Kieren McCarthy

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Movie industry's evil plan to destroy the internet is going precisely nowhere

As well as finding out that Jennifer Lawrence earns less than her male counterparts, Hollywood studio execs are self-important a-holes and Sony Pictures has a password policy that a baby could break ... it turns out movie giants are also seeking to DESTROY THE INTERNET with a ten-page legal memo. The memo [PDF], written by …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Dec 2014

Johnson & Johnson snatches your .baby for $3m

Johnson & Johnson has bought the right to .baby domains for $3.1m, beating Google and five other companies. The bathroom cupboard filler intends to run the generic top-level domain-name as a closed shop, meaning that it will approve every new .baby domain. So don't expect to see Wholovesyou.baby, Youvecomealongway.baby or any of …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Dec 2014
Bots

Google swears no search leg up for new dot-word sites: We drill into claims

Google has reiterated its claim that there is no inherent advantage to new top-level domains – such as .london or .book – when it comes to topping search rankings. The position, posted on Google+ by the web giant's trends analyst John Mueller, more or less restates what Google SEO head honcho Matt Cutts insisted more than a …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Dec 2014
Archer cracks the ISIS mainframe's password

ICANN HACKED: Intruders poke around global DNS innards

Domain-name overseer ICANN has been hacked and its DNS zone database compromised, the organization has said. Attackers sent staff spoofed emails appearing to coming from icann.org. The organization notes it was a "spear phishing" attack, suggesting employees clicked on a link in the messages that took them to a bogus login page …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Dec 2014

Why is ICANN rushing its 'UN 'net security council'? So it can be announced at Davos

Despite rejections from its closest allies and calls for delay, ICANN is determined to create a "coordination council" for its internet-steering NetMundial Initiative this month. Why? The initiative was born out of a meeting in April between some governments, ICANN, and others, in Brazil, to discuss the future direction of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Dec 2014

How does the US government run the internet? This is how

The US government has posted a step-by-step guide to how it authorizes changes to the internet's root zone – the heart of the world's domain-name system. The 16-page slide deck [PDF] published by the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) sheds light on what has been a …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Dec 2014

Ofcom mulls selling UK govt's IPv4 cache amid IPv6 rollout flak

Comment The UK is in danger of falling behind the rest of the world in rolling out IPv6 networking, while Ofcom sees pound signs and focuses on workarounds, it's claimed. In a thought-provoking blog post, internet policy expert Emily Taylor digs into the UK's adoption of IPv6 – an upgrade to internet infrastructure that experts have …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Dec 2014

easyGroup railroads easytrain.com owner

easyGroup has won back the easytrain.com domain after it failed to renew it ... back in 2009. Despite having not owned the domain for five years, and only registered a trademark for EasyTrain in 2011 – two years after the domain was picked up – domain arbitrator WIPO decided the low-cost operator should have the rights to the …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Dec 2014

Terror bomb victims demanding Iran's .ir will appeal US ruling

A US judge's decision that Iran's internet registry cannot be seized by victims of an Iranian-backed bomb attack will be challenged on appeal [PDF] in Washington DC. The decision last month by Judge Royce Lamberth that the .ir country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is not "attachable property" was the latest twist in a decade- …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Dec 2014

Want disruption? We got disruption: Race protest halts VC Thiel's Q&A

Pics Billionaire VC Peter Thiel loves disruption: bankrolling startups that shake up markets is what he does. But on Thursday night, he got a little more disruption that he bargained for – when protesters rushed the stage and ended his Q&A session with students. The PayPal founder and early Facebook investor was ironically about to …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Dec 2014

'I'm begging you to join' – ICANN's NetMundial Initiative gets desperate

Plans to create a new internet governance body have grown increasingly desperate … and confusing. A conference call [MP3] between the organizers of the "NetMundial Initiative" and business organization the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) earlier this week saw ICANN's CEO Fadi Chehade pleading with the group to withdraw …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Dec 2014

Hinge: An app that scours Facebook friends for dates banks $12m

A dating app that uses your Facebook friends to make recommendations has scored $12m in series-A funding, bringing its total funding to $20.5m. Hinge hopes to compete with market leader Tinder by offering a better dating experience. Its unique selling point is that recommendations are friends-of-friends - the idea being that …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Dec 2014
gTLD graphic

Wanna buy a dot-word? If you want a .pizza the action, now's a chance

Roundup Everyone loves pizza. Even though the industry is responsible for cluttering millions of people's mailboxes with flyers, you'll still take a look and think about ordering one. Well, expect to see one minor change in those flyers from now on – the addition of new .pizza domain names – thanks to the launch of the internet registry …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Dec 2014

Net neutrality: Cisco, Intel, IBM warn FCC NOT to crack down on ISPs

More than 60 technology companies, from Cisco to Intel and IBM, have asked the FCC not to tighten the rules on what ISPs can do with web traffic and subscribers' bills. Specifically, the IT giants do not want the US watchdog to reclassify ISPs as "Title II" providers, a classification championed by some net neutrality advocates …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Dec 2014

US Congress in cash freeze bid to DERAIL global DNS handover

US Congress has attempted to stall ceding control of the world's domain-name system – by defunding the government department responsible. The crucial IANA contract to provide global DNS, allocate IP addresses, and so on, is due to expire in 2015. ICANN runs those IANA functions for the American government under that contract. …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Dec 2014

Chinese responsible for 85 per cent of website scams

Chinese internet users are behind 85 per cent of fake websites, according to a semi-annual report [PDF] from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG). Of the 22,679 malicious domain registrations that the group reviewed, over 19,000 were registered to servers based in China. This is in addition to nearly 60,000 websites that were …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Dec 2014
Orange Credit Card

.Bank hires Symantec to check credentials

The launch of new .bank domain names is one step closer with the announcement [PDF] that Symantec has been chosen to act as the credentials verifier for the top-level domain. Dot-bank domains represent a new type of domain name - one restricted to a very specific group of people in order to enhance security. Banks and financial …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Dec 2014

US Ass. Commerce Sec hits back at claims global DNS is DOOMED

US Assistant Commerce Secretary Larry Strickling – the man in charge of the critical IANA contract that keeps the internet glued together – has embarked on a war of words with Wall Street Journal columnist Gordon Crovitz. In a letter to the newspaper, Strickling took issue with Crovitz's column last week headlined Halfway to …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Dec 2014

Internet cash-point boss says 'no thanks' to ICANN's web power grab

Internet Society CEO Kathy Brown has rebuffed efforts to get her onside a controversial new body that plans to steer the internet. Despite a series of private meetings with the ICANN-backed NetMundial Initiative (NMI), Brown noted in a blog post on Monday: "It is fair to say that issues, including the need for the NMI Council, …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Dec 2014

Yes, Obama has got some things wrong on the internet. But so has the GOP

Analysis Last month, Texan Congressman and lead voice in the Republican party in the US, Ted Cruz, wrote an opinion piece about the internet. Last week, Wall Street Journal columnist and media-Republican L Gordon Crovitz did the same. Both dig into critical decisions that will be made in 2015 and cast a critical eye over them. Both make …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Dec 2014

The internet is less free than last year. Thanks a bunch, Snowden

The internet is getting less free year by year with governments passing more laws to restrict online speech and increase monitoring of users. That's according to New York-based Freedom House which on Friday published its fifth annual study of internet freedom around the globe. According to the editors, governments have become …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Dec 2014

US govt tells ICANN: No accountability, no keys to the internet

America's assistant commerce secretary Larry Strickling has told domain-name overlord ICANN that without improvements to its accountability the US government will not hand over the crucial IANA contract. IANA is the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, a department of ICANN that oversees the DNS system keeping the internet glued …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Dec 2014

Internet RFC overseer snubs ICANN and co's web power grab offer

In a further blow to efforts by domain-names overlord ICANN to create a body to steer the future of the internet, the NetMundial Initiative has now been snubbed by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). In a letter published on Thursday, the board – which oversees the influential Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Dec 2014

GOOAALLL! Back of the net! 'Millions of dollars' score .football gTLD

The top-level domain name .football has been auctioned off for, what's expected to be, millions of dollars to upstart registry Donuts. Domain names using the beautiful game's dot-word will be available some time in the new year, along with names ending in .news, .golf, .school and .latino, all of which were snapped in private …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Dec 2014

Double hammer blow to ICANN and pals' internet power grab bid

The controversial NetMundial Initiative (NMI) – an effort by various countries and organizations to steer the internet – may be beyond saving after a second series of rejections. This time it's been snubbed by the business world and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) today published …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Dec 2014
Evernote Android app screenshot

Evernote aims at corporate market with new chat feature

Note-taking, clip-loving Evernote is hoping to break into the corporate market with the release of a new chat feature. Work Chat will let people share editable notes while working on projects and also offers the chance to quickly drag a document they are working on into the chat window. The idea is that businesses will start to …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Dec 2014
management regulation1

Bloke, 36, in the cooler for leaking ex's topless pics on Facebook

The first conviction under California's anti-revenge-porn law was announced on Monday: 36-year-old Noe Iniguez was sentenced to a year in jail and three years' probation for posting topless pictures of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook. Under the law, the "unauthorized posting of nude or sexual images of an individual with the …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Dec 2014

While the web stares at cat pics, the glue of the internet is being shifted from US govt control

The US government's role at the top of the internet should be replaced by four different groups, according to an official proposal put out for public comment. The proposal [PDF] was developed by a small group of volunteers looking at the "names" aspect of the current internet arrangements and would effectively recreate the …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Dec 2014

ICANN and co U-turn on permanent seats for 'net 'UN Security Council'

The people behind a plan to create a sort-of UN Security Council for the internet have backed down from giving themselves permanent seats on the panel. Domain-names overlord ICANN, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Brazilian internet body CGI.br – which are behind what's called the NetMundial Initiative – announced the …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Dec 2014

NetMundial 'rule-the-internet' ISC project gets grudging support of civil society

Civil society groups have decided they will not boycott the proposed new internet governance program, the NetMundial Initiative. In a letter sent earlier this week, representatives from the Internet Governance Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG) noted that there were "very significant misgivings across a broad segment of …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Nov 2014

Simplez: OLD SCHOOL TECH can SAVE the MEERKAT

Ever wondered who tried to steal your meerkat? Well, worry no longer thanks to the London Zoo, Google and CCTV biz Kinesense. During our review of Nominet and LoveHz use of TV whitespace to create a flood early warning system in Oxford, we stumbled across another test program in the works - the use of cameras to catch poachers …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Nov 2014

Global Commission on Internet Governance wobbles into IANA debate

The Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) has waded into the debate over the critical IANA contract with a formal statement and position paper. Rather than making a splash, however, the result is somewhat of a soggy mess. The elite group has spent two days in closed meetings in Canada and on Wednesday morning held a …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Nov 2014

Save Thanksgiving! Get your turkey to text you when it's done

It may be a cliché, but the one thing guaranteed to ruin your Thanksgiving dinner, as well as provide one more thing that your family to torture you with for the rest of your life, is a burnt turkey. Well, worry no more. Not only have boffins at iDevices developed a thermometer that you can leave in the oven with the bird but …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Nov 2014

How to run a big web music biz (Spotify): Grab more cash from fans, sink deeper into the red

Spotify has taken advice from Taylor Swift and shaken off its haters: the online music streaming upstart is in good shape despite increased losses. Founded in 2006, Spotify is privately held but published its 2013 consolidated financial results in Luxembourg on Tuesday. Although it's headquartered in London, UK, and Stockholm, …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Nov 2014

Floody hell! Brits cram Internet of Things into tight White Spaces

Geeks in Oxford, England, have squeezed 13Mbps down and 3Mbps up a single channel of White Space – unused TV frequencies in their area – and used the tech to connect up river flood sensors. The radio network – set up by bods at UK domain registry Nominet – is one a series of trials across Blighty using the gaps in telly spectrum …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Nov 2014
Google UK office logos

Google turns on shiny new .google top-level domain – but WHY?

Google has turned on its namesake top-level domain (TLD) with the creation of 'nic.google' representing the internet giant's entry into the domain name market. Currently the domain redirects to Google's registry page where it outlines the other internet extensions it has already won the rights to, including: .ads, .dad, .fly, . …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Nov 2014

New 'Internet Security Council' struggling to get off the ground

Plans for a new internet governance body are struggling to get off the ground after blowback from the internet community itself. The NetMundial Initiative was formally launched three weeks ago as an open source platform that would enable people to collaborate on internet governance issues. However observers immediately took …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Nov 2014

Woman who stung Tinder with sex-pest sueball stings again – with rival Bumble app

A Tinder cofounder who sued the upstart for sexual harassment will launch a competing dating app called Bumble next month. And, having settled the legal bother for an undisclosed sum, Whitney Wolfe is giving the online hookup scene both barrels. "Other apps are full of creepy guys and cheesy pickup lines," the Bumble app's …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Nov 2014

Culture CLASH: Wuzhen Declaration spurned at World Internet Conference in China

Analysis As you might expect, China's first global internet conference was a particularly Chinese affair. There were few sessions, each dominated by pre-selected authority figures, lots of positive declarations, almost no criticism and little audience participation. In effect, the polar opposite of a normal internet conference. Somewhat …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Nov 2014

It's 2014 and people are willing to blow $6.8m on things like Z.com

Z.com has been sold for $6.8m (£4.3m, 800m yen) to Japanese domain biz GMO Registry, putting it in the top ten of all-time domain name sales. As one of only three single-letter dot-coms available – the others being Q and X – the domain was previously owned by Nissan (for its Z-series of cars) and will be used by GMO Registry to …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Nov 2014
corset

George.Best walks into a sex.bar, spots a bearded dwarf sysadmin and thinks: Warcraft.cool

Nearly 10 million locked-away domain names will be set free and go on sale over the next two months. But before you get excited, take a look at a list of them – beware, it's a huge CSV file. Among the very occasional gems like sex.bar, george.best or warcraft.cool, there are literally millions of utterly worthless domains like …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Nov 2014

First Congress, now top govt watchdog digs into ICANN's internet grab

It's not just US Senators digging into ICANN's takeover of the internet's control panel. America's powerful Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been asked to interview key people in Washington DC over the proposed move – and the results are likely to form the basis for a number of hearings in the new year. And we managed …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Nov 2014
Jennifer Pahlka

What should America turn to for web advice? That's right: GOV.UK – says ex-Obama IT guru

Analysis It's not the most obvious place you would expect a Silicon Valley-ite to point to as the future of the America, but Jennifer Pahlka is a big fan of the UK government's website. Pahlka heads up Code For America, an organization helping the public sector make better use of IT. She's just finished a stint in Washington DC as deputy …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Nov 2014

'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal

A seemingly independent panel with authority over domain name system overseer ICANN has been proposed in a new US law bill. The Defending Internet Freedom Act [PDF], put forward by Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA), would see the creation of a board made up of techies and reps from the domain name world, as well as a new consortium …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Nov 2014

Quebec's latest bid to break away from Canada HALTED by a single dot

It was not the news the company behind the new dot-quebec domains wanted to hear. Just days before launch, dot-quebec's biggest supporter – the government of the Canadian province of Québec – ditched its plan to move from .gouv.qc.ca to the much simpler and more convenient .quebec. Apparently the shift in websites would be too …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Nov 2014
BrickArms' Toy taliban figure

HALF A BILLION TERRORISTS: WhatsApp encrypts ALL its worldwide jabber

WhatsApp has announced that it will encrypt all its 600m users' text messages by default, which is a serious stride forward for privacy - and one which will no doubt be criticised by spooks and police worldwide. The rollout, announced today, was described by the app maker as the "largest deployment of end-to-end encryption ever …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Nov 2014

Deloitte builds sofa-and-slippers startup fund ... where's the fun in that?

Deloitte has taken a leap into the fast-moving, fail-often world of startup culture by developing a risk-free version of Silicon Valley. A charming anti-formula to the Bay Area's post-revenue darlings. The accountancy giant has put aside £25m ($39m) to fund new business ideas proposed by its own employees: the staffers get to …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Nov 2014

Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it

In what appears to be a legal first, data from a woman's Fitbit tech bracelet will be used in court to argue a case. The gadget's wearer was a personal trainer before she was hurt in an accident. Her law firm in Canada will use data from her wearable and compare it to data from other women of her age and profession in order to …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Nov 2014

Internet Society slams online 'UN Security Council' plan, snubs permanent seat offer

The Internet Society has blasted efforts from some quarters to create a "UN Security Council" for the internet – which would rule over the online world. The society (ISoc) is a non-profit organization that, among other things, runs the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which develops and publishes crucial internet's …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Nov 2014

America, here's what the FCC's Rosenworcel REALLY thinks about your broadband

One of the FCC's five commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel, says she wants to use both the 1934 and 1996 telecommunication laws to bring US broadband up to date. The problem is that today's rules, here in America, are still focused on the telephone era, when really they need to account for the internet age. Sound familiar? Yes, …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Nov 2014