October 30, 2002

Better than the Magic Eightball

Stuart has just laid out a new proposal for adding new TLDs to the root. If they need any outside consulting help with the specifics of the plan, the staff might want to use this resource.
Posted by system at 04:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sensible Advice

Bruce Tonkin points out a very important point about what it is going to take to get a seat on the board once the ERC recommendations have been implemented: Positive, good-faith participation by individuals and organization at the bottom-most levels of the organization. Its a very simple formula that, in my mind, will provide some measure of how successful reform turns out to be. I urge everyone involved to heed Bruce's advice.

Small note to Karl - I think that Bruce was talking about individuals and organizations in a slightly different sense than what you heard. I am an individual that works within the process, the organization that I work for is also involved in the process. There are also an entire class of individuals, those that elected you, that are involved in the process.

Posted by system at 04:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Get Involved with the Substance

Stuart Lynn just used a phrase that I rather like. "...for people that want to get involved with the substance of ICANN and not just the process."

The matter of Vint's membership in the ACM is still up in the air, but it looks like Stuart has prevailed in his "debate" with Kathy Kleinman. :)

Posted by system at 02:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 29, 2002

Spreading DCT

As the registrar rep to the Transfers task force, I've been very busy trying to ensure that we can achieve the level of consultation, dialogue and agreement on the task force recommendations to ensure that we can demonstrate community consensus when making our policy recommendations. Part of this includes tracking the development of the viewpoints of the other constituencies and impacted stakeholders. I've tried to keep a particularly close eye on the evolution of the position of the registry constituency - the source of some of the more spirited debate within the TF. Three times over the last week I confirmed with the chair of the registry constituency that the registry constituency did indeed support the overall recommendations of the TF but that they wanted to make sure that some very small points were explored in further detail - the examples that Neuman provided me with a high degree of confidence in our capability to close this issue off with a demonstration of consensus and a positive vote by the Names Council.

Well, at least until yesterday.

During the Names Council meeting, Roger Cochetti, an employee of Verisign and one of three registry constituency representatives to the Names Council, indicated some grave concern with the contents of the interim report. Not only did this attempt to undermine the bridge building and compromise that are achieving, but it is also completely inconsistent with my understanding of the prevailing sentiments of the Registry Constituency. I am sure that the registry constituency will deal with this serious breach of protocol internally, but the incident does raise a question of whether or not Cochetti represents the Registry Constituency or Verisign on the Names Council.

The cynics that I've talked to about this are probably correct when they point out out that he received his electoral mandate when he, as the sole member of the constituency (pre-expansion) appointed himself to the Names Council.

As a side note, Roger made a rather curious argument regarding the tendencies of task forces. He indicated that they often attempt to craft recommendations that promoted administration based on matters of material interest and were far too detailed to actually constitute policy. While he didn't state this explicitly, his remarks left an implication that Verisign would prefer that the Names Council ratify task force recommendations only insofar as they expressed principles of equity that would allow the implementors to actually determine what the administrative details were.

The bureaucratic dialect use by Cochetti left me scratching my head until I keyed in the fact that he was abusing the definition of policy. By its very nature, policy *is* the management of details and processes - without it, you are left with the hope that everyone else will abide by the principles that govern the character of the community. Cochetti seems to advocate that the Names Council, and therefore by extension the ICANN Board, only promote principles. Principles are important, but they don't come with a guarantee that they will actually be followed. Order and Good Government are two principles that govern civil society, but it takes the social policy embodied in the law to ensure that those who operate under a different set of principles don't upset the basic order that society values.

I'm not sure about this, but I don't think that I stand in the minority when I state that I'm not willing to bet on Verisign's capability to follow the principles that the Internet Community sets forth for all of us to follow. More explicitly, unless we determine solid policies that keep Verisign's monopoly tendencies in check and continue to promote true competition within the generic namespace, they will continue to disrupt the positive forward movement, imagination and innovation that this community has continually demonstrated.

Posted by system at 11:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 27, 2002

Whois & Transfers Task Force Open Meetings

Held on Sunday afternoon (local time), the purpose of these two meetings was to continue the dialogue between the respective task forces and the impacted stakeholders (at least those that were present). Louis Touton, ICANN General Counsel, kicked off both sessions with an explanation of what his recent briefing on the subject of policy development actually meant. His message was very clear - there are no real previous examples of the establishment of consensus policy by which current task forces can model their behavior. In other words, we are forging new ground and ensure that we dot our "i's" and cross our "t's" as it relates to the contractual requirements that describe how consensus policy is created within ICANN. In other words, he was saying that consensus policy could not be created if consensus does not exist. A finely tuned point, but I believe that the message was heard loud and clear.

