Wednesday, January 4, 2012

5 major changes facing the Internet in 2012

Technical operations, policymaking could change significantly this year By , Network World

2012 is poised to go down in Internet history as one of the most significant 12-month periods from both a technical and policy perspective since the late 1990s, when this network-of-networks stopped being a research project and became an engine of economic growth.

This year the Internet will face several milestones as it undergoes its biggest-ever technical upgrade, from Internet Protocol version 4 to version 6. In addition, key contracts that the U.S. federal government controls for Internet infrastructure and operations are being re-bid. Taken together, these events could result in monumental changes in both who operates the Internet infrastructure as well as how these operations are handled:

1. The root servers may have a new operator.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has overseen the operation of the Internet root servers since the non-profit was founded in 1998. However, ICANN's contract is due to expire in March, and a new U.S.-based organization could end up in charge of this critical technical function.

The Internet's 13 root server farms are at the top of the DNS hierarchy, which matches domain names with their corresponding IP addresses for looking up Web sites. The operation of the root server farms is overseen by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which reports to ICANN.

Instead of renewing ICANN's contract for the IANA function, the U.S. government has opened up the bid to other U.S.-based organizations. On Nov. 10, 2011, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued an open bid for the IANA function. Bids were due Dec. 12 and a contract is expected to be awarded in the first quarter of this year. The new contract for the IANA function will last from April 1, 2012 until March 31, 2015.

2. A new company could operate the .com registry.

Verisign has operated the .com domain since 1999. The .com domain is the Internet's most popular top-level domain, with about 100 million .com names registered as of last month. To put this figure in perspective, the Internet has a total of 220 million domain names registered in 280 top-level domains. The number of .com names dwarfs every other domain: It's more than five times greater than those registered in the second most popular extension, which is Germany's .de.

Verisign signed an agreement with ICANN on March 1, 2006 to operate .com, and that contract expires on Nov. 30, 2012.

One positive indicator for Verisign: Last June, ICANN renewed the company's contract to operate the .net registry, which has about 12 million registered names. Verisign will run the .net registry until 2017.

3. Up to 1,000 new top-level domains will start being introduced.

ICANN plans to launch a new program Jan. 12 to add hundreds of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) such as .hotel and .paris to the Internet. This controversial plan has been under discussion for six years, and it is finally scheduled to begin. ICANN's new gTLD programrepresents the biggest change to the Internet's naming system since 1998, when ICANN was formed.

ICANN has run two previous efforts to expand the Internet domain name space: once in 2000, when it added seven extensions including .biz and .info; and again in 2004, when it added eight more extensions such as .asia and .jobs. None of these new domain name extensions has been particularly successful.

However, if ICANN's latest attempt to expand the domain name space succeeds, it could fundamentally change the way domain names are used. Among the new categories of names that are expected to be approved include: internationalized domain names in non-English language scripts; geographically oriented domains for cities and regions; domain names tied to specific interests as well as domain names tied to individual companies and brands.

Read Network World's other predictions for 2012

4. An additional 10,000 Web sites will support IPv6.

Sept. 30, 2012 is the deadline for all U.S. federal government agencies to support IPv6 on their public-facing Web sites and Web services. An estimated 10,000 Web sites fall under this mandate, which could help drive IPv6 deployment in the United States during the next 12 months.

Established by the Obama Administration two years ago, the federal IPv6 mandate also requires agencies to upgrade internal client applications that communicate with public Internet servers to use native IPv6. But agencies have another two years - until September 2014 - to meet this second deadline. Federal agencies are required to designate an IPv6 transition manager and to purchase network hardware and software that complies with the federal government's IPv6 testing process.

IPv6 features an expanded addressing scheme that can support billions of devices connected directly to the Internet. But IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4, which is running out of addresses. Network operators can either support both protocols in what's called dual-stack mode or translate between IPv4 and IPv6, which could add latency and overhead cost.

5. Europe will run out of IPv4 addresses.

The European regional Internet registry - RIPE - is expected to run out of IPv4 addresses in 2012. Geoff Huston, adjunct research fellow at the Centre for Advanced Internet Architectures at Swinburne University of Technology, estimates that RIPE will run out of its remaining IPv4 address space on July 22, 2012.

In April 2011, Asia depleted all of its IPv4 address space except a small fraction held in reserve for start-up network operators. The North American registry is expected to deplete its IPv4 address space in 2013.

The depletion of IPv4 addresses in various regions of the world will put more pressure on U.S. carriers and enterprises to begin transitioning their networks to IPv6. For example, Comcasthas said it will offer production-quality IPv6 services across its nationwide network in 2012.

(Source -

Yahoo names PayPal’s Scott Thompson as CEO

Iconic internet company Yahoo has named a new CEO, former PayPal CEO Scott Thompson, the companyannounced today.

