nettime's_digestive_system on Fri, 26 Mar 1999 19:43:34 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> the business of words digest

McKenzie Wark <>
       Re: ADMINISTRATIVE: Expiring Words and Phrases [v0.1 03191999]
"we at nettime" <>
       ICANN - or the Accountability of Esther Dyson
"Name.Space" <>
       NSOL Possesses No Lock on Domain Registry or Registrar Businesses

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Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 20:36:18 +1100 (EST)
From: McKenzie Wark <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> ADMINISTRATIVE: Expiring Words and Phrases [v0.1

The list of expiring terms is very comprehensive, however, one
omission that needs rectifying is 'convergence' -- clearly a
term with underlying structural difficulties, rather than a
problem of mere over use. I would als like to volunteer a term
from my own writing -- 'vector' for overuse on my part.

yours in compliance

"We no longer have roots, we have aerials."
 -- McKenzie Wark

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From: "we at nettime" <>
Subject: ICANN - or the Accountability of Esther Dyson
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 17:22:59 PST

ICANN - or the accountability of esther dyson

"The domain name identity crisis is worrisome right now
because of the recent untimely death of Jon Postel, the
guru of Internet names and numbers. Not nearly filling
Postel's shoes, we have the new Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. 

There is much controversy about ICANN. We know who died,
but who made Esther Dyson chairman? Is this some plot of
U.S. military intelligence? Are large corporations taking
over the Internet? "

Bob Metcalfe

it would be definetly interesting to hold a public file
on  powerful people like esther dyson. today conspiracies
are more all day practise than fringe theory and paranoia
can be the basis for a successful business model. it is
time to demystify conspiracies and put it into a historic
context. isn't it partly the lack of good journalism which
leads to 'conspiracy theories'? maybe. but it is also the
lack of people who are curious enough to try to read
between the lines and make up their own mind. 

in case of the domain name game: what kind of 'power'
(besides the few millions which go to network solutions)
drives the interest into this issue? only identity and
fame? only money? 

names hold an irreducable magic, irreducable by
linguistics or nitpicking technocritics. on the net they
also serve as markers and keys to an distributed memory
technique, for humans and machines. the power of dns is
that domain names organize the imaginative spaciality of
cyberspace as well as it is a central element for the
hyperlinked dynamic datastructure of the web. control
DNS and you control the surfer's minds AND the integrity
of the net as a media for political action. 

"the revolution will be not digitized".  but who speaks
about revolution today? perhaps people who are
traumatized from the 60ies, cold warriors and fanatic
anti-communists, Jeffersonian illumintati, messianic
millenialists, cold blooded high capitalists, extremely
cautious jews, fact is:  without adresses the internet
would at least temporaly break down. the ones who decide
this have control over an extreme power. that dyson says
to the government "hands off the internet" sets up the
question of her accountability. in who's interest does
she act? who put her into power? 

the system put slowly into function by esther dyson and
her marketing apperatus is an international board of
trustees which are is in no way democratically
legitimized. ICANN is one of the most dubious AGOs
(anti-governmental organisations) on the internet and
definetly worth a look for people interested in
'net politics'. it may show a way how power and
political will organizes itself in the next century
around the control of specific standards and technolgies.

there is a simple cause why to centralize the domain
name system around an us american secret service. in case
of a political crisis where the net plays a certain
strategic role for the 'enemy' it is possible to switch
off the root servers and gain an important ammount of
time until the functionality of DNS is reestablished in
other ways. it is a pure myth that the net is designed
to survive a military crisis. given the current structure
of the root services it is highly vulnerable to central
control. and as you know in the military doctrines
of today the 'inner politics' play an important role. 

from this maximum point of power there are many
derrivatives,  the organisation of the domain name
system as a problem of power is also an example to
solve other kinds of structural conflicts of the
internet as a truly global infrastructure. 

given the assumption that DNS has a high strategic
priority on  many agendas one has to be radically
naive scenario that that undemocratic forces try to
gain control over this technology in their interest
to control extreme political situations. not only
since the fall of the eastern block there is a well
known danger, that (pseudo) democracies are subverted
by those who abuse the power of the 'own' secret 
police forces. 

in this way it would be enough to build up mirror
sites of the TLD-DNS which are not in the control
of an US private company with a unclear background
or a international board of trustees which are
untrusted by the international public. 

paul garrin's project is a mind opener
and early example of technology activism bordering
between outsider movement and a heroic delusion of
free media. even if it fails it is at least material
for a explosive best-seller of true technopolitical

login *assword aresohappy
Get Your Private, Free Email at

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From: "Name.Space" <>
Subject: NSOL Possesses No Lock on Domain Registry or Registrar Businesses
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 15:10:20 +0000