After the introductions, the discussion quickly moved, not to the typical task force drudgery of point-counterpoint-defer, but rather to a concerted effort to discover what the real requirements of each impacted stakeholder are and an exploration of what some of the possible implementations might look like. The general agreement in the hallways was that it was a very productive meeting that represents a significant step in the right direction towards discovering what the consensus is on these important issues.

I expect at this point that we will see some substantial differences between the current Interim reports and the next reports produced by these task forces.

Posted by system at 08:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

No route to host...

Crap - no routing between here and my bloghome. This sucks. I'm going to keep adding notes as the week progresses, but I guess I'll be flooding the blog when I get back...[sigh].
Posted by system at 01:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 26, 2002

First morning in Shanghai

Its 4:45am here in Shangai - we made it :) Got in yesterday afternoon local time, grabbed some food around six (mmm...real chinese food :) and was in bed sleeping by 8:30. I'm hoping that I've shaken off the jet lag, but the fact that I'm online at 5:30 in the morning might indicate otherwise ;) Time to check my email, figure out how to turn a 60 page policy recommendation into a powerpoint presentation and try and finish it all off before 6:30am when the restaurant opens.

12 hours of China was not what I expected - more on that later when I've had a chance to soak up more of the scene. Packets are flowing freely on the third floor of the Oriental Riverside. Both my e740 and my Cisco Aironet picked up an open access point within seconds (hint: no SSID, no WEP).

Michael Froomkin had some comments on my Yellow Kids post, more on that later as well. 323 messages await...

Posted by system at 05:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 20, 2002

The Yellow Kids

It would have been nice if the editors at ICANNWatch had actually called out the other side before they posted their take on the dotSU "de-delegation". As it stands, it is an unfair indictment that still begs for "the other side of story". In the Wired article, Herbert claims he was talking off-the-record, Mary indicates that the matter still needs to be considered by ICANN and Sergey (the author) suggests that this will be a matter for discussion at the Shanghai meeting. Michael immediately jumps to the conclusion that this is a done deal, an insider conspiracy and yet another example of the illegitimacy of ICANN.

I've never been quite sure what the ICANNWatch agenda is. I used to think they were a necessary check in the eco-system. Now, I'm not sure. Regardless of what their goals actually are, their potshot criticisms have become shrill and counterproductive. Readers of the National Enquirer crave this style of journalism. Personally, I expect more.

Google points to some 33,300 websites related to the topic of "journalistic integrity" - we need a few more that point to ICANNWatch.

Posted by system at 10:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

My First dotINFO

I came across my first newTLD today. What I mean is, during the regular course of careening about the Internet, I came across a resource that is using a dotINFO domain. I wasn't prompted to go there because of something I had read (ie - registry propaganda), I wasn't merely typing in an address to see if it worked (ie - nic.info) and I wasn't using a resource that belonged to me (ie - rader.info). This was a real live, flesh and blood resource that was sitting out there waiting for someone like me to use it¹.

Now, I don't know if this means that the new TLDs are taking hold or whether this was the result of some statistical phenomena (someone who uses the Internet as much as me was bound to come across a website using a newTLD sooner or later) but it does show me that there are regular Internetizens that have adopted a newTLD to hang their shingle on. A lot of people put a lot of extraordinary time and effort into seeing that the concept of newTLDs became reality - its cool to finally see that it is paying off.

¹Now that I think of it, TR's blog was probably the first newTLD that I came across, but Thomas is part of the loop, so I can't in good conscience count him as a "regular" Internetizen. Sorry T. :)

Posted by system at 03:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Minor changes...

Moved Radio from the desktop to the laptop today. If the SMTP publishing feature wasn't so flaky, I could probably just live with that - but given that it periodically crashes the upstreaming requiring a relaunch of Radio, I didn't want to live it to chance that the system would stay up during extended absences. I'd rather take the entire kit along with me and cross my fingers that the Internet access at my destination would be good enough to support some of the upstreaming functions. SMTP posting isn't that great anyways - no support for headlines or cat streaming...which basically means that every time that I post something via SMTP, I still have to sit down at the console and edit it manually...sigh. Hopefully this is a better arrangement. The laptop seems to be a little bit underpowered when it comes to rendering the entire site, but it hasn't been too bad on a post-by-post basis...

