Kieren McCarthy

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FCC chair heads into two-week political hazing period

FCC chair Tom Wheeler may have called the passing of net neutrality rules "the proudest day of my public policy career" but he is going to pay for it over the next two weeks. The former lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries will appear in front of no less than five congressional committees in the next two weeks and can …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Mar 2015
gTLD graphic

.Free domains at Amazon while Google says bye to .family

The latest wave of auctions for new internet extensions has produced some interesting results. Google took part in each of the six top-level domains available to the highest bidder, but won just one - dot-PhD - leaving behind dot-free and, surprisingly, dot-tube (although it does own the rights to register domains under .youtube …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Mar 2015
The Doctor in Mummy on the Orient Express

Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

Domain-name overseer ICANN has decided that only one kind of doctor may be allowed online – and that is a medical doctor. In a decision made late last month but challenged on Friday by one of the companies vying for the rights to run the internet registry .doctor, ICANN will insist that all dot-doctor domains be verified as …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Mar 2015
Cryptowall sucks kid

Well.That.Sucks: New rude dot-word sparks outrage

The top-level domain .sucks will launch later this month, sparking a fresh round of controversy over what is rapidly becoming the most notorious internet registry. Even before the current owner, Vox Populi, won the rights to run all .sucks domains in an auction – paying an estimated $3m for the pleasure – the domain was the …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Mar 2015

This ISN'T Net Neutrality. This is Net Google. This is Net Netflix – the FCC's new masters

Part two What is striking about the FCC's rules on net neutrality, released today and likely determining how the United States does internet access for the next decade, is how radical they are. Radical is something that federal agencies rarely achieve because radical in the context of the large machinery of government is often a sign …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Mar 2015

We've read all 400 pages of the FCC's baffling net neutrality rules – here's what YOU need to know

Part one The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally published its net neutrality rules this morning, comprising 400 pages of text. It was accompanied by statements from all five commissioners. We read it all so you don't have to. Four hundred pages [PDF] of legalese and formal definitions of an "open internet" in America. It …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Mar 2015

One does not simply ask the inventor of the WWW what he thinks about memes

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, academic, internet activist, and widely acknowledged lovely guy appeared on Reddit earlier today to do an Ask Me Anything (AMA). Here's what he had to say. On security Sir Tim regrets not baking more security into the web when he was developing it at CERN. "I wish we had a …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Mar 2015
Grace Hopper programming

White House taxes Silicon Valley to skill-up American workers

President Obama will charge Silicon Valley a "user fee" to import more foreign workers and use the money to train up under-qualified Americans for jobs in the tech sector. Announcing his TechHire program yesterday, Obama estimated that the government will bring in $100m by opening up the H1-B visa program a little and charging …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Mar 2015

We have no self-control: America's most powerful men explain why they're scared of email

Two of the most powerful men in the United States have revealed they don't use email - because they're scared of what they might say. "I don't email. You can have every email I've ever sent. I've never sent one," Senator Lindsey Graham told NBC's Meet the Press yesterday. Graham's statement follows a similar admission by Senator …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Mar 2015
Donuts

Auction of a live gTLD could pave way for domain-name shakeup

The first new top-level domain name to be sold with live websites attached to it has been picked up by registry giant Donuts at auction. The rights to sell domains under the name ".reise" – which is German for "travel" – represents a sea-change in the way the domain-name system will run in future, with generic top-level domains …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Mar 2015
Apple Mac Mini late 2014

What a hang-up: AT&T dumped from Dow index, Apple installed

Apple will boot giant telco AT&T off the oldest and most famous stock market index later this month, the people running the Dow Jones Industrial Average announced this morning. The change will come into effect on the morning of Thursday March 19 and is timed to coincide with a stock split by Visa, one of the other 29 companies …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Mar 2015

I see what you've done, there, twiiter.com: Tweet troops tackle tech twin

Twitter wants the domain 'twiiter.com' and has gone to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to seize it. The Facebook-for-showoffs has filed a UDRP complaint for the misspelled domain, and been given case number 1607451. The real surprise is why it has taken the San Francisco upstart so long. Twiiter.com was …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Mar 2015

Canadian bloke refuses to hand over phone password, gets cuffed

A 38-year-old Canadian citizen has been arrested for refusing to hand over his smartphone's password to border agents. Alain Philippon, of Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines in Quebec, arrived at Halifax international airport in Canada from the Dominican Republic on Wednesday – and was selected by the Canada Border Services Agency for …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Mar 2015

