Tesla Pick up Tesla.com Domain

Often the simplest domain names are the best and unfortunately for Elon Musk, Tesla Motors has had to settle for the teslamotors.com domain instead of the more highly prized tesla.com. The tesla.com domain has been held since 1992 by a Nicola Tesla fan, Stu Grossman, however, it has remained largely unused for the last 24 years. Now a Tesla spokeswoman has confirmed that the electric car company has taken over the domain, with tesla.com now redirecting to the existing teslamotors.com.

It is unclear what prompted the acquisition of the domain after settling for the use of the Teslamotors.com domain for so long. The domain issue was raised by Elon Musk during the launch of Tesla Motors’ Tesla Energy wing when asked if he had plans to rebrand the company to simply ‘Tesla’ to match its new scope. With this solved, a Tesla rename could be coming up as well as giving Tesla a better grasp on the web for both their electric car business and battery units, as well as whatever Musk may have planned for the company’s future.

What caused Grossman to give up the Tesla domain is currently unknown. According to Bloomberg, John Berryhill, an attorney in Pennsylvania who represented Grossman in a past dispute with Tesla Industries Inc stated that Grossman had bought the domain for personal use due to his affinity for the inventor Tesla. Berryhill said that “Grossman had been approached by many people about giving up the name.” He went on to surmise that Tesla Motors’ acquisition of the tesla.com domain name was part of a voluntary arrangement between the two parties.

Whether it was due to a voluntary arrangement or a lapse in occupancy of the domain by Grossman, the tesla.com domain undoubtedly belongs to Tesla Motors now. This occupation of the tesla.com domain could kick-start a rebrand of the Tesla Motors company and allow them to expand their web presence beyond just cars, whether that expansion will include Musk’s desired electric VTOL remains to be seen.

How Much Did Google Pay The Guy Who Bought Google.com?

If there’s one that that is integral to the operation of Google.com it is their domain name. Sure, they have .co.uk and a whole host of others from around the world, but owning their own .com is a vital part of their search engine and the hub for the US version of the world’s most popular search engine. So you would think they would keep it paid for and up to date right? Well, last October saw ex-Google employee Sanmay Ved managing to purchase the domain when Google forgot to renew it; I think whoops would be an understatement!

Fortunately for Google, Sanmay isn’t a bad guy and actually did them a bit of a favour, as anyone with darker intentions could have really caused them a bit of a headache, albeit for a short-lived time. When it was realised what had happened, Google reversed the transaction and Sanmay shared his endeavours via LinkedIn. Shortly afterwards, he was contacted by the team at Google Security to offer him a reward for snapping it up, but they didn’t reveal how much he was paid, only commenting that it was offered “in a very Googley way.”

Now it seems that vague comment makes a lot more sense, as it was revealed that Google Security not only paid out a nice sum of money for his reward, but it was about as “Googly” a number as you could come up with. They paid him $6,006.13, which was you can see looks a bit like $G,OOG,LE.

That’s a pretty sweet reward for a minutes work, but as I said before, Ved is a nice guy and donated the money he received to charity, at which point Google immediately doubled the total for him to donate. So it seems a lot of good came out of this little security blunder after all.

The Pirate Bay’s “Hydra” Has Been Decapitated

This time last year, The Pirate Bay was all but dead; the Swedish datacentre that hosted the notorious torrent site had been raided by police in December 2014, leaving it offline for many weeks. Days later, shortly before Christmas, the site’s administrators teased the imminent return of The Pirate Bay.

After the site did rise from the ashes using its original domain at the end of January 2015, it implemented a strategy in May which it described as a “Hydra”: instead of a single domain supported by proxies, The Pirate Bay now had six domain names, .GS, .LA, .VG, .AM, .MN, and .GD. The six TLDs were a show of defiance against those who tried to down the infamous site’s .SE domain; cut of one head and six more sprung up its place.

Over the last few months, those six domains were slowly chipped away during the last half of 2015. Now, ThePirateBay.LA, .GD, .MN, and .VG domains have been suspended by their registrar, forcing the site’s administrators to revert back to the original .SE and .ORG TLDs.

While the above five domains remain active, ThePirateBay.LA is vulnerable after being classified as clienthold, according to TorrentFreak. The Hydra’s six heads have been decapitated. Will we get a new host of domain names to take their place?

The Pirate Bay Applies for .PIRATE Domain Name Registry

As a response to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) applying pressure on the domain name industry, Reservella Ltd., the parent company of The Pirate Bay, has applied to register the generic top-level domain (gTLD) extension .PIRATE.

The move is hoped to facilitate The Pirate Bay bypassing the current and projected domain registry regulations that have impeded the torrent side since its inception.

Winston, a spokesperson for The Pirate Bay, told TorrentFreak, “We can no longer trust third party services and registries, who are under immense pressure from the copyright lobby. So we decided to apply for our very own gTLD and be a true Pirate registry.”

The Pirate Bay hopes that the registration proposal, which is being processed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), will help create a new pirate movement, and, if approved, the .PIRATE domains will be made free and open to anyone who wants to adopt one.

