Archive for November, 2005

Father of Internet predicts bright online future

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

Vint Cerf likens computers and the ‘Net to colour television in the 1950s

Gillian Shaw
Sun

Vinton Cerf has often been dubbed father of the Internet for his work on the original U.S. defence department project

A dramatic rise in the number of Internet devices coupled with falling prices means the Internet will truly become a worldwide web — with billions more users and a future where nobody need be left offline.

That’s how Vint Cerf, widely regarded as the father of the Internet, sees the future of life online, where the one billion users online today are joined by the billions who aren’t, driven the shrinking cost of accessing the web.

“Remember there are only one billion estimated users on the Net, we still have five-and-a-half billion users to go so there is a lot of work to do — I mean for the Internet community,” said Cerf, chair of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the California-based non-profit corporation that oversees domain names as well as Net addresses.

“There is a lot to be done to bring it to the rest of the world,” said Cerf, who is in Vancouver this week for an ICANN meeting.

Cerf is a computer scientist who has often been dubbed the father of the Internet for his work on the original U.S. Department of Defence project in 1973 that led to today’s global network. He’s now Google’s chief Internet evangelist — and it’s a role he clearly relishes.

“I’m assuming if I get a promotion it will be to archangel,” Cerf said with a laugh referring to the titles that have been bestowed upon him.

“Google is an interesting place to be. It’s full of energy.”

Cerf said the “25-year-old kids,” as he refers to Google staffers, aren’t stopped by the worry that they can’t make something work — he said they go ahead and do it anyway.

Their work in delivering Google Earth — a mapping and satellite photo software that not only picks out locations but allows the users to zoom in and get a bird’s eye view of the location they are seeking — is among examples Cerf points to in the Internet’s trend towards a future where location-based services, combining with GPS to deliver customized information, become the norm.

Internet devices will proliferate, according to Cerf, leaving the Internet with more devices connected to it than people.

“I can see unlimited applications showing up in this environment,” he said. “Devices at the edge of the Net are typically programmable.

“It creates an endless frontier for all those things that are plugged into the Internet.”

The growth in the Internet, according to Cerf, will come in mobile devices.

“There is already a tidal wave coming in the form of mobiles which historically have not been part of the Internet,” he said. “But a large fraction of them are becoming Internet enabled.

“There is in the order of two billion of those devices in the world. In five years time, more and more will be on the Net. The current devices that are on the Net will be joined by those two billion or more mobiles and then we will see set top boxes, household appliances, automobiles, not only on the Net but participating in GPS.”

The economic divide has put the Internet beyond the reach of many people around the globe but Cerf expects that divide will shrink as the cost of both online devices and Internet service drops.

He likened computers and the Internet to colour television back in the 1950s when a colour TV set represented a substantial chunk of income.

“One of the things in technology is that technologies often start out to be very expensive and if it is a popular thing, we get a production learning curve.” he said, adding that he sees costs, “dropping dramatically,” around the Internet delivery and devices.

The launch of this week’s conference was marred by a lawsuit in the U.S. launched against ICANN in a bid to stop it from allowing VeriSign Inc. to maintain control of the “.com” domain until 2012.

The VeriSign proposal is on the agenda for this week’s discussions and Cerf said the lawsuit won’t interrupt that work.

“This is not the first time we had had a lawsuit launched against ICANN and it is also not the first time one was launched on the first day of a week of hard work,” Cerf said. “In my view it is not going to have any material effect on our ability to get our work done this week.”

Cerf said ICANN’s lawyers will be responding to the suit and the request for a restraining order.

A trade group of Internet businesses, The World of Domain Name Developers Inc., filed a lawsuit in federal court in California Monday challenging ICANN’s proposed settlement with VeriSign.

The VeriSign proposal was expected to be finalized by the end of this year. Cerf said members of the Internet community have been invited to submit their responses to the proposed agreement and meetings scheduled for this week will provide a forum for discussion of any issues and problems they raise.

