August 30, 2002

Patting Self on Back

I sprung for a Radio license today. Yay.
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I was at the local Blockbuster tonight and came across a title in the new releases section that I hadn't heard of before. "Dahmer".

"Interesting", I thought to myself. "Don't remember this one being released in the theatre." Which quickly took me back to thoughts of the first time I thought this - anyone remember "Supergirl"? (which incidentally had a theatrical release of about 3 days). Anyways, given the rather, shall we say, "interesting" subject matter, I added it to the other two movies I'd picked (got to love three day rentals) and was on my merry way.

Getting home, I mentally prepped myself for the 2 hours that lay ahead of me. Made sure I'd finished eating before sitting down, sat through the "Making Of" featurette with my wife to make sure that she was fully on board for the spectacle and then eventually hit "Play".

I must say that the movie wasn't nearly as interesting as it could have been. The entire two hours was spent detailing the pathetic life that Dahmer led. We start off the movie knowing that he's a grisly serial killer, get dragged through a bunch of flashbacks that support our initial knowledge and then end the movie knowing that he will always be a serial killer. Nor do we actually get to the real dark roots of his twisted tree, the details that most fascinated the gruesome curiosity of the world in 1991. The director avoided most of the less savory facts of Dahmer's life; the necrophilia, the cannabilism, the limbs, heads & genitalia stored throughout Dahmer's apartment...

What the Jacobson did do quite well though is draw a very direct, and disturbing line between the darker side of human nature and a pathetic creature that could quite literally be the person standing behind you right now. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the film is that he manages to pull  this off without the sensationalism that would have actually got this flick a decent run at the local theatre. Knowing however that the actual story was much more intriguing than what this cinematic veneer was portraying, I could never quite get to the heart of what I think that the director was trying to portray. Dahmer himself noted at trial that "It's hard for me to believe that a human being could have done what I've done, but I know that I did it." - this is what I wanted to see, this is what I had hoped the director was going to show me.

If you have a slightly twisted or adventurous taste in films, this one might interest you. 5.9 in my books. Kept my interest, made me think, probably won't rent it again, would possibly rewatch on cable - if I had cable ;)

(1 being the most amazing B movies ever made, 10 being the film that you've watched 35 times already and will 35 more, 5 being your average Hollywood blockbuster.)

Posted by system at 01:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NewNet NonNews and Welcome to Virginia, dotcom owners

The community seems to have missed the real news of the day in the "Big Precedent" department. NAF permitting tomfoolery by making a ruling on a 4th level domain (or a second level if you believe the spin) isn't "groundbreaking" in any way shape or form. In fact it is a seeming non-event that proves nothing other than the now-fact that people that pay good money to register a domain name in a TLD that doesn't resolve in most homes on my block (and yours) are now willing to toss good money into dispute arbitration proceedings. I'd love to read the filings. "The Registrant has infringed on my fake trademark by registering a fake name. We request that the panelist find a way to resolve this dispute quickly because goodness knows the name isn't resolving any time soon."

The real news of the day came from a real court regarding an issue with a real TLD.

The short version is that a Virginia Court has held that domain names are indeed property and can be subject to in rem actions.

The long version, while likely much more interesting, is beyond my sleep deprived capability to comprehend at this point. I did read the article however and would highly recommend that you do the same. Me retelling the story any further won't do it justice, but here are a few choice quotes. Needless to say that this really changes things in the dotCOMmonwealth.

"So where exactly does a domain name live? If you're a purist, you'll say that it doesn't 'live' anywhere ... If you are a United States District Judge, presented with a .com domain name, you'll say that a domain name is a piece of property with a geographical existence - in the Commonwealth of Virginia, USA. Why? Because that is where the registry for .com domain names is to be found.