“The ultimate goal is to create a true PIRATE hydra. This means that we will allow other sites to register .PIRATE domain names too. Staying true to our pirate roots the domains can be registered anonymously without charge,” Winston said.

He added, “Things are looking good so far, but we’re not there yet. Fingers crossed. Let’s hope nothing foolish happens.”

Source: TorrentFreak

KickassTorrents Domain Seized; Site Taken Down

Popular torrent site KickassTorrents (KAT) has had its Somalian kickass.so domain seized and the site is currently down. KickassTorrents had over one million unique visitors a day, making it the most popular torrent site in the world, more so than The Pirate Bay.

Since The Pirate Bay was taken down at the end of last year, it was only a matter of time before law enforcement turned its attention to the biggest copyright infringers on the internet. KAT has moved domain many times in the past in an attempt to protect itself from legal takedowns, and the Somalia domain was thought to be a safe haven.

As of Monday morning, kickasstorrents.so was listed as ‘BANNED’.

According to TorrentFreak, the KAT team are to revert back to the older kickass.to domain soon.

Source: TorrentFreak

Craigslist Knocked Offline

Craigslist was knocked offline yesterday (Sunday) and at the time of writing, it still hasn’t come back.

The suspected DNS hijack was previously redirecting visitors to a website called Digital Gangster. The Next Web points out that this site was behind a famous 2009 Twitter hack and another hack which took pictures from Miley Cyrus’ Gmail in 2008.

They also point out the fact that the domain name shortly had its owner changed to “steven wynhoff @LulzClerk” – a name associated to hackings of YouTube accounts and the email account of the supposed creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.

The site appears to be slowly coming back to life, but still hasn’t fully resumed service.

Source The Next Web 

The Pirate Bay Resurfaces At A New Domain After Being Briefly Shut Down

The well known torrent site The Pirate Bay had its domain moved to the Caribbean destination of Sint Maarten this summer, but based on a report from TorrentFreak that domain name has since been shut down by authorities forcing the torrent pirates to move the targeted hub once again.

Since we all know about The Pirate Bay’s reputation of being persistent, we would expect it to pop up in another part of the world after being shut down, and so it did. The website, stripped of its previous “.sx” domain name, now resides in the quaint mid-Atlantic locale of Ascension Island operating as “thepiratebay.ac”.

Ascension Island will remain home to the site for now until the owners move it over to the planned long term residence in Peru. While The Pirate Bay has several backup domain names ready to go, it plans to operate the site from thepiratebay.pe on a more permanent basis.

Although there is no official word yet at what or who specifically gave the order to take it down, it appears that it could have been based on pressure from the Dutch anti-piracy group, BREIN. TorrentFreak, who spoke with The Pirate Bay shortly after the domain name was shut down, indicates that the .sx domain name is controlled by the Dutch part of Sint Maarten and therefore under the jurisdiction of BREIN.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

London To Be Awarded .london Domain Name

Starting in spring new year, businesses, individuals and organisations based in London will be able to apply for the new .london domain suffix.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, also known as Icann, have awarded the city the rights to its very own domain name, making it the first in the world to have such an honour. New York, Paris and Berlin are believed to have also applied for their own domain names, but for now London is the only confirmed one.

With thousands of businesses already expressing their interest in the new suffix, including Selfridges and Carnaby Street, there is no doubt that the new domain will prove popular. The domain will be managed by Dot London Domains Ltd and I can bet they’re going to be fairly expensive too.

“This is an excellent opportunity to expand London’s digital presence, which in turn is set to generate funds to invest back into the city,” said mayor Boris Johnson during a ceremony that involved lighting up City Hall.

However, this may be a great development for those based in London, but could leave other European cities, as well as the rest of the UK feeling a little left out of the party.

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.

GoDaddy Reveals New Generic Top-Level Domains .MENU, .BUILD and More

ICANN has been going through a lengthy and expensive process of opening up new top level domains (TLDs) for websites and the fruits of all those developments and negotiations are finally starting to filter through to consumers. Domain name registrar GoDaddy has revealed that you can now start the pre-registration of some new top level domains which include .uno, .menu, .build and .luxury.

GoDaddy is now accepting pre-orders on the new TLDs starting at $40/$300 (pre-registration/priority pre-registration) for the .uno domain, $50/$350 for the .menu domain, $100/$200 for the .build domain and $800/$1200 for the .luxury domain.

“GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar, is the first registrar to sell pre-registrations on the new, ICANN-approved domain name extensions, as part of a new program designed to expand the inventory of Internet website addresses.” stated GoDaddy in a company statement.

The new TLDs won’t become usable until later next year and expect many more TLDs to go on pre-registration before then.

Image courtesy of GoDaddy via Softpedia

ICANN Refuses Google Dotless Search Domain

ICANN have decided that Google’s request for the dotless top level domain (TLD) “search” has been rejected. In fact their report stated no one should get dotless TLDs anytime soon because there are just too many issues with them. Surprisingly such a request from Google wasn’t the first for a dotless TLD and it no doubt will not be the last despite ICANN’s ruling.