.hotels. .hoteis ... not a typo but a window into ICANN's baffling world

Analysis Domain-name overseer ICANN is facing widespread criticism after it emerged victorious from an independent review into its decision over the top-level domain .hotels. Despite winning, the ruling [PDF] has put a spotlight on the systems that are supposed to hold ICANN to account. Not only are the mechanisms inadequate, it's …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Mar 2015

Storm in a K-Cup: My SHAME over the eco-monster I created, says coffee pod inventor

The inventor of the increasingly popular – and apparently environmentally unfriendly – coffee pod feels guilty about his invention. John Sylvan came up with the idea of the Keurig coffee machines back in the 1990s, complete with its little self-contained coffee pods, K-Cups, that you stick in the machine to brew a mug. He sold …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Mar 2015
Total War: Shogun 2

WHY are GoDaddy and Verisign stockpiling patents? Do I smell war?

A raft of patent applications has presaged a possible legal war in the rapidly expanding domain-name industry. This year alone, market-leading registrar GoDaddy has applied for no less than eight patents specific to the DNS world, covering everything from searching for a domain name to register, to recommending a specific domain …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Mar 2015

International effort to wrangle t'internet from NSA fizzles out in chaos

The launch of the ICANN-Brazil-led internet power grab dubbed NetMundial has been cancelled for a second time, raising questions over its continued existence. NetMundial was dreamed up in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations of blanket global surveillance by Uncle Sam's NSA and the Brits' GCHQ. The governments of Brazil …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Mar 2015

East Timor was officially removed from the internet yesterday

The country of East Timor was officially removed from the internet this week, with the '.tp' registry and all domains under it deleted from the "root zone". The unusual but not unprecedented decision to delete an entire arm of the internet comes following a long and painful independence struggle for the nation, and also …
Kieren McCarthy, 04 Mar 2015

EasyGroup continues bizarre, time-travelling domain crusade

easyGroup is at it again. Despite having been told repeatedly that it does not own everything that includes the word "easy," the budget company took the owner of the domain 'easygroup.com' to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) arguing that it violated its trademark. The domain was registered by a company called …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Mar 2015
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

ICANN switches off dot-word admin portal amid security leak scare

Global domain-name overlord ICANN has found another security hole in its systems. This time, confidential data on companies vying for new dot-word domains may have been snooped on by rivals logged into ICANN's catch-all portal – meaning commercially sensitive information as well as important technical details on the internet's …
Kieren McCarthy, 02 Mar 2015

Watch out hipster nerds – Granny Beskind's behind you!

In a push back against the twenty-something, misogynistic Silicon Valley culture – along comes nonagenarian Barbara Beskind. Barbs was featured on NBC's Today show – one of those Friday human interest stories that is fun but risks dragging on a bit too long and so gradually loses your interest [uh-huh -Ed]. Well, Barbara always …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Mar 2015
Github octodex

FORK ME! Uber hauls GitHub into court to find who hacked database of 50,000 drivers

Uber has subpoenaed GitHub to unmask netizens suspected of hacking its database of thousands of taxi drivers. The ride-booking app vendor is trying to force GitHub [PDF] to hand over the IP addresses of anyone who visited a particular gist post between March and September 2014. That gist is believed to have contained a login …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Feb 2015
Icelandic chasm

FCC says cities should be free to run decent ISPs. And Republicans can't stand it

Analysis A decision by the FCC has opened up a partisan chasm by quashing US state laws that hamper the rollout of city-owned broadband. The commission declared on Thursday that laws passed in North Carolina and Tennessee were unfair barriers to broadband deployment. In so doing, it has put itself in the middle of two classic American …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Feb 2015

Net neutrality: The world speaks its brains on secret 'open' 'net rules

Comment Look at this photo of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler holding hands and smiling with the two Democrat commissioners who backed his "open internet" regulations, the pair wearing vivid blue outfits. It sums all that was both good and worrying about the decisions today to pass secretive net neutrality rules. Here, we see a historic debate …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Feb 2015
Google UK office logos

Dot-word sensation: Google forks out $25m for a fist of .app-y pills

Google has spunked $25m on the rights to sell domains ending in ".app", beating off competition from 12 other bidders, including Amazon and almost every large internet registry. The new generic top-level domain (gTLD) was notable for being the most hotly contested extension amid more than 1,000 others that vary from brand names …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Feb 2015

