ICANN: .SUCKS Domain Pricing Sucks

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ICANN: .SUCKS Domain Pricing SucksThere’s a new blow of sorts in a battle over the pricing of the “.sucks domain.”

ICANN, the non-profit Internet registry regulation organization has received a response to criticisms it levied against Vox Populi, the company responsible for the “.sucks” domain and all names attached. Those criticisms charged the company with grossly inflated domain charges after seeing their sunrise pricing offer on domain names range from $249 to a soaring $2,499. According to Vox Populi themselves in a recent report on the situation, those who are individual registrars will have to pay $1,999 and registrants are subject to pay these registrars whatever they want – a fee that can top out at $3,799. These facts led ICANN to call them ‘shakedown’ moves that leave those companies and other registrars at the mercy of having to pay exorbitant prices.

Vox Populi provided their retort in a legal demand letter to ICANN calling the allegations ‘baseless’ and insisting that their sunrise pricing rates are in accordance with the current market rates available for domain pricing. Within the letter itself lies a curious statement that says, “None of the letters in question identifies any manner in which any law might have been broken.” The letter then goes on to claim that Vox Populi has acted in good faith through detailed accounts and looks for ICANN to cease and desist in claiming it has done otherwise. However, the letter may not be enough. The United States House Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing entitled “Stakeholder Perspectives on ICANN: The .Sucks Domain and Essential Steps to Guarantee Trust and Accountability in the Internet’s Operation” in response to ICANN’s criticisms.

Christopher A. Smith

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Reddit Offers Website Customization Options For Premium Subscribers

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Reddit May Be Developing An Android AppReddit has finally stumbled upon a way to monetize its now 71 billion page views and 160 million unique MAUs by offering a premium Gold membership allowing paid subscribers the ability to customize the look of the site for $4/month and $30/year.

Many of these themes were created by Redditors themselves, who had customized subreddits prior to the introduction of the premium option.

The site raised $50M last year in one of its first major funding round to date and is now in the process of experimenting with its business model in order to generate revenue.

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Twitter Transforms Home Page Into Information Portal

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Twitter Transforms Home Page Into Information PortalTwitter has made changes to its home page, turning it into a news and information destination.

They’ve done this in an effort to gain new subscribers to their service.

Visitors to the page will see 18 tabs, featuring all types of content.

Twitter wrote in a blog post “Today, we’re making a big change for the many millions of people who visit every month who don’t log in, but still want to know what’s happening…Starting today, when you go to the twitter.com homepage, you’ll find interesting topics to explore like Politics, Pop Artists and even Cute Animals. Click on the topic and you’ll see a timeline of Tweets from some of the most popular accounts in that topic. It’s rich real-time content, just like the Twitter experience for users who log in.”

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Google Implements Flash To HTML 5 Conversion To Display Ads On Flash Sites

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Google Implements Flash To HTML 5 Conversion To Display Ads On Flash SitesGoogle has found a method to display Adwords ads on sites that are coded in Flash.

Although Flash is not a recommended technology to use any longer for the design of websites, there are still many sites using it. Google themselves do not display Flash sites over mobile devices.

According to a blog post, Google wrote “…we’re introducing a way to automatically convert Flash ads to HTML5, giving advertisers better access to the portion of Google Display Network inventory that is HTML5-only.”

For Flash campaigns that are eligible, “will now be automatically converted to HTML5 when uploaded through AdWords.”

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Over 1 Million WordPress Sites At Risk Due To Plugin Vulnerability

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Over 1 Million WordPress Sites At Risk Due To Plugin VulnerabilityOver 1 million WordPress sites are at risk of attack via SQL injection, due to a vulnerability in a widely used plugin.

The plugin, WP-Slimstat was found to have the vulnerability.

Version 3.9.5 and lower of the plugin could allow attackers to take over a site with the plugin installed and activated.

WP-Slimstat is an analytics plugin which gives users real-time website activity reports.

The plugin has been downloaded over 1.3 million times.

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Want To Buy Or Sell A House Without A Real Estate Agent? Allre Helps You Do That

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Want To Buy Or Sell A House Without A Real Estate Agent? Allre Helps You Do ThatThe real estate industry is being dragged into the 21st century.

Allre is a new website that lets you not only list, but actually sell your house online, sans real estate agent (and subsequent fees). It works like any other ecommerce site – there’s a buy now option, private negotiations (traditional) or an online auction (like eBay).

The site, while in its infancy, is going to partner with an affiliate who sell things like insurance and home inspections, plus ad revenue to help turn a profit.

Allre is based out of San Diego and unveiled their now-live in beta site allre.com at theTechCrunch Disrput DF 2014.

Spencer Grover

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New HTML Element Intends To Speed Up The Web

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New HTML Element Intends To Speed Up The WebGood news! The web is getting faster. And we don’t have to do anything. A small group of developers saw a problem and solved it for all of us.

The challenge was that when mobile sites gave way to responsive, mobile images were replace with enormous pictures elements. (Consider that 1MB out of 1.7MB on a website is images — that is to say, a lot.)

So while responsive web design (RWD) solves a host of other problems, especially relating to content, it hamstrung load times on mobile devices, not to mention bandwidth bills.

So a team of developers from all over, including the Globe and Mail redesign team, Google, and Opera, started working on it. Through battles with web standards organizations, browser vendors, and thousands of message boards, they developed a new HTML Picture element.

The Picture element works by having the browser evaluate any rules that  a web developer writes for an images. Essentially, it allows a lot of customization, that once completed loads the same image lots of different ways depending on context. It makes one shoe fit all.

Once Picture was developed, of course, it needed browsers to implement it, which involved creating a significant amount of new infrastructure. To fund it, developers actually put it on Indiegogo to raise the capital.

So after a erroneously long development process and a massively successful Indiegogo campaign Chrome and Firefox should begin carrying it by the end of the year. The moral of the story? A small group of determined developers can truly create faster internet – for free.

Spencer Grover

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Salesforce Launches Community Cloud

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Salesforce Launches Community CloudSalesforce, the industry standard in CRMs, has launched the Salesforce1 Community Cloud. Based on an earlier product that let companies build their own communities, the Community Cloud will let customers ask tricky tech questions and connect a la LinkedIn, but all through the Salesforce interface. In addition, questions and comments that go unanswered will be automatically directed to a help desk, streamlining things on Salesforce’ end.

The new product is essentially the same as the older communities product, but by providing a clouded option and putting the time and money into developing a responsive interface it shows Salesforce is serious. Serious about creating a continuous customer experience and serious about building a social community. In the same thread, they’ve partnered with Deloitte Consulting for help kickstarting their social community.

This development is arriving at the perfect time. Social engagement is more desired by customers then ever, stakes are higher with lower customer tolerance for poor mobile design, and everyone is after a totally inclusive experience. Community Cloud will help Salesforce deliver on those demands.

– Spencer Grover

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Google Search Results Now Warn Of Flash Incompatibilty

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Google Search Results Now Warn Of Flash IncompatibiltyAs of Monday July 14, 2014, Google announced a solution for issues regarding incompatibility.

They mention in their blog, the Official Google Webmaster Blog, that one of the most common annoyances of web browsers is when the content served on a site is incompatible with the technology that the browser is using. For example, Adobe Flash Player does not work on the iPhone or Android versions 4.1 and higher.

If I were to surf the web on my iPhone and come across a Flash video that I wanted to watch, I would have to wait until I could access my computer.

However, if webmasters would rather not reformat their sites for user accessibility, the users will now be warned when a website contains Flash video’s that might not work.

Shane Deitch

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Germany Launches World Cup Website

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Germany Launches World Cup WebsiteGermany has launched a World Cup website which features a visual history of the World Cup through the years.

Loaded with photos, facts and trivia, the website, designed in just a few weeks, is the creation of Javier Rincon of the Proud Sugar agency.

Information on the site was aggregated from sources such as Wikipedia and FIFA.

Visit the site here.

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