“I don’t expect to resolve any issues will have been resolved in this meeting,” he said. “I do expect to come away with a very clear sense of what the problems will be.

“The next step will be to see if there are any amendments possible that will satisfy those concerns.”

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

Father of Internet predicts bright online future

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

Vint Cerf likens computers and the ‘Net to colour television in the 1950s

Gillian Shaw
Sun

Vinton Cerf has often been dubbed father of the Internet for his work on the original U.S. defence department project

A dramatic rise in the number of Internet devices coupled with falling prices means the Internet will truly become a worldwide web — with billions more users and a future where nobody need be left offline.

That’s how Vint Cerf, widely regarded as the father of the Internet, sees the future of life online, where the one billion users online today are joined by the billions who aren’t, driven the shrinking cost of accessing the web.

“Remember there are only one billion estimated users on the Net, we still have five-and-a-half billion users to go so there is a lot of work to do — I mean for the Internet community,” said Cerf, chair of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the California-based non-profit corporation that oversees domain names as well as Net addresses.

“There is a lot to be done to bring it to the rest of the world,” said Cerf, who is in Vancouver this week for an ICANN meeting.

Cerf is a computer scientist who has often been dubbed the father of the Internet for his work on the original U.S. Department of Defence project in 1973 that led to today’s global network. He’s now Google’s chief Internet evangelist — and it’s a role he clearly relishes.

“I’m assuming if I get a promotion it will be to archangel,” Cerf said with a laugh referring to the titles that have been bestowed upon him.

“Google is an interesting place to be. It’s full of energy.”

Cerf said the “25-year-old kids,” as he refers to Google staffers, aren’t stopped by the worry that they can’t make something work — he said they go ahead and do it anyway.

Their work in delivering Google Earth — a mapping and satellite photo software that not only picks out locations but allows the users to zoom in and get a bird’s eye view of the location they are seeking — is among examples Cerf points to in the Internet’s trend towards a future where location-based services, combining with GPS to deliver customized information, become the norm.

Internet devices will proliferate, according to Cerf, leaving the Internet with more devices connected to it than people.

“I can see unlimited applications showing up in this environment,” he said. “Devices at the edge of the Net are typically programmable.

“It creates an endless frontier for all those things that are plugged into the Internet.”

The growth in the Internet, according to Cerf, will come in mobile devices.

“There is already a tidal wave coming in the form of mobiles which historically have not been part of the Internet,” he said. “But a large fraction of them are becoming Internet enabled.

“There is in the order of two billion of those devices in the world. In five years time, more and more will be on the Net. The current devices that are on the Net will be joined by those two billion or more mobiles and then we will see set top boxes, household appliances, automobiles, not only on the Net but participating in GPS.”

The economic divide has put the Internet beyond the reach of many people around the globe but Cerf expects that divide will shrink as the cost of both online devices and Internet service drops.

He likened computers and the Internet to colour television back in the 1950s when a colour TV set represented a substantial chunk of income.

“One of the things in technology is that technologies often start out to be very expensive and if it is a popular thing, we get a production learning curve.” he said, adding that he sees costs, “dropping dramatically,” around the Internet delivery and devices.

The launch of this week’s conference was marred by a lawsuit in the U.S. launched against ICANN in a bid to stop it from allowing VeriSign Inc. to maintain control of the “.com” domain until 2012.

The VeriSign proposal is on the agenda for this week’s discussions and Cerf said the lawsuit won’t interrupt that work.

“This is not the first time we had had a lawsuit launched against ICANN and it is also not the first time one was launched on the first day of a week of hard work,” Cerf said. “In my view it is not going to have any material effect on our ability to get our work done this week.”

Cerf said ICANN’s lawyers will be responding to the suit and the request for a restraining order.

A trade group of Internet businesses, The World of Domain Name Developers Inc., filed a lawsuit in federal court in California Monday challenging ICANN’s proposed settlement with VeriSign.

The VeriSign proposal was expected to be finalized by the end of this year. Cerf said members of the Internet community have been invited to submit their responses to the proposed agreement and meetings scheduled for this week will provide a forum for discussion of any issues and problems they raise.