Asensio & Co.: NSOL Possesses No Lock on Domain
Registry or Registrar Businesses

PR Newswire, Thursday, March 25, 1999 at 08:46

NEW YORK, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The following
is being issued by Asensio & Company, a member
of the National Association of Securities
Dealers, CRD number 31742: Investors may be
buying Network Solutions, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:NSOL)
stock believing the company possesses some
market advantage, recurring income or
proprietary technology that has allowed it to
create, and will allow it to grow, its Internet
domain name registry and registrar business. We
found no reasonable basis for these beliefs.
NSOL's domain name business has been and remains
totally reliant on a 7-year-old U.S. federal
government contract, which is expiring and will
not be renewed. We believe that NSOL's
management has purposely disseminated misleading
information, and failed to disclose material
negative information, that has led investors to
believe that the expiration of this contract
will be postponed or that it cannot be entirely
and easily terminated. Investors have also been
led to believe that even if the contract is
terminated, NSOL's business value will continue
to grow. These expectations are baseless and
false. NSOL's expiring contract precluded any
other company anywhere in the world from
registering .com domain names. The termination
of NSOL's contract will eliminate all barriers
to entry and NSOL's competitive advantage. As a
result, regardless of the performance of the
Internet stocks, we believe that NSOL's current
$110 stock price, which places it among the
elite top ten most valued Internet companies, is
grossly overvalued. Investors may also believe
that NSOL will retain the registry business
indefinitely and that it will be valuable. The
registry must be operated on a cost plus basis.
We estimate the total cost to operate the
registry at less than $3 per name per year. We
believe that the registry will ultimately be
transferred to an ICANN accredited cooperative.
In any case, we do not believe that the
temporary, testbed registry price will remotely
approach NSOL's $16 target. As a result, NSOL
will quickly become one of hundreds of
registration services operating in a small
dollar value, low margin, no-value-added
business. We see little or no uncertainty as to
any of these outcomes. NSOL is trading at a
large premium to legitimate Internet stocks,
which unlike NSOL have promising rather than
diminishing futures. Because of NSOL's rapidly
deteriorating fundamentals, non-Internet
owner-management and its monopolistic image in
the Internet community worldwide, we believe
NSOL will trade lower regardless of the
performance of other Internet stocks. Even
assuming a strong Internet equity market, we
believe that NSOL will trade below $40 per share
after the testbed is concluded and well below
$20 per share after the contract is terminated.
These price targets assume that Internet stocks
will continue to be valued at current or higher
relative levels. NSOL has a serious dilemma.
NSOL must persuade investors that it can
continue to control the domain name market and
generate sufficient growth to justify its market
capitalization. Meanwhile, NSOL must comply with
its agreement with the U.S. Department of
Commerce that requires NSOL to relinquish its
control over the domain name market and to
temporarily operate a cooperative registry on a
low margin, cost plus a reasonable return basis.
NSOL's situation creates an even greater
conflict for its analysts. To defend NSOL's
valuation, NSOL's analysts must make the
incongruent pair of claims that the domain name
market will continue to have wide margins and
rapid growth, but that it is unattractive to
other competitors. These are the preposterous
and weak assumptions that underpin NSOL's
analyst recommendations. Asensio & Company, Inc.
is a New York-based institutional investment
bank specializing in corporate valuations and
equity research. Asensio & Company also
specializes in investigating fraudulent stock
promotions and publishing research on grossly
overvalued companies. A complete documented
history of Asensio's published work with
fraudulent securities transactions is available
on the Internet at
Asensio & Company is actively engaged in short
selling and advises its clients on securities it
believes are overvalued. Today, Asensio &
Company initiated coverage of Network Solutions,
Inc. with a Strong Sell and Short Sell
recommendation. Asensio & Company also issued an
institutional research report on Network
Solutions. These reports are available on
Asensio & Company's Internet home page located
at This report should
not be construed as an offer to sell or
solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.
Opinions expressed are subject to change without
notice. This report has been prepared from
original sources and data which we believe to be
reliable but accuracy is not guaranteed. This
research report was prepared by Asensio &
Company, Inc. whose stockholders, officers and
employees may from time to time acquire, hold or
sell a position in the securities mentioned
herein. Asensio & Company, Inc. may act as
principal for its own account or may sell or buy
to or from its customers the securities
described herein. Asensio & Company, Inc. may
from time to time perform investment banking or
other services for, or solicit investment
banking or other business from, any company
mentioned in this report or its affiliates.

SOURCE Asensio & Company, Inc. -0- 03/25/99
/CONTACT: Manuel P. Asensio of Asensio &
Company, Inc., 212-702-8800/
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