Be prepared for the .asia Domain Rush!

July 5, 2007

The new .asia TLD is designed to give businesses and groups located in Asia an alternative to America’s .com web extension . With over 409 million Asian internet users, compared to 319 million European and 231 American users, the new .asia TLD will represent a major gateway into the world’s largest and fast growing online population.

Jonathan Robinson, the chief operating officer of NetNames, said: “With the .asia launch date confirmed, businesses need to ensure they protect their brands from the new threats and maximize any opportunities to build their brands in the growing Asian market. Many brands lost out in dramatic fashion during the launch of .eu because they didn’t take the issue seriously enough until the eleventh hour.”

Applications for .asia domain names will be split into three phases in an effort to avoid the free-for-all that accompanied the launch of .eu.

  • Starting October 9, companies will be allowed to secure registered trademarks.
  • In the same phase, governments will also be able to register web addresses.
  • From November 13, companies that have secured their trademarks will be invited to secure additional domain names related specifically to their line of business.
  • At the same time, registered companies with an official presence in Asia will also be able to secure their business or other trading names, whether or not they are trademarked.
  • The .asia domain name will then open to the public next February.

For more information and to register your .asia domains please visit www.asiadns.com


Domain Name Auction NYC

June 22, 2007

Some results from the Auction in New York:

– VintageAirplanes.com   5,700,-
– StageRental.com   —
– Toy.net   26,000,-
– StockTrades.com   25,000,-
– BondFund.com  12,000,-
– IrishWhiskey.com  8,000,-
– BakingSuppliers.com
– PrivateTutors.com 16,000,-
– PrivatePilots.com  20,000,-
– Historian.com 25,000,-
– TechnologyFund 10,000,-
– PinkRoses.com  10,000,-
– VintageMotorcycles.com  14,000,-
– Booksellers.com  25,000,-
– Houses.net 75,000,-
– comicbooks.com  —–
– supplies.com  —
– Breathalyzer.com  —-
– invest.net
– px.net –
– tightrope.com 18,000,-
– sale.mobi
– AutoClassifieds.com  —
– Six.com  —
– Scotland.com  —
– Pedestrians.com
– EgyptianPyramids.com 75,000,-
– rentalproperty.org
– clap.com 21,000,-
– TattooParlor.com —


DotAsia start-up now set for September 2007

June 20, 2007

DomainesInfo reports the start of the DotAsia sunrise period has been delayed by one month, with the staged registration process beginning in September 2007.Dates for the three stage launch are:

  • September 7, 2007: Sunrise 1 reserved for registration of names by Governments and Public Bodies
  • October 7, 2007: Sunrise 2 reserved for intellectual property holders subdivided into three sub-periods
  • November 7, 2007: Sunrise 3 reserved for names of companies and organizations within the DotAsia region
  • February 8, 2008: Landrush Anyone meeting the DotAsia charter eligibility requirements may apply for any domain name. Premium prices will apply during this period.
  • March 2008: Go Live.

CitizenHawk TypoAlert: Cybersquatting Plagues Online Kids’ Sites

June 20, 2007

CitizenHawk is encouraging top children’s brand holders to take a more active role in policing their brands against cybersquatting in this news release. As a reminder of the urgency of the problem, the company today issued a TypoAlert revealing thousands of instances of cybersquatting on ten of the top learning and entertainment web sites for young children. The following is a list of top online kids’ sites and an estimate of the number of potentially trademark-infringing domains on each brand:

Bank Domains
Cartoon Network 537
ClubPenguin 628
Disney 247
DiscoveryKids 225
FunBrain 398
Nickelodeon 318
NickJr 199
PBSKids 349
Webkinz 255

“Cybersquatting on kids’ sites is a particularly insidious and dangerous practice, because cybersquatters are not only stealing traffic from legitimate brand holders, but are also in a position to expose children to inappropriate or harmful content,” said Graham MacRobie, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of CitizenHawk. “We encourage brand holders in this market to immediately address misuse of their trademarks online, to help ensure safety of kids online and to maintain the integrity of their brands.”


Safari: Don’t use it on Windows just yet

June 13, 2007

Numerous reports of bugs within the beta of Apple’s latest browser, Safari 3, in both the Mac and Windows versions, make it good to play around with but not to use as your everyday browser. 

Although all browsers have security issues uncovered on a relatively regular basis, most of which are rapidly patched up with updates and fixes, the latest beta version of Safari has been put to the test by a number of security researchers, as reported by PC Magazine and others, and is so far failing a lot of security tests.