Net neutrality secrecy: No one knows what the FCC approved (BUT Google has a good idea)

Analysis US watchdog the FCC formally approved new net neutrality rules on Thursday for America. But you're out of luck if you want to know exactly how your access to the internet will be now be governed. Despite getting the green light, the exact rules have not been revealed and will remain a mystery for some unspecified length of time …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Feb 2015

Net neutrality victory: FCC approves 'open internet' rules in 3-2 vote

US watchdog the FCC today approved its strongest ever rules governing internet access. The regulations were passed in a 3-2 vote by commissioners. "It's a red letter day for the internet," said FCC chairman Tom Wheeler just prior to calling the vote. "Today history is being made." The vote fell along partisan lines, with the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Feb 2015
David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah

Who's un-dot-pressure? .com overlord Verisign sues .xyz kingpin

Dot-com registry operator Verisign is suing the largest new gTLD registry, dot-xyz, alleging false advertising. In its lawsuit filing [PDF], submitted to the eastern district court of Virginia, Verisign claims the biz behind .xyz has violated the Lanham Act, which outlaws trademark infringement and false advertising. Dot-xyz is …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Feb 2015

Wanna free web domain for a year? Hey, it's not rocket .science

This morning has seen the launch of the dot-science top-level domain – and one registrar at least is offering them for free. That's right, AlpNames is offering one year's registration for zero dollars. The typical price for a dot-science domain will be $40 per year, but in order to give the launch a boost the registry owners, …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2015

Internet industry lends support to IANA transition

The internet's largest companies and providers, including Amazon, AT&T, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Time Warner and Verizon, have given a thumbs-up to plans to move the critical Internet Assigned Numbers Authority contract away from the US government. In testimony this Wednesday to the Senate commerce committee, former US …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Feb 2015

FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

The two Republican commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have formally called for this week's vote on net neutrality to be delayed. The US watchdog's panel of commissioners are due to approve or reject FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's secret proposals to regulate internet access in America as if it is a phone …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Feb 2015

Net neutrality crunch poll: Americans want to know WTF it is

Analysis With commissioners at US watchdog the FCC due to vote on proposed net neutrality rules next week, a poll of Americans has revealed two interesting and important aspects: Most of them don't know what on Earth net neutrality actually is. Most of them want to see the rules before they are approved. This is unlikely to stop the …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Feb 2015

The millionaire former playboy, Hugh Hefner, and a crucial fight over playboy.london

Analysis When Michael Ross registered the domain playboy.london in August, it was supposed to be a bit of a laugh. The Brit once dated a Playboy Bunny, visited the mansion in Beverly Hills, and has a "colorful past" as they say on Fleet Street. Ross, today a settled-down 50-year-old property developer, was featured in the Daily Mail a …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Feb 2015
gTLD graphic

What's the hot domain dot-news? Er, it's .news

Domain specialist Rightside has won the fight for the generic top-level domain dot-news and will roll it out in the middle of the year. The company acquired the rights to sell all domains ending in .news through an auction and its partner domain company Donuts – beating Amazon as well as several other specialist registry …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Feb 2015

What does America need right now? Data science! (says, er, the first Chief Data Scientist)

The White House has created the post of Chief Data Scientist and hired the guy who coined the term as its first incumbent, DJ Patil. Patil lives in California and has worked for a number of Silicon Valley giants, including LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal and Skype. Now he's moving to Washington DC for the role and report to Chief …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015

Global DNS power grab: US senators want a word with ICANN next week

The process to move oversight of the world's DNS system away from the US government is heading to Congress with a hearing scheduled for later this month. On 25 February, the Senate's commerce committee will run a session called "Preserving the Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance". The session will feature the man in …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015
John Legere

AT&T, Verizon will nuke rivals in next US mobile auction – and it's the FCC's fault, says Legere

The CEO of T-Mobile US has called the sell-off of Uncle Sam's radio space to mobile networks "a success for the US Treasury [but] a disaster for American wireless consumers." In a scathing blog post, John Legere calls the $42bn raised by the FCC-run auction "insane," and complained that the two biggest wireless companies – AT&T …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015

Wanna cheerlead open internet standards, help out the peeps at IETF? Enter the ISoc Maze