The court decisions affirming this principle were Porsche Cars v and others, and Harrods Limited v Sixty Internet Domain Names. You may be wondering how it is that the Plaintiffs appear to be suing domain names rather than people or companies. In an odd twist, strange at least to most non-lawyers, US law says that a domain name is a piece of property that can be sued in its own right. This is called an in rem action (Latin for 'against the thing' as opposed to in personam or 'against the person'). The consequence of this peculiar state of affairs is that all of those registrants who have a .com domain name but live outside Virginia are viewed as absentee owners of property situated there. If you injure someone by virtue of that property (we're talking trademark disputes here) then Virginia's courts will take the case."


Posted by system at 12:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 28, 2002

Floating Integrity Registrar

Richard Henderson has put forward an interesting idea on the At-large-discuss mailing list. There are three big obstacles lie ahead for his plans - funding, ICANN policy and making the business case work.

First and foremost, gaining accreditation and certification isn't a trivial exercise - it requires time and capital. Second, 20% of revenue is a big slice for any company to donate - especially one that wants to play in such a competitive space. Lastly, I have to wonder if ICANN policy can be truly supportive of such a lofty goal. While it is one thing to desire that registrants feel safe, the current policy infrastructure doesn't completely support these goals.

I would however welcome his team at the registrar table to work together on that last niggly point. ;)

Posted by system at 11:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Request for Transfer Proposal Comments...

As I mentioned a bit back, it would be especially useful to hear from any/all members of the community concerning the status of the current proposal that the Registrar Constituency has tabled with the DNSO Transfers Task Force. The proposal consists of two parts - the motion, and the Best Practices document that was adopted almost unanimously by the Registrar Constituency. These documents have been on the table for a number of months now, and it has only been recently that substantive comments have been forthcoming.
Posted by system at 12:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Moved Crap to Make Room for Stuff.

Created a new cat today for some of the pop culture things that cross my path every once in a while. It let me get some of the crap out of this category (which leaves me more room for crap like this entry ;)

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August 27, 2002

Springsteen, Young and Emergence

One of my monthly fixes from Amazon showed up at the office today and I was so impressed with the payload, that I just had to share. First off, Bruce Springsteen's latest is absolutely wonderful. I couldn't resist ordering this one - (and given that Bruce's Toronto show is sold out at $115 CAD per seat, I guess that watching VHS footage from the '80's is as close as I'm going to get to seeing the E Street Band live...<sigh>) - but after three or four listenings tonight, I'm really glad that I did.

Bruce does what Bruce does best on this album - tells some great stories about the country that he lives in. As with some of his more popular efforts (like the inimitable "Born in the USA" or the landmark "River") he manages once again to pick up on the true emotional undertones of his fellow Americans and manages to wrap some great songs around them. I'm not sure that he is as nimble (adept?), lyrically, at doing this as he once was, but I'm quibbling now - this is a *great* album that nicely surprised me - surprised me in the fact that he can still pull it off after such a long run without the epic work that we became used to between 1973 and 1984. Classic Bruce, in my books at least, is Bruce that can pull off a heartfelt description of the dark side of being "grown". "The Rising" pulls that off...

More on the rest of the payload later...I have to figure out a way to get this disc out of my CD player first...(Real tough choice here, Young, Springsteen...Young? Hmm...;) In the meantime, here's a great quote from "Emergence" (which I hope to provide a small review about shortly)...

"You can't really, truly understand Brewster Kahle until you've had him show you the server farm in Alexa Internet's basement." Now given the fact that this was a random quote that jumped out at me when I folded the book open for the first time indicates that this is my kind of book ;)

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August 24, 2002

What I learned about Users - Part I

For a good part of this week I was rather excited that I had something nifty to do this weekend. Respond to email. But this wasn't just any email. The email that I was excited about contained *answers* to musings that I had posed concerning the identity of Users. So its not so much that I was excited about interacting with my favorite POP3 server yet again, but rather, I was impressed by the fact that I was about to learn something new.

It turns out that Danny Younger read some of my "not quite talking to myself" mutterances about Users and forwarded them off for the general digestion of the group that hangs out on the atlarge-discuss mailing list. I didn't figure this out right away but when he posted the original message, he cc'ed my "athome" email address rather than the one that I use for my professional activities. Needless to say, the one that I use for work gets checked a lot more often than the one that I use at home. I happened to glance at the box on Wednesday and noticed that I had a whack of new message. I was pretty pleased when I saw the subject lines pop up in my mail client. People had actually taken the time to answer the questions that I had put forth. "Neat," I thought.

<continued here>


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August 23, 2002

Radio Free Chaos

Blog Note re: duplicates comments below - Radio is acting wonky. Not only did it duplicate two of the posts below that were posted via email, but it also decided to reverse order the comments. "The Deed is Done" should actually precede the "Lawful models" comments. I'll fix things when I get home. Sigh. Update: I've since removed the duplicate post. Apologies to anyone that might have been linking to one or the other posts. Now I just have to live with the odd ordering of the two posts below concerning the WLS. Sigh.
Posted by system at 02:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thoughts on the WLS and Consensus

Thomas Roessler is asking "Are the existing business models lawful? Can current expired-domain registration services compete without registrars violating their accreditation agreements by letting others control "their" transactions with the registry?" The fact is that *some* of the business models surrounding dropped names capture is in accordance with the various operating contracts of registries - and some are not. Denying or approving the WLS based on some perceived (or actual) behaviours by a subset of contracted parties is not what the board should be engaging in. Rather, they need to pull back and make a decision that is consistent with ICANN's mandate as described in the Principles set forth in the DOC MoU.

[Completely Unrelated Sidebar: Whether or not the WLS is approved or not by the board today is one question, however I'm still amazed at the level of misinformation that has crept into the discussion. This is only important insofar as it effects the consensus process. If the participants do not possess accurate information, then they cannot develop an informed position on the subject. If the position they hold is not informed, then they will not be able to compromise (ie - work to achieve consensus) on the appropriate points. This ineffective negotiation will consistently produce inappropriate policies.]

Posted by system at 02:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WLS Approved by ICANN Board

The deed is done. What I immediately found strange about the wording of the resolution was the statement that "The WLS shall be offered for a trial period of twelve months, with subscriptions offered for a one-year term so that they last no longer than one year past the end of the trial period...". If the WLS is being offered on a trial basis, for a period of 12 months, how would VGRS fulfill subscriptions in year two if the trial doesn't move beyond the initial 12 month period.

Oh I get it, this isn't an issue because there's very little real chance that the trial will be discontinued.

Posted by system at 02:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2002

Why do users need a place at the table? Part II

I asked the question a week ago, but still don't "get" the answers. A few people included me in a thread going on over on the at-large discussion list regarding what the arguments for and against individual participation in ICANN actually are. The answers coming back weren't all that convincing - all I managed to take away was that users are entitled to a seat because they use the system. Not terribly convincing. Convince me.
Posted by system at 04:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2002

Tue, 20 Aug 2002 12:38:45 GMT

ICANN released its Preli minary report to the ICANN Board concerning the reassignment of dotORG. In short, the review is recommending that dotORG be reassigned to ISOC. From a preliminary scan, my view (obDisclaimer: Tucows is a minority shareholder in Afilias, the proposed Registry Operator for ISOC. I work for Tucows. These are my personal comments.) is that the report nailed it. Later today, when I've had a chance to digest more fully, I'll post my analysis of the documents.
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August 17, 2002

.CN eases registration restrictions.

According to China Daily, dotCN will be a lot more open starting in September. The piece alludes to a number of policy changes including easier access for foreigners, decreased pricing as well as streamlined (and therefore shorter) registration processes.

I'm going to try and dig up some more specifics on the changes. If anyone has any pointers, please drop me a note with further information.

Posted by system at 10:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Froomkin doesn't collect air miles apparently...

