.

New Jersey court requires subpoena for Internet subscriber records [AP]
ISPs must not release personal information about users in New Jersey without a valid subpoena, even to police, the state's highest court ruled today.

N.J. court says users can expect privacy from Internet providers [AP]
ISPs must safeguard personal information about users in New Jersey - even when the police ask for it - the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

Security firms scrutinise Phorm
Online advert system Phorm could be automatically blocked by security programs, BBC News has learned. The controversial system is based around small files called cookies that some computer security firms say they may label as "adware" and block.

Internet TV To Ditch PCs
Apple and Microsoft, with their AppleTVs and Media Centers, keep hoping that their personal computers will win a seat in the living room, but so far few consumers are inviting them in. Only 1.5 million broadband-connected households have a PC connected to their TV, according to a study conducted by Park Associates last year. "It might come down to the simple fact that consumers don't want to buy one more black box for the living room," says analyst Kurt Scherf.

Music piracy ring busted in Australia
The Australian Federal Police have busted an international piracy ring that produced and sold pirated music in a clandestine manufacture and export operation from Sydney.

Study: BitTorrent sees big growth, LimeWire still #1 P2P app
Last week, the Digital Music News Research Group released its quarterly P2P report. The for-pay report covers the fourth quarter of 2007, but a publicly available excerpt breaks down the data for the period between September 2006 and September 2007. The data consists of snapshots of P2P application and protocol use collected from over 1.66 million Windows PCs. Gnutella is still the top P2P network, but BitTorrent has been steadily rising.

ie: Eircom rejects record firms' claims
Eircom has rejected claims by four major record companies that it, as the largest broadband internet service provider in the State, must bear some liability for the illegal free downloading of music by computer users. The companies have claimed Eircom's networks are being used 'on a grand scale' for illegal downloading.

Smut blocking? We're more bothered about Bebo
Travel, webmail, and social networking sites are more commonly blocked by businesses than gambling and adult content sites.

Teachers told to protect children from online risks
Leading internet and telecoms firms have teamed up with the European Commission in the fight against cyber-bullying by launching a new website showing teachers how to spot inappropriate use of the Internet and mobile phones by children. Child pornography and sexual grooming on the Internet and mobile phones is becoming an issue of growing concern.

Arrests by UK child sex abuse unit triple in a year
The number of arrests by Britain's pioneering unit to tackle child sexual abuse has tripled in its second year of operation to nearly 300 suspects. Results published today by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre show that 297 offenders have been arrested and 131 children protected from further abuse.

Increase in UK sex offender arrests
The number of suspected child sex offenders arrested in the UK has risen threefold in the past year, says the organisation set up to tackle abuse. Nearly 300 suspects were arrested and 131 children protected after work by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop).

Rise in UK child-sex arrests
The number of child sex offenders arrested has trebled over the last year, according to the organisation set up to deal with the problem. ... Detectives have also infiltrated and dismantled six paedophile rings, which all had international connections outside the UK, and identified 18 child victims from indecent images.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre publishes 2nd year results And lays out the challenge ahead [news release]
2nd year results from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre ? the UK?s dedicated organisation for tackling the sexual abuse of children ? show the battle against child sex offenders continues to gather pace.

uk: Police to question chatroom girl
A young girl who left obscene messages on an internet chatroom is to be questioned by police. Devon and Cornwall Police were contacted by the girl's parents after she admitted pretending to be a male paedophile looking for local children.

Australian judge demands child porn law changes after photo 'horror'
A judge has called for the reform of child pornography laws after jailing a man for possessing more than 35,000 images of "the most disturbing and depraved kind", including the torture and abuse of babies and bestiality.

au: Girls club underage sex, drugs
Controversy surrounding a girls' club that excludes "ugly" members deepens, with ex-members claiming the group is involved in underage sex, drinking and drug taking. ... Cyber bullying epidemic - A leading academic says the group and the online activities of its members out of school are an example of the increasing problem of cyber bullying.

European game ratings face update
Europe's game rating system must be strengthened to protect children from harm says the European Commission. The recommendation came in a survey of how Pan European Game Information (Pegi) is implemented in member states.

Video Games: Commission welcomes progress on protection of minors in 23 EU Member States, but asks for improvement of industry codes [news release]
The European video games sector is dynamic, with expected revenue of ? 7.3 billion by the end of 2008. However, public concerns that video games can cause aggressive behaviour, heightened by school shootings such as in Helsinki (Finland, November 2007), have led several national authorities to ban or block video games such as "Manhunt 2". In response, the European Commission has surveyed existing measures protecting minors from harmful video games across the 27 EU Member States. 20 EU Member States now apply PEGI (Pan European Games Information), an age-rating system developed by industry, with EU support, since 2003. In the Commission's view, industry must invest more to strengthen and in particular to regularly update the PEGI system so that it becomes a truly effective pan-European tool. Also, industry and public authorities should step up cooperation to make classification and age rating systems better known and to avoid confusion caused by
 parallel systems. A Code of Conduct for retailers should be drawn up within two years on sales of video games to minors.

"Irresponsible" online gambling advert banned
A gambling advertisement that claimed online betting would improve sexual prowess and self esteem has become one of the first campaigns to be banned under tough new laws, following criticism from the advertising watchdog.

Inquiry into Yahoo! link-up with Google
Jerry Yang, co-founder and chief executive of Yahoo!, yesterday suffered a potential setback in his bid to fend off advances from Microsoft after Washington?s Justice Department launched an investigation into a trial tie-up with Google. It is thought that the Justice Department was concerned at talks between the two internet searchers over a two-week test to combine some web search and advertising business.