Problems with Safari uncovered so far include DoS and remote execution bugs, memory corruption that could be exploited, command execution vulnerabilities simply by visiting a web site – and that’s just in the last couple of days. Security researchers are bound to find more bugs in the system, or more ghosts in the machine for Apple to eliminate.

But if the security researchers have been looking for Safari’s vulnerabilities, you can be sure that the ‘bad guys’ are doing the same right now too. Web sites that already carry malware or target unpatched browsers on unpatched or old Windows operating systems will soon start targeting Safari as well.

Undoubtedly, Apple will quickly release fixes and updates for Safari on both the Mac and PC, both before and after the ‘final’ 3.0 release of Safari arrives, just as IE and Firefox do today.

So, should you use Safari on Windows? After all, plenty of Windows users will have downloaded Safari since its release on Monday, and will no doubt have had a surf around to see what it’s like.

It looks and feels just like Safari on the Mac, it’s certainly fun to use. For now, it’s also the latest novelty must-have experience from Apple that Windows users can enjoy. Apple’s download servers must be running hot!

In addition to being the browser-of-the-moment, Safari also heralds a whole new range of Web 2.0 apps that use Safari on Mac OS X, the iPhone and Windows PCs. If the iPhone takes off as expected, and developers create a lot of apps for the iPhone that can be easily made to work on the PC or Mac, Safari use could explode, posing a real threat to both Firefox and Internet Explorer.
But even if the iPhone is a smash hit, it’s unlikely that Safari really will experience truly explosive growth on the PC as those developers should be easily able to port their Web 2.0 apps to an online and offline model, able to be run in a browser window, or able to be independent of browsers at all and run as a normal program, by using Adobe’s AIR and Flex, by using Microsoft’s Silverlight, or by using Google’s Gears.

There are plenty of Firefox fans, after all, on both Windows and OS X, as not all Mac users are enamored with Safari, despite Jobs’ rosy usage figures for Safari in the keynote.

As for Safari 3 beta on Windows – it’s certainly nice to visit and have a bit of a browse around in, just to see what it’s like and to try Apple’s latest Windows compatible software.

But in the absence of some security updates and a final ‘3.0’ version that has undergone extensive bug testing, you wouldn’t want to live in Safari permanently.

Certainly not yet, anyway. Go with Firefox, and if you’re an IE7 user, make sure you get IE7Pro, a free ‘must-have add-on’ that makes IE7 a lot more like Firefox, with crash recovery and more.

But do keep an eye out on Safari. Especially with all the iPhone activity shortly to come, running Safari on Windows and Mac should turn into quite an adventure!


Mac OS X Leopard – the wow starts now!

June 13, 2007

Although Apple’s new OS, due October, has 300 new features, Steve Jobs highlighted 10 features he wanted to share, from ‘CoverFlow’ in Finder through to the Time Machine feature, interface improvements and more – is it the most advanced OS ever?  

Steve Jobs was under pressure to impress the world at the Apple WorldWide Developers Conference, and that he did with a great preview of Leopard, promising 300 new features while highlighting 10 to whet our appetites.

Jobs managed to throw in a joke at Vista’s expense, saying there was a basic version of OS X 10.5 for US $129, and a premium version which would cost… wait for it… US $129, effectively showing that one operating system version is easier to deal with than the 73 million different flavors Vista is available in.

Apple showcased a new Desktop, a new ‘Stacks’ feature that makes it easier to find open programs and files; a new version of Finder that uses Cover Flow to show you the files in different folders just as you see cover art in iTunes; a new preview mode called ‘Quick Look’ that lets you see into files, even play media files, all without opening the actual app, saving you time; improved networking and file sharing that makes it easy to find files across the network; the Time Machine to find accidentally deleted files or even restore your Mac to an earlier time; Spaces to better organize desktops and applications and new versions of iChat, Mail, iCal, Web Clip, Boot Camp and some new development tools.

Jobs said that “Leopard is the best release of Mac OS X to date, surpassing even Tiger, and will further extend Mac OS X’s leadership as the most advanced and innovative operating system in the world. We think current and prospective customers are going to love Leopard, and that it will help make the Mac even more popular.”

The main Apple website has been re-designed, with a focus on Leopard, giving users the ability to watch demos of all the features in action, so they can see why Leopard will be more than worth the US $129 entry fee. Leopard is also fully 64-bit, with Jobs demonstrating during the keynote how this dramatically speeds up OS operation.

Boot Camp still requires you to own a copy of Windows XP or Vista, which will run as a separate operating system. To run Windows virtually, you’ll still need Parallels 3.0 or VMware’s Fusion Beta 4.

Apple also announced OS X 10.5 Leopard Server, which Apple says is “even easier for users to set up and manage”.

It will also ship in October, presumably alongside the consumer release of Mac OS X 10.5, with Apple saying that Leopard Server is “the most significant improvement to the server operating system since Mac OS X Server was launched, introducing new features such as a wiki server, making it easy to connect groups over a shared intranet; Podcast Producer, the ideal way to automatically produce and publish podcasts to iTunes or a blog; and Spotlight Server to quickly find content stored on other servers. Leopard Server also includes the new iCal Server, based on the CalDAV open standard that works with Leopard’s new iCal application”.

Whichever way you slice it, Apple’s new OS for consumers and businesses is a great leap forward, making Vista’s ‘Aero’ interface lose a bit, or perhaps even a lot, of its shine.

With an Apple Mac running OS X 10.5 and Vista through virtualization or Boot Camp, the wow really does start now – or rather, in October.


uTube.com or YouTube.com – uChoose

June 13, 2007

The Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corporation, operator of uTube.com, has not only taken YouTube to court, it’s also decided to capitalise on the likeness in domain names. uTube is a manufacturer of steel products, in particular tube! And as YouTube’s popularity grew, so too did people accessing uTube.com. This caused an increase in the bandwidth they required, and hence costs.But now when you go to uTube.com, at the top of the page you find links to a range of sites such as “Win the Lottery” and “Meet Christian Singles”. Kevin Fayle, an attorney, writing in The Register reports in 2005 uTube.com received 1,500 visitors a month. But now there are roughly 70,000 per day, including me today. According to The Register, uTube “alleges that this caused its web host’s servers to crash, which disrupted its business and sullied its reputation. It also claims that bandwidth overages bumped its hosting fees from $100 a month to $2,500.”

So they added the advertising, and these links now pull in $1,000 a day or more, according to The Register. In the court case, uTube is asking “for monetary damages, as well as injunctions to stop YouTube’s operation and for the court to transfer the YouTube.com domain to uTube.While some of uTube’s claims have been dismissed, others haven’t and the judge “gave uTube permission to amend its complaint to see if it can revive any of the dismissed causes of action.” The Register continues “the court said that uTube didn’t have a case for trespass to chattels, since some physical contact with an object must be involved for such a claim to go forward. Domain names aren’t physical objects, the court argued, and uTube used a third-party hosting service, so it couldn’t claim ownership in the computer equipment that crashed as a result of the influx of visitors.

“Moreover, the court continued, the visitors to the site were the ones that ‘violated’ the site, so YouTube itself wouldn’t be liable even if there had been a trespass.

One of uTube’s nuisance allegations has been dismissed, “since nuisance claims must involve land, and uTube had not shown that a domain name, website, or host server somehow constitute real property in any way.” I find this quite interesting, and maybe this will be one of the important decisions to come out of the case. Eric Goldman writing in Circle ID picks up on this point, noting to him it’s also the most interesting point.

Goldman notes that in this case “we’re talking about a smaller possessory interest than conversion, and the court rightly understands that [trespass to chattels] TTC could become a bypass to trademark infringement. As a result, this decision channels unhappy domain name owners towards trademark claims instead of some TTC bypass.”

Goldman then notes “Even if the domain name itself can’t be trespassed, the plaintiff can still claim that the computer servers attached to the domain name were trespassed.” The court dismisses the claim for two independent reasons:
“1) The plaintiff uses a third party web host, and the court says that the plaintiff didn’t allege an adequate possessory interest in its host’s equipment.” Here Goldman questions whether as he pays a nominal amount for bandwidth charges associated with his domain name, should he bear a cost for a third party trespassing his website and he bore the economic consequences from bandwidth usage, then he should be able to claim TTC even though he only ‘leases’ the computer space and shares the computer with other sites.” I agree with his view that “perhaps this warrants more thought.” Goldman gives a more detailed explanation in the Circle ID site.
“2) Independently, the court correctly says that YouTube’s customers, not YouTube itself, are “contacting” utube.com, and therefore YouTube isn’t committing the actus reus. This result also appeared to be designed to channel this complaint into trademark law.”

The Register notes this case is unlikely to succeed, and with my limited knowledge of the law, I’d have to agree it “seems laughable that a court would shut down YouTube or strip it of its domain name, since the relative detriment to YouTube would greatly outweigh the benefit to uTube.”And finally, The Register notes “Oh, wait – YouTube still doesn’t have a solid revenue model, does it? That could change things a bit … Maybe they should try selling ringtones.”