"ICANN had no meetings in the U.S., so no one would show up," says Michael Froomkin in a typically critical piece over at

I had the privilege of attending the recent meetings in Accra. There wasn't a local participant there that didn't completely appreciate the fact that they were able to participate in the ICANN process. Whether or not Froomkin and Dvorak like it, its a big Internet out there and excluding International participation because of the "inconvenience" that it represents for North Americans is just plain wrong.

Posted by system at 10:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

GA on DNSO Policy

The traffic on the mailing lists of the General Assembly of the DNSO often more resembles the slurred chatter of a local pub just after last call. There are times however when someone manages to bring some sobriety back to the table by bringing their thoughtfulness and insight to bear. This thread, concerning the work of the Names Council Transfer Task force (obDisclaimer - of which I am a member), possibly represents the most substantive exchange on the dynamics of ICANN policy development. I urge you to pay particular attention to what these people are saying - they are each right.

Hearing from each these individuals (or any other interested and experienced parties) concerning the substance of the current policy proposals in front of the Task Force would be especially useful at this point. The GA does have a strong role to play - it needs to start doing so.

"I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs."
- Joseph Addison, 'The Spectator'

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August 16, 2002

An interesting new addition to the zone file yesterday popped up in my watchlist this morning - "". My immediate thought was that Stratton had picked up on Brett's commentary regarding the "Value of Trust". Natch, it looks like this one went to a third party for some bizarre reason... ...any broken links will be fixed when I get in front of the console...sigh...

Update: Links fixed.

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Radio eats Link. Radio 2, Links 0

Apologies for the broken links below. For some reason, when I post stories via email, the links get re-written in some cases, thus obviously breaking them. I will fix them manually when I get home tonight.

Update: Originally referred to links on the home page. I must say that this is pretty annoying that Radio keeps munging links submitted via email in this way...

Posted by system at 07:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Esther on the ITU

This is actually a great interview - put some very fine touches on what have been somewhat elusive issues for a while (at least in my books). Last week, over at ICANNwatch, Ray Fasset posited "Why not the ITU?" Esther nails the answer in the interview (did I say "read it!" ?)...

"Okay, here's the scenario: it loses its contract with the US Department of Commerce, and its functions revert to the United States. Then there's a huge outcry from the EU and other governments saying, 'It's unconscionable that this thing be in the control of the US government,' which it would be. The US government then says, 'You're absolutely right. We'll hand it over to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)' - which has been holding meetings, making moves and planning how to take it over. ICANN will then become part of the ITU, which for years was basically lobbying against the very existence of the Internet. This will then have all the derived power of all the governments of the world. Then it could say, for example, 'These particular web sites which criticise governments should lose their domain names because they are not in the public interest'; that is, 'We're governments and we represent the public interest - and these sites are not in our interest.' The ITU will be successfully lobbied by trademark interests and, if it follows the US, trademark interests will impose much more restrictive rules than ICANN's dispute-resolution policy. There will be very, very little progress in anything. End of scenario."

More at OpenDemocracy...

Posted by system at 06:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Why do users need a place at the table?

I was just reading through Esther's interview at OpenDemocracy and it occurred to me that over the last four years I've not heard (or perhaps more precisely, I don't remember hearing) any arguments concerning why user participation in ICANN is appropriate. I mean, it seems perfectly logical and healthy for providers, producers, customers and caretakers of the DNS and domain names to be involved - but actually users? If "user" means "those that use the resources of the Internet and in doing so take advantage of the resolution services of the DNS" then I need some significant education as to what the fuss is about. I'm not saying that user participation on some level is or isn't desirable, I'm just saying I don't think that I "get it" enough to actually buy either side of the argument. If on the other hand "user" means "an individual who has registered a domain name", then the picture is quite clear to me - they need representation and they need it now. I think I have some reading to do this weekend ;)

Posted by system at 06:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New RPSI Titleholder - new.architects new.editor

In what has to get the prize for "Most Rhetoric Per Square Inch", the new.editor of new.architect magazine Christopher Null has some pretty unflattering things to say about ICANN. I'm not sure what he has written is worthy of a response, but the piece does illustrate a) the new popularity that ICANN jousting has found as a sport and b) how easy it is to become an editor nowadays. I suppose it might sell copy though.