Ballmer: Microsoft could walk away from Yahoo deal [IDG]
Microsoft gave its first hint that it may abandon its $44.6 billion bid for Yahoo, as it approaches the deadline for a threatened proxy battle to oust Yahoo's board.

Yahoo! says it may accept offer from Microsoft
Jerry Yang, the co-founder of Yahoo!, said yesterday that the online search engine may still recommend a hostile takeover from Microsoft after admitting that it had already spent $14 million (?7 million) in fees to advisers such as Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers to fight the approach.

Yahoo's profit bolsters takeover defence
First quarter results from Yahoo came in better than Wall Street expected last night, thanks in part to the internet company's international operations, but it is understood it will remain in talks with News Corp and AOL to see off the threat of a hostile takeover from Microsoft.

Yahoo Toots Its Horn as It Falls Further Behind
Yahoo did just well enough in the first quarter for it to be able to hold its head up high as it tries to justify its continued rejection of Microsoft?s hostile bid. The company?s earnings, after special charges, were 11 cents a share, compared to the 9 cents that analysts had forecast. Its revenue, excluding payments to sites that display its ads, were $1.35 billion, $30 million more than analysts expected.

Yahoo Reports Jump in Profit; Suitor Microsoft Is Unimpressed
Yahoo reported first-quarter results yesterday that surpassed Wall Street's expectations, but analysts said it might not be enough to fend off an unsolicited takeover bid from Microsoft.

Australian states chase Conroy over broadband
Several state Labor governments have asked federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to give them access to highly sensitive telecommunications network information that is being distributed to bidders for the $4.7 billion national broadband network - even though they do not plan to make a bid themselves.

NZ National plans $1.5bn broadband spend-up
The National Party says it would invest up to $1.5 billion to get fast broadband into nearly every home in the country if it wins the election.

Stop moaning, start thinking about broadband plan, says Dunne
United Future leader Peter Dunne says Labour, ACT and New Zealand First should stop attacking National's broadband plan and start coming up with their own answers.

National antes up with bold broadband plan
Ask the National Party what it plans to do in the area of telecommunications and broadband as I did of Bill English last May and you usually don't get an answer of much substance.

NZ National vows to upgrade broadband
National is promising to spend one and a half billion dollars on getting ultra-fast broadband connections to New Zealand homes, schools and businesses if it wins the election.

Key pledges $1.5b for fast internet
John Key has announced National would invest up to $1.5 billion as part of a "fibre to the homes" fast broadband network.

New Zealand's National Party unveils NZD1.5bln fibre plan
The National Party of New Zealand has said it would invest NZD 1.5 billion of public funds in an open access fibre-to-the-home network if they are elected. National's medium to long-term vision is for a fibre connection to almost every home, supported by satellite and mobile solutions. The Party?s initial goal is to ensure the accelerated roll out of fibre right to the home of 75 percent of New Zealanders. In the first six years, priority will be given to business premises, schools, health facilities, and the first tranche of homes.

Ultra-fast broadband plan 'waste of money'
Telecom and the business sector are praising National's plan to put $1.5 billion into ultra-fast broadband access but the Government says it would be a huge waste of taxpayer money.

What will Cunliffe's counter-offer be?
Some interesting feedback around the blogosphere to the news yesterday of National's plan to inject $1.5 billion of taxpayers' money into a fibre optic network that would reach 75 per cent of the population by 2014.

WiMax backers: Our future is bright
WiMax's most prominent supporters are predicting that, despite not exactly stunning support of the wireless technology so far, it will take off this year. Speaking at a conference here hosted by the Wireless Communications Association International, Michael Seymour, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent's North American broadband wireless unit, said WiMax has experienced "tremendous growth" in recent years, even in "emerging markets" like the Dominican Republic, and predicted improvements in the technology would only continue.

Canadians increasingly chatting it up on cellphones: StatsCan
Less than a quarter of Canadian households now rely solely on land-line phone service, as the steady shift to cellphones and other alternatives continues, new figures show.

The revolution will be mobilized
First it was instant messaging during office hours that gave us the thrill of passing notes in class. Then it was exposing ourselves via Web cams, ranting our minds on blogs, uploading our baby photos on Flickr and poking each other on Facebook. These days, as corporate records show, we choose to spend our lunch breaks watching YouTube, if not chatting over Skype. The bad news is the Web 2.0 revolution is over. The good news is now we can take it with us.

Downturn busting VOIP to herald end of traditional telephony
The VoIP sector will continue to grow over 2008 despite the global downturn, according to new research by business and financial analyst Grant Thornton.

Telecom carriers: 'Phantom' voice traffic costing billions [IDG]
Some VoIP and mobile phone service providers are riding free when connecting to the traditional telephone network in the U.S., potentially costing carriers billions of dollars, according to testimony at a Senate hearing Wednesday.

VoIP: When Cheaper Could Mean Costlier
For enterprises, the primary reason for adopting VoIP phone service is money. Long-distance phone calls placed over the Internet typically cost a mere fraction of those placed under the business rate plans offered by traditional telephone companies.

Skype Launches Low-Cost US Global Calling Plans
Skype on Monday launched an aggressive $9.95-a-month international calling plan for U.S. customers that includes landlines and some cell phone calls to 34 countries.


(c) David Goldstein 2008


David Goldstein
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Received on Mon Apr 28 2008 - 05:36:14 UTC

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