Anyways, the deed is done - now if I can just figure out a way to blog straight from my new e740 :) (yes, the blackberry is dead. Long live the blackberry.)

Posted by system at 01:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sun, 20 Oct 2002 18:10:27 GMT

via smtp...
Posted by system at 01:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Won't get fooled again

this is another test. last one didn't work. please work this time.
Posted by system at 01:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Going mobile....

This is a test. Please work.
Posted by system at 12:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Root to drop dotSU?

I didn't see this on any of the official agenda's yet, but I haven't read them that closely yet either :) - according to Wired, the "de-delegation" of dotSU is supposedly under consideration. This conversation might yield some interesting precedents. For instance, under what circumstances will ICANN intervene in the operation of TLD, will they let them fail, will they force some to fail, etc. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one - stay tuned.
Posted by system at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Spinal Cracker

I'm catching up on some reading tonight - everything from fog making FAQs to some recent press on the dotORG redelegation. One of these articles touched on a point of view that has never quite made sense to me. Dave Farber says that one of the problems with the PIR plan for managing dotORG lies with the proposal to divert some of the profits towards education and outreach. He says, "The danger is, the money from .org will be used to fund your favorite little projects. I have never thought it reasonable to 'tax' Internet users to fund somebody's particular interests."

Elisabeth Porteneuve makes a similar argument in a thread currently unravelling on the GA mailing list. "The question then arises: are that $67 million per annum collected by gTLD Registries from the non-US Registrants a tax? I guess some users and now governments feel concerned by something which looks like a planetary tax.Why ICANN maintain that enormous $6 cap fee per domain name in extra-judiciary international space? Why ICANN does not use that money collected worldwide for the benefit of international domain name Registrants?" she states.

These aren't taxes we're talking about here folks - it is revenue. And revenue always goes to fund someones particular interests. ICANN cannot be in the business of directing how cash generated through private enterprise is used (or not used). The fascinating thing about these two statements is that they come from people who otherwise argue that ICANN needs a narrower focus, that ICANN needs to stay out of local matters that do not concern them, that ICANN should only deal with matters of technical coordination.

My suggestion? This critical energy could be much better devoted to solving some of the real problems faced by the community.

"What we need to do is learn to work in the system, by which I mean that everybody, every team, every platform, every division, every component is there not for individual competitive profit or recognition, but for contribution to the system as a whole on a win-win basis."
- W. Edwards Deming
Posted by system at 12:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 19, 2002

Cerf on Everything

Dr. Cerf answers some great questions over at slashdot ranging from his thoughts on DRM to the Auerbach/ICANN litigation. My favorite quote, "...beginning in 1975 I began work on a secured version of Internet with the National Security Agency. Because the details of this design were classified, none of this design could be shared with the uncleared developers at universities and industry engaged in the unfolding design of the Internet." Its rare to see such finely tuned evidence that the cathredal is a really crappy place to develop systems. If you can't share, then you can't scale. As a pretty regular /. reader, I'm surprised that I missed this when it was originally published.
Posted by system at 11:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

dotUSA Settles dotSpat with FTC

alt-root retailer settles with FTC. The refund checks are on their way.
Posted by system at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 18, 2002

Cohen on ICANN

Demys is running part I of a three part interview with Jonathon Cohen... "There's nothing like being quoted to remind you of what you've said - most of us don't expect to be recorded and to have what we said at a given time put to us; I think it's very useful for people to understand the implications of what they're saying as they say it."
Posted by system at 12:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Defensive Registration Not Adding Up

I wasn't going to blog this, but if their denial is true and Siebel is simply making a technology announcement next week at their developer conference (BillG is keynoting), then why did they register siebelmicrosoft.com and other variations last Monday? And I thought the days of defensive squatting were behind us.
Posted by system at 10:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Call me a Cynic, but...

On 3 October 2002, the DNSO Names Council voted to initiate the policy-development process that will likely be used by the GNSO to examine the issues and make policy recommendations concerning deletion of gTLD registrations. The notice of initiation has been posted on the DNSO website and the attendant issues paper will be available for public comment until November 5, 2002.

As a big believer in the maxim that if one isn't part of the solution, they are part of the problem, I volunteered to assist in the drafting of the issues paper (truth be told, NC Chair and Registrar Rep to the NC, Bruce Tonkin did the lion's share of the work). I'm also a big believer in "wait and see how things work out", but I can't see how this highly compressed schedule can produce well considered and reasonable recommendations, especially when one considers that the TF is required more to gather input and data and required less to consider what the recommendations should be - the Names Council now has this responsibility. This very small group of people that makes up the Names Council has very little time to consider the limited details and input gathered by the task force and recommend what the new policies and processes surrounding the deletion of names should be.