Boardwatch is running similarly clueless commentary from Dvorak in their latest ish....

Posted by system at 05:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2002

Change it to Davejira...

Blog beats press again. ZDNet and a few other "traditional" news sources have carried the reporting ball a little further down the field on the "Davezilla" story that was covered in The Trademark Blog yesterday. There are actually 1674 domain names in CNOBI that include the string "zilla", 28954 that include the string "god" and 119 that include both. On the other hand, there are only 14086 that include the string "dave" and but one that includes "dave" and "zilla". Of the 2775 names in the zones that include the word "trademark", there are none that also include the strings "silly" and "lawyers" and "with too much time on their hands" ;)

Update: Apparently the string 'dave' in quotes is a Radio tag that automatically links to "dave"'s blog ;)

Posted by system at 10:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 13, 2002

Up to 5% of diamond sales finance terrorism and other forms of violence.

While not the type of story that usually engages my attention, this story on "Conflict Diamonds", published by the United Nations, reminded me (not so gently) that we live in a pretty big world which we make or break in ways that we aren't initially aware of simply based on the individual decisions that we each make every day.

Posted by system at 09:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2002

Wherefore art thou Mole?

I miss "The mole".

<sigh>it hasn't even been a week yet.</sigh>

Tuesdays will never be the same. My kingdom for a Tivo. (well, my kingdom and the rest in cash ;)

Posted by system at 09:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The web's schizophrenic little brother ?

If you've wondered why I've started putting bracketed question marks in the middle of my sentences, click on one of them one of these days and you might answer your own question [?]. The question marks lead back to a Blockstackers project called "Everything2" which is essentially a community built, self-referencing outliner, idea-sharer, definition provider...thing...

Check it out, its pretty neat.

Posted by system at 09:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indian ISPs Opposed to VoIP IM Traffic.

According to Wired, Indian ISPs are up in arms over IM applications that provide their (the ISPs) subscribers with VoIP [?] support. More astounding than the attitudes of the Internet Service Providers was the degree to which the Indian government seems to have (attempted or successfully - not sure) regulated the Internet in an extreme fashion running directly contrary to the end-to-end principle. "The application is dead, long live the telecoms".

Scott Tyler Shafer provides one great example of what India will be missing out on in the next 99% of the Internet's functions if the government keeps regulating in this direction.

Posted by system at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tue, 13 Aug 2002 02:24:39 GMT

Bizarre...two days of stories didn't make it to the main page of the blog (even though I diligently added them all and they showed up in my Home screen)...then, they disappeared even from there and are now completely lost. Weird.
Posted by system at 09:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 10, 2002

Bubble bursts, massive telcom casualties. Story at 5.

Bob "I don't need DNS for dummies, I need DNS for Bob" Frankston has penned a wonderful critique of an Economist article on the subject of the Telecom crash. As he mentions, the article "...(in particular, Too many debts, too few calls) draws no distinction between the business of providing commodity Internet connectivity with the business of providing telecommunications-based services. Of course The Economist is not alone in this fundamental error but "Crash" story is a useful foil for addressing this misunderstanding."

The part that rang truest with me are his statements concerning the Internet Bubble. "Much of the foolish speculation stemmed from the misunderstanding that considers telecom a viable industry. The history of computing is littered with vast over-promises. But the value delivered by the 1% of the capability that is actually provided has been large enough to drive the economy." I haven't seen this said better yet.

I would only (hesitantly) add that -  (which he goes into elsewhere from different angles) - the supportive capability of the telecommunications infrastructure is extremely limited and cannot effectively compete with the supportive capability offered by the Internet. The range of applications that the telco infrastructure supports is completely limited to those that the telco's would like you to use - and that they control. The Internet allows you to choose which applications you would like to us. Don't believe me? Try and upgrade the caller-id functionality in your phone. I fully believe that the telco's didn't quite get this and instead of trying to figure out where they could add value to the Internet economy, they chose to attempt to capture it and put it under their control. This plan required vast expenditures that they simply could not support putting them in the dire straits that we see today.