“I don’t expect to resolve any issues will have been resolved in this meeting,” he said. “I do expect to come away with a very clear sense of what the problems will be.

“The next step will be to see if there are any amendments possible that will satisfy those concerns.”

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

Security cameras to monitor shoreline around Vancouver

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

David Carrigg
Sun

A network of high-tech cameras is to be installed on the shoreline around Vancouver to boost security. “We want to be able to track all vessels within our jurisdiction,” said Graham Kee, the Vancouver Port Authority’s director of security. All commercial ships must have a system that electronically advises the port they are visiting what they are doing and where they have come from. But non-commercial ships and yachts that arrive unannounced could be a security threat. To deal with the problem, the Vancouver port will spend much of a $3.6-million federal security grant to install cameras between Deltaport and Indian Arm to monitor boat traffic. The number of cameras required has not been determined. Installation will begin next year. Kee said the Canada Border Services Agency will also install radiation monitors next year to determine if a container holds radioactive materials. The Vancouver port’s $3.6-million security grant is on top of $8 million it got from Ottawa last year to upgrade the cruise ship terminal, port control room and perimeter fencing. The money is part of a $115-million security package for Canadian ports. Three Vancouver Island port communities have also received cash to upgrade security. [email protected] © The Vancouver Province 2005

Security cameras to monitor shoreline around Vancouver

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

David Carrigg
Province

A network of high-tech cameras is to be installed on the shoreline around Vancouver to boost security.

“We want to be able to track all vessels within our jurisdiction,” said Graham Kee, the Vancouver Port Authority’s director of security.

All commercial ships must have a system that electronically advises the port they are visiting what they are doing and where they have come from.

But non-commercial ships and yachts that arrive unannounced could be a security threat.

To deal with the problem, the Vancouver port will spend much of a $3.6-million federal security grant to install cameras between Deltaport and Indian Arm to monitor boat traffic.

The number of cameras required has not been determined. Installation will begin next year.

Kee said the Canada Border Services Agency will also install radiation monitors next year to determine if a container holds radioactive materials.

The Vancouver port’s $3.6-million security grant is on top of $8 million it got from Ottawa last year to upgrade the cruise ship terminal, port control room and perimeter fencing.

The money is part of a $115-million security package for Canadian ports.

Three Vancouver Island port communities have also received cash to upgrade security.

© The Vancouver Province 2005

Domain change could generate big money

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

Anick Jesdanun
Sun

NEW YORK — Although Internet domain names may be getting longer or more complex as websites creatively squeeze into the crowded “.com” address space, most single-letter names like “a.com” and “b.com” remain unused.

That may soon change but the transition won’t be easy — and it could lead to six-figure sales of this new online real estate.

“Obviously this is a valuable commodity,” said Kurt Pritz, ICANN’s vice-president for business operations. “How would the name be sold?”

Names are normally released on a first-come, first-served basis for $10 US or less, a policy that favours those who have written programs to automatically and frequently check for a name’s availability. Auctioning names to the highest bidder is one possibility.

Single-letter names under “.com,” “.net” and “.org” were set aside in 1993 as engineers grew concerned about their ability to meet the expected explosion in demand for domain names. They weren’t sure then whether a single database of names could hold millions — more than 40 million in the case of “.com” today.

Six single-letter names already claimed at the time — “q.com,” “x.com, “z.com,” “i.net,” “q.net,” and “x.org” — were allowed to keep their names for the time being.

A handful of companies have asked ICANN to free up the single characters. Overstock.com Inc., for instance, prefers a single-letter brand of “o.com” because its newer businesses no longer fit its original mission of providing discounts on excess inventory.

The ICANN board must now decide whether and how to release the names.

Matt Bentley, chief executive of domain name broker Sedo.com LLC, said single-letter “.com” names could fetch six-figure sums, and a few might even command more than $1 million from some of the Internet’s biggest companies.

