Coming Soon…the New .sucks gTLD – How Will it Affect You?

To All Brand Owners: The arrival of a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) will require you to once again evaluate your brand strategies and trademark portfolios, particularly as they relate to the Internet. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved several hundred new gTLDs, but the one that may be of most concern to brand owners is the new .sucks gTLD, which is set to launch this year.

The .sucks gTLD, operated by Vox Populi Registry, Ltd. (Vox Populi), is positioning the new gTLD as a platform for conversation. Indeed, its website declares that the .sucks domain is “designed to help consumers find their voices and allow companies to find the value in criticism.” However, critics of the new domain are concerned that the domain has little or no public interest value and is simply a predatory shakedown scheme aimed at getting businesses to spend a lot of money on defensive registrations.

Whatever your view, the time to make a decision about whether you want to protect your valuable brands from winding up on the left side of the .sucks domain, potentially under someone else’s control, is NOW.

Sticker Shock

Companies that decide to protect their marks may suffer sticker shock when they see the price tag that comes with the registration of the new domains during the Sunrise period. The Sunrise period, which begins on March 30, 2015, is designed to give owners of brands registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse the first crack at registering their protected brands. The cost to register one brand during the Sunrise period is $2,499, with renewal expected to be the same each subsequent year. For companies with multiple brands, those fees will add up quickly.

In contrast, Vox Populi has published a suggested retail pricing structure on its website of $249/mark once the domains become generally available on June 1, 2015, unless Vox Populi has labeled the domain “premium” at their discretion. At this point, no one knows what will constitute a “premium” registration or what it will cost, so waiting to register during the general availability period may not provide any savings. Vox Populi has also announced a proposed scheme whereby consumers will be able to buy a .sucks domain for $10/year via a “consumer advocate subsidized” pricing tier. Consumers who get a domain at that price will have to redirect it to a discussion forum that will live on the everything.sucks domain.

How Should Brand Owners Respond?

Companies should reevaluate their brand strategies to ensure that their valuable intellectual property rights are properly protected in this new arena. Not surprising, the best strategy is often rooted in basic trademark common sense:

  • Identify those marks that you may not want to end up on the left side of a .sucks domain;
  • Set a budget that will help you accomplish your objectives, but that is realistic to meet your needs—for example, registering every possible variation of your trademarks as a .sucks domain is probably neither cost-effective nor a viable option for most companies; and
  • Obtain specialized legal advice from your trademark practitioner to ensure that your rights are properly protected. This is particularly important for the .sucks domain, as brand owners should not expect that either the courts or arbitrators deciding cases under ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Proceeding (UDRP) or Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) will find a .sucks domain to infringe a brand owner’s mark. There is plenty of prior case law that prohibits trademark owners from complaining about domain names that clearly evince an intention to be a source for criticism.
Conclusion

As with anything new on the Internet, the launching of the .sucks domain presents a dilemma for all brand owners and will require brand owners to reevaluate their portfolios to determine whether defensive registrations are worth the investment.

Important Dates for .sucks Domain Name Registration

 

Article source: http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/coming-soonthe-new-sucks-gtld-how-07792/

OpenDaylight and friends spin up 'CloudRouter Project'

Another day, another waft at the software-defined networking (SDN) and/or network function virtualisation (NFV) market, this time in the form of the new “CloudRouter Project” backed by CloudBees, Cloudius Systems, IIX, NGINX and OpenDaylight.

The latter you probably know – it’s the Linux Foundation’s effort to create a standard SDN and/or NFV stack. Cloudius is an Israeli effort to create a very lightweight OS for bare metal deployment, CloudBees is a continuous integration player, NGINX offers a web server and load balancer while IIX is a global peering company.

The latter is driving the CloudRouter Project, because its senior director of DevOps, and , CloudRouter Project lead, Jay Turner reckons “As the industry moves to cloud computing, there needs to be a bridge from legacy architectures to SDN, hybrid clouds and data-center-­to-­data-center connections.”

The group’s first effort is yours for the downloading here. The tool is based on Fedora and is said to offer the following features:

  • capability to run on public and private cloud infrastructures at scale with a fully­-automated configuration system
  • container-­ready, including support for Docker, Cloudius, OSv and KVM images
  • secure connectivity using standard-s­based IPSec VPN, SSL or L2TP
  • monitoring and reporting with integrated network protocol analysis for network detail at a fine-­grained level
  • high availability and system redundancy with failover and synchronization
  • minimal resource consumption

The group reckons this approach “… provides DevOps for networks (NetOps) with the ability to easily deploy an integrated and hardened stack.”

OpenDaylight has a mighty membership roster – just about any vendor that’s ever considered SDN or NFV, or can spell either, has signed as a member – so its participation in this project means it deserves to be taken seriously. the project is also motivated by the desire to provide an open alternative to commercial SDN and NFV, which means it has every chance of becoming increasingly relevant. ®

Article source: http://go.theregister.com/feed/www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/01/opendaylight_and_friends_spin_up_cloudrouter_project/

Club or Bar… We’ve Got Your Perfect Domain Name for Great Online Marketing

LAS VEGAS, NV–(Marketwired – March 31, 2015) – There’s a new, better way for nightclubs and bars to market and promote themselves online, and the .CLUB and .BAR domain names are teaming up for the first time to offer the nightclub and bar industry the opportunity to get the perfect web address for their club or bar. .CLUB Domains, which owns and operates the #1 selling new generic top-level domain “.club” and Punto 2012, the domain company that operates “.BAR” will be in booth # 232 at the Nightclub and Bar Show in Las Vegas March 31-April 1, 2015.

Since the beginning of the Internet, clubs and bars have been relegated to getting a .com, .net or similar web address that gives no context or meaning to what consumers will find at the site, nor does it necessarily help in SEO rankings. In addition, with many of the good .com domains long taken, it leaves new businesses with little or no opportunity to have a great web address to market online. But the Internet is changing…

The .club and .bar extensions have now become available, and more than 200,000 .CLUB and .BAR names have already been registered. .CLUB is the #1 selling new domain and also leads in premium name sales including Vegas.club for $100,000 and others, totaling more than $800,000 to date. 

“.CLUB and .BAR really epitomize the success of the gTLD industry, because they’re two words that give genuine context to a web address and also are used throughout the world in just about every language,” said Colin Campbell, president and CEO of .CLUB Domains. “It’s what the expansion of the Internet naming system was all about: giving businesses a chance to better brand and market themselves on and offline with a cool, amazing domain name that has meaning to everyone.” 

“.BAR and .CLUB domains are short, easy to remember and recognized all over the world. This is a great opportunity for bars and clubs to have a very relevant element that builds or reinforces positioning, marketing and categorization in the online world, and even offline,” shared Aaron Grego, CEO of .BAR Domains. “Every day, we are finding new websites using .BAR domains, in exciting and innovative ways.”