The domain, like the dotless suggests, means the domain is missing a dot. This gives Google a rather large swath of the search bar because instead of having to type http://google.com or http://google.search (if Google were given such a TLD) you would only have to type http://search to be on a Google website.

While Google has been refused dotless TLDs it is still pushing hard to secure other high profile TLDs like .search. Google has applied for an absolute tonne of these new TLDs and they will continue to be hotly contested and controversially debated in the coming years. Google of course isn’t the only internet-based corporation to get involved with the “TLD rush”, Amazon are known to be heavily involved at the current time too.

Image courtesy of ICANN

Facebook Wins 105 Domains and $2.8 Million Damages From “Typosquatters”

It isn’t an uncommon thing for something to fall victim to “typosquatters”, you are just going about your daily business, doing a tactical Facebook check when suddenly you type it wrong and you end up at facebookl.com or one of many other varieties of Facebook-typo domains. Why is this a problem? Well very often these sites hold malware and viruses to capitalise on Facebook’s popularity, or host lots of adverts to cash in on Facebook’s misled traffic. You might think this is totally legal right? Since free speech should dictate that anyone can buy whatever domain they want providing it isn’t already owned by someone. Well that isn’t the case at all because the 1999 Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA for short) has been designed to prevent against this exact thing.

Facebook took out a legal case against 105 domains used by typosquatters under the ACPA and they won the case hands down. They were awarded the 105 domains that were used by the typosquatters and awarded a hefty $2,795,000 in compensation for statutory damages. While the compensation may seem like a lot, it isn’t. In most cases that have been trialed under the ACPA the squatters, spammers, opportunists (or whatever you want to call them), normally have the domains seized from them by ICANN but can’t be tracked down to pay the damages they owe. This is expected to be the case here but on a positive note Facebook gets to redirect these 105 domains to its website and no longer lose traffic, or have visitors get infected from visiting these dodgy sites.

What are your thoughts on Facebook winning this case? Is it a good common sense law? Or is it unfair and giving corporations preferential treatment?



Pirate Bay Moved To Greenland Domain, Kicked Out Instantly

The Pirate Bay has been anticipating seizure of its .se domain name recently and in anticipation of it being seized the Pirate Bay decided to acquire a Greenland domain name and move itself to that as its primary domain. Rumours had been circulating in Sweden that the authorities were looking to seize the domain. The Pirate Bay has a long history of being a Swedish based entity with it being founded in Sweden by Swedes, operated by Swedes, hosted and proxied by Swedish companies, activists and the local Swedish Pirate party. In recent times though increasing political pressure has meant that the now only visible connection with Sweden is its .se domain name. Now it appears that this last connection to Sweden could be terminated as the .se domain doesn’t look viable in the long term.

As a result of these fears about seizure the Pirate bay acquire “piratebay.gl” and “thepiratebay.gl”. However, quite quickly these domains were blocked and suspended as the domain company Tele-Post decided that the domains would be used for illegal purposes. The Pirate Bay was already outlawed in Denmark as an illegal website by a Supreme Court ruling and since Greenland is an autonomous province of Denmark it was easy for them to apply that previous ruling. With the .gl domain rapidly seized the website has now reverted back to the .se domain for the time being. A Pirate Bay insider told TorrentFreak that users should not worry because they have plenty of domain names in reserve ready to make a switch.

What are your thoughts on the Pirate Bay domain being seized in Greenland? Do you think they will be able to find another domain if the Swedish one is seized?


Book Publishers Dispute Amazon Owning .book Domains

The consultation process with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) for the new selection of Top Level Domains (TLDs) has progressed into an all out dispute between Amazon and major book publishers. Amazon applied for access to TLDs such as .book, .movie, .app and .like and many other TLDs in a wide range of languages. Only the .book TLD caused significant conflict between Amazon and publishers for obvious reasons. Book publishers stated that giving Amazon access to this particular domain would be a threat to market competition and fairness.

“Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive,” wrote Scott Turow, Authors Guild president, to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, the nonprofit that oversees the world’s Internet domain names. “The potential for abuse seems limitless.”

Indeed the implications of these comments are true because the applications for these TLDs cost $185,000 each and they cost a further $25,000 a year in terms of database maintenance fees with ICANN. This means according to rough estimates Amazon has already sunk a huge $10 million + into these new TLDs. Consequently, this puts a wide array of smaller book publishing companies at risk because trying to fork up the $200K required is near-impossible for many given how tight book margins already are and the tendency for the book market to move towards e-books which is also creating book piracy problems. Last year the Authors’ Guild was at loggerheads with Amazon for pricing e-books too low and for removing the buy button for some books during price disputes, this latest conflict adds to the tensions.

Amazon and ICANN both declined to comment on the whole scenario.

Do you think that new system of TLDs is fair? Should the prices be lower? Should there be more competition regulations? Let us know what you think