• United States
by Staff Writers

News briefs for the week of Nov. 4

Nov 04, 20023 mins

News briefs from the IETF, Vignette and more.

  • The Internet Engineering Task Force has approved as proposed standards a set of protocols that will let DNS support foreign-language domain names and today’s English derivatives. The Internationalized Domain Names in Applications protocols convert foreign-language characters into U.S. ASCII equivalents. To represent the foreign-language characters, the IETF chose Unicode, an industry standard that the International Organization for Standardization developed. Unicode is a controversial choice among some Asian Internet users because it does not translate between traditional and simplified Chinese character sets and can’t distinguish between Chinese, Korean and Japanese characters that look the same but have different meanings. The IETF’s IDNA architecture is expected to have a significant effect on the domain name industry. VeriSign Global Registry Services has promised to migrate the million foreign-language domain names it has sold to the standard. And the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has agreed to adopt the standards for its accredited domain name registries and registrars.
  • More than 1,500 mainstream Web sites have seen their expired domain names purchased by pornography operators and the traffic redirected to porn sites in the last six months, according to a study released last week by Websense, a maker of Web filtering software. In addition, the Websense study found that during the same time frame more than 3,000 Web sites that used to feature pornography now offer mainstream content – a sign of how quickly domain names change ownership these days. For network executives, the research underscores the need to track expiration dates for domain names and to monitor the many links buried within their sprawling Web sites to ensure that the corresponding sites haven’t changed hands, Websense says. Websense executives say they are addressing this problem with a master database that is refreshed every seven hours to keep up with the rapid change of Web site content.
  • Content management specialist Vignette says its acquisition of Epicentric last week is in response to customer demands for software that integrates content management, collaboration and portals. Vignette announced Tuesday that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the portal vendor for up to $32 million in cash and restricted stock. The two companies have partnered in the past, but the acquisition will enable even tighter integration between the technologies to provide a framework for enterprisewide content management and delivery, says Vignette CEO Thomas Hogan. Vignette supports Epicentric’s portal technology in its Version 6 and plans to integrate it with its recently announced Version 7 in the first quarter of next year.

  • U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly late Friday approved the majority of the landmark antitrust settlement reached by Microsoft, the federal government and nine states while largely ignoring demands from a coalition of other states for harsher penalties. The settlement prevents Microsoft from participating in exclusive deals that could hurt competitors; requires uniform contract terms for computer manufacturers; allows computer manufacturers and customers to remove icons for some Microsoft features; and requires that the company release some APIs. The sanctions will last for at least five years but can be extended for another 24 months, according to the judge’s ruling. In April of 2000, Microsoft was found to have violated antitrust laws, illegally maintaining its monopoly over computer software operating systems by strong-arming competitors.