The Internet bubble only destroyed telcom's insofar as it inflated the perception of what the Internet actually was and forced the telcom's to increase the size of scope of their plans (and investments) to match what they thought was necessary to control the Internet. Had they instead focused on bringing value to the 1% of the Internet's promise that was actually important (and valued!), the world(com) might be a different place.

Posted by system at 09:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Radio would be useful to ICANN participants...

Brett makes a lot of great points (and pointers) in this snippet over at icann.Blog concerning the s/n ratio of discussion lists and why blogs are particularly helpful at eliminating that phenom. I couldn't agree with the analyses put forth - blog don't allow goofballs to disrupt the discourse. He also mentions that perhaps "it's time to get ICANN its own Radio community server."

I've been talking to Tim about this in a roundabout way lately. Its not easy for the various constituencies, councils, task forces, teams and individuals that make up the process to share information. The technical and social barriers have created a situation whereby it is often to expensive (on number of levels, not just economic) for information to be share within ICANN's various substructures. Not only would Radio help Tim out as Secretary of the RC, but also likely with his consultancy. And, as they say, where there's one, there's more. This might make for an interesting experiment - and I would welcome the resulting S/N ratio.

Posted by system at 09:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Verisign complies with contract. Next up, universal peace.

Cnet is reporting that "VeriSign playing by the rules. The domain name company appears to be complying with rules that require it to share its database with other companies that sell Web addresses, according to an auditor's report."

Umm...okay. I guess that closes that issue off then <insert wry cynical comment here>.

Posted by system at 09:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 08, 2002

Blog flogs press?

Trellix to integrate blog support using Pyra's technology? This would be great news if it were true. Its accurate from the standpoint that Trellix will be offering blogging support in TWE very shortly. Its also accurate from the perspective that Trellix does indeed have a licensing arrangement with Pyra (yay blogger!) What isn't true is that Trellix will be using Blogger technology in the TWE environment. The funny part of this entire thing is that Dan Bricklin's blog has the entire story written up in great detail and Infoworld seemed to miss the point...Blog flogs press?

Posted by system at 08:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 07, 2002

Bulk Register Settles w Verisign

This just in - "BulkRegister officials announced Wednesday afternoon they had reached a settlement against one of its competitors over charges of domain slamming." No word on the details of the settlement, but it looks like a bunch of domain names are moving back to Bulk Register as a result of the agreement.

It will be very interesting to see if and how quickly the other suits reach this point.

Posted by system at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Sun revolves around the DNS now? Feh.

Martin Schwimmer points out in his Trademark Blog that the most recent SOTD stated that "an industry which sells 30-40,000 units a day worldwide at $2 to $3 per unit gross margin, cannot support 122 healthy companies."

Conclusion? "We are not going to see 122 registrars a year from now."

My conclusion? Both have it dead wrong. In this case, one has to follow the money back to its originating source and realize that those 30-40,000 units support far more than the 122 registrars that take credit for those sales. What about the tens of thousands of ISPs and Webhoster's that actually drive the demand for these services? 122 registrars is a drop in the bucket in comparison.

C'mon folks, its a big world out there - the sun doesn't revolve around the DNS.


Posted by system at 10:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

People Drive Cars. Cars Don't Drive Bluetooth.

Infoworld is reporting that "Cars will drive consumer Bluetooth adoption".

I'm not so sure myself.

First, my practical view dictates that it has to be consumers that drive consumer demand. (It's okay for consumers to drive cars, but certainly not for cars to drive consumer demand. ; ) Second, there are any number of reasons that illustrate why Bluetooth is probably not going to get that far. I get it that this isn't Wi-Fi II (more like IrDA II), but it still irks me that even after everything that industry has supposedly learned about "hype" over the last three years that we still find industry press and gadflies talking in an airy-fairy manner like this.