The political arm of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Society, has posted its approved slate of candidates for two board positions – and invited everyone else in the world to parachute into the process. The IETF will be best known among Reg readers as the volunteer developers and maintainers of the …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015

Hoping for spy reforms? Jeb Bush, dangerously close to being the next US prez, backs the NSA

Vid Former Florida governor, brother of former President George W Bush, son of former President George H W Bush, and Republican frontrunner for the 2016 US presidential election, Jeb Bush ... has strongly defended the NSA's mass surveillance of innocent people. Speaking at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as part of his run for …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Feb 2015

'Net neutrality will turn the internet communist – and make Iran's day'

Former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell has attempted to revive the argument that proposed net neutrality rules in the US will lead to a UN-run (read, Chinese-run) internet. These draft rules are due to be voted on by FCC commissioners next week. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, titled "Dictators Love the FCC’s Plan to …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2015

SCREW YOU, BRITS: We're going through with UK independence ANYWAY – Scotland

Despite the outcome of last year's referendum on Scottish independence – namely, keeping the union together – Scotland's politicians have declared independence from the UK ... online. On Tuesday, the Scottish Government shifted its internet presence from 'scotland.gov.uk' to 'gov.scot', redirecting the old domain to its new home …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2015
Grumpy cat

NetMundial consultation produces collective, apathetic 'meh'

Efforts to reboot a controversial new internet governance body have been met with a resounding note of apathy. In all, just 23 people responded to a call to define the NetMundial Initiative's (NMI's) future role - the same number that sit on the body's coordination council - over a two-week public comment period. All those …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2015

So who just bought the rights to .blog for $20m? A chap living in Panama

Exclusive The rights to sell .blog domains – one of the most sought after new dot-word gTLDs – have been won at auction by an unknown Colombian working out of Panama. Gerardo Aristizabal and his company Primer Nivel paid an estimated $20m for the premium piece of internet real-estate, beating out industry giants Google, Afilias, Donuts as …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Feb 2015

Net neutrality: Growing flames of criticism lick FCC chief's secret plans

As the big vote on new net neutrality rules draws close, opposition to the FCC chairman's plan to reclassify broadband under so-called Title II legislation is growing. On Thursday, the Washington Post formally came out against the idea, arguing that such an approach would "expose broadband providers to a new world of federal …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015

Watch: China has made an internet censorship THEME SONG

Video Creating patriotic songs is an age-old solution to difficult problems, albeit one that is out of fashion in the Western world. Not so in China, which has just released a tremendous rousing tribute to its clean, clear and incorruptible internet. The song is performed by the Cyberspace Administration of China choral group, …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015

World's governments emerge enraged from mounds of red tape, screaming at ICANN

The world's governments have told domain name overseer ICANN that its processes are "complex, lengthy and ambiguous" and warned that they may be ineffective at dealing with domain-name abuse or fraud. The extraordinary statement comes in the official communiqué [PDF] of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of ICANN, …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015

City broadband ISPs: PLEEEEASE don't do 'Title II' net neutrality

No less than 43 small ISPs have written to US watchdog the FCC [PDF] asking that it not introduce Title II legislation later this month. According to the broadband slingers, who hail from 16 states of America and have on average just over 4,000 subscribers each, reclassifying internet providers as common carriers will cause them …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Feb 2015
Taylor Swift

You'll NEVER guess who has bought I Taught Taylor Swift How To Give Head dot-com

In one of the most unlikely but intriguing domain registrations in recent years, pop star Taylor Swift has, it appears, registered ITaughtTaylorSwiftHowToGiveHead.com. No, really. The registration was sparked by Swift's lawyers threatening the owner of ITaughtTaylorSwift.com, run by, um, the man who taught Taylor Swift how to …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015

Kanye West: Yo, DNS... Imma let you finish, but this gTLD is one of the best of all time

Fresh from insulting award-winner Beck in favour of Beyoncé at the Grammys, walking headline Kanye West has got the internets a-quiver with a series of tweets highlighting a new website that will sell shoes. And by series, we mean no less than six tweets all featuring an unnecessary long countdown clock. Here's one: vacuum …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015

US plots to KILL hackers – with bureaucracy!

A new US government "cyber threat" agency will take information on computer security breaches at private companies, pair it with classified intelligence – and put it back out to businesses so they can learn how to beef up their defences. That's the dream, anyway, according to President Obama's homeland security and …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Feb 2015