Articles by date

28 November 2006

Online video 'eroding TV viewing' (BBC)

Almost half of people who regularly watch online video spend less time watching TV, a survey suggests.

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ISPs to block child porn sites in Canada (iTWire)

Mirroring a similar program in the UK, Canada's major ISPs have banded together to support 'Project Cleanfeed Canada' to block child porn sites from access by Canadians. It's a good start, but there's still a long way to go.

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Google settles copyright dispute with 2 groups in Belgium (International Herald Tribune/Bloomberg/AP)

Google said last week that it had settled with two Belgian groups representing photographers and journalists in a copyright dispute.

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Trouble clicks: “Click fraud” could undermine the boom in online advertising (The Economist)

Internet advertising is booming. The industry has gone from $9.6 billion in revenue in 2001 to $27 billion this year, according to Piper Jaffray, an investment bank. And it is still early days. The internet accounts for only 5% of total spending on advertising, but that figure is expected to reach at least 20% in the next few years. The single largest category within this flourishing industry, accounting for nearly half of all spending, is "pay-per-click" advertising, which is used by firms both large and small to promote their wares.

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us: Groups Oppose Passage of New Surveillance Bill (Center for Democracy and Technology)

A new bill that would weaken intelligence oversight should not pass in the few remaining days of the 109th Congress, a coalition of groups said Monday. CDT joined with several other public interest groups in urging Senate Judiciary Committee Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) to end his effort to pass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Oversight and Resource Enhancement Act of 2006 (S. 4051). Instead of pushing for rushed passage of a legislation that could undercut the security and privacy of innocent Americans, the groups urged Specter to work with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to more fully address the issues relating to warrantless domestic spying when the new Congress convenes next year. November 22, 2006

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Domain name games (The Age)

This article in the Australian Fairfax press discusses the international domain names and the complexities that go with their introduction. It also mentions the IGF in Athens where IDNs "came to a head" and the complexities of introducing IDNs. The article concludes quoting Paul Twomey "We live in multicultural Sydney ... and we all want a multicultural internet," Twomey says. "And yet, there's one big difference between human beings and computers. Human beings can deal with ambiguity, but computers can't."

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27 November 2006

za: Regulations to manage domain name disputes (South African Department of Communications news release)

The South African Department of Communications has published regulations to deal with disputes regarding the .za domain name, in the Government Gazette. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations that have been signed by Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri provide guidelines, rules and procedures and also set out fee structures for the adjudication of such disputes.

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3 Jolting Statements at the IGF by Assoc Prof Ang Peng Hwa (Singapore Internet Research Centre)

A/P Ang Peng Hwa is surprised at those who continue to say that (i) the internet is working fine, (ii) that therefore it needs no governance and (iii) that the phrase “internet governance” should not exist. On the first point, he raises the point that many governments feel uneasy that the internet to any one particular country could be cut off by a decision of the US government. Second, that “governance” is not “government” and the differences between them. And third, the US dominance of the internet may not be such a good thing. Point 2, raised by Lynn St Amour President, ISOC, who says in part that the discussion needs to go back to the “national level, local level, participation in the forms that are available to you, that are important to you as an individual” while Ang Peng Hwa who says in part “Taking away the Forum and moving such meetings to the national and local levels would only reduce the quality of the discussion when was is needed is higher, not lower quality.” And third, Vint Cerf who Ang Peng Hwa says “there cannot be competition at the root zone, that ICANN is a “natural monopoly” not in the strict economic sense but because of the requirements of the system—there can only be one root.” Further, “Cerf, however, misses a major point—in the good old USA as well as significant portions of the civilised world, there is only on way to handle monopolies—regulate them. This is precisely the issue of internet governance. If ICANN is indeed an inevitable monopoly, then it inevitably invites regulation. Anything less would not be transparent or fair.”

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Internet Governance Forum Report 2: Why The Need for IG by Assoc Prof Ang Peng Hwa (Singapore Internet Research Centre)

A/P Ang Peng Hwa is surprised at those who continue to say that (i) the internet is working fine, (ii) that therefore it needs no governance and (iii) that the phrase "internet governance" should not exist. On the first point, he raises the point that many governments feel uneasy that the internet to any one particular country could be cut off by a decision of the US government. Second, that "governance" is not "government" and the differences between them. And third, the US dominance of the internet may not be such a good thing. Point 2, raised by Lynn St Amour President, ISOC, who says in part that the discussion needs to go back to the "national level, local level, participation in the forms that are available to you, that are important to you as an individual" while Ang Peng Hwa who says in part "Taking away the Forum and moving such meetings to the national and local levels would only reduce the quality of the discussion when was is needed is higher, not lower quality." And third, Vint Cerf who Ang Peng Hwa says "there cannot be competition at the root zone, that ICANN is a "natural monopoly" not in the strict economic sense but because of the requirements of the system -- there can only be one root." Further, "Cerf, however, misses a major point -- in the good old USA as well as significant portions of the civilised world, there is only on way to handle monopolies -- regulate them. This is precisely the issue of internet governance. If ICANN is indeed an inevitable monopoly, then it inevitably invites regulation. Anything less would not be transparent or fair."