As I said, I will wait and see whether or not this process can produce valid results - I will be taking bets in the meantime however. Current odds are 5 to 1 against :)

Posted by system at 08:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 16, 2002

Interim NC Transfers Report

The Names Council Task Force on Transfers has published its Interim Report. More comments from the trenches later today.
Posted by system at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

TR Launches ISMAN

If you are interested in keeping ahead of the curve as it relates to developments at ICANN's meeting next week in Shanghai, you might want to check out Thomas Roessler's very excellent (but cumbersomely titled) "ICANN Shanghai Meetings Aggregated News from the Blogs" Blog. This has been tried before with other events and worked quite well.

I'm really looking forward to see how this works out in the ICANN context. What hasn't been said is that a resource like this is a wonderful replacement for coordinative lists like the GA mailing list. While some might bristle at the suggestion that RSS feeds could possibly be considered as a replacement for an interactive forum, Radio, and tools like it, have many features that really make them shine in a context like this. For instance, I don't know about you, but dealing with bad or useless information from entities that don't add to the process isn't high on my list of priorities. Radio allows me to choose the sources that I interact with, Majordomo forces that choice on me. Even if interaction doesn't get this radical in the near-term, there are other, much simpler things that can be done today to streamline the accessibility and transparency of ICANN.

For those of you that attend ICANN meetings, you already realize that this resource will soon be called the "ISMANBlog" so that no one has a clue what we're all talking about. :) Also, I get the sense from the URL [?] that Thomas will likely be re-purposing this blog tool for other events - you might just want to bookmark it.

Posted by system at 07:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 15, 2002

Nominum Narrows Choices with Exit from Sector

For this of you that may have missed this tidbit last week, Nominum is getting out of the outsourced DNS service business. In a letter to their customers they state that "Nominum has made a strategic decision to exit the outsourced management business. As part of this strategy we've sold Secondary.com and our GNS customer base to UltraDNS, Inc.". Considering the heritage that Nominum has, I'm glad to see that they are staying involved in the space. While working with Afilias on getting dotINFO launched, I spent a lot of time working with these guys - they had an amazing solution. Its too bad that they couldn't make a go of it. This exit leaves few serious players in the outsourced DNS market - UltraDNS, EasyDNS, Verisign and a few others. UltraDNS might be the media darling, but EasyDNS appears to be the odds-on favorite.I've got my money on Mark and the boys :).
Posted by system at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 11, 2002

Mailing List Quote of the Day:

New Feature (contributed by Doug McDonald): "I am reminded of the story of a guy who could not connect to his ISP. He called support and when a woman answered she informed him that the ISP was turned off because the owner had brought home unsatisfactory grades that semester in high school, and until he turned his grades around he would not be allowed to use his computer".

from ISP-Marketing.Com

Posted by system at 05:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 10, 2002


Registration of the Day: "SAVERIO.ORG"

Deletion of the Day: "NEVERISIGN.COM"

Posted by system at 05:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 09, 2002

VRSN Makes Recommendations Regarding dotORG Reassignment

Verisign isn't happy with the dotORG redelegation process. Given VRSN's status in this sector, I'm surprised that ICANN didn't pay more attention to the needs of this important industry leader through this very trying period. I'm guessing that Verisign's version of the redelegation process would have resembled this;
VGRS dotORG Redelegation Process


Posted by system at 01:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wed, 09 Oct 2002 14:59:18 GMT

Posted by system at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 04, 2002

New Feature - ROTD

Today's winner of the first annual  "Registration of the Day Award" is:


(The Runner-up Registration of the Day is: "NEUSEX.NET" :)

Both winner gets all the free traffic that these links generate...sort of.

Next years winners will be announced Monday, when I feel like it, or October 3, 2003 - whatever comes first.

Posted by system at 10:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

First dotORG, now dotNU, what's a registry operator to do?

"To All NU Registrars, We regret to inform you that VeriSign GRS's Agreement with the registry for the .NU top level domain, WorldNames, has been terminated. As a result, VeriSign GRS hereby gives notice of termination of your ccTLD Access Request for the .NU TLD under VeriSign GRS's ccTLD Access Program Agreement. VeriSign GRS has no choice but to close its .NU registration system. This closure will be effective Friday, November 1, 2002, in accordance with section 6.1.c of the ccTLD Access Program Agreement. "
Posted by system at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack