Google Transparency Report: Government removal requests keep rising

Business, Governance
Google  launched their  Transparency Report in 2010 to provide hard evidence of how laws and policies affect access to information online. Today, for the eighth time, they are  releasing new numbers showing requests from governments to remove content from Google services. From January to June 2013, Google  received 3,846 government requests to remove 24,737 pieces of content—a 68 percent increase over the second half of 2012. Below is their post Over the past four years, one worrying trend has remained consistent: governments continue to ask us to remove political content. Judges have asked us to remove information that’s critical of them, police departments want us to take down videos or blogs that shine a light on their conduct, and local institutions like town councils don’t want

Apple and DotConnectAfrica honor Nelson Mandela

Late on Friday, Apple changed its website home page with a picture honoring former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday at the age of 95. The move comes after CEO Tim Cook posted a tweet quoting Mandela, who was revered worldwide for his political suffrage and leadership of the anti-apartheid movement that eventually overthrew the government and replaced it with a truly representational democracy, of which Mandela himself was the first leader. Tim Cook Tweeted on Thursday Amazing human being. Champion of freedom and human dignity. He set an example for all of the world. RIP Nelson Mandela. We miss you already. — Tim Cook (@tim_cook)  tweeted on Thursday. December 6, 2013 He also quoted Mandela in a follow-up tweet: "'What counts in life is not the mere f

Are 10,000 registrations a realistic goal for niche new top level domains?

Business, Domains
So far, most new TLD registries are pricing their domains at a big premium to .com. Will that limit registration numbers? We’re starting to get a better idea of how new top level domain name registries are going to price domain names. It appears many are taking the .TV approach, essentially pricing out any value domainers can get from registering the domains and selling them (if there is much value to capture to begin with). We’re also seeing niche domain priced quite high by some registries. Consider .build, which estimates that “basic” .build domain names will retail for $99. How many domain registrations can .build realistically expect to get? Is 10,000 registrations a realistic goal? Depending on its overhead, that wouldn’t be a bad business. That’s about $1 million

Google’s Project Link: A US$14 million Metronet in Kampala to open up the market

Broadband, Business
Google has a global ambition to get Internet access available more widely (see Brett St Clair video link on access at the bottom of this story). This week it announced the launch of a Metronet in Kampala designed to open up the market. Russell Southwood spoke to Google’s Access Field Director, Kai Wulff about what it’s setting out to achieve. Project Link Video: Source Google Google has been looking at the supply chain in Sub-Saharan Africa and wanting to find a way of intervening that would break down market blockages and ultimately reduce retail prices for users. However, it’s always been very clear that it did not want to get into direct provision of retail bandwidth:”We wanted to do something where we put our money where our mouth was that could really influence the ecosystem

District Judge LIAM O’GRADY Rules Domain Names Are Not Property under Virgina Law

Business, Domains
A Virgina federal judge has ruled that domain names are not property under Virgina Law. The case is ALEXANDRIA SURVEYS, LLC, , v. ALEXANDRIA CONSULTING GROUP, LLC, (ACG)  Civil Action No. 1:13-CV-00891, United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division and was handed down by District Judge LIAM O’GRADY The case was an appeal from a Bankruptcy court decision, which involved a lot of issues, but we are going to limit our review of the case only as it applied to disucssion related to the the domain name of Alexandria LLC, ALEXANDRIASURVEY.COM, which was ordered by the Bankruptcy Court to be sold to paythe creditors. The Debtor argued  that the domain name  and phone numbers sold to ACG at auction were not the debtor’s property, and therefore could not be properly sold as par