Articles by date
12 December 2006
The phone of the future (The Economist)
The phone has had a splendid 130-year history. What will it look like in future? Will it even be called a phone? AT THE 1964 World's Fair in New York AT&T unveiled the Picturephone. In the future, the world's biggest telecoms firm pronounced, people would communicate via round, black-and-white screens that plugged into the wall. That prediction, like so many others about the future of communications, was wrong. The majority of today's phones are mobile handsets, not fixed-line ones, and although the technology for video-calling is widely deployed, hardly anyone uses it.
us: VoIP Subscribers Grow 18 Percent in 3Q (Silicon Valley/AP)
U.S. subscribers to Internet-based telephone services grew 18 percent to 8.2 million in the third quarter, but the growth rate slowed for a second straight quarter, according to the research firm TeleGeography.
The VoIP Peering Puzzle: ENUM Standards and Operation (VoIP Planet)
In a recent tutorial, VoIP Planet took a high-level view of one of the key technical issues -- address translation -- that must be resolved in order for end-to-end VoIP services to become widespread and readily available. That translation is required because telephone numbers adhere to one addressing standard, known as E.164, (the International Public Telecommunication Numbering Plan, developed by the ITU-T -- see www.itu.int); and Internet-connected workstations use Internet Protocol addresses, developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as part of their protocol specifications for IP version 4 (IPv4) and IP version 6 (IPv6).
11 December 2006
Can domain name registrars just say no to blatant phishers? Watchdog group calls issue 'complex' (Network World)
This story from Network World looks at the recent comments by F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen "that registrars should simply refuse to issue domain names that are obviously intended for phishing." Dave Jevans, chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, responds to these comments noting the issue is complex, but that's it's not possible for a registrar to know beforehand whether a site will be used for phishing or not. To vet every site will cost money, and that not every registrar has "the same vetting abilities or policies."
eWeek reports on a teleconference held by Paul Twomey and Vint Cerf to report on last week's meeting in Sao Paulo. The article notes a number of developments, chief among these being the Latin American and Caribbean RALO. Other developments were the approval of .asia with Vint Cerf being quoted as saying "it's a relief to have that out of the way". Also announced was ICANN board members agreed to a "three-year strategic plan that calls for an increase in international participation". Paul Twomey was noted as saying transparency is a top priority. The strategic plan is also noted as a priority.
09 December 2006
MySpace says it will release tools to identify and ban US sex offenders from its service. The company said the new service will be the first national database that brings together about 46 US state sex offender registers.
Internet criminals signing up students as 'sleepers' (The Guardian)
Organised gangs are recruiting the next generation of internet criminals by approaching undergraduates on university campuses. In some cases gangs offer to finance undergraduates' studies and plant them as sleepers within target businesses, according to a report on cybercrime which draws on intelligence from the FBI and British and European hi-tech crime units.
ICANN and DotAsia Organization, the sponsoring organization for the .ASIA top-level domain, announce the signing of the .ASIA Registry Agreement, yesterday 6 December 2006 at the ICANN Annual Meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil. On 18 October 2006, the ICANN Board approved the designation of the .ASIA sponsored top-level domain and authorized the President to implement the Agreement. DotAsia is the first gTLD registry with a headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region.
Apple may be cool but it comes last on green list (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apple Computer may be cool and hip with consumers, but it is anything but a trend-setter when it comes to good environmental policies, Greenpeace says.
08 December 2006
Can banks elude online sharks? (The Guardian)
This article in The Guardian looks at phishing and the ease in which criminals can buy and/or register domain names that to the consumer will look like a legitimate domain name with logos copied from the companies website. Mikko Hypponen from F-Secure says that TLDs such as ".com, .net and .uk are already a lost cause. We can't fix those any more." One way to fix this is to have a TLD such as .bank or .secure, something supported by Hypponen, and to have stringent background checks for organisations wanting to register in one of these TLDs. The article says Paul Twomey has invited the financial sector to make its case. For now though it's up to the banks to protect themselves and check for illegitimate domains, something Barclays among many others does now.