Yahoo fired its long-time CEO Carol Bartz in September after board members decided she wasn’t pushing the company forward. Yahoo CFO Tim Morse has been acting as interim CEO since then while the company boosted its efforts to find a replacement.

We’re pasting more from the official release below. Check back shortly for a more through report.

Yahoo! Inc., the premier digital media company, today announced the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 9, 2012 , at which time Tim Morse will resume his role as Chief Financial Officer. Thompson has also been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors, effective January 9, 2012.

Thompson served most recently as President of PayPal, a division of eBay, where he continued his established track record of growing businesses by driving customer engagement built on strong technology platforms. Under his leadership, PayPal solidified its lead as the global online payment service, expanding its user base from 50 million to more than 104 million active users in 190 countries worldwide, increasing the number of merchant partners to more than 8 million globally, and growing revenues from $1.8 billion to $4+ billion in 2011.

“Scott brings to Yahoo ! a proven record of building on a solid foundation of existing assets and resources to reignite innovation and drive growth, precisely the formula we need at Yahoo!,” said Roy Bostock , Chairman of the Yahoo ! Board. “His deep understanding of online businesses combined with his team building and operational capabilities will restore the energy, focus, and momentum necessary to grow the core business and deliver increased value for our shareholders. The search committee and the entire Board concluded that he is the right leader to return the core business to a path of robust growth and industry-leading innovation.”

“Yahoo! is an industry icon and I am very excited about the prospect of working with one of the great teams in the online world to deliver Yahoo!’s next era of success,” Mr. Thompson said. “Yahoo! has a rich history and a solid foundation to build on, and its continued user engagement is one of the many reasons for my enthusiasm. With the ultimate goal of delivering the value our shareholders expect, my immediate focus will be on getting to know the entire team and hearing more from all Yahoo!s, working closely with the engineers and product teams, and diving deeply into our products and services to learn more about what our more than 700 million users find most engaging and useful. I will also be working directly with our region leaders and sales teams globally to get a clearer understanding of the needs of our advertisers and publishers. Clearly, speed is important but we will attack both the opportunity ahead and the competitive challenges with an appropriate balance of urgency and thoughtfulness. I cannot wait to get started.”

“Scott’s primary focus will be on the core business, and as CEO and director, he will work closely with the Board as we continue the strategic review process to identify the best approaches for the Company and its shareholders. As part of this process, Yahoo ! is considering a wide range of opportunities for the Company’s business, as well as specific investments or dispositions of assets,” added Bostock.

“We are all grateful to Tim Morse for leading the company with a steady hand during the last several months. His deep understanding of the Company and his positive approach kept the company on course and we will continue to benefit from his exceptional capabilities as he returns to his Chief Financial Officer role,” Bostock concluded.

Puasa Nabi Daud oleh Prof. Muhd. Kamil Ibrahim dari Madinah

Semalam saya menulis entri yang sengaja ditinggalkan.

“Selain belajar bahasa Arab, saya suka berbincang beberapa isu yang menarik perhatian. Memandangkan beliau seorang lulusan pengajian hadis maka saya gemar bertanya tentang kepakaran beliau.

Misalnya, saya pernah bertanya tentang hadis ini,

Rasulullah bersabda: “Puasa yang paling Allah cintai ialah puasa Nabi Daud, iaitu dia berpuasa satu hari dan berbuka satu hari. Solat yang paling Allah sukai ialah solat Nabi Daud, iaitu dia tidur hingga pertengahan malam lalu bangun mendirikan shalat pada sepertiga malam dan tidur lagi di akhir seperenam malamnya.” [Shahih al-Bukhari, no: 3167].

Soalan saya agak kritikal, kenapa agaknya Allah mencintai puasa nabi Daud? Ia mesti ada penjelasan yang boleh difikirkan.”

Ia perbincangan bersama Walid dan Hearsi, dua pemuda Somalia. Namun jauh di sudut hati saya ingin berdakwah kepada mereka berdua dengan cara yang cukup halus.

Hakikatnya, banyak soalan yang tidak mempunyai atau memerlukan jawapan. Lalu mungkin ada yang berkata ia perkara remeh-temeh. Ulamak tidak melihat ia isu besar yang perlu diperjelaskan.

Saya selalu terfikir, ilmu Allah ada pada setiap orang. Ia boleh berlaku kerana mereka ke sekolah atau universiti, menadah kitab, mendengar ceramah dan kuliah atau melalui pengalaman yang telah dilalui.

Malah ibu, ayah dan keluarga memberi ilmu yang tidak ternilai. Jika ia melalui pengalaman, maka ia menjadi milik mereka yang telah melalui pengalaman tersebut. Jika tidak dibukukan atau diceritakan, ilmu tersebut akan turut berkubur bersama mereka.

Benarlah firman Allah melalui surah al-Baqarah ayat 255 yang bermaksud,

”…….yang Mengetahui apa yang ada di hadapan mereka dan apa yang ada di belakang mereka, sedang mereka tidak mengetahui sesuatu pun dari (kandungan) ilmu Allah melainkan apa yang Allah kehendaki (memberitahu kepadanya) ……..”

Walid merenung saya. Tentu sekali beliau tidak menyangka saya bertanya soalan “bodoh” yang mungkin tidak ditanya oleh bijak pandai yang lain.

Adakah ia soal kuantiti? Tidak mungkin kerana Rasululullah SAW melarang mereka yang ingin berpuasa sepanjang masa. Akhirnya, saya bertanya beliau, “mahukah tuan memikirkan jawapan yang ingin saya sampaikan?”.

Walid dan Hearsi melihat dan mendengar hujah saya dengan tekun. Lalu saya mulakan dengan nada yang sangat berhati-hati,

“Ini kali kedua saya menyampaikan pendapat ini. Pertama kepada isteri saya dan kedua kepada tuan-tuan berdua. Saya fikir ada ilmu yang diperolehi melalui praktikal.

Allah cintakan puasa Nabi Daud yang selang sehari berpuasa. Tuan-tuan kena cuba dahulu berpuasa sebagaimana Nabi Daud berpuasa, InsyaAllah Dia akan bagi ilmu tersebut. Lakukan secara konsisten.

Ramai di antara kita belajar dan mengetahui tentang amalan ini. Saya bukan pakar hadis tetapi saya tahu amalan ini sejak empat tahun yang lepas. Namun jika orang bertanya soalan yang sama - pada ketika itu – sudah pasti saya tidak mampu menjawab.

Kini sudah sebulan lebih saya berpuasa selang sehari (nota: ampunkan saya ya Allah jika ia lahir dari rasa riyak takbur dan angkuh. Aku tidak mahu begitu ya Allah, aku mohon izin bercerita untuk menyampaikan sedikit ilmu yang Kau pinjamkan kepada daku).

Pernah dengar orang menulis, susah dan senang, sakit dan sihat, suka dan duka, cantik dan hodoh, kaya dan miskin serta pelbagai sifat yang berlawanan mempunyai nikmat yang sama?

Pada satu tahap, ia sesuatu yang sukar diterima. Apatah lagi untuk merasai perasaan tersebut. Mana mungkin lapar dan kenyang mempunyai nikmat yang sama.

Realitinya, bila manusia berduka, sakit, hodoh dan miskin maka ia lebih mudah untuk merayu dan merintih kepadaNya. Jika sifatnya berlawanan manusia akan lebih rileks, santai dan sedikit jauh daripada Allah SWT”.

Tentu sekali saya tidak menghadapi masalah untuk memahamkan mereka dengan hujah-hujah yang saya ingin kemukakan. Pertama saya berhadapan dengan ilmuan agama dan kedua dengan seorang jurutera yang mempunyai syarikat perniagaan sendiri.

Tinggal lagi mereka tidak pernah mencuba dengan apa yang dicintai Allah itu. Ia kelihatan sangat sukar.

Lalu saya sambung, “bila saya berpuasa selang-sehari, tiada lagi nilai kenyang dan lapar. Hari berpuasa dan tidak berpuasa mempunyai nilai yang sama dari sudut kenyang dan lapar. Tuan-tuan akan dianugerahkan perasaan dan nikmat tersebut.

Maksud saya, nilai kenyang dan lapar hilang sehingga wujud nilai baru yang terlalu abstrak.

Dan perasaan ini akan membawa kita melihat tentang kebesaran Allah. Perasaan cintakan Allah pada setiap waktu. Bagaimana? Entah. Berpuasalah dahulu… bukankah Allah paling mencintai puasa ini? Bukankah Allah mencintai orang yang cintakan Dia?

Bukankah selangkah kita hampir denganNya, beribu langkah Dia hampir dengan kita?”

“MasyaAllah… MasyaAllah… MasyaAllah…”

Saya memberi pendapat. Mereka lebih berilmu, bijak dan pandai daripada saya. Alhamdulillah, akhirnya saya bersyukur kerana Hearsi sudah memulakan puasa Nabi Daud selang sehari selepas perbincangan ini.

Ia tidak memerlukan modal yang besar.

NotaMKI: Begitulah…. jika kita masih tertanya-tanya bagaimana mahu solat malam… lakukan… lakukan dan rasailah nikmat tidak tidur yang sama manisnya dengan nikmat tidur. Ia hanya berlaku (mengikut aturannya) selepas melepasi tahap-tahap tertentu. Pastinya ia memerlukan langkah pertama sebelum ada langkah kedua.

(Prof. Muhd. Kamil ialah Profesor Perakaunan di Taibah Universiti Madinah, Arab Saudi. Nukilan beliau boleh dilayari di Beliau juga pernah berkhidmat di UiTM dan memegang beberapa jawatan penting disepanjang berkhidmat di UiTM)