Posted by system at 10:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Spam Spam

Is it just me, or has it become fashionable lately to write about Spam? Not in sense of how to get rid of it, who sends it or the like, but to write about specific pieces of individual Spam as if the author were the only one to ever receive it. I don't get this trend ladies and gents. Of course, that just means I'm getting old and crotchety.

Posted by system at 09:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What's the difference between and New.Net? Tons...

"IDNs Now...for Windows. Verisign Global Registry Services announced the release of new software products this morning intended to act as "an accelerator for resolution of internationalized domain names." The software, available only for Windows Operating Systems, is available for download at P.S. How, exactly, is this different from" [icann.Blog]

There is a big difference, in my mind at least. I picked this up in a separate conversation last month. The nut of the issue relates to the difference in implementation on the server side and the roadmap for the technology.

Now, with that being said, none of this absolves VGRS for the current state of the "pilot", nor does it mean that they are doing the "right" thing. Standards take time. Pre-spec beta initiatives attempted before the standard is ratified are always high-risk, especially when it means coordinating the behavior of millions of clients, millions of servers and an infrastructure as important as the DNS. One has to wonder whether or not the current state of real-world IDN initiatives have helped or hindered the development and deployment of a final spec. My inclination in this case would be to drive the implementation of a final spec from a political and engineering perspective given that the economic returns outweigh the value of "owning the standard".

Long term vs. short term horizons perhaps...

Posted by system at 09:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thu, 08 Aug 2002 00:59:16 GMT

Yay fixed!
Posted by system at 07:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thu, 08 Aug 2002 00:55:55 GMT

Blog go boom. Damn. It'll be a bit before I get home to fix this...
Posted by system at 07:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thu, 08 Aug 2002 00:55:54 GMT

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More on the FTC Investigation in VRSN's Marketing Practices...

Rona Abramson over at The Street has dug a little bit deeper into the FTC inquiry of Verisign's marketing practices. Most importantly, the investigation has been confirmed by the FTC. Other points of interest include some deeper thoughts on the root of the problem and where the industry needs to go. This piece features further comments by Mike Palage, chair of the DNSO Registrar Constituency and Tom D'alleva from Bulk Register.
Posted by system at 05:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Clarification re Where did VRSN get their data from?

Re: Palage in the NYT - Now to be clear, the Registrar Accreditation Agreement does provide for rights in data after the fact (post-transfer to a new registrar), but Mike's question is still very valid - where did they get the data from? While I'm more interested in what they are doing with it, the fact remains that there are any number of parties that are harvesting the whois - those that engage in this behavior don't enjoy the same rights in the data that they collect as do those who collected the data during the normal course of business (ie - registering domain names) as provided for under the Registrar Accreditation Agreement.
Posted by system at 10:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Where did Verisign get their data from?

The New York Times is running a piece on the investigation. Not much more information than what Reuters presents with the exception of some background information and a quote from Michael Palage in which he asks "[H]ow did they get the data [for their mass marketing campaigns]?"

My guess is that it has something to do with this clause in their accreditation agreement.

The Register is running a similarly thin story...


Posted by system at 06:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 06, 2002

U.S. Postmaster also investigating Verisign?

Also interesting...I've always thought that stock bull boards were rather useless. Yahoo's board on VRSN has proven me wrong. Links to copies of the actual letters themselves can be found here and here.

Posted by system at 11:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MS the new industry leader in security?

"Analyst: Microsoft on verge of security blitz. Move could displace sector leaders" says Infoworld. And this one on the heels of Shatter. I suppose things could be stranger today...
Posted by system at 10:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FTC Probes Verisign Marketing - Take II

An updated story has been filed by Reuters that sorts out some of the vaguaries concerning the source of the story...Verisign's comments still pretty much confirm the facts that the story lays out, so I'm still saying "hold on to your hats ladies and gents, this is about to get interesting..."