ICANN Reviews Revoking Outdated Suffixes (Sydney Morning Herald/AP)
Over the past few years, the Internet has seen new domain names such as ".eu" for Europe and ".travel" for the travel industry. Now, the key oversight agency is looking to get rid of some such as ".su", ".yu", ".tp", ".gb" and "cs".
dotMobi Extends Deadline for Premium Name RFPs (Circle ID)
Due to strong interest from multiple leading brands, dotMobi is extending the deadline for the first round of its Request for Proposals (RFP) process.
Youtube and New York Times sites blocked as Iran steps up censorship of foreign content (Reporters sans frontières)
Reporters Without Borders expressed deep concern for the future of the Internet in Iran where censorship is now the rule rather than the exception, after the video sharing website YouTube and that of the US daily New York Times were added to the country's blacklist.
Spam Doubles, Finding New Ways to Deliver Itself (International Herald Tribune)
Spam is back -- in e-mail in-boxes and on everyone's minds. In the last six months, the problem has gotten measurably worse. Worldwide spam volumes have doubled from last year, according to Ironport, a spam filtering firm, and unsolicited junk mail now accounts for more than 9 of every 10 e-mail messages sent over the Internet.
za: Illegal domain name parking rampant in SA (My Broadband)
Because of an impasse in the law, so-called domain name parking is rampant in South Africa leaving many local companies powerless to acquire their rightful domains.
ca: Child porn plan a risk worth taking by Michael Geist (Michael Geist blog)
Many have understandably applauded Project Cleanfeed Canada and the effort to reduce access to child pornography, critics have voiced several concerns. These include skepticism about the transparency and accuracy of the block list, concerns about the accountability of Cybertip.ca, doubts about the effectiveness of the initiative, and fears that the blocking might eventually extend to other content.
Singer Britney Spears claimed the title of Yahoo's "number one search term" for the fifth time in six years, according to the company's annual "Top Searches" report.
07 December 2006
Who governs virtual worlds? (CNet)
Who governs virtual worlds? As games like World of Warcraft, Second Life and EverQuest grow and develop more sophisticated communities, that question will become more and more important. So much so that a group of experts appearing Friday at the fourth annual State of Play/Terra Nova symposium at New York Law School here spent nearly two hours putting the subject in context.
Study: Effects of violent games linger in brain (CNet/Reuters)
Teens who play violent video games show increased activity in areas of the brain linked to emotional arousal and decreased responses in regions that govern self-control, a study presented Tuesday at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting found.
ICANN to discuss IDNs, kiting, this week in São Paulo (InfoWorld/IDG)
ICANN will discuss key projects and initiatives at a meeting this week in São Paulo, including the internationalization of the domain name system and a new, lucrative Web site registration practice that some object to.
IDN Laboratory Test Design Plans (ICANN)
Following the engagement of Autonomica AB, as announced on 19 October 2006, ICANN is pleased to provide more detailed information about the IDN test plans. The IDN testing plans are divided into two phases. The first phase includes laboratory testing that is designed to clarify and document any issues that may arise, if any, when inserting puny-code strings representing top level domains into the root zone. The second phase is an expansion of the laboratory test and will function as a pre-deployment testing primarily for application and user-interface testing.
Most of the leading websites around the world are failing to provide the most basic accessibility standards for people with disabilities.
au: The home truth about broadband (Sydney Morning Herald)
Australia hasn't had the rapid take-up of broadband other countries have, which is hardly surprising because what broadband we have is pathetically slow and expensive. Rupert Murdoch said bluntly the other day that it was a disgrace. But is this totally correct? In a paper by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Joshua Gans, professor of economics at Melbourne Business School, challenges the prevailing wisdom on broadband. The paper says though it's true we're lagging, this can be exaggerated.
05 December 2006
The US government has given its blessing to a controversial deal over the future of the lucrative .com net domain.
The growing number of login names web users need puts privacy at risk, says a ITU report.