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

Single-letter domain names on Net agenda

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

Internet overseers gather this week in Vancouver

Peter Wilson
Sun

The future of the Internet is on the table this week as more than 1,000 web experts, gurus and tech company executives get together in Vancouver.

Starting Wednesday, the little-known but powerful California-based non-profit corporation that oversees domain names such as .com, .net and .ca as well as Net addresses will hold its first North American meeting in two and a half years.

At this gathering, run by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the industry will discuss such issues as:

- The criticism by some countries that the U.S. uses ICANN to effectively control the Internet;

- The constant need for increased Net security;

- The possible release of single-letter domain names like a.com, b.com and c.com — for which the bidding could become fierce if ICANN abandons its first-come, first-served policy of handing out domains;

- Whether Internet costs will skyrocket as the result of a recent ICANN agreement with the private corporation VeriSign, which administers the .com registry.

Among the major figures present for the meeting will be Google executive Vint Cerf, who sometimes is called “the father of the Internet” and who is the chair of ICANN.

Cerf’s take on U.S. control, as expressed in a recent interview in Newsweek, is that the Internet is owned by businesses, by Internet service providers, by anyone with a computer attached to the Net and by governments, but not by ICANN and not by the U.S.

Also taking a role at the meeting will be Vancouver-based Frank Fowlie, a former RCMP officer and UN peacekeeper, who was recently appointed ICANN’s new ombudsman.

The hottest topic at the event will be the prospect of increased fees for domain name registration, said Ari Farshchian, CEO of the meeting’s co-sponsor, CircleID, an online trade journal that covers the Internet core infrastructure.

“A lot of the folks that are coming here, a lot of the registrars that sell the domains are unhappy because it has the potential of raising the cost of .com,” Farshchian said in an interview. “That’s probably the primary issue that’s going to be discussed because the price of a .com domain is something that affects everybody.”

Last week’s decision in Tunisia at the World Summit on the Internet Society, to leave ICANN in charge of domain names and Net addresses, despite a growing international demand that ICANN give up control, could also spark some lively debate.

As it is now a new UN organization — without any legislative power — will serve as a forum for discussion of Internet management.

“Countries are becoming very aware of the Internet,” said Farshchian. “For example .ca is considered a Canadian landmark, so to speak and that same feeling extends to all the other countries.

“They want to have a say in what happens and how decisions are made and that issue is becoming more and more serious and is going to be discussed here at length.”

The agreement with VeriSign results from a lawsuit which VeriSign launched after its Site Finder service — which intercepted lost surfers and made suggestions as to which sites they might like to visit — was ordered shut down by ICANN.

Critics of Site Finder said that VeriSign sometimes got money for directing traffic to the sites it suggested.

The new ICANN-VeriSign agreement could see the current $6 US annual .com site registration fee paid to VeriSign rise to $9 by the end of its contract in 2012.

In its turn, VeriSign would pass back a 37-cents-a-name fee to ICANN.

 

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

Cambie Street lane closures start next week for construction of SkyTrain’s RAV line

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

William Boei
Sun

VANCOUVER – Long-term lane closures on Cambie Street to make way for RAV Line construction will begin next week.

Motorists will find the three lanes on the east side of Cambie closed between King Edward and 37th Avenue, beginning Tuesday at 6 a.m. They are expected to stay closed for close to two years, until the fall of 2007.

In the meantime, one of the three lanes on the west side of Cambie will be used for northbound traffic, and two will accommodate southbound traffic. “As a result, traffic delays may occur,” said InTransitBC, the company building the RAV Line, which was officially named the Canada Line last week.

Other changes along Cambie:

- The east side of 37th Avenue will be temporarily closed to vehicles but will stay open for cyclists.

- There will be no street parking on the east side of Cambie between 23d and 41st avenues, nor on the west side between 22nd and 39th avenues.

- The sidewalks will remain open on both sides of Cambie, but cyclists will be detoured along city cycling routes.

