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Seven new gTLD applications withdrawn, two after GAC Early Warnings

Kevin Murphy, December 14, 2012, Domain Registries

Seven more new gTLD applications have been officially withdrawn from the ICANN evaluation process, two of which were recently hit with governmental warnings, bringing the total to 13.

The applications yanked since DI’s last update are:

.ansons (CBM Creative Brands Marken GmbH)
.caremore (WellPoint, Inc)
.glean (Lifestyle Domain Holdings, Inc)
.gmbh (GMBH Registry, LLC)
.hilton (HLT Stakis IP Limited)
.skolkovo (Fund for Development of the Center for Elaboration and Commercialization of New Technologies)
.swiss (Swiss International Air Lines Ltd)

The withdrawal of .swiss means that a contention set is now no longer a contention set.

The other .swiss applicant is the Swiss government itself, which filed a Governmental Advisory Committee Early Warning against its rival last month and is now pretty much guaranteed a win.

The latest withdrawals also thin the field for .gmbh, reducing the number of applicants from six to five.

All of the .gmbh applications received GAC Early Warnings from Germany. The country is concerned that only legal GmbH entities — equivalent to “Ltd” or “LLC” companies — should be able to own these domains.

The .hilton, .glean, .ansons, and .caremore applications were all dot-brands.

So, to an extent, was .skolkovo. Skolkovo is an emerging high-technology campus outside of Moscow with big intentions to become the Russian Silicon Valley. It’s not known why its bid was pulled.

Venue has “more reservations than bedrooms” for ICANN Prague

Kevin Murphy, June 9, 2012, Gossip

Anyone fancy a twos-up with another ICANN attendee in Prague?

The Hilton Prague Hotel has apologized for screwing up delegates’ reservations for the June 23-28 public ICANN meeting, and has reconfirmed the reservations of those affected.

But it’s told ICANN that it still doesn’t have enough rooms for that week. In a letter to ICANN meeting organizers, dated June 6, the hotel wrote:

The Hilton Prague still has more reservations than bedrooms for the period of the ICANN meeting, but both the Hilton Prague and ICANN event organizers are together working on minimizing the overbooking situation in order to be able to accommodate as many ICANN attendees as possible.

Not exactly encouraging, is it?

The overbooking problem seems to have been caused by the hotel running a special ICANN reservation system in parallel with its regular system, but not correctly linking the two.

Speculating, this might mean that only those who booked through official channels were affected.

Speculating further, it might also mean that those who booked independently are at risk of losing their reservations, should the Hilton decide to prioritize known ICANN delegates.

Even if I’m wrong on both counts, it does appear that not everyone who booked at the Hilton for the meeting will be staying where they hoped.

Hilton Prague screws over ICANN delegates

Kevin Murphy, June 2, 2012, Gossip

Lots of people attending ICANN’s public meeting in Prague later this month are complaining that the venue, the Hilton Prague Hotel, has rebooked them into hotels miles away.

It’s not clear how widespread the problem is, but I’d guess dozens of people are affected, judging by the chatter.

Amusingly, given recent events, it appears that a technical glitch with the hotel’s booking system is to blame.

One attendee, who was bumped to a hotel an hour’s walk away from the venue, was told the rebooking was “due to the unexpected circumstances with the reservation system”.

The Hilton is the venue and the first-choice hotel for the week-long meeting. ICANN had negotiated a special rate for attendees.

It’s not the first snafu to hit a meeting hotel recently. Last October, the venue one of the hotels chosen for the meeting in Dakar, Senegal, was slammed as smelly, dirty and insecure by many delegates.

However, with regard to the Prague snafu, I’ve been unable to confirm whether ICANN has filed an official complaint with the Czech minister of telecommunications yet.

While DI is attending Prague, your humble reporter is not affected by the mix-up. I’ll be sleeping on public transport and doing my morning ablutions in McDonald’s as usual.