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The Dark Side of Second Life (Business Week)

Software that lets residents copy others' possessions is the latest reminder that this virtual world may need tougher law enforcement

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Podcast Downloading (Pew Internet & American Life Project)

Some 12% of internet users say they have downloaded a podcast so they can listen to it or view it at a later time. However, few internet users are downloading podcasts with great frequency; just 1% report downloading a podcast on a typical day.

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26 November 2006

Belgian newspapers, Google in copyright stoush (Sydney Morning Herald)

Lawyers for Belgium's French-speaking newspapers and Google clashed in court today during a hearing into a copyright case against the US giant.

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ITU Conference signals enhanced international cooperation in ICT: Plenipotentiary Conference endorses expanded mandate for ITU (International Telecommunication Union news release)

The 17th ITU Plenipotentiary Conference wound up Friday evening by setting out a road map for the Union to chart its future course as the pre-eminent world body for telecommunications and state-of-the-art information and communication technologies (ICT). It endorsed ITU's essential role in Bridging the Digital Divide and ensuring the continued expansion of global communication networks. The Conference renewed focus on implementing the outcomes of the WSIS. Over 2000 participants from 164 countries, including more than one hundred ministers attended the Plenipotentiary Conference, the supreme organ of ITU which meets every four years, and lent their support to the future work of the Union. The conference focused on a number of key issues: ITU's role in Implementing the outcomes and action lines of WSIS; Enhanced cooperation among the membership on international public policy issues related to the internet, such as internationalized domain names, to build bridges within the internet community and in the intergovernmental process.

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Stock fraudsters may become victims of their own success (The Times)

The biggest increase in spam over the past two years has been in e-mails that offer recipients shares in obscure technology companies based in the United States.

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ICANN Launches Public Comments on Whois Task Force Report (ICANN)

ICANN is launching a public comments period on the Preliminary Task Force Report on Whois Services. This report forms part of the GNSO policy development process (PDP) on Whois which seeks to build consensus on policy issues in the generic top level domain (gTLD) space. The public comment period will last from 24th November, 2006 to 15 January, 2007.

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Forward the online revolution (BBC)

We all have the power to shape the networked world, argues regular BBC commentator Bill Thompson. Over the last 20 years the global economy has been shaped and reshaped by computers and the growing reach of the internet as a public communications network.

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25 November 2006

How engineers tamed the internet's Tower of Babel (The Guardian)

At the IGF last month, a bespectacled Swede made a small, barely noticed announcement that nevertheless represented a pivotal moment in the history of the internet. "Regarding the technical implementation for the world wide web, we are done," Patrik Fältström told the Internet Governance Forum. By "we are done", he meant that following a decade of hard work by a global consortium of engineers and linguists, they had finally decided on a document that will enable all the world's languages to be fully represented on the internet. People will be able to type in addresses in their own language, search in their own language and move around the internet in their own language.

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The price of humans who'll spam blogs is falling to zero (The Guardian)

This article finds evidence that spammers are paying people in developinig countries to complete captcha boxes on websites, enabling spammers to bypass a security device to avoid spam - will they stop at nothing? Obviously not, as spammers think it's nothing personal. You have to understand: it's just business.

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Ban on MP3 transmitters is lifted (BBC)

Ofcom legalises the use of FM transmitters which allow iPods and other MP3 players to play through car radios.

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Podcast numbers show 'few hooked' (BBC)

Users who have experimented with downloading a podcast continues to grow but few remain hooked, research suggests.

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Fundamental socialism by Mick Hucknall (lead singer of Simply Red) (The Guardian)

Copyright is fundamentally socialist - it is radical and redistributive, subversive even. How else would you describe a form of property that anyone can create out of nothing? Copyright's democratising effect is seen most clearly in the music business. Anyone who can speak, sing, rap or hum and operate a simple sound recorder can create a copyright song. Imagination is the only limit.

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24 November 2006

Green IT: Do it for the money, if nothing else (ZDNet)

While the welfare of the planet may not top their agenda, the vast majority of businesses are still shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to energy savings. Eighty percent of businesses have never conducted an energy audit and only 29 percent of businesses are investing in energy-efficient PCs, according to research from Intel.

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Confounding the skeptics, Google shares soar (International Herald Tribune/New York Times)

Over the years, many have felt that Google stock was overvalued and that it would inevitably suffer the fate of Yahoo. This week, Google shares closed above US$500 for the first time.

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ICANN Opens Consultation on Latin America and the Caribbean Regional At Large Organisation Organising Instruments (ICANN)

As provided in the ICANN Bylaws, Article XI, Section 2, part 4, an advisory process has been created to allow the interests of individual Internet users to be represented in the ICANN community.

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Initial reports on the process to register .eu domain names (Internet Business Law Services)

More than two million .eu domain names have been registered in nine months, showing the great success of this European electronic identity. To regulate registrations, regulation (EC) N° 733/2002 of 22 April 2002 on the implementation of the .eu Top Level Domain has been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council (the "Regulation"), providing that holders of prior rights recognised or established would benefit from an exclusive period of time (from December 7, 2005 until April 6, 2006), the sunrise period, to register their domain names. To register during the sunrise period, applicants needed to prove a prior right entitling them to claim the corresponding domain name.

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