The Turkish government has reportedly blocked access to Google’s public DNS service from with its borders, as part of its recently instituted censorship of Twitter.
According to local reports, the IP addresses 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 — Google’s public DNS servers — were banned after they became widely used to circumnavigate blocks on Twitter’s domain names.
Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week vowed to “wipe out” Twitter, after the company refused to take down tweets criticizing his government over corruption allegations ahead of an election next week.
Twitter is encouraging Turkish users to use SMS to send tweets instead. Many Turks are also turning to VPNs to evade this bizarre piece of Draconian censorship.
TLD Registry today raised over $181,000 in “premium” Chinese IDN domain names.
A live/online auction coordinated by Sedo and held at the China Rouge members’ club here in Macau saw 39 lots go under the hammer, 33 of which managed to raise at least the $2,000 minimum bid.
All the names were in .在线 (“.online”), of two Chinese IDN gTLDs TLD Registry launched this week.
Each lot contained multiple names.
In all cases the ASCII transliteration, or Pinyin, was thrown in. Some lots also contained conceptually related names. So the winner of “casino”.在线 also won “gambling”.在线.
Buyers will presumably be able to split the bundles for resale.
The lot with the highest bid at the end of the day was a collection of domains related to “gaming”, which sold for $25,388. Second was a “casino” bundle, which fetched $25,000
.CLUB Domains CEO Colin Campbell spent $7,100 on “club”.在线 and related terms.
Here’s the full list of auction results. Apologies to my Chinese readers, but I don’t have a Chinese keyboard nor a source document to copy and paste the actual names that were sold.
|Lot||Winning Bid (USD)|
|Go (the game)||2000|
|tall, handsome and rich||2100|
|go to Hong Kong||2000|
|buy and sell||3100|
|maintaining your health||2000|
|I love you||2000|
|I want to eat||2000|
|learn about wine||0|
|travel and weather||0|
|hot search terms||2400|
DISCLOSURE: I attended most of the auction and moderated a panel discussion during the lunch break. TLD Registry paid for my airfare and accommodation.
Four years after relaunching the Colombian ccTLD .co as a global top-level domain, .CO Internet has been acquired by its long-time partner Neustar for $109 million.
The .co registry will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Neustrar, which already runs .biz and .us, following the close of the deal.
.CO recorded revenue of $21 million in 2013, of which Neustar took $4 million as its back-end registry provider, according to Neustar.
The .co zone currently stands at about 1.6 million names, according to the companies. That seems to mean it added roughly 200,000 net new names in 2013, judging by its 2012 numbers.
The company relaunched .co in 2010, having jointly bid with Neustar for a Colombian government contract.
It was the last truly impressive TLD launch, with 200,000 registrations on day one and over 1 million in its first year.
While the space is still stuffed with speculators, unlike some other TLDs .co is also widely, visibly used by its intended audience — start-ups and entrepreneurs.
.CO is known primarily for its marketing acumen — some new gTLD registries could learn a thing or two — which Neustar CEO Lisa Hook raised as a selling point in today’s press release:
By combining .CO Internet’s innovative domain marketing capabilities with Neustar’s distribution network and technical resources, we will be able to broaden our registry services and the .co brand worldwide, while creating shareholder value.
Neustar expects the deal to close within a month.
ICANN has published a preliminary schedule for its first new gTLD contention set auctions, which would see the first batch hit the block on June 4 this year.
The plan is now to sell off roughly 20 strings every month, with the last lot going under the hammer in March 2015, a full year from now.
Each contention set, of which there are 233, has been allocated to a batch, ordered by the applicants with the best position in the prioritization queue governing all aspects of the new gTLD program.
But each batch is filled with sets that have either already been resolved or which are currently “ineligible” for auction for one reason or another.
Ineligible contention sets are those that include an application that has, for example, an outstanding change request or a piece of unresolved Governmental Advisory Committee advice.
For example, the 12 applications for .app are scheduled for a July auction, but none of them are going anywhere until the GAC advice against the string goes away.
Naturally enough, ICANN says it’s a preliminary schedule that is subject to a lot of change.
Applicants in contention sets may nevertheless draw comfort from the fact that these auctions finally seem to have firm dates. The auctions were originally slated to start this month.
The first four Community Priority Evaluation results are in, and all four applicants flunked by failing to prove a “nexus” between the new gTLD string and the community they purport to represent.
No applicant score more than 11 points of the 14 necessary to pass. A total of 16 points are available.
Winning a CPE automatically wins a contention set — all the other applicants for the same new gTLD must withdraw — so it’s a deliberately difficult test.
The scoring mechanism has been debated for years. Scoring 14 points unless the gTLD string exactly matches the name of your organization has always struck me as an almost impossible task.
The first four results appear to substantiate this view. Nobody scored more than 0 on the “nexus” requirement, for which 4 points are available.
The four CPE applicants were: Starting Dot (.immo), Taxi Pay (.taxi), Tennis Australia (.tennis) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (.mls). All four were told:
The string does not identify or match the name of the community, nor is it a well-known short-form or abbreviation of the community.
In some cases, the evaluation panel used evidence from the applicant’s own applicant to show that the string “over-reaches” the community the applicant purported to represent.
The application for .Taxi defines a core community of taxi companies and drivers, as well as peripheral industries and entities.
While the string identifies the name of the core community members (i.e. taxis), it does not match or identify the peripheral industries and entities that are included in the definition of the community
In other cases, the panel just used basic common sense. For example, Tennis Australia was told:
Tennis refers to the sport and the global community of people/groups associated with it, and therefore does not refer specifically to the Tennis Australia community.
Starting Dot (.immo) and Taxi Pay (.taxi) both also scored 0 on the “Community Establishment” criteria where, again, 4 points were available.
In that part of the CPE, the applicants have to show that their community is clearly delineated, organized, and long-standing.
In both cases, the panel found that the communities were too eclectic, too disorganized and too young — neither existed before the new gTLD program kicked off in September 2007.
It’s not looking promising for any of the 14 CPE applicants listed by ICANN here. I’ll give $50 to a charity of the applicant’s choosing if any of them scores more than 14 points.