- They differ because of capitalization of the name of the place
- The have radically different content
Susan Crawford, a new member of the ICANN board, asked about auctions and lotteries for new gTLDs. Lots of people responded in the comments, and then the two of us kind of took over. We have now stopped, and are posting here.
The two of us agree on some things, and disagree on others. We agree that:
The two of us disagree on the best way to make these bunches of 50 gTLDs appear.
John sees two routes to selecting TLDs. For TLDs intended to make money, the best approach is an auction, with the N highest bids getting to pick their N favorite domain strings, and the money given away to a suitable worthy cause, not ICANN. Other people have made more detailed proposals to deal with the obvious trademark issues, e.g., only IBM can pick .ibm but they still need a winning bid to do so. As Paul notes below, ICANN's beauty contest has picked losers, and a lottery tends to turn into auctions where the lottery winners keep the auction proceeds. Possible approaches include a separate lottery for five or ten names for which only non-profits can apply, giving virtuous bidders funny money they can use in the auction, as was tried in the PCS frequency auctions in the US. John doesn't have any great confidence that these will work, but if the auction process can be made simple and predictable enough, it should be possible to try one approach this year, another next year, and so on until one turns out to work.
Paul believes that there is no way to predict which TLDs might be "best". The track record so far is abysmal. Having an auction might get people to think harder about which gTLDs would work best, but it is completely unclear who should profit from the auction. Instead, a lottery based on the desires of the organizations who qualify to be gTLD owners could be designed to get a wide variety of TLDs, with some organizations becoming big winners and the rest having ones that don't cost much to run. A lottery would prevent ICANN from making unnecessary money on the system, and would open the market to many companies who might otherwise be locked out.
Both of us agree that once the 50 gTLDs are assigned, there will be a lot of buying and selling of assets, regardless of what the rules for the auction or lottery say. Just live with it; that is how big business works. But the values of the new gTLDs will be much lower than might be expected because there are so many of them, with maybe another 50 or 100 a year later.
January 23, 2006 | Permalink
A little over 42 years ago, in Martin Luther King Jr.'s acceptance speech for the Nobel peace prize, he said:
. . .
After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time - - the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.
. . .
I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts him.
. . .
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.
. . .
January 15, 2006 | Permalink
Unfortunately, there was no Intel-based virtualization software announced or even hinted at. When Apple announced the coming Intel-based Macs last June, I wrote, twice, about why having software that let a user run Windows on their Mac as a sub-process under OS X would make Apple lots of money.
There are lots of corporate users who, as individuals, have bought Apples (correct) line that Macs are easier to use, more fun to use, and much more reliable than Windows-based PCs. But their IS folks won't buy them a Mac because the Mac can't run the custom in-house programs, or the Windows-only VPN client, or the something else that IS has decided makes you part of the company.
Reasonable virtualization (and the Mac version of VirtualPC is not reasonable) fixes that. It gives the already-sold employee another tool to wheedle with. Guessing numbers of potential users that would turn into sales is impossible, of course, but those will be long-term repeat customers as well as first-movers in companies.
For all I know, Apple may already be on top of this and is funding the work, but it's just not ready now. Or, they may have already walked away from the market, but some smart company like EMC is doing it without Apple. For example, if VMware player (which is free) ran under OS X, someone could sell bundled (legitimate) Windows XP images. If Microsoft makes Virtual PC for the Mac run on Intel-based OS X, they could sell it all without cannibalizing any sales.
We don't know yet. All we know is that there are some Mac sales not being made because this market segment is not yet possible.
January 10, 2006 | Permalink
It's been a long time since I chose to use a managed service instead of being my own sysadmin. I have moved my self-hosted blog to TypePad, and have (I believe) made all the old links redirect correctly. There may be some glitches, and I'll certainly experiment with the layout here.
January 05, 2006 | Permalink