Category Archives: Internet

Cybersquatting Non-Famous Names

It used to be that cybersquatters would register the name of a famous person, company or product and then try and sell the name to the rightful owner. But now things have changed. According to Wired News:

These days, cybersquatters seek to register a star’s domain before that person becomes famous, and then develop a business relationship with the new celebrity, offering website hosting or design work. These so-called soft squatters are registering the domains of hundreds of amateur athletes, musicians and other would-be stars in the hope that one or two of the names will become well-known.

There are now even specialized services like that make it easy to earn add revenue from parked domain names and at the same time provide a vehicle to help sell such domain names.

Sex for US$12 million

According to Reuters, SEX.COM has been sold for about US$12 million in cash and stocks. This tops the US$7.5 million paid for BUSINESS.COM during the frenzy. The site currently makes money selling banner advertising but the buyers are expected to add other revenue generating services to the site.

Canadian Election Restrictions

Its election day in Canada. Thought I’d crack open the Election Act and review some of the relevant provisions contained in Division 9, which deals with communications. Specifically, Canada does not permit the transmission of election results, in a particular electoral district, prior to the close of all polling stations in that district. However, I wonder just how useful some of these provisions really are given the number of US and foreign news stations that Canadians can receive, and given the increasing proportion of news that individuals now receive through the Internet.
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Lawyers and Blogging

An edited version of the following appeared in my Bits and Bytes column in the December 12, 2005 issue of Law Times News:

A blog or weblog is an online journal or newsletter that is kept on the Internet and updated frequently (usually daily). Blogs may contain original articles on a particular topic or may include a quote or link to a news story along with the blogger’s commentary. There are currently over 20 million blogs on the Internet with about 70,000 new blogs being created every day.

Although many of the popular search engines can be used to search material posted in blogs, a numbr of blog specific search tools have also been developed in order to provide more timely results. One of the better tools is Google’s BlogSearch ( Yahoo has also a blog searching capability in its news search tool ( In both cases, it is possible to read commentary on news almost as it happens.
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SETI@home shutting down

The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence at Home (SETI@Home) project, which utilized a downloadable screen saver to harness idle CPU cycles from millions of Internet-connected PCs across the globe in order to analyze data collected from massive radio telescopes in the search for patterns that might signal intelligent life, shut down last week. However, the project is not dead. A new downloadable client will allow users to also devote spare CPU power for other research projects, such as climate change, astronomy and curing human diseases.

Alexa opens up via Web Services

John Battelle reports that Alexa is opening up its web search platform:

Anyone can also use Alexa’s servers and processing power to mine its index to discover things – perhaps, to outsource the crawl needed to create a vertical search engine, for example. Or maybe to build new kinds of search engines entirely, or …well, whatever creative folks can dream up. And then, anyone can run that new service on Alexa’s (er…Amazon’s) platform, should they wish.

It’s all done via web services. It’s all integrated with Amazon’s fabled web services platform. And there’s no licensing fees. Just “consumption fees” which, at my first glance, seem pretty reasonable. (“Consumption” meaning consuming processor cycles, or storage, or bandwidth).