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April 2004 Archives

April 1, 2004

More on Transfers

From Free2Innovate.net (asking to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor?): ICANN has issued an updated Inter-Registrar Transfers Policy "intended to provide a procedure for the smooth transition of a domain name from one registrar to another when such a change is requested by the domain name holder." It only took ICANN one year and four months to launch the new policy after it was endorsed in a "final report" first issued Nov. 30, 2002. That's faster than normal for ICANN.
UPDATE: Thomas Roesler blames NetSol for the delay.

This is doubly wrong: What ICANN posted yesterday could be the final transfers policy -- but isn't because NSI wrote that letter. That's the delay I'm blaming them for.

Concerning all the other delays, it's worth remembering how this mess begun, and what NSI said back then.

Domain Registry of America, again.

The Domain Registry of America regularly reminds me of expiration dates of my domain names -- even if the current registrar will automatically renew the names in question --, and of the kinds of practices that ICANN's current WHOIS policies enable.

Latest letter here.

April 2, 2004

.net redelegation

ICANN has asked the GNSO Council to consider "guidance ... concerning the criteria for designating a successor operator for .net". A subcommittee of the GNSO Council will deal with this; this committee is expected to meet first in the week beginning 12 April.

WHOIS Task Force Time Lines Extended

At its call last night, the GNSO Council has extended the time lines for the WHOIS Task Forces, since only few constituency statements have been received so far. The hard deadline for constituency statements is no 16 April. Preliminary reports are expected by 6 May. The rest of the process is shifted accordingly.

April 11, 2004

Mobile phones online considered harmful.

I'm no longer convinced that letting the mobile phone industry loose on the Internet (or the DNS) can be considered harmless: I'm seriously surprised how any industry can come up with Internet user interfaces as crappy as what is let loose on mobile phone users here.

I've been a happy user of Siemens mobile phones for several years now, and I've been using them to go online for quite some time: Connected to a laptop or a PDA through IRDA or a data cable, and connected to the Net through a data call to an analog modem or, more recently, GPRS. All that was configured rather easily, on PDAs and laptops.

Until tonight, I never actually tried to use the built-in Internet stuff, and I guess I won't try it again. To begin with, configuring WAP on a "blank" mobile phone (a C60 without infrared) isn't precisely fun -- too many parameters distributed over too many menus, with too long strings to enter over these keyboards. And the error diagnostics are vague to the extent of being useless.

Once you have configured WAP, the real fun begins: Keying in URLs on a mobile phone's keyboard. The slash was particularly interesting, 12-14 quick presses on the '0' key, with visual feedback lagging considerably behind key presses, with a timeout that interferes as soon as key presses are slow enough for visual feedback to be current, and with a mobile phone that occasionally misses a key press.

Needless to say, the server on which the desired ring tone resides was unreachable for the mobile (with unclear error diagnostics, and a connection through "real" Internet access working fine). Ultimately, a similar ringtone MIDI file was transmitted through infrared to a different mobile phone, and sent to the C60 by short message.

April 12, 2004

What's that IP lawyer doing inside this Macintosh?

Take an Apple Macintosh bought in Europe. Insert a European-bought DVD for the first time. The DVD drive is encoded for region 1. The DVD is region 2. You can change the drive's region code 4 more times. Enter your password to change the drive's region code.

Why, precisely, is this kind of hassle necessary, again? And why, precisely, is it that this particular industry can't leave its consumers alone with the products they have bought, but always finds another way to harass them?

April 20, 2004

Board minutes from 19 April

Resolutions Adopted at Special ICANN Board Meeting: ccNSO bylaw changes; Independent Review Panel; .pro's agreement is not terminated; redelegations of .ps and .ng.

April 22, 2004

How not to do fraud reporting: eBay.

Trying to be a good network citizen, I tend to make sure that I report ongoing fraud attempts and phishing expeditions that make it into my inbox. Today, two messages posing as eBay, and trying to get eBay login information and credit card information; the server used runs on a DSL line in Latin America. The fake was obvious since I'm a member of eBay Germany (and they talk German to me, not English) -- still, it's a bad thing, others may fall for it, and (unlike myself) eBay has the incentives, means, and resources to make sure the proper investigations are launched, and measures are taken to shut this down.