Anyone can register for a .CLUB or .BAR domain name at hundreds of registrars around the globe. A list of .CLUB registrars can be found at nic.club/register and a list of .BAR registrars can be found at register.bar/registrars

About .Club Domains, LLC
Led by Internet entrepreneur Colin Campbell, whose prior successes include Tucows Interactive and Hostopia.com, .Club Domains, LLC was formed for the purpose of becoming the .CLUB gTLD registry. The company recently launched Startup.club to support entrepreneurs building businesses around a .CLUB domain name. With more than 195,000 domain names sold to date .CLUB leads the pack of new domain extensions in sales and usage. More information and links to register .CLUB domains are available now at www.nic.club.

About Punto 2012
Mexico City-based Punto 2012 owns and operates the .BAR and .REST web extensions that are specifically geared for the bars, pubs and nightclubs, including bar and restaurant guides, critics, delivery services, wine and liquor, and related industries. .BAR enables bars and relevant businesses in the food and beverage industry to build an easily accessible neighborhood online and to have access to previously costly, unavailable, or unmanageable Internet addresses. .REST is the global domain for restaurants. More information can be found at www.register.bar
and www.register.rest.

Embedded Video Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq_t5_ZXGP4

Article source: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/club-or-bar-weve-got-your-perfect-domain-name-for-great-online-marketing-2005477.htm

Linux Top 3: GNOME 3.16, Sabayon 15.04 and Ubuntu 15.04 Beta

1) Gnome 3.16

GNOME 3.16 was released on March 25, benefiting from the contributions of 1,043 authors that made 33,525 changes.

According to the release notes:

GNOME 3.16 brings a brand new notification system and updated calendar design, which helps you to easily keep track of what’s happened, and includes useful information like world times and event reminders. Other features include overlaid scrollbars, updated visuals, improved content views in Files, and a redesigned image viewer.

2) Ubuntu 15.04

The Ubuntu 15.04 release is now at its beta 2 stage nearing its final release date on April 23. From the primary desktop release, Unity gets an upgrade to version 7.3, which offers the promise of faster startup and shutdown times.

Other desktop improvements set to land in Ubuntu 15.04 desktop include:

A configuration option to have menus displayed at all times instead of only on mouseover.

Enable the Dash, HUD, or logout dialogs over fullscreen windows.

3) Sabayon 15.04

While new GNOME releases come out every six months, Sabayon comes out somewhat more frequently. Sabayon is now on a rolling release cycle, issuing new updates every month.

The new 15.04 release now comes with Steam pre-installed.

According to the release notes:

In addition to this, a new boot and install mode called “Steam Big Picture” (formerly and improperly known as SteamBox mode) is now available letting you turn your computer into a real Linux gaming console, no matter if it is NVIDIA, AMD or Intel GPU-based.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at LinuxPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist




Solid State Drives: The Future of Data Storage?

icon
Solid state disks (SSDs) made a splash in consumer technology, and now the technology has its eyes on the enterprise storage market. Download this eBook to see what SSDs can do for your infrastructure and review the pros and cons of this potentially game-changing storage technology.

Article source: http://www.linuxplanet.com/news/linux-top-3-gnome-3.16-sabayon-15.04-and-ubuntu-15.04-beta.html

nTLDStats Reports Over 1.25 Million People Have Registered The 4.8 M New …

nTLDStats.com is reporting that the number of Unique Registrants of a new gTLD domain name is just over 1.25 Million registrants.

The total number of new gTLD domain names registered are now over 4.8 Million.

Some other interesting  numbers from ntldstats.com about the registrants of new gTLD’s:

Frank Schilling North Sound Names has the largest number of new gTLD registration with over 183,000 registrations of as far as we can tell all in new gTLD extensions of Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry.

Uniregistry has a total of 322,197 domains registered in its extensions, so North Sound Domains owns more domain names in Uniregistry strings than all other registrations combined or over 56%.

The second largest registrant is the .Realtor Registry which is represents the free .Realtor domain names its is giving away to licensed Realtors.

The third largest registrant is DomCollect AG which is owned by the same company that owns Sedo.com and there over 42,000 registrations are mostly in the free .Berlin domain names that were offered for a couple of days last year.

The 4th largest registrant of new gTLD domain names is DomainProfi GmbH who owns almost 27,000 domains which the vast majority are free .berlin domain names as well.

The 5th largest registrant is associated with an arm of the Chinese government Qinfeng Li which registered over 20K IDN in two new gTLD extension run by the TLD Registry.

The 6th largest registrant is Ralf Ganser, of Land Berlin which owns over 13,000 mostly free .Berlin domain names.

The 9th largest registrant is Pierre-Eli Normandeau who registered around 7,500 mostly free .science domain names.

The 10th largest registrant is a domainer, Innovation HQ, Inc. who has over 10,000 new gTLD registrations and we think the largest registrant of new gTLD domain names that is not affiliated with any new gTLD registry which has paid for the vast majority of their registrations.

For the record my company Worldwide Media, Inc. is listed as number 86 on the published list of the top 100 registrants which ntldstats.com is now calling handles.

Over 3 million of the 4.8 million domain names or 62% of all new gTLD’s are parked, which includes those not having a name server, No Record, HTTP Error and those domain names being redirected to another domain, including those in other extensions like .com.

Over 8% of all new gTLD’s are being redirected to another domain name.

.Club has more domain names registered than Rightside which has 33 new gTLD extensions launched.

Article source: http://www.thedomains.com/2015/03/31/ntldstats-reports-over-1-25-million-people-have-registered-the-4-8-m-new-gtld-domains/

Coming soon…the new .sucks gTLD: how will it affect you?

To All Brand Owners: The arrival of a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) will require you to once again evaluate your brand strategies and trademark portfolios, particularly as they relate to the Internet. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved several hundred new gTLDs, but the one that may be of most concern to brand owners is the new .sucks gTLD, which is set to launch this year.

The .sucks gTLD, operated by Vox Populi Registry, Ltd. (Vox Populi), is positioning the new gTLD as a platform for conversation. Indeed, its website declares that the .sucks domain is “designed to help consumers find their voices and allow companies to find the value in criticism.” However, critics of the new domain are concerned that the domain has little or no public interest value and is simply a predatory shakedown scheme aimed at getting businesses to spend a lot of money on defensive registrations.

Whatever your view, the time to make a decision about whether you want to protect your valuable brands from winding up on the left side of the .sucks domain, potentially under someone else’s control, is NOW.

Sticker Shock

Companies that decide to protect their marks may suffer sticker shock when they see the price tag that comes with the registration of the new domains during the Sunrise period. The Sunrise period, which begins on March 30, 2015, is designed to give owners of brands registered with the Trademark Clearinghouse the first crack at registering their protected brands. The cost to register one brand during the Sunrise period is $2,499, with renewal expected to be the same each subsequent year. For companies with multiple brands, those fees will add up quickly.

In contrast, Vox Populi has published a suggested retail pricing structure on its website of $249/mark once the domains become generally available on June 1, 2015, unless Vox Populi has labeled the domain “premium” at their discretion. At this point, no one knows what will constitute a “premium” registration or what it will cost, so waiting to register during the general availability period may not provide any savings. Vox Populi has also announced a proposed scheme whereby consumers will be able to buy a .sucks domain for $10/year via a “consumer advocate subsidized” pricing tier. Consumers who get a domain at that price will have to redirect it to a discussion forum that will live on the everything.sucks domain.

How Should Brand Owners Respond?

Companies should reevaluate their brand strategies to ensure that their valuable intellectual property rights are properly protected in this new arena. Not surprising, the best strategy is often rooted in basic trademark common sense:

Identify those marks that you may not want to end up on the left side of a .sucks domain; Set a budget that will help you accomplish your objectives, but that is realistic to meet your needs—for example, registering every possible variation of your trademarks as a .sucks domain is probably neither cost-effective nor a viable option for most companies; and Obtain specialized legal advice from your trademark practitioner to ensure that your rights are properly protected. This is particularly important for the .sucks domain, as brand owners should not expect that either the courts or arbitrators deciding cases under ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Proceeding (UDRP) or Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) will find a .sucks domain to infringe a brand owner’s mark. There is plenty of prior case law that prohibits trademark owners from complaining about domain names that clearly evince an intention to be a source for criticism.

Conclusion

As with anything new on the Internet, the launching of the .sucks domain presents a dilemma for all brand owners and will require brand owners to reevaluate their portfolios to determine whether defensive registrations are worth the investment.

Important dates for .sucks Domain Name Registrat 

Click here to view the table.

Article source: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=f0845596-ca07-41d5-8aeb-578818e6662b

Leading Open Source Network and Cloud Architecture Innovators Support CloudRouter Project

SANTA CLARA, CA–(Marketwired – March 31, 2015) – The CloudRouter® Project, created to advance the development of secure Linux-based open source routing and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies for large-scale cloud companies, data centers, enterprises, and network operators, launched today. The open source community project has support from important network and cloud architecture innovators in application delivery, direct interconnection, and network and cloud management. They include CloudBees, Cloudius Systems, IIX, NGINX,
and OpenDaylight.

“With our peers in the industry, we hope to build a true open source community around the CloudRouter Project to really respond to industry demand for a secure, high-quality SDN and router distribution, something that’s essentially non-existent today,” said Jay Turner, CloudRouter Project Lead and Senior Director of DevOps at IIX. “As the industry moves to cloud computing, there needs to be a bridge from legacy architectures to SDN, hybrid clouds, and data center-to-data center connections. To accelerate the development of this bridge, the CloudRouter Project will initially focus on performance and security.”

The CloudRouter Project incorporates the latest release of OpenDaylight to provide secure network programmability to enable SDN and create a solid foundation for network function virtualization (NFV) for networks at any size and scale. The CloudRouter Project will maintain a stable and up-to-date Linux distribution based on Fedora, including best-of-breed open source technologies. This provides DevOps for networks (NetOps) with the ability to easily deploy an integrated and hardened stack. 

Key CloudRouter features include:

  • capability to run on public and private cloud infrastructures at scale with a fully-automated configuration system
  • container-ready, including support for Docker, Cloudius, OSv, and KVM images
  • secure connectivity using standards-based IPSec VPN, SSL or L2TP
  • monitoring and reporting with integrated network protocol analysis for network detail at a fine-grained level
  • high availability and system redundancy with failover and synchronization
  • minimal resource consumption.

A beta version of CloudRouter is immediately available for developers to download at cloudrouter.org. Industry and independent developers at all levels are invited to participate in the community.

Supporting quotes

CloudBees
“From our work with the Jenkins community, the number one open source continuous integration and delivery platform, we understand the need for workflow technology to automate IT processes to maximize efficiency,” said Sacha Labourey, CEO and Founder of CloudBees, the Enterprise Jenkins Company. “We support the efforts of the CloudRouter Project to develop open source technology to make the network management workflow more efficient, something that network managers will find very helpful.”

Cloudius
“Companies that rely on cloud architectures should pay attention to the efforts of the CloudRouter Project to build a high-performance router for cloud interconnections across public, private, and enterprise networks,” said Dor Laor, CEO of Cloudius Systems, developers of the OSv cloud operating system. “I’m eager to see if my own OSv project can optimize CloudRouter and OpenDaylight, and plan to track the open source development progress of CloudRouter on GitHub. You should too.” 

Linux Foundation
“We applaud industry efforts to accelerate the development of open source networking projects and make them easier to use,” said Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation Executive Director. “There’s huge interest and momentum for open source SDN and advanced Linux networking technology. It’s great to see a project like CloudRouter meeting this demand.”

NGINX
“NGINX works with some of the world’s busiest cloud applications and they consistently demand more performance and reliability between their network and the networks of their customers,” said Gus Robertson, CEO of NGINX. “We welcome efforts by the open source project CloudRouter to build technology to improve routing between networks and ultimately help businesses enjoy the benefits of improved performance to enterprise cloud applications.” 

OpenDaylight
“The true test of an open source project is whether people leverage the code to address a wide range of use cases,” said Neela Jacques, executive director, OpenDaylight. “It’s great to see projects like CloudRouter using the OpenDaylight platform in brand new ways. The more collaboration among projects, the better result for the industry as we work toward delivering an open, network-enabled cloud.”

About the CloudRouter Project
The CloudRouter Project is a collaborative open source project to develop a freely available software-based router designed to securely run on physical, virtual, and cloud environments that support SDN infrastructures. CloudRouter aims to facilitate migration to the cloud without giving up control over network routing and governance. It includes the features of traditional hardware routers, as well as support for emerging technologies such as containers and software-defined interconnection. To help bridge legacy infrastructure with the cloud, the project is focused on bringing simplicity to network interconnection, a traditionally complex process.

To learn more and to get involved, visit https://cloudrouter.org.

Blog: http://cloudrouter.org/cloudrouter/releases/2015/03/31/welcome-to-the-cloudrouter-project.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cloudrouter

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/cloudrouter/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116921548201786287241/about

CloudRouter is a registered trademark of IIX Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2015/3/30/11G037064/Images/cloudrouter-final_design-1147342943845.jpeg

Article source: http://www.marketwired.com/mw/release.do?id=2005158&sourceType=3

The big lesson from Ubuntu, Windows and Coca Cola

windows_10

Windows 10 is as much about correcting Windows 8’s “mistakes” as it is about bringing in new features

On Tuesday, 23 April 1985 the Coca-Cola company made a shocking announcement. They were going to introduce “New Coke” on the company’s centenary anniversary. The new drink would not only taste better being sweeter than the century old formula, it was healthier, pandered to the whims of vegetarians, was kosher and halal.

This was everything the old formula was not and everything pointed to the new drink being an overwhelming success. Except it wasn’t. In fact, the new product launch was a disaster.

So what was their mistake? It was not the market research. They had done an extensive one earlier on before as part of their bid to introduce a new Coke which was part of their secret project named “Project Kansas.” They had used samples, surveys, and focus groups and the result was an overwhelming preference for the new drink.

However, they also discovered that about 10-12% of the people whom they surveyed were very angry at the very thought of New Coke. The small group exerted significant peer pressure on the rest so much that when the New Coke was later officially launched this group influenced the rest of the Coke market. This led to the eventual failure of the product line, which despite all efforts was later withdrawn even with all its “goodness.”

Parallels of the New Coke can be drawn with Microsoft’s efforts with Windows 8 and Ubuntu’s Unity desktop. Contrary to what has been said by some so-called technology blogs, both initiatives were not pulled out of the thin air and forced on unwitting users. They were both outcomes of research.

Unity was a desktop that had previously shipped as part of the Ubuntu Netbook Remix flavor of the Ubuntu operating system for a while before it supplanted GNOME to become Canonical’s default user interface on the Ubuntu Desktop in Ubuntu 11.10. It is important to note that Unity was, just like New Coke, a result of “secret research” in computer user habits and an attempt to better serve the user based on these habits.

The result was a backlash from a small portion of very vocal users who were mostly made up of a minor group of so-called power users who felt alienated and wanted things like the ability to move the Unity launcher from the right to the left and lamented the fact that the Unity Desktop was less customizable.

This small group of people kicked up such as fuss, with posts like “Linux Torvalds uses XFCE” and “Distrowatch shows Linux Mint is the most used Linux Distro” and other words to that effect that seemed to imply that the whole Ubuntu world was in an uproar and did not like the changes.

This was in spite of multiple surveys clearly showed that Unity was and still is the most used Linux Desktop environment. There are still a lot of Unity bashing posts out of there by people who have never even used Unity.

Not long after Ubuntu introduced Unity as the default Desktop early in 2011, a change whose implementation  was delayed until 11.10, Microsoft made a phased release of various versions of its Windows 8 operating system. Its reception was way better than what Vista had received but still it was a less than ideal reception.

The operating system was nothing but polarizing while a group of users warmly embraced the radical changes a significant number of users were nonplussed by the whole thing. Even though, Microsoft claimed that this was a result of research on user habits and experiences and an attempt to solve them, a lot of people were not convinced. Not even after a hasty “patch” came in the form of Windows 8.1.

What did they all do wrong?

Although in the case of Unity and Windows 8 there were a number of bugs at first, I strangely feel there were more bugs in the former than in Windows 8. At the beginning based on my experience, the operating systems had evolved in a bid to solve perceived customer problems. These problems had all been identified using some form of limited scope research and usually in secret research projects.

In my opinion the problem was not in the inventions themselves but rather in how they were adopted and used. Professor Elton Mayo a business theorist once conducted a series of human experiments (this sounds more awful than it really is) at Hawthorne Works at Illinois and came up with what has been known ever since in business circles as the Hawthorne effect.

To paraphrase it: it does not matter how good a change is, as long as those people who are affected by the change do not feel that there were properly consulted in effecting the change they will in all likelihood reject it. The converse is also true: people will accept any change no matter how bad as long as they feel they were part of that decision.

In all the cases above, those who felt aggrieved by the changes were nit-picking because they felt they were not part of the decision to effect a change that all affected them. People woke up one day and were told they had to make do with New Coke, their Desktop world had been upended and now they had to use Unity or the Start Screen or take the hit the highway.

A small minority aided by competitors and rivals like Pepsi for Coke; GNOME,KDE and Linux Mint for Unity and Ubuntu and a host of various companies for Windows seized on this opportunity to create the perfect storms as they jostled to grab market share.

The aftermath

All three companies reacted differently to these whirlwinds. Coca cola hurriedly reintroduced the old Coke and renamed the New Coke, Coke II which they pretty much ignored until they finally put it out of its misery in 2009, decades after its introduction.

Mark Shuttleworth on the other hand obstinately hung on to his dream in the face of adversity and fierce criticism and eventually succeeded in winning hearts in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS when most people finally embraced his dream as the Unity project became more mature.

The folks at Microsoft have been feeling a lot harried for a while now so much they have flirted with different solutions like Windows 8.1 which was not all that popular in solving some of the people’s demands before finally coming up with Windows 10.

From all the reviews I have perused, it is as much a revolution as it is about stymieing some of the objections raised in Windows 8 from resurfacing. It aims to do what Windows 7 did to Vista. They have also been more vocal about the impending features and promoted the pre-release versions.

The lessons

While it is true that a lot of lessons can be drawn from the Coca Cola, Unity and Windows 8 stories such as not to hastily introduce products to the market before ironing out the kinks, the major lesson for me is that it is always important to involve the customer when developing New Products no matter how big you are or risk pissing them off.

Your competitors, the sharks that they are, will grab the opportunity to bury you as well. Don’t just send a curtly worded email or SMS informing them of a change that will shortly be implemented. Give them ample time to absorb the intended change and its implications.

The first rule of change; Don’t just flip the switch and hope for the best. It will buy you a lot of goodwill to warn and consult people in the first place. People we are about to flip the switch because…. (insert bulls**t reason here). You will be surprised how many of your customers will welcome the change even if it is an adverse one because they feel involved.

I mean we all cannot be like Linus Torvalds with his father knows best attitude, he insults everyone even his friends, wears sandals and a T-shirt to work, does whatever else the heck he wants and not just gets away with it but everyone loves him for it.

Image credit: Windows Blog

Article source: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2015/03/big-lesson-ubuntu-windows-coca-cola/

This .Sucks: The Newest New gTLD

Two years ago, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that runs the Internet, launched a controversial program to expand the number of top-level domain names (TLDs). 

Until recently, the real estate on the Internet was confined to traditional TLDs like .com, .net and .org; country code TLDs like .fr for France and .es for Spain; and a small number of sponsored TLDs like .xxx for adult entertainment and .aero for the airline industry.

Under ICANN’s new gTLD program, any company willing to shell out $185,000 USD in evaluation fees (plus a substantial amount more in legal fees and ongoing compliance fees and operating costs) could apply to register its own top level domain name.  The new gTLD could be generic (.book), branded (.google) or geographic (.nyc).

Despite widespread skepticism about the necessity for the expansion of the Internet, nearly 2000 applications were submitted, many by businesses established for the express purpose of exploiting new gTLDs as a business opportunity.  ICANN is still in the midst of reviewing the applications, but as of last month, it had approved and delegated more than 500 new gTLDs, many of which are now open for registration through various domain name registrars.

One of the most controversial of the new gTLDs is .SUCKS, and its early registration period starts today, March 30.  Of all of the new gTLDs, .SUCKS has caused the most consternation. 

The business behind .SUCKS, Vox Populi, initially planned to charge brand owners $25,000 dollars per year to pre-register their ‘brand.sucks’  – to take advantage of the domain as a forum for consumer dialogue, and to and keep the domain out of the hands of a third party, who might register and the domain in an unsavory manner.  Former Senator Jay Rockefeller called Vox Populi’s business model “little more than a predatory shakedown scheme” designed to take advantage of companies who might buy their own names to defend against gripe sites and ill-meaning cybersquatters. 

Faced with sharp criticism, Vox Populi lowered the sunrise registration rate to $2,499 for brand owners, which is still substantially more than the average cost of a domain name.  Brand owners who included their brands in the trademark clearinghouse will have the “opportunity” to register domains in the .SUCKS registry during the sunrise period, which lasts from March 30 to June 1.  After that, registration will be open to the general public. 

Should trademark owners pay $2499 a year to own their ‘brand.sucks’ ?  This author doesn’t think so.  Here are a few reasons why: 

–       It may be possible to pay substantially less than $2499 per year to pay to “block” your brand from being registered in the .SUCKS registry.  Eligible domains can be blocked for $199 per year.

–       You may be able to register your ‘brand.sucks’ during the general registration period for $249 per year, if you care to.

–       If somebody registers your ‘brand.sucks’ and uses it in an unlawful matter (e.g.: cybersquatting), you may be able to take down the site and acquire ownership of the URL pursuant to an administrative proceeding, which would be a fraction of the cost of paying the sunrise rate for 10 years.

–       Though it is possible that a third party will register and use a ‘brand.sucks’ URL as a genuine gripe site that cannot be taken down because it is protected by the First Amendment, that party can create a grip site anywhere (e.g.:  ‘YourBrandSucks.com’ or ‘YourBrandSucks.net’ ).  They could also write a scathing review on Yelp, or start a Twitter campaign – acts which may have a larger impact than a gripe site.

It is still too early to tell whether .SUCKS domains will be the great forum for consumer grievances that Vox Populi CEO John Berard sees it as, or just a way for Vox Populi to make money off of cautious trademark owners.

I lean in favor of the latter prediction. Two years in to ICANN’s new gTLD program, it seems that the big winners are the domainers — people and companies whose main business is the buying and selling of domain names.  Many brand owners feared that the new top level domain names impose high costs and little benefit, and many commentators and brand owners definitely see this in .SUCKS.

* Thanks to Christoffer Stromstedt for his contribution to this article.

Article source: http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/this-sucks-the-newest-new-gtld-09642/

Canonical Eyes Telecom, NFV Innovation with Ericsson Cloud Partnership

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Canonical and Ericsson have announced a partner deal that will bring Ubuntu Linux, in conjunction with OpenStack and OPNFV, to a new cloud platform for the telecom market.

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has scored a major partnership with Ericsson that promises to help propel the open source company in the open source network-functions virtualization (NFV) and telecom space.

Through the partnership agreement, Ericsson will use Ubuntu as the host operating system for its Cloud System platform, a cloud service tailored to customers involved in the telecommunications space. The deal also involves OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform, and OPNFV, a project building an open software framework for NFV.

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The partners have not disclosed the financial terms of the deal, but Canonical has suggested that they will be significant, eWeek reported. “We do not report on financial value of partnerships that include engineering and go-to-market collaboration,” John Zannos, vice president of Alliance Partners at Canonical, told eWEEK. “However, I will say that we expect the revenue associated with this partnership to be material to both companies over the next three years.”

And it’s not just about money. This agreement is also a big step forward for Canonical in the telecom market, which it has been courting for some time. The company has already scored deals to ship Ubuntu-based smartphones, and has been steadily building a community of telecom and IoT partners.

The Ericsson deal, however, brings Canonical to a new segment of the telecom world, in which it has not yet ventured in a direct way. What’s more, this is an intersection that the company is particularly well-suited to help develop by promoting open source cloud and NFV technologies to a new set of customers.

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Article source: http://thevarguy.com/ubuntu/033015/canonical-eyes-telecom-nfv-innovation-ericcson-cloud-partnership

Ericsson Partners Ubuntu to Drive OPNFV & OpenStack Based Cloud …


Connected Car Data Plans

Mobile data in the car. Good idea, but how much data should go into a Connected Car plan? We say around 50GB! (if its FREE) and maybe 5GB if it’s priced at standard data rates, costing around US$15/5GB (that’s €14 and £10). Has anyone done that? Yep, Audi and ATT have got some plans worked out, and many more rolling out similar plans. What’s your take, anyway?

Article source: http://www.policychargingcontrol.com/4456-ericsson-partners-ubuntu-to-drive-opnfv-openstack-based-cloud-technologies-for-csps

How Donuts Is Playing a Big Role in the New gTLD Era

With $100 million in VC funding and well over 100 new top-level domain names, Donuts has emerged to become the pre-eminent vendor in the new era of Internet domains.

For much of the Internet’s history, top-level domains (TLDs) were few in number, but that has changed over the course of the past year as new generic TLDs (gTLDs) have emerged. TLDs are the naming suffix for Internet addresses and include dot-com (as in eWEEK.com), which recently turned 30 years old.
In 2012, there were only 22 TLDs; today there are more than 500, with new TLDs being added regularly. One of the biggest players in the gTLD space is Donuts Inc., which currently has 154 gTLDs available for general registration. Among the gTLDs operated by Donuts are .guru, .gallery, .technology, .careers and .email.
While the name of the company might sound whimsical, Donuts is a serious and well-funded effort. To date, Donuts has raised more than $100 million in capital to fuel its gTLD efforts.  Helping to lead Donuts is Jon Nevett, co-founder and executive vice president of corporate affairs. Nevett is a domain industry veteran, and prior to Donuts, he served as president of Domain Dimensions, senior vice president at Network Solutions, and chairman of the board of NameJet and Central Registry Solutions.
“As more people become aware of the new top-level domains, we’re in a great place to provide choices for them,” Nevett told eWEEK. “I don’t foresee any need for major fundraising in the immediate near future; we have the capacity and the sales and marketing in place.”


For any new gTLD that becomes available, there is a staged process by which it is introduced into the market. The initial phase includes what is known as a sunrise period, where early access to registration is available for certain groups.

“There is a mandatory sunrise period for trademark holders, so for example, an HMO [health maintenance organization] with a trademark might get their name with a dot-doctor during the sunrise process,” Nevett said. “Individual doctors that have trademarks for their practice could get the dot-doctor domain in the sunrise period as well.”
Nevett said that in his experience, there has been a relatively low number of registrations during the sunrise period for Donuts TLDs. The reason is because Donuts offers trademark holders the ability to block names across all Donuts gTLDs for one price, instead of being required to register in each specific TLD.
Even in the general availability period, there is a list of names that are currently blocked due to an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) policy on something known as name collisions. A domain name collision occurs when a publicly reachable top-level domain has the same name as a privately addressable name on a company or carrier network. Nevett noted that some of the names identified as potential name collisions will be released in the coming months.

While there are a growing number TLDs now available for consumers to choose from, not all of the new domains that get registered are actually used for active Websites.
“We think of the new TLDs almost like vanity license plates. They give more semantic meaning and announce to the world what you’re doing on the Internet,” Nevett said. “We see a lot of usage with our TLDs, and as consumer awareness grows we expect usage will grow along with them.”
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Article source: http://www.eweek.com/cloud/how-donuts-is-playing-a-big-role-in-the-new-gtld-era.html

Best KDE Distros, GNOME Resurgence, Ubuntu 15.04 Beta

Best KDE Distros, GNOME Resurgence, Ubuntu 15.04 Beta

by Susan Linton – Mar. 27, 2015Comments (0)

kdeIt was a bit of a slow news day today without any big item overtaking the rest. Several folks celebrated the Ubuntu 15.04 Beta release and Danny Stieben discussed reasons for GNOME’s resurgence. Martin Brinkmann asked “What is keeping you from switching to Linux?” Simon Phipps today discussed the challenges ahead for LibreOffice Online and Swapnil Bhartiya posted a slideshow of the top nine KDE distributions.

The Ubuntu Family 15.04 Final Beta was released today for testers and fans saying it should be “reasonably free of showstopper installation bugs” although there are some to be aware of. One interesting bug listed in the announcement says the end of installation “reboot now” ejects the CD but doesn’t reboot. The workaround is to hit the reset or on/off button. Otherwise this release includes Unity 7.3, Compiz 9.12, Firefox 36, Chromium 41, GNOME stuff 3.14, and LibreOffice 4.4. Ubuntu 15.04 is primarily an update release with no big new features. Final is due April 23.

Danny Stieben today said that GNOME 3 ran off a lot of its loyal users because “it was incomplete, buggy, and foreign,” but that is the past. Today GNOME is regaining users and Stieben thinks he knows why. The number one reason GNOME is making a comeback is because folks have just gotten used to it. He also notes that GNOME 3 is actually working better and the developers have since tried to listen to their users some. But for whatever reason, GNOME 3.16 seemed to go over real well with folks this week.

Simon Phipps today wondered if LibreOffice software-as-a-service can succeed. Others have failed and if LibreOffice doesn’t want to follow, he had some advice. He said “collaboration” needs to work and work well. It needs to stay open source and work with other office suite formats and online document services. He said if “done right, it could also offer a new lease of life to LibreOffice Desktop.”

However, Bruce Byfield still thinks LibreOffice’s path to wide acceptance flows through OpenOffice – or rather a co-joining of the code lines. He said, “The sooner they become a single project, the better.” He then said:

Not only do they share megabyte upon megabyte of the same code, but five years of separation have brought so few visible changes that even an expert has trouble telling them apart without glancing at the title bar.

Byfield then said that there is still so much code clean up and many improvements to be made that neither team can handle it alone. It’s mere politics, or “corporation jockeying” getting in the way of the merger. He notes that LibreOffice’s Mozilla Public license is compatible with OpenOffice’s Apache license, so he wonders if LibreOffice isn’t secretly hoping someday for a merger themselves. Interesting read.

My favorite post today came from Swapnil Bhartiya at Itworld.com with his nine best distros for KDE Plasma. His number one pick was openSUSE. He thinks openSUSE’s patches and compatibility with KDE Plasma “offers a tightly integrated experience, blending the distro and desktop neatly.” I agree, openSUSE is a good one. Kubuntu, Mint, and Fedora were no surprise, but perhaps his choices of Netrunner and Slackware were. But those aren’t the only surprises from Bhartiya.

Other tidbits today and earlier include:

* What is keeping you from switching to Linux?

* Bodacious Bodhi Broadens Linux Desktop

* Hands-On: Linux UEFI multi-boot, part two

* Free Software’s Fifth Freedom

* Winning Supplemental Wallpapers for Fedora 22

* The state of open source security

Have a nice weekend!

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  • GNOME
  • KDE
  • LibreOffice

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Article source: http://ostatic.com/blog/best-kde-distros-gnome-resurgence-ubuntu-15-04-beta

Google Cloud Launcher deploys VM-based apps in a snap

Google’s latest enhancement to Cloud Platform is not a new feature but a repackaging of an existing innovation. But it’s a downright useful offering all the same.

Cloud Launcher is a gallery of applications that can be deployed to Google Cloud Platform with one click. Many of the offered apps are courtesy of a partnership with an existing app-packaging solution, Bitnami. The service’s catalog includes many commonly deployed applications, such as WordPress or SugarCRM, plus development stacks (LAMP) and stack components (Nginx, Node.js).

The blog post detailing Cloud Launcher indicates that the service is aimed mainly at admins who want to deploy VM-based applications — as opposed to containerized ones — but don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up a VM and then deploying an app into it. Enter Bitnami, which has been providing VM-packaged application solutions for some time.

Each package comes with an estimated monthly cost for running on Google Cloud Platform. The costs vary widely among solutions: A simple LAMP stack runs a mere $6.46 a month, but a Puppet VM is estimated at almost 10 times that much.

Given that almost all talk of virtualizing applications now revolves around containers, it seems almost regressive for Google to offer a VM-based application solution. On the other hand, containers are more of a moving target, and VMs still offer some advantages — mainly the ability to supply an entire OS environment independent from the host.

Canonical Extends Ubuntu Linux With Ericsson Partnership

NFV and OpenStack expertise are at the core of the deal that will see Ubuntu become the host operating system for Ericsson’s cloud offering.

Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind the open-source Ubuntu Linux operating system, announced on March 26 that it has entered into a three-year partnership with Ericsson. As part of the deal, Ericsson will use Ubuntu as the host operating system for the Ericsson Cloud System platform. Both Ericsson and Canonical are members of the OpenStack Foundation.
It’s unclear how much money Canonical will generate from the partnership, though Canonical executives do expect it to be substantial.
“We do not report on financial value of partnerships that include engineering and go-to-market collaboration,” John Zannos, vice president of Alliance Partners at Canonical, told eWEEK. “However, I will say that we expect the revenue associated with this partnership to be material to both companies over the next three years.”
The relationship between Canonical and Ericsson is built on an engineering and go-to-market collaboration that will go beyond just using Ubuntu as the host OS for Ericsson’s Cloud System platform, according to Zannos. That said, Ubuntu as the host OS is the first phase, and Zannos noted that Canonical is working with Ericsson to keep its cloud solutions on the most recent version of the Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support), which is currently Ubuntu 14.04.


The Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, known as the “Trusty Tahr,” was first released on April 17. Canonical has LTS releases every two years, and each LTS offers the promise of up to five years of support. There are also non-LTS releases that receive only nine months of security updates and support, with the most recent being the Ubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn,” which was released  on Oct. 23, 2014. A Ubuntu 15.04 “Vivid Vervet” release is scheduled to debut on April 23.

Canonical views the Ericsson partnership as a strategic collaboration to bring the benefits of cloud, software-defined networking (SDN) and network-functions virtualization (NFV) to the telecom and enterprise marketplaces, according to Zannos.
“This is a deep engineering collaboration to deliver a class-leading telco-grade product,” he said. “Canonical rarely does marketing partnerships—there needs to be engineering alignment behind them.”
Linux has a long history in the telco space with the Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) effort. Ubuntu Linux, however, is not a CGL-certified distribution, although, in Zannos’ view, while the requirement to run telecom-specific Linux distributions was great several years ago, it has been diminishing year by year. Large amounts of telco-specific kernel functionality are now supported in Ubuntu, he added.

“What I think matters is that we work with our telco customers to truly understand what is really needed, so Ubuntu can meet the needs they have to virtualize the network,” Zannos said. “There will need to be a balance between getting the scale and commoditization benefits of the cloud, while addressing network reliability and performance requirements.”
Ericsson isn’t Canonical’s only effort in the carrier space. Canonical is also working with networking vendor Juniper on an NFV cloud platform, based on OpenStack and the Contrail SDN controller.
Looking forward, Zannos said there will be more activity from Canonical in the telco space in the coming year.
“We are also seeing more and more network switches using Ubuntu as the operating system that powers them, and more VNFs [virtual network functions] running on Ubuntu,” he said. “Simply put, [telcos] need to innovate, automate and commoditize, and, increasingly, they are turning to open-source solutions.”
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Article source: http://www.eweek.com/cloud/canonical-extends-ubuntu-linux-with-ericsson-partnership.html

How to create a Swarm cluster with Docker

Buy Docker Cookbook.

Buy Docker Cookbook.

Editor’s note: this is an Early Release excerpt from Chapter 7 of Docker Cookbook by Sébastien Goasguen. The recipes in this book will help developers go from zero knowledge to distributed applications packaged and deployed within a couple of chapters. One of the key value propositions of Docker is app portability. The following will show you how to use Docker Machine to create a Swarm cluster across cloud providers.

Problem

You understand how to create a Swarm cluster manually (see Recipe 7.3), but you would like to create one with nodes in multiple public Cloud Providers and keep the UX experience of the local Docker CLI.

Solution

Use Docker Machine to start Docker hosts in several Cloud providers and bootstrap them automatically to create a swarm cluster.

Warning

This is an experimental feature in Docker Machine and is subject to change.

The first thing to do is to obtain a swarm discovery token. This will be used during the bootstrapping process when starting the nodes of the cluster. As explained in Recipe 7.3, swarm features multiple discovery process. In this recipe, we used the service hosted by Docker, Inc. A discovery token is obtained by running a container based on the swarm image and running the create command. Assuming we do not have access to a Docker host already, we use docker-machine to create one solely for this purpose.

With the token in hand, we can use docker-machine and multiple public Cloud drivers to start worker nodes. We can start a swarm head node on VirtualBox, a worker on DigitalOcean and another one on Azure.

Tip

Do not start a swarm head in a public cloud and a worker on your localhost with VirtualBox. Chances are the head will not be able to route network traffic to your local worker node. It is possible to do, but you would have to open ports on your local router.

Your swarm cluster is now ready. Your swarm head node is running locally in a Virtualbox VM, one worker node is running in DigitalOcean and another one in Azure. You can set the local docker-machine binary to use the head node running in VirtualBox and start using the swarm subcommands:

Discussion

If you start a container, swarm will schedule it in round-robin fashion on the cluster. For example, starting three nginx container in a for loop with:

Will lead to three nginx container on the three nodes in your cluster. Remember that you will need to open port 80 on the instances running in the Cloud to access the container.

Tip

Do not forget to remove the machine you started in the Cloud.

See Also

  • Using Docker machine with Docker swarm.


Editor’s note: if you’re interested in learning more about networking at scale, you’ll want to check out Jay Edwards’ Distributed Systems training session at Velocity in Santa Clara May 27-29, 2015.

Article source: http://radar.oreilly.com/2015/03/how-to-create-a-swarm-cluster-with-docker.html

I see you have the gTLD that goes .ping!

The company behind Ping golf clubs and owner of ping.com has paid domain name overseer ICANN $1.5m for the rights to the top-level domain .ping.

The auction pitched it against one other applicant (general registry company Radix) and also included a second internet extension, .srl, which went for $400,000.

The suffix “SRL” is the equivalent of “LLC” in the US or “Ltd” in the UK.

Originally, there were around 10 extensions to be auctioned off yesterday but all but these two were settled privately.

In private auctions, the losing parties split the final sum between them; in ICANN’s auctions, the organization gets all the money.

And ICANN has done well out of its auctions so far: it has taken in $59,988,127 of which it will keep $57,015,622, which until the new gTLD program was launched was the entire annual budget of the non-profit corporation.

ICANN has still yet to provide any details over how it intends to spend the money.

The corporation canned statement whenever asked about the millions of dollars is: “All proceeds from the auction are being segregated and withheld from use until ICANN’s Board of Directors define a plan for an appropriate use of the funds through consultation with the community.”

With these two auctions out the way, there remain only six gTLD in the active auction list: map, living, search and fun are scheduled for 29 April; stream on 27 May; and game/games on 20 May.

In addition, there are 30 new gTLDs that are so far unsettled for a number of reasons and could feasible go to auction some time this year.

The most paid for a single gTLD through the ICANN process so far was $25m paid for dot-app by Google.

Article source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/26/domains_icann_ping_revenue_auction/

Ubuntu And Ericsson Partner To Helps Telcos Achieve Flexibility

Ericsson is a monster in the telecommunications industry. The company, which provides products and services upon which telcos themselves build their businesses, has a network spread that sees 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic, and some 2.5 billion mobile subscribers globally pass through its equipment. Quite simply, in the telco market, what Ericsson does matter greatly. So in this vein, and given Ericsson’s investments in the cloud space, it is interesting to hear of a partnership between Canonical, the open source company best known for the Ubuntu operating system, and Ericsson.

The three-year partnership is designed to help grow the usage of network function virtualization (NFV) across telcos. NFV is a network architecture concept that proposes using IT virtualization related technologies to virtualize entire classes of the network node functions into building blocks that may be connected, or chained, to create communication services. The idea being that by virtualizing classes of network functions, the networks themselves become far more flexible, allowing service providers to create new products and services more readily. It is an important area – telcos are increasingly threatened by a number of disruptive market factors – being able to design, develop and deploy new products and services quickly is important for them.

Under the terms of this partnership, Ericsson will deploy Ubuntu as the operating system of choice for its own cloud system platform. The two companies are promising to work together to increase the awareness and understanding of NFV across telco customers – this is critically important – while there are some great examples of telcos with a high degree of innovation in their organizations (CenturyLink is one well-respected example) many others simply can’t see what is looming on the horizon. It seems to me that much of this partnership will revolve around these two vendors using their joint credibility to socialize within telcos the idea of new ways of approaching their core business.

Of course there is just as much chance that this is simply a marketing announcement that won’t have substantive – the proof of the pudding is in the eating and I’ll be watching with interest to see what comes from this partnership. I’m heartened by the way Ericsson is treating Apcera, the cloud startup that it took a controlling stake in last year – Ericsson has been very hands off with Apcera, allowing it to keep moving fast as befits a young and innovative startup. One thing is for sure, Ericsson’s telco customers need to innovate – the application of hyper-flexible offerings like NFV can help them to do so.

Connect with Ben on Twitter @benkepes | LinkedIn AngelList

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/benkepes/2015/03/26/ubuntu-and-ericsson-partner-to-helps-telcos-achieve-flexibility/

Results Available for New gTLD Program Auction – ag-IP

LOS ANGELES – On 25 March 2015, Power Auctions LLC, ICANN’s authorized auction service provider, conducted a New gTLD Program Auction to resolve string contention for two new generic top-level domain (gTLD) strings: .PING and .SRL.

Applicants for each string were unable to resolve contention among themselves; thus their contention set proceeded to auction, which is the method of last resort to resolve string contention as prescribed in Module 4 of the New gTLD Program Applicant Guidebook. Subject to payment of the winning price and meeting all other criteria for eligibility, the winner will enter ICANN’s contracting process to sign a Registry Agreement to operate the gTLD.

Article source: http://www.ag-ip-news.com/news.aspx?id=37535&lang=en

The Ubuntu phones are an audacious attempt to take on Android

The mobile journey of Linux-based OS Ubuntu has felt like an eternity. Canonical, the company that leads development on the platform, first announced the smartphone OS back in 2013; after an unsuccessful dalliance with crowdfunding, Canonical said over a year ago that phones from BQ and Meizu would launch with the platform in 2014. That goal was missed, but the BQ device was made available a few weeks ago, and it’s on show at Mobile World Congress alongside a Meizu counterpart.

Ubuntu is late to the smartphone party, and not in a way that could be described as fashionable. But Canonical remains bullish on the future of the platform. “We’re taking on Android,” says mobile VP Cristian Parrino with a confident grin.

Ubuntu is taking a different approach to Android

Android, of course, has a considerable head start, with over a billion devices shipped and over a million apps in the Google Play Store. But instead of attempting to build an app store and ecosystem from scratch, Ubuntu is taking a different approach to how software works on a phone. The primary OS interface is underpinned by what Canonical calls “scopes”; essentially, a series of categorized homescreens that developers can plug into.

So, for example, you could swipe from the Photos scope, which includes photos from an Instagram feed, to the Music scope, which lets you access content from SoundCloud and Grooveshark — it works a little like a directly customizable, more expansive Google Now, or the way the Pebble Time’s timeline feature pulls in data. Parrino says the system is very easy to develop for, and in some cases services can support the OS in less than a day without needing to write a line of code.

The interface is entirely driven by gestures and turns out to be very intuitive, but Canonical has its work cut out. At this point, it is somewhat fair to say that people like apps and have gotten used to the way that functionality and services are siloed away in little icons on a screen. And, while Canonical’s idea to remove the middle man of coding an entire app in order to provide the content is appealing in some ways, it seems to me that it’d work best in situations where information flows down a one-way street to the user. It’s hard to imagine apps like Snapchat flourishing on this platform without making significant effort.

The devices Canonical is showing off at MWC are both based on existing Android hardware, and neither is intended to be a big seller just yet. The first, the Aquaris E4.5 UE from Spanish manufacturer BQ (below), is a mid- to low-end device that keeps up with the OS well enough, but doesn’t impress in build quality. That’s to be expected given its €169.90 (about $190) price point, which even then only applies if you can actually secure a device in a flash sale — there’s no retail availability, and Parrino says the strategy is about stoking enthusiasm among developers more than getting phones in the hands of consumers.

bq ubuntu phone

The second Ubuntu phone (top) is a more appealing proposition. It comes by way of Meizu, a Chinese company that has been making high-spec phones at low prices for years, and is based on the current MX4. The phone has a 5.36-inch 1920 x 1152 display, a 20-megapixel camera, and an eight-core MediaTek 6595 processor, all wrapped up in a reasonably attractive design with ultra-thin bezels. The MX4 Ubuntu is set to hit Europe soon, with a release in China coming later. It’s early days for the platform, but Parrino believes that, once ready, it will appeal to carriers, who will pay a service fee in return for a customized experience that remains within the scope framework.

Canonical is still pushing convergence

Canonical is still pushing the concept of convergence, too. At MWC, the company is showing how devices running an early tablet version of the OS can switch to desktop Ubuntu when a USB keyboard is plugged in. The long-term plan is for Ubuntu phones to act as a PC once connected to a larger display.

It’s hard to bet on Canonical in 2015, considering how long the mobile Ubuntu project has dragged on and at how early a stage it remains. But, lofty goals of unseating Google’s Android aside, the Ubuntu community is unlikely to mind. If you care about the slickest, most mainstream experience, then, well, you probably don’t run Ubuntu on your PC, either. I found the Ubuntu phones at MWC to offer simple, fresh experiences that could be more than serviceable for those with reason to believe. In this age of smartphone duopoly, it’d be nice to think there’s room for smaller platforms that make a statement.

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Article source: http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/4/8146925/ubuntu-phones-are-taking-on-android