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

Existing-home sales drop in U.S. showing likely end to boom

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

Unsold units hit highest levels in 19 years

Province

WASHINGTON — Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. fell by 2.7 per cent in October as the housing market continues to signal that the boom of the past five years is ringing more hollow these days.

The National Association of Realtors reported yesterday that sales of existing homes and condominiums declined by 2.7 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.09 million units.

The decline in sales pushed the number of unsold homes to 2.87 million, the highest level in more than 19 years. It would take 4.9 months to deplete that inventory level at the current sales pace.

Even with the decline in sales, the median price of an existing home sold last month rose by 16.6 per cent to $218,000 US compared to the median — or midpoint — price in October 2004.

“This signals that the housing sector has likely passed its peak. The boom is winding down to an expansion,” said David Lereah, chief economist for the realtors association.

The weakness in existing- home sales followed an earlier report that construction of new homes and apartments fell by 5.6 per cent in October, the biggest setback in seven months.

Applications for new building permits, a good sign of future activity, fell by 6.7 per cent, the biggest decline in six years.

The 2.7-per-cent drop in sales of existing homes would have been a larger 3.2-per-cent decline without a boost in activity from people relocating after hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast.

Lereah predicted housing activity would cool further in coming months if, as expected, the Federal Reserve keeps pushing interest rates higher to combat rising inflation pressures that have been triggered by a surge in energy prices.

© The Vancouver Province 2005

Information on leading edge security companies

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Sun

We have been made aware of several instances of virus infected emails that stalled computers in other offices last week.

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Have you ever stopped to think what would happen if your computer was damaged, destroyed or stolen? Here are a few precautions to help you avoid slowing or even stopping your business:

Sun

1.     Be wary of email fraud.  If the FBI or CIBC or any financial institution needs information from you they won’t ask for it via email!  Click the following link for examples of email fraud:  http://www.cibc.com/ca/legal/fraud-examples.html

2.    Phishing – is a type of scheme that uses fraudulent e-mail and web pages to gather personal, financial and sensitive information for the purpose of identity theft.  The request looks like an authentic email, branded with a corporation’s look & logos…  For more information and examples click the following link:  http://www.cibc.com/ca/legal/phishing-info.html

3.    Keep your anti-virus software up to date. Activate Auto-Update.  New viruses are discovered every day and Norton can update your definitions every few hours to keep you protected.  Other anti-virus products can do the same.  And run Live Update regularly too, to be safe.

4.    Don’t open attachments if you don’t know what they are or who they are from.

5.    If your computer does become infected or if you receive an email warning you about a virus, take a look at www.symantec.com for up-to-date information.   There is a comprehensive search engine and information on how to remove each virus.  Some email warnings are actually hoaxes and simply waste time – you can find information about these too.

6.    Use remax.net as your email forwarding service.  60% of what is sent to the RE/MAX server is discarded as spam / virus infected and it’s a bonus not to receive it!  From my personal experience last week I received dozens of infected files on my other email address and not even one on my remax.net address.  

7.     If you preview messages in Outlook / Outlook Express you are actually opening the email and risk of running and propogating a macro virus.  Technicians recommend that you disable the viewing pane in Outlook.  Select the Inbox folder and click on “View”, “Preview Pane” to toggle it off (Different versions will have other ways of doing the same thing).  Then click on Deleted Items, Junk Mail and other folders and do the same.  

8.    Backup your valuable data and keep your backups off site (What if your computer is stolen and the backup disk is in it? What if your office burns down or gets flooded?).  Do not back up onto the same disk all the time.  Label your backup disks and have a system in place so you know the date of the backup on each disk.

Be safe!

Wendy Chapman on behalf of Deborah Upton

Managing Broker

RE/MAX Crest Realty (Westside)

3215 MacDonald Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6L 2N2 / #2-1012 Beach Ave, Vancouver, BC, V6E 1T7 Canada

Office: 604.732.1336 (ext 220), Toll Free: 1.800.668.3369

www.remax-crest-vancouver-bc.com / www.happystreet.ca