On to ebay.de we go. After about 5-10 pointless pages, a web form. The e-mail message and relevant log file entries are cut and pasted, the "submit" button is clicked -- and then I'm just told that my message can't be accepted.

The only other means of contact: A 0900-* phone number at 59 Euro Cents per minute -- and then, all you get is a pointer to <spoof (at) ebay.de>, by e-mail, after you have expensively spelt your e-mail address to the customer services representative.

Why isn't <spoof (at) ebay.de> featured prominently on their web site? Why are they bothering people with web forms when they have to forward the messages in question by e-mail anyway? Why do I have to spend several minutes on the phone before I get the necessary e-mail address? Why do I have to pay for that, at rates an order of magnitude more expensive than international calls?

April 26, 2004

Classical ear-openers.

Susan Crawford has -- in late February -- blogged what must have been an ear-opener concerto: Slatkin conducted Mahler's retouche of Beethoven's 9th, and before that gave a lecture explaining the various versions of the symphony. I have now finally got hold of a recording of this particular variant of the 9th: Gerhard Samuel conducting the Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra; the recording is available from Centaur Records.

It's quite an interesting recording that demands more time and concentration -- in particular since my mental image of the 9th is dominated by a 1963 Karajan recording of the symphony. But, as usual, the more versions of the music one has listened to, the more interesting it becomes to listen to any and all of them.

Speaking of ear-opening interpretations, here are some more (almost random) recommendations: The excellent Rubinstein-Reiner interpretation of Brahms' first piano concerto (available on CD); Edwin Fischer's dark cadenzas in Mozart's D minor piano concerto K 466 (I have not been able to track down a CD version of the HMV record with the Philharmonia orchestra that I have in mind); Furtwängler's version of Schumann's 4th with the Berlin Philharmonics (in particular the extremely slow beginning of the final movement is fascinating; this recording may be available on CD).

April 27, 2004

How not to do electronic commerce

Today, (presumably) the second instance of Mahler's Beethoven's 9th arrived here. It's the first one I ordered, also at Amazon marketplace. That particular merchant first sent a confirmation for the wrong CD, and -- upon my complaint -- notified me that the CD was not available; the money was returned. Two weeks later -- I had now ordered elsewhere, and their delivery was underway --, I received a "status message". I responded that I considered the contract voided by the merchant, and would return any delivery from them. No response.

Today, a shipping confirmation was in my e-mail, and another CD in my physical mailbox. This particular merchant will now have to pay the return postage back to them.

Oh, just in case you're wondering: I'm talking about www.germanmusicexpress.com.

April 28, 2004

700,000 WHOIS records for $199.95

From my spam box today: Facts Disc Price Blowout!!

These guys offer (essentially) the zone files of .com/.net/.org/.edu plus alleged 700,000 WHOIS records for $199.95. That's 0.03 cents per record.

A CD player that can't play "copy-protected" CDs is not defective.

Kristian Köhntopp points to an interesting decision of a court in Aachen, Germany.

Plaintiff has bought a new car, including CD player, in 2002. The car's CD player is unable to play copy-protected CDs. Plaintiff sues for abatement of purchase price, claiming that the CD player is defective, and for damages, claiming that he should have been notified about the player's inability to play copy-protected CDs.

The court finds that the CD player is not defective.

Buyers of a new CD player can assume that a CD player is able to play Compact Discs that comply with the Philipps and Sony specifications. Buyers can't assume that a CD player is able to play "any medium that resembles a Compact Disc." The court doubts that copy-protected CDs can even be legitimately called "CD".

A different conclusion could be possible if the actual market for CDs consisted mostly of non-standard media. This is not the case: Less than 10% of all CDs sold in Germany between 2001 and 2003 were copy protected.

Plaintiff also doesn't get damages for lack of notice: Given the small portion of non-compliant CDs in the marketplace, playing copy-protected CDs can't be considered the usual purpose of a CD player. Hence, vendors are not held to notify buyers that their compliant devices are unable to play certain (or all) non-compliant CD media.

I'm sorry, but...

From: majordomo@gnso.icann.org
To: roessler@does-not-exist.org
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 05:52:54 -0700
Subject: Majordomo results


>>>> unsubscribe ga

About April 2004

This page contains all entries posted to No Such Weblog in April 2004. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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