Unfortunately, no original editorial at this point - other than the standard regurgi-fed items...

Posted by system at 10:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FTC Probes VeriSign Marketing

Not much to say about this one other than the obvious which is to note that the FTC web site doesn't have much to say on the subject...

On one hand, Reuters is a very credible source for this story, but on the other, "a source close to the probe" doesn't really make it a "fact" in my mind.

Regardless, my personal conjecture is that this story is spot on (Verisign pretty much confirms it in the article). It will be interesting to see what further commentary develops within industry circles.

If it is true, it will be interesting to see what the findings are and whether or not Verisign re-uses their "government contractor immunity" defence that has served them very well in the past (or whether it would even be relevant as my layman's understanding of the pgMedia case is that it was anti-trust specific...come to think of it...would they qualify for anti-trust immunity now? The Interland reference is also interesting, especially given some of the prior associations that the news media has made. (Hmm...let's hope a lawyer with some insight decides to fire up his or her blog machinery and answer some of these tough questions...:).

There is one thing for certain, there is going to be much to be said on the subject over the coming months...

(Hmm...I suppose that there was a bit to say on this one ;)

Posted by system at 10:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wed, 07 Aug 2002 02:16:44 GMT bill is the mole, dot wins and now I can go to bed early. Hopefully this show doesn't go into repeats...
Posted by system at 09:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wed, 07 Aug 2002 02:13:14 GMT

Ahh well...guess that means that bill is the mole...stupid game.
Posted by system at 09:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wed, 07 Aug 2002 02:09:44 GMT

For the last bazillion weeks people have been getting themselves booted from the dhow because they had no idea who the mole is...and they are supposed to be able to answer that question now? Dumb start... Who cares...
Posted by system at 09:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wed, 07 Aug 2002 02:03:54 GMT who is the mole... More mindless commentary over the next hour as the only show I watch comes to an end...
Posted by system at 09:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sorry for the lack of

Sorry for the lack of updates over the last few days...I was purposely out of range of my computer for three straight days. Anyways, nice to be back.... Slashdot is running an interesting essay entitled "Exploiting design flaws in the Win32 API for privilege escalation. Or...Shatter Attacks - How to break Windows." As the paper states, "The flaws presented in this paper are, at the time of writing, unfixable. The only reliable solution to these attacks requires functionality that is not present in Windows, as well as efforts on the part of every single Windows software vendor. This research was sparked by comments made by Microsoft VP Jim Allchin who stated, under oath, that there were flaws in Windows so great that they would threaten national security if the Windows source code were to be disclosed. He mentioned Message Queueing, and immediately regretted it. However, given the quantity of research currently taking place around the world after Mr Allchin's comments, it is about time the white hat ? community saw what is actually possible." Microsoft's response? "...if I understand things correctly, the attack you describe either requires the user to run an attacker's program on their system or the attacker needs to have access to the user's system. I would recommend that you contact the program's owner and let them know of your report. There may or may not be a vulnerability for them to address, but the program's owner should determine that." It makes me wonder whether or not there is any connection between the publication of this note and Microsoft's recent move to release their source and API's prior to the formal final settlement approval or if its just a coincidence. Presumably, issuing API and source documentation that refutes this protects the "integrity" of the product...if it's a coincidence and Chris is right, then the Windows world is in for a whole mess of trouble...
Posted by system at 04:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2002

Fri, 02 Aug 2002 16:29:12 GMT

Finally, some sense in the discussion about the role of ICANN and why it exists. This piece was written in response to Verisign's [?] latest propaganda volley concerning ICANN reform, but it holds a lot of value when applied to many of the other "arguments" put forth by the Persistent Critics.
Posted by system at 11:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 01, 2002

Thu, 01 Aug 2002 20:51:42 GMT

Sometimes the universe has a way of jumping out at you, screaming "It all makes sense! Really! Look at this if you don't believe me..." Read this , this and this for a better idea of what I mean.
Posted by system at 03:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack