Kieren McCarthy

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Bill Gates – I WISH I was like Zuck and spoke Chinese. Yep, I drink poo

Microsoft moneybags Bill Gates feels stupid that he doesn't know any foreign languages – and wishes he had the time to learn French because he thinks it is the easiest to pick up. That was one of a number of insights in the life of the world's richest man* on Reddit earlier today, including the fact that he spends too long …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jan 2015

Sleepy Ofcom glances at Internet of Things, rolls over, takes nap

UK regulator Ofcom has published a report [PDF] into the so-called internet of things (IoT) in which it promises to do something at some point in the future. In contrast to its US equivalent, the Federal Trade Commission – which also published a report on the internet of things today, complete with policy recommendations on …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jan 2015

US looks at plan to hand over world's DNS – and screams blue murder

The US government official in charge of the critical Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) contract wants a course change in how the globe's core DNS systems will be moved out of Uncle Sam's hands. In a speech at the State of the Net conference in Washington DC on Tuesday, assistant commerce secretary Larry Strickling …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jan 2015
Freescale Internet of Things overview

FTC to Internet of Stuff: Security, motherf****r, do you speak it?

US regulator the FTC says now is not the time for new laws on the "Internet of Things" – but security needs to be improved as we enter the era of always-on, always-connected gadgets, sensors and machines embedded in homes, streets and pockets. In a report [PDF] published today, the commission's staff make a number of policy …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jan 2015

ICANN CEO criticizes domain 'hoggers'

ICANN's CEO has infuriated domain investors by dismissing them as domain "hoggers" in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Talking about the introduction of hundreds of new top-level domains, and prompted by the interviewer about the risk of "landgrabs" under the new names, Chehade gave what some feel was a telling …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jan 2015
Great Wall of China

Great Firewall of China blasts DDoS attacks at random IP addresses

An upgrade to China's Great Firewall is having knock-on effects all over the internet, with seemingly random sites experiencing massive traffic spikes. One site owner in North Carolina, Craig Hockenberry, has written up how, after he looked into why his mail server was down, he found 52Mbps of search traffic piling into his …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Jan 2015

Hibernating NetMundial rattles internet governance world at Davos

The controversial effort by ICANN and the World Economic Forum (WEF) to devise a new internet governance body may have gone into hibernation but it is still causing ructions. The NetMundial Initiative ended 2014 on a torrid note, publicly rejected by what it hoped would be its biggest supporters. Before heading into the New Year …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jan 2015

Dot-com is dead. Long live dot-com

As you probably know, the internet's domain names are dominated by a single three-letter ending: "com". What you probably don't know is the sheer scale of dot-com's dominance. There are roughly 116.5m domains ending in ".com" – more than all of the 25 next largest registries combined. When the industry draws bar charts of …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Jan 2015
management regulation1

ICANN orders re-evaluation of dot-gay

ICANN has ordered that the application for the dot-gay top-level domain be re-evaluated after 54 letters in support of it "inadvertently" fell through the cracks. Controversially, the application was rejected last year for not being gay enough. The independent evaluators argued, peculiarly, that since a large number of gay …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Jan 2015
Google UK office logos

Google signs up Sprint and T-Mobile to sell its cellphone plans – report

Google's plans to become a mobile phone operator – which we outlined earlier this month – have grown closer to reality with the news that the search giant has signed deals to run calls and data over Sprint and T-Mobile's network. According to news reports, Google will become a virtual network operator by buying access to the two …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jan 2015

FCC Commissioner argues for delaying February net neutrality ruling

One of the FCC's five Commissioners has argued that the Commission should delay its net neutrality ruling until Congress has had an opportunity to devise new legislation aimed at resolving the issue. Speaking on Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael O’Rielly argued that "there are very good reasons for the …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jan 2015

Net neutrality bunfight heads to Congress, with predictable results

Not one but two Congressional hearings over net neutrality have taken place this week, sparking a wave of letters, commentary, and advocacy but precious little resolution. Many of the arguments that have been rehearsed over the past few months were given another airing. But what is new is an effort by Congress to develop and …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Jan 2015

Notorious skin-flick master Max Hardcore goes limp over namesake dot-com

Notorious blue-movie director Max Hardcore has decided he will not bid for his namesake dot-com, seven years after it was seized by the US government. Hardcore – real name, Paul Little – had planned to win back the grabbed domain. "I'm gonna take it back! It's about damn time if you ask me," he told adult industry magazine Xbiz …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jan 2015

Telcos try to head off net neutrality rules with legislation

Having tried and seemingly failed to steer the FCC away from enacting new net neutrality rules under so-called Title II legislation, US telcos have turned to Congress for relief. A new "discussion draft" [PDF] of potential legislation was published over the weekend, accompanied this morning by an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jan 2015

Whisper keeping schtum over abuse of user data

Former editor of "anonymous" app Whisper, Neetzan Zimmerman, has left the company and joined Washington DC rag, The Hill. Zimmerman was at the center of a controversy late last year when it was revealed Whisper was tracking its users, even those that had specifically asked not to be followed, in order to provide news fodder to …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jan 2015

Venture Capital investment in Silicon Valley hits dot-com boom levels

Analysis We're now at dot-com bubble levels of investment in Silicon Valley, according to the latest stats, raising the specter of another tech crash. PricewaterhouseCoopers' MoneyTree report, which tracks venture capital investment across the US, has announced (though not yet published) its Q4 2014 results, and revealed that in the …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jan 2015

US mobe network Sprint breaks ranks, says YES to net neutrality

Fourth-place US mobile operator Sprint has broken ranks with the telco industry and said it think that Title II legislation should apply to broadband internet provision - both wired and wireless. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - which is due to decide on the matter next month - Sprint CTO Stephen Bye …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Jan 2015

Sick of these new dot-words? Join the .club – it's the only one challenging .com

Round-up Las Vegas loves a show. And so it was earlier this week when domain-name conference NamesCon held an auction for more than 100 high-value names. The auction has been hailed as a success, especially given two headline sales: homecare.com for $350,000 and wine.club for $140,000. But we thought we'd dig into the results to see what …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jan 2015

Get coding or you'll bounce email from new dot-thing domains

Sysadmins needs to update their code for handling email addresses to meet changes to the global DNS, or they risk losing customers and reputation. That's according to a number of domain experts meeting at the NamesCon conference in Las Vegas this week. Representatives from Google, ICANN, DotAsia and the Domain Name Association …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jan 2015
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority - IANA - logo

How d'you solve a problem like IANA? Internet captains wrestle over US power handover

The plan to transition the critical Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) contract away from the US government is going to miss its November deadline amid fighting over a key detail. The contract has been split into three separate functions. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has already finalized its proposal for …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Jan 2015

Would you buy a domain from Google? Industry weighs in on web giant's move

Earlier today, Google opened the doors to its Google Domains shop: its attempt to disrupt the internet domains market by going head-to-head with big daddy GoDaddy. The domain-name industry itself is meeting in Las Vegas at the NamesCon 2015 conference, so we asked a few attendees what they thought of the move. Richard Lau, …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jan 2015

Checkmate, GoDaddy – Google starts flogging dot-word domain names

Google has finally launched a domain-name shop, providing a clean and simple management interface that will put it in direct competition with market leader GoDaddy. Called Google Domains, the service emerged from testing today – and allows anyone in the United States (international expansion coming soon) to register domain names …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jan 2015
gTLD graphic

2015 will be the Year of Linux on the, no wait, of the dot-word domain EXPLOSION

Poll With the domain-name industry abuzz thanks the introduction of hundreds of new generic top-level domains – everything from dot-art to dot-zulu – it came as a dose of cold water to find out what the rest of the world really thinks about them. Not much, it seems. Giving a keynote at NamesCon here in Las Vegas on Monday, …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jan 2015

Confusion, fear and growing pains: ICANN bigwig spells out gTLD headaches

It's not easy being global DNS overseer ICANN right now. The addition of hundreds of new generic top-level domains – gTLDs from .book to .ninja – has been an operational headache; the transition of the key IANA contract is put it under an unfavorable spotlight; and a recent hack of its staff admin systems has raised questions …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jan 2015

Dot-word domains 'a shakedown, designed to get money out of people'

People don't like you – and it's up to you to fix it. That was the unusual message to the domain-name industry during the keynote speeches at NamesCon 2015 in Las Vegas on Monday morning. The domain-name industry conference, in its second year, is an opportunity for a wealth of organizations and businesses to get together and …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Jan 2015

US govt opens door to Google The Cellphone Network

The US government has cleared the way for Google to become your next cellphone network provider – possibly without costing the company a pretty penny. As we revealed yesterday, the advertising giant wants to use the largely open spectrum at 3.5GHz to provide high-speed mobile data connections at low cost to phones and gadgets in …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jan 2015

When the US lets go of the keys to the internet, what about our protocols?

