Archive | March, 2012

Poachers and Gamekeepers

Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s CEO is today highlighting certain apparent structural issues with the ICANN Board and conflicts of interest.

And you know what, a lot of what he is saying is making sense!

But why has it taken him till the lame-duck phase of his reign for him to speak up?

Back in the early days, ICANN CEO Stuart Lynn similarly criticised the structure of the original ICANN, which led to the abolition of elections and the creation of the Nominating Committee under the banner “ICANN 2.0”.

But he did this early on, and actually achieved the changes to ICANN that produced the current structure. Whether you liked them or not (and the abolition of elections was something that was, perhaps, to be regretted), Lynn had the time to follow through, and implement.

Sadly, Rod’s contribution just sounds like the plaintive cry of an albatross flying off into the distance.


“No proposals met the requirements” – ICANN’s IANA function contract in doubt?

As reported at and .NXT the US Government has scrapped the current IANA contract procurement process, reportedly saying in the process that ICANN’s submission didn’t meet the requirements of the global community.

The effect of this, although ICANN have another six-month stay of execution, has to be to cast medium-to-long-term doubt over ICANN’s role as IANA manager.

It would also might be perceivable by some (whether intended that way or not) as somewhat of a sour note for departing CEO Rod Beckstrom to end his time at ICANN on

Whether any of the criticisms that have been leveled at Mr Beckstrom during his tenure have substance or not, it would appear that one success he should have expected to bank upon would have been ICANN to be awarded  the IANA contract, a job it’s effectively been doing since it was formed.

The apparent message  that ICANN is ‘not fit-for-purpose’ in respect of the IANA contract does not augur well.

It’s also a shame that ICANN’s failure to get a grasp on the global community’s IANA needs may result in demotivating the very staff that I know from personal experience provide dedication above and beyond the call-of-duty.

Whoever Rod’s replacement as CEO may be, she (or he) will have to put “getting a grip” as being the very highest priority on taking post.

After all, gTLDS use IANA equally as ccTLDs. And can ICANN REALLY have the moral or other authority to sign contracts with newTLDs if its future as the  IANA is in this much doubt?


Rush Limbaugh’s “Ratner Moment”

Rush Limbaugh is a widely-listened, right-wing radio personality in the USA.

Wikipedia describes him as “an opinion leader in American conservatism”.

Recently, he took to attacking university student Sandra Fluke for her testimony before Congress on contraception and healthcare. Apparently he characterised her as a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute’. Of course, she’s no such thing.

Let’s leave to one aside the difference in the balance of free speech rights between the USA’s First Amendment and Europe’s Article 10. (Although, it seems to me that had a radio DJ in the UK done something similar, I would venture to suggest he might be receiving stiff letters from Messrs Sue Grabbit and Runne without any possibility of responding like Pressdram Limited, and by now Mr Limbaiugh might possibly be  having some mild difficulty in having to explain to a judge exactly why he shouldn’t pay a large libel award to Ms Fluke).

No, what is interesting about this case, is that this seems to be the ‘Gerald Ratner’ moment for Limbaugh, and perhaps the whole ‘right-wing shock-jock culture’ in the USA.

For those who aren’t from the UK, or are too young, Ratners was the most successful High St. jewelers in the British Isles until in an intendedly humorous speech to the prestigious Institute of Directors, its CEO Gerald Ratner jokingly  described his own company’s products as ‘total crap’ which resulted in the complete collapse of the business.

In my opinion, this is probably Limbaugh’s ‘Ratner moment‘.

Apparently, despite an apology (itself a remarkable course of action for Limbaugh) advertisers are deserting the former darling of the Right in droves

Rush, I feel for you. (Not!!).

And some of us do know total crap when we see (or hear it). Apparently the American public is beginning to, as well.






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