Legal Matters

EXCLUSIVE: Terrorism Victims Sue for ICANN to Revoke Domain Names Being Used by Iran

ICANN, the organization that administers domain names, is being sued by victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism. (Getty)

Still waiting on billions of dollars in unpaid damages, American victims of Iran-sponsored terrorist attacks are attempting to seize Internet properties the United States has provided to Iran.

The victims and their family members today filed a lawsuit against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the U.S.-based non-profit that administers Internet properties worldwide. In it, the plaintiffs demand ICANN turn over all the top-level domain names provided by the U.S. to Iran, including .ir,  ایران, and any other IP address being used by the Iranian government and its agencies. Read More

Made in NYC

Prove You’re a Real New Yorker With New .nyc Domain

(Photo via .NYC)

If there’s one thing real New Yorkers love, it’s setting themselves apart from imposters. Between now and June 20th, New York City businesses can send in applications for a “.nyc” domain name.

Since domain regulator ICANN started approving thousands of new top level domains, everyone from cities to web giants like Google and Amazon been applying. Neustar, the company that maintains the “.us” and “.biz” domains, are handling the wholesale of the “.nyc” domains, and the City of New York will take a 40 percent cut of the sales. Read More


Booting Up: We Need to Protect the Queen as Startups Flock to London

She LOVES apps.(Photo by Ian Gavan/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Former Apple CEO John Sculley is reportedly mulling a bid for BlackBerry. [Globe and Mail]

YouTube is planning to a service that’s described as “Spotify with video” later this year. [Billboard]

Amazon’s entry into the set-top box game might miss its scheduled holiday deadline as it scrambles with development delays. [The Verge]

Suck it Silicon Prairie: London is the new leader in patting itself on the back for nurturing tech startups. [New York Times]

ICANN is approving several new top-level domains in the next few weeks including شبكة, 游戏 and онлайн. [BBC]

The Future of the Ebook

Let’s Give Amazon the .Book Domain, That’ll End Well

Old school, meet new school. (

Hey, you know what sounds like a great idea? Giving the juggernaut Amazon any more of a stranglehold on the book business. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Author’s Guild, the Association of American Publishers and those poor bastards at Barnes & Noble are all raising hue and cry in opposition to Amazon’s attempt to stake out such generic top-level domains as “.book” and “.read,” saying it’s a threat to competition. Read More


Booting Up: Is Your News Feed About to Get More Crowded?

Zuck listening to the Black-Eyed Peas' "I Got a Feeling." (Photo: In the Capital)

The FTC is said to be wondering whether it can actually pull off an antitrust case against Google, as consumers don’t seem too bothered by the company’s putting its own services before those of competitors. [Bloomberg]

Facebook is testing adding upcoming events and recently released albums–not sponsored posts, but not shared by friends, either–to the News Feed. [The Next Web]

A government advisory committee has filed objections to many of ICANN’s new top-level domains, from .islam to .wtf to .navy. [ZDNet]

HP says it’s lost almost $9 billion on the purchase of Autonomy because of shady accounting. But there are doubts about whether that really adds up. [Bloomberg]

Now whirring away in the computing museum at England’s Bletchley Park: the world’s oldest working computer, dating from 1951. [Extreme Tech]

XXX in Tech

Secure Your Spank Bank! .XXX Offers a Safe New Search Engine for Parallel Universe of Porn

Awhile back, a friend confessed that she used Safari exclusively for watching porn, so her . . . unconventional searches wouldn’t pollute her Google results–or good moral standing. Last week, another friend admitted to clearing out his browser history every single time he indulged. (I got the impression this was a fairly regular ordeal.)

Even with the advent of privacy (read: porn) mode, one never quite feels incognito. “You could have been looking for Brazilian midget transsexuals or something, you know?” Stuart Lawley, CEO of ICM Registry told Betabeat in a booming British accent. “And then you’re looking for Brazilian wax and it autocompletes. How are you going to explain that to your partner looking over your shoulder?” Read More


New York City Poised to Score .NYC, Which No One Else Applied For

Only New Yorkers may use the .nyc domain. (Photo: Flickr/Randy Pertiet)

The application period for new domains—Internet suffixes such as .com, .org—closed at the end of May, and there’s good news for New York City. It looks like the .nyc domain will soon belong to the municipal IT department. While some domains sparked fierce competition, with 13 applications for .app, 10 for .art and 11 for .home, only New York City applied for .nyc. No one applied for .brooklyn. Read More

They're Here! They're Here!

It’s Google Versus Amazon in the Top-Level Domain Applications

Like this but with Internet addresses instead of homesteads. (Photo:

Boy oh boy: The list of applicants for ICANN’s new top-level domains dropped today, and it looks like Google and Amazon like a lot of the same words.

Things are different from when the world (wide web) was young and no one yet recognized its promise. In those days, you could grab prime real estate and flip it for profit quicker than someone who bought a Soho loft circa 1978. But now everyone recognizes that a promising domain name means money, honey, and that means the term “land grab” is getting thrown around an awful lot. Read More

Helpful Suggestions

7 (Semi-Serious) Legitimate Use Cases for the New Top-Level Domains

Consider yourself relocated, kitty. (Photo:

With ICANN set to reveal new top-level domains any moment now, the number of available Internet addresses is about to balloon. Various organizations around the world have applied to register more than 1,900. A fair number of those are brands staking claim to their own names, like Google staking out .youtube. But companies like Donuts have applied to administer generic names like .bank and .baby, meaning businesses and individuals can soon register for the digital equivalent of  vanity license plates. It’s going to get messy and it’s going to get confusing, fast.

However, there are several specific top-level domain purchases we recommend: Read More


Are You People Really This Excited About Top-Level Domains?

Also, the company's name is Donuts. (

At first, all the enthusiasm for top-level domains was fun and actually totally understandable. Some of them–many of them, even–make perfect sense. The city already has .NYC in the works, and the European Broadcasting Union has dibs on .eurovision. But things are starting to look a little, well, frothy. Google has applied for .youtube and .google. Fair enough. But the company also wants .lol, which invites massive speculation.

And now, according to the Wall Street Journal, a startup called Donuts has raised a whopping $100 million Series A, in the hopes of becoming the go-to registry for top-level domain names. CEO Paul Stahura tells the Journal the company has applied to run 307 domains. And before you ask why .com isn’t good enough, don’t worry, Mr. Stahura has an explanation:  Read More