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has completed its part of a larger effort to move crucial behind-the-scenes internet systems away from US government control. The IETF, which develops and publishes key standards, has drawn up plans for how internet protocols should be managed in the future. These protocols rely on …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jan 2015

My best bud is a billionaire: Peter Thiel jumps into bed with dope upstarts

Peter Thiel is betting big on bongs. The Paypal founder and billionaire venture capitalist has chosen to invest millions in private equity firm Privateer Holdings, which is focused on the rapidly expanding legal cannabis market. Thiel's investment firm, Founders Fund, has put the bulk of a US$75m Series B funding round into the …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jan 2015

So: Will we get net neutrality? El Reg decodes FCC boss Tom Wheeler

Analysis FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has set off another frenzied storm of net neutrality speculation. At a packed session at CES on Wednesday, Wheeler was interviewed about a range of issues but most significantly over how the FCC plans to classify broadband: something that will have huge implications for internet access across the US. …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Jan 2015

Google's plan to become your phone company

Google hopes to become your next cell phone operator by using license-free spectrum to offer cheaper internet access. The internet giant is readying to take on cell giants AT&T and Verizon with a team of wireless executives focused on gaining access to unused spectra and using new technologies to make fast data sharing possible …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Jan 2015
Philips 42-inch Ambilight 42PUS7809 4K TV

4K off, Google Fiber: Comcast, Broadcom tout 2Gbps cable

By this time next year, we should be able to stream 4K video over home cable internet connections. That's according to Comcast, which has promised a gigabit-broadband service using a modem designed by Broadcom. The BCM93390 modem includes "the world's first DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem system-on-a-chip," referring to the new standard …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jan 2015

Intel offers big bucks for black women

CES 2015 Intel will tie executives' pay to their ability to bring more women and minorities into its workforce, CEO Brian Krzanich said in his CES keynote on Tuesday evening. He announced the chip giant will set aside $300m over the next five years to achieve equal representation "at all levels" within the company by 2020 – ensuring …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Jan 2015

Internet governance group pushes on without, er, internet organizations

The controversial internet governance group NetMundial has rejected calls to delay the creation of its "coordination council" – and launched without the support of the technical community nor the International Chamber of Commerce. NetMundial was born out of a meeting in April between the governments of Brazil, Russia, China, …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Dec 2014
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority - IANA - logo

Internet community split on who should run IANA

The internet community is split when it comes to who should be given the right to run the critical IANA functions. Under an official proposal put out to public comment and which closed on Monday, the current contract owned by the US government will be handed over to a new shell company that would then award it to ICANN. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Dec 2014

ICANN's technical competence queried by Verisign report

EXCLUSIVE A review of the globe's DNS security, stability and resiliency by dot-com registry and root server operator Verisign has called into question the technical competence of domain name overseer ICANN. The 33-page document, seen by The Register and due to be published soon, comes just days after the news emerged that ICANN's staff …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Dec 2014

Split could force NetMundial Initiative back to the drawing board

The controversial NetMundial Initiative (NMI) may be heading back to the drawing board following a meeting of the internet's big cheeses in Washington last week. Following a "very constructive, frank, and candid discussion" between ICANN, the Internet Society (ISoc), Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and Internet Engineering …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Dec 2014
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Fancy a .trust domain? How's $150,000 sound?

The NCC Group has revealed how much it expects to sell new .trust domains for: $150,000. And that's just the wholesale price. The idea for the new domains is that they will be super-secure. Back in October, NCC Group published an extensive security rulebook that all .trust domains will be expected to follow. The company is …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Dec 2014

Europe: Hold my wine glass, I've got an internet govt to build

The European Commission has signed a contract to create a system that will gather up the world's policies on governing the internet, and put 'em all under one roof. That way, people can look over them and work out how to best run the 'net. If that sounds familiar, it's because ICANN has been trying to create the exact same thing …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Dec 2014
Archer cracks the ISIS mainframe's password

ICANN: The TRUTH about that hacker attack on our DNS zone file database

The internet's critical IANA body – which allocate IP addresses and manage global DNS – was not compromised by hackers who broke into domain-name overseer ICANN's systems, the organization has stressed. In a brief update published Friday morning, ICANN noted: "We have confirmed that the attack has not impacted any IANA-related …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Dec 2014

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