Animated time-lapse map of county-by-county unemployment rates in the U.S. since January 2007. Jarring.
Evolution of unemployment in the US, down to the county, from 2007 to 2009
Speculators Rush to Register Catchy Internet Domain Names.
Jun. 7 — Five years ago, Tucson resident Ehud Gavron posed a fairly casual question that turned out to be worth $1million.
Gavron’s friend and stockbroker Eric Wade kept switching Internet service providers. Each provider would assign Wade a new e-mail address, making it hard for Gavron to remember how to reach him.
He suggested that Wade get a permanent e-mail address that he could take along if he switched providers. In Internet jargon, he was suggesting that Wade register his own domain name, or dot com.
Neither of the two anticipated that a few years later there would be a dot com frenzy sweeping the Internet, with fortunes made and courts clogged by litigants. As many as 50,000 names are registered each week.
Speculators searched for and registered every catchy name they could think of. In some cases, they registered names already trademarked by other companies. Beanie Baby manufacturer Ty Inc., Mattel Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Porsche AG have filed suits in recent months over Web sites that the companies say come too close to their trademarks.
The Beanie Baby suit was filed in federal court in late April against Mesa resident Susan B. Joy over the site beaniecollectibles.com. The suit said that Joy sought to sell the domain name. The site beaniecollectibles.com has been taken down since the suit was filed, and Joy could not be reached for comment.
Sales of choice domain names have brought astronomical sums over the last year or so. The name altavista.com sold for $3.35million. A Dutch man received an offer of $5million for Linux.com, but sold the name for a lower undisclosed amount. Business.com brought in $150,000.
It costs an individual $70 to register a name for two years. Names are registered through Internic, www.networksolutions.com. The site provides a searchable database to determine whether a name already has been taken. Another site with information on unclaimed names, for a fee, is www.unclaimeddomains.com.
Gavron said it’s flattering that people think he had the vision to grab a hot property.
“I wish everybody would think that I was a genius,” he said.
That’s not the way it happened. Because Wade was a stockbroker, he and Gavron searched for something that would be appropriate. Stockbroker.com was gone. So were several others. Then they hit the jackpot.
“Wallstreet.com wasn’t taken,” Gavron said. Wade used the name for his e-mail. The two had no idea the name would prove valuable down the road. In fact, he bristles at being included among the domain speculators.
“At that time, there was no such thing as domain speculation,” Gavron said.
The two men talked about developing a financial site at Wallstreet.com but only got as far as taking on a third partner and putting up a stock ticker.
Without any advertising or real content, the Web page started getting significant numbers of stray visits from Web surfers.
The group got an inkling that they might have something valuable. But they still weren’t prepared for what happened.
When they were contacted by a pornography dealer who offered them $250,000 for the name, they finally realized what they had.
“If you have a back yard full of junk and someone comes along and offers you $1,000 for an old lawn mower, it might make you wonder what they know,” Gavron said.
The partners decided to auction off the name and set a minimum bid of $300,000.
Bidders offered thousands of shares from the initial public offering of an Internet company. One offered a percentage of a small phone company.
The winning bid was $1.03million from Players Only, an offshore gambling company, which comes to roughly $343,000 each.
Gavron, who owns Aces Research, a Tucson Internet provider, said the windfall is great, but he hasn’t quit his day job.
“I got to tell a lot of credit card companies that I won’t be doing business with them,” he said.
An individual domain name is everything that follows the www in a web address, Amazon.com, for example. They are not to be confused with Internet domains, or top-level domains, which are the portion of a Web address after the final period. Com is the commercial domain. Gov is government. Org is for organizations. Mil is for military. Domain speculation focuses on the dot coms, the individual names within the com domain, because that’s where the money is.
“There’s a gold rush going on out there, and dot coms are the real estate,” said Scottsdale entrepreneur Kevin J. Berk, who owns 17 domain names. Berk said his wife was a little unhappy at first when he spent about $1,000 registering the names.
“As an investment, it’s fairly cheap,” he said.
As an investment, it’s also fairly speculative, he adds. Several new top-level domains may be added that overlap the dot com domain. That would dilute the value of dot com names.
“If they create .store or .company, that will severely impact the value of dot coms,” Berk said.
Berk’s holdings include TvToYourPC.com, DownloadProgram.com and NetPayPerView.com. None of the names were registered for speculation, he said. He has plans to develop each into viable sites. But selling off a name or two makes a nice Plan B if he doesn’t develop it, or if an attractive offer comes along.
“I have to believe that in business, everything is for sale if the price is right,” he said.
Kathleen Forden is the founder and CEO of Chandler-based Limits Unknown, an Internet design and consulting firm. She owns a package of domain names built around the word local, including LocalUS.com, LocalNeighborhood.com and local combined with the two-letter abbreviation for all 50 states, LocalAZ.com, for example.
A few months ago she shopped the package of local names around but didn’t get any offers that she seriously entertained.
“At one point, that was my intention,” she said. “I was undercapitalized to develop them myself.” Since then, she has come up with some backers and has taken the names off the market.
Forden is working with a client trying to find a domain name for an art-related site, but art names have been picked clean. Art.com, ArtGallery.com, ArtMart.com are all taken. Forden and the client approached a couple of the people with attractive names to see if they were interested in selling. The asking price on one in particular was astronomical.
“It was laughable,” she said. “It was in the high five figures.”
Visit Arizona Central, the online edition of The Arizona Republic, on America Online (keyword: Arizona Central) or on the World Wide Web at http://www.azcentral.com
Sidener, Jonathan. “Speculators Rush to Register Catchy Internet Domain Names.” Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. 1999. Retrieved September 11, 2009 from accessmylibrary: http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-54816910/speculators-rush-register-catchy.html
“Re-Industrialize the Planet”. A quick summary:
* The web is creating a global infrastructure for collaboration (which leads to disruption and confusion)
* As a result, all of our institutions have come to the end of their life-cycle
* The current recession is a crucial punctuation point in human history – the point where we said that we need to reset, the point where the industrial economy has finally run out of gas
* This paradigm shift is creating a crisis of leadership
* The Digital Natives are inheriting this situation – and they think very differently
* Kids are now the authority on many issues
* We have 40 years to re-industrialize the planet
“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ said headmaster James Tracy. (Mark Wilson for The Boston Globe)
There are rolling hills and ivy-covered brick buildings. There are small classrooms, high-tech labs, and well-manicured fields. There’s even a clock tower with a massive bell that rings for special events.
Cushing Academy has all the hallmarks of a New England prep school, with one exception.
This year, after having amassed a collection of more than 20,000 books, officials at the pristine campus about 90 minutes west of Boston have decided the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional library. The academy’s administrators have decided to discard all their books and have given away half of what stocked their sprawling stacks – the classics, novels, poetry, biographies, tomes on every subject from the humanities to the sciences. The future, they believe, is digital.
“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of the bookless campus. “This isn’t ‘Fahrenheit 451’ [the 1953 Ray Bradbury novel in which books are banned]. We’re not discouraging students from reading. We see this as a natural way to shape emerging trends and optimize technology.’’
Instead of a library, the academy is spending nearly $500,000 to create a “learning center,’’ though that is only one of the names in contention for the new space. In place of the stacks, they are spending $42,000 on three large flat-screen TVs that will project data from the Internet and $20,000 on special laptop-friendly study carrels. Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.
“Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.” So wrote Thomas Jefferson to a friend in 1816. Now Michael Moore, whose Fahrenheit 9/11 took on the U.S. Army, and the entire military-executive-industrial establishment, brings his latest documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story, to the Venice Film Festival.
His latest film may not be his best but the director of Sicko and Fahrenheit 9/11 has come up with his universal theory of why everything stinks
As an idea person, I’m constantly amazed at the speed of which new ones seem to be entering the main stream. If ideas use to be “a dime a dozen“, they are more like “penny for a pound” today.
From tweeting stuff your older father says to discussing the life of a squirrel, these ideas seem to be finding an audience and gaining sucess in short timeframes. Today the New York Times released an article that showcased the case of a Twitter account named “shitmydadsays”. Less than 30 days after launch, this young man has over 200,000 followers, media coverage, market appeal, an agent and multiple book offers.
So here’s to the speed of ideas and to hitting that sweet spot that only the world can tell you about.
Richard Laermer’s book 2011: Trendspotting for the Next Decade. It’s a book about how to find the signal in the noise as well as a few predictions on how media will be forced to change for it to remain useful.This video is an interview with 2 guys from Mashable.com and Richard Laermer
A kindred spirit and great personal resource, Jurgen Appelo. Jurgen is the CIO at ISM eCompany, a Dutch company that creates web sites and web applications for customers
Agile development has taken a number of concepts and principles from the study of complex adaptive systems. But since the birth of the Agile Manifesto, the study of complexity has not stopped. In this talk I give a number of ideas copied from complexity experts, and I will review what fitness landscapes, patches, power laws, and incompressibility could mean for agile software development.
- Hierarchies are not a problem, they are natural;
- Prediction of velocity includes an (impossible) estimate of unknown problems;
- Patches of Scrums can be an alternative to Scrum of Scrums;
- ScrumButs are natural and necessary;
- Agile management is an often forgotten but crucial part of agile;
- A project with many strong interdependent parts can behave chaotically;
- All we will ever have are a variety of imperfect methods;
- A self-organizing team with the size of 8 should better be avoided;
The brain’s “seeking system” is hard-wired to obsessively love Google, Twitter, e-mail, and other electronic communication devices, fueled by the opioid neurotransmitter dopamine, according to neuroscientists.
Seeking. You can’t stop doing it. Sometimes it feels as if the basic drives for food, sex, and sleep have been overridden by a new need for endless nuggets of electronic information. We are so insatiably curious that we gather data even if it gets us in trouble. Google searches are becoming a cause of mistrials as jurors, after hearing testimony, ignore judges’ instructions and go look up facts for themselves. We search for information we don’t even care about. Nina Shen Rastogi confessed in Double X, “My boyfriend has threatened to break up with me if I keep whipping out my iPhone to look up random facts about celebrities when we’re out to dinner.” We reach the point that we wonder about our sanity. Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times said she became so obsessed with Twitter posts about the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest that she spent days “refreshing my